May 2005

A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on May 17, 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, Walter Jaros, Joe Chicora, Tom Nagle, and Dennis Scharadin. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (LWMA Engineer), Mike Stewart (Applied Water Management), LWMA attorney Joe Zerbe, and Tom Zenker (South Manheim Township Supervisor).

The meeting was called to order by Jim Ridderhoff at 6:01 p.m.

The minutes of the prior meeting were reviewed and accepted by motion of Joe Chicora, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all. Dave Bright added that the Board should keep in mind that when he gave an approximate cost for a pressure reduction system for the water lines it was a very approximate cost.

The Treasurer's reports for March and April 2005 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Walter Jaros, seconded by Joe Chicora, carried by all. Jen noted that, except for the investments, she is keeping revenues separate until the start of the year just to keep things uniform with expenses.

Dave Bright said he noticed that the water usage production was reduced, although he said Mike might have something to add as to why it was lower than usual. The April 2005 average was the lowest since October 2001. Walter asked Dave about the water pressure reduction project and wondered if it was feasible. Dave said that he threw out a very ballpark number on what it might cost and said it was not something that would be inexpensive. Whether or not it's feasible is something the Board would have to decide. The most cost effective way to address the problem would be something that would require additional analysis. Tom said he looked at what was spent on repairs in the past year, and repairs over a 40- or 50-year period could be done before the cost added up to the amount of money needed for a pressure reduction system. Mike said that leak repairs are done a few times a year and replacement of some service lines are generally done at the same time.

Mike Stewart also noted that water production was down. Dave Bonkovich performed his leak detection survey and all leaks found were repaired. In addition, a number of curb stops were replaced as well. He said that the measuring chamber in Well #6 was replaced the day of the meeting and did not appear on his report. He said it was reading low and because of that 20,000 gallons of water production could be added each day.

Mike reviewed his written report relating to managerial matters (submitted to the Board prior to the meeting) which addressed water and sewage operations. He said the main problem since the last meeting has been water system leaks. In water matters, he reported that:

In sewage matters: Walter asked Mike if work on the filter at the plant was complete. Mike said it wasn't because the manpower wasn't available to do it but it will be done soon. Jim asked if the reduction in water production might be in part from the faulty measuring chamber. Mike said that was correct. Dave added that it was still a lot lower than usual even considering that the measuring chamber was reading low. Mike said the production amounts will rise a bit but he didn't know by how much because the new chamber had just been installed that day. Jim asked how many leaks were repaired. Mike said 5 or 6 on the LWMA's side and 3 on the homeowners' sides. Joe Chicora asked if most of the leaks were at the corporation stops and how many were at the mains. Mike said there was one main leak on the line going to the hydrant at the end of Montana Drive that required all piping in the area of the valve to be replaced. He said all the other leaks were in service lines.

Joe Chicora said he noticed that the hydrants should be painted because they're so faded that they blend into the surrounding landscaping. On many, Joe said, the only thing you can see is the hydrant stick marker. Mike said he will be getting hydrant paint and a painting operation will start this year.

Joe Zerbe said the closing for the sale of 2118 Running Deer took place the day after the last meeting of the LWMA Board. Some liens were filed and a sheriff sale property needed to be addressed. Although a lien had been filed sometime previously, Joe asked Jen to fax him the updated amounts for the sheriff sale property (lot 1409) and he said he will update the lien to include the new amount owed to the LWMA. He said if there was competitive bidding on the property, the LWMA would be given consideration before the bank. If not and the bank buys it back, the LWMA will eventually get the money owed to it.

A person interested in purchasing a property (1072 Indian Cove) from tax claim wrote a letter to the Board with a monetary offer of $1,500 to bring the account current. Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, and carried by all, the Board accepted the offer contingent upon the interested party's success in obtaining the property from tax claim. The offer will stand for six months. If the buyers are not successful in purchasing the property in six months due to "red tape," and are still interested, they will be asked to send or fax reaffirmation that they are still involved in the process of purchase and the LWMA will extend the approval.

A notarized request for a payment plan prompted by a shut-off notice was submitted to the office earlier in the day, and Jen submitted it to the Board just prior to the meeting. The Board unanimously accepted the request with the understanding that the homeowners in arrears must submit an update on their situation in 6 months without prompting or reminders from the LWMA.

Jen asked the Board members if they wanted to consider an administration fee for preparation of water shut-off notices. Time study results indicated that it costs $12.13 per notification in time and postage. Not included in the time study were the cost of materials, post office runs, filing, field workers' time to hang the door notices, and anything involving prior past-due notices before the shut-off procedures actually start. Joe Zerbe said he would have to review the Municipal Authority Act to see whether or not it could be done. He also said a resolution by the Board would be needed if it could. Jim asked Joe Zerbe to check into it and come up with a recommendation. Dave Bright said he didn't think any of his other clients had an administration fee. Dave said some authorities have a lot of delinquents but he doesn't know how many actually go to shut-off.

An updated employee manual was submitted to the board for review to be considered for adoption at a later meeting. Under the worker's compensation section, Joe Chicora suggested filling out an accident report as part of notification by an employee to the LWMA as to an incident resulting in injury. The employee would fill out the accident report and sign it. Joe said he has an accident form that he uses at his employment that could be refashioned for the Authority to use and said he would give it to Jen. Joe Zerbe raised the issue of unused personal days and whether it should be treated like unused vacation days. Tom said they should probably be treated like vacation days are handled now, but it needed to be thought over. Jim suggested that maybe anniversary years for employees in relation to vacation, etc. should be changed to a calendar year. Joe Chicora agreed. The Board said it would look it over the manual carefully.

The Board acknowledged receipt of The History of the Origin of the Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority, a document Jen compiled from court documents and other LWMA materials. Jen asked Joe Zerbe to have Ron Derenzo look it over to see if anything needed to be changed and he said he would. Dave Bright said he gave a copy of it to someone in his office who was involved in the early days of the Authority. Once everyone concerned takes a look at it, Jen will put it on the website.

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 7:04 p.m.

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

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