Select Page

Minutes of Special Town Meeting, 02/13/2018

AGENDA: Special Town Meeting

RECEIVED 02/15/2018 5:58pm
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

MINUTES OF SPECIAL TOWN MEETING
FEBRUARY 13, 2018
Redding Community Center
MINUTES

Present: First Selectman Julia Pemberton; approximately 65 electors of the Town, including Selectmen Peg O’Donnell and Michael Thompson, Town Clerk Michele Grande, Tax Collector Patricia Moisio; several non-resident proponents of the Fracking Waste Ban Ordinance; Redding Pilot Reporter Sandi Fox; and the videographers.

First Selectman Julia Pemberton called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. and asked for the nomination of a moderator.

Motion: To nominate Colleen Joyce as Moderator of the Special Town Meeting. Motion made by Michele Grande, seconded by Peg O’Donnell. Motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Joyce called upon Town Clerk Michele Grande to read the call of the meeting.

LEGAL NOTICE

WARNING
NOTICE OF SPECIAL TOWN MEETING

The Legal Voters in the Town of Redding, Connecticut, and those entitled to vote therein are hereby warned and notified to meet at the Special Town Meeting to be held at the Redding Community Center, 37 Lonetown Road, Redding, CT on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. (snow date February 14, 2018) for the following purposes:

1. To consider and vote on funding for plant upgrades at the Redding Wastewater Treatment Plant in an amount of $796,212 to be financed through a combination of a municipal lease and the unassigned fund balance.

2. To consider and vote on an ordinance (a Fracking Waste Ban) prohibiting the storage, disposal or use of waste from oil and gas exploration or extraction activities or any derivative thereof, in the Town of Redding, Connecticut.

3. To consider and vote on the adoption of changes to the Land Use Applications ordinance and changes to the Land Use Fee Schedules.

DATED at Redding, Connecticut this 31st day of January, 2018.

BOARD OF SELECTMEN
Julia Pemberton, First Selectman
Margaret (Peg) O’Donnell, Selectman
Michael P. Thompson, Selectman

Ms. Joyce asked for a motion to approve the warning as read.

Motion: To approve the warning as read. Motion made by David Pattee, seconded by Patricia Moisio. Motion passed unanimously.

Ms. Joyce then indicated she had received a Certification of Publication of Legal Notice pursuant to the provisions of CGS 7-4, signed by the First Selectman and requested that it be recorded with the proceedings of the meeting.

Ms. Joyce read the first item on the agenda and asked for a motion.

Motion: To approve funding for plant upgrades at the Redding Wastewater Treatment Plant in an amount of $796,212 to be financed through a combination of a municipal lease and the unassigned fund balance. Motion made by Kim Yonkers, seconded by Patricia Moisio.

With motion on the floor, Ms. Joyce asked for any discussion/questions.

James Miller, a member of the Water Pollution Control Commission and Rich Regan, Chairman of the Water Pollution Control Commission explained the purpose of and history of the waste treatment plant in Georgetown. The Water Pollution Control Commission is the governing body and was established by town ordinance on February 7, 1991. Phase I was constructed in 1991 to treat wastewater from failing residential septic systems and in Georgetown. Phase II was expanded in 2002 for the benefit of and was paid for by the Meadow Ridge Retirement complex. Phase III was constructed and paid for by the by Georgetown Land Development Company at their expense in November 2007. This was the construction of the membrane facility. The plant runs 24 hours, 7 days a week and can be monitored remotely.

Mr. Miller and Mr. Regan presented a Power Point showing the location of the plant, how the plant operates, how the membranes are cleaned and the process of converting wastewater to clean water that is then discharged into the Norwalk River.

The control systems at the plant are over 10 years old and the Program Logic Controllers (PLC) are obsolete. Failure in the control systems last July shut down the plant for weeks. Facility is an asset of the town but also a potential liability.

The Modernization Proposal was presented:
-Replace all analog PLCs with digital state of art PLCs
-Provide two new office grade SCADA computers using Windows 10 software
-Upgrade the WONDERWARE run-time software
-Configure remote SCADA access so we can improve communications with operators while off-site
-Acquire virgin software system and PLC programing developed by Layne Christensen, the membrane supplier
-Use third party contractor to perform Power Quality Survey to determine interruptions of power – over space of 30 days had 29 incidents of power loss; working with Eversource to correct
-Provide and install submersible pump for by-pass during facility outages

Plan Costs:
-Fixed Price Contract with Veolia Water of North America – $688,000
-WPCC contingency cost of $12,000 in the event Eversource is not amenable to fixing their power supply problem
-Shutdown in June 15-30, 2017 was a significant cost so are asking $96,212 be put back into operating fund
Total Cost: $796,212. Paid for by lease agreement and by taking some money from the unassigned fund balance.

Questions/comments from the public:

June September April asked if Eversource does not cooperate, is there a backup plan. Mr.Miller responded they believe the problem is transformer in their system and if they do not fix it, WPCC will fix it internally. But they are confident Eversource will come around and fix the issue.

Dottie Deluca asked what exactly is the unassigned fund balance. Mr. Miller called upon Kim Yonkers, Chairman of the Board of Finance to explain. The unassigned fund balance is basically a “rainy day fund” to pay for the unexpected expenses of the town. It is currently very healthy and we can take a little out to defray some of these costs. Julia Pemberton added that the fund is kept at 13% and this factors into our bond rating and enables us to borrow at a lower rate.

Dottie Deluca also asked if the water supply was strictly for the restaurants in the Georgetown area or if it was extended to residents of the area. Mr. Miller stated that the plant services the restaurants, businesses and residences in the district. Everyone who uses the system pays a fee for use.

Kelly Harran asked what percentage of the costs would be from the rainy day fund. Mr. Miller responded that the lease is for $688,000 and the balance ($108,212) from the unassigned fund balance.

Beth Krueger asked about the shutdown last year. Mr. Miller stated the plant was shut down due to the failure of the analog PLCs. During the shutdown, waste had to be transported at a significant cost to us. The plant is operating on borrowed time and needs to be modernized.

Ron Wendschuh asked if Meadow Ridge would pay a portion of costs since they are the largest user. Mr. Miller stated Meadow Ridge put up the capitol for Phase II expansion and they could not ask them to pay more money as they have paid their share and continue to pay for usage.

Moderator asked if there was any further discussion.

Peg O’Donnell thanked WPCC for their hard work on the project and felt they had worked the best deal for the town considering where we are today.

Vote on motion re plant upgrades at Wastewater Treatment Plant: Approved unanimously.

Motion: To adopt a Fracking Waste Ban Ordinance prohibiting the storage, disposal, or use of waste from oil and gas exploration or extraction activities or any derivative thereof, in the Town of Redding, Connecticut. Motion made by Beth Krueger, seconded by Kelly Harran.

Kelly Harran asked that the ordinance be amended to include public health to “Purpose” so it falls under police authority under Connecticut General Statutes 7-48. Julia Pemberton said the ordinance could not be amended at this meeting as it has already been noticed but they would take it under advisement for possible amendment at the next town meeting.

Vote on motion to adopt Fracking Waste Ban Ordinance: Motion passed unanimously.

Motion: To adopt changes to the Land Use Applications Ordinance and changes to the Land Use Fee Schedules. Motion made by Julia Pemberton, seconded by Peg O’Donnell. Motion passed unanimously.

Motion: To adjourn meeting. Motion made by Julia Pemberton, seconded by David Pattee. Motion passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned by the Moderator at 7:50 p.m.

Submitted by:
Michele R. Grande, Town Clerk
Secretary of Special Town Meeting

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.