January 2015

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on January 20, 2015 at the Plum Creek Municipal Authority Business Office Building, South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Board members present at the meeting were Jim Ridderhoff, Tom Nagle, Jerry Weiss, and Matt Gruber. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (PCMA Engineer), Joe Zerbe (PCMA Attorney), and Mike Stewart (PCMA Operations Manager).

Jim Ridderhoff called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

The first item of business was reorganization. Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Matt Gruber, and carried by all, the officer positions for 2015 are: Jim Ridderhoff – Treasurer & Co-Chairman, Jerry Weiss – Secretary & Co-Chairman, Tom Nagle – Assistant Secretary & Co-Chairman, Dennis Scharadin – Co-Chairman, and Matt Gruber – Co-Chairman. It was also noted that Dennis Scharadin was reappointed to the PCMA Board for another 5-year term.

The minutes of the prior meeting held in November, 2014 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Tom Nagle, seconded by Matt Gruber, and carried by all but Jerry, who abstained because he was not at the November, 2014 meeting.

The Treasurer's reports for November 2014 and December 2014 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Matt Gruber, seconded by Jerry Weiss, carried by all. Mike Stewart reviewed his written report relating to managerial matters (submitted to the Board prior to the meeting) which addressed water and sewage operations. In water matters, he reported that:

  • Meter reads have been completed.
  • Dave Bonkovich was called in to perform leak detection.
  • Leaks were found in the system, and the largest were on customers’ sides.
  • Two of the rebuilt measuring chambers were installed in the well houses.
  • Vincent Hughes Roofing completed the work on Well #1.
In sewage matters, Mike reported that:
  • Both pump trucks are currently operational. Eight drive tires were replaced on the new pump truck in preparation for annual inspection.
  • The snow plow was installed on the pickup truck and has been used. New wiring and a new mount was required to install the snow plow.
  • The flow meter at the wastewater treatment was calibrated by Moyer Instruments.
Jim asked what the mileage was on the blue pump truck, because that should determine how many miles should be gotten out of a set of tires. Mike said he didn’t know, and Jim told him to make a note to jot down the current mileage on the truck because it was only about a year and a half old, or less. Jim asked if the tires could be recapped and Mike said they could, but new ones were always purchased. Jerry asked how recapped tires would hold up with all the sharp curves in the development, and asked if the load could be reduced in the truck to help wear and tear on the tires, but without shortcutting a pump. Mike said load adjustments were being done.

Matt said he feels very strongly about using recapped tires. He said he knows the conversation regarding recapped tires had taken place before, and he understood that recapped tires were going to be used from that point. Jim said he, too, recalled the discussion and the decision to use recapped tires. Matt said using recapped tires would cut tire expenses by half, if not more, and said he recommends using them. Jim asked what happened to the eight tires that were replaced on the truck. Mike said they were disposed of. The Board instructed Mike to use recapped tires from now on.

Matt also questioned the cost of the motor oil for the trucks and asked if the $7,661 reported for the year was a typo. Jen said it wasn’t. Mike said they use a synthetic oil for the trucks because it cuts down on the smoke from the pump trucks. Mike also said he found another place to get it that will cost half of what was being paid now. Jim asked how much of the motor oil purchased was for the pump motor on the truck. Mike said all of it was used for the pump motor, and the oil can only be used once before it’s emptied and taken to recycling.

Jim also asked Mike if any pressure testing was done on the water lines as was discussed at the previous meeting. Mike said it was decided to wait until spring, but it could be done anytime it was needed.

In engineering matters, Dave Bright said he had nothing to report.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said he addressed routine matters such as filing & satisfying liens but, other than that, he said he had nothing to report.

The 2015 Budget was prepared by Jim Ridderhoff and distributed to all members prior to the meeting for review and feedback. Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Matt Gruber, carried by all, the 2015 budget was approved and adopted.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Matt Gruber, carried by all, the accounting firm of Jones & Co. was reappointed for the year 2015 to perform the 2014 audit of the Authority.

Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all, the engineering firm of The SSM Group was reappointed for the year 2015.

Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Matt Gruber, carried by all, the legal firm of Derenzo and Zerbe was reappointed for the year 2015.

Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all, Hauptly Insurance was reappointed as the insurance agent for the year 2015.

Tom made the Board aware that the PCMA no longer had a licensed wastewater operator in its employ because Mike took the wrong courses to keep his license intact and the DEP cancelled his license. Tom said it was always believed that the PCMA’s engineering firm of SSM Group covered the Authority with licensed operators as backup in the event that its licensed operator was out of commission for any reason, because SSM had always done so in the past. But it was discovered that SSM Group, somewhere along the line, no longer had the Authority covered in the event of a licensing problem.

Dave Bright said SSM had people with licenses but those individuals are already designated as primary operators at other facilities that had needs, and they couldn’t be a primary for the PCMA because they could only be utilized at a single plant. He said SSM could be named as a backup, but the PCMA needed a primary operator with a license. Dave said the backup can be used as long as a primary operator was in place, which now was not the case.

Tom said Mike contacted someone he knew (Patrick O’Boyle) who had a wastewater license who was willing to be the PCMA’s primary licensed wastewater operator, but the Board has to approve the position and decide on a retainer amount, along with an hourly wage should he actually have to come in and do hands-on work. Mike said he (and other employees) could continue to work under standard operating procedures covered by Patrick’s license. Jen said she checked with the PCMA’s accounting firm and, as long as Patrick doesn’t use any of the Authority’s equipment, or actually come in and do any work, he can be hired as a subcontractor. Otherwise, he’d have to officially be put on the payroll.

Jerry asked Mike when he’d get his license back. Mike said the first opportunity he had to take another test would be in March, 2015. Mike added that it was his wastewater license that was affected, not his water license. He said they’ll reissue his license after he takes and passes the test in March, but it may take 4 to 6 weeks for DEP to reinstate it.

Jim asked Mike if the person he had in mind had agreed to allowing his license to be used for the wastewater operations at the sewage treatment plant, and if he was a capable person. Mike said he was.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Jerry Weiss, and carried by all, the Board went into executive session at 6:55 pm to discuss employee issues, to address the problem of not having a primary operator with a wastewater license, and the possible contracting of Patrick O’Boyle for the use of his wastewater license.

The Board reconvened the regular session at 7:50 pm.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Jerry Weiss, and carried by all, the Board approved the appointment of Patrick O’Boyle Jr. as the primary wastewater operator for the PCMA at $250 per month as a retainer fee, and $20 an hour if he had to come in and do hands-on work for the Authority, with the appointment continuing as long as necessary. Within the same motion, Patrick was given the authority to sign necessary paperwork, if needed, that required the signature of a licensed wastewater operator.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Jerry Weiss, and carried by all, the Board gave Mike Stewart the authority to sign sewage reports and paperwork on behalf of the PCMA as long as the documents do not require the signature of a licensed sewage operator. In addition, because he still has his water license, Mike Stewart was given the authority to sign water reports and paperwork on behalf of the PCMA.

There being no further business, Jim Ridderhoff motioned for adjournment, Matt Gruber seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:52 pm.

Meeting minutes were taken, prepared, and submitted by Jennifer Hoy.

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