UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
JANUARY 3, 2023
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. In attendance were Councilmembers Tim O’Brien, Tom Herz, Jose Medrano and Meghan Efland, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager) and guests.
Mayor Foster stated that the operating funds on hand were $2,560,344.85. He asked for a motion to pay the bills. Ms. Efland made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Mr. Herz and passed unanimously.
Mr. Sipes reported that a big-ticket item that went over $10,000, was a budgeted item, the UV bulbs at the wastewater treatment plant. Those are typically replaced yearly the last set they got two years out of them.
Mr. Sipes noted that Well 1 froze up during the cold snap. It was defrosted the next day and back online with no damage.
Mr. Sipes reported that his crew responded to a couple calls. The Acme overhead piping near the entrance froze up and they helped get those shut off. The courthouse had a pipe break in the mechanical room. Mr. Sipes went over and helped get the water shut off, and then got equipment to help pump out about 3 to 3½ foot of water.
Mr. Sipes noted they finally received the mower that was purchased back in March.
Mr. Sipes reported a possible funding opportunity to take care of the PFAS and some of that is loan forgiveness. It is a safe revolving fund, with a program in place, for emerging contaminants like the PFAS and the PFOA.
Mr. Sipes reviewed the water and sewer laterals in between the property lines and the main. About $21,000 has been billed, on average, for the last 3 years. This does not cover the blacktop repair, parts and manpower. The line replacements are being subsidized at about 80 to 85 percent.
Mr. Sipes stated that one of the issues, if the town takes over the laterals, is the maintenance cost. Currently, there is no equipment that will work on a four-inch pipe. The jetter is made for six inch and bigger with access through a manual. Mr. Sipes has inquired about additional equipment that is needed. Ditch Witch makes a 500-gallon vacuum system for cleaning up the sewer spills with an attached jetter with water reservoirs, that would take care of the four-inch pipe.
Mr. Sipes noted that the Plumbing Code requires the cleanouts to be located on homeowner’s property. The homeowner is responsible to maintain the cleanout. There should be a cleanout before it leaves the house, in a basement or crawl spaces then once it leaves the foundation, there should be a cleanout and then one at the curb and every 50-feet or change of direction. The requirement is that homeowners are supposed to maintain the cleanout at the curb. The problem is, about every 15 houses has a cleanout and it’s probably not at the curb. If the town starts putting those cleanouts in, it’s going to be time consuming and expensive. He stated that he has been to multiple houses where there isn’t a cleanout, and the plumber must remove the toilet to go down into the line.
Mr. Sipes noted that if the cleanout is full, the problem is most likely under the street but if the cleanout is empty, then it’s somewhere in between the house and that cleanup. The problem is, when there is not a cleanout to verify which direction the blockage is, then it becomes costly and timely.
Mr. Sipes reported that he spoke with Keystone. He has received the receivables and phase one can be finished, which is the design and the specs. The next process is to bid it out. He has asked Keystone to provide a quote to have them handle the bidding out.
Mr. Sipes said that was all he had to report. Mayor Foster asked if there were any other questions for Mr. Sipes. There being no further business, Mr. Herz motioned to adjourn the meeting at 6:25 p.m. And was seconded by Ms. Efland and passed unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk David Foster, Mayor