January 2020

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on January 21, 2020, at the Plum Creek Municipal Authority Business Office Building, South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Board members present at the meeting were Jim Ridderhoff, Jerry Weiss, Matt Gruber, Corby Lewis, and Ryan Achenbach. Also, in attendance were Joe Zerbe (PCMA Attorney), David Smith (SES), and South Manheim Township Supervisor Jack Brennan.

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

The first order of business was Reorganization. Upon motion by Jim Ridderhoff, seconded by Matt Gruber, and carried by all, the PCMA Board officer positions for 2020 are: Jim Ridderhoff – Treasurer & Co-Chairman, Jerry Weiss – Secretary & Co-Chairman, Matt Gruber – Co-Chairman, Corby Lewis – Co-Chairman, and Ryan Achenbach – Co-Chairman.

The minutes for the November 2019 meeting were accepted by motion of Corby Lewis, seconded by Ryan Achenbach, carried by all. There was no December 2019 meeting due to no quorum.

The Treasurer's reports for November 2019 and December 2019 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Matt Gruber, seconded by Corby Lewis, carried by all.

David Smith (SES) gave his manager’s report (submitted to the Board prior to the meeting):

  • Copies of the following information has been submitted by SES to PA DEP on the authority’s behalf and are viewable via PA DEP website via the eDMR.
    • Discharge monitoring report and Discharge monitoring report supplemental report
  • There have been no water system violations and no wastewater system violations during this time.
  • There were no issues with the trucks in December.
  • The Ford F-250 is going to be scheduled for an oil change and inspection by the end of March 2020.
In water operations, David reported that:
  • Normal operations continue.
  • A large water leak was repaired at 444 Wynonah Drive (A-Dock).
  • Dave Bonkovich is checking the complete water system for leaks. About half the community has been checked so far. Two additional leaks have been located so far. Planning on scheduling repairs on the known water leaks after the leak survey is completed.
  • We are currently operating 3 wells presently. Our average yield is 260,000 gallons per day.
  • Booster Station is at 10.9 PSI, as of January 16, 2020. (14.2 PSI=full).
  • Booster Station: All pumps operational and rotating on monthly basis.
In sewage operations, David reported that:
  • Normal operations continue and plant ran well for December 2019.
  • Both EQ tanks have a large amount of sediment in both tanks. Recommend having both tanks clean out.
  • Approximately 20 septic pumps are in the backlog.
David Smith (SES) said after he wrote his report the Mack pump truck broke an air bag. Corby Lewis said he seen it out at Bashore’s. Nancy said we just got the invoice this afternoon and the repair is completed.

David Smith (SES) said Dave Bonkovich is trying to find all the leaks. Matt Gruber took care of two leaks. We use approximately 110,000 gallons a day (average) and we pump out of the ground about twice that. David said we are pumping out about 260,000 gallons a day and now we are maintaining and slightly gaining. We are assuming it’s a bunch of little leaks, such as service lines, and it is hard to find because of the plastic pipe. One of our wells does about 110,000 gallons a day, the other two do about 100,000 gallons a day and one does about 70,000 gallons a day, so in theory, we should be able to run on one well.

David Smith (SES) said it was brought up in November, by a customer, about asbestos. Dave Bright (SSM Engineering) gave a price for testing and it was approximately $250.00 per sample. Dave (SES) said DEP (at the time) doesn’t require it to be done. David (SES) suggests you do one at each entry point and somewhere in the system. Jim Ridderhoff said he reviewed the material and said asbestos is not a problem if waterborne only if it is airborne…so you would be testing the water. David (SES) said that is correct. David (SES) said Plum Creek Municipal Authority is currently under a waiver but that is running out. Corby Lewis said it should be discussed with the engineer, do the test, and create a new waiver. Jim said David (SES) should contact Dave Bright (SSM) about reapplying for the waiver. David (SES) said it is proven that our water isn’t corrosive, and the asbestos is contained. Dave (SES) said asbestos is normally occurring. Jim Ridderhoff said we will carry this discussion till the next time and ask Dave Bright (SSM).

In engineering matters, Dave Bright (SSM), who did not attend, but touched base with Jim Ridderhoff before the meeting. Dave had nothing new to report.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said he wrote the letter (after the last meeting in November) to Luckenbill Farms. Nancy said he has not responded or paid the money that is due. So, at the last meeting it was discussed that if he did not pay, we would determine whether we wanted to take it to the magistrate. Jim Ridderhoff said he should pay for the damage. Jim said this is a contractor, who did work for a customer, and the contractor made the error that caused the leak. The Board authorized Joe Zerbe to prepare a complaint for the magistrate, he won’t file it yet, but will send it to the contractor with a letter saying if this is not taken care of then at the February meeting the Board will authorize Joe to file the complaint.

Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Matt Gruber, and carried by all, the engineering firm of Spotts, Stevens and McCoy (SSM Group) was engaged for the year 2020.

Upon motion by Jim Ridderhoff, seconded by Jerry Weiss, and carried by all, the legal firm of Derenzo and Zerbe was engaged for the year 2020.

Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Corby Lewis, and carried by all, the accounting firm of Jones & Co. was engaged for the year 2020.

Upon motion by Ryan Achenbach, seconded by Jerry Weiss, and carried by all, the insurance agency of Seltzer Insurance was engaged for the year 2020.

Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Corby Lewis, and carried by all, the 2019 write-off of delinquent accounts in the amount of $18,560.11 was approved. The write-off process is an accounting procedure that is performed yearly, but the monies owed remain and are not physically removed.

Corby Lewis was reappointed by the Wayne Township Board of Supervisors for another 5-year term on the Plum Creek Municipal Authority Board.

Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Corby Lewis, and carried by all, the 2020 Budget prepared by Jim Ridderhoff was reviewed and approved.

Jim Ridderhoff said about two weeks ago he was at the Wayne Township Municipal Authority meeting and their solicitor had some questions about the Act 537. Jim said there was some questions about how to administer it, how the Township is going to handle things when it occurs, and what kind of administrative fee should they or would they charge.

Jim Ridderhoff said South Manheim Township’s committee meets tomorrow (January 22, 2020) at 4pm. Jack Brennan said it is the final discussion on the Act 537 Plan for comment period. Jack said at that meeting (Wayne Township’s) we offered, as South Manheim, to administer the whole program for Wayne Township too.

Jack Brennan said this whole thing is a big project and in the long run there are a lot of side issues that are bigger than the discontinuance of pumping the tanks. There might be bigger issues down the road – one is the dam project – that is going to come into effect later on. Jack said PCMA is right in the way of the dam. Jack said the water lines – how much longer are those lines going to last. Jack said he doesn’t think people realize that is going to be big issue coming up and it is going to be bigger than the holding tanks. Jack said he is looking at the whole Lake Wynonah situation from water lines, to the dam project, to the pumping of the tanks, taking it down to Deer Lake, there are a whole lot of moving parts that are all tied into this Act 537 Plan in his opinion.

Ryan Achenbach said he is willing to work on a letter, with information regarding the sewage, to be put in with the next water billing. He will try to have a draft ready for the next Board meeting. The PCMA Board and Jack Brennan (South Manheim Township Supervisor) agreed that would be a good idea.

Jack Brennan said the PENNVEST Loan Program ( was brought up (by Jim Ridderhoff) at the South Manheim & Wayne Township meetings. Nancy said the PENNVEST Loan pamphlet was mailed to all homeowners with holding tanks. Ryan Achenbach said that popped up on social media about people saying that they used the loan and the interest rates were low.

Jim Ridderhoff said there are 149 holding tanks. Of the 149 holding tanks – 67 are full-time residents (43 South Manheim & 24 Wayne) and 82 are part-time residents.

Jack Brennan said residents with holding tanks can do a cut and fill or there are three other alternatives that are now approved by DEP as of the last meeting that we all attended.

Jack Brennan said he talked to Pat Caulfield (SCMA) and they applied for their permit for the dumping station, at Deer Lake, and it is supposed to be expedited by DEP.

Jim Ridderhoff said Plum Creek Municipal Authority will provide the records for sewage to both Townships.

Jack Brennan thanked the PCMA Board for working through all these issues over the past year or however long it’s been. Jim Ridderhoff said he appreciates the cooperation and encouragement you (as South Manheim) are giving us.

Corby Lewis said there is a snowplow at Harrisburg (Pennsylvania Federal Surplus Program) that he put on hold. Corby said can an employee be authorized to go and pick it up, but they have to be on the authorized list. Joe Zerbe said the Board would have to determine who they would want to authorize. Corby said the invoice will come directly to Plum Creek Municipal Authority Office. Joe Zerbe suggested that the Board members and an employee be on the list.

Upon motion by Corby Lewis, seconded by Matt Gruber, and carried by all, the Board approved to put employee Joseph Clemas Jr on the list as a purchaser for the Federal Surplus Property Program. (An updated Representative Certification Form was filled out at the meeting with all Board Members signature’s and Nancy will get Joseph Clemas’s signature on Wednesday and fax the updated form to Federal Surplus Property Program).

There being no further business, Corby Lewis motioned for adjournment, Ryan Achenbach seconded the motion, carried by all. Jim Ridderhoff adjourned the meeting at 7:18 p.m.

Meeting minutes were taken, prepared, and submitted by Nancy Wesner.

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