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, December 16, 2013 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins, Operations Manager Richard Herrington and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the December 2, 2013 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Goodell made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Moore.
The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-1.
Mr. Edward Zuk, owner operator of the Littleton Easy Wash, requested that the department abate the November water consumption at his 24 Pleasant Street property.
Mr. Zuk claims that he left the water on to his pressure washer in the basement and the water line connection blew off. Upon his return several days later he noticed that the basement had three (3) feet of water and found the water line had blown. His November water bill was about 4,000 CF (30,000 gallons) above his typical usage and is concerned about the impact to his sewer bill.
Superintendent Considine stated that typically water abatement requests are granted if the incident meets the follow criterion: 1) a residential customer, 2) the incident was corrected immediately, and 3) there is no fault on the owner. In this case though the repair was corrected immediately the incident was the result of owner/ operator error and the account is commercial.
Following some discussion the BOC agreed that though Mr. Zuk was at fault his business is a good water account. Commissioner Goodell made a motion to grant Mr. Zuk abatement request, less treatment costs, seconded by Commissioner Moore.
Vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Commissioner Moore advised Mr. Zuk that his account will be credited $47.37 which represents the dollar amount above the normal use less treatment costs. Superintendent Considine stated that the meter reading cannot be adjusted due to accountability purposes and advised him that he would have to go to the town in regard to his wastewater billing. Mr. Zuk thanked the BOC and excused himself for the meeting.
OPERATIONS MANAGERS REPORT:
Mr. Herrington continued his discussion with the BOC with regard to the pending fork lift truck repairs that are being recommended.
Commissioner Ross stated that the department does not put enough hours on the lift truck to justify a new truck and recommended that repairs be made as suggested with the exception of the radiator.
Following some discussion the BOC agreed that the current fork truck was best utilized on hard surfaces and is not technically appropriate for outside applications. The BOC agree that it would be more prudent to make some of the recommended repairs (less the $1,800 for the radiator estimated repairs) and begin to look for a vehicle that is more suitable to be used outside on varying terrain and greater lifting capacity.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
1. Mrs. Wilkins reviewed the financial statements for the month ended October 2013 with the Commissioners. Several discrepancies as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Wilkins.
2. Superintendent Considine stated that there was a conductivity problem between the department and the Bank of NH on line banking protocol and asked Mrs. Wilkins to brief the BOC as to what was discovered in the investigation.
Mrs. Wilkins stated that there were numerous issues with the on-line bank link between the department and the Bank of NH website though the major problem came down to communications between the parties involved.
According to the Bank of NH the departmentís internet protocol (IP) address was thought to be compromised, and they were alerted to a potential fraudulent file extension, which ended up not being the case. The security vendor that manages the web access to the banks online banking site turned off the departments IP which prevented all communiques with the bank secure sites. It took several weeks to determine exactly what had happened and to remove other security procedures that the department IT contractor (SNS) put in place as a patch, which also failed to establish a secure connection. Once the IP address was restored and the security patches were removed the department was able to establish the online bank link. The Bank of NH through this discovery process was very helpful and attentive though they had difficulties working with the department network managers.
Superintendent Considine stated that several meetings and phone conversation were held with the departmentís IT network managers (SNS) in an attempt to resolve the outstanding conductivity issues and the lack of communications; another is planned for this week.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The operating and maintenance budget discussion for 2014 continued with the BOC. The electric divisions wholesale power supply was adjusted to reflect an increase in pool power supply expenses associated with the winter reliability mandate should ISONE activate the reserve generation assets. With the exception of the changes made to the wholesale line item the budget figures presented at the December 2nd review meeting are completed.
2. The capital equipment and project list for 2014 is still incomplete and waiting on contractor pricing. Due to the extended period between contract acceptance/ approval and final delivery of the vehicle, department personnel will begin preparing, and refining a bucket truck (replacement for truck number 502) specification. Final delivery would most likely be in late 2014 or early 2015 and the expense is not expected to hit the 2014 budget.
3. Due to several system wide power outages the department is concerned with system reliability and power quality on the 3315 supply line from Commerford Station. The department is exploring other alternative to the existing interconnection with National Grid to improve system reliability.
Discussions with representative from Northeast Utilities (Transmission Services) were recently conducted relative to the feasibility of establishing and interconnection to their U-199 (115 Kv) line in Littleton. Further meeting and discussions will recommence early in 2014.
The BOC reviewed and email submitted by La Capra Associates with regard to the Forward Capacity Market (demand) short fall projected for 2016-2018 and the results of the forward capacity auction. ISONE is projecting that the capacity market (available generation) may double in those years unless additional generation is brought on line. This is the result of several regional generating plants scheduled to close (i.e. proposed Vermont Yankee) and not being replaced. La Capra is strongly suggesting that the department hedge some portion of its 18MW monthly capacity requirement to reduce exposure to the spot market during this period.
Superintendent Considine discussed a graft with the BOC that depicted the departmentís current capacity expenses ($ 2.8 / kw-month) as compared to what ISO is projecting ($ 7/ kw-month). The department is paying about $600,000 annually for capacity and ISO is projecting that this may double, hedging a portion of our demand would save the department money should the market prices increase as projected to $7 / kw-month.
Following further discussion the BOC agreed that it is not economically practicable to predict what futures energy markets will do, therefore they agreed that the best course of action is to hedge a portion of our load. Based on the projections provided by ISONE and a recommendation from La Capra the BOC decide hedge about half (9 MW) of the departmentís monthly capacity requirement. This should provide a certain amount of price certainty through this period.
Commissioner Ross made a motion to enter into a Forward Capacity Market agreement with PSEG for 9 MW of capacity for the FCA8 - FCA9 period (June 2017- May2018) at $ 5.5/ kw-month, Seconded by Commissioner Goodell.
Vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Commissioner Ross made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:35 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.