UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
JULY 5, 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), Jennifer McCann (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Utilities Commission meeting of June 6, 2022. Ms. Efland moved to approve the minutes of the Utilities Commission meeting of the June 6, 2022 meeting as presented, was seconded by Mr. O’Brien and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that funds on hand for the Utilities Commission was $2,289,423.59 with designated capital funds set aside for capital projects in the amount of $1,249,923.68.
Mayor Foster asked for a motion to pay the bills. Mr. Herz moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mr. Sipes stated that the quote from Apex was received, and he would email the specifics of the numbers to the Council. He said that he gave everyone a sheet with an outline, but this cost was not factored into the budget. He asked for funding for the project. Mayor Foster asked if this could be a phased testing. Mr. Sipes stated that he would have to return to Apex to ask that question because the quote was for twelve (12) days of work and included equipment and contractors. He said that he did not think it could be phased without reworking the numbers.
Mr. Sipes stated that he did tell Apex that he wanted to evaluate the west side of the Hospital since that part has not been tested to date (because the west side elevation of the Hospital does not run downhill). He said that he wanted to test that area because the foundation of the building could be a potential path for the underground oil to head west through the stone under the foundation (which was more porous than sand) and into the ground. Mr. Sipes stated that MDE never answered the question by the Town as to what was under the Hospital, which was one of the reasons he wanted to look there.
Mr. Sipes stated that Apex developed the plan to look at certain spots with certain specialized tools and he thought that the plan should be followed as outlined. He said that this was a highly regarded national company and had been responsive to all of the questions that he posed to date.
Mr. Sipes stated that he did not want to impact day-to-day operations of the Hospital and the south side of the Hospital has been sampled and has monitoring wells in place. He said that the west and east sides would have some boring holes done in the parking lot and he was coordinating with the Hospital on the best times to run the tests.
Mr. Sipes stated that Apex would do a study and give an honest assessment of the conditions underground. Mr. Sipes stated that Apex was requested to do a study by the Town, and they recommended a certain technology for the testing and the scope of work which was then submitted in the proposal.
Mr. Herz asked if the funds should come from the capital budget. Mr. Sipes stated that the funds could come from capital or unallocated funds.
Mr. Sipes stated that he was waiting on cost estimates for the new building at the water treatment plant.
Mr. O’Brien asked who was responsible if there was a positive result for oil at the Hospital. Mayor Foster stated that his initial response is that the Hospital would be accountable for the cleanup of the oil.
Mr. Sipes stated that the only document that could be found through EPA was a guidance document that says the best case scenario for recovery is 50%. He said that 87,000 gallons of oil has been retrieved to date, but they do not know where the remaining 50% is located, other than that some of it is tied up in the soils. He said that some natural attenuation has taken place but that takes a very long time to happen.
Mr. Herz asked if the site will be decommissioned if all goes well with the pilot program. Mr. Sipes stated that he thought the reason the pilot program was only for six (6) months instead of a year was because the last time they did shut down for a year, the oil hit in the 12th month. He said it takes time to travel.
Mr. Sipes stated that the Apex study was proposed was because a comprehensive site plan was never done, and this study will look for what might be missing. He said that this study completes all information that would be required in a comprehensive plan. He said that other than that, the only thing he told Apex was that the west side of the Hospital had not been checked. He said that that he thought this study was more for peace of mind in knowing what the site conditions are. He said that if they find liquid petroleum, they will recommend the next steps. Mr. Sipes stated that the only alternative is not finishing the site characterization and he did not think that was prudent.
Ms. Efland moved to move forward with the Apex contract for services related to the Hospital Oil spill as outlined by Mr. Sipes, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mr. Sipes stated that an automatic sampler pump broke at the wastewater treatment plant, and it was connected to the processer which led to the entire processor being replaced at a cost of $4,000.00.
Mr. Sipes stated that an air line inside of a filter had broken and was allowing sand to get into the line. They were working to cure the issue.
Mr. Sipes stated that there was a manhole at Rt. 213 which was very loud, and he was going to schedule night work to fix it. He said that he has been hearing complaints from the residents, but in order to fix it, the frame has to be rebricked so that the riser is no longer necessary.
Mr. Sipes stated that they were still waiting on parts for equipment at the wastewater treatment plant. Mayor Foster asked if the information on the cost of the building could be furthered along as soon as it is received as they needed to budget for the project.
There being no further business, Ms. Efland moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:37 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Medrano and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor