March 2019

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on March 19, 2019 at the Plum Creek Municipal Authority Business Office Building, South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Board members present at the meeting were Jim Ridderhoff, Matt Gruber, and Corby Lewis. Others in attendance were Mike Kreiser (Select Environmental Solutions), Joe Clemas (PCMA Field), and property owners who signed the attendance sheet: Paul Purcell, Joe Haggerty, and Richard Hardy.

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

The minutes for the February 2019 meeting were accepted by motion of Matt Gruber, seconded by Corby Lewis, carried by all.

The Treasurer's report for February 2019 was reviewed and accepted by motion of Matt Gruber, seconded by Corby Lewis, carried by all.

In engineering matters, Dave Bright (SSM), who did not attend, talked to Jim Ridderhoff before the meeting. Dave said he has not advanced any further in the process of what we are doing with the sewage and had nothing new to report.

In legal matters, there was nothing to report. Joe Zerbe did not attend because of illness.

Mike Kreiser (SES) gave the manager’s report:

  • There have been no water system or wastewater system violations during this time.
  • Copies of the following information – Discharge monitoring report and Discharge monitoring report supplemental report - has been submitted, by Select Environmental Solutions (SES), to PA DEP on the Authority’s behalf and are viewable via PA DEP website via the eDMR.
  • Yearly reports are being completed. The final draft of the CCR was completed and awaiting review by Joshua Krammes (DEP). Following the approval of the CCR – we will start work on the DRBC.
  • We are losing water and leak detection is needed ASAP. Mike wants to bring Dave Bonkovich in to start leak detection and once meter reads are completed – then start the leak repairs.
In water operations, Mike reported that:
  • Normal operations continue.
  • All wells are operational. Currently running 2 wells.
  • Daily average water production is approximately 140 gpm from two wells.
  • There was a water leak repaired.
  • The system currently is using more water.
  • The fittings installed on the chlorine tanks were metal and are rusting. The fittings should be redone with plastic; they are ready to break off and this needs to be done ASAP.
  • The Booster Station is at 11.7 psi, as of March 19, 2019. This means there is a leak that needs to be located. We are close to putting a third well on.
  • All pumps at the Booster Station are operational, rotating on monthly basis.
In sewage operations, Mike reported that:
  • Normal operations continue.
  • Plant is operating very well. There is a backload of solids in aeration and more wasting should be done to maintain a lower solids level prior to the busy spring and summer season.
  • Approximately 13 septic pumps are in the backlog.
  • The Ranger is currently operational. A used truck was purchased with a utility body. It is currently being repaired.
  • The Mack pump truck is operational. The Western Star pump truck is at Bashore Truck for repair.
  • Matt Gruber said over the summer we can start looking for a plow to put on the white utility truck.
Joe Clemas said the Western Star pump truck is at Bashore’s and he is trying to figure out what TransEdge did or did not do to the truck. We faxed over a previous repair invoice so Bashore could see what had been worked on. There is a problem with oil mixing in with antifreeze. Bashore is trying to pinpoint it so we don’t have to spend $20,000 on this repair. Joe said Bashore has been keeping in contact (every two to three days) to let them know what is happening. Matt said if we have any more problems – we should just keep taking it to Bashore.

Mike Kreiser (SES) said he must get the guys trained on Method 334 (quality control procedure for chlorine residual monitoring).

Mike Kreiser said he is awaiting the meeting tonight to replace our Manager at Plum Creek. The resume of the potential replacement has been sent to the Board and he is awaiting news from the meeting prior to providing his two weeks’ notice to his current place of work. Until he is trained – Dave Smith will be performing daily operations and once trained Dave will stop by once or twice a week to check in on things and oversee operations.

Mike Kreiser said he feels they are fulfilling all parts of the contract and all parts of the job description that was handed to him, by Tom Nagle, when they first came onboard. Mike said he was in the process of fulfilling different management positions because his company has grown greatly in the last couple of years. Mike said he did advertise for more management and more layers of management and hopes that will help with whatever is discussed. He knew that was becoming a weakness for his company. Mike said he also forward a SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) to the Board and the office.

Mike Kreiser said SES staffing have been reviewing records of hauled in loads and it appears there has been a large shortcoming in loads of septage and holding tanks coming into the plant. In 2016 Jeff and Plum Creek staff brought in 932 loads, in 2017 Jeff and Plum Creek staff brought in 916 loads, and in 2018 Keenan and Plum Creek staff only brought in 735 loads of hauled in waste. We have seen a 20% decrease in hauled in waste which means a 20% decrease in revenue for the wastewater side. Mike said it would be his goal, as manager, to go back to averaging 18 loads of hauled in waste, per week, where right now we are only seeing half that due to cold weather and truck breakdowns.

Jim Ridderhoff asked Joe Clemas if he had any comments regarding the low year in hauled loads? Joe said a big issue is the pump trucks not working. Also, people are not calling in when they receive their notification letters, people know that change is coming and are wondering if they should get it done or not, and the plant was not working properly. Joe said it is tough keeping two pump trucks going consistently. As soon as you get one pump truck back – something happens with the other pump truck. Joe said there are at least six to eight slips, over at the plant, for septic pumps, that they can’t do because the property owners must dig open their lids - they do not have risers. Jim Ridderhoff said there is a reasonable reason for the low year.

Joe Haggerty asked if the plant would have been running consistently and there were no truck issues – what would the number of hauled loads been? Mike Kreiser said he didn’t have an answer on that. The problem with the plant was the influent valve coming in and it takes at least six months to get parts in and it was super expensive. Mike said you are then having to just pump clear water off the top and there were quite a few days where there was no flow through the plant – you have two to three days a week where the plant wasn’t working – it would be hard to say what the loads would have been. Jim Ridderhoff said an answer to Joe’s question is - we would have not had a significant drop in last year’s pumping’s if the trucks and the plant had been working.

Mike Kreiser asked how do we keep track of the customers who are due for the 3-year pumping’s? Jim Ridderhoff said that is called a Sewage Management Program and our business office takes care of the notifications. Nancy said Jen sends out notification letters, to customer’s, the month before they are due for their 3-year pumping. We were behind (trucks & plant weren’t working) but as things were getting fixed - more letters were sent out.

Matt Gruber said you just wouldn’t think we would have the problems we do with these trucks all the time. Matt said it is the pumps – it is frustrating. Mike Kreiser said there is a different type of blower vac, but it is super expensive. Mike said you would pay the same price on the blower type vac as you would on a whole truck unit. Jim Ridderhoff asked Mike what type of blower vac he is talking about? Mike said it is a special pump you would put on and they are $50,000 to $100,000 just for the vac. It would pull your pumps - in less time - and you would not have the wear and tear and the break down on the trucks. Mike said with your lift from the tanks and the hills where you are parking - you have another 30 some feet of lift to the truck and the trucks can’t take that with the solids on the bottom of the tanks. Jim asked Mike if the blower unit is portable? Mike said you mount it on the pump truck. Mike said you would have one truck with that blower on and utilize it for the deep pulls and have another truck for the normal pulls. Mike said it will pull more solids deeper and quicker. Jim said he was not aware that there was such a unit.

Jim Ridderhoff said he had received a notice from Riverview Bank about the possibility of moving some of our balance to another higher interest-bearing account with a minimum balance of $50,000. Upon motion by Jim Ridderhoff, seconded by Matt Gruber, and carried by all, the Board approved a transfer of some of our checking account money to a higher interest-bearing account at Riverview Bank - in the near future.

Matt Gruber asked if one of the employees could take pictures of the 1975 white pump truck and the F250 blue pickup truck so we can advertise for bids. Joe Clemas said he can take the pictures. Matt said there are some guys in the area that are interested in the vehicles and they probably will miss out if it is put on Municibid. Matt said he would like to put the ad in the Lancaster Farming newspaper.

Upon motion by Matt Gruber, seconded by Corby Lewis, and carried by all, the Board approved to sell the 1975 White Pump Truck and the 2002 F250 Blue Pickup Truck (both “As Is”) and to advertise for bids. The legal ad is to be placed in the Republican & Herald newspaper and the Lancaster Farming newspaper.

The Board approved the purchase of a portable air-conditioner for the plant.

At 6:30 p.m. the Board suspended the regular meeting and convened in Executive Session to discuss an employee matter. At 6:45 p.m. the Board reconvened in regular session. Jim Ridderhoff will contact the employee for the return of PCMA’s property - keys and gate opener.

There being no further business, Matt Gruber motioned for adjournment, Corby Lewis seconded the motion, carried by all. Jim Ridderhoff adjourned the meeting at 6:47 p.m.

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

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