MEETING MINUTES OF THE
LAKE WYNONAH MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY
A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on September 15, 2009 at the Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority Business Office Building, South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Board members present at the meeting were Tom Nagle, Dennis Scharadin, Jerry Weiss, and Phil Cotroneo. Also in attendance were Mike Stewart (American Water Service), Dave Bright (LWMA Engineer) and LWMA attorney Joe Zerbe.
Tom Nagle called the meeting to order at 5:58 p.m.
The minutes of the prior meeting were reviewed and accepted by motion of Jerry Weiss, seconded by Phil Cotroneo, carried by all.
The Treasurer's reports for July and August 2009 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Dennis Scharadin, seconded by Phil Cotroneo, 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:
- LWMA personnel are still mowing the grass at the wells and the booster station. Walt Russell continues to mow Well #8.
- Flange bolts have been replaced in Well #1.
- Dave Bonkovich completed the annual leak detection survey, and all leaks have been repaired.
- Well #3 tested above the MCL (maximum contaminant level) for arsenic. The MCL for arsenic is 10 ppb (parts per billion), and Well #3 tested at 12 ppb. However, a follow-up check sample tested at 7 ppb. The DEP will probably require quarterly arsenic testing for Well #3 until at least three consecutive quarters test under the MCL. Well #6 tested at 9 ppb, just below the MCL. Public notification about Well #3 (which is seldom used) will be required to be included in the consumer confidence report.
- The old water storage tank has been scrubbed externally with bleach and then pressure washed. The new storage tank is also being cleaned and is currently half finished.
- The well pit at Well #2 has been filled with stone and capped with a concrete slab. The fence around Well #2 has been removed. Breiner Contracting pulled up the fence posts and removed the fencing. LWMA personnel filled in the fence post holes and finished the grading.
- The old fire hydrants that were stored at the booster station were taken by Breiner Contracting.
Mike added that he touched base with Dave Bright about what it would cost to treat the affected wells for arsenic in the event the Board would have questions about it. Dave said the MCL for arsenic used to be set at 50 ppb until about five or six years ago, and he didnít know what criteria was used to determine the new MCL of 10 ppb. Jerry asked what kind of treatment could be used to treat the arsenic levels, and Dave said it was typically some kind of ion exchange unit, similar to a water softener, that exchanges the arsenic ions with something else. Dave said he didnít feel a project cost should be determined unless the DEP requires treatment of the affected wells. Phil asked if running the wells to waste more often would help to reduce the arsenic levels. Mike said he didnít think it would make a lot of difference, and it requires a lot of water to do it. As a point of reference, Dave said all of the wells were tested in 2003, 2006, and 2009. Well #1 tested at 8 ppb, 7 ppb, and 7 ppb respectively. Well #3 tested at 6 ppb, less than 5, and 12 ppb. Well #6 tested at 7 ppb, 7 ppb, and 9 ppb. Well #8 tested at less than 5 ppb in 2006 and then 7 ppb in 2009.
- Both pump trucks are operational.
- The wastewater holding tanks are being painted. The new industrial coating in the ďbolt brownĒ color should hold up well, and the tanks are likely to last at least another couple of years before needing replacement.
- The screen drive bearings at the wastewater plant have been replaced, and several worn screen panels have been replaced by used panels. This has allowed us to delay new screen panel replacement until next year.
Mike said an unexpected water main break occurred on Saturday, September 12th in Cayuga Cove which required a precautionary boil water alert to be issued. He said the boil water alert is expected to be lifted on Wednesday, September 16th.
Dennis asked if the turn signals on the pump trucks were working. Mike said they were. Dennis said he followed one of the trucks from the sewage treatment to the back gate turn-off and the signals were not used. He said it also happened before. He added that he didnít know who was driving, but stressed the importance of using turn signals at all times. Mike said he would talk to everyone to make sure they use them. Dennis also asked Mike if the work schedule included repainting the fire hydrant symbols this year. Mike said it wasnít, but it could be done yet this year if it was started very soon due to weather constraints. Mike also said that a meeting was held 6 or 7 years prior with representatives of the fire companies and they told him that they donít utilize the symbols at all. Mike said they did request sign posts to be placed at each hydrant that stated ďFire HydrantĒ to identify them because they donít like the reflectors or flags. Mike said various sign posts that are used sometimes are plowed down during the winter. Tom suggested keeping it in mind to repaint them next year because he felt they were a help in finding hydrants hidden by bushes even if the fire companies donít utilize them.
In engineering matters, Dave Bright said he had nothing to report, but he said he would look into options to address the arsenic levels if it becomes a requirement by the DEP.
In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said routine legal matters, such as lien satisfactions and lien filings were addressed. He said that both townships approved the LWMA Boardís request to make a resolution to amend the articles to change the name of the Authority, to extend its life, and to name a registered address. He said the next step is to execute the Articles of Incorporation and to file an advertisement in the newspaper. Joe said there is no preprinted form to amend the articles of incorporation of a municipal authority, and he could find no provision to set an effective date. He said he believes that we should wait until later in the year to file with the Department of State, and suggested the Articles of Incorporation be signed at the next meeting in November giving him authority to run the advertisement and to file the Articles by December 10th or 15th to make the name change occur closer to the beginning of the year. The Board agreed.
Joe said Jen told him that American Water Service is looking at a possible sale of our contract which could greatly impact operations at the Authority, and she wanted him to review the contract and advise the LWMA if it had to accept the sale. He said there is language in the contract stating that neither party can assign (basically, meaning to sell) the contract without the written consent of the other party. Joe didnít feel that the LWMA had to accept it. To discuss the matter in more detail, the Board entered executive session at 6:46 p.m. upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Phil Cotroneo, carried by all. The Board returned from executive session at 7:20 p.m. In executive session, the future of the contract with American Water Services was discussed, along with alternatives that may be available to the Authority if that contract is terminated.
Joe said Jen also asked him to research whether or not the LWMA had the authority to provide pumping services for properties within Wayne and South Manheim Townships, but outside the Lake Wynonah development. Based on what Joe could see, and the paperwork that was filed when the LWMA was incorporated, there are no limitations to providing services outside of the development as long as the pumpings are done in South Manheim and Wayne Townships. Mike said the sewage treatment plant could accommodate more pumpings than it processes right now, and it would be cost-effective to do it. Because more questions arose than anyone had answers for, the Board tabled the discussion until further notice. Joe suggested, though, that the townships be contacted for their opinion if the LWMA decides to seriously consider sewage pumping outside the development, and all agreed.
The Board approved the name-change notice for the inserts to be included with the October water billing statements.
The Board discussed the letter from Dave Readinger (Wentworth Group) which asked if the Board would credit all usage charges on the water bills the LWPOA received. All Board members were unanimous in their decision to deny the request, as the LWPOA was notified it would be billed in the same manner as the rest of the community starting in July, 2009. The July billing included the over-base usage charges for the same period that applied to all customers.
Tom asked if the leak at the LWPOA office has been repaired, and Mike said the LWPOA repaired it. Mike also said that he spoke with Bill Tyler and Bill told him the pool is no longer leaking, which is good news.
Tom asked Joe if he researched the auto-dialing system for customer alerts, and whether or not it was going to be mandatory. Joe said he hasnít, but he will find out.
Jerry asked how the new sewage problem identification letters were working out. Mike said that the new letters are generating a lot of response, but a lot of the people arenít submitting proof of repairs. Mike wanted to know if he should take the customerís word that a repair had been made and just mark them off if heís nearly 100% sure the repair was made, or if we have to get the written form back as is required. Dennis said he thinks it was made very clear at the last meeting that the forms had to be returned to be considered complete, and the repair has to be OKíd by the person who has authority to approve a repair, that being a Sewage Enforcement Officer. Mike said the notification letter was created by Wayne Bowen (the SEO) and he gave the Authority permission to send it out on his behalf if a septic problem is identified. Once the letter is sent, Mike said the question is whether or not we can mark it off as complete if the customer tells us it was repaired. Dennis said we had no authority to do that, and that the SEO is responsible for making sure the repair was done. Tom said that the reason for the letter was to avoid writing up a PIR and sending it to Wayne Bowen, which saved him the time and effort of going out and investigating in order to send a letter himself. He gave the LWMA the authority to send it on his behalf. But the repair still has to be inspected or approved in some manner by Wayne Bowen, the SEO.
Jerry said the way he understands it, the LWMA should not get involved in approving repairs because the LWMA has no legal authority to do so, as it is not a licensed SEO. Jerry asked who would be liable if we get the form back and check off the repair as complete because a customer verbally said it was, and the repair wasnít actually done. Joe said itís possible that the LWMA could be held liable.
Nancy explained how she tracks the notifications and repairs, and said she does not mark anything complete unless she gets something back from Wayne Bowen stating that he approved the repair, whether heís taking the customerís word for it or whether he actually went out and inspected the repair. That way, Wayneís signature is on the form which makes him responsible for approving the repair. Then she marks it as complete. Jerry said as long as itís officially approved by Wayne Bowen and the LWMA is not taking anyoneís word for it, it was ok with him, but the LWMA should not be taking responsibility for it. Phil also agreed that thereís a question of liability and the LWMA has no authority to approve repairs. Mike agreed that the form is only for the LWMA to know itís doing everything it can to make the sewage management program work, and the ultimate responsibility belongs to the SEO.
There being no further business, Dennis Scharadin motioned for adjournment, and Phil Cotroneo seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Tom Nagle at 7:55 p.m.
Meeting minutes were taken by Nancy Wesner, and prepared by Jennifer Hoy.