MEETING MINUTES OF THE
LAKE WYNONAH MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY
A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on September 16, 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), 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 Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Phil Cotroneo, carried by all, with the following two corrections: (1) The Treasurerís reports for May and June, 2008 was seconded by Tom Nagle, not ďPhil Tom Nagle.Ē (2) The correct spelling for Mark Lonergan was corrected (Lonergan, not Lonegan).
The Treasurer's reports for July and August 2008 were reviewed and approved by motion of Jim Ridderhoff, seconded by Tom Nagle, carried by all, with the following correction on Augustís report: The surplus (deficit) amount for prior months was printed as a deficit; it should have been printed as a surplus.
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:
- Meter conversion requests are increasing.
- The roof was repaired on the booster station.
- Storage tank levels remain at or near capacity with only three wells in production at one time.
- Hydrant painting is complete.
- The grass at Wells 1, 2, 3, 6, and the sewage treatment plant is being maintained by LWMA personnel. The grass at the booster station and Well 8 require larger equipment, and the mowing is contracted out.
- KHT Contracting will continue to remain in business after the death of Paul Harrington for at least six months. Tom Cicero will remain with the company and will be available for emergency repairs as before. Paulís daughter, Tabitha Vega, of Schuylkill Haven will manage the business and schedule the work for customers other than the LWMA. We will contact Tom Cicero directly for emergency repairs. Briner Contracting of Deer Lake has expressed an interest in providing emergency services to us and will be interviewed soon as a possible alternative to KHT Contracting. We will have to supply additional manpower during repairs.
Mike said that weíll have to haul our sludge to Exeter or Hazleton after the end of September because Pine Grove is going to stop taking sludge after that date. Jim asked if the truck will be overloaded when hauling the sludge and Mike said it will be near the weight limit but it wonít be over. Dennis asked about driving that distance in the winter, and Mike said we might be able to make it through the winter without dumping any sludge because so much of it was already taken over to Branch Cass, with possibly more to go. He added that if sludge had to be taken to Exeter or Hazleton, it will only be done in good weather and when the roads are clear. Jerry asked Mike if we had to be concerned about pharmaceutical drugs in the wastewater because it looks like there might be some mandates put into effect regarding them. Mike said he knows itís being talked about, but we have to wait and see what the PA DEP does about it. Dave Bright said there are no regulations regarding pharmaceutical drug testing yet, but he agreed that it could be difficult to test, not to mention the cost involved.
- Three loads of sludge were taken to Branch Cass Regional Sewer Authority in August to be used as seed sludge for its plant. This has saved the LWMA the cost of the dumping fee at the Pine Grove plant. Fuel costs were lower also because Pine Grove is farther away than Branch Cass. We may be able to haul more during the next few weeks which will enable us to completely empty our sludge holding tank and reduce our plant sludge to minimum levels at no cost to us.
- Both pump trucks are operational. We have been using both trucks on some days to clear the backlog of pump requests to haul sludge. The replacement doors at the sewage treatment plant are on site and are being replaced.
Jerry asked Mike if the new Well (8) has had any problems since startup. Mike said itís running perfectly, and he said Well #3 is on standby right now because of its high manganese levels. He said some of the wells will probably be cleaned in the near future. Phil asked why Well #8 is sometimes taken offline. Mike said itís because the LWMA is only allowed to pump a little over 4,000,000 gallons a month, and itís turned off a day or two at a time so we donít exceed the maximum withdrawal limits. Dennis asked if any property owners in the surrounding area have noticed any decline in the water table for their wells. Mike said nobody has said anything, and Dennis asked if anyone has checked to see if theyíre affected. Tom said a lot of testing is done to see if anybody will be affected by a new well. Now that well #8 has been online for awhile, he was wondering if there were changes. Dave Bright said thereís no requirement to go back and do further monitoring after a new well is put online, but he said if anybody was having a problem, he was sure weíd hear about it.
In engineering matters, Dave Bright reported that the Well #8 record plan was prepared. He said he noticed that water production from June through August of this year was 6% higher than last year. He said that kind of difference usually indicates that something different is happening with the water system. Jen said that hydrant flushing was done this year during that period, but was not done last year due to the water being in short supply. Dave said that would explain the difference.
Joe Zerbe said that he took care of some legal matters for the Authority such as satisfying some liens who paid off their debt. He said he spoke with Tom Nichols from Blue Mountain Cable regarding the renewal of the lease for the TV tower located on the LWMAís booster station property. He said Tom Nichols hadnít called him back after that contact, but Joe said heíd call him again the day after the meeting. Joe said he reviewed the DEP consent order the LWMA received in regard to a fine that was received. He said he spoke with Stephen Brokenshire at the PA DEP office to see if he could get the $1,500 fine for a late filing reduced. Joe said that Mr. Brokenshire told him that the department is trying to make a statement, not just to the LWMA, but to many other authorities as well because they were also late filing their NPDES renewal applications, and it happens a lot. He said the LWMA was not being singled out. Joe said everybody is getting the $1,500 fine and nobodyís getting it reduced. Therefore upon motion by Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Jerry Weiss, and carried by all, the Board accepted and approved the signing of the resolution/consent order by the appropriate parties and payment of the penalty to be returned to the PA DEP. Joe said he would return the forms and payment to the PA DEP.
Joe said Jen had also asked him to review a letter from Mikeís company requesting authorization from the LWMA for the company to sign and submit the DMR reports. Otherwise, an LWMA Board member would have to sign them every month. Joe said the letter will be forwarded to the PA DEP. Mike said the DEP has been requiring all authorities to submit something for their files as to who has authority to sign the submissions. Joe said he saw no issues with signing it, as Mike already signs all the DMR reports on behalf of the LWMA.
The trial period for accepting credit card payments was coming to an end, and the Board discussed whether or not to continue. Jim said he felt it has been successful so far in giving customers an additional payment option, and he proposed to keep the service in effect. The rest of the Board agreed. Upon motion by Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Phil Cotroneo, and carried by all, it was decided to keep the credit card payment option, with the card machine to be bought outright and the 3% convenience fee to continue to help offset costs.
The Board discussed additional security cameras based on the checkbook balance as of the meeting. Prior to the meeting, Tom had obtained three phone bids for the installation. Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, and carried by all, the Board was in agreement that three more could be purchased based on funds available, specifically Well #3, Well #1, and the Booster Station, respectively.
Tom prepared work authorization forms to be used to make sure that situations regarding property owner problems and miscellaneous system concerns brought to the attention of field personnel be easily followed up on. Office staff could then keep better track of the progress of the work requests. Jim suggested using the forms for a couple of months to see if anything has to be changed, and then write a written instruction guide as to how to use it.
Tom devised a chain of command that includes what each person in the LWMA work force does, and the hierarchy of decision making should resolution of problems arise. He asked that everyone look it over to see if anything needs to be changed. Jim Ridderhoff had been designated as the contact for water problems in the chain of command, but he relinquished that position to Jerry Weiss.
The Hazard Communication Program that Tom compiled, which includes annual in-house training, was discussed and, upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Tom Nagle, and carried by all, the document was adopted by the Board for implementation in compliance with federal regulations. Jerry asked if there was time to get the training session done this year yet. Tom said affected parties can get together and Mike can explain what itís about and why itís needed. Mike said it could be done right after meter readings are completed. Tom said that a safety meeting could be called once a month to identify new safety problems that hadnít been addressed before. Jerry said a free booklet of materials is available from the Dept. of Labor and Industry for annual training.
Jerry asked if a mini workshop could be held before the end of the year to go over the finances and the budget preparation process for the two newest Board members to have a better understanding of how things operate. He felt he could be a better steward to the community if he understood the job better. Phil agreed that it would benefit him too to know about the financial operations so both can accurately answer questions from people in the community should they be approached. Jen said she could help them by starting with the budget preparation so they could see how itís pulled together.
There being no further business, Jerry Weiss motioned for adjournment, Phil Cotroneo seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:30 p.m. Meeting minutes were taken, prepared, and submitted by Jennifer Hoy.