Town of Old Lyme
Minutes of the WPCA meeting held at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Regular Members: Chairman Richard Prendergast, Vice-Chair Donna Bednar, Treasurer Doug Wilkinson, Sal Cancelliere, Rob McCarthy, Frank Chan, Dmitri Tolchinski and Andrea Lombard.
Alternate: Steve Cinami
Absent excused: Joe Carpentino
First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal were both present, with approximately 20 members of the public.
Call to Order: Chairman Prendergast called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes. The agenda notes approval of June minutes, but should read “approval of the July 11, 2017 minutes.” Motion by A. Lombard to accept the 7/11/17 minutes. Second by D. Wilkinson. Discussion: S. Cancelliere would like to add under old business that he requested that this body see the agreement with the shared pump station before it is signed. Motion passed unanimously with this addition.
Chairman Prendergast appointed alternate Steve Cinami as a voting member tonight in place of regular member Joe Carpentino, who is excused absent.
- Summary of Coastal Wastewater Plan: Chairman Prendergast distributed document. Concern is that beach erosion due to storms would cause destruction of sewer system. Response is that modern technology would have plan that can withstand storms and protect system. Suggestion to add second pump house as a way to improve reliability during storm would not reduce interruption and would be more prone to failure because it would be a different type of system. Still waiting on response from OPM, which must happen before it can be reviewed and put out for public comment.
- Hawks Nest Well Evaluation: Draft report was distributed. Going to discuss conclusions of 11-page report later in the meeting.
- Public Q & A session was held in Sound View on Aug 8. About 70 residents and non-residents attended. Went well overall. Will need to plan another meeting later in the year perhaps here at Town Hall. Different audience from beach area.
- Cooperation with private beach association WPCAs: Initial meeting on August 2nd. Another meeting held on Aug 22. Made a lot of progress. D. Bednar and First Selectwoman Reemsnyder attended 8/22 meeting with Andrew Lord and town attorney and their attorney. Ironed out some concepts of the cost sharing. For us to have successful referendum, we have to have certain things in place, including a cost sharing agreement and inter-municipal agreements. Trying to find a fair way to share the cost, which will save money in the long run. Getting estimate of cost to build pump station.
Discussion followed on cost sharing, how usage will be adjusted and determined on a yearly basis, and the process for making adjustments. Chairman Prendergast mentioned two items that might influence that: cost of repaying debt of capital equipment, and amount of effluent sent to other towns. They will be measuring and billing us as a group. He will bring it up with beach associations during final negotiations.
Budget Update: No invoices. Charged for postage for mailing the postcards. 99.87% left of annual budget.
Sewer education plan. One outreach meeting was conducted in August. Would like to schedule another session, perhaps in the north part of town. Need at least 30 days to advertise. S. Cinami asked if Chairman Prendergast could go over the timeline of what happens after it has been approved by DEEP. Chairman Prendergast gave an overview. Hope is to go to referendum next summer. With that goal, we can work our way backwards as lots of steps involved. A. Lombard asked how does timing coordinate with beach WPCAs. Idea is we don’t want them to wait because of us. Chairman Prendergast replied that we need to proceed at our own pace. S. Cinami commented: public outreach and education is something that we as a group should decide how we want to do. Don’t want to do it too early, or too late.
Maybe have set day every month for the next 7 months to be as accommodating as possible. Chairman Prendergast suggested we could offer a webinar, and have recorded information sessions.
Benefit assessment evaluation. Chairman Prendergast has not made progress on this item. Had contract proposal to do analysis. Want to go to Board of Finance to say how much money we need to do project. Other things are more pressing at this time. S. Cinami commented that this was brought up at Board of Finance meeting. There are two options: do everything, or do a sample. Probably go with sample. Need to define what sample is. Going to take some work on our part to provide information to assessor. Maybe WPCA Clerk help with this project, which is to assess age of septic systems.
Draft of Hawk’s Nest monitoring: The draft document from Woodard and Curran is 11 pages long. The members discussed the details of the report, including locations of wells, the suggestion to add more wells, eliminating recommended wells, the location of the 3 “areas” that are identified and their priority, and determining flow direction and pattern. Members need more time to evaluate. Chairman Prendergast will take edits and consult with Woodward and Curran. If members have additional changes, email or call him. Will try and make changes and re-send report before next meeting.
EDUs. Chairman Prendergast had a slideshow presentation in addition to handouts to board members. He gathered public information from town assessor on all properties in scope and created a DRAFT spreadsheet in an attempt to develop guidelines for equivalent dwelling units (EDU.) He gave an overview and some examples of the data he used and the system for figuring out EDUs. Some properties are mixed commercial/residential. Discussion followed on the details of determining the EDUs based on various factors. Might be difficult to be consistent with so many different factors and non-standard properties but the goal is to be as consistent as possible. Chairman Prendergast asked the members to digest and review the information, and it will be on the agenda next month.
Any other new business? None.
Frank Pappalardo, chairman of the Sound View Beach Association, 30 Swan View Ave. Makes sense to Sound View to share some cost of infrastructure to make it cost effective down the line. Sound View Commission discussed and the whole idea of leasing land in the town parking lot was in return for funding to get restrooms in town parking lot. Those 2 items must be linked. Cost of lease is about what the restrooms would cost. Part of initial conversation that we could put in a single building that would be aesthetically pleasing. Second item: Flow. 270 EDUs right now. The ultimate goal is adjusting it. Go strictly by flow, Sound View will be higher due to bars and commercial buildings. To penalize residents due to this would not be fair. Need to resolve. 3 zones in the Sound View district. Not clear
cut. Fixtures vs. bedrooms is complicated.
Dan Precarico (?) Sound View resident. Mentioned that in other towns the usage fee is based on number of gallons of water. Town bathrooms will have a lot of use on busy days. Why should residents be penalized? Shouldn’t town accept portion of cost?
Sandy Ziemba, 48 Swan Avenue. Interested in finding out how Old Colony beach does their EDUs. What is their formula for each property? Does Miami Beach have a formula?
Dave Mitchell, 64 Columbus Ave. Regarding the Hawk’s Nest Beach study, want to make sure we fund the right amount. Don’t want to overfund or underfund. He welcomes the board taking the EDU evaluation on. Factors are fine, but no matter how you do them, there will be exceptions. Will work 90% of the time. Will be outliers. Recognize that any method will not be perfect. People who are over-assessed will come for waiver adjustments.
Rich Daisy, 11 Swan Ave. Regarding the EDUs, no exact way to do it, but his frontage is 37 ½ feet wide. Used drain fixture units as measurement. Recommend go by linear feet and drain fixture units.
Mary Jo Nosal, Selectwoman. Would like to thank this commission. Have been talking about EDUs for 3 years. What Rich has started has taken a lot of effort, and thank you for taking it on and addressing it tonight.
Laurie May, 41 Hartford Ave. She has two small cottages under 500 sf. Need to look at other factors when assigning EDUs.
Bridget Nesing (?) Swan Ave. Benefit for town for having sewers will be borne by 3 streets in Sound View Beach Association. Actual building of sewers should be borne by the town as the town gets the benefit more than the individual users. In other towns, cost was to hook up and what you use. Most people in Sound View are part time residents who pay taxes but don’t utilize all services. Now going to assessed another “tax.”
Michael Divenuto, 14 Hartford Ave. Agrees with previous statement. Unfair for seasonal property owners to bear brunt of payment of this project.
Rich Avezzie, 11 Swan Ave. He will be paying for project that the town couldn’t afford, or chose not to, pay full amount. Would town pay for properties that they control?
Brian Cordell, Portland Ave., Sound View Beach Association. Been watching from afar. Thought Mr. Cinami’s comments on well were interesting. Reiterated that he and wife are here seasonally and to have to pay for a full EDU as a part time resident doesn’t make sense. The longer he owns property, cost continues to sneak up.
Chairman Prendergast replied to many of the points made and questions asked during the public comment. The WPCA is trying to do best plan for all residents of the town and that’s what we’ve submitted so far. Trying to get information out to the public.
First Selectwoman Reemsnyder added that we are doing our best to make it happen together. Best location for pump station in the opinion of both engineers and DEEP. Will go to Board of Finance to discuss. The challenge is that the lease will be paid over several years but bathroom need to be paid right away.
Adjournment: D. Wilkinson made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by R. McCarthy. The meeting was adjourned at 9:51 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Jennifer Datum, WPCA Clerk