Village Hearth Café plan wins council okay
The Town Council unanimously approved the application by Andrea Colognese and Doriana Carella, owners of the Village Hearth Bakery, to change their home into a 36- seat café.
Colognese and Carella were not present at the Aug. 18 Town Council meeting to hear the long awaited decision. Both the Planning Commission and the zoning board had approved the plans for the home conversion into a café. The only consideration by the council members was the issue of possible excessive water use.
Councilwoman Barbara Szepatowski and Public Works Director Steve Goslee agreed that it would be a good idea to put a cap on their water use and check it in six months.
Town Council President Julio DiGiando said, "I am in favor of granting their request."
Councilman Robert Sutton said, "We always have to keep in mind that the reservoir is a concern and that we have limited resources. However, this is a business like any other restaurant and I think they should be given an opportunity to prosper."
"I'm certainly in favor of approving this request. It has already been approved by planning and zoning," Councilman William Kelly said.
The council considered a contract amendment from Fay, Spofford & Thorndike (FST), regarding the SCADA programming alarm system and process control integration for the Zenon filter computer at the water treatment plant. FST of Burlington, Mass. is the engineering firm the town contracted to design the facility.
When Public Works Director Steve Goslee gave his project update report, he said that the town's current instrumentation repair and maintenance vendor provided a quote to provide the same level of work. He said their quote was $52,515. Goslee recommended that the town continue with FST, at a cost not to exceed $34,500 to insure continuity of the project.
FST Senior Principal Engineer Donald Q. Bunker, attended the meeting to answer questions from the board. Bunker explained the intricacies of the SCADA programming process and the necessity of a 100-point alarm system. He said the contract was for a lump sum of $34,500 that included programming, a 30-day acceptance test, operator training of one day, and integration with the filter supplier's programmable logic controller (PLC).
Because it's a fixed-price contract, "if they (FST) went over the amount of hours defined in the contract, it would be on their dime and would not be charged to the town," Bunker explained.
He said that the software initiates the functions of the system. Programming the software is vital to triggering up to 100 alarm conditions that have been included in the programming of the human machine interface. According to Bunker, the software can be programmed in one day.
He said that FST would provide the town with one full day of operator training that will cover the operation of the HMI, startup and shutdown procedures, screen navigation, plant operation, alarm conditions, data trending and basic system troubleshooting.
Councilmen Sutton and Kelly had concerns about the amount of time allotted for each task, and questioned whether one day of training was adequate. They felt that the $18,000 difference between the two bids was dramatic.
Szepatowski said that she felt the project was underbid. She said the proposal did not say that if more time were required for any section of the startup, the Town would not be charged. She found that disturbing.
Szepatowski suggested that she would feel better if the town were given an hourly rate if the project exceeded the amount of time specifi ed in the contract and there were any "add-ons" for any reason.
After further discussion, Szepatowski made a motion to "approve the $34,500 bid with the addition that FST return with an hourly rate."
The motion was seconded and the council approved the bid proposal with a unanimous 5-0 vote.