May 2012

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on May 15, 2012 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, Dennis Scharadin, Jerry Weiss, and Matt Gruber. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (PCMA Engineer), Mike Stewart (PCMA Operations Manager), and Joe Zerbe (PCMA Attorney).

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

The minutes of the regular prior meeting held in March 2012 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Jerry Weiss, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all.

The Treasurer's reports for March 2012 and April 2012 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Tom Nagle, 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:

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

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said he attended to routine matters such as satisfaction and filing of municipal liens. He said he will review the township ordinances as they relate to the PCMA’s Sewage Management Program, and give a preliminary report prior to the next meeting. Joe will be reviewing the documents to help the Board determine whether or not outsourcing the septic pumping end of the Authority’s operations would be feasible.

Matt said he briefly spoke to Strouse Bros. and Nuway regarding the possibility of outside haulers pumping in Lake Wynonah to get a feel for whether or not there would be interest in doing it. He said Strouse Bros. didn’t have a lot to say about it but Nuway was very positive. It was noted that there are a lot of sewage haulers in the immediate and surrounding areas. The Board talked more in length about outsourcing the septic pumping operations, but tabled it for future discussion.

The Board also discussed what must happen if the PCMA retains the sewage pumping part of its operations, and all agreed that at least one new pump truck will have to be purchased because the current trucks require a tremendous amount of repairs and maintenance simply due to wearing out. In order to continue sewage operations, rates would also have to be substantially increased, especially the holding tank rates because the people who have septic tanks have been subsidizing the cost of pumping holding tanks by paying a much higher rate. The entire Board decided it was time to set the sewage rates in a more equitable manner if the sewage operations were not outsourced. The Board decided to discuss the matter at future meetings.

In further discussions, Jen asked Matt if six months would be enough time for a holding tank property to switch to a septic system, and he said it was. Matt said the turn-around time to convert a holding tank property to a septic system would be around two months once a contractor has the design in hand. He said a perc test is done first, and then a system design is drawn up. After that the system can be installed. He added that the person who does the perc test cannot be the person who designs the system.

The Board also decided that specs for a new pump truck need to be decided, and that ideas should be submitted at the next regular meeting in July. Tom said he would work with Mike and Jen to gather specs for a new pump truck. If sewage operations are not outsourced, the purchase of a new pump truck will then be put out for bid.

Jerry asked when the bids for repainting the water storage tanks were going to be sent out. Dave said the plan was to secure bids at the end of 2013 for implementation in 2014. Dennis asked about the computer software replacement, and Jen said she talked to Ed Ebling from Jones & Co. (PCMA Auditing Firm) about the software being used at the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority, and he said the software they’re using interfaces with Peachtree Accounting which the PCMA utilizes. Jen plans on taking Nancy with her to see the software in use, as she was invited to take a look at it first-hand. Ed Ebling said the data transition was smooth and required no hands-on data entry to get the system up and running. She said she did check other systems but so far they haven’t panned out.

There being no further business, Tom Nagle motioned for adjournment, Dennis Scharadin seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 8:05 pm.

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

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