September 2018

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on September 18, 2018 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, and Corby Lewis. Others in attendance were Dave Bright (SSM Engineering), Joe Zerbe (PCMA Attorney), Keenan Engle (PCMA Operations Manager – Select Environmental), and property owners who signed the attendance sheet: George Ankenbrand, Jean Schreiber, Ron Larson, Joe Haggerty, Frank Miller, and Michael Perricci.

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

The minutes for the August, 2018 meeting were accepted by motion of Matt Gruber, seconded by Corby Lewis, carried by all.

The Treasurer's report for August, 2018 was reviewed and accepted by motion of Matt Gruber, seconded by Corby Lewis, carried by all.

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

  • Normal operations continue. There were no violations to report for the period.
  • All wells are operational. Two wells are currently online, and the wells are being rotated to avoid overflowing the water storage tanks.
  • The Booster Station is at 15.0 psi.
  • All pumps at the Booster Station are operational and are rotating on a monthly basis.
  • Daily average water production is approximately 145 gpm from two wells.
  • Matt Gruber replaced our testing frost free at Well 1 and the floor has been repaired.
In sewage operations, Keenan reported that:
  • Normal operations continue. No violations to report for this period.
  • Approximately 17 septic pumps are in the backlog. We have been doing 2-3 septic pumps on Saturday’s.
  • The Mack pumper is in the shop for a pump replacement.
  • Both pickup trucks are operational. The Ranger is back from Big Tom’s garage and passed inspection.
  • With the winter approaching, it may be time to start looking to replace the Ford F250 pickup truck. We have been taking the pickup to Big Tom’s Garage and he doesn’t think it will pass inspection in November. There are problems with rust, some transmission issues, occasional trouble getting in and out of 4x4, and the tail gate hasn’t opened in a year. Three options were printed (from Auto Trader) on possible trucks that could replace our existing Ford F250. Also, the snow plow we use is no good and it is difficult getting it to go up and down, left and right and has some rust holes.
  • Slaymaker should be bringing our old influent valve back next week (9/17-21/18) so that we can get it to Flow Data Instruments for rebuild. Flow Data Instruments informed us that the valve they ordered for us will be shipping on 9/18-19/18. There are also two very minor repairs that Slaymaker is scheduled to do when they bring back our valve. One is a gauge at the booster station and the other one is at Well 8. Both are very minor and do not affect operations.
  • Received one quote on removing the sludge from the EQ tanks. Since the slow season is approaching it is probably a good time to discuss getting the EQ tanks cleaned to increase capacity for next years’ busy season.
  • Quarterly meter reads will be starting 9/17-28/18.
  • Second hydrant flush, for the year 2018, is scheduled for the first two weeks of October.
Jim Ridderhoff asked Keenan what are the minimum requirements for the big pickup truck. Keenan suggested it should be four-wheel drive, three-quarter-ton and have a work body on the truck. A work body on the truck would be extremely useful because of all the tools that are used. An 8-foot bed and club cab would be helpful but not necessary. Also, it doesn’t have to be a covered cab or a diesel. A diesel truck would have to be plugged in for the winter and we might have to get some additional electrical work done. Keenan recommended we get a truck without a snow plow hookup and then we can pick a snow plow that would suite us. Corby Lewis asked Keenan if he heard of – it is an online auction of government equipment surplus and most of it is in Pennsylvania. Jim asked Corby to do some research on trucks and pricing and get some figures for the October meeting. Keenan said he would also do some research and would be available to go look at the vehicles and suggested a Board Member go along. Joe Zerbe said the bidding thresholds for purchases below $10,900 requires no formal bidding or written/telephone quotations. Purchases between $10,900 and $20,100 require three written/telephone quotations. Anything over $20,100 requires formal bidding. Ron Larson said a diesel truck is a better way to go. It has better gas mileage and is much more durable. Also, you can use a 14/2 or 12/2 100-foot extension cord to plug it in.

Keenan talked about the Klines’ quote regarding cleaning of the EQ tanks. We are losing a lot of capacity at least 3 feet plus. It is difficult if four holding tanks are done in a day…the plant cannot take it. Jim Ridderhoff asked Dave Bright if he thought cleaning the tanks out would be a good idea. Dave said he seen the quote for disposing of 30 tons of material and talked to Keenan about it. Keenan said they stuck a rod in the tanks and are estimating 2 1/12 to 3 feet of sludge. Dave said this would mean the tanks are half full. Dave thinks the tanks are 8 feet in diameter and that is a significant reduction in capacity. Dave will check with the SSM operator (when they were here to look at the plant) if they have any comments or concerns about cleaning out the tanks. Dave will see if there is anybody else that does the cleaning of the EQ tanks. Jim said we should know what kind of guarantee or warranty the company has if there is damage done to the tanks. Jim asked Keenan to find out this information for the next board meeting. There should be more research done before the tanks are cleaned.

In engineering matters, Dave Bright said he forwarded a memo (that Jamie Lorah put together using costs that Jen had provided) to the Board to review the updated analysis of sewer expenses and “Break-Even” costs, the Board requested, for operating the sewer system. These figures do not include any debt service for any improvements, that are necessary, to keep the plant going. If you look at the numbers, the costs the Authority is charging now are significantly under what is necessary to break even. Jamie Lorah (SSM) followed up on haulers accepting sewage waste and that was also in the memo. Dave said they are still wading through all the information that Jamie collected in Wilkes-Barre that might be pertinent to an amendment to the townships Act 537 plan. The goal is to get it done for the October meeting.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said PCMA got paid on a Sheriff Sale, through the Sheriff’s office, on Lot 2600 Crowfoot Drive. Also, reviewed some questions Nancy had on lien notices the PCMA sent out. Routine matters were addressed, including filing and satisfying liens. Joe Haggerty asked if he could get a copy of the memo Dave Bright had forwarded to the Board. Jim Ridderhoff said the Board just got the memo and they need to review it. It will be available at the next meeting.

Corby Lewis and Matt Gruber went out to 2336 Spear Cove to look at the driveway to determine what kind of damage the owners were referring to. There were wheel ruts and the surface top was roughed up from the tires. Kenan said this was an emergency pump not a routine inspection. Joe Zerbe said under the Governmental Immunity Act the Municipal Authority is immune. Matt said the owner was going to get Folk Paving to come out and see what could be done.

Nancy said we are still holding the check for the Slaymaker bill that was for the influent valve at the plant. Keenan said he talked to Slaymaker and they wanted to negotiate on the price of the bill and were going to write a letter to the Board. Jim Ridderhoff said to hold the check.

At 6:49 p.m. the Board suspended the regular meeting and convened in Executive Session to further discuss the driveway at Lot 2336 Spear Cove. At 7:00 p.m. the Board reconvened in regular session. Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Corby Lewis, and carried by all, the Board voted that the Authority has no legal responsibility to pay for the driveway damage. Joe Zerbe will send a letter to the property owners.

There being no further business, Jerry Weiss motioned for adjournment, Matt Gruber seconded the motion, carried by all. Jim Ridderhoff adjourned the meeting at 7:05 p.m.

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

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