WPCA Regular Meeting Minutes
February 14th, 2017
Present: Regular Members- Chairman Richard Prendergast, Dimitri Tolchinski, Sal Cancelliere, Robert McCarthy, Frank Chan, Andrea Lombard and Steve Cinami. Vice-Chair Donna Bednar arrived at approximately 7:35. Joe Carpentino and Treasurer Wilkinson were both excused. Approximately 3 members of the public were present.
Approval of the Minutes – January 17th 2017: Mr. Tolchinski made a motion to approve the minutes. Mr. Prendergast asked if any discussion or clarification was needed on the November minutes. No member voiced concerned, so Mr. Chan seconded the motion. All members voted to approve the minutes except Ms. Lombard who abstained.
- Discussions with Woodard and Curran on status of the Coastal Waste Water Plans: The DEEP has received our plans and has updated the memo on Clean Water funds. They did not tell us when they expect to finish their review of the plan. We are waiting for the DEEP to respond.
- Evaluation of the groundwater testing: The DEEP accepted our plan and the selectwomen’s office signed off on the order.
The committee has very little expenditures thus far, and we have practiced fiscal responsibility. Our first invoice was in regards to amendment 3. The invoice was approved by Mr. Prendergast, Treasurer Wilkinson, and Ms. Reemsynder for $6,464.48. Next, the members discussed invoice no. 135627 for $9,934.63. The invoice was for project administration, conferences with DEEP, and more. Sal Cancelliere made a motion to approve, and Donna Bednar seconded the motion. A discussion followed. All members voted unanimously to accept the invoice.
There were multiple pieces of correspondence many from Rocco Todaro. Rocco Todaro first emailed Mr. Esguerra from DEEP.
Hello Mr. Esguerra,
It has been a while since we had any communication, hope you are well.
The Old Lyme WPCA is proposing groundwater testing at Hawks Nest Beach.
We must be absolutely sure that DNA testing be performed since today it is readily available.
I have not seen what is being proposed but as you are well aware only DNA testing will let us know if sewers are really needed.
Can you tell me if in fact DNA testing is being proposed?
Also, will more test wells be placed along route 156 and points north?
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you,
Mr. Esguerra responded in part by stating that “the proposed testing does not include DNA monitoring.” Mr. Predergast wanted to clarify that in fact the decision has not yet been made on whether to include DNA testing.
Mr. Todaro also wrote to Mr. Prendergast:
I would like some clarification.
Has the Town changed what they want for Clean Water Funds for? It now states: small community: Nutrient Removal.
Are they proposing only for Nitrates etc.?
We need DNA testing, no other testing will justify a need for sewers. The main cause of “Pollution” is from nature. If you disagree, please explain?
We are ranked in the CWF priority fairly high at 29th for over $26,000,000 when it is not proven we need the money for a suspect project?
In my opinion, the State of Connecticut is broke and the Town is requesting more wasteful spending for a project we don’t need or want.
[he included a screenshot from the CWF priority report showing Town of Old Lyme’s Ranking]
Mr. Prendergast recently switched emails and did not receive this email. Mr. Todaro then wrote:
Rich, I see the minutes came out today for the meeting. Under correspondence it states NONE. How can that be, I sent this Nov 29th… are you ignoring me?
Also, Sandy Garvin attended the meeting and said her comments were minimized when in fact she had much more to say on several matters. Let’s not filter what the public is reading.
Mr. Prendergast responded in part by assuring Mr. Todaro that “our current plan for additional testing is intended to comprehensively report the results of the area under study.” Further, as the meeting clerk, I can assure the public that I never purposefully minimize comments or filter what the public is reading. Any assertion that I do is patently false.
Mr. Todaro wrote one more letter asking for the cost of the plan, and suggesting that it might be too expensive for too little benefit.
In addition, Mr. Prendergast sent a letter to Fay and David Gumkowski alerting them that the committee has denied their request for an extension in their pump-out schedule.
- EDU Planning: Members discussed how to ensure that EDU counts are fair and equitable across the town. There was a particularly thorough discussion of EDU counts on Hartford Avenue (c-10) because we must figure out how to count EDUs when there are both commercial and residential houses.
- Market Education Plan: The members of the committee want to inform the public about our plan. The committee plans on contacting the PTOs at local schools and also creating social media accounts like Facebook.
Frank Capalar, chairman of the Soundview commission, wants to make sure that EDU counts are fair across the different beach communities. He stated that we cannot just count bedrooms because we must consider businesses. He also stated the people of Soundview want public water.
Dave Mitchells, he said Frank did a good job discussing the market education plan. He said we should talk to Woodard and Curran about the influence of streams on pollution.
Rob Greene said that it is important EDU counts are fair and equitable and that we practice due diligence. He also said that there are two major constituents in Old Lyme: year-round and temporary. We must consider both when determining EDU counts.
Submitted by Jacob Olson