April 2017

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on April 18, 2017 at the Plum Creek Municipal Authority Business Office Building, South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Board members present at the meeting were Tom Nagle, Dennis Scharadin, and Jerry Weiss. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (PCMA Engineer), Joe Zerbe (PCMA Attorney),and Jeff Crawford (PCMA Operations Manager – Select Environmental).

Tom Nagle called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m.

The minutes of the prior meeting held in March, 2017 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Jerry Weiss, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, and carried by all.

The Treasurer's reports for March, 2017 was reviewed and accepted by motion of Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Jerry Weiss, carried by all.

Jeff gave the manager’s report. In water operations, he reported:

  • Normal operations continue. No violations to report this period.
  • Well #1 had an initial underload pump failure upon start-up. Dave Gettle, Kohl Bros., assisted via a telephone conversation to adjust the amperage setting on the sub-monitor control. The well is now in operation at approximately 45 gpm with no issues.
  • As of April 18th, the Booster Station is at 11.3 PSI, with 17.3 being full. Well #6 was restarted and flushed and set at 50 gpm. All wells are online.
  • System-wide hydrant flushing is scheduled to start on April 24th. Flushing is expected to be completed in a week.
  • The Consumer Confidence Report for 2016 was completed to be included with the April water billing statements. Data is being compiled to meet the August 8th deadline for the NPDES Renewal Application.
In sewage operations, Jeff reported that:
  • Normal operations continue.
  • Approximately 50 septic pumps are in the backlog. The Western Star was out of operation most of the month of March due to a coolant leak. It also required alterations on the rear bumper. A pump representative will be on site Wednesday the 19th to run a test on the vacuum pump. Both trucks are currently in operation.
  • The #2 blower motor in the sewage treatment plant was installed by Axiom. The blower was removed and delivered to Axiom for re-timing.
  • Both pickup trucks are currently operational. A quote was received for the body repairs on the Ford Ranger.
The Board discussed the two quotes received for replacing the roof on the Booster Station. One quote was for $3,615 and the other was for $5,008. Before proceeding with the roof project, the Board asked Jeff to find out if the rubber sheet for the roof will be in one piece. The one quote indicated that a one-piece roof will be used but the other quote didn't specify. Also, the contractors are to be made aware of the PCMA's sales tax-exempt status to remove the sales tax that was added into the quote totals.

Repair of the body damage on the Ford Ranger Pickup Truck was discussed. Jeff checked with the PCMA's insurance carrier to make sure what the policy deductible is, and he was told that it's $500. The quote for repairing the pickup is $2,410.98. The Board instructed Jeff to have the pickup truck repaired but to tell the auto body shop that the PCMA is sales tax exempt so the tax in the quote can be removed. The Business Office will supply the documentation needed to submit to the body shop.

In engineering matters, Dave Bright said that the PCMA did not receive the grant money that was applied for. He said, of the projects that were to be addressed with the grant money, a decision has to be made as to which projects were critical and had to be done immediately and which could be put off a bit. He said word is that the program will be made available again in the coming year and, because the application has already been completed, the PCMA could resubmit it again later this year. If the projects can be patched enough to put off major repairs, the PCMA could try again to get the grant. Tom said that if a temporary solution can be found for some of the issues, it would probably be better to hold off on major repairs and try to get the grant money one more time. The rest of the Board agreed, as long as the issues don't evolve into emergency situations. The most pressing concern is replacement of the large sewage holding tanks at the treatment plant.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said there was nothing new to report, and minimal routine legal matters were addressed. In other matters, Tom said the Board needed to think about the future of the sewage operations at Plum Creek due partly to the financial insufficiencies of the plan. The PCMA was a pioneer in developing a Sewage Management Plan in 1995/1996, and have held by that plan for the last 22 years or so without ever checking around to see what other municipalities have developed since then. Jen did some research to see how other places managed their plans, and found that most actually followed the PCMA's original design except that many improved upon it in different ways. Tom said one of the things the Board discussed in the past, based on input from the community, was the possibility of using outside haulers/pumpers. One of the things that was discovered in researching sewage management plans was that a lot of the municipalities are doing just that – utilizing outside haulers instead of operating sewage plants. Those haulers pump the tanks and take the sewage to whatever disposal location they choose. The responsibility then falls to the property owners to make sure the haulers they select fill out the required paperwork and return it to the municipality. Jen said all the municipalities she found that have sewage management plans utilize outside haulers but they have different ways of managing the program.

Dave Bright said that's the standard operating procedure for most municipalities where they've had to go through the Sewage Facilities Plan process that the state requires for areas not serviced by public collection systems (central sewage). Those facilities are required to have a management plan. He said their plans require evidence that the haulers fill out the proper paperwork. Joe Zerbe asked Dave if the municipalities that use the outside haulers have a sewage plant. Dave said some of them do but he doesn't know if the haulers are required to transport to the sewage treatment plant operated by the municipalities who have them or if they can take it wherever they want. It would depend on how they planned their SMPs. He also said that a lot of municipalities who had to adopt an SMP didn't have sewage treatment plants. Dave added that he knows of a place that sends their sewage to three different treatment plants operated by different authorities.

The consensus of those present at the meeting was that there may be a better way of managing the SMP to improve its effectiveness both economically and impartially. The Board asked Jen to invite the South Manheim Township Supervisors, the Wayne Township Supervisors, and the Lake Wynonah Property Owners' Association Board to the next PCMA Board meeting to join in the discussion and to provide input as to different options to implement sewage operations in the future.

There being no further business, Jerry Weiss motioned for adjournment, Dennis Scharadin seconded the motion, carried by all. Tom Nagle adjourned the meeting at 7:18 pm.

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

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