Serving the Community since 1903

Minutes of Littleton Water and Light Meetings

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.

Minutes for 2021

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Regular Meeting Apr 5, 2021

The regularly scheduled business meeting of the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) Board of Commissioners (BOC) began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday,
April 5, 2021 in the LWL conference room. Present were Commissioner Schuyler Sweet, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Peter Cooper, Director of Finance Lori Hogan and Superintendent Thomas Considine.

MINUTES REVIEW:

The minutes of the March 15, 2021 regularly scheduled Commissioner’s meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Ross made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Sweet.

The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-1.

Commissioner Cooper abstained from the vote as he was not present for meeting.

DIRECTOR of FINANCE and HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT:

1. Mrs. Hogan provided an update to the BOC about the independent auditor’s report for the fiscal year ended 2020. The basic financial are completed in draft for review and discussion. LWL will receive a clean auditor’s opinion without a management letter (suggested fiscal improvements recommended by auditors). LWL management is working on the Management Discussion and Analysis portion of the report required under the Governmental Accounting and Standards Board (GASB) Statement # 34.

2. Mrs. Hogan reviewed the highlights of the financial statements for the month ended February 2021 with the Commissioners. Several variances as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Hogan.

Mr. Considine reviewed LWL’s wholesale power supply spot market position for February that was over budget as shown in the monthly operating statement. Weather in February 2021 was on average 16.9 degrees, several degrees cooler than 2020 especially during the weekends. The cooler weather drove the electrical market cost per hour for electricity to about $83/ Mwh , LWL was budgeted at $60/ Mwh. Though the colder weather led to higher LWL energy sales that helped to offset some of the higher spot market expenses it also increased LWL required load on the grid above its hedge fraction. This caused LWL to purchase the more expensive energy spending and additional $ 71,300 to meet system load.

3. LWL customer payment (cash/credit card) activity and methods for 2020 were reviewed with the BOC as compared to 2019:

•Credit Card use increase by almost four (4) percent or more than $300,000,
•E-Checks are the most popular online method with E-Bill, Recurring and IVR following,
•Smart Hub Mobile and Pay Now were the least popular online payment methods,
•Walk-in lobby activity in 2020 was less than half (1/2) that of 2019,
•Paper checks is the most popular overall way that customers pay LWL,
•Cash (paper money/coin) is the least used of all payment methods.

4. Mrs. Hogan discussed and reviewed LWL’s current cash reserve balances and suggested several accounting practices about how to manage the money more cost efficiently aimed at increasing fund balance interest income earning potential.

•The BOC in their regular BOC business meeting on March 16, 2020, following the results of
the year ended 2019 audit voted to transfer funds and retain the earnings from the operating account to the deferred capital accounts. Though the BOC voted the physical transfer was not accomplished in 2020. Mrs. Hogan stated that she would like to execute the physical transfer in accordance with the schedule provided. This would reduce the operating account (daily working cash) and taking advantage of the higher interest rates offered in the other reserve accounts.

Following some discussion as to funds access and interest rates the BOC agreed that except for the operating (checking) account LWL was receiving a higher interest rate of return and the suggested transfer action is reasonable and is good money management.

Commissioner Cooper made a motion to fund the reserves and physically transfer the 2019 net surplus as voted previously and transfer about $610,900 into the appropriate deferred capital accounts in accordance with the schedule provided, seconded by Commissioner Ross.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

•The basic financial statements are completed for the year ended 2020 as discussed above, as
the year ended in a deficit position there is no cash surplus to transfer out of the operating account. The non-cash depreciation was discussed regarding available funds in accordance with the depreciation schedules for both the water and electric divisions.

Mr. Considine stated that asset management and how to fund replacement programs (depreciation schedules such as LWL fleet management) is becoming more and more important in the utility industry. Asset management is a means of developing an accurate and reasonable budgeting tool and to determine adequate levels of reserves and needed revenues to replace aging utility infrastructure.

Following additional discussion about LWL’s depreciation schedule and how best to determine adequate levels of revenues that do not burden LWL rate-payers Commissioner Ross made a motion to fund the reserve and transfer the non-cash depreciation in the amount of about $463,000 into the appropriate deferred capital account in accordance with the schedule provided, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

•During the close - out telephone conference call with the auditors on March 30, 2021 they suggested for house-keeping purposes that LWL may want to consider combining the funds in the contingency and rate stabilization reserve accounts. The intended use of these funds is similar, systems reliability. In the basic financials they are combined, and they suggested that LWL do the same and physically transfer the fund from contingency to rate stabilization to reduce confusion and the number of accounts to manage.

Commissioner Cooper made a motion to combine the funds and physically transfer the contingency funds into the rate stabilization account as suggested by the auditors, seconded by Commissioner Ross.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:

1. Portions of the existing primary distribution system that is currently operating at a nominal voltage of 4,160 will soon be converted to 12,470. Portions of West Main Street and street to the north between the fire station and the Beal House will be converted to the high operating voltage. The conversion work will proceed towards the South Street substation and eventually the circuit emanating from the Lafayette substation. The voltage conversion project has been a long-term goal for LWL for many years, though load has declined from the inception of the project which has lessen the immediacy of the project. A single operating distribute voltage will streamline operations, standardize inventory/ equipment, and improve system efficiency and reliability.

The intent is to conduct as much of the conversion/cut-over work during normal working hours though some work due to customer requirements may need to be accomplished during periods of low use during the night and some overtime is anticipated.

2. The NH Public Utilities Commission recently distributed the proceeds from the fifty-first (51) Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Cap and Trade auction to LWL for disbursement in the amount of about $36,300. Eligible LWL electric customers will receive a rebate (credit) in an estimated amount of $6.70/1,000 kWh applied to their May 2021 LWL statement.

GENERAL/OTHER BUSINESS:

1. Hawkeye Holdings made an abatement request that the demand portion of the electric bill be reimbursed as his apartments were incorrectly classified as commercial space. The account classification issue was addressed by the BOC in a previous meeting and the apartments were set up in a different name that met LWL’s R-1 residential rate requirements. Following some discussion Commissioner Cooper made a motion to grant the abatement request in the amount of about $365 to be credited to his account(s), seconded by Commissioner Ross.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

2. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to enter Nonpublic Session in accordance with: RSA 91-A:3, II(e) to discuss a legal matter and attorney client privileged information, Seconded by Commissioner Ross.

Commissioner Sweet called for a roll call vote to enter in nonpublic session.

Commissioner Sweet – Yes, Commissioner Ross – Yes, Commissioner Cooper - Yes.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0,

Entered nonpublic session at 2:26 p.m.

Public session reconvened at 2:46 p.m.

MEETING ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the board Commissioner Cooper 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 2:53 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.


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