WPCA Regular Meeting Minutes
9 August 2016
Present: Regular Members- Chairman Richard Prendergast, Dimitri Tolchinski, Sal Cancelliere, Robert McCarthy, Frank Chan, Andrea Lombard, Ernest Lorda, Joe Carpentino. First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder was in the audience. Approximately 30 members of the public were in the audience.
Call to Order
Chairman Richard Prendergast called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. He noted that Donna Bednar and Doug Wilkinson were absent. Joe Cancelliere was appointed to full member.
Approval of the Minutes – July 12, 2016
No corrections. Motion made by Ernest Lorda and seconded by Frank Chan. Motion carried. Minutes were approved.
- Status of Coastal Waste Water Facilities Plan amendment submittal
Chairman Richard Prendergast said that we want to finalize the plan in Soundview and miscellaneous town area B. He recapped that the amendment was approved, sent to state, adjusted for grammar, and approved with the state’s written approval. The approval is important because it guarantees 55% funding for areas available to be funded. The plan was then brought to Old Lyme’s first selectman meeting and board of finance. Everyone agreed, then Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder signed it. Chairman Richard Prendergast wanted to publish it on website, and he noted that there is an actual signature on it. Mr. McCarthy asked for the date of the signing, which was July 15, 2016.
- Discussions with Attorney and Woodard & Curran
Chairman Richard Prendergast said that there was a conference call with a task force, or limited number of members, with Woodard & Curran, to find out scope of work that was initially proposed. Chairman Richard Prendergast, Mrs. Lombard, Mr. Tolchinski, Mr. McCarthy, Jay Sheehan, and Ming Hanfary were present. Mr. Prendergast also talked with Mr. Sheehan about the flow diagram. In this, Mr. Sheehan demonstrated the necessary steps to go through. In addition, Mr. Sheehan and Chairman Richard Prendergast had a conversation about how to lower cost, (by having the town pitch in to assist with some costs). Mr. Sheehan said we need to figure out what kind of loans and what equipment we would need before going through with plan. Attorney Lorde and Mr. Prendergast talked about continuing timeline so state
would continue funding. The state appreciated this August meeting that is usually not held. It is used to lock in funding that helps with this project. No questions.
Budget Update and Expenses:
No new expenses from last month. A new budget passed through, which includes $25k carried over from previous year, which began July. $40k for groundwater testing at hawks nest is also in the budget. Chairman Richard Prendergast stressed that this is a budget plan, and the first year of multiple year testing plan. He said that we have reduced costs by not having paid consultants attend every meeting.
No new invoices.
A resident suggested using DNA testing to see if pollution is from people. It will be discussed in old business part a, i. Chairman Richard Prendergast mentioned that Mr. Wilkinson made a motion to deny sewer extension pump outs. There was no other correspondence in WPCA mailbox or email.
- Waste Water Facilities Plan
- Additional Ground water testing of Hawk’s Nest area
Experts suggested we do flow mapping, which shows the direction that water is flowing to enhance ability to place wells. The task force and Woodard & Curran met to discuss this. There was a new proposal that would change costs from 20k to 10k. It consists of evaluating existing wells, and not digging new wells. Mapping changed from a 3 month process to 1 month process with a possibility that the state will require us to do more or decide the one month period did not see enough rain/water flow. Historical evidence of when wells were built was researched and deemed inconclusive by Chairman Richard Prendergast. He mentioned that once we approve something, it goes to the state, then they may adjust it and sent it back. After this, it is sent to the selectman’s office, and maybe brought to board of
finance, then finally actually approved. Chairman Richard Prendergast read Scope of Servies, Schedule and Budget, Task 1. Part one of task one stressed existing well analysis. The existing wells would be measured monthly. Mr. Chan said it is unlikely and maybe a waste of time to expect to collect enough data in a month plan and we will probably have to extend the measurement. Mr. McCarthy mentioned that it is not completely a failure just because there is no rain. Mrs. Lombard asked if we can go straight to board of finance, to designate specific funds. Chairman Richard Prendergast said that at the oversight meeting he learned that the WPCA would have to cite a specific need in order to get additional money. Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder mentioned we already have enough money delegated for this and thinks we will have enough in budget because we’ll start during early in spring. She said, if we need more money we can request more. Chairman Richard Prendergast asked about the 1
month vs 3 month plan. Mr. McCarthy said to ask Mr. Sheehan for a chance to do a second month if they need more data. He included that it will take about a week for Woodard & Curran to process all the data. Chairman Richard Prendergast said that he is waiting to hear from Mr. Sheehan about how much an additional month of testing would cost. Mr. McCarthy estimated 4 or 5k, Chairman Richard Prendergast estimated about 3k. The members wanted to hear from Mr. Sheehan in writing. Chairman Richard Prendergast read task 1, section 1.2 and 1.3 from Scope of Services. He then read assumptions. He noted that Mr. McCarthy corrected assumption 4. Chairman Richard Prendergast said that 55% of 10k is eligible to be supplied by state. The funds would eventually go back to town, not the WPCA. Mrs. Lombard said that the first 3 assumptions are big assumptions. Regarding one, she said we don’t have all the info. She cited that Brian Curtis, a representative from Jacobson, said we have most but
not all the information that Woodard & Curran wants. Woodard & Curran will not lower cost. Regarding 2, she says we are sure we need more wells. Regarding 3, if we don’t get enough information, we will probably have to start all over again. Chairman Richard Prendergast read the 4 phases of Hawks Nest beach groundwater quality monitoring program. Mr. Cancelliere asked if phase 1 and 2 could be done in the same step. Mr. McCarthy clarified that phase 2 wouldn’t be done without phase 1. Onto the next topic, Mr. McCarthy said that the scope excludes “elevation survey”. Chairman Richard Prendergast said Woodard & Curran wants to know elevation of the land where a well is. Mr. McCarthy was concerned that the state took out surveying, because accurate data is critical. Chairman Richard Prendergast said we cannot approve the current scope of work, while Mr. McCarthy said we should so we could give it to the DEEP. He stressed that elevation matters. He said the
assumptions are written correctly. Mr. Lorda said that one month cannot compare seasonal variations, citing 1.2 of task one. Chairman Richard Prendergast said we approve as is or edit it. Mr. McCarthy said they are not measuring water quality, citing another misused word. Mr. Cancelliere reads last month’s scope section 1.2, which mentions elevation, which Mr. McCarthy said was taken out. Mrs. Lombard asked if we can accept on terms that the elevation survey will be included, but Chairman Richard Prendergast and Mr. McCarthy mention that it is unlikely to get passed and could cost more than expected. Mr. McCarthy said that they will do elevation survey the same time that they do well data collection, or could hire licensed surveyors that could do the job at any time. Mr. Chan said if the assumptions are not met, we would change the plan anyways. He didn’t see any downside of submitting the scope to the DEEP. Chairman Richard Prendergast said we’d have to spend more money and
get another agreement for someone to do surveying work. Mr. McCarthy made motion to approve with a couple of minor changes, Mr. Cancelliere and Mr. Lorda second. Mrs. Lombard wanted to make other motions to include elevation surverying. Chairman Richard Prendergast and Mr. McCarthy say it doesn’t have to be included. Vote called, all in favor with two minor adjustments, the word seasonal was changed to temporal, and the word quality removed. The motion carried.
ii. Revision time line to deep to maintain Clean Water Funds
Attorney Lorde often reminds Chairman Richard Prendergast that staying on timeline is how we cooperate with state.
- Mid summer festival Q&A booth feedback
Chairman Richard Prendergast summarizes that the purpose was to inform residents and give out Q&A information. There were many common questions, such as: “Why are you doing this?” “Do I have to pay for this?” and “I live north of 156 so can I get sewered?” A common comment was, “I don’t care.” The plan is that recipients of the changes pay the most. Also, it was answered that houses north of 156 are not included in the scope. Mr. Chan backed up common questions. We don’t know how much it will cost residents. Mr. Chan mentioned Q&A is on website.
No new business.
Sandy Garvin, Hawks Nest, thought it was interesting to watch process of how DEEP will accept project. She asked if DEEP has defined what is necessary to do testing. Answering another public attendant’s comment, she said that she was asking for fair results and didn’t want to threaten anyone with a lawsuit.
Mr. S, Hawks Nest, was trying to understand everything happening. He asked if Hawks Nest is part of other beaches, or if it is its own island, and wondered why there is extensive testing with Hawks Nest.
Dave Mitchell, 64 Columbus, wanted data to be scientifically irrefutable, mentioned the state made plan for areas that are eligible, asked what eligibility status of hawks nest beach is, wondered when the year of the process will start.
Elizabeth Atwood, Columbus, frustrated that Hawks Nest is waiting for further testing. She thought that there is an elephant in the room that can’t be discussed. She said that Hawks Nest beach was included in a plan a few years ago, then a family threatened with a lawsuit. She said she is in favor of being sewered, doesn’t want a lawyer, she just wants a sewer.
Rob Green, Swan Ave, said there is a great deal of interest in his community for WPCA to go visit.
Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder said there are microphones on the way.
Gloria Trimbley, 65 Columbus, wanted to know chances of getting CT water whether sewers come through or not. She said that they should have option to get sewers if they want them. She said she understands why people wouldn’t want sewers but wants to know option for people who do want sewers.
Laura Parent, Center beach, She found that clean water funds can’t be used to increase density of an area. She said enabling people to increase density of property is against clean water act. She asked if you don’t have system right now to do what needs to be done, how do you get sewers to remedy the system?
Elaine Glasky, 63 Columbus, said there are year round homes all over hawks nest.
Nancy Birge, said Hawks Nest will eventually be brought in to CT water, so they should avoid the inevitable. She said it will only improve town of ol and our safety.
Pete Garvin, said West End Drive has never been tested, and wants fairness.
Chairman Richard Prendergast said we could spend a lot on testing, doesn’t know if it will give us more comfort that we could get with less expense. Woodard & Curran says DNA testing is not inexpensive. Mr. Cancelliere said the test will examine bacteria like E.coli, and will identify human markers in these bacteria. He said DNA will answer arguments about whether pollution is from humans. PCArt, name of procedure, is pretty easy and trustworthy. Chairman Richard Prendergast said some neighborhoods can form their own WPCA, tax their residents, and do certain procedures, like putting in sewers. He said Hawks Nest was brought to being heavily tested. He also pointed out that we never get funding if we keep changing a plan. Hawks Nest is reserved for Clean Water funds. He said he knows residents
have paid for water from CT Water Company. Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder said CT Water Company says they change priority list when a sewer project is available, by putting this project at the top. Chairman Richard Prendergast said he doesn’t know when testing would start. He said that the state needs sufficient data, with variance in the water table heights. Chairman Richard Prendergast said we are not violating Clean Water Act. He said that there are existing zoning requirements that are maintained seasonally to year round. He pointed out that we wouldn’t be receiving money from the state if we were doing something illegal. Mr. Tolchinski said you can’t use sewer to benefit nonconforming lots. Chairman Richard Prendergast said we are not building more houses because of the sewers.
Mr. Cancelliere motioned to adjourn. Mr. Lorda seconded it.