January 2008

A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on January 15, 2008 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, Dennis Scharadin, and Gerald Weiss. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (LWMA Engineer), Mike Stewart (American Water Service), LWMA attorney Joe Zerbe, and property owners Amy Beres (The Lake News) & Lucinda Nagle.

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

The first item of business was reorganization. Upon motion by Gerald Weiss, seconded by Tom Nagle, and carried by all, officer positions are: Jim Ridderhoff – Treasurer & Co-Chairman, Tom Nagle – Secretary & Co-Chairman, Walter Jaros – Co-Chairman

Gerald Weiss was welcomed to the LWMA Board. He was appointed by Wayne Township on January 7, 2008 to fill the seat left vacant by Joe Chicora. It was also noted that Tom Nagle was reappointed by South Manheim Township for another 5-year term on the LWMA Board.

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

The Treasurer's reports for November and December 2007 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all.

Upon motion by Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all, the engineering firm of Spotts, Stevens & McCoy was reappointed for the year 2008.

Upon motion by Gerald Weiss, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, carried by all, the legal firm of Derenzo and Zerbe was reappointed for the year 2008.

Upon motion by Gerald Weiss, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all, the accounting firm of Jones & Co. was reappointed for the year 2008 to perform the 2007 audit of the Authority.

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 added that he had to amend his report due to Well #1 being offline. It had shut off a couple of times during the week, and continued to do so. Dave Meyers, of Meyers Electrical, was stopping by between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. the night of the meeting to inspect it, but Mike thinks the problem with Well #1 might be with the pump itself. Kohl Bros. from Myerstown is expected to arrive about 8:30 the next morning to expedite repairs. Jim asked what percentage of the water was supplied by Well #1. Mike said it supplied about 40% of the water for the community, and is one of the biggest producers. He added that leaks were being addressed to make sure there was an adequate water supply, and said a large leak was found on a customer's service line. Because they have not complied to repair the leak, a water shut-off notice had been sent. Mike said 15,000 t0 25,000 gallons are being lost per day due to the leak and it's putting a drain on the water supply with Well#1 offline.

Mike said he was unsuccessful in contacting the property owners, as they were not answering their phone and an answering machine was not set. He said he would try to reach them again to see if a solution could be worked out for them to hook up to a neighbor temporarily so that the water could be turned off the next day rather than the 10 days allowance given in the notice to terminate.

Joe Zerbe asked if there was a way to get them connected to the neighbor right away the next day before terminating their water prior to the shut-off date. Mike said it could be done right away, but we first have to get their attention, and they haven't been able to be reached. Mike said he didn't talk to the neighbor yet because he needed to talk to the homeowner with the leak first. Jim asked if production could be increased in Well #6. Mike said that can't be done because production is already at its maximum. Jim then summarized that production was only at 60%, and the water supply was nearing an emergency situation. Joe asked Mike, because of the shut-off letter just going out, that he do his best to resolve the situation, maybe even the night of the meeting, to provide an alternate water source to avoid terminating water prior to the shut-off date in the letter that was sent. Joe asked if we accommodate the neighbor who would be helping out. Mike said we wouldn’t charge any overage to the neighbor, and the LWMA would also provide hoses to connect. Dennis said that there could be a problem with the hoses freezing because of the imminent freezing temperatures, as he experienced it himself in a similar situation with his own property. Mike said insulation could be wrapped around the hoses, and straw and blankets could be used to prevent freezing.

Mike said that, by mid-day the next day, more would be known about the extent of the repairs needed for Well #1. If the well can be fixed by Friday afternoon, there shouldn't be a problem, but if the well had to be down through the weekend, it would put the community in a desperate situation as far as the water supply is concerned. Mike asked the board to consider purchasing a new well pump and have it installed to expedite repairs if the old one would take too long to repair, and then have the old one repaired. It could then be used in any of the wells. Jim summed the situation as this: if the well can be repaired quickly, then that's the route to take; if the repair is expected to be lengthy, then a new pump should be purchased and immediately installed. After that, the old pump will be refurbished, if possible, to be used as a spare. Jim said he thought that was a good solution, and the rest of the Board agreed. Tom Nagle made the following motion:

Due to the emergency situation with the water supply, have the Well #1 pump pulled and examined to determine what part of the unit is bad (the motor or the pump). If the faulty part can be repaired right away, then make the repair. If it is determined that the repair will be lengthy, then express the replacement for the bad part to the site for immediate installation, then rebuild and repair the old part to be kept as a spare.

Gerald Weiss seconded the motion, carried by all.

Dennis then asked Mike to leave the meeting to try to contact both the homeowner with the leak and the next-door neighbor to see if a solution could be worked out immediately.

Jerry Weiss asked why the wells sometimes pump air. Mike said that water enters the wells through different layers of earth and rock, and over the years, with sustained pumping, iron bacteria and deposits get into the micro fissures and block off some of them. The normal routes where the water came in when the well was first drilled are now blocked off, and if the water is pumped down too low, some layers may have more air than others. The air then ends up being pumped throughout the community.

Jim asked Mike about the notice of violation received by the DEP regarding reports being filed late. Mike said that he was late in filing the wastewater permit renewal because he misfiled it. The DMR reports, he said, were sent three days ahead of the due date, which should have been enough time according to the post office. From this point on, Mike said, he will be sending them at least a week ahead of time, and by certified mail. Jim asked when the DMR reports are due. Mike said they must be received by the DEP by the 28th of each month. As far as the wastewater permit is concerned, he was 37 days late in filing and the DEP was late in processing it by about the same amount of time according to its 180-day processing procedure. Dennis asked if there would be any consequences because of the violations, and Mike said he didn't think there would be any if it didn't happen again. If it did happen again, he said action would be taken against him rather than the Authority due to recent changes in DEP policies. But Mike assured the Board it wouldn't happen again.

In engineering matters, Dave Bright said that DESCCO was issued the notice of award for the Well #8 project following the pre-construction meeting held at the LWMA business office on December 11, 2007. The issue notice to proceed has a start date of December 18, 2007 with an April 15, 2008 ready-for-use completion deadline as stated in the terms of the agreement. "Ready-for-use" means that the project is supposed to be ready for its intended purpose. In case of a well, it should be ready to pump water. Dave added that, unless there's a legitimate reason to extend the contract, the Authority could assess liquidated damages against the company if the contract terms aren’t met. The contractor's submittals for most of the components of the project were received, reviewed, and returned to the contractor. But DESCCO (the contractor) has not yet started any construction. Dave said the project is now moving ahead and the contractor is expected to be on site the next day.

Dave reminded the Authority of the Source Water Protection Technical Assistance Program that the DEP is making available at no cost. If the Authority is interested, Dave suggested the Board put in its request as soon as possible. Jen said she'd originally given it to Joe Chicora, but she passed it on to Tom in January after Joe resigned at the end of the year. Tom said he would check into it.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said routine legal matters had been taken care of, such as the satisfaction of liens and such. Also, contracts regarding the Well #8 project were reviewed to make sure the proper paperwork was submitted by the contractor. Joe said Jen had asked him to do some research to find out if there is any limit, described by statute, as to compensation Authority members can receive. Joe said he has not been able to find any law addressing it. He said there's nothing in the municipal authorities act concerning it. After speaking with another lawyer who represents an Authority, he said his feeling was that compensation is just governed by reason.

Mike returned to the meeting and said he was able to reach the neighbor of the homeowner who has a service line water leak, and he said the neighbor would be happy to allow the LWMA to connect the homeowner with the leak to his water supply for a short time. Mike explained to him that he would not be charged for any overage that might occur. Mike said he was still not able to reach the homeowner with the leak, as nobody was answering the phone. Mike added that the "conserve water" signs had been put up.

An updated Corporate Resolution was presented to the Board for approval due to Joe Chicora's resignation. The resolution authorizes the Treasurer and/or Secretary of the Board to conduct any transaction necessary to conduct the business of the Authority. Upon motion by Gerald Weiss, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, and carried by all, the Corporate Resolution was approved and adopted. The appropriate Board members then signed the documents.

Jerry Weiss presented a benefit plan addition that would provide reimbursement of expenses (co-pays, etc.) that an employee would occur, that are not covered by the health insurance plan, up to $750. Jim said the full premium for health benefits is now paid by the Authority for each employee. Jerry asked if dental and vision is provided also. Jen said it isn't. Jerry explained that the full $750 may not be used by each employee and, if it isn't used, the difference would not be given to the employee. Jerry said, because the Authority provides no pension or retirement plan, life insurance, or any other benefit, he felt that paying out-of-pocket medical expenses up to $750 would be a good incentive for the employees. The rest of the Board said they would consider it.

In another matter, Jerry said he discovered a Board Member Training meeting on March 12, 2008 that's being sponsored by the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association (PMAA), and said that he might like to attend if he can get time off from work. Also, he wanted to share it with the other Board members. He said it covers the Municipal Authorities Act, working with the Authority manager and engineer, financing options, state ethics for Board members, and other items. The fee is $75 per attendee. Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, and carried by all, the Board decided that it would pay the registration for anyone from the LWMA to attend.

The Board asked Jerry if he would update the employee manual, and he said he would.

The 2008 Budget was distributed to all members prior to the meeting. After a brief discussion, Jim Ridderhoff motioned to approve and adopt the budget, seconded by Tom Nagle, and carried by all.

There being no further business, Dennis Scharadin motioned for adjournment, Gerald Weiss seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:32 p.m.

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

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