Category Archives: Meeting Notes

An archive of previous discussions from previous meetings.

Assembly on March 6, 2015

Claude Chevalier opened the meeting by thanking the vendors for their continued support of the association and sponsorship of the breakfast.

Dennis Chevalier presented an educational section on servicing pumps in the field. He stressed the importance of service and not just fixing the job you were called to do. It is important to look at the whole system and check everything so that when you leave some other problem doesn’t pop up. He described his position as being a part of “seal team six” because you are trying to fix things that affect people’s comfort and everyday life and they want it done now. He stressed communication with the customer. Let them know about what things will cost so when you hand them a bill, they won’t freak out and be unhappy. His final comment was to take care of your health and to choose the banana over the muffin when you can.

The second speaker of the day was Bill Mapes, training director for the Rutland Regional Ambulance Service. He talked about what to do before Emergency/Ambulance services arrive. He stressed calling when you need to and keeping the patient as calm as possible. He explained how 911 works and what happens when you call. He then spoke about heart attacks, signs, symptoms and what to do if they are present. Discussed aspirin and that Tylenol doesn’t have the same positive effect as aspirin. He then showed a video showing the pace of hard, deep compressions to the music of “Stayin’ Alive”. He talked about a new app for phones that alerts folks certified in CPR of local “possible cardiac arrest”. Went on to describe stroke symptoms. Bill described the treatment for serious wounds/bleeding and the changes in back-boarding protocols. Answered a question about electrocution. He stressed cutting off source of electricity before touching the patient. He discussed looking for the entry and exit wound associated with electrocution and that the exit wound is much more serious than the entry wound. He then talked about the fact that everything in between the entry and exit wounds is probably “cooked” and will need serious attention. A second question was about eye wounds. Bill told the crowd that you have to cover both eyes will always move in tandem and you want the injured eye to stay still. Flush the eye with lots of water. The third question was on caring for hypothermia and heat stroke. Caring for hypothermia would entail wrapping the area and gently warming. No rubbing and no direct, high heat. For heat issues, profuse sweating is a sign of a serious need to get cooled. Water with nutrients is necessary. Something like Gatorade, not energy drinks. Sugar and caffeine is bad for someone who is over heated.

Ken White presented the Technical Advisory Committee process and the new rules that are about to be presented. He talked about the multi-year process and the time that it has taken to get the State to understand what well drilling is like.

Claude presented some of the drilling stories from other areas including the deepest well ever drilled and the drilling disaster in Louisiana in 1980 where a drill went into a salt mine and emptied a lake.

Following lunch, Jeff Williams, President-elect of NGWA spoke on issues being followed by national. He also talked about webinars that NGWA hosts on various topics for free. He walked through the new well drilling construction standards book process. He spoke about

Claude spoke to the group about trying to get new folks into drilling as a profession because there aren’t many young people getting into the business. There was a discussion about internships.

Claude brought the business meeting to order. The minutes were motioned and seconded and approved.

Jeff spoke about the need to generate some income to keep our budget in the black.

The motion was made by Dan Gosselin to approve the budget, seconded by Chaz and approved.

Claude brought the slate of officers up for a single vote. Chaz moved to keep the slate of officers the same for 2015, seconded by George and approved.

The three board members up for election were put forward by Ken as a slate of Gary Lynde, Dan Gosselin, and Steve Meeker. Seconded by Jeff. Approved.

Margaret Laggis gave a legislative update. The next issue up for consideration is the lobbyist and Executive Secretary expense for the 2015 year. Moved and seconded and approved. Ed Stromberg suggested a weekly update go to all members with an email address.

Claude brought up the NGWA affiliate State fee of $325. Moved by Chaz and seconded by Jeff. Approved. Jeff brought up the free legal advice that we get as an NGWA member.

Claude brought up the American Groundwater Trust. It was decided to not donate to the AGT.

VGWA elected two delegates to the NEWWA. Jeff nominated Chaz and Jeff Cushing to serve on the NEWWA board. Approved.

Jeff talked about North Carolina and the fact that they have their vendors give products for an auction and raise about $12000.

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Posted by on March 7, 2015 in Meeting Notes


Assembly on November 11, 2014

Attendees: Scott Ennis, Heather Faulkner, Neal Faulkner, Claude Chevalier, Jeff Williams, George Spear, Jim Ashley

Called to order at 4:30 by President Claude Chevalier.

March 6, 2015 is date for annual meeting.

General discussion on issues before the Department including tagging and deep wells that have never been reported and are surmised by one guy who thinks hazardous waste is being stored in them.

Jim reported that Larry Becker the State Geologist is retiring at the end of the year.

Annual meeting discussion. John Kim has been working with a professor from Plattsburg State on geothermal. Claude thought that might be interesting.

Discussion followed on the 30% tax credit for renewable energy projects that are due to expire 2016. There is also accelerated depreciation of five years for heat pumps.

Jeff will give a run down on the national situation from NGWA, ANSCI and geothermal.

Possibly DOT to go over trucks and CDL’s.

Jim Ashley reported on the geothermal issue before the Public Service Board on renewable energy and energy efficiency. This also may be a presentation for the annual meeting either by him or Efficiency Vermont. There is a meeting on November 17 at 1 pm at the Public Service Board. Doug Dougherty put out 5 papers on geothermal that Jim hopes he can submit for the record.

Jim is looking into some ideas to lease geothermal systems to help gain support and increase installation.

Scott Ennis asked Jim to make a presentation on how some States have made their utilities pay people to switch to geothermal.

Claude wondered what the industry is doing to get young people into this business. There are no technical schools for drillers.

Abandoning wells was discussed by Jeff Williams and revolved around what a menu of options for abandoning wells might be other than having to completely grout them.

Jim Ashley is interested in no-bleed standing column wells. He is interested in developing a method of using sealed well, no yield. Won’t take or give water. He is interested in going after some Department of Energy money that might be available. The value of these wells might be geothermal where there isn’t a producing well.

DEC wants to make a presentation at the annual meeting about water supply rule.
Claude talked about the deepest and widest wells ever drilled. He said he’d like to see a presentation on them.

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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Meeting Notes


Assembly on March 7, 2014

Claude Chevalier welcomed members and guests. He then thanked our supplier members for their continued support and breakfast sponsorship.

The first education topic was Variable Speed Drives. The first speaker was Chris Preston with Gould, then Tom Mitchell with Franklin Electric, then Dick Hatten with Grundfos, and finally Don Nickle with Pentair. All spoke of the drives they offer, the various functions of the drives, how to encourage homeowners to think of the long term savings of these drives, sales information and upcoming technological changes that we can look forward to in the near future.

Next Ken White and Claude Chevalier gave an update on the work of the Technical Advisory Committee work.

Craig Heindel spoke on hydrogeology and the movement of water and contaminants/pathogens.
Craig complimented drillers for both the work in the field and being helpful in the office.

He gave several examples of how water moves through various kinds of soils and bedrock systems. He talked about how the information that drillers have helped him make decisions for permits based on driller reports. He talked about isolation distances and soil types and trying to make each well safe without over doing the redundancy of distances. He spoke of the formation of water sources and soil/rock types and how they all interplay on water quality and safety.

Ross Trethaway spoke next about geothermal systems. Ross spoke about the choice of either closed loop or open loop systems, their plusses and minuses. He discussed design and things to remember during the process: size and type of pipe, well spacing, thermally enhanced grout, and pressure testing system. He also talked about using two tanks instead of one for maximum heat during cold times.

Ken and Claude talked further about the TAC and isolation distances and overshadowing issues.

Jeff Williams thanked Ken and Claude for their service on this committee.

Jeff introduced David Henrich NGWA board member who gave a presentation on the NGWA Cost Calculator. He talked about making sure that you think about how human resources and other fixed costs may be “hidden” and not included when you think about how to charge for your jobs. Depreciation is one item that can help with the bottom line if properly managed.

David then showed the group the cost calculator and explained that it is free for all members of NGWA.

Jeff Williams gave an update on NGWA. He is now Vice President of the group. Some of the issues that he is working on are getting the tax credit renewed until 2017 for GSHPs.

Claude called the business meeting to order.

Minutes from 2013 moved and seconded by members.
Financial report made by Jeff. Just need one more contractor to break even. Moved and seconded. Passed on voice vote.

Claude moved on to board member elections. Chaz nominated and George seconded Claude for President. Jeff nominated Ken White for Vice President. George seconded and it was so voted. Chaz nominated Jeff for Treasurer, was seconded by George. Passed unanimously. Chaz nominated Neal Faulkner for Secretary, seconded by George and passed unanimously.

Board members up for election are George Spear, John Gould and Scott Ennis. John asked to step down. Chaz Hinsley was nominated by Jeff Cushing, seconded by George and unanimously passed.

Margaret Laggis updated the group on the legislative issues in the Statehouse.

Jeff moved to approve the lobbyist expense and Executive Secretary fee. Jeff Cushing asked if the lobbyist would do the job for $5000 instead of $6000. Margaret said that she would not but that she would not be offended if the group so chose.

Fee approved.

Voted to fund the NGWA as an affiliate State.

Discussion on joining the American Groundwater Trust. No motion.

Meeting adjourned at 2:45pm

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Posted by on March 8, 2014 in Meeting Notes


Teleconference – December 12, 2011

Meeting called to order at 4:00 PM

Attending: Claude Chevalier, Rick Purchase, Jeff Cushing, Jim Ashley, Neil Falkner, Dan Gosselin, Sheldon Beebee,


Old business

2. Annual Meeting date: Friday, March 9, 2012 at the Rutland Holiday Inn.

Annual meeting agenda

Potential Speakers – Dig Safe, DOT, State of VT Agency of Natural Resources Rep to explain current rules, National Director(Jeff) to update NGWA news

Jeff Cushing moved to have Claude Chevalier & Margaret Laggis contact the potential speakers and check on availability. Seconded by Dan Gosselin. Motion passed

b. Election of officers/board members – Margaret will contact board members to
verify their willingness to run again.

c. Annual Meeting Listing in NGWA Calendar – Claude will contact to include
VGWA annual meeting in their national listing

d. Vendors – Margaret will contact vendors to set up booths at the meeting

Electrical Training – January 10 – Grounding – for water pump license renewal. Anyone interested in the training call Claude Chevalier

Meeting adjourned at 4:25 PM

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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Meeting Notes, News


VGWA Board meeting June 16, 2011

Members present: Jeff Williams, Jim Ashley, George Spear, Dan Gosselin, Rick Purchase, Scott Ennis, Jeff Cushing, and Claude Chevalier.

Jeff reported on his trip to the NGWA midyear director’s meeting in Winnepeg, Canada. NGWA is working on several consensus documents to use between drillers and engineers.

NGWA is working on .25% lead rules and the testing practices that are in place and the responsibility requirements. There would be no third party testing for US manufactured fittings. All out of country manufacturers will be required to get third party verification. NGWA is working with EPA to have the standard go national.

NGWA is pushing for more awareness for Groundwater Awareness Week.

Ground Source Heat Pumps got a big boost from the town meeting that Sanders and Welch held in Burlington. NGWA is working on maintaining 30% tax credit just like wind and solar and it looks very positive at the federal level at this time.
United States Geological Survey did a sampling of well water and contaminents. EPA wants to build on this study and make the information useable. Try to answer why contaminents exist and what that means.

NGWA talked about how State associations are losing membership because the suppliers are offering the Continuing Education courses that the association used to offer as a membership draw.

Claude talked about how dedicated our suppliers are and how they were there even though we are such a small organizations.

The group discussed our speakers and whether they were informative and helpful.

Claude asked me to email him a list of vendors so that we can thank them for their amazing support.
The Board set the date for next year’s annual meeting of Friday, March 11, 2011 at the Capitol Plaza.

Claude commented on the TAC. New rule about notifying neighbors if a new well will infringe upon the neighbors land. If the well shield crosses a property line, the engineer has to notify the neighbor. This is only for permitted wells.

The board talked about whether it is the driller’s responsibility to get the permit for properties where the owner doesn’t want to bother. Jeff Cushing stated that their contracts include a provision that landowners are responsible for all applicable permits.

The board talked about how far behind ANR is with filing well logs.

There was also a discussion about the lack of enforcement on unlicensed drillers and on those who are not filing the proper paperwork.

Margaret discussed the legislative endeavors of this year. Electrician’s S license is going from $90 to $115. ANR is going to be overhauling the geothermal permitting and notice requirements as a part of the Challenges for Change.
Jeff talked about doing another demonstration next Spring. Maybe a screened well somewhere. Include the State and some engineers.

Jim Ashley talked about an advisory committee meeting for REV. A mixture of inside installers and drillers who are working on coefficients of performance and other details that are relavent to Vermont. REV will be holding their annual conference this fall and are asking for some geothermal information to be presented.

Claude moved that the board meeting adjourn at 5:20.

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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Meeting Notes, News


VGWA Board meeting March 12, 2011


President Claude Chevalier opened the annual meeting and welcomed members and vendors.
G. J. Garrow presented on lead fixtures law in Vermont.

Claude Chevalier called the business meeting to order.

Jeff moved to accept the minutes from last year, John Gould seconded.

Jeff Williams read the treasurer report. Chaz Hinsley moved to accept the report and Ken seconded it.

Election of officers:

President Claude Chevalier

Vice President Dan Gosselin

Treasurer Jeff Williams

Secretary Neal Faulkner
Elected by slate.

Jim Ashley moved that the Secretary vote on ballot for the slate. Seconded and unanimously voted.
Board members up for re-election:

Sheldon Beebe, Kim Johnson, Jim Ashley, moved by Chaz Hinsley and seconded by Jeff Williams. Chaz moved to cease nominations, which was seconded. Moved for the secretary to cast one ballot.

Claude asked to move that the money for Ex. Secretary and Lobbyist by approved. Moved and seconded. Voted.

NGWA affilliate State membership of $290 approved.

American Groundwater Trust of $500.00. Chaz moved and Jeff seconded.


Claude recognized Jim Dwyer and his wife Carol Lawrence. Jim is the President of New York Groundwater Association.

Jim Ashley introduced the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund representative. They discussed their map of Vermont that has renewable energy sites, prime agriculture soils, etc.

He discussed their interest in having all of the geothermal systems mapped. It would appear on

Renewable Energy Vermont has asked to start a standing committee on geothermal. They are also looking to set up a working group that will join home building, drillers, etc.

Jeff moved that we join REV for $250.00. Seconded and voted.

Claude closed the meeting with the drawing of the eight door prizes.

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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Meeting Notes, News


VGWA Board meeting January 27, 2011

Present: Claude Chevalier, Dan Gosselin, Jim Ashley, George Spear, John Gould, Rick Purchase, Scott Ennis, Sheldon Beebe.

Annual Meeting March 12, 2010:

8:00-9:00 Breakfast and table tops

9:00-9:15 Welcome and Introduction

9:15-10:15 G.J. Garrow Plumbing Inspector Lead fixtures

10:15-11:15 Jim Jackson, President, Alloy Tool

11:15-11:30 Break

11:30-12:30 Stewart Krause, Y.O. Ben, Thermally enhanced grout

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:30 Stewart Krause Y.O. Ben, Grout placement procedures

2:30-4:00 Business meeting
Election of Officers:

Claude Chevalier, President

Dan Gosselin, Vice President

Jeff Williams, Treasurer

Rick Purchase Secretary
Regular Board Members:

Jim Ashley, Kim Johnson, Sheldon Beebe

Election of New England Reps:

Jeff Cushing and Chaz Hinsley
NGWA membership $290

AGWT membership $500

REV membership $250
Jim Ashley talked about credits available for geothermal installations. He also spoke about our need to support Renewable Energy Vermont.

Claude said that John Fehrs said at a recent TAC meeting it was brought up that you need a permit for standing column permit for geothermal for underground injection. The permits are expensive and require an annual renewal.
Claude wants to give gift baskets to speakers and have four items to raffle.

Jeff Williams talked about a subcommittee that he serves on at NGWA. They are trying to drum up support groundwater awareness week.

Jeff also mentioned that Dwayne Feeley father had passed away. He will send something from VGWA and send Margaret the bill.

Jim Ashley talked about geothermal and doing a survey on installed systems and their COP. He is working with Dr. Benjamin Luce from Lyndon State College. They want to get funding from Clean Energy Development Fund. Part of the money would go to finding out who has these installed systems. They also will be working with the Sustainable Jobs Fund. They will develop an Atlas of types of renewable energy systems and how they are working as they are installed.

Jim is suggesting that VGWA, the Home Builders and Ashrae start a working group on renewable heating/cooling systems.

Jim is also trying to respond to a horrible article that Andy Shapiro wrote in the Times Argus about some types of geothermal units. He is installing units that several of our members believe are inferior.

Meeting adjourned 5:20pm

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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Meeting Notes, News