March 2006

A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on March 21, 2006 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), and LWMA attorney Joe Zerbe.

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

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

The Treasurer's reports for January and February 2006 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all.

Dave Bright provided an update of the new well project. He said drilling was to start the next day (March 22nd). Al Guiseppe, SSM hydrogeologist, will be at the site to monitor the progress. Dave commented on information distributed regarding Delta Engineering's radio signal meter reading information packet, and said that Sensus also has the technology for that type of reading system. Jen said she'd worked with Sensus in the past and their software could not be interfaced with the LWMA's software at the time. Jim Ridderhoff estimated it would cost approximately $70,000 to put into operation not including the cost of labor to replace the current remote readers with the radio transmitters. The Board didn't feel it was the right time to initiate something like that in light of current and upcoming projects.

Joe Zerbe asked Dave how long it would take to know if the well site would be successful. Dave said it wouldn't take long and they should know in a couple of days. Dave said that the drilling will be done, and if water is found an estimate of the yield will be calculated. After that, some samples of the water will be taken just to do some basic tests for the quality. If quality and quantity is sufficient, the well rig will be pulled and the hole will be widened to make it big enough for a production well. The initial drilling will be a 6"-diameter test hole. Dennis asked when the well will be completed and online if everything goes as expected. Dave said once the decision is made to proceed, what is called a production well would only take a couple of weeks. Then a test pump will have to be brought in and installed to do the 48-hour testing. He said the well could be finished in a month's time if nothing happens to interrupt the schedule. Joe Zerbe asked at what point the property owners should be contacted to purchase the property at the well site. Dave said full-blown extended duration testing and all testing that is required of a new well has to be done, as that information would be needed to apply for a permit.

Dennis asked if the well would be connected to the water system once the pump is placed. Dave said that, if the decision is made to go ahead with the permit application, SSM would then do the design for the necessary treatment and whatever kind of well house the Authority would like to have. DEP will then review the information. The connection would be to the water main right in front of the property. Jim asked what would happen if the well results regarding production and testing were negative. Joe Chicora said the well hole would then be filled, the roadway would be taken out, and the entire area would be restored to its original condition.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said he checked some tax sale properties to determine if they had ever been exposed to a judicial sale. He said Jen had given him 10 properties that had transferred via the tax claim office or similar methods and the money owed to the Authority had not been paid. He said all but one had not been exposed to a judicial sale making the unpaid money owed on each lot collectable. Joe Chicora asked if the buyers don't check to see if any money is owed. Joe Zerbe said that a lot of times they don't. He went on to explain that there are two different types of tax sales. The upset sale properties are sold with a "buyer beware" clause, meaning liens, taxes, and municipal charges are owed on them and the buyers are responsible for paying them. Some properties exposed to upset sales don't get bids because there's more owed on them than the properties are worth. Those properties are occasionally run through a judicial sale. If the judicial sale properties are sold un-opposed by people or organizations that have an interest in the property, then all monies owed are wiped out at the sale. Joe Zerbe said that the judicial sales are generally not opposed. He also checked out another property which required that another lien be filed. Other routine legal matters were also addressed.

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: Jim asked about water service line repairs. Mike said some lines will be repaired during the course of repairing system leaks. He added that a number of lines and curb stops have already been replaced, and some corporation stops have been installed.

Mike said that the LWMA is receiving a lot of PA One calls concerning contractors digging in customers' yards. He said if a split-box radio locator would be obtained, LWMA field personnel would be able to locate service lines in yards if the Board would want to do that. Mike said LWMA-owned water lines are being located up to the curb stop, but not past the curb stop on the homeowner's property. Jim Ridderhoff asked Mike if he was being asked to locate customer lines. Mike said that he had not. Joe Chicora said the LWMA's responsibility ends at the curb stop. Because of liability reasons, the Board said line detection should not be performed on the homeowner's side. The Board asked if it would benefit the Authority to purchase the equipment for its own use. Mike said it would to some extent; it would help to locate lines that couldn't be located by other means, and it would save a lot of digging time. Upon motion by Joe Chicora, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, carried by all, it was decided to purchase a split-box radio locater for use on Authority property, in the price range of $2,000.

There being no further business, Tom Nagle motioned for adjournment, Joe Chicora seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 6:52 p.m.

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

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