MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC POWER ADVISORY BOARD
September 20, 2007
HMLD 7:00 p.m.
Members Present: Chairman Robert Hamer, and Members David Cotton, Donna Fitch, Peter Liddy, and John Shepherd.
Also Present: Brian Bullock, Town/ Light Manager, Jacquelyn Kelly, Assistant Town Manager, Michael Flagg, General Foreman, Diane Mero, Director of Financial Operations, Margaret Donaldson, Office Manager
Public Power Week
Mr. Bullock announced that the annual luncheon during Public Power Week will take place on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 12:00 Noon at the Senior Center. The Board is invited to attend.
Mr. Bullock also reminded the Board that the official opening of the new Bullard Street Substation is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on October 2, 2007. Refreshments will be served. Mr. Flagg provided an update on the construction of the substation and the punch list items. Once in operation, the new substation will handle about one-third of the Town's load.
2006 Audit and SAS Report
Mr. Bullock presented a review of the 2006 department financial audit and the deficiency report that is a new requirement of the Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) 112: Communicating Internal Control Related Matters Identified in an Audit. The SAS Report listed five findings, each with a corresponding response addressing corrective action. Both the Audit and the SAS Report were prepared by the CPA Firm Goulet, Salvidio & Associates, P.C., of Worcester, MA.
Ms. Mero reviewed a department plan to outsource part of its power portfolio management function to a private consultant Energy New England (ENE). Two-thirds of the department's load is currently bought on the spot market. The consultant would look for opportunities to reduce the department's dependence on short term contracts. This would be in addition to the power brokering services provided through MMWEC. Staff is still considering this option and will return a recommendation to the Board.
Ms. Mero also reported that there have been some issues and delays with the Berkshire Wind project but the department is close to entering into an agreement for purchasing a portion of the energy. The energy from Berkshire Wind would add a further "green" component to the Department's portfolio at a reasonable price. Ms. Mero followed-up on the department's distributed generation policy. The town now has one distributed generation customer who has installed a photo-voltaic array on the roof of his private residence. The town has ordered and will install a meter to accommodate the installation which is fitted with a back-flow prevention device.
CATV Study Update
The Holden Cable Television Committee has secured and the Town Manager approved a contract with a private consultant to study municipal provision of broadband services. We hope to have the study completed in 60-90 days.
Board Member Resignation
Mr. Bullock has received word that Bob Shack has resigned from the Board. The members present joined Mr. Bullock in thanking Mr. Shack for his many years of service. He was a valued member of the Board and made a significant contribution by also serving on the HMLD Facility Building Committee.
Mr. Liddy asked about the new bucket truck. Mr. Flagg said that the body was currently being built-out and equipped by Morse Company in Sterling. It should be ready for service by the end of the year.
Alden Labs is having an open house on Sunday, September 30, 2007.
On a motion by Mr. Cotton, seconded by Mr. Liddy, the minutes from the meeting held on May 23, 2007 were approved as written, with Mr. Shepherd abstaining.
There being no further business, the Municipal Electric Power Advisory Board meeting was adjourned by consensus at approximately 8:05 p.m.