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 business meeting of the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) Board of Commissioners (BOC) began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday,
November 2, 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.
The minutes of the October 19, 2020 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0
CUSTOMER AND PUBLIC CONCERNS:
Mr. Bruce Hadlock addressed the BOC and discussed and commented on a wide array of topics. He is especially concerned about the town/DRA gaining access to LWL’s reserves and destroying everyone’s utility rates in the process. He suggested that this matter should come before the voters and that a warrant article be prepared in time for town meeting that would restrict town administration access to any LWL funds and that they remain in the custody of the LWL BOC.
Commissioner Sweet thanked Mr. Hadlock for his suggestion though at the present time LWL is in the fact-finding stage of the investigation and needs to see where that leads.
Mr. Eli Emmerson (LWL energy attorney) of the law firm of Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer recommended that the meeting be moved to nonpublic session due to attorney client privilege communications.
Commissioner Ross made a motion to enter nonpublic session in accordance with
RSA 91-A:3, II(e) to discuss matters that may involve legal action, seconded by Commissioner Cooper.
Commissioner Sweet called for a roll call vote to enter in nonpublic session. Commissioner Sweet - Yes, Commissioner Ross – Yes, and Commissioner Cooper - Yes.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0, nonpublic session entered at 1:05 p.m.
Public session reconvened at 1: 40 p.m.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT:
The BOC were advised that the cost of LWL’s insurance premiums for 2021 are expected to increase by about 1.8%. This includes health, dental and both short and long-term life insurance premiums.
Mr. Hadlock commented that LWL should only pay for a single plan for its employees. Employees with 2-person and or family plan needs should pay the additional premium themselves or acquire other insurance. This would result in significant cost savings to the LWL ratepayer.
Mr. Considine stated that this is not practical and would adversely affect the quality of LWL work force and system reliability.
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. The 2021 operating and maintenance budget preparation are underway, as expenses are being determined. It is expected that the BOC will receive an electronic version of both the water and electric preliminary budgets to review prior to the next commissioners meeting.
2. The final project close-out meeting was held on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at the South Branch of the Gale River, and the Loop Road. There were about twenty (20) people representing several different partners that have been or are involved in the removal of the dam and restoration of the river. The Caledonian Record newspaper ran an article on Thursday, October 29, 2020 highlighting the project accomplishments and major participants and that the project was funded through non-governmental organizations (NGO) and private philanthropy efforts.
At the close-out meeting the project was accepted in writing by LWL, American Rivers and the engineer of record Stantec. C&C Bunnell of Monroe, NH (project contractor) was released from all work commitments in association with and under the construction contract.
The contractor is due about $8,000 in close-out costs which they will invoice LWL. American Rivers, the project coordinator and lead NGO is reimbursing LWL for all major construction costs associated with the dam removal and river restoration. The actual cost to remove the dam and restore the river under the contract is about $421,000 though final project costs are being determined that will include engineering, permitting and resident project inspection.
As a direct result of the project being accepted the US Forest Service (USFS) notified LWL via an email message that the 1955 Special-Use permit between the LWL and USFS was closed as of October 29, 2020. The closing of the permit releases “dissolves LWL from maintenance responsibilities, liabilities and future commitments associated with the permitted areas.”
1. The BOC reviewed and discussed a power supply offer submitted by Next Era Energy focused on extending existing energy and capacity contracts together for an additional five (5) to nine (9) years. Though the prices appear favorable with energy at about $43.81/ MWh and capacity at about $4.00/ KW-month the existing contracts are due to terminate in 2025 and 2026, respectively. The proposed contract extensions would add and additional five (5) to nine (9) years to these contracts and lock the prices in during that period.
Following additional discussions relative to forward energy pricing, terms of the proposed deal and LWL tolerance for risk the BOC agreed that they did not feel confident in securing resources through 2035 though the short term energy contract extension from Jan 2026 through Dec 2030 is more appealing.
Commissioner Cooper made a motion to authorize Mr. Considine to inquiry about securing the five (5) MW energy extension from January 2026 through Dec 2030 at $ 43.93/ MWh, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.
2. Commissioner Ross asked about the resources for 2021 and the power supply open position going into the winter months.
Mr. Considine stated that the RFQ are expected to be solicited at any time for some peak weekend and base load resources to more closely satisfy LWL hedge targets. Prices are expected to be in the mid to high $50 / MWh which are in line with the 2021 budget projections.
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 2:33 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.