November 2014

A regular meeting of the Board of The Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on November 18, 2014 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, and Matt Gruber. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (PCMA Engineer), Joe Zerbe (PCMA Attorney), Mike Stewart (PCMA Operations Manager), and LWPOA Board president, Richard Harding.

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

The minutes of the prior meeting held in September, 2014 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Tom Nagle, seconded by Matt Gruber, carried by all.

The Treasurer's reports for September, 2014 and October, 2014 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Matt Gruber, 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 reported that: Matt asked Mike if he knew how much it would cost to put the plow on the pickup truck, and Mike said he didn’t know.

In engineering matters, Dave Bright said that he thinks that some of the growth around the water storage tanks should be cut down and cleared out. Mike said clearing out the brush around the big tank is on the to-do list, but he didn’t think the trees needed to be cut down because they’re not close to the tanks. Dave said he didn’t know that the trees needed to be cut, but some of the branches should be cut back.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said he took care of routine matters such as filing and satisfying liens but, other than that, he had nothing to report.

Richard Harding told the Board that, prior to the LWPOA starting drilling around the big dam, he was unaware that there was a water line running across the dam. He said he was concerned with leakage in that line, and asked if there was a way to test the line to come up with a numerical value to see if it’s leaking and how much it’s leaking. He asked if there was some way to do a pressure test on the line. He said the dam is considered high hazard, and the LWPOA was spending about $300,000 to bring it up to standards for the PA DEP. He said he’d like to see a numerical value for the line in order for the LWPOA’s engineers to certify that the line was tested, and added that he’d like to see a test with a numerical value registered to it that represented the state of the water line running across the dam.

Mike told Mr. Harding that the line running across the dam is constructed of ductile iron and the chance of it leaking is pretty rare. He also said that the PCMA’s leak detector, Dave Bonkovich, continually goes up and down that line to test for leaks and has never found any. Mike said Dave will be coming in to do more leak detection in a couple of weeks, and he’ll be checking that line again. Dave Bright was asked about testing the line, and he said the line is already under extreme pressure at about 120 psi. He said one of the problems would be that, if you add additional pressure to that line, you’ll be pressurizing any service lines that are along there too, plus there’s no guarantee that the valves themselves are holding. So if there is a drop in pressure, you can’t really say that the line is leaking or if the valves are leaking. Dave said the number Mr. Harding is looking for will either be a zero or a question mark.

The discussion of pressuring the line continued for some time, with a number of technical issues being addressed, and with the conclusion being that Mike could shut down the line in the morning if an hour-long test was satisfactory because the line was already turned off at one end. Mr. Harding said that he wanted the LWPOA’s engineer to be there when it’s done and he didn’t think he could get him there that fast. Mike asked Mr. Harding to contact the engineer as soon as possible because he had to open up the other end of the line the next day. He said it’s been closed too long already due to the drilling the LWPOA was performing, and it was causing a lot of dirty water in that area of the community. Mike told Mr. Harding to contact him in the morning to let him know if he wanted to do it that day, and Mr. Harding agreed.

Jen told the Board that the heating/cooling system at the business office is leaking refrigerant. Hlavaty Plumbing put dye in the system to try to determine where it was leaking but they were unable to pinpoint where the leak was. Jen said the system was recharged twice since the leak was detected at $279 a charge. She said a new system would cost in the range of $6,000 to $8,000 to replace the system, and suggested it just be recharged until they could find the leak and repair it, as the refrigerant probably won’t deplete very fast because the air conditioner wasn’t being used. Hlavaty said that, even if the refrigerant does leak out again, the office won’t lose heat because the backup system will take over. Hlavaty suggested they come back in the summer and look for the leak again when the air conditioner is used because the refrigerant will leak faster at that point. At this point, Hlavaty wasn’t able to determine how much a repair might cost because it’ll depend on where the refrigerant is leaking.

Mike said that Hlavaty told him there is one thing that should be done in the meantime, and that is to keep the outside unit clear of snow and ice. Hlavaty also said the bottom vents were crushed from ice and snow accumulation over the years, and told Mike, should the unit be replaced, that it should be sitting higher, on a pedestal type base so that doesn’t happen anymore.

The Board decided to wait and see what happens with the unit for the time being, as Hlavaty said the refrigerant leak was not dangerous to anyone’s health and it did not cause an unsafe environment.

Jen said she was still researching security systems, but she was having a problem getting anyone to call her back to talk to her about it.

Jim submitted the preliminary budget for 2015, and asked the rest of the Board to look it over and get back to him about any suggestions or changes they might have.

Tom said there was no update on information relating to the additional restroom, as the people he contacted to get pricing hadn’t gotten back to him.

There being no further business, Matt Gruber motioned for adjournment, and Jim Ridderhoff seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 6:55 pm.

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

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