November 2008

A regular meeting of the Board of The Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was held on November 18, 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, 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 5:55 p.m.

Jim called for Joe Zerbe’s legal report, as Joe had to leave the meeting early. Joe said he’d heard from Tom Nichols in regard to renewing the Blue Mountain Cable (BMC) lease, and Joe reported that Tom was agreeable to the terms of the new contract. He said that Tom indicated that his engineer would try to give the LWMA what it needs by way of providing internet service at all the well sites. There was some concern about the bandwidth, but Jerry said that it would be used mostly for email notice of power outages, and he added that the LWMA would work with BMC in that regard. Joe asked if BMC’s engineer could contact Jerry to talk about it, and Jerry said the engineer could call him directly. Joe said he would put together a lease agreement for both parties to sign. Other than that, Joe said routine legal matters were taken care of. He said he and Jen also discussed the Identity Theft Program requirement for municipal authorities and, after much discussion and information received from the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association (PRWA), they decided the procedure was needed. Jen compiled the program specifications as it related to the LWMA with the help of a template from the PRWA, and Joe reviewed it when it had been completed. The document was distributed to the Board prior to the meeting for review, comments, and adoption.

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 September and October 2008 were reviewed and approved by motion of Jerry Weiss, 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: Jim asked Mike if he felt comfortable using Breiner Contracting to make the leak repairs, and Mike said he was impressed with the work they’ve done so far. Phil asked how the system leaks were found. Mike told him that almost all of them are found acoustically using LWMA equipment and through leak detection performed by Dave Bonkovich. Some of the leaks are found through homeowners calling in to report low water pressure, which can sometimes mean there’s a leak either in their service line or in close proximity to it. Mike said sometimes water from a homeowner’s service line leaks bubbles up into their yards, but that’s pretty rare. He added that leaks are often hard to find because of the composition of the water lines.

Mike said there are electrical problems at Well 3 that prevent the pump from being turned off when it’s running, but it’s offline right now. Jerry asked if preventative maintenance could be performed when the wells are offline. Mike said that maintenance could be done on Well 6, as water production for that well is down and it needs to be cleaned out. He said there are also things that can be done with Well 3. Jerry asked if a schedule was made to work on the wells, and Mike said there wasn’t, but it would be done when the field staff is free to do it, but it would have to be done before April of 2009 when the demand for water increases.

Dave Bright said he noticed that water production was up about 4.5% over what the average had been for June through August. He said it’s encouraging to hear that leaks were found and are being addressed because they probably caused the high production. Dave said he remembered that Jen said she’s missing minutes from the late 70s and early 80s, and he found copies in his records from that time that might fall into those time frames. Jen said she would look to see what years were missing and let him know.

Upon motion by Jerry Weiss, seconded by Phil Cotroneo, and carried by all, the Identity Theft Program for the Lake Wynonah Municipal Authority was approved and adopted by the Board.

Upon motion by Phil Cotroneo, seconded by Jerry Weiss, and carried by all, Revision 3 of The LWMA’s Emergency Response Plan was approved and adopted by the Board.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Phil Cotroneo, and carried by all, Revision 2 of the Procedure for Collection of Delinquent Accounts was approved and adopted by the Board.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Jim Ridderhoff, and carried by all, Revision 2 of the Rates, Rules and Regulations Governing Water Service was approved and adopted by the Board. The entire Rates, Rules and Regulations document will be examined next year to update anything that may be out of date or no longer in effect.

The preliminary budget for 2009 was prepared by Jim and it was distributed to the rest of the Board prior to the meeting. He reminded the other Board members that the “Actual” column reflected values only through the end of October, 2008. Jen will update the “Actual” column at the end of the year, and the completed budget will be given to all Board members for consideration at the January, 2009 meeting.

Upon motion by Tom Nagle, seconded by Jerry Weiss, and carried by all, the Board added Veteran’s Day to the LWMA employee manual as an additional paid Holiday for all full-time employees.

Jerry asked whether it would be a good idea to start random testing and monitoring of downstream tributaries to determine if they contained contaminants that might end up in the drinking water. Tom asked Mike where he tested the discharge into Plum Creek. Mike said the only thing we test for in Plum Creek is the discharge from the sewage treatment plant, and it’s tested right out the outfall into the creek. Mike said, as far as testing downstream tributaries goes, testing samples would be very costly because of all the different pesticides and chemicals that could be found. Mike added that testing of the water quality was performed when Well 8 was being constructed. Jim asked if any surrounding water was tested when Well 8 was put online. Dave Bright said that a monitoring test for quantity was performed to see if the new well would have adverse affect on nearby wells. Jim asked about testing of Plum Creek waters before it enters the Lake Wynonah development, and Mike said that could be a benefit in some way, but it would have no major effect on the water supply. Mike also said that we already do periodically testing for the chemicals applied on the fields surrounding the development to see if they actually leach their way into the water supply. As of date, they have not. Dave said that testing downstream tributaries is a good idea in principle, but not in practice, as it would be hard to know what to test for, and it would be very, very expensive.

Tom asked if “No Trespassing” signs had been posted around the well sites, and Mike said there were some signs in different places, but they weren’t posted everywhere. The Board agreed that signs needed to be posted everywhere, including the business office and sewage treatment plant areas.

The Board discussed the LWPOA paying its fair share for water, just like any other customer of the Authority would, but no decision was made at that time. Phil asked if the LWPOA’s usage is monitored, and Jen said all but two were. The two that weren’t being read were added to the meter books to be read starting with December’s meter reads. She said she would do a workup of 5-year usage at all facilities and connections the LWPOA has, and she would distribute it to the Board when it’s finished. This will give a clearer indication of how much water is provided to the LWPOA at no cost, and how much it’s costing the LWMA to do so. Everyone at the meeting agreed that conservation becomes much more of a priority when the water used has to be paid for.

Tom noted that Nancy’s PIR (Problem Identification Report) summary for septic violations indicates the LWMA isn’t getting feedback from the SEO on a large number of violations reported to him. Jim asked the rest of the Board if Nancy should pick out the oldest and most neglected violations and prepare a list to send to the SEO, Wayne Bowen, with a copy to both townships’ Board of Supervisors, to see if the violations were addressed. Phil asked if we received anything back from the SEO saying the violation has been corrected, and Jen said we have on a small amount. Tom said the SEO addressing the septic tank problems found is a key element in the Sewage Management Program. Jen said she would ask Nancy to prepare a list and letter to be sent.

Tom asked Mike if he prepared detailed documentation as to field operations such as plant & well checks, testing frequencies, reporting requirements, and the like. Mike said standard operating procedures were written up, as it’s required by the PA DEP. Tom said they were needed for training purposes and refresher meetings. Tom also asked if anybody looked at the Chain of Command and Job Duties document he submitted. Jen said she did and would email her suggestions to him.

There being no further business, Phil Cotroneo motioned for adjournment, Jerry Weiss seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 8:00 p.m. Meeting minutes were taken, prepared, and submitted by Jennifer Hoy.

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