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.

Minutes for 2022

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Regular Meeting Oct 17, 2022

The regularly scheduled business meeting of the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) Board of Commissioners (BOC) began at 1:30 p.m. on Monday,
October 17, 2022 in the LWL conference room. Present were Commissioner Peter Cooper, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Linda MacNeil, Director of Finance Lori Hogan and Superintendent Thomas Considine.

MINUTES REVIEW:

The minutes of the October 3, 2022 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Ross made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner MacNeil.

The vote was in favor of the motion 2-0-1, Commissioner Cooper did not vote as he was not present at this meeting.

APPOINTMENTS:

Commissioner Cooper solicited public input about the pending electric rate adjustment that will take effect on November 1, 2022.

David Rochefort introduced himself to the BOC and stated that he was running for a state representative seat in district one in the November elections though he was attending today’s meeting in a concerned citizen/business owners capacity. He asked what was driving the pending 37 percent increase in the electric rates as he is a business owner and resident of Littleton.

Commissioner Cooper explained that the cost of energy is at a record high especially anticipated for this winter, it is the main contributing factor as to why LWL must raise electric rates. Several graphs were reviewed and discussed that illustrated that LWL margin has declined since June 2020 in LWL’s attempt to stabilize rates.

There was some back-and-forth general discussion regarding power supply and transmission service and how those two items account for almost eighty (80) percent of LWL total annual budgeted expenses.

CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:

Robert Blechl, reporter for the Caledonia Record, inquired into what LWL’s plan was going forward following the decision by Grafton County court in favor of the state.

Commissioner Cooper stated that LWL has requested the court to reconsider the lawsuit ruling and to clarify some of the positions that will be presented in the request.

Mr. Blechl stated that a lot of information has come out in the court filing through discovery about how the lawsuit initially began and potential motives.

Commissioner Ross stated that it was a shame, totally preventable, and should never have happened if the right people were paying attention.

There was some back-and-forth discussion between the BOC and Mr. Blechl regarding the merits of the case. Mr. Blechl asked if he could get a copy of the Order requesting reconsideration following the meeting so that his article would be accurate.

DIRECTOR of FINANCE and HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT:

1. Mrs. Hogan reviewed the highlights of the financial statements for the month ended August 2022 with the Commissioners. Several variances as compared to budget were discussed and explained by Mrs. Hogan.

Mr. Considine inquired about LWL sending the consolidated profit and loss (P&L) statement to the selectboard following approval/acceptance by the BOC.

Following some discussion, the BOC agreed that LWL would return to sending the P&L to the ToL as it has since 1993 once approved by the BOC. The month ended P&L statement will be sent directly to the selectmen’s office.

2. Mrs. Hogan discussed the New Hampshire Paid Family and Medical Leave with the BOC. A new program required for employers with 50 or more employees through voluntary participation by smaller employers is allowed. The program funded 100% through employee contributions and provides participating New Hampshire workers with 60% of their average weekly wage (up to the Social Security wage cap) for up to six weeks per year for specified leaves of absence from the workplace (paid time off funded by employee).

As LWL offers each employee 40 hours off sick leave and the ability to accrue up to 200 hours on top of 40 hours of personal time and vacation leave, it is doubtful that LWL employees would benefit from participation as they would have to self-fund their own time off.

SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:

1. The Town of Littleton (ToL) has requested LWL assistance in upgrading the lighting system in the public parking lot behind the movie theater adjacent to Pleasant Street. Justen Elliott, LWL Line Supervisor briefed the project to the BOC and that the scope of the project has changed several times. The project estimate has grown to about $7,000 with labor expenses representing about 50% of the total estimate cost.

Mr. Considine stated that historically LWL would only charge the ToL for materials and equipment (hard costs) and forgive the force account labor (soft cost). LWL community service “Favors” were/are not being recognize by the ToL Selectboard as having any monetary valve. As this is expenses upgrade, he was looking for guidance from the BOC going forward when the ToL is involved.

Following some discussion, the BOC agreed that LWL needs to properly document all transactions between the LWL and the ToL to prevent future misunderstanding. The BOC recommended that LWL invoice the ToL for all service rendered by LWL and that the ToL can request in writing that the force account labor be waived. In this way the selectmen will be made aware of the value-added services rendered by LWL.

2. Cushing Well Service under the direction of Geosphere Environment began the 7-day pump test for the Lafayette well (B) on last Thursday, October 13th and should finish on the 20th. Preliminary pumping results look good and the well/pump is sustaining a flow of about 180 GPM. Water quality appears good as minimal sediment was found in the discharge water. The water samples will be analyzed, and test data sent to the NHDES for review and hopefully final permitting as a public drinking water well.

3. The NH Department of Energy (NHDOE) recently distributed the proceeds from the fifty-seventh (57) Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Cap and Trade auction to LWL for disbursement in the amount of about $60,109. Once LWL receives payment eligible LWL electric customers will receive a rebate (credit) in the amount of about $12/1,000 kWh applied to their next statement.

GENERAL/OTHER BUSINESS:

1. The BOC briefly discussed the term sheets provided by Green Street Power partners and Tangent Energy Services regarding the installation of a 5,000-kW solar array on the old landfill adjacent to Industrial Park Drive. No action was taken, and the discussion tabled.

2. Commissioner Ross commented that the Drinkwater Sanitary Survey completed by the NHDES regarding water system operations and compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act. The results were very positive, and the report reflected well on LWL ability to provide a safe product.

Superintendent Considine credited the LWL water operators for being proactive in their daily maintenance tasks and truly care about the system.

MEETING ADJOURNMENT:

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

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

Meeting adjourned at 2:35 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.


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