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 2011

View Meeting Minutes for: | 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 |

Regular Meeting Jun 17, 2024

The regularly scheduled business meeting of the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) Board of Commissioners (BOC) began at 1:00 p.m. on June 17, 2024 in the LWL conference room. Present were Commissioner Linda MacNeil, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Commissioner Peter Cooper, Director of Finance Lori Hogan and Superintendent Thomas Considine.

MINUTES REVIEW:

The minutes of the June 3, 2024 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

APPOINTMENTS:

The BOC welcomed Cathy Conway and Rachael Hastings from Horizons Engineering to their meeting and Mathew Deterling from the NH Department of Environmental Services participated via Teams remotely.

Mr. Considine gave a brief introduction and stated that Horizons has been working with LWL for the past year to develop a Water Distribution System Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) or master plan for the water distribution system. LWL was awarded a grant through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which assists local government with the economic and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. At their April 4, 2022 the LWL BOC accepted a non-matching Strategic Planning grant funds in the amount of $50,000. This briefing is required under the terms of the grant to close out the project.

Note: The LWL Commissioners each received a hard copy of the draft report to reference during the briefing, the report was projected on the conference room wall and the laptop screen was shared in Teams.

Mrs. Conway introduced her team that has been working on the project for the past two (2) years and referenced the draft report titled “Littleton Water & Light Distribution System Capital Improvement Plan” (report). Much of the water system infrastructure data was provided by LWL’s from the Asset Management program was refined and expanded during this project. A critical analysis was conducted, and priorities of work/improvements were identified based on the associated risk.
Project were ranked based on risk factors associated with the remaining useful life, pipe break data and what the consequence would be if this section of watermain were to fail. LWL water system operators were fully engaged in all discussions. (Reference Report Appendix A).

Mrs. Conway reviewed the Priority Improvement - Section 3.0 of the report with the BOC. In addition to the results determined by the critical analysis, several other areas were added by LWL personnel to the proposed list of priorities. The following loop feeds were highlighted in the report by LWL personnel and will improve system water quality, redundancy and reliability: 1) West Main Street and Saranac Street, 2) Lilac Lane to Tuck Lane and 3) Railroad Street to the Old Whitefield Road under the Ammonoosuc River towards the concrete plant.

Horizon compiled project cost estimates in the amount of $9.5 million for the proposed CIP in order of priority. Referenced Table 4.1 (report) a proposed financial management strategy was discussed with the BOC. Horizons proposed a funding plan for the next twenty (20) years based on both external and internal sources (reference Report Appendix B).

Commissioner MacNeil inquired as to whether the dollar value estimated was present value.
Mrs. Conway stated they were based on 2024 project costs and are provided as a base for budget development and funding purposes, the actuals will mostly likely be different. The financial management strategies that LWL could employ to fund the proposed project over the next 20 years may include internal funding via rate and fees and external funding sources such as grants/ loans through NH Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and USDA Rural Development programs.

Mrs. Hogan inquired if any financial assumptions regarding loans or future dollar values were made when the project cost was developed. Mrs. Conway stated no and referenced the current NH SRF loads on Table 5.1 for an example.

Mrs. Conway stated that Horizons working with LWL management submitted a pre-application for the 2025 NH Drinking Water SRF. The application was to fund work on Meadow Street to relocate several service lines from the old steel watermain on the North side of US 302 to the new ductile iron watermain on the Southside (Reference Report Table 4.1- Priority Number 1) as a starting point.

Mr. Considine and Mrs. Conway discussed the documentation needed to close out the project. Mrs. Conway stated that Horizons would publish a final report and final invoice so LWL could submit to NHDES for final reimbursement. Mr. Deterling added that NHDES would need a copy of the BOC minutes for the grant records.

There was some general back and forth discussion. Mr. Considine stated that LWL personnel work well with Horizons and that the final product would be valuable resources. The BOC thanked Mrs. Conway and Horizons for their effort. Mrs. Conway exited, and the Team meeting was closed at about 1:50 p.m.

CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:

Mr. Considine stated that he contacted Primex about a customer’s request for reimbursement of her homeowner insurance deductible and loss wages. (refer to BOC minutes dated June 3, 2024). Primex advised that LWL was not obligated to pay the deductible but might consider it as an act of “being a good neighbor”. They advised against any payment regarding lost wages as that may have been covered under the homeowner policy due to the nature of the home type business.

The BOC agreed that LWL would reimburse the customer $500 for the deductible.

DIRECTOR of FINANCE and HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT:

1. Mrs. Hogan stated that the final audited financial report for the year ended 2023 is available and distribution made to the BOC. Internal financial controls regarding fraud and accountability were generally acceptable and in accordance with general accounting principles. Two (2) exceptions were noted by the auditors that need improvement: 1) Material inventory controls and 2) Employee reimbursement (Auditors Letter dated June 4, 2024).

Material Inventory: The auditor recommended that LWL define a method of tracking inventory movement when receiving and issuing materials. They have found that the inventory system captured quantity does not always match the physical on-hand quantity and this represents a material misrepresentation on the balance sheet and may lead to insufficient inventory levels. Developing a system of tracking and conducting periodic (quarterly) inventory counts/adjustments will improve both.

Mr. Considine stated that LWL’s material inventory (MI) procedures have been an ongoing issue with the auditors. Changes are being made regarding how materials are received which should alleviate many of their concerns about using materials that are not currently in the system. Issuing materials is more difficult to maintain an accurate count, especially during large projects where a lot of materials are used and not reconciled with the MI system until the project closes, this admittedly can lead to errors.

Quarterly/ periodic inventory physical counts are still being discussed regarding the cost effectiveness as opposed to LWL traditionally way of conducting a physical inventory count at the end of the calendar year which is hard to justify the labor cost involved. Periodic/selective counting may make sense now that materials will be received into inventory in a timelier manner with reduced labor cost and all stock would be counted.
Reimbursements: Another observation noted by the auditors was that employees were being authorized reimbursements for expenses without providing and detailed itemized receipt. This could result in employees making inappropriate purchases not related to LWL activities and cost being passed through to LWL customers. Auditors recommended that reimbursement requests not be authorized for payment if the employee does not provide a detailed receipt or other supporting purchase documentation and a defined policy of what is acceptable should be developed.

Mr. Considine stated that some of these concerns around meal receipts were addressed by default with the 2024 collective bargaining agreement as meal reimbursement was change to a taxable meal stipend with no purchase receipt required.

2. The BOC agreed to have Mrs. Hogan distribute the approved Profit and Loss financial statement for the month ended April 2024 to the Town of Littleton.

MEETING ADJOURNMENT:

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

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

The meeting adjourned at 2:31 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.


Top of Page