Observing our town government in action

Water & Sewer Commission – Jan. 2, 2024
LWVM Observer: Steven Levy
Staff present: Bethany Spangler, Assistant Superintendent; Dianne Rodgers,
Office Manager; Amy McHugh, Superintendent, absent. 

Commissioners present: F. Carlton Siegel, Chair. Members: Gregory Bates, Thomas L. Murray, Barton Hyte, Thomas Carroll.

The meeting started at 8 p.m. The group went into executive session to discuss collective bargaining. The group came out of executive session at 8:30 p.m.
Superintendent Report for Water: 2023 All water employees with water distribution licenses completed the state renewal process. The hydro excavation truck remains out of service. The water pump needs to be repaired or replaced. It will cost about $16,000, for either the repair or replacement. Since the Mary Alley building (7 Widger Road) was closed on Friday, Dec. 29, the Water Department worked with the plumbing inspector and replaced the valves on the fire line to that building.
Superintendent Report for Sewer: No applications have been received for the position of mechanic. Some existing employees may be sent to school to learn mechanics. The Foster Street incoming electrical line was damaged. The Light Department replaced a corroded line which fixed the problem. Verizon will be adding their line as well.
Superintendent Report for Administration: Service cards are in the process of being put on GIS. No shutoff for the second half of December during the holidays. The next 180-day warning list will be issued in January.
MWRA Report: Haley Ward (Engineering Consultants) and MWRA suggest emptying Burkes tank and refilling with system water They will be working with the MWRA to re-chlorinate in the future if needed. The tank will be emptied, and a sample port added along with a cleaning of the interior of the tank in the spring.
Contract 188 – change order was approved in a previous meeting for the fence installation in the material yard. The charges will not exceed $44,000. The first invoice has been submitted.
Companies that submitted applications for drain layer licenses were reviewed and
renewals for 2024 voted.

Scott Miller, an engineering consultant from Haley Ward, spoke. Monitoring system for pump stations communication system is 10 or 15 years old. They are looking at replacing the entire system with an Ethernet-based digital radio. They would replace all the radios and some of the stations instrumentation. There is a grant opportunity from MVP (Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness). The total amount of the grant is $275,000. An expression of interest has been submitted. They have not started the grant application yet. The town has done work on MVP. Sewer pump stations are the lowest-lying areas of the town. During storms the storm surge, flood waters may cover some subgrade stations. Remote monitoring allows workers to monitor the station without entering the stations. This is necessary work. If they get the grant, there is a 25% match. The department will provide that. 25% of the total cost would be $77,000. If they do not get the grant, the work will be spread out over several years. They have been adding this new equipment during station upgrades.
The next meeting will be held on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
Meeting ended at 7:54 p.m.