UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
OCTOBER 4, 2021
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. In attendance were Council members Sam Shoge, Tom Herz, Ellsworth Tolliver and Meghan Efland, Bob Sipes (Utilities Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Utilities Commission meeting minutes of September 7, 2021. Rev. Tolliver moved to approve the minutes of the Utilities Commission minutes of September 7, 2021, as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that cash on hands for the Utilities Commission was $2,425,738.57 with $1,130,723.68 set aside for capital projects.
Mayor Foster asked for a motion to pay the bills. Ms. Efland moved to pay bills as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Sipes stated that he was having issues with the deteriorating building at the water plant. He said that he had it evaluated by an engineer and was told not to put any money into repairing the building as it needed to be replaced, adding that he thought it was built on or around 1916. Mr. Sipes stated that he has not found the foundation for the building to date. He said that Delmarva Power was performing a power study to see what needed to be done for a replacement and supply peak and average demands. A new generator would be required and Delmarva would tell them what was needed due to the power supply. Mayor Foster stated that the Council should visit the building and they would realize how critical it was that it be replaced. Mr. Shoge asked if the ARPA funds could be used for this project. Mr. Herz stated that there were additional guidelines being handed out regarding uses for ARPA funds.
Mr. Sipes stated that the department was now only down by one employee.
Mr. Sipes stated that he and Michael Forlini, Esquire would be attending a virtual meeting tomorrow with Apex (the consultant for the Town for the hospital oil spill).
Mr. Sipes stated that NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit) has been received and there were some changes, mandating additional testing which would increase lab testing costs. He said that the permit was a public document and available for review upon request.
Mr. Sipes stated that there was a mandate that no more than 80% of existing water and sewer lines be lead and said that he has not found any lead pipes in Chestertown. There are leadite joints (leadite was a pipe sealing sulfur-based compound that was used as a substitute for lead but did not contain lead) in the system but no lead. He said that lead was no longer be used in water distribution.
Mr. Sipes stated that grants and revolving loans for upgrades or repairs to existing buildings and infrastructure come available in January and that he would investigate funding for the new building at the water plant. He said that he was working on estimates for the replacement generator and was meeting with Fidelity Engineering to work on an RFP. He said that Fidelity holds that statewide contract which he hoped would transfer into a good price on a generator.
There being no further questions or comments, Mr. Shoge moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:50 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by: Jennifer Mulligan David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor