by Cheryl Luther Michaels, Community Journalist
EAST HARDWICK – The Prudential Committee members (board members) of the East Hardwick Fire District (EHFD#1) are the caretakers of the water supply and certain parcels of land in East Hardwick Village. Their annual meeting will be held Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 7 p.m., in the Fellowship Room at the First Congregational Church of East Hardwick.
The board has enacted the first set of governing by-laws for the organization since its inception in 1912, which were accepted unanimously at a special meeting on April 11. The bylaws are available to read at https://ehfd.mystrikingly.com/.
The EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule and the Vermont Water Supply Rule mandates that every community water system must complete a service line inventory (SLI) and develop a replacement plan for any lead, galvanized or copper infrastructure. The EHFD#1 has obtained a grant for financial assistance to perform this task. Patrick Smart and Jason Hayden from MSK Engineers, a Vermont-based civil engineering firm, presented information at the April meeting about the inventory process. Subsequently in May, MSK sent letters to all rate payers with a notice of the upcoming work. MSK had an initial report ready by the June meeting.
David O’Brien, chairman of the Prudential Committee, commented “We will need to reach out to those residences who did not participate to ensure a more complete, accurate analysis. A formal report will follow summarizing the results and any future expectations.”
MSK is also working with the board to develop a digital map of the water system.
Business from rate payers at the monthly meetings included a question about getting a proper street sign for River Street and a billing error, which was immediately corrected,
Secretary John Mandeville provided profit and loss, balance sheet and aged receivables reports at the meetings. At the June meeting there was discussion about getting 12 delinquent ratepayers back on track.
Operator Randy Thompson said that the routine test on April 10 reported bacteria and that they resampled later in the week. E.coli was not present. In May, Kevin Lacasse, Hardwick’s water operator, reported that all required testing was normal and bacterial counts were fine except at one residence with a faulty pressure tank valve. The district financed replacement of their valve and the homeowner replaced it. In June, Thompson reported some increased flow from the reservoir, and good lab results.
According to Thompson, tree clearing around the springs is tentatively scheduled for fall of 2023. Thompson will follow-up with N.A. Manosh, a water well contractor in Morristown. Until the springs are repaired, Thompson will continue with the daily testing and the chlorination mandated by the state.
Douglas Casavant, working as consultant to the district, reported that leaks on East Church Street and in the River Street area were repaired. He also identified additional parts and supplies that are practical to keep in inventory. Those will be purchased and placed in stock.
O’Brien summarized an asset management grant and a leak detection grant. The asset management grant is being done in conjunction with the Dufresne Group. The leak detection grant which has been submitted is a no cost option for identifying current leaks, provided repairs are made to any leaks identified.
The East Hardwick Fire District no. 1 holds open regular meetings at 7 p.m., on the second Tuesday of each month.