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.

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Regular Meeting Dec 21, 2020

The regularly scheduled business meeting of the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) Board of Commissioners (BOC) began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 21, 2020 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 July 6, 2020 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 3-0-0

DIRECTOR of FINANCE and HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT:

1. Mrs. Hogan reviewed the highlights of the financial statements for the month ended October 2020 with the Commissioners. Several variances as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Hogan. It is anticipated that this fiscal year will finish in the red below breakeven. This is attributed to the ten (10) percent covid-19 rebate granted by the BOC for April and May and that sales are trend lower than anticipated in the commercial sector likely due to the slow reopening.

2. As a direct result of two (2) keys employee retirements in 2020 and contractual obligation about severance packages and vacation payout LWL may want to consider accruing these funds as its workforce becomes eligible. In accordance with the LWL employee manual and collective bargaining agreement an LWL employee that qualifies for retirement in accordance with the NH Retirement System is grant one (1) week of pay for each five (5) consecutive years worked at LWL that retires in good standing plus unuse vacation and personal time. Additionally, LWL employees can roll/carry forward forty (40) hours of unused vacation into the next fiscal year this also creates an accrual obligation on behalf of LWL, though a smaller value this cost should also be accrued annually. Currently LWL has expensed this cost and have absorbed expenses in the fiscal year that the employee retired.

Following some discussion Commissioner Cooper made a motion bring LWL retired employee contractual obligations in line with accrual basis accounting best practices and that the balance sheet and operating statements reflect the severance payout. Seconded by Commissioner Ross.

Mrs. Hogan stated that there would be a significant impact recorded in 2020 to establish the accrual line items on both the balance sheet (liability) and the offsetting credit on the operating statement. Though going forward the operating statement would only reflect changes in annual employee eligibility which is a lower expense.

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

SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:

1. LWL recently completed the year ended 2020 physical inventory count. The BOC reviewed a summary of the results annotating the changes in inventory levels at each operating section. The net impact to the balance sheet will be a loss of about $1,050 or 0.16 percent with an overall error rate of about $20,400 or three (3) percent. The inventory process is scheduled to be verified remotely by the auditors later this week.

2. Project accounting is complete for the dam removal and river restoration project on the South Branch of the Gale River competed in October. The total project cost (less engineering) was $426,787. Of that amount $418,742 was paid to the contractor which American Rivers reimbursed LWL. The final LWL cost was about $8,000 which include construction oversite by LWL personnel, when the force account costs are removed the total project cash expenditure for LWL was less than $1,500 or 0.4 percent of the total project construction cost.

GENERAL/OTHER BUSINESS:

1. The BOC discussed the 2021 Operating budget and expected revenue level were review.
Superintendent Considine stated that the revenues for 2021 were set at the 2019 level as the 2020 budgeted levels where set one (1) percent higher.

Mrs. Hogan stated that the accrual for the severance and vacation carry over estimate would amount to about $5,000 annually though she will provide a more accurate figure for the 2021 operating statements.

Following some additional discussion regarding how the accrual process would work and the expected impact to the annual operating statement Commissioner Cooper made a motion to approve the 2021 Operating budget as amended to include the accrued expenses as discussed, seconded by Commissioner Ross.

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

2. The 2021 Capital Improvement Project and Equipment (CIPE) proposals were discussed. Superintendent Considine stated that several of the projects identified may not occur due to events beyond LWL control, it is doubtful that the total will exceed the estimate expenditure of $232,000. The largest items and the most needed are the two (2) vehicle replacements as the existing vehicle are both nine (9) years old and deteriorating. The permitting of a large groundwater well (Lafayette Avenue) will likely be submitted to the NHDES in early 2021 though those funds were previously approved.

Commissioner Ross made a motion that the 2021 CIPE proposal be approved as presented, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.

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

3. The BOC review a request submitted by the White Mountain Hydroelectric Company (WMHC) to extend their current settlement agreement for three (3) additional year at the same rate (5-cents/kWh). A spreadsheet provided by Superintendent Considine was reviewed and discussed that compared the WMHC agreed to rate (5-cents) against the spot market and the associated avoided costs of having a small generator behind the meter.

Following some additional discussion Commissioner Cooper made a motion to grant WMHC request for a three (3) year contract extension at the same rate and terms. Seconded by Commissioner Ross.

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

MEETING ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the board Commissioner Ross made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.

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

Meeting adjourned at 2:15 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.


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