November 2011

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on November 15, 2011 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 (American Water Service), and PCMA attorney Joe Zerbe.

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

The minutes for the previous meeting were reviewed and accepted by motion of Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, carried by all.

The Treasurer's reports for September 2011 and October 2011 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Jerry Weiss, 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:

Mike also noted that the water production for the past five days averaged out to between 160,000 and 170,000 gallons per day since the leak repairs were done. Dave Bright said he had daily flow records going back to 1998, and the lowest production since that time was 190,000 gallons per day.

Upon motion by Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Matt Gruber, and carried by all, the Board went into Executive Session at 6:15 pm to discuss employee and managerial-related issues. Regular session resumed at 6:30 pm upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Matt Gruber, carried by all.

In engineering matters, Dave Bright said that he had nothing to report but he commented that the PCMA may want to encourage any new employees to take some water and wastewater courses to become more knowledgeable.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said he attended to routine matters such as satisfaction and filing of municipal liens. Other than that, he had nothing to report. Joe asked Jen to provide some documents for him and she said she would get them to him.

Jim asked about the revisions and updates on the Problem Identification Reports (PIRs) pertaining to septic violations. Jen said the PCMA had received instructions from SEO, Wayne Bowen, to remove certain entries based on criteria he provided. Tom explained that septic systems which indicated problems that had not been recorded as resolved, but were re-inspected since then and passed, were removed from the list. Jen read Wayne Bowen’s criteria as to how to determine which septics were to be removed from the PIR list: PIRs since 2003 will be purged based on (1) PIRs that have been resolved, (2) PIRs that were generated prior to July, 2008 that do not have subsequent PIRs generated because we can assume that no new PIRs were generated for these properties and the problems have been addressed, and (3) Older PIRs for which subsequent PIRs have been generated to eliminate duplicate PIRs because a field can be added to the PIR spreadsheet to note that the problem has not been resolved.

Jim Ridderhoff prepared a preliminary budget for 2012 which was distributed to the rest of the Board prior to the meeting. He asked everyone to look over the figures and provide feedback before the January, 2012 meeting in order to adopt it at that time. A brief discussion relating to expected expenses and replenishing cash reserves was discussed, and it was noted that the rate increase would do little to replace depleted cash reserves if expenses continued as usual. Water testing was immensely higher this year due to new quarterly testing requirements. Jen said another huge expense was subcontracting due to the PCMA having lost its workforce. That particular expense should be low or non-existent for 2012.

Matt asked Mike if he knew whether or not the equipment used for leak detection was very expensive. Mike said it’s not necessarily the equipment that makes leak detecting expensive. He said the PCMA has leak detection equipment that’s better than what the PCMA’s leak detector, Dave Bonkovich, has but Dave has a much better trained ear than any of the PCMA’s employees. He said he and other PCMA employees have tried detecting leaks but they were just barely effective compared to Dave because he has the ear to filter out all competing sounds from things like transformers and the like. Jim asked if Dave uses his own equipment or if he uses ours. Mike said he uses his own equipment.

Dennis asked Mike what causes the tan/pinkish film on porcelain toilets, and Mike said it’s from iron bacteria which almost all well systems have. Mike said it is non-pathogenic (harmless) and there’s no easy way to get rid of it. In addition to using Iron Out (a product available at hardware and other stores) to remove stains from the toilets, Joe Zerbe said that Tang (a powdered orange-flavored drink) also works well. Mike said anything acidic will break up and remove the film that develops from the iron and manganese. The film can then be wiped away. Mike said the amount that shows up in the toilet has a lot to do with what type of piping is in the house, and you can only control iron bacteria; it cannot be eradicated.

There being no further business, Jerry Weiss motioned for adjournment, and Matt Gruber seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:15 pm.

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

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