muc meeting minutes
October 28th, 2010
Municipal Utilities Commission
October 28, 2010
The Municipal Utilities Commission met on Thursday, October 28,2010 at the Council Chambers, 305 Gay St., Cambridge, Md. Mayor Victoria Stanley-Jackson convened the meeting at approximately 6:30pm.
Present: Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Andy Pasden- MUC Commissioner
Steve Williams-MUC Commissioner
Norma Alschbach-MUC Commissioner
Gary Newcomb- Manager
Kevin Johnson-Asst. Superintendent
Greg LeBlanc-DPW Asst. Engineer
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked for approval of the expenses for August and September 2010.
Mr. Newcomb pointed out for the month of August Ck#2094 Maryland Rural Water Assoc. in the amount of $500.00. We are a member of this Association. We are about as large of a municipality allowed in the Association. We get most of our training for certification thru this Association for no additional charge.
Ck#20940 for Bay Country Security for $779.00 is for damage to the security system during a thunderstorm this summer, knocked out our system. As far as turning it into the insurance company, we have a $1,000 deductible. This happened during the end of July.
Total expenditures for August was $97,901.90. All of this is budgeted except for the damage to the security system.
During the Month of September, Ck# 20964 is for a payroll deduction for an employee for a judgement. Ck#20968 to Jobe & Co for $500 is for a company to calibrate our flow meters at Nathan's Ave. and Washington St Station. Ck# 20977 to A C Schultes for $4,500.00, is the cost of pulling the pump out of the Glasgow St Station well for repairs.
Ck#2984 to PKS & Co for $6,000, a partial payment on the audit.
Total expenditures for the month of September are $117,364.97. All are budgeted amounts except for A C Schutles.
Motion to approve the expenses was made by Commissioner Alschbach, seconded by Mr. Pasden, approved.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked for approval of the Minutes of August 26, 2010.
Motion to approve minutes was made by Mr. Williams, seconded by Ms. Alschbach. Approved.
Magothy Well-Nathams Ave
Mr. Newcomb stated the Well itself is pretty well complete. He attached information in each packet with the invoice thus far. The Development is now complete and the pumpage test is now complete. They started work on September 1st, 2010 and have made pretty good time. We had some complaints from Crusader Arms (two units) which were very close to the work area. They were very understanding.
Mr. Newcomb said he has a sketch of what has been done so far. He wanted to mention the 8" stainless steel screen. After drilling the pilot hole and logging the well, there was only 30' of water bearing sand. We were hoping for 40'. By only being 30' of sand there was no need to put more than 30' of screen. That will reduce the volume of water we can get from it. We have screen in the entire formation. We have 40' at Stone Boundary Station. This is 25% reduction in the screen that we thought we would have.
This will greatly affect the volume of the well. We were hoping to get 700 gal. per minute, he thought 500 was good. Compared to the magothy at Stone Boundary which we get 325 gal. per minute. He said he was hoping to get a greater specific yield (gallons per minute per foot of draw down). A good number would be 4 to 4.5 gallon per minute. A good high yield well you could be 5 or 6 gallons per minute. After the development went on for about two weeks, and running the last pump test, it looks like we will be getting 300 to 325 gallons per minute. Right now the specific yield is looking like 2 gallons per foot. What happens is if the draw down level is great, you have to have the pump set at a greater depth. This means your power cost is increased because you need a bigger pump to raise the water from the well. This is where we are right now. We will be analyzing the pumpage depth and come up with a pump size to put in the well. With the draw down of 180' (which is substantial), our pump setting would be around 260'. The other magothy has a pump set at 220'. He can't give the exact numbers yet. We may even be considering a submersible pump instead of a vertical turbine pump. We don't have any submersible pumps in our system. If we have to have a deep setting, with a smaller pump, that may be an option. Either one of the options should be less than the original proposal for the 500 gal a minute pump. He would have liked to have a higher yield but is not surprised since we only have 30' of sand. There was a test well done at the Hyatt complex 25 years ago at 2500 ' deep and at that site they had over 40' of sand.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley stated it sounds like on one hand we are saving money but it will cost more money to get it up from the ground.
Mr. Newcomb said it could.
Ms. Alschbach asked would it still be sufficient?
Mr. Newcomb said yes it is sufficient. This does give us a well in three different acquifers which was recommended by the previous consulting engineers, but he was still hoping for more volume.
Mr. Newcomb included a copy of the first invoice he received for $189,658.00. We just paid this invoice last week. He included some pictures. He included the cement trucks lined up because we put 930' of 16" casing in a 24.5" hole. The area on the outside is grouted. It took eleven concrete trucks to grout it. Mr. Newcomb said on page three, you can see a picture of a well screen. He also showed them a picture of the 30' of well screen. It doesn't look like much but this is for the water bearing sands. It has a .003 slot size that keeps sand from coming thru. The sand stays to the outside allowing water to come thru.
Mr. Pasden asked what was the bottom picture of. Mr. Newcomb responded, their mud pit. The add bentinite, a compound to keep the hole from caving in when they are drilling. It is like a thin concrete slurry mix. After they are done they dried it and actually today they are disposing it. It is not harmful. Most of it is just clay.
Mr. Leblanc said the benetinite is not good for the environment, and that is why they have to contain it. They are hauling it to Easton at no cost. That is why they did not haul it to Beulah. That was also part of their contract to dispose of it. Today they were setting the casing around the well, then they will hook up piping and electricity and installing the pump. If it gets to anything above what is expected, he said he would request a meeting, especially if we have to put in a submersible pump verses what we have. It still is a little discouraging 2 gallons per foot. They may come with a proposal to develop it. That would be like rolling the dice. It may or may not work. Piney Point wells in this area have 130 to 160' of sand.
Station 8 - Well #2
Mr. Newcomb submitted a proposal from A C Schultes to put the pump back in working condition in the amount of $23,646.00. The pump only had 10,000 hours on it. So it was totally unexpected. He still questions the entire stainless steel shaft replacement. They feel it should be replaced. They are the experts, but I felt only half should be replaced. It is hard for him to believe how the shaft was bent with the bearings and bearing holders were good. They would not guarantee it if it was not all replaced. It is a year guarantee.
Ms. Alschbach asked if Mr. Newcomb felt we did not get our use out of it before this happened.
Mr. Newcomb said no, not at all. It costs $81.00 a day to pump it. It should last a lot longer than that. He stated we do not know what caused the damage. A respected friend of his felt it was the grade of stainless steel that was used. It was mentioned to Schultes but they would not say what was in there. Mr. Newcomb thought it was Chinese. Schultes would say all the stainless steel they use is American made. Mr. Boise, a friend of his said the Chinese stainless does not have tork. So we are looking at an estimated repair cost of $28,196.00 which is unbudgeted.
Mr. Pasden asked at the last meeting, what was the amount we estimated to spend?
Mr. Newcomb said up to $30,000.
Mr. Williams asked if we did not rebuild the pump, we have to build a new one?
Mr Newcomb said if we wanted a new one it would be an additional $2132.00 and since it is only four years old, he recommend that we just have it reworked.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if we need a motion to approve?
Mr. Newcomb said he would like to have one. They are ready to do it. Currently the station is worthless unless we redo the well pump.
Mr. Pasden made a motion authorize Mr. Newcomb to rework and make payment on the Station 8- Well #2.
Seconded by Ms. Alschbach. Passed.
Mr. Pasden stated that with the tight budget, he does not want to unduly sacrifice our services, payment or even employment to any of our employees to cover the cost of this.
It is important for us to maintain our quality and ability to serve the citizens, our customers and if it would come down to it , he would be in favor of tapping reserves rather than cutting services.
Mr. Newcomb said he agreed, and at this time he is not asking to go into reserves but before the end of the year we may have to. Mr. Newcomb stated, he did get Unitech to give us a proposal for the new pump. Their proposal was $35,000.
Mr. Newcomb said he did decide to reduce the workforce by one position. This was something we talked about during budgeting. This was a mutual agreement. He was close to termination. He decided to do something else and relocated near Baltimore.
I have no intention of filling this position. There are no appeal rights he would have.
Mr. Williams asked how many staff does MUC have?
Mr. Newcomb said now we have 16.
Mr. Willliams said based on the age of the system and number of leaks and repairs, is this a time to reduce the work staff?
Mr. Newcomb said you are correct about the age of the system and leaks, but we don't have the amount of leaks we use to have and our meter reading system has helped reduce the work load. We used to use two, now we use just one, and he does not read every day.
We have had 17 people now for nearly 15 years. As long as everyone is there, it is no problem. However, someone is always on vacation, plus sick leave. He felt we are comfortable. Our last increase was in the office. For lack of a better word, we had things dumped on us from the City. The rental registration has been very time consuming. Now the City is trying to enforce some of this. Jane had to go to court with the code enforcers.
Sylvester can tell you years ago, we fixed 300 leaks annually. We don't have that volume anymore. If we get into more pipe installation, then we may want to pick up another employee. He said he hates for anyone to lose their job, if they are terminated, it is their doing, not his. I see a lot of waste in the City. The State has waste. I don't think we will have any problem this year. If it is a problem, then the next budget year, we will consider it. We like to cross train people. A few years ago, our meter reader broke his leg and our back up called in sick and never came back. Now we have a least three people that can read meters. Anyone can read meters, but it is a deadline that we need to focus on. We have to keep it within the same time frame every month for consistent billing. November is always an issue. With the holidays, it is a struggle but we try to keep the same schedule. The gentlemen that left was also last one hired.
Mr. Newcomb said instead of going into detail, he wanted everyone to have a copy and go over it. At our next meeting, we should have a copy of the final draft. He don't think it will change anymore. Even though the budget will probably end up showing a loss of
$11,000. When you add that $147,000 appreciation expense against it, it is a pretty good budget.
Mr. Pasden stated it felt it was a pretty good audit and he pointed out on page 13, under related party, it pointed out that our income was reduced due to a decision by the City.
Fletcher Ave-Tank washout inspection
Mr. Newcomb said this is a copy of the wash out inspection which is done every two years. When the health inspector comes around, this is one of the things she likes to look at. The second page, notice all the rivets. This is twice as thick as a new tank would be. They don't use rivets anymore. The sediments that accumulate are two years worth. Before we started with the maintenance agreements on the tanks, these tanks were never washed out until it was time to be recoated. It was a good thorough job. Page 3 you can see the vent on the top. This tank up to 15 years ago did not have a vent. Without a vent, when the water would drop, it would suck the top down. It originally had a series of holes all the way around the top. We covered the holes with a small piece of metal and installed vent. The tank is in excellent condition for a 75 year old tank.
Ms. Alschbach said she sees on the report that there is no evidence of vandalism. Thank the Lord.
Mr. Newcomb said that tank has actually been shot 4 times that he is aware of. Mr. Stubbs called one time that the tank was leaking. There was a bullet hole at the top section. It had to be a high pressure rifle to penetrate that metal. Utiltiy service repaired it.
Mr. Newcomb included a thank you letter from the YMCA for the free water. He said it needed to go to the Commission because you are the ones who approved it.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley said this is a good partnership.
This is the company that approached us last year to save us some money. This was no cost to us. They installed some devices on the meter at Stone Boundary and Nathans Ave. This past summer, Nathans was not in operation. Stone Boundary, only one day did they call for us to reduce the load. We ran the generator which we like to run once a month anyway. We got a check for $1,987.87. They originally said we could be anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. We had some hot weather last summer. If Nathans was running , we we would reduce that as well.
Mr. Newcomb told Mr. Williams he can see the number of leaks we previously talked about. Not a great deal. Dorchester Ave & Cedar St is the side of the old pump station.
The ¾" plastic pipe was only put in for a 5 year period in the early fifties.
Mr. Pasden asked if something was going on Locust St.?
Mr. Newcomb said it is valves. All old valves. Some of these valves are 80 years old.
80% of the time we turn them on they stop leaking.
There was one new service in August in Longboat.
September shows the new townhouses in Deep Harbor.
Mr. Newcomb went over the pumpage for August 2010 and September 2010.
There was not a typo for August showing less than 1% unaccountable water.
September showed 7% unaccountable water. Mr. Newcomb said you can't just look at one month because our billing runs from partial one month into the next. You should look at three months. We had meters calibrated.
Copies of the general ledger were included in packets. Mr. Newcomb said we should be at about 17%. We are in pretty good shape on all numbers. As far as income, our expenditures are not a problem as of yet. I don't expect them to be.
Looking at September on page 1, the BRI Fund CD for $176,098.31, we took out and deposited into our operating fund which will be used to pay off the well
Page 4, our income should be at 25% and all the numbers are looking pretty good.
Nothing on expenditures to be alarmed about.
The billed consumption for August was 65,575 for a total of $139,553.83
September billed consumption 59,770 for a total of $128,381.91.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked for any questions?
The meeting in November would have to be changed as well as December. After discussion it was agreed to have a meeting on December 2nd, 2010.
Mr. Newcomb said he would tentatively have it set for December 2nd, 2010 and will check to make sure there is nothing planned for that date at the Council Chambers.
Mr Pasden asked if you install a meter for outside watering, what is the sewer rate?
Mr. Newcomb said 50%. All others are 250%.
Ms. Alschbach mentioned about a high bill of Ms. Allen on Rosemount Ave that maybe we could check into.
Mr. Leblanc said a lady on the corner of Maces Lane and Washington St said her bill was really high when he was out surveying. He thought he would mention it.
Mr. Newcomb said a lady at Cattail Crossing complained about her bill but she was uncooperative.
With no other business the meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:40pm.
Motion was made by Mr. Williams to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Pasden. Adjourned.