• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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muc meeting minutes

September 29th, 2011

Municipal Utilities Commission


September 29th; 2011

The Municipal Utilities Commission met on Thursday, September 29th at the Council Chambers, 305 Gay St., Cambridge Md.  Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley convened the meeting at approximately 6:30 pm.

 Present:            Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley

                          Andy Pasden-MUC Commissioner

                          Norma Alschbach-MUC Commissioner

                          Glenn Ford-MUC Commissioner

                          Rex Marshall-MUC Commissioner

                          Steve Williams-MUC Commissioner

                          Gary Newcomb-MUC Manager

                          Sylvester Molock-Superintendent

                          Kevin Johnson-Asst. Superintendent

                          Greg LeBlanc-DPW Asst. Engineer


 Mayor asked for approval of expenses for the months of July and August 2011.

Mr. Newcomb said he wanted to point out a couple of expenses. July expenses Ck# 21574 to Utility Service Co. for $15,815.11 is the maintenance agreement for the Stone Boundary Tank. This is a base price and just this past week we had a wash out inspection.

Ck#21583 to Business Service Corp for $2,709.37 is the maintenance agreement for our  billing and accounting software.  Ck#21601 to DSA LTD. for $1,400.00 is for a new a/c heat unit in Carrie's Office.  Ck#21607 to Comptroller of Md. $50,824.34 is the Bay Restoration Fee.   The rest of expenses are normal expenditures. The month of July is also a three month payroll.  Total expenses for July was $185,622.52.

 For the month of August, Mr. Newcomb said Ck#21630 to MJ Friedel & Associates for $4,022.63 was for a chainsaw to cut metal pipe.  It is not affected by water spray and it takes less room to cut the pipe.   It is air operated.    Ck #21638 to All Shore Paving for $2000.  This is for asphalt to cover the area where trucks fill from the tank and will come from the street repair budgeted amount.  Ck#21645 to MD Unemployment Insurance Fund for $5,502.00 is for two ex-employees which we are required to pay, Mr. Matthewson and Mr. Hubbard.  We have a total responsibility of $14,000.  Ck#21664 for $1925.00 to Brohawn & Brooks to replace both metal doors at station 11.  Total expenses for the month of August were $102,517.69. 

 Mr. Pasden asked how much more unemployment is left for the ex-employees?

Mr. Newcomb responded $2,700 or $2,800.

Motion to approve the expenses for July and August 2011 was made by Mr. Marshall, seconded by Ms. Alschbach and passed.


Minutes for the May 25th, 2011 and July 28th, 2011 meetings were submitted for approval.

Mr. Newcomb said he gave everyone a page 2 for the May 25th, 2011 meeting to replace the previous one given out which had more information than was needed.  With the help of Mr. Pasden, they have been condensed down. 

With no corrections or changes, the minutes of May and July 2011 were submitted for approval

Ms. Alschbach asked if we were charged anything from Delmarva Power on the pole for Nathan's Ave?

Mr. Newcomb said there was no invoice charged to us.

Motion to approve May and July 2011 minutes were made by Mr. Pasden, seconded by Ms. Alschbach, approved.

 Well No.4-Station 7

Mr. Newcomb informed the Commission our new well is completed.  The power is to it.

We have started running it.  Mr. Newcomb showed two samples of what we have been pumping off.  First is cloudy which is not uncommon on a new well.  The second sample is the result of about 100 hours of operation.  It has substantially improved, however  it is still not up to par.  Mr. Newcomb compared this to what is normal to show the difference.

He said he is not overly concerned at this point.  We do have one other magothy well at Stone Boundary and had the same problem which took a little bit of pumping  to get the clay to finally settle as it passes through the stone and gravel path.  He said if he comes back next month and has the same kind of sample he will start to get concerned. 100 hours sounds like a bit but not to get too concerned with yet.  It operates good and pumps very smooth.  The volume is good and the draw down has stabilized.  No real issues. 

Mr. LeBlanc asked what are we doing with the water?

Mr. Newcomb said it is being pumped to the little branch next to the waste water treatment plant. 

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if we could drink this water?

Mr. Newcomb said the bacteria samples are good and it is safe, but no one will drink cloudy water.

Other Old Business

Cattail Irrigation meter account has been adjusted as was agreed and Mr. Mckee thanks us for the consideration and has since sent us a check for the balance of $1100.

The Hyatt irrigation meter, we met with the gentleman and reviewed the pumpage reports at the end of the month  and he agreed with our findings and was billed in excess of 20 million gallons of water for the month.  At that time we installed a new meter and  it is working good.  The new meter also has a built in data logger.  We can go there at  anytime and get a 90 day history report  of what was used each day. 

On the 21st of this month, our operator reported something using a lot of water which continued thru midday. He said he was a little concerned because we were expecting a lot of rain to move in.  The operator said we used more than 1.4 million gallons of water above the previous day.

We data logged the Hyatt irrigation meter and found they had used 1.5 million gallons of water in a day.   Mr. Newcomb explained how we data log and said the Hyatt asked what we were doing and said they had not used any water until the 21st.  When the reports came back to the office, it was exactly as he had said.  He started drawing water at 7:00am until 8:00am the next morning.   They were drawing water at a rate of 1,035 gals. per minute.  The data logger is a good thing.  In the last few months Egide has been concerned about their bill going up. We data logged this and they have issues inside the plant  they will be taking care of. They are using about 35 gallons of water a minute unaccounted for. 

This issue of the pile of dirt, MDE has been doing ride byes. Mr. Molock and Mr. Newcomb have discussed this and made it clear that the silt fence must always be up properly.

Lead & Copper Testing

Lead and copper testing has been reduced to once every three years due to our numbers. We have to sample from established sites. He gave the commission a few pages of results.  The ND under lead means "none detected".  Copper levels, most were undetected.  Allowable limits are 1.3.  The highest level we have is .26.  We have no issues with lead or copper. Starting January 1st, 2012, all materials used in a water system has to be lead free or low lead.  Most of our manufacturers are now using lead free brass.

Municipalities are allowed to use any materials they have in stock. Suppliers will not be able to sell anything they have in stock that has lead in it. It is following the law that was passed in California almost 10 years ago.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked how we selected these locations?

Mr. Newcomb said they were originally established by using records we have that indicated they may have a lead gooseneck connection or copper pipes in the house with lead soldering.  We originally had 75 sites.  We originally needed 60 samples for three consecutive years. After our numbers were lowered, we were reduced to 30 samples. And now we are reduced to 30 samples every three years.  The highest level of lead we have had was a day care center on Elm St. 

Washington Street Tank Contract

We budgeted this year to have the tank renovated and hopefully enter into an  agreement  like we have with the other tanks. Mr. Newcomb said he has been trying to get a proposal  from both Utility Service and Caldwell tank.  The gentleman from Caldwell has been over at least four times and taken samples and  he still has not submitted a proposal.  Mr. Newcomb said with a contract of about $70,000 , should we at least do an advertising  to see if any other company would be interested in submitting a proposal.  He has nothing negative to say about Utility Service.   There are some other companies in the country but he is only aware of Caldwell in the immediate area.

Mr. Pasden said he felt it would be prudent to a least demonstrate that we have attempted  to find other places, otherwise it looks like it could be a conflict of interest.

Mr. Williams said he would have to agree.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said it looks like Mr. Newcomb has his direction.  She asked if there was some kind of publication that would pick this up?

Mr. Newcomb said yes but couldn't think of it.

Mr. Williams said Dodge Report.

Mr. Newcomb said that was the one.

Mr. Williams said the State of Maryland has a bid site that local governments could get on.  It may be an avenue to look into.

Tech Park water line- City's Portion

Mr. Newcomb said several years ago he mentioned about the water line being extended out to the tech park. It was a joint City and County effort.  There was a portion that the City would be responsible for.  The part they are responsible for are both water and sewer lines.  At that time he said he had a feeling that the water portion of the City's part would be turned over to the MUC.  When the audit was done of the draft, it states "to record due to City of Cambridge and construction in progress of $207,225.   This is the amount the City is looking at the MUC to pay the debt associated to extending water to the Tech Park.

Mr. Williams asked, can we assume the City notified us of this so we could budget this amount?

Mr. Pasden asked is there a possibility of getting revenue from putting water out there?

Mr. Newcomb said he is optimistic and hope in the near future that we may.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said it will depend on the Tenants.

He wanted to make the board aware of this.  We have been debt free as we all know.

Superintendent's Report

Mr. Newcomb said we have not had too many major leaks. We have had some problems with finding old abandoned lines by excavators.  Today was a bad day, we have gotten into three lines. One today was a copper pipe, which pulled a 2 & ½ hole in the pipe.  Water was shooting higher than the power lines.  We had to shut down the some valves which could be 100 years old.  This was in front of Fassett McGee on Muir St. 

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if they had to close the nursing home there?

Mr. Newcomb said the water was never completely off.  They did notice some problems with low pressure.   If we can get water down to 100 gallons a minute, we can deal with it.  There are a few valves we may have to repack  One valve was completely seized up.

It took time, but it did work out.  The contractor will have to relocate some water lines. 

He will also have to relocate a 12" pipe at Muir and Pine.  He said we cannot guarantee a 100% shut off on a 100 year old valve.  We should be able to isolate it fairly easy.

Mr. Newcomb said most of the new services are the Christ Rock extension.  North and South Seaway Court are the Deep Harbor townhouses. There is one in Longboat.  It is good to see new services.

July pumpage total was 76,000,000  with unaccountable of 5,830,000.   We just received our water appropriation permits every six years.  It allows us to withdraw specified amounts of water from each acquifer.  The new regulation says we have to submit a water audit every year.  If the unaccounted exceeds 10% then have a to develop another plan on what we need to do to correct it.  He is still at a loss how some Municipalities are dealing with that, especially the ones that are not metered.  Hurlock is an example. 

We are 100% metered. 

August Pumpage was 66,565,000 with unaccountable 4,497,000 .

Mr. Newcomb briefly went over the monthly consumption report breakdown explaining consumption with water and sewer breakdown.

Mr. Newcomnb said the general ledger is there for review, nothing too alarming with two months in the budget year.

Mr. Pasden noted that the commercial is above projected amounts. 

Mr. Newcomb said yes, but in Dec., Jan & Feb they will be down. This is due to Hyatt Irrigation.

Mushroom canning has been running double shifts.  They are having trouble getting mushrooms.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley stated before we adjourn she wanted to give the commission a heads up, the city has revamped their ethics code based on the State's system.  This Commission will be approached to fill out a financial disclosure.  It will happen before we meet again.

Mr. Newcomb said he wanted to bring a pamphlet we worked on for giving new customers which he forgot and also that our minutes will be soon on the City Web site.

He was planning on putting them on the past three years.  Any recommendation?

Mr. Pasden asked if the City 's is this detailed?

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said no.

Mr. Newcomb stated the reason for the detail, the auditors get copies of the minutes and there are very few questions during audit time. 

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said we should go back three years July 2008 to go on the Web. 

With no further business, motion to adjourn to the meeting at approximately 7:27pm was made by Ms. Alschbach, seconded by Mr. Williams, adjourned.

Respectively submitted.

Jane Dorman