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, March 04, 2019 in the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Peter Cooper, Commissioner Schuyler Sweet, Financial Director Cheryl Wilkins, and Superintendent Thomas Considine.
The minutes of the February 19, 2019 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Sweet.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:
Commissioner Cooper asked if there were any electrical outages caused by the heavy winds this past weekend.
Mr. Considine stated that no outages were reported. LWL over the last couple of years has spent a considerable amount of money on its tree trimming program and it was gratifying that no outages were reported. This is a direct testament to the value of the tree trimming and the expenses justified given the cold weather and very high winds reported with no outages. Much of the success of the trimming program goes out to LWL employee Daniel Furtek. Dan took an interest in the program and has successfully in coordination with his supervisor and others has directed LWL’s tree trimming effort for the past several years.
Commissioner Cooper asked if anyone ever objects to the trimming/ removal of tree abutting their property.
Generally most people are very accommodating and understand the reasons why trimming is a requirement though some fight the trimming and restrict what is cut. The majority of the trees trimmed/cut are within the public right-of-way and not on private property. As a courtesy LWL asks the abutter(s) for input before cutting adjacent to their property and the roadway.
FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:
Mrs. Wilkins reviewed the highlights of the financial statements for the month ended January 2019 with the Commissioners. Several variances as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Wilkins. Typically January is historically a tough month for LWL operations due to weather related events and that many onetime balloon type payments (i.e. worker compensation) are due that are not spread through the operational year.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The vacant Customer Service Representative (CSR) position was recently filled following a deliberate discernment process. Ms. Judy Wilson was selected and is scheduled to begin work on Monday, March 18, 2019. Ms. Wilson brings a varied skill set with relevant work experience and background that will complement our team.
2. The current duties and responsibilities of LWL Operations Managers position, vacant since October 2016 were reevaluated. A needs assessment was conducted and the decision was made that the duties and responsibilities needed to change to more accurately reflect LWL current needs. The new position is titled “Line Supervisor” and the associated duties and responsibilities will focus principally on the electric/line side of LWL field operations. Coordination with LWL water and other operational areas are expected as operational situations and needs dictate.
Mr. Dale Blodgett, a longtime lineman with Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Power has recently accepted an employment offer to fill the Line Supervisors position. The completion of the ongoing conversion project and day to day operational activities that involve LWL electrical distribution is the main area of focus. Dale’s previous job experience and background should complement this new positon and add tangible value to LWL operations. His first day of work is scheduled for Monday, March 18, 2019.
3. A follow up meeting with Eversource Energy with regard to a redundant town wide power supply feed coming in from the South off their 115kV line is scheduled for Friday April 19, 2019. It is expected that Eversource will present LWL with several proposed operational configurations, construction cost, and monthly load sustainment costs estimates to evaluate.
4. Mr. Eugene Lynch officially retired from the LWL and his last day of work was Thursday, February 28, 2019 after more than eighteen (18) years of service. Gene was hired as a lineman and worked for LWL since November 2000. A retirement luncheon was held on February 14, 2019 for LWL staff where Gene was present with a gift for his many years of service to the community. The LWL is currently soliciting resumes for qualified individuals to fill this vacancy.
GENERAL/ OTHER BUSINESS:
1. The minimum security deposit that LWL charges a customer to establishing a new account when a credit reference cannot be provided is being reevaluated by LWL. Current LWL policy is to assess a security deposit based either on two (2) months of actual recorded usage or a minimum ($80.00 Electrical, $25.00) deposit. Following our review we may need BOC approval if it is determine to be a change of policy as opposed to a practice.
2. Commissioner Cooper referenced an infrastructure meeting that LWL attended with the towns engineering firm with regard to the Sub-area 2, Wastewater collection system project being proposed at the 2019 town meeting. More specifically the estimate project cost for work relative to water lines being carried in the project budget estimate.
Superintendent Considine stated that when he brought up the subject the engineers stated that it was a project contingency line item. In the event that water infrastructure was damage or needed to be relocated they would have a dollar figure associate with the line item. This approach is more readily managed than issuing a project change order which repairs are levied at “cost plus”. This line item is not intended for new construction installations.
Commissioner Cooper made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
Meeting adjourned at 2:07 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.