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, February 6, 2012 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell and Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins, and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of January 17, 2012 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Moore made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Goodell.
The vote was in favor 3-0-0.
A written request for water abatement was received by the resident at 517 Cottage Street. The customer stated that their outside garden hose was never turned off and froze, resulting in a substantial leak. The leak was not discovered by the customer until they received notice by the department of excessive usage.
The BOC discussed how the department has handled similar requests in the past and that it is the responsibility of the customer to safeguard their water equipment. The BOC decided that because the customer failed to safeguard their outside hose connection that a partial abatement would be granted.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
1. Mrs. Wilkins reviewed the financial statements for the month ending December 2011 with the Commissioners. Several discrepancies as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Wilkins.
2. The auditor is scheduled to begin the 2011 year end financial audit the week of February 13th. Random financial records and inventory physical count verification are expected to be selected and checked by the auditor.
3. Mrs. Wilkins conducted a health insurance cost comparison between New England Electrical Workers Benefits Funds (current provider), Matthew Thornton and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Though the cost of the departmentís health insurance has increased significantly over the past several years the variance between providers has decreased. When the dental insurance is considered it makes financial sense to remain with the current provider.
SUPERINTENDENT/ MANAGERS REPORT:
1. A preliminary cost analysis was recently completed that compared the cost of using Hi-Intensity-Discharge (HID) such high pressure sodium versus a Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) luminary. Though the LED luminaries are more energy efficient (30% - 40%) the upfront capital costs are five (5) times as much, which diminishes the Rate-Of-Return on the capital investment for the department. A separate electric rate structure might have to be developed for LEDís that will address cost of purchasing the luminaries to make replacing HID with LED a more economically viable alternative.
The BOC agreed that going forward the department should purchase the LED luminaries and begin to phase them into the system as needed. A full scale or an aggressive implementation program at this time is not a good business decision due to the up front capital costs involved in purchasing the luminaries.
Superintendent Considine suggested that the department purchase two dozen (24) LED luminaries as a pilot program. The fixtures would be placed in selected locations throughout the system so that empirical data can be gathered to further study the advantages of using LED luminaries. The BOC were in agreement.
2. The BOC approved a draft engineering proposal in the amount of $28,820 submitted by Horizons Engineering to provide contract/ bid documents, final engineering, bid assistance and construction inspection services as needed for the new one (1) million gallon reservoir project. The project is expected to go out to bid in March 2012 and construction is expected to begin in early May 2012.
3. Phase II of the departments FM radio conversion to a narrow band frequency, mandated by the Federal Communication Commission, is nearing completion. A new antenna and repeater have been installed on Mannís Hill. Upon completion of this phase the department will operate on a separate frequency (channel) from the towns ďlocalĒ system. LWL radios are capable of scanning all programmed frequencies and are still able to communicate with town entities when needed by changing the channel.
4. The departmentís office staff discussed the recent embezzling that involved the Hardwick (VT) Electric Department. The departmentís financial protocols that are in place were evaluated and discussed among the staff. As a result of system/ procedural redundancies, cross training of office staff, and that not ďoneĒ person totally handles the departmentís cash accounts; an incident of that nature is unlikely to happen to the department. The auditor will be asked to conduct an in-depth analysis into LWL financial accountability processes and provide a detailed opinion to the BOC as part of the year end auditorís report.
5. The doors into the newly renovated front office area were open at about 1100 hours on Friday, February 3rd to the public. Final renovation will take place over the next several weeks to the remaining office and the IT room. The departmentís surveillance system is in place and operational.
1. Commissioner Ross discussed the La Capra month ending December 2011 summary report that suggests that the department procure additional wholesale power supply resources to reduce its open position and risk on the spot market.
Superintendent Considine stated that the January figures are not yet available to accurately access the departmentís position with respect to the spot market. Discussions with La Capra will be held before the next regular BOC meeting to validate the actual figures based on Januarys 2012 load data.
2. Commissioner Moore stated that he read an article that discussed growing concerns among utilities in regard to preventing a cyber attack, and suggested that the departmentís internet security and online customers accessible systems be reviewed.
Commissioner Moore made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
The regularly scheduled Commissionerís meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Departmentís conference room.