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, May 16, 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.
The minutes of the May 2, 2022 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner MacNeil made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.
The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0
SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:
1. Vachon Clukay & Company (Independent Auditors) presented LWL a draft audit report of the financial statements for the year ended 2021. LWL management will begin preparing the Management Discussion and Analysis portion of the basic financial statement as required by the Government Accounting and Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 34.
The auditor also reviewed the internal control structure and practices (counter measures) utilized by LWL to ensure accountability and deter fraudulent behavior. Except for an inventory control suggestion, the auditors did not identify any deficiencies in LWL’s internal control measures to be a material or a significant weakness.
The inventory control suggestion noted by the auditor referenced materials/inventory tracking during a sustained project. Material(s) physically removed from the warehouse were not reconciled with the general ledger inventory/stock control until the project was closed. This may lead to an inaccuracy in stock control quantity and the general ledger.
Mrs. Hogan stated that LWL conducts a full itemized inventory annually and historically the resulting changes to the balance sheet are minimal. There may be some improvement that LWL could implement regarding capturing the larger cost items in a timelier manner but changing the entire process is not warranted in her opinion as the risk is manageable.
Mr. Considine stated that LWL’s overall operating activities and inventory are not large enough to implement a costly inventory tracking system or other tracking procedure as more cost would be incurred for little gain.
The BOC considered the auditor recommendation and agreed that the cost to expected benefits did not justify a complete change. LWL should tighten up its controls where the opportunity presents itself and capture the large dollar items in a timelier manner to improve inventory accountability and general ledger accuracy.
LWL will prepare a response to the auditor’s that will contain LWL’s proposed course of action to mitigate any potential risk regarding inventory control practices affecting the general ledger and stock availability.
2. Stantec Engineering completed its study regarding the dam on the North Branch Gale River and the potential effect to the LWL headwater supply infrasture if the dam were to be removed. Stantec recommends that if the dam were removed that the infiltration gallery be relocated 200 feet up-stream as the stream bed is expected to drop in elevation once the dam/obstruction is gone. The river is expected to flow more naturally across the infiltration gallery thereby dropping the available surface water elevation and riverbed which may adversely affect the capacity and the integrity of the intake structure.
The dam was originally constructed as the water supply intake (circ. 1930) and has not been used as an intake since the installation of the infiltration gallery in 1996. The dam poses no risk according to the State of NH Bureau of Dam and Rivers. American Rivers (principal funder of the study) would like to have the dam removed to open the habitat to direct access to the Ammonoosuc River. Potential funding may be available to relocate the infiltration gallery for LWL in exchange for permission to remove the dam.
This preliminary engineering study cost was $ 11,625 and came in under budget by about thirteen (13) percent. Funding for the study was provided by a grant from American River in the amount of $7,400 with LWL providing the difference.
3. The potential development of a large groundwater well (well “B”) on the Lafayette property behind the LWL campus recently attained a significant milestone. NHDES granted permission for LWL to conduct a sustained pump test (7-days) to determine the capacity of the well and water quality under sustained production conditions. This pump testing is one of the final steps in the permitting of the well prior to acceptance and certification by NHDES.
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 1:30 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.