2017 May Utilities mintues

Utility Meeting Minutes

May 15, 2017

The meeting was called to order by Utility Chair Cindy Endicott at 6:00 p.m.  Present for the meeting; Commission Chair Cindy Endicott, Commission members Jayme Heim and Pegra Cobb; Councilor Greg Andrews; Clerk Joan Jauss; and Joe Jurewicz from MSA.  Also in attendance: Suzanne Herstad, Bob Quade, John Werner.

A motion to approve the April 17, 2017 Utility Meeting Minutes was made by Jayme with a second by Pegra.  All vote in favor.  Motion carried.

Business from the floor: Pegra asked the Utilities Commission to consider allowing commercial businesses to participate in the Summer Sewer Policy.  Cindy asked how would we calculate the usage?  After some discussion, it was agreed to table for consideration for a future Utilities meeting

Correspondence: None

Water Tower Painting: Joe stated the contractor is still working in Texas so no pre-construction meeting has been set yet.  It was noted at the pre-construction meeting we will need to discuss the removal of any existing antennae on the water tower.

 AT&T antenna: Joan stated the structural and interference reports are done and have been approved by MSA, we are still waiting on the lease amendment.  AT&T was supposed to start moving their antennae today, but with the bad weather nothing was done.

Safety Harness: Joe stated this will be discussed at the pre-construction meeting

Ordinances #25: Joan stated Ordinance #25 Sewer has been updated and was sent to the Utilities Commission for review.  The Commission agreed the changes look good.  A motion was made by Jayme to recommend the changes on Ordinance #25 be given to Council for final approval with a second by Pegra.  All vote in favor.  Motion carried.

Ordinance #44: Joan suggested making a change on Ordinance #44 to add a paragraph c; “Each property that connects into a sanitary sewer main or municipal water main installed after December 31, 2016 shall pay one-third of the applicable sanitary sewer and municipal water trunk area fees set forth in Section 2.A.1.a and 2.A.1.b. of this ordinance.” to the Martin, W. Calvary and Rice Lake road trunks. Cindy noted the wording on paragraph “c” is confusing.  After some discussion, it was agreed to table this issue until we can consult with the City Attorney.  Joan will set up a meeting for June 12th.

Miscellaneous: Joan informed the Utilities Commission there is a resident who currently is on the municipal water system and would like to make a second tap for service to their garage.  There was discussion on what the trunk access fee should be.  Cindy made the recommendation for Council; when a resident already has water service and is going to put a second service for the same property they get a reduced trunk access fee.

City of Duluth proposed water rate increase: Joan shared with the Commission an email the City received stating the City of Duluth is proposing to increase their water rates 6% annually for the next five years.  Cindy stated a cost of service study should be completed by bulk water or distribution rate.  John W. stated we should be in the commercial/residential #4 rate, but we are not as we are outside of the Duluth city limits.  Greg talked about the rate study that was done by an independent contractor previously and the City of Duluth did not abide by the findings.  There was some discussion on getting the neighboring cities of Hermantown and Proctor together to talk with our Legislators to see if a water district can be developed, this would allow for all entities to have a say.  John W. is going to go to the City of Duluth meeting on May 16th to voice our objections to the increases.

Having nothing further to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Jayme with a second by Pegra.  All vote in favor.  Motion carried.