July 2008

A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on July 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, Gerald Weiss, Dennis Scharadin, and Phil Cotroneo. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (LWMA Engineer), Mike Stewart (American Water Service), LWMA attorney Joe Zerbe, and property owner Lucinda Nagle.

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 Phil Cotroneo, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all.

The Treasurer's reports for May and June 2008 were reviewed and approved by motion of Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Tom Nagle, 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. In water matters, he reported that:

In sewage matters: Mike added that water production and quality has been very good. Also, he said the cages that Tom designed were constructed and installed at Wells 8 and 6. He said the cages are hinged to make it easy to access the wellheads in the event repairs are needed. Jim asked if the LWPOA was still using a lot of water at the pool. Mike said the pool was closed and drained because the Association was concerned that the leakage was undermining the integrity of the pool, and it might not be safe. Mike said he suggested to the POA that an echo sounder be used to check for pockets because itís non-destructive and it has a near-100% success rate for finding eroded sections under an area as big as the pool.

Dennis asked Mike if he had any idea how many meters had to be converted yet. Jen said there were still about 110 that had to be converted. Mike said more people called in for appointments after the July water billing was mailed because it included another insert relating to the conversions. Dennis asked what the comply date was before water termination procedures were initiated for non-compliance, and Jen said the cut-off date was mid-September.

The leak at the POAís hydrant at the back gate was discussed. Mike said the LWMA has to do some system repairs that will entail calling a boil advisory, and he said the curb stop at the hydrant could be repaired at the same time. The Board told Mike to let the POA know that the curb stop is going to be repaired, and to ask Sue Ohlinger and Paul Lund if they wanted the LWMA to repair the leaking hydrant at the same time and just bill them for the parts.

Dave Bright said he didnít realize until it was too late that he was supposed to do the as-builds and he forgot them. But he said he would take care of it. He said he did do a little bit of follow-up concerning the source water protection program. He said he talked to the assistant director of the Schuylkill County Authority. Theyíre involved in something similar with a regional effort involving water systems.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said that he looked into the possibility of the LWMA accepting credit card payments as per Jenís request for more information. He spoke with the borough manager of the Pottstown Municipal Authority and the manager spoke very highly of taking credit card payments. The borough manager also said they didnít charge a convenience fee because they considered it part of doing business, and he felt that it save costs and time administratively in the long run. But, Joe said, the Pottstown Authority is much bigger than the LWMA. Joe and Jen also had a conference call with Mike Lonergan at the Orwigsburg Borough, and Mike said they were going to try it on a trial basis, but they would be charging a 3% service fee. Joe said he felt accepting credit card payments was a good idea because of the state of the economy, rising costs of heating oil and other expenses, and it may help keep the delinquencies down by offering an alternative payment solution. He said, from talking to the manager at the Pottstown Authority, the place it really comes in handy is for people who have had their water terminated because they donít have the cash to pay their bill, but they do have a credit card they could use to pay.

Jim said he didnít think that a 3-month trial would be long enough to tell if a credit card payment option would be a benefit, and would think a 6-month trial would be better. Jen said she tried to get a 6-month trial, but she was unable to get more than three months. Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Phil Cotroneo, and carried by all, the Board approved accepting credit card payments, with a 3% convenience fee, on a 3-month trial basis to be revisited to see if the practice should continue after the 3-month period. It was also agreed that no automatic payments be accepted, meaning that the LWMA will not automatically charge a personís credit card when new charges are added to their water or sewage accounts. Each credit card transaction must be initiated by the customer. It was also agreed that the credit card payment system be set up and operational within a month. The Board suggested that an article be put in The Lake News to notify people that the LWMA will be accepting credit card payments on a trial basis, and to include notification in the next set of water shut-off notices that are sent.

The Board acknowledged the Audit Report for 2007 that was submitted to each Board member prior to the meeting.

The Board discussed the report Tom submitted for security cameras at the LWMA business office and well sites. He obtained two written bids, one from Dynamark, Inc. and one from Egan Alarms. He said Dynamarkís proposal was not prepared as instructed, but the one from Egan Alarms was. Because the cost of the recent well project reduced available funds significantly, it was decided to proceed with one installation and wait until more funds became available to proceed with the others. Installation of security cameras for the business office was approved at the last meeting, and the proposal cost for installation was less than the highest amount previously approved, so installation can proceed as soon as possible. Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, carried by all, the Board accepted the bid by Egan Alarms to install security camera equipment at Well #8 at a cost of $3,870. Installation of security cameras at the remaining well sites will be evaluated and decided on a case-to-case basis depending upon when or if funds become available.

Jerry mentioned that the Blue Mountain Cable lease will expire in November, 2008, and he prepared and submitted some recommendations for the new contract. The recommendations were discussed by the Board, and Joe Zerbe said he would talk to Tom Nichols (Blue Mountain Cable) about the changes requested. Joe said he would then report back to the Board.

There being no further business, Dennis Scharadin motioned for adjournment, Phil Cotroneo seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:48 p.m.

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

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