May 2004

A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on May 18, 2004 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 Walter Jaros. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (LWMA Engineer), Mike Stewart (American Water Service), Joe Zerbe (LWMA solicitor), Tom Zenker (South Manheim Township Supervisor), and property owner John Rees.

The meeting was called to order by Jim Ridderhoff at 6:04 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 March and April 2004 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Tom Nagle, seconded by Walter Jaros, 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. The written report is attached to the office copy of these minutes. In water matters he reported that:

  • Additional leaks were identified and Dave Bonkovich is currently conducting a full system audit.
  • Mike, Kelly, and Bruce attended a Chlorine Safety class that was approved by the PA DEP for continuing education credit. Also, Mike attended the class on Vulnerability assessments at the PRWA conference.
  • Meter repairs are in progress.
  • The brakes were repaired and relined on the Municipal truck.
In sewage matters, Mike reported that:
  • Both pump trucks are fully operational.
  • The bypass airline on the treatment plant air compressor was repaired.
  • A grinder, orbital sander, and a paint sprayer were purchased and are being used to repair rust spots on the old pump truck as well as other projects such as holding tanks at the treatment plant.
  • One truckload of waste was donated to Branch Cass Regional Sewer Authority in April. This will save the cost of the dumping fee at the Cressona Wastewater Treatment Plant of $220.00 per truckload.
Walter asked if any of the major leaks that were found were in any particular area. Mike said they were not, but there were more customer leaks from broken pipes and frozen meters than usual. Dennis asked if LWMA personnel was still involved with leak detection or if Dave Bonkovich was being relied upon completely. Mike said that Dave Bonkovich is doing most of the initial leak detection right now and that LWMA personnel was going out to try to pinpoint the leaks with the LWMA's equipment. Mike said it's been getting harder for LWMA employees to do leak detection because the equipment is picking up the loud humming coming from electric lines, and a more trained ear is required.

Walter mentioned that a discussion took place last Fall concerning addressing certain areas, such as the Northwestern part of the development, for replacement of some of the lines where a lot of leaks were recurrent. He asked if the situation had been addressed any further. Mike said a system of replacement had been discussed in two different ways. One way would be to budget a certain amount of money and go through the high-risk areas and replace as many lines as we have funds for. Or he said corporation stops could be installed and water shut off to non-resident (vacant) lots until the stops are needed to be turned on again for construction of new homes. Corporation stops would also be useful for quick termination of water to areas that develop large leaks that result in considerable loss of water. An immediate repair could then be made and water restored in a timely fashion. Corporation stops are built right into the main and main lines could be easily shut off for repairs and replacement when needed. Either way, Mike recommended budgeting a certain amount of funds each year to repair/replace lines or install corporation stops.

Tom Nagle suggested that funds not be locked into either method, but used where it would produce the best benefit. Mike said it would cost between $200 and $500 for each corporation stop installed, but added that the cost could vary considerably depending on the amount of digging required. Dennis commented that landscaping restoration might be needed in some areas also. Mike said they could concentrate on areas that have seemingly non-buildable lots before others which would cut down on the landscaping restoration needed.

Tom Nagle said a study could be done to see what kind of capital funds are being put aside and then determine what portion of that amount the Board could make a decision on to be used toward the water line replacement project. He said if it couldn't be started this year, it could be scheduled to start next year. Jim said an amount could be budgeted each year until the upgrade project was completed whether it takes three years, ten years, or more.

The decision to implement a project to install corporation stops and replace lines in high leak areas is the result of an effort to reduce the amount of unaccounted-for water use throughout the development. Jim asked where the majority of the leaks are found. Mike said leaks occur mostly on service lines, not main lines. Walter asked how many corporation stops might be involved. Mike said thousands are involved and that is the reason high-risk areas for leaks would be addressed; there would not be enough funds available to install corporation stops at all lots.

It was decided that an additional study would be needed to review areas that already had lines replaced or corporation stops installed. Tom Nagle will do the research.

Concerned about water leaks putting the LWMA over its daily limitations, Walter Jaros asked Dave Bright how much water the LWMA could legally withdraw each day. Dave said the Delaware River Basin Commission allows the LWMA to withdraw 400,000 gallons a day, averaged over 30 days.

Dave Bright said the tapping fee calculation study he is preparing is ready except for a few cosmetics. He said the Board can recognize it at its next meeting once Joe Zerbe has prepared a resolution. Dave explained in detail what is involved in the calculations. He said the act provides for three fees: a tapping fee based on cost of assets, a connection fee which is the cost to put a service into a property if not already in, and the customer facilities fee which is essentially the water meter and reader.

In legal matters, the sale of an LWMA property no longer needed was discussed briefly. After that, upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, the Board went into Executive Session at 7:13 p.m. for about twenty minutes. During the Executive Session the legal situation involving the Shaners was discussed and authorization was given to Joe Zerbe, LWMA solicitor, to respond to the Shaner's settlement proposal.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, carried by all, the Board decided to require the submission of a septic plot plan for a water permit to be issued, effective immediately.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, carried by all, the insurance firm of Hauptly Insurance Agency was reappointed for the current year. No other agencies submitted an insurance proposal for review.

Jen told the Board that the 2003 audit had been completed by Jones & Co. and the report would be forthcoming.

Tom said the submission of septic inspection reports to the applicable township SEOs was back on track. He and Walter worked on bringing submissions up to date and incorporating changes.

There being no further business, Dennis Scharadin motioned for adjournment, Walter Jaros seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:45 p.m.

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

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