Utilities Commission, Town Agendas & Minutes, 2022|

CHESTERTOWN UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING

FEBRUARY 5, 2024

 

Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. In attendance were Councilmembers Tim O’Brien, Jose Medrano and Meghan Efland, Bob Sipes (Utilities Manager), Larry DiRe (Town Manager), Lynda Thomas (Town Clerk) and guests.

Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Utilities Commission meeting of January 2, 2024.  Councilman O’Brien made a motion to approve the minutes of the Utilities Commission meeting of January 2, 2024, as presented. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Mayor Foster stated that the operating funds on hand were $2,444,452.20. He asked for a motion to pay the bills. Councilwoman Efland made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Councilman O’Brien and passed unanimously.

Mayor Foster called on Mr. Sipes for his Utilities Commission report. 

Mr. Sipes reported that the sewer line on High Street was replaced. The crew performed an experiment by placing asphalt millings instead of crush-n-run gravel to see if they spread and settle less. He explained that the sewer line is 3 to 5 feet below street level that is bed in sand then backfill about a foot from the surface. He noted that a material is used that will firm up so vehicles can travel on, like asphalt millings must be placed before the surface blacktop is placed.

Mr. Sipes reported that a new waterline was placed in Washington Park.

Mr. Sipes reported that the water plant had a vandalism incident where one of the doors was kicked in. He noted that the video showed a couple teenagers, horsing around, not intending to kick the door in but the door and frame were rotten causing it to break. He reported that the door and frame had been replaced.

Mr. Sipes reported that a bad sewer line between houses on Barroll Drive was replaced. He reported that the camera revealed a lot of roots.

Mr. Sipes reported that Lywood, the contractor for the wastewater plant PLC’s, had not started the work to fix the PLC’s.  He noted that he would contact Lywood to cancel the contract and contract a different company to do the work.

Mr. O’Brien asked Mr. Sipes to make a capital projects list to review during the budget process.  Mr. Sipes noted that the water plant is three (3) different capital projects, the water plant, wastewater plant, and pump stations.  He noted that the water plant was already in the upgrade process. He noted that lines are only worked on when there is a failure and there is no way to anticipate when these failures will happen. He stated that there was grant money available for the pump stations. He noted that the wastewater plant only needs upgrades when there is an unanticipated failure.

Mr. Sipes noted that there has not been a lot of growth so if there is a need for an upgrade to the wastewater plant, it would be to improve quality of the final result, that goes into the river.  He noted that the water currently going into the river is cleaner than the river water. 

Mr. Foster asked about the growth of the town and how long before the town would need a new water tower.  Mr. Sipes noted that anymore development near Flatland Road may require another water tower.

Mr. O’Brien asked about waiving allocation fees. Mr. Sipes stated that the allocation fees do not pay for the water and sewer lines that run to the house. The allocation fees cover the costs of the water and wastewater treatment plant. He noted that treating wastewater has become more expensive. 

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, Councilwoman Efland motioned to adjourn the meeting at 6:16 p.m. The motion was seconded by Councilman O’Brien and passed unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                                         Approved by:

Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk                                                   David Foster, Mayor

 

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