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 business meeting of the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in the LWL conference room. Present were Commissioner Peter Cooper, Commissioner Schuyler Sweet, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Director Cheryl Wilkins, Line Supervisor Justen Elliott and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the November 18, 2019 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Sweet made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0
CUSTOMER AND PUBLIC CONCERNS:
Water has surfaced again on the upper end of Morrison Hill Road that the Town of Littleton’s DPW is concerned about and has implied that it is a LWL issue to deal with, which LWL disagrees. According to LWL personnel, for the past several years’ water weeps out of the road during January thaw at this same site and goes away when the roadway thaws in the spring. The LWL applied sound detection in that specific area in the fall of 2019 and nothing was found that indicate a pressurized leak. Leaks do not typically subside once the water surfaces if under system pressure. The entire surrounding area is wet and shows signs of surface runoff and the road ditch along upper Cottage Street are very wet. LWL will monitor the situation for changes and will address if found to be a potable water related issue.
1. Stan Faryniarz an energy consultant with Daymark Energy Services discussed LWL’s proposed capital project to interconnection with the 115kV transmission line (U199) owned and operated by Eversource Energy. Mr. Faryniarz stated that the economics based on the meeting in April of 2019 with Eversource officials suggest that LWL’s system reliability most likely will improve by virtue of a redundant feeder. When interconnected to the U199 this feed would be coming in from the south and National Grid from the North. How to explain the increase in the cost associated with improving reliability to LWL customers may be a difficult discussion.
Mr. Faryniarz suggested that LWL reopen discussion with Eversource to discuss the project approach, funding alternatives and how Eversource will classify the proposed LWL interconnection/load. Following the answers to these and other tariff related questions a more realistic project cost estimate can be developed. At this point the LWL BOC will most likely have the needed information to make a decision whether to proceed or end discussions relative to the proposed interconnection.
Some general discussion with regard to cost of system reliability and redundancy (goal of the project) and bonding authority was discussed. If LWL BOC decided to proceed following a second meeting with Eversource, LWL will have to sponsor an article on the warrant in time for 2021 town meeting with regard potentially bonding the project.
Commissioner Sweet made a motion to authorize Mr. Considine and Mr. Faryniarz to reopen project discussions with Eversource relative to LWL establishing a 115 kV interconnection, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0
2. The BOC discussed the proposed Blueberry Ridge solar project with Mr. Faryniarz. ISONE responded by email to the developer that the project was not within their jurisdictional purview. As of this meeting the developer has not contacted LWL.
Mr. Faryniarz stated that it is up to the developer to do the leg work for this project as this will affect both LWL and National Grid infrastructure. The developer is proposing to use LWL overhead lines to access the grid (wheeling). LWL may want to consider developing a wheeling tariff/fee based or other suitable compensation if the decision is made to allowing this project to interconnect. He stated that this is somewhat different than distributed generation which is connected at distribution voltage; the proposed project will be of little operational gain to LWL at the sub transmission voltage level.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
1. Mrs. Wilkins reviewed the highlights of the financial statement (DRAFT) for the month ended December 2019 with the Commissioners. Mrs. Wilkins explained that though no changes are anticipated that will effect this statement it will remain classified as draft until the auditors finish the 2019 year ending financial audit. Any adjustment recommended by the auditors will be applied against the year ended balance on the month ended December 2019 statement.
2. The auditors from Vachon Clukay & Company PC are schedule to beginning the 2019 year ended financial audit on Monday February 24, 2019. They are expected to be on site through Wednesday, February 26, 2020.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. Justen Elliott was introduced and discussed his work background and experience with the BOC. Justen was recently hired to fill the vacant line supervisors position and began work on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. Justen will oversee and coordinate the activities of LWL personnel and contractors relative to work on or in close proximity to LWL’s electric distribution system.
2. The 50HP motors at the Goss pump house as of Thursday, February 13, 2020 are fully under a variable frequency drive (VFD) motor and flow control. This new controller is expect to reduce energy and power demand electric cost as well as lower motor and pump maintenance expenses due to reduced load at start up and during operations.
3. The proposed Granite Senior Service building site on the St. Johnsbury Road has recently contacted LWL with regard to connecting to the drinking water system. The proposed connection would be to the water main system/zone that provides water to the Littleton Regional hospital that is over 5,000 feet away. No design data is available as the owner is only in the conceptual design stage at this time and load data is minimal. If this project moves forward LWL will have to decide whether or not to accept maintenance/ownership responsibility of this new system. The existing system/zone has limited expansion potential due to system constraints.
GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:
The BOC reviewed a letter from the Littleton town manager (dated 2/10/2020) in response to LWL’s request for full project expenditure details in regard to the recently competed River District Infrastructure revitalization project on Saranac Street. According to the town manager the final project expenditure records are not yet available. There apparently are pending contract complications involving abutting parcels that have delayed the final project completion and close out that are expected to impact the final project costs. Following some general discussion the BOC generally agreed that LWL should process the payment of the Town of Littleton’s invoice (No.100) in the amount of $154,885 based on the explanation and circumstance provided by the town manager even though the project expenditure and reconciliation was not provided as requested.
There being no further business to come before the board Commissioner Ross made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Commissioner Sweet.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 3.12 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.