MINUTES OF THE WATER COMMISSIONERS

Monday September 10, 2018 @ 6:00 P.M.

Town Clerk’s Office

 

Members Present: Jes Alexant, Marshall Ploof, Brooks Sturtevant, Sara Rainville, secretary and Mark Brouillette, water operator.

 

Guests: Yvon Dandurand, Andrew Godin, Dave Bennion & Peter Magnant, selectboard members, Larry Myott & Peter Benevento, Lake Carmi Campers Association, Paul Betz, Mike Lawyer, Janet Norcross

 

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Jes Alexant. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

 

Agenda Amendments:

All members in favor of adding tank cleaning to Project update item.

 

Public Comments:

Jes welcomed all in attendance to the meeting. He acknowledged the emails that were sent around regarding the spigot being turned off at the Fire Station that the Lake Carmi Campers Association pays for.  He stated that better communication would done about in the future.  He explained the severity of the drought and how that's affecting the water system and creating an emergency situation in Town.  The water district has asked ALL users of the system to conserve and the commissioners are also looking into backup water sources but that it takes time.

 

Peter Benevento, Lake Carmi Campers Association president spoke about the lake of communication to the campers about the spigot being turned off.  There was no notice sent about conserving before it was turned off.  The former agreement that was made had noted that the water spigot could be turned off due to drought conditions. Peter would like a more formal agreement going forward then the handshake agreement that was done many years ago.   He would like it done over the winter so when the water gets turned back on in the spring at the Fire Station for the campers that there is a clear understanding of the conditions of its use.  Peter further stated that the LCCA would like monthly meter readings done on the spigot they pay for to see how much is really being used. The LCCA also noted they don’t know who else is using the water they pay for.  Jes replied that he has valid points and that he would also like to see a formal agreement done regarding that water spigot. 

 

Larry Myott stressed the importance of the meter working and having monthly readings, he feels that not many campers are using the water since most at the lake have wells, but he noted that they don’t really know who actually has their own wells.  He agreed with a formal agreement being done. He wants to be sure that all people are being treated equally that are using the water.

 

Paul Betz, camper, spoke about filing up before the conserve water notice was posted and the water was turned off.

 

Mike Lawyer also agreed that a formal agreement would be good but really feels it would be best to discontinue the spigot being used all together. He spoke about the emails that were sent from the LCCA and the most recent LCCA newsletter and that he feels Marshall deserves a written apology from the LCCA for all the things that were said in them and in person at Marshall’s home.  Mike further stated that no one really knows who is using the water spigot, it could be any person in Town or even outside Town that knows its there and needs drinking water.

 

Jes stated that he is researching ways to modify the spigot to allow for better monitoring.  He also noted that the water reservoir currently has 7-10 days of water if it continues to drop at the current rate.  Its a very serious issue for our village water users. There is little to no rain in the foreseeable future to help relieve the drought conditions we are experiencing.   We are lining up a water hauler and a source to start hauling by the end of the week if needed, possible at the cost of $1,000 per day to meet the demand of the users. 

 

Jes explained that the water district is working on a project to install master meters on the source to measure yield and usage.   All the commissioners volunteer their time; only the part time operator is paid.

 

Yvon Dandurand noted that payment doesn't always guaranty service; the board’s main concern is for the village residents that use the system as well as the school and the Homestead & Carriage House elderly housing. The school stands to suffer greatly if the Town has to start hauling water in. 

 

Peter B commented that they don’t really know how many campers have wells but that the campers will always have a need for the village water spigot.

 

Mike questioned if a petition would be needed to discontinue use of the LCCA spigot at the Fire Station. 

 

Peter Magnant spoke about emails and communication and the Town’s history of working with the LCCA for many years. He feels that positive progress has been made over the years and that we need to keep moving forward together.  He thanked Marshall for all his years of service and dedication to the water system, he is sorry that people take that for granted.

 

Janet Norcross questioned at what point will the commissioners decide to haul in water. Jes stated that they will track the rain and keep monitoring the reservoir level daily.  The hauler and supplier have been lined up so the call just has to be made and water will be brought into Town.

 

Mike offered his assistance to the Town where ever it may be needed.

 

Marshall gave a history of the hand shake agreement between the LCCA and the then Franklin Fire District #1 chair Loren Wright. The agreement was that as long as water was available, the LCCA would have access to it, they would pay for a unit and a half once a year, if the water dropped suddenly, then the spigot would be turned off.  Marshall generally turns it on over April school break and turns it off Columbus Day.

 

All members in favor of tabling further discussion on LCCA campers water spigot until October water commissioners meeting.

 

Approve Minutes:

Brooks/Marshall made the motion to approve the August 13, 2018 monthly minutes; all in favor, motion passed.

 

Treasurer’s Report:

FY19 trial balance to-date was reviewed, current checking account balance $56,275.19

 

A warrant dated September 10, 2018 with supporting invoices totaling $101.51 was submitted for review and signatures by the members. Discussion was had.

 

Discussion was had on Jeremy and Andrew attending the Class 2 water operator class. The water district is paying the fee for both to attend, Jeremy will be paid his current hourly rate for attending and Andrew will be reimbursed for mileage.

 

Marshall/Jes made motion to accept treasurers report, all in favor, motion passed.

 

Operators:

Jeremy and Andrew are attending the Class 2 operator class, the first class was September 5, 2018. There are two more classes in October with the operator exam in November.  Mark noted that he has some books that would be very beneficial to both of the men taking the class that they are welcome to borrow.

 

The RFP that was used when the water district was hiring for a water operator was discussed.

 

Jes would like to put something on the Town’s website and Facebook page about the water board needing volunteers to get involved with the board & water system.

 

Water Sampling/Repairs:

Mark noted that curb-stops need to be installed at two homes on Hanna Road; he is hoping to have that done in the next few weeks. Marshall updated the board on the small tank leak that has been fixed.

 

Brooks/Marshall made the motion to hire Brent Durenleau to do a leak survey on the Franklin Water System, all in favor, motion passed. Marshall will confirm with Brent that he will be in Town on September 12, 2018 in the morning. Marshall will also speak to Jeremy about helping find leaks with Mark and himself.

 

Mark reviewed water sampling that will be done in September and October. He is planning on doing samples this week.

 

Spring & Reservoir-water levels:

Sara has created a spreadsheet to use as a logbook. Marshall has been updating her  or Lisa at the Town Clerk’s Office with daily reservoir readings, leak information, etc.  Information will continue to be recorded by the Town Clerk’s Office until the new water operator is certified and has taken over. Sara will continue to update members as Marshall notifies her.

 

Marshall stated that the reservoir was at 8.7’ on Sunday, September 9 at 10:30 and by Monday September 10 at the same time, it was down to 8’.

 

Jes has been calculating daily use and has projected how many days of storage we have in both compartments.  Marshall noted that there is rain in the forecast but it generally takes 2-3 days from when it ends to see any difference in the spring.

 

Jes has spoken to Jeff Jewett trucking and Matt Mulheron with St. Albans City about buying water.  Current estimate is 2-3 truckloads daily to meet current demand, price would be $750.  The possibility of a “boil water” notice was discussed. 

 

Jes has spoken to Franklin Central School and the Franklin Carriage House about the seriousness of the conserve water notice. 

 

Discussion was had on alternate water sources in Town, short and long term. The Town spring on Rolland Rainville’s property on Main Street was discussed.  The possibility of buying the spring was brought up. Jes would like to schedule to have some narrow bore rest holes done in October. 

 

The commissioners agreed that when the reservoir gets to 6’ to issue another notice to the users about the seriousness of the drought. All members agreed that when the reservoir gets to 5’ we need to start hauling in water.  Further discussed was had on a boil notice as well as treatment of the water should we have to haul. Should water have to be hauled, a door to door notice will be delivered.

 

Brooks/Jes made the motion to hire Jeff Jewett Trucking to haul water from St. Albans City for $250 a 5500 gallon load, all in favor, motion passed.

 

Jes has drafted an acceptance letter to Paula Jackson of Earthwater Specialists authorizing the cleaning and inspection of the two water storage tanks, cleaning date to be determined at a later date due to current drought conditions. Jes will also do a letter to the State of Vermont to notify them of the extended timeline for the tank cleaning & inspection.

 

O & M Manual update:

Jes has searched all the water department files at the Town Clerk’s Office from Franklin Fire District #1 and found nothing, he will draft a manual up to submit to the State of Vermont as they've requested.

 

Project Update:

The preliminary engineering draft was received on September 6, 2018; due to the current water crisis in Town none of the members have had time to review it. It will be discussed further at the October water district meeting. Jes will also update the State of Vermont on this development.

 

Other Business & Mail:

None.

 

The next regular monthly meeting will be October 8, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office.

 

Motion made to adjourn the meeting by Brooks/Marshall, all in favor.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

 

Respectfully,

Sara Rainville

September 15, 2018

 

These minutes are not official until approved at the Water Commissions next regular meeting.

These minutes were approved October 8, 2018.