September 2015

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on September 15, 2015 at the Plum Creek Municipal Authority Business Office Building, South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Board members present at the meeting were Tom Nagle, Jim Ridderhoff, Jerry Weiss, Dennis Scharadin, and Matt Gruber. Also in attendance were Joe Zerbe (PCMA Attorney), Mike Stewart (PCMA Operations Manager), Mary Radcliffe (PCMA Operations Trainee), and property owner Tom Mathews, 686 Wynonah Drive.

Jim Ridderhoff called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m.

The minutes of the prior meeting held in July, 2015 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Jerry Weiss, seconded by Matt Gruber, carried by all.

The Treasurer's reports for July 2015 and August 2015 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Matt Gruber, carried by all.

Mike 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:

  • Multiple leaks were found on homeowners’ properties, and they have been repaired.
  • Spot flushing was performed in a variety of places in response to dirty water complaints.
  • The contactor for the pump at Well #1 was replaced by Dave Meyers Electrical.
In sewage matters, Mike reported that:
  • Both pump trucks are operational.
  • Both pickup trucks are operational and in service.
  • The air headers at the wastewater treatment plant have been rebuilt and the diffusers were cleaned.
  • An engineer from SSM Group inspected the sewage treatment plant building and the dump station building. The inspector will prepare recommendations for structural repair for damaged concrete and other issues they found.

    Jerry asked if there might be any grandfathered repercussions when addressing the plant and dump station repairs. Mike said he didn’t know. Tom said the list should be gone over thoroughly to determine which things have to be addressed first and prioritize the work schedule based on necessity. He said grandfathered issues could be addressed then. Also, some of the items can be done in-house. Tom said he only saw one item on the list that would have to be put out for bid, and that most likely would be a job that will be done 5 to 10 years in the future.

    Upon motion by Jim Ridderhoff, seconded by Matt Gruber, and carried by all, the Board appointed Tom and Matt to look over the repair list for the plant and dump station, prioritize the list, and proceed with repairs based on short-term, medium-term, and long-term necessity. Joe Zerbe said any job that requires purchasing repair materials that are used by plant workers for repairs doesn’t have to be put out for bid.

    Thomas Mathews addressed the Board concerning the ongoing problem with dirty water at his residence. He said he started having discolored water a couple of years prior, once in a while at first, but then it got progressively worse. He said plant personnel has been out a number of times, and they were very helpful, but the water only clears for a period of time and then it starts all over again. He said his electric water heaters have not lasted nearly as long as they should have, and he believes that something in the water is causing it. He said the water heaters he purchases are good ones that are supposed to last twelve years and they’ve only lasted nine years. He asked the Board to look into the problem and try to find a solution. He said he’s never had this water problem with any house he’s owned, and believes the water quality is unique to the PCMA’s system.

    Mike said iron and manganese are the elements that are prevalent in the water system, and they’re present in the water in areas outside the Lake Wynonah development as well. Mr. Mathews brought a water sample in that was taken right from his sink spigot during a period of discolored water, and it was badly discolored. Mike said the well that’s right down the street from Mr. Mathews’ home had the highest iron and manganese levels, but all the wells had them to some degree. Mike added that the PCMA uses a sequestering agent to bind the iron and manganese but a number of situations can make the elements visible again, iron bacteria being one of them.

    The Board said the possibility of removing the iron and manganese from the water before distribution had been looked into before but it was never cost effective to do it and sequestering was the opted method for controlling it. Tom said it might be time to look into removing it again to see if more cost effective methods were available, and said he would talk to the PCMA’s engineering firm about providing information in addition to what he could find himself. Mr. Mathews thanked the Board and left the meeting, but the Board discussed the matter further and for some time afterward.

    Dennis suggested keeping a record of every place that’s spot flushed when dirty water calls come in to see how often problems reoccur after the flushing has been performed. Mike said he would start a record to reflect areas that were spot flushed to see if there’s a pattern.

    In engineering matters, Dave Bright did not attend the meeting but submitted the maintenance/repair report for the sewage treatment plant prior to the meeting which was distributed to the Board. He also asked if the Board required other information from him for the meeting. Jen checked with the Board the week before the meeting, and the Board indicated nothing else was required for the time being.

    In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said he addressed routine matters such as filing & satisfying liens. He also said he looked over the new billing software contract and said everything looked fine.

    Upon motion by Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Tom Nagle, and carried by all, the Board approved the contract for the new billing software Jen selected for the business office, and the contract was signed. She told the Board she was still trying to figure out what was interfering with the Wi-Fi service in the area, and said the success of the new software was dependent on good internet service because it’s cloud based, not server based.

    Because a number of issues arose that needed to be addressed, Tom suggested having a meeting in October rather than waiting for the November meeting for follow-up. Matt agreed that an unscheduled meeting was in order, and the rest of the Board agreed. The Board also said a review of items on the list of things that need to be addressed will be evaluated to see if monthly meetings would be required for awhile. Jen said she would advertise the October meeting because it wasn’t previously scheduled, and would advertise further meetings on a month-by-month basis depending on necessity.

    There being no further business, Dennis Scharadin motioned for adjournment, Tom Nagle seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:26 pm.

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

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