January 2005

A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on January 18, 2005 at the Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority Business Office Building, South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Board members present at the meeting were Jim Ridderhoff, Tom Nagle, Joe Chicora, and Dennis Scharadin. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (LWMA Engineer), Mike Stewart (American Water Service), LWMA attorney Joe Zerbe, and Tom Zenker (South Manheim Township Supervisor).

The meeting was called to order by Jim Ridderhoff at 6:02 p.m.

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

The Treasurer's reports for November and December 2004 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all.

The first item of business was reorganization. Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, and carried by all, officer positions did not change. They are:

There were a few items in the minutes that Jim wanted to follow up on. He asked Joe Zerbe if he prepared a release for the agreement between the LWMA and Bob Llewellyn for the sale of lot 2118. Joe Zerbe had the document prepared and ready for signing by an LWMA Board member and then by Bob Llewellyn. Jim also wanted to know if the property owner who appealed to the Board for a payment plan and restoration of water service at the previous meeting was making payments on time. Jen said payments were being made on time. Jim asked if the automatic pumpings being performed on a property with septage leakage was still on going. Wayne Bowen, SEO, directed the LWMA to pump the septic tank every week. Mike said that pumpings have been discontinued because water service was terminated at the property for nonpayment of sewage and water charges.

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: Dave Bright presented the Board with a letter report that was prepared five years ago that addressed reducing water pressure in the distribution system. He suggested that the Board members read through it and familiarize themselves with the issues that are involved with pressure reduction in the water lines. He said that, although it wouldn't be an easy project, water pressure reduction could be achieved. Jim asked if anything significant had changed since the 1999 report and Dave said that very little had changed. He said the same regulations apply and the same advantages and disadvantages still apply. Jim said the Board would review the report. Dave also submitted a map that shows the water lines in the system. The map is color-coded by the size of the lines. The report will be attached to the office copy of these minutes.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said he sent a letter to the attorney representing property owners who made a complaint that the weight of the pump truck damaged their retaining wall. He said he had not received a reply. Joe said he didn't feel the Authority was liable due to the governmental immunity protection that it has. Also, Joe said he was contacted by another person (Robert Lithgow) who was interested in purchasing LWMA lot 2118. He told Mr. Lithgow that another party (Bob Llewellyn) had been interested in purchasing the property but that he had backed out of the agreement because his title insurance company raised objections to restrictions in the chain of title. He suggested to Mr. Lithgow that he contact his lawyer and have his lawyer talk to Joe so he can make him aware of the restrictions. Mr. Lithgow contacted his attorney (Jay Zane); Attorney Zane contacted Joe; and Joe sent Attorney Zane a copy of the current deed for the property which contained the language that Mr. Llewellyn's title insurance company had a problem with. Joe told Attorney Zane to look over the language in the deed. If Attorney Zane had no objection to the language, Joe told him that the LWMA would most likely entertain an offer to sell the property. Attorney Zane later contacted Joe Zerbe and said he didn't see an issue with the language in the deed and a copy of the agreement that pertained to Mr. Llewellyn was sent to Attorney Zane. The agreement was signed by Mr. Lithgow and returned to the LWMA with a deposit check of $500 (which had not been processed at the time of the board meeting).

After Joe Zerbe spoke with Mr. Lithgow and Attorney Zane, another interested party came forward to purchase lot 2118 from the LWMA. Joe told the person that the LWMA had been approached by Mr. Lithgow and that he made an offer which hadn't been acted on because the LWMA Board hadn't met since the offer was made. He told the party to make a higher offer or attend the Board meeting to discuss a proposal. No steps had been taken by the second interested party to contact anyone, but the Board members felt that interest in the property should be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon motion by Joe Chicora, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, carried by all, the LWMA accepted the offer from Mr. Lithgow to purchase the property at $9,000 and under the same consideration extended to Mr. Llewellyn (as stated in the agreement of sale), contingent on Mr. Llewellyn signing a form releasing his interest in the agreement of sale. Mr. Llewellyn's deposit of $500 had been returned to him prior to the meeting.

Jim Ridderhoff referenced an article in The Authority magazine that addressed an amendment to Act 57 of 2003 of the Municipal Authorities Act. The amendment dealt with how authorities had power to enforce its rules and regulations. Jim asked Joe Zerbe if the LWMA could change the way it enforces its rules and regulations. Joe said the article addressed rules and regulations regarding water and sewer lines on property owners' premises. He asked if the Authority had rules and regulations covering water and sewer lines. Joe Chicora said it was covered under the Sewage Management Program, but the Authority had no sewage lines. Jim asked if an on-lot septic system be construed as a sewer line. Joe Zerbe said no, not in his opinion. Jim asked Joe Zerbe to check into it a little further. Joe said he would and report his findings at the next meeting.

The 2005 budget was discussed. Joe Chicora said the only thing he was concerned about was the Authority's possible intent to deal with reducing the pressure in the water lines. Jim felt that the project could not be budgeted until a decision was made whether or not to proceed with pressure reduction plans, but it could be revisited in the future. Tom Zenker asked why water and sewer had to be kept separate when the Authority controlled both. Jim said it had been like that in the beginning because the sewer part of the Authority had been developed first. At that time, certain monies were set aside and invested to be used toward a central sewage system should one be developed. The water system was acquired later through the use of water revenue bonds. The accounting had to be kept separate in the beginning because the Authority had to deposit water revenues in a separate account because of the bonds.

Jen said she talked to the LWMA's auditors about keeping sewage investments separate and she said they told her that all funds and investments, whether sewage or water, could be released for general use anytime the Authority wanted by making a motion to do so at one of its Board meetings. But she said she never asked them whether or not sewage and water expenditures and income still had to be kept separate. Jim asked Jen to check with the auditors about continuing to keep water and sewage concerns separate. In taking another look at pressure reduction throughout the water system, Joe Chicora suggested that if the Authority could bid the project this year, it could get an idea of the cost. He added that if nothing is done, the money is going to be spent repairing more and more leaks caused by the age of the system and the effect high pressure has on the water lines. Jen asked Joe if the project could be done piecemeal and he said it really wouldn't be feasible. Dave Bright agreed. Joe said he would read over Dave's report and the Board could talk about it at the next meeting. Upon motion by Jim Ridderhoff, seconded by Tom Nagle, and carried by all, the 2005 Budget prepared by Jim Ridderhoff was accepted as presented. Board members reviewed the figures prior to the meeting.

A proposal for an amount to satisfy past water charges owed on lot 2276 was submitted to the Board for consideration. The property is currently in tax claim. Upon motion by Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Joe Chicora, the proposal was accepted as payment in full for the delinquent water charges should the potential buyer be successful in purchasing lot 2276 from Tax Claim.

It was noted that Dennis Scharadin was reappointed by Wayne Township to another five-year term on the Board of the Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority.

Tom Nagle said that the Lodge Committee was considering having Loch Wireless Internet put a tower at the Lodge but they suggested that it might reach more people if it was put at the water tanks. Tom didn't think it would, though, because of all the trees, but he said they might ask if the LWMA would allow the tower to be put there. Joe Chicora said there's room if it would work, but he said they'd almost have to put something like a cell tower up for the signal to clear the trees. Tom said he didn't think they were looking to do anything that high but he wanted to bring it to the LWMA Board's attention in case the Association asked to do it. The Board members said if they were approached to have a tower put at the water tanks, they would not be opposed to it as long as the Association would carry insurance for it with the LWMA listed as additional insured.

There being no further business, Joe Chicora motioned for adjournment, Dennis Scharadin seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:07 p.m.

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

Home  |  Email  |  Meeting Minutes   

2010 Plum Creek Municipal Authority