WATER & SEWER COMMITTEE - Agendas & Minutes

WATER & SEWER COMMISSIONERS AGENDA / September 11, 2019 at 1pm 

Select Board Meeting Room, Upstairs, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA       _

posted noon 9/9/2019

 

Open Meeting

Superintendent’s Report

Policies: Abatement and Other

Planning Ahead

Adjournment

WATER & SEWER COMMISSIONERS MINUTES / June 26, 2019 at 6pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA                                                                                 posted 6pm 11/27/2018 

posted 11am 7/22/2019

Set Water & Sewer Rates for FY2020 – The meeting opened with Larry passing out FY19 Water rates; and FY20 Sewer Rates.  Larry Turner spoke about a proposal to eliminate the water meter fee of $125. He said we would need a special town meeting to vote on this proposal. Right now there is enough surplus funds in the budget. All we need to keep in surplus is one-year water meter payments which is mandated by the DOR.  If we eliminate the meter fee, and keep the rates the way they are right now, we will still have enough in surplus for the minimum requirement.

 

The water usage is $5.80 per 100 cubic feet which is comparable to other towns. This base rate was set to pay Town’s outstanding debt.

 

Mary Rice and Laura Galliher spoke about their 3-4 year commitment to the Water & Sewer Commissions committee. They want to see analysis by David Prickett’s team before eliminating the meter fee. They feel it should be eliminated perhaps in the 4th year. They asked if we can find out what David Prickett’s recommendation would be.

 

Rich made a motion to eliminate the water meter fee; Ray seconded and before Vivian could say Aye; there was discussion and the motion was rescinded. The Select board asked for more information before making a decision, perhaps even delaying the mailing of the water bills.

 

Rich then made an amendment to the motion, to give the committee, Select Board, and Larry 30 days to process David Prickett’s analysis. The Water & Sewer Commissioners members, Larry Turner and the Select Board will meet again before the water bills go out at the end of July 2019 to go over year end numbers and loan figures to decide if we should eliminate the water meter fee; or lower the water rates and which loan to pay off if we have surplus in the account.

 

Discussion on Loan payoff – use the surplus funds to pay off the Sewer loan with the highest interest rate, without any penalties for paying early.  Diane will be asked to provide details. 

 

Rich made a motion to accept and approve the Sewer I Rates as NO CHANGE in FY20; Ray seconded, all said Aye. Since Dalton did not increase our rates on Sewer II, Rich made a motion to accept and approve the Sewer II Rates as NO CHANGE in FY20; Ray seconded, all said Aye.   Larry proposed an increase of $25 on Sewer III rates.  Rich made a motion to accept and approve the Sewer III Rates as a $25 increase in FY20; Ray seconded, all said Aye.

 

Vivian recommended that there should be follow-up to find out what Pittsfield and Dalton are currently charging for Water & Sewer rates.

 

Rich made a motion to adjourn at 6:50 p.m. Ray seconded the motion, all said Aye. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

WATER & SEWER COMMISSIONERS MINUTES / July 22, 2019 at 9am 

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA       _

posted 3:40pm 8/15/2019

Present: Water & Sewer Commissioners Ray Bolduc, Rich Kardasen, Vivian Mason; TA Bob Graves, Ad. Asst. Lynne Baumgartner, Water & Sewer Administrator Larry Turner

 

Vivian opened the meeting and asked for a motion to approve the meeting minutes from June 26, 2019. Ray made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, Rich seconded, Viv agreed and all signed them.

 

Set Water Rates for FY2020 – The meeting opened with Larry passing out Hinsdale Water Department Water Policy. Larry Turner spoke about a proposal to eliminate the water meter fee of $125. Right now there are enough surplus funds in the budget. All we need to keep in surplus is one-year water meter payments which is mandated by the DOR. If we eliminate the meter fee, and keep the rates the way they are right now, we will still have enough in surplus for the minimum requirement.

 

The water rate is $5.80 per 100 cubic feet which averages 750 gallons usage. This base rate was set to pay the town’s outstanding debt. David Prickett wanted to review 2 years’ worth of data and Larry provided the 2 years’ worth of data to him. Larry’s goal is to offer the residents the best water at the cheapest price, overcharging the residents by adding to that surplus is not the goal. 

 

If we have an extra $88,000 why wouldn’t you pay down your debt? We can use that extra money now or wait one more year to do so as the consultant advised. The town has a young system, so we are not expecting any water main breaks. Why wait another year? This could save the town over $40,000 in interest fees, to use the surplus funds to pay off the sewer loan with the highest interest rate, without having any penalties for paying early.

 

Viv stated the Town hired a consultant for his advice. We should wait until next year to take off the water meter fee. Residents were told and are expecting to pay this meter fee for five years, which would leave two more years. Rich suggested that we maintain and keep the meter fee the way it is for now. Following consultant’s advice has paid off so far. Any opportunity that we have to pay down debt is a great idea.

 

Rich makes a motion to maintain the water rates consistent to last year’s rates, Ray seconded, all in favor, said Aye.

 

Review and Approve Water Policy Changes - #2 should read Water base rate fees will be paid in advance. Water usage fees are billed and paid after usage amount is determined. You pay in advance for base rate, and you are paying in arrears for usage. The rest of the policy remains the same.

 

Rich made a motion to approve the Policy as amended; Ray seconded, and those in favor, all said Aye.

 

Future of Water and Sewer Committee – Rich stated as Chair as of the previous meeting, they agreed to meet only once a quarter to check the progress of the finances; follow along to see what kind of changes are happening and to make suggestions. This committee will not micro-manage the Water/Sewer department. Fiscal year ends 2020, when term stops after David Prickett’s analysis is complete – committee will be dissolved.   

 

Larry provides hands-on knowledge of what is going on his departments. If he has any issues or problems he reports to Select Board and to Bob. Committee was formed to take care of a certain problem -- 2014 Sanitary Survey that we received by DEP, or take a $25,000/day fine. At that point, Larry admitted he did need help. Committee worked hard to get that chore done. Everyone pitched in. Laurel suggested we find a consultant for outside input (professional advice which was David Prickett Consultants). Now the committee has served its purpose. There is no other Water & Sewer superintendent that has a committee to oversee their position.

 

Ray made a motion to dissolve the Water & Sewer Committee with our thanks, Rich seconded the motion, all said Aye.

 

Short discussion followed about retirement within the Water Department within the next year.

 

Rich made a motion to adjourn at 10:05 a.m. Ray seconded the motion, all said Aye. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Lynne Baumgartner

Lynne Baumgartner

WATER & SEWER COMMISSIONERS AGENDA / July 22, 2019 at 9am 

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA       _

posted 2:20pm 7/17/2019

 

Set Water & Sewer Rates for FY2020

Review and Approve Policy Statement changes (2)

Future of the Water and Sewer Committee

WATER & SEWER COMMITTEE AGENDA / July 16, 2019 at 2pm

Select Board Meeting Room, Upstairs, Hinsdale Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale MA

posted 4;22pm 7/11/2019

 

Open Meeting

Discuss Water Rates for FY2020

Discuss future of the Water & Sewer Committee

Discuss David Prickett’s analysis

Adjournment

WATER & SEWER COMMISSIONERS AGENDA / June 26, 2019 at 6pm

Community Room, Downstairs, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA                                                                                 posted 6pm 11/27/2018 

posted 11:15am 6/24/2019

 

Set Water & Sewer Rates for FY2020

Discussion on Loan payoff

Discussion on updating Water & Sewer Policies

WATER & SEWER COMMITTEE MINUTES / December 3, 2018 at 1:30pm

Upstairs Meeting Room, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA                                                                                 posted 6pm 11/27/2018 

Select Board members present: Harvey Drosehn, Rich Kardasen, Viv Mason

Other employees & public present: Bob Graves, Kathe Warden, Larry Turner

 

Harvey opens the meeting at 1:30pm and turns it over to Larry Turner. Meeting is being recorded.

 

Discuss and possible vote on all Water & Sewer rates for the next billing cycle. Larry explains that

Sewer II and all the others have good commitment coming in.

 

Sewer I has a good $150,000 surplus in the budget.  There is enough surplus in the budget not to increase the rate for one more year.  Currently at $160 per year, which equates to $80 per billing period.  

 

Sewer II’s setup is hooked up to Dalton’s private system.  We did see a rise in cost from $156 to $187; $31 a unit what Dalton has billed us.  We did figure in some surplus and have administrative cost.  Rich makes a motion to increase Sewer II bills by $31 effective with the next billing period, with an explanation as to why, Viv seconded the vote, all vote aye.

 

Sewer III’s surplus is flat with $35,000 in each fiscal year with a budget of $133,000.  $425 per edu. The plan is to get each sewer district a surplus of one year expenses.  Cannot suggest increasing their rate -- Dalton gives us percentage of meter reading to give us exact figures; pump figures out of Ashmere & Plunkett pumps.  Recommend leaving Sewer I and III the same.  Surplus on Water budget $268,464 the commitment was $381,097 first we were going to bring in $111,000 surplus money on water usage rates.  It will take 2 or 3 years to figure it out.  Loans to pay out of budget. Proposed changes, no change.

 

Non-residential EDU assessment for July 2019 We hired Dick Prickett to do a sewer usage study on meter readings & EDU figures mostly for our summer camps, and school.  The figures were to decide if we should increase the rate, including the water usage.  For the camps, he could not use the same formula based on water usage and sewer usage.  School was using more water than realized, so we need to start charging more, and their sewer bill would increase as well.  Rich made motion to accept Mr. Prickett’s recommendations to adjust non-residential EDU figures to comply with the meter usage starting Jan 1, 2019.  Viv seconded motion, all said Aye.

 

Discuss Lenore Project sewer hook-up fees. – Larry has a letter from 1998 he found with other easements in a box of files to Mr. Maxymillian.  This letter is to confirm that the Lenore Development is not included in the Phase III Sewer project.  Larry asks if they have an agreement with Town of Hinsdale for the one-time hookup fee of $800 paid along with the permit fee?  This would prove that the Town had a commitment to hook up sewers in 1998.  Harvey noted they cannot charge to hook them into Sewer III per “the letter”.  EDU Usage is there, we will get compensated… Just sewer, not the water on Lenore, billed under Sewer I rates.  No charge for betterments under Sewer III; configured into Sewer I EDUs. Allegrone is hooking up all private homes to pump stations.  Larry wants okay to not charge hookup fees.  Letter of update on agreement to Legal.  Harvey said our only responsibility is at the pump. No infrastructure responsibility.  Rich made a motion for an update on agreement to be reviewed by Legal, Viv seconded, all voted aye.

 

In other news, Bob meet with a Consultant, regarding organizing & storing all the files in this building.  He plans on putting together a proposal for this year’s budget to have all documents in this building stored on a Mainframe database.  The whole process will only take 2 to 3 weeks.  Rich noted FEMA would approve for continuity in government to have consistency for all paperwork.        

 

Discuss fee structure for properties where access is available but not utilized or on system but have been abandoned.  There are houses in Hinsdale that can take advantage of the Sewer running by their property but choose to have a Septic System and a well.  Larry says there is no written policy about if the sewer goes by your house, you pay to be a part of the system, if you are using it or not.  Viv doesn’t agree. Viv makes a motion to have Larry & Bob draft a policy to present Water & Sewer Commissioners. Rich seconded the motion, all in favor Aye.

 

Public Comments - none

 

Rich wanted to Thank Larry for all the work he has done working with Mr. Prickett & the committee.

He forewarns about the future if he had to find a replacement for his position.

 

Rich made a motion for Meeting Adjournment at 2:38 p.m. Viv seconded the motion, all voted aye.

WATER & SEWER COMMISSIONERS AGENDA / December 3, 2018 at 1:30pm

Community Room, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA                                                                                 posted 8:30pm 11/29/2018 

Discuss and possible vote on all Water & Sewer rates for the next billing cycle.

Discuss and possible vote on non-residential EDU assessment for July 2019.

Discuss Lenore Project sewer hook-up fees.

Discuss fee structure for properties where access is available but not utilized or on system but have been abandoned.

Public Comments

Meeting Adjournment

WATER & SEWER COMMITTEE MINUTES / October 1, 2018 at 1:30pm

Upstairs Meeting Room, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA                                                                                 posted 6pm 11/27/2018 

Members                                         Absent       Others

 

Bob Graves, Town Admin.         

Rich Kardasen, Select Board

Larry Turner, WS Admin

Dick Eastland

Russ Parks

Mary Rice

Laura Galliher

 

The meeting was called to order at 1:28 pm.

 

There were no minutes from our last meeting on July 23, 2018.  Mary Rice agreed to put some together as she had taken some notes. They will be done for our next meeting, and include June 11, 2018 as well.

 

There was a motion made and seconded to nominate Rich Kardasen as Chairman, the motion passed unanimously. A motion was made and seconded to nominate Mary Rice as Secretary, the motion passed unanimously.

 

The Committee reviewed the “Evaluation of EDU Counts for Non-Residential Sewer Customers” prepared by our consultant Dave Prickett from DPC Engineering, LLC.  Larry reported an issue at the Verizon building where the meter is recording excessive usage. It has been determined there is no leak, and the meter is working properly. He is working with Verizon officials to figure this out and suspects there is some electronic interference with the meter on an irregular basis. He also reported several other customers, one being Camp Danbee, have not been charged the correct EDUs and that will be corrected.  

A motion was made and seconded to adjust the EDUs per Dave Prickett's report with the exception of Camp Danbee and Verizon as discussed. This Committee's recommendation will be reviewed and voted on by the Water Sewer Commissioners at their next meeting.

The Committee discussed the July billing, continuing I & I work on the rest of the manholes, Sewer II billing increase from Dalton, Sewer III pump station issues, Belmont reservoir drain, other related issues with the gatehouse and the Master Plan.

 

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn at 2:34 pm.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Respectfully submitted, Mary A. Rice, Secretary

WATER & SEWER COMMITTEE AGENDA / November 26, 2018 at 1:30pm

Select Board Meeting Room, Town Hall, 39 South St, Hinsdale, MA                                                              posted at 10:30am on 11/20/2018                             

Open Meeting

Review minutes of previous meetings

Review non-residential Sewer rates

Discuss a rate change for Sewer 2

Review residential water rates prior to January 2019 billing

Update on July 2018 billing – flat fee vs. usage revenue

Any other business to come before the committee

Meeting Adjournment

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