UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
SEPTEMBER 6, 2022
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. In attendance were Council members Tim O’Brien, Tom Herz. Jose Medrano and Meghan Efland, Bob Sipes (Utilities Manager), and guests.
Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Utilities Commission meeting of August 1, 2022. Ms. Efland moved to approve the minutes of the Utilities Commission meeting of the August 1, 2022 meeting as presented, was seconded by Mr. Medrano and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that funds on hand for the Utilities Commission was $2,693,679.12 with designated capital funds set aside for capital projects in the amount of $1,390,723.68.
Mayor Foster asked for a motion to pay the bills. Mr. O’Brien moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mr. Sipes stated that he received an email from Apex, who told him that the final report would be ready in approximately two weeks. The invoice was $63,690.00 which was under the original amount the Council approved. He said that this finishes the site comprehensive study and that he did not expect to see any surprises in the report.
Mr. Sipes stated that he was in the process of repairing and performing maintenance on filters and painting the tanks at the water plant. A drainpipe has also been replaced.
Mr. Sipes stated that there was a PLC upgrade taking place at the Radcliffe Pump Station, but there was one function that they were having trouble with. A second PLC company was going to come in to assist the contractor with getting everything in running order.
Mr. Sipes stated that the pumps were clogging frequently at the Radcliffe Pump Station. He said that he would like to reallocate money set aside in the capitol funds for a vehicle to instead purchase a grinder that will help with the clogging issues. Mr. Sipes stated that anything that does not dissolve in water does not belong in the sewer pipes.
Mr. Sipes stated that he would like to begin the bidding process or get at least three (3) quotes for the grinder. He said that he thought the costs would be about $50,000.00 to $60,000.00 with teeth replacement required each year. He said that they may want to purchase two (2) grinders so there was a backup when one was out of service. The Council agreed.
Mr. Sipes stated that a larger ticket item was for having the berms sprayed at the lagoon, which was mandated by the State of Maryland. He said that this was done a couple times each year.
Mr. Herz stated that a well in the main parking lot by the entrance to the Hospital near the retaining wall was not tested by Apex. Mr. Sipes stated that may be the reason that the bill came in under what was quoted. He said that there is a monitoring well within 10’ of that well, so Apex may have decided not to interrupt the area.
Mayor Foster asked Mr. Sipes if there were lead pipes in Chestertown. Mr. Sipes stated that in most cases when he had to dig up lines, he was digging up galvanized pipe, not lead. He said that lead was typically used to connect lines but the led joint pipes he talked about actually made of leadite, not actual lead. He said that lead was not used in the pipe at all, leadite just acted like lead. He said that he has never seen a lead pipe or fitting in the lines and there was absolutely no trace of lead in the drinking water.
There being no further business, Mr. Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:17 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor