UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
FEBRUARY 6, 2017
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Council members Linda C. Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk, and guests.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Utilities Commission meeting minutes of January 3, 2017. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the minutes as presented, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that operating funds on hand is $968,256.14 and an additional $589,000.00 was set aside in capital funds for a total of $1,557,256.14.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay the bills. Mr. Stetson moved to pay the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mr. Sipes stated that an air compressor that runs the ENR filters went bad and had to be replaced. The cost would be approximately $7,500.00.
Mr. Sipes stated that all restaurants in Chestertown were mandated to have grease traps installed by 2015 and all restaurant owners have complied, but he found that the grease traps were not being maintained. He said that he had a call from a septic hauler who showed him a grease trap that had not been pumped since its installation in 2010 leading to a back-up in a commercial kitchen.
Mr. Sipes stated that the requirements for grease traps include maintenance. He said that he visited 8 restaurants after the spill was reported and stopped at 8 since none had maintenance records for their grease trap systems. Mr. Sipes stated that he thought the Town had to rework the resolution to include civil citations when it was found that grease traps were not maintained. Mr. Sipes stated that lack of maintenance can cause a sewage back-up and if the grease does not get removed it can then flow through small openings directly to the sewer system causing a build-up in the mains.
Mr. Sipes stated that grease traps should be pumped approximately 4 times a year, which costs approximately $300.00 per pump out. Mr. Sipes stated that a notation is made each time a hauler performs a pump out indicating how full the grease trap is at the time.
Mr. Sipes stated that he would like to make restauranteurs more aware of how important it is to the environment to maintain grease traps. He said he could plan a seminar to discuss environmental stewardship, but he also thought the resolution needed “teeth” so people would comply with maintenance requirements. He said that he was going to look to other Towns to see how this issue is being handled. Mr. Shoge stated that he would like to see an educational piece in place before any fines were issued as he did not want to come across as unfriendly to businesses.
Mr. Sipes stated that a menu was passed around to the Council for what he considered a snack stand planned to open at the Seed House at Radcliffe Mill (former BenchWorks). He said that he would like to waive the requirement for a grease trap, allowing the occupant to have an under the sink grease trap since all prep work for the business is performed off-site and was going to be a carry-out business only. Mr. Sipes stated that if the under the counter grease traps failed, the owner would have to install a 1,500 gallon grease trap. The Council agreed.
Mayor Cerino stated that he would like to see fines comparable to other jurisdictions for people in violation as well as an education program to explain why it was so important to maintain the grease trap systems.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m. was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor