The Board meets on the first and third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 1:00 p.m. and are held in the department conference room at 65 Lafayette Ave, Littleton. Board meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public comments at each meeting.
The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 19, 2019 in the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Peter Cooper, Commissioner Schuyler Sweet, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Director Cheryl Wilkins, and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the July 15, 2019 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Ross made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-1. Commissioner Sweet abstained from voting as he was not present for the meeting.
The minutes of the August 5, 2019 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Sweet made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-1. Commissioner Ross abstained from voting as he was not present for the meeting.
Mr. John Soininen representing Lendlease Energy Development presented the BOC a short PowerPoint presentation that explained who his company is and what they proposed to do. Mr. Soininen stated that they propose to build and maintain a utility large scale 30 MW (nominal) passive solar system in Littleton and a 34.5 kV interconnection with LWL’s in order to wheel the output back into the grid. Their plan is to sell off the energy, renewable energy credits (REC’s) and capacity products to most likely the southern New England region. They hope to access the property from Meadow Street from two separate locations. He stated that they have spoken with two (2) land owners and the next logical step is to discuss the feasibility of an interconnection.
Commissioner Ross asked why Littleton, NH? Mr. Soininen stated that they prefer to interconnect at the 34.5 kV level and has an interstate road system access, this tends to be more economical (better return of their investment) in the long term, and permitting tends to be less complicated.
Following some additional discussion the BOC agreed that LWL would work with Leadlease and their engineers to review the feasibility of this project. It was also agreed that any information provided by either party would be considered proprietary and confidential. All project engineering information/details are to be classified as Critical Energy/Electrical Infrastructure Information (CEII) in accordance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - CEII regulations.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
1. Mrs. Wilkins reviewed the highlights of the financial statements for the month ended June 2019 with the Commissioners. Several variances as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Wilkins.
2. Mrs. Wilkins stated that she would like to discuss an offer provided by Union Bank with regard to managing LWL cash reserves accounts.
Commissioner Sweet stated that he needed to recuse himself from this discussion due to a potential conflict of interest in this matter. Commissioner Sweet excused himself and exited the conference room and did not take part in the discussion.
Following Commissioner Sweet’s departure Mrs. Wilkins stated that the Bank of NH matched Union Bank interest rate offer. LWL interest earnings on the accounts would increase by about $12,000 annually. Mrs. Wilkins stated that she has had no issues with how the Bank of NH handles LWL accounts and have always found them to be very accommodating and she recommended that the LWL accounts remain with the Bank of NH.
Following some additional discussion the BOC agreed that no change is warranted at this time in regard to the management of the LWL bank accounts.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The BOC was informed that LWL distributed thirty (30) water sample bottles in accordance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the Lead and Copper Rule throughout the town. This is LWL’s eleventh (11th) round of sampling in compliance with this rule. Of the samples bottle distributed LWL is in hopes that twenty (20) bottles will be returned as some homeowners will refuse to collect the sample for LWL.
Commissioner Cooper asked how the sites were selected. Mr. Considine stated that LWL submitted a proposed list and map to the NHDES that made the final selection and confirmed site locations when the rule was first adopted by the NHDES. Basically, houses build prior to 1986 and still have the original plumbing were targeted. This is due to the wide spread use of lead based solder during this era. The sample containers, which are time sensitive, will be brought to the lab next week for processing.
2. LWL personnel replaced a 20’ x 20’ section of the downstream gabion baskets at the Gale River headwaters infiltration system. The gabion baskets function as armor protection for the infiltration screens buried about five (5) feet below in the river bottom. The infiltration screen system was placed in service in 1996 and has drastically minimized the maintenance as compared to when the water came through the rack system, which had to be manually cleaned.
3. LWL positively identified and repaired ten (10) water leaks in 2019 that has amount to about 79 GPM. This equates to about 3.4 Million Gallons of water each month that is being conserved and not being treated. There are other locations that need further investigation before a decision to repairs is attempted.
4. To date LWL personnel have installed almost 600 new LED street light fixture throughout town. When complete the vast majority of the legacy high pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures will be replace with the more efficient LED. This should ultimately reduce the street lighting expenses for the Town of Littleton by more than thirsty (30) percent. HPS area lights and NHDOT highway lights will be replace through attrition or as needed as they are not part of this program.
GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:
The LWL and union have reached a tentative verbal agreement to amend language in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). A memorandum of understanding would most likely include language that will define the status of a probationary employee relative to the CBA and when that employee is expected to begin paying their respective union dues.
There being no further business to come before the board, Commissioner Sweet made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:34 p.m.
The regularly scheduled Commissioner’s meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Department’s conference room.