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.

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Regular Meeting Feb 5, 2024

The regularly scheduled business meeting of the Littleton Water and Light (LWL) Board of Commissioners (BOC) began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 5, 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 January 16, 2024 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 & PUBLIC CONCERNS:

1. Mr. Bruce Hadlock addressed the BOC and expressed concern that LWL did not do enough for Littleton residents (about 140) that are not LWL customers. Mr. Hadlock stated that those Littleton taxpayers will not benefit from the two articles that are on the town’s warrant. In his opinion he doesn’t see why Littleton taxpayers that are not ratepayers would vote in favor of the property lease agreements.

Commissioner Ross stated that the proposed projects are in the best interest of the customers of LWL and that there is a potential to lower electricity rates with minimal cost to LWL and that all Littleton taxpayers would benefit from the lease agreement.

Mr. Hadlock inquired as to the lease agreement. Commissioner MacNeil stated that LWL is not directly involved in the terms of the lease, LWL is interested only in purchasing the energy output of both the solar array and battery storage system. The town cannot discuss specific details of an agreement until after the property has been approved at the town meeting for a specific purpose. Then the planning and details can be discussed.

2. Mr. Hadlock also stated that the new senior center facility on the St. Johnsbury Road should have been mandated to attach to the LWL water system in place of installing a well system.

Mr. Considine stated that the original plan was to extend the LWL watermain from the Slate Ledge Road area toward the project for about 1-mile. The owners decided that the cost was prohibitive. As their fire flow and daily demand exceeded the existing system capabilities the owners also needed to increase the water storage capacity (another storage tank) in addition to installing the 1-mile of new water main.

Mr. Hadlock stated that having a fire hydrant within 500 feet from a home reduces a residents insurance premium substantially. LWL could have worked out an arrangement with the owners to have the water system installed as it would have benefited the residents adjacent to the new water main.

Commissioner MacNeil stated that LWL cannot tell another where they should build and on what property. If they choose to build outside the areas served by LWL systems, that is their choice, LWL ratepayers should not have to subsidize that decision.

DIRECTOR of FINANCE and HUMAN RESOURCES REPORT:

The BOC discussed the profit and loss statement for the month ended November 2023 and agreed that the statement be delivered to the Select Board.

The auditors from Vachon Clukay & Company are scheduled to be on-site the week of March 11th to conduct the annual year-end audit as preliminary review has already started remotely. Mrs. Hogan stated that a few power supply invoices are still outstanding for December 2023. When they arrive a draft statement for December will be completed, pending any recommended auditor’s adjustments, if any, before being officially closed.


SUPERINTENDENT/ GENERAL MANAGERS REPORT:

1. The Town of Littleton (ToL) approached LWL with regards to adding three (3) streetlights in the Timber Lane neighborhood. Supposedly, three (3) streetlights should have been installed by the developer and were overlooked when accepted by the ToL. LWL provided the ToL with an estimate to install the lights in the locations requested.

Mr. Considine suggested that LWL install the streetlights in the area that they were supposed to have been installed by the developer: 1) intersection of Timber Lane and Village Way, and one (1) at each of the turn-around at the end of the streets. LWL did provide comment to the ToL that the installation of the lights in the area requested may assist when driving but will have little effect regarding illumination of the sidewalk area. LWL recommended that the ToL authorized another 3 – 4 lights to improve the neighborhood for walkers.

Following some additional discussion the Commissioner Ross made a motion to install the 3 missing streetlights and discuss the costs later. If additional lights are requested in the neighborhood, then those lights would need to be installed in accordance with existing policy. Seconded by Commissioner Cooper.

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

2. Mr. Considine stated that the engineering design for the replacement of Lafayette substation is under way. A preliminary meeting was conducted last week with ESC Engineering, it is intended that the long-lead time items be ordered sooner than later. The footprint of the proposed substation will move away from the river embankment towards the garage/office building and equipment positioned like the Westside Substation. The intent is that the old meter shop building be left generally intact to afford LWL more cold storage. The end of the building that housed the old paddle wheel will be removed during the initial sitework as it is severely deteriorated.

3. Geosphere Environmental submitted a written response on behalf of LWL on January 30, 2024 to NHDES regarding the proposed Lafayette Wellhead Large Groundwater Withdrawal Permit. NHDES provided LWL written comments and requested clarification in a November 17, 2023 document regarding LWL request for a waiver of the protective well radius.

GENERAL/OTHER BUSINESS:

Mrs. Hogan stated that she had several items to discuss and suggested the meeting be moved to a nonpublic session to discuss matters that involve personnel matters.

Commissioner Cooper made a motion to enter Nonpublic Session in accordance with RSA 91-A:3, II(a). Seconded by Commissioner Ross.

Commissioner MacNeil called for a roll call vote to enter the nonpublic session.


Commissioner MacNeil - Yes, Commissioner Ross - Yes, Commissioner Cooper - Yes

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0, Entered nonpublic session at 1:55 p.m.

The public session reconvened at 2:42 p.m.

Commissioner Ross suggested that the BOC vote taken on
December 4, 2023 regarding the NH Retirement System (NHRS) and items subject to “employer discretion” be amended due to the unintended impact to vested employees retired pay calculation.

Following some general discussion Commissioner Ross made a motion to amend the BOC December 4, 2023 vote by adding the following after “……..subject to employer discretion with the exception of On-Call Pay will not be funded…….”

Commissioner Ross also stated that LWL reserves the right to review/or change this decision on or about December 31, 2027 with the intent of offering a better financial retirement alternative to non-vested employees other than NHRS. Second by Commissioner Cooper.

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

MEETING ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business to come before the board Commissioner Cooper 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 2:50 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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