WPCA Regular Meeting Minutes
12 July 2016
Present: Regular Members- Chairman Richard Prendergast, Vice Chair Donna Bednar, Treasurer Doug Wilkinson, Dimitri Tolchinski, Sal Cancelliere, Robert McCarthy, Frank Chan, Andrea Lombard (arrived during approval of minutes), Ernest Lorda; alternate Joe Carpentino. First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder was in the audience. Approximately 20 members of the public were in the audience.
Call to Order
Chairman Richard Prendergast called the meeting to order at 7:32pm. He appointed alternate Joe Carpentino as a voting member for the meeting.
Approval of the Minutes – June 14, 2016
No corrections. Motion made by Ernest Lorda and seconded by Doug Wilkinson. Approved.
Andrea Lombard arrived at 7:34pm
- DEEP’s Response to Coastal Waste Water Facilities Plan
Chairman Prendergast said the DEEP made minor edits to plan submitted to them. We are getting 55% funding. Once we, state, and board of selectman are approved, the town of Old Lyme can sign amendment to finalize the scope. He also said that the DEEP said we have to move faster. They stressed that we work hard and stay under budget so we don’t end up in a worse position. Some residents requested meeting with state, which Chairman Prendergast said would be discussed later.
- Private Beach Associates WPCA request for progress
Old Colony, Old Lyme Shores, and Miami Beach are doing own projects for sewers but have a need for pump house location to begin construction. Chairman Prendergast did not think the committee is ready to discuss this project. He mentioned that a key issue is a buy in and how the town and the residents differ in classification of EDUs, which forecasts the volume each EDU uses. He clarified that volume relates to cost and how much the town would contribute to shared facility if the town takes this course of action.
- Discussions with Attorney and Woodard & Curran
Attorney Lord gave us a timeline which is a requirement for compliance with DEEP order. Chairman Prendergast will share the rough timeline of what we have to comply with. The fiscal year is ending so we will receive our bill soon as well. The process for collecting and submitting forms for 55% funding was discussed with Woodard & Curran. SOW was discussed with Woodard & Curran. Jay Sheehan could not attend tonight’s meeting because he was on a business trip.
Budget Update and Expenses:
Chairman Prendergast has asked Mr. Wilkinson for summary of our budget. He said they had a $75 charge for the clerk. When the new invoice from the lawyer gets added in, the bottom line of spending for the year will be $31,197, against budget of $89,300. Because of $25,000 set aside for WPCA consultant, the budget appears to be $64,300. After meeting with the board of finance and Andrew Russell, it was agreed to carryover the $25,000 to next year’s budget. The only line item over budget was clerk payment. Mr. Wilkinson said the budget for next year is $117,000 and change, which doesn’t include carryover, but does include money for testing Hawk’s Nest.
Mr. Wilkinson said we received an additional invoice from Lord for $1100. This should be the final invoice of the year.
Chairman Prendergast cited water quality tests on local beaches in CT to NY with grade of A to F. (On Soundhealthexplorer.org). The writer indicates that sewer treatment plants are polluting the water. Chairman Prendergast does not think the article can be used in what the WPCA is doing. He mentions that there is the complex issue of managing groundwater in an economical way. Mr. Carpentino questioned if the email contained the article in entirety, and after looking at interactive data, said article does not support claim that pollution in new London affects water in Old Lyme. Mr. Tolchinski looked at the data. He said samples were taken from ocean water but are describing water near the beach. He claimed that when groundwater discharges to the ocean, it goes deep into ocean and is not
near the beach. He said 43% of water on shores are cesspools. He does not think it is proof that beach is polluted. He said that there is pollution in groundwater but that the beaches are still usable.
Boughton Road Letter- Chairman Prendergast read letter from residents, Harry Wyatt and Marcie Lustgarten, who live on Boughton road. To summarize, the writers said that the property is used infrequently and that they would like an extension on the septic tank pump out. Chairman Prendergast said that the health department said property is capable of year round use, then asked for motion to accept or deny. Mr. Tolchinski said we should take more time to look into that. Chairman Prendergast said we need decision before appeal. The committee said that no time period was clarified for extension. Mr. Wilkinson made motion to not approve. Mrs. Bednar seconded. Mr. McCarthy said we should tell people that they can go to board of appeals. A vote was called. Motion carried.
New correspondence- Residents on Columbus Avenue have requested to be sewered, they want a meeting with WPCA and state DEEP. Chairman Prendergast read the letter signed by 11 residents. He answered the worry that Hawks Nest will not be sewered by saying that Hawks Nest is not exempt. He described the current plan to sewer Sound View area and do ground water testing on Hawks Nest for further evaluation. Mr. Cancelliere said there are 16 houses on the block, making the letter not unanimously signed. Mrs. Lombard said that we have underspent our budget, so we should put all our unused money towards accelerating testing. Mr. McCarthy said it’s not possible, because we are in the middle of summer, and such a project would have to start in the spring. Mr. Wilkinson added that we can’t just move money
because the board of finance would have to approve the movement. Chairman Prendergast also added that the DEEP wants seasonality for multiple years. Mrs. Lombard maintained that we should put that question to the consultants to see if the process is feasible. Chairman Prendergast agreed we have to respond in some way, by researching it more. Mrs. Lombard made motion to pose question to consultants about accelerating building. Mr. Lorda seconded it. It is added that there is a well on liberty street, near Columbus (sound view) and Miami street claims ownership. Chairman Prendergast mentioned the previously discussed motion would cost money. Mr. Wilkinson said there is nothing in the budget for this next year. If it goes over $25,000, we would have to go to a town meeting and request more funding. Mr. Tolchinski said we should approach different ways to investigate the issue. He said we can make a study that doesn’t require a lot of money. Mr. McCarthy commented that he spoke to
engineers after last meeting. He said if everyone on the road wants sewers, there is an option of a sewer extension, which puts a sewer line on that road, no studies required. To summarize, if the pipe is adjacent to properties that want to be sewered, the properties will be sewered. The previous motion is clarified from the clerk’s record. Mr. Cancelliere asked if the DEEP said that we need full season to test. The motion is clarified again. Chairman Prendergast called vote on motion. One person was in favor. Motion denied. Mr. Tolchinski wanted to make a motion to consider to include the street in the project with Miami Beach. Mrs. Bednar clarified that they are not exempted. She said they can’t make the assumption that they’re not in the study yet. Mr. Cancelliere clarified that not all residents feel the same way. Mr. Wilkinson asked what value the study would give. He does not see value in changing an engineering plan before we even have data. Mr. Tolchinski pointed out
that people signed the form and want to be helped. He wanted to make motion to discuss possibility to include people in sewer in same time as Miami Beach to consultants. Mr. Wilkinson seconded. Mr. McCarthy wanted to consider options. Mr. Wilkinson said we are jumping on something that will divert our time with very little value. Mrs. Lombard said timeline of the different phases is very fuzzy. Motion carried, stating we will ask Woodard and Curran what the options are including people in sewer in same time as Miami Beach.
- Waste Water Facilities Plan
- Scope adjustment from DEEP, discussion and amendment or approval
Chairman Prendergast stated that there were changes made to Task one, under Scope of Services. The state changed 3 meetings to 5. For Task 2, Chairman Prendergast clarified where MTA-A and MTA-B are located. He said that the DEEP said the scope schedule and budget are based off more parties than just WPCA. Mr. McCarthy said that we will test, analyze results, then go from there. Chairman Prendergast wanted to call motion to approve amendment as it is. Mrs. Bednar made motion. Mr. Lorda seconded it. Mr. Wilkinson said the only significant change is that it will cost more. Mr. McCarthy asked about the cost. Mr. Wilkinson said that this is what the previously discussed $25,000 dollars is for. Mrs. Lombard suggested that we change a few words and go back to the state. The committee agreed her idea would
take too long. Chairman Prendergast called vote in favor in motion to approve amendment as it is. Motion carried.
- Additional Ground Water testing of Hawk’s Nest Area
Chairman Prendergast said we had a plan of water testing, freshening wells and beginning testing for $40,000. One option is map flow testing. This would show where water is moving and eliminate redundant water testing. Bill for evaluation is $18,614.60. Chairman Prendergast said we don’t consider how much money will be resupplied by state because of timing and what the board of finance requested. Mr. Carpentino said pricing might go down if we remove wells. Chairman Prendergast said we would spend $18,000 to get map flow testing to possibly eliminate wells in Hawks Nest area. Mr. McCarthy clarified what the water test results would tell us- ground water flow direction, ground water table fluctuation. He said we should ask how many months data logging should last, maybe request it last one month to
save money. Chairman Prendergast said we do map flow testing which might tell us which wells are redundant, so we can eliminate some. He mentioned we don’t know if we will eliminate wells. He said we should figure out cost model of impact, and figure out what is occurring to figure out what’s what. Mr. McCarthy said with three months of data, you have to process a lot of data, and make maps and charts of it. He said to try to get one month in the summer for data in order to get a snapshot of the water. Mr. Cancelliere mentioned one month may be a drought, or some other weird condition. Chairman Prendergast said he will have a conference call with Jay Sheehan so they can get a better understanding of the process. Mrs. Bednar said the cost is really 8000 with reimbursement, but Chairman Prendergast said board of finance says we have to conservatively assume we don’t get money back. First Selectwoman Bonnie says we should consider that the testing won’t start until spring and
the fiscal year ends June 30. Also, we should ask the engineer: Does testing fit in 40000 dollar budget? In the spring we will have more info about wells.
- Revision time line to DEEP to maintain Clean Water Funds
Chairman Prendergast said he is working with WPCA attorney. They will be adjusting timeline, to submit to state.
- Mid Summer Festival Q&A booth
Mr. Wilkinson wanted someone to donate some time to field questions.
Mr. Cancelliere submitted latest monthly testing performed by Eastern Analytical Laboratories, which measured water quality in the state of CT. Hawks next got the best results in out of all of the eight samples in Old Lyme.
Sandy Garvin, Hawks Nest Beach, said all beaches in Old Lyme got clean results. She said Brian Jacobson tested in 2011, and we should ask Jacobson for data in neighboring areas. Also, we should get another opinion on testing.
Elaine Glaski, 63 Columbus, said she has a well that is her only source of water. Her intent is to understand that her water is safe for family, neighboring population and the rest of the area.
Rob Green, Swan, said it is a good idea to have Q&A for mid-summer festival. He said it is in the interest of people in sound view to have a presentation about current progress of the WPCA.
Laura Parent, Sound View Beach, said she has heard many people promote preservation of beach community. She concurs. Clean water is a goal for everyone. She does not believe sewers are the only option, or the best option. An article that she shared discusses that there could be another problem at the source of dirty water. She said after Point of Woods was sewered, there was a highest level of water contamination. She had copy of New London Day, which said contamination entering water is from the water treatment plant in new London. She shared that in her previous home, with city sewers and water, there was ground water infiltration in a tank, so the town increased chemicals put in water. She concluded that they only want sewers if people are responsible for contamination.
Gerheart Hennig, Columbus, mentioned that because only 11 out of 16 were interested in the letter’s message, he wondered what the consensus was at Hawk’s Nest.
Carol Mitchell, 64 Columbus, said they do want sewers. She wondered if there is conflicting data on the website of Woodard & Curran.
Elizabeth Atwood, Columbus, said the word “exempt” was used at last meeting. She said a piece was missing on why Columbus was not immediately included when Old Lyme Shores and Hawks Nest were. She said the health department was chastised for comment about this.
Chairman Prendergast said we’ll use Woodard and Curran to supervise, but Eastern Analytical Lab would do testing. The lab would be independent of Woodard & Curran, who would do paperwork. This would give us 55% funding from state. We are working on getting flow charts. We can look at the map when developed. He said what we would do a Q&A session beyond the Q&A at the mid-summer festival. He said it was premature to have a Q&A session before, but now we could. The cost of this would be determined through the study. Chairman Prendergast was initially told by the state that the plan would never be approved. He said that certain private beach associations voted as a community that they would sewer, without needing to go to the town, which is why they are proceeding with sewering before
other beach areas in the town. He said that they were simply not being careful if they used the word “exempt” in the past.
Mr. Wilkinson motioned to adjourn. Mr. Carpentino seconded it.