CHESTERTOWN UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
DECEMBER 5, 2022
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 asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Utilities Commission meeting minutes of November 7, 2022. Ms. Efland made a motion to approve the minutes of the Utilities Commission meeting of November 7, 2022. The motion was seconded by Mr. O’Brien and passed unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that the operating funds on hand were $2,712,938.81. He asked for a motion to pay the bills. Mr. Herz made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Ms. Efland and passed unanimously.
Mayor Foster called on Mr. Bob Sipes for his Utilities Commission report. Mr. Sipes noted that the department has received their new truck. He said that trucks are getting hard to find but he was able to find one in Pennsylvania for $3000 more.
Mr. Sipes reported that most of the paving around town is largely done but due to the weather it is on hold. The biggest issue is on High Street that will probably be cold patched. This area has been filled several times but there has been significant settling after being filled.
Councilman Herz asked Mr. Sipes to keep an eye on the street repair on the 400 block of High Street. Mr. Sipes noted that they had filled that one and the very next day it was already getting bad, so he had the crew put more stone in it. He said that this particular area has been addressed about five times in the last two weeks.
Mayor Foster asked Mr. Sipes when they would be able to go back to regular patching versus the cold patching. Mr. Sipes said the asphalt plant usually open back up around March or April.
Mr. Sipes reported that the PLC (program logic controller that operates the Biolac system and operates the air systems and chemical feeds) at the wastewater treatment plant had a manual fault and a battery fault. The battery fault could not be reset, and the battery could not be replaceable. He reported that he was ordering a replacement PLC.
Mr. Ingersoll inquired about the new water plant building plans. Mr. Sipes said he contacted Keystone about two weeks ago and said that they had not finished the initial design and once they did, they could give him a price.
Ms. Efland mentioned that she received a call from a citizen inquiring about a fire hydrant on Washington Avenue near the College. The hydrant was damaged in a car accident last year and currently there is just a hole there. Mr. Sipes noted that there should be a cone on it because hydrants are on back order. He said that there are still two fire hydrants within 500 feet which meets the standard coverage needed.
Mayor Foster brought up a matter of old business regarding who was responsible for the maintenance of water and sewer laterals in between the property lines and the main. He said he would like to schedule the vote for the next meeting to give Mr. Sipes time to get cost estimates. He asked Mr. Sipes if there was any information that he could provide. Mr. Sipes stated that there needs to be a criterion on what constitutes the need for a new water and/or sewer line. Currently, a resident owner is responsible for the water and sewer laterals on their own property and to the mains. If a contractor does the work from house to the main, it will generally cost the homeowner $8000-$10,000. If the town installs the new laterals from the property line to the main, there is a cap of $1500 in charges to pay for the replacement lines, the backfill of the trench and the asphalt road repairs.
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. O’Brien 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