Call to Order and roll call: Chairman Jim Haynes opened the meeting at 2:03 pm and a roll call confirmed that Brent Sleep, Diana Erickson, Mike Mooney and Kass Larson were also present.
Others Present: Operators Brad White and Doug Bopp and Treasurers Julia MacDonald, Stephanie Mueller, and John Austin.
Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the June 27, 2018 meeting were unanimously approved as submitted following a motion from Mr. Larson, and seconded by Mr. Mooney.
Preliminary Budget FY18-19:
Budget moved to top of Agenda. Mr. Austin presented the preliminary budget for FY18-19. Revenues were calculated at where they need to be to cover expenses which include an increase in rates. "Mr. Mooney reminded the Board and staff that the water and sewer segments of the district should each cover their own costs and one segment should not subsidize the other. The district patrons include sewer only, water only, and combined water and sewer. This is a legal as well as an equity issue. An analysis of two prior year results as well as ongoing current year results, all based on examination of actual hours worked and direct expenses incurred by each operating segment shows that water rates are just about breakeven to cover operating expenses but the sewer rates are not currently covering operating expenses. It will be sewer rates that should increase to cover operations by 13.7% or $7.50 per user per month. Water rates will need to be increased to cover capital expenditures and depreciation expenses by 6% or $2.00 per user per month. A motion to set a public hearing for the rate increase on August 15, 2018, occurring just before the Budget Hearing, was made by Mr. Mooney and seconded by Mr. Larson and was carried unanimously. The Budget Hearing is to be August 15, 2018 at 2:00 by a motion first from Mr. Larson and seconded by Ms. Erickson which carried unanimously.
Water Reclamation Report: Chairman Haynes discussed issues related to the report, influent is down as is precipitation. Levels are within acceptable range.
Treasurer’s Report: Depreciation expense year to date has been stable. Because a couple of capital projects have recently closed out the depreciation expense will increase next month. Expenses are in line with expectations for summer operations.
Maintenance Report: Mr. White discussed issues during the month, including replacement of a failed pump, which the District has backups for, but new control panels need to be purchased and installed to ensure stability of the lift station operations. Brad is working with competing vendors to get the necessary information to achieve the correct control panels for the available pumps. He is struggling to get qualified pump/electricians to work with the District on the timetables needed but feels that he has recently found someone that is interested in working with the district on an ongoing basis. No fertilizer was added to the hay this year as the District is applying the nitrogen from the lagoon water. The farmer calculated the weight by weighing one bale and multiplying by the number of bales. Mr. Bopp suggests that next time the farmer actually weigh every load in order to gain a better number to report back to DEQ on nitrogen removal. Mr. White took and passed the land application test which secures his fifth and final necessary license. Three Amigos no longer does plumbing they are only directional drillers and there are no known 24 hour plumbers in north Idaho currently. During the month, Mr. White spoke with Chris Westerman at DEQ in regards to weed removal on the banks of the lower finish pond. It was suggested to kill the vegetation on the banks but to leave the root system to hold the banks in place. Also doing some weed killing to prevent damage to sprinkler heads at the finishing pond of the land application site. DEQ has provided permission to exceed monthly application of water amounts by 10%. Mr. White stated that Mr. Harvey wants to reroute the road to the lift station on his property and that currently there is a cluster of potentially hazardous dead and dying trees in the area and Mr. Harvey feels they are on our easement and that the District is responsible for removing them. Mr. White estimates to remove the cluster of trees is $1400.00. The Board directed Mr. White to verify the easement location.
Engineering Report: In the absence of the engineers, the attached was presented to the Board by Chairman Haynes (attached).
ADU Ordinance Rework and Update: Mr. Sleep has not yet had a chance to contact Planning and Zoning in an effort to investigate whether it would be appropriate for the District to match the County’s position.
Cross Connection Control Program: The Board is happy with the draft letter Mr. Larson has prepared to introduce the public to the program. Mr. White recommends that the District hire a backflow specialist to gain economy of scale on price points and pass the savings onto the individual homeowners. Mr. Sleep prefers to have the homeowners secure their own tester and be responsible for compliance so as to keep administrative costs low for the District. After discussion of liability concerns brought up by Ms. Sherman, it was determined that the homeowner would be responsible for securing an independent qualified backflow inspector. The District will start with a self-reporting survey that will be double checked by District Operator. Mr. Bopp suggests contacting DEQ to see if an Ordinance is required to achieve this goal or if something less official will suffice. Ms. Sherman stated there may be recent changes and no longer be a DEQ requirement to have the program and directed the secretary to look into the proposed legislation changes.
37 Birch Haven Hookup (Mullen): Mr. Mooney feels that the charge should stand but maybe the District could accept payment of the hookup in three installments to alleviate potential financial burdens caused by misunderstanding between the Districts requirements and his good-faith understanding he held. Chairman Haynes reminded the Board that the District does not engage in financing. Mr. Sleep wants to charge a half hookup fee because according to our ordinance the property will have a home and an ADU and should also be billed for two full bills monthly. Chairman Haynes abstained from the deliberations due to his business relationship with Mr. Mullen. The remaining 4 board members voted unanimously to charge an additional ½ hookup fee and an additional full monthly sewer charge. Chairman Haynes directed staff to communicate the Boards decision and he will sign the letter.
ERU Inquiry Update: Ms. MacDonald has made some progress but is waiting to hear back from the Army Corp of Engineers. 41 South did not exceed their water usage allocation.
RV Hookups Update: A letter was sent to a patron with an RV hooked up to the system and Mr. White verified that it was still hooked up. Ms. MacDonald will send another letter, certified this time, to ensure that they have received the communication. She was also instructed to send a letter to another patron that has a questionable RV hookup at 2519 Lakeshore. Chairman Haynes stated that unless the RV’s are disconnected they will need to pay a hookup fee and monthly sewer rate.
Certification List: The Board authorizes Julie MacDonald to sign the District’s Certification List as motioned by Mr. Mooney and seconded by Mr. Sleep, motion carried unanimously. Ms. MacDonald will file the list with the County by August 1st.
Projected Capital Projects FY18-19: The list of potential capital projects (attached) is for discussion purposes. Mr. Larson confirmed that it is currently the District’s general intention to pay for these items, should they be approved, from reserve funds and not necessarily to be financed. Discussion was had around the need for a new power wire for the pivot and Mr. Mooney questioned whether it should be a capital item or just a maintenance item. Mr. Bopp thought that it would probably extend the life by at least 4 times. Discussion was had around replacing our back up pumps for the next failure. Mr. White doesn’t currently have the equipment necessary to safely move heavy equipment (such as pumps) and has been renting them. He feels that the District would benefit on many fronts for a long period of time by purchasing a mini excavator to address this and many other potential concerns with the treed areas of the land app site. Ms. Erickson asked if there were other used equipment options. Mr. Sleep prefers to purchase used equipment since it will not be used all day, every day but because Mr. White has no assistance from a fellow employee it is important to provide for as many needs as possible. Mr. Sleep prefers that a boom lift be purchased to address the most common need of lifting pumps but continue to rent or hire professional equipment operators for the remaining needs. Mr. Larson would like information on the critical nature of each line item on the list to assist with the decision making process. Mr. White has unexplained problems with the electrical system of the larger truck that causes it to shut off in the middle of use and suggests a replacement since it is at the end of its life. The Board has directed the truck to be repaired in the interim. A building at the land application site would protect the equipment and store other items from the weather to extend their useful life but it is not critical. Mr. Sleep proposed shipping containers for now at approximately $4,000 each and continue long term planning for a building. The Board has advised Mr. White that the budget is approximately $100,000 after identified carry over projects from this fiscal year and to return next month with an updated proposal to be approved. This item will be on the next Agenda as an action item.
Adjournment: A motion by Mr. Larson and second by Mr. Sleep was made to adjourn the regular meeting of the Board of Directors at 4:28 pm. Motion carried unanimously.
Respectfully Submitted and Approved:
Chairman of the Board
Stephanie Mueller, Julie MacDonald
John Austin, Secretary/Treasurers