Utility Meeting Minutes
September 19, 2016
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Cindy Endicott at 6:00 p.m. Present for the meeting were Chairman Endicott, Commission members Jayme Heim and Pegra Cobb, Councilors Greg Andrews and John Goman, Clerk Joan Jauss and Joe Jurewicz from MSA. Also in attendance: John Werner, Suzanne Herstad, Bob Quade, and Collen Akerstrom.
A motion to approve August 15, 2016 utility meeting minutes was made by Jayme with a second by Pegra. All vote in favor. Motion carried.
Business from the floor: Colleen Akerstrom, 4861 1st Ave. N. stated there was an incident at her home in which the garden hose was left on for a couple of days and used approximately 46,000 gallons of water. Colleen noted they have both water and sewer. Jayme made the suggestion to use Collen’s monthly average for the sewer charge, since the water did not go down the sewer. Cindy explained to Colleen, in past similar cases, the residents have had to pay for the water but the Utility Commission can however, spread the payment over 12 months so it is a more manageable amount. Pegra agreed that this makes sense. The Utility Commission approved averaging the sewer charges and charging the water over a 12-month period.
Joe shared a memo from MSA recommending the City accept the water/sewer line extension on Rice Lake Road. Joe stated MSA has received the record drawings and there is one change that was made. The line stops 17 feet short of the original drawing due to the land owner donating some land to the State of Minnesota. There are two minor items that need to be completed, but Joe does not have any major concerns on these. He is recommending acceptance of the lines. The Utility Commission made the recommendation to the Council to not accept the line; this recommendation was rescinded and re-stated to recommend accepting the line pending the submittal of the information that is required, as stated in the memo. Council will review at their next Council meeting
Joan asked if we should clean the lift stations this fall since they were pumped a month ago. It was agreed to have them cleaned. Joan asked if there was a preference on who to call. It was agreed to get a cost from Stack Brothers. Joe has a contact he will email to Joan.
Water Tower Painting: The project is out for bid and the bid opening is September 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm. Joe stated the bids will have the actual tower painting cost and an alternate cost for the interior. Joan asked Joe if he would email her a clean spec for the City’s records and he stated he will. Joan shared that AT&T is looking to upgrade their antennas on the water tower this fall. Once this is completed the City will need to have a certified company come and inspect the tower to be sure the reinforcement done is acceptable, this does scar the inside of the tower. Joe has given Joan names of two companies that can do this. Joe also shared it is not uncommon for them to come back within the year to do it again. If so, the Council may want to look adding a pod on the tower and any future antennas can be added to that. Joan also shared a paint book that Sherwin Williams dropped off specifically for water and wastewater paint.
Ridgeview Road meter station: Joe shared that MSA examined the meter station on Ridgeview Road in reference to the condensation issue. The fan was reset as it was set too high and was not running. Two weep holes were also closed as water was running in, instead of out. Justin was shown how to reset the fans; he will watch to see if this helps the issue.
WLSSD I & I ordinance: Joan shared with the Commission a copy of a memo Joe had written stating objections of local municipalities having to inspect sewer laterals at the point of sale of the home/business and why. This memo was sent to WLSSD prior to this meeting. John W. and Joe went to the public hearing at WLSSD in reference to their proposed ordinance amendments. Joe shared the amendments are on hold for now as WLSSD is going to look at the suggestions they received at the hearing. Joe stated the City of Duluth said, as it’s written, they would not be able to comply as they would not have enough staff, and no municipality affected by the changes would either. The expenses would be more than anyone could handle and enforcement would be a major issue. Joe stated it was recommended to put together a working group of all the entities this will affect. John W. said he talked with various people, and it is his understanding, WLSSD is going to “tweak” the documents and Rice Lake will have a seat on the working group. There will be amendments to the ordinance, it is just unknown at this time what they will be. This amendment to the ordinance is still part of the consent decree with MPCA and EPA.
Water/Sewer ordinance: Joan gave everyone a draft copy of the August 22nd ordinance meeting and asked that they review it. Joan stated she is looking to see if there are any corrections needed. No one made any changes.
Access Fee: Cindy stated we need to define our trunk areas and fees, she made the recommendation that the Utility Commission get together at a separate meeting to discuss and create an outline for both water and sewer, in hopes we can move forward. It was agreed to meet at 1:00 on September 28th. John W. asked what the Commission/Council is going to tell residents that want to hook up to water or sewer on Rice Lake Road and what will the fees be. It was discussed that they will be charged the same fee the W. Calvary residents were charged until such time as the ordinance has been updated. This will require further discussion.
Miscellaneous: Pegra stated she has a complaint about the Animal Control Officer as there are three dogs on Howard Gnesen Road that have caused issues the last two years. Gloria, the Animal Control Officer, has been called, but this is still an issue. Pegra said the dogs are snarling and circling the residents. Joan shared that Gloria has talked with the owners of the dogs and advised Pegra to call the St. Louis County Sheriff if she is unable to reach Gloria. Joan will share the complaint with Gloria.
Having nothing further to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Jayme with a second by Pegra. All vote in favor. Motion carried.