Utility Meeting Minutes
The meeting was called to order by Utilities Commission Chair Cindy Endicott at 6:00 p.m. Present for the meeting were, 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.
A motion to approve the November 21, 2016 utility meeting minutes, the January 12, 2017 Ordinance # 44 meeting minutes, and November 30, 2016 lift station and manhole inspections was made by Pegra with a second by Cindy. All voted in favor. Motion passed.
Greg and John G. approved the January 10, 2017 WLSSD meeting minutes.
Business from the floor: John W. shared that he received an update from Eric Shaffer with the City of Duluth, in which they will be expanding the gas lines in the City in 2017. They will be working in the area of W. Calvary, Drake, Martin, Kingston, Luzerne, and Gothenberg. John also shared that the City had a meeting with CenturyLink and the tentative expansion of high speed internet in the City. Portions of the City should get high speed internet in 2017 and most of the remaining in 2018-2019.
Correspondence: Joan shared a letter from the MPCA noting applications for the revolving loan programs. Joe stated the City is on the Project Priority List (PPL) and Intended Use Project (IUP) for E. Calvary and 3rd Ave. S. Rice Lake Road is on the PPL list but not on the IUP as it is unknown what the timing is for this project.
Water Tower Painting: Joe shared he does not have a time line yet as to when the painting will occur. It will definitely be after mid-May so that AT&T can finish their antenna work on the tower. Joe stated he is also working on the cost and timing for the harness replacement. Our current harness system is obsolete. Joe will keep the City posted. Joan shared a copy of the 15 point water tower inspection that was done by Corrpro, there were no unknown repairs noted. Joan asked if in the spring we could do pressure testing on the hydrants in the Rice Lake Road area as the ISO is working on the City’s fire rating and requested an updated test report. MSA is to give the City a cost to do in the spring. Joe will also work on updating the hydrant map for the City and fire department.
WLSSD I&I: Joan shared that the City had its annual I&I meeting with Brandon and Dan from WLSSD. We had three exceedances in 2016 and our usage was up approximately 5,000 gallons a day higher than 2015. John G. and Greg shared information about the possibility of E1 stations leaking. It has been discovered there could be I&I issues where the electrical comes into the basin, it may not be sealed properly, Joe stated he is familiar with the situation and can share how to make the repairs. It was recommended we have Justin do random checks of five E1 basins in April or May. Joe stated he has a draft of the annual I&I report that he will email to Joan to fill in some of the areas that the City needs to complete.
WLSSD Proposed I & I Ordinance: Dan and Brandon from WLSSD shared the City will be getting a letter from WLSSD noting each City is going to have to come up with a plan for inspecting all the laterals. For laterals under 10 years we will not have to inspect, they can be signed off on. The WLSSD Board will accept televising, air, or smoke testing. The plan will need to be approved in 2018 by the WLSSD Board and implemented in 2019. There will be more public hearings and information coming. Dan asked if the City had a list of sumps pumps that are installed in residences, it was noted we do not. It was recommended the City put one together.
Water/Sewer Ordinance: Joan shared an updated draft of the ordinance, which will now be referred to as ordinance # 44, with the Commission. Joan found some definitions were missing and the WCAF fee was incorrect. She asked that everyone review and let her know of any changes that needed to be made. It was clarified that Ordinances 25 sewer and 27 water will still be active, just amended.
Miscellaneous: Joan asked if anyone could help her get specifications for a generator cord. During the storm, last summer, it was discovered we needed to get a cord to be able to hook a generator up to our lift stations. The cord could be used on all lift stations except 6 & 7. John W. stated he will work on. Joan asked the Commission to review a customer complaint on high water usage. It was stated that when the water was turned on from the repair done on Arnold Road, the resident’s water meter was spinning, thus creating a higher consumption. Joan printed the resident’s history and it was decided by the Commission that the resident was not above average usage so no changes to the resident’s invoice will be made. Joan asked if the Commission wanted to look at increasing water or sewer rates in 2017. After some discussion, Cindy made a motion to leave the rates the same in 2017 as 2016 unless we receive an increase from the City of Duluth with a second by Jayme. All vote in favor. Motion passed. Joan also shared what we collect in service fees each year for both water and sewer which totaled approximately $72,000 annually. There was discussion moving the February meeting as the scheduled date is a holiday, it was tentatively agreed to move the February meeting to February 9th.
Having nothing further to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Jayme with a second by Pegra. All vote in favor. Motion passed.