muc meeting minutes
April 22nd, 2010
Municipal Utilities Commission
April 22nd, 2010
The Municipal Utilities Commission met on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 at the Council Chambers, 305 Gay St., Cambridge, Md. Mayor Jackson -Stanley convened the meeting at approximately 6:30pm.
Present: Mayor Jackson-Stanley
Norma Alschbach-MUC Commissioner
Glen Ford-MUC Commissioner
Andy Pasden-MUC Commissioner
Gary Newcomb, MUC Manager
Carrie Hall-Asst. Manager
Sylvester Molock- MlUC Superintendent
Ed Kinnamon- City Treasurer
Mr. Kinnamon asked the Commissioners, Pasden, Alschbach, and Ford to stand and be sworn in as Commissioners for the Municipal Utilities Commission. He had previously sworn in Mr. Steve Williams and will have to make arrangements with Mr. Rex Marshall at a later date.
Mr. Kinnamon swore in the Commissioners. All agreed to abide by the Constitution of the United States, Laws of the State of Maryland and Charter of the City of Cambridge as it pertains to the Municipal Utilities Commission.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked for approval of expenses for the Months of February and March 2010.
Mr. Newcomb said he would like to mention ck#20507 Brohawn & Brooks $1,688.00
This was for window replacements at Station 7 & 8. This is for six windows. We had $7,000 budgeted. Everything else is normal expenditures. Expenses for February totaled $90,519.55.
Mr. Newcomb said for March, he wanted to mention ck#20562 Dorchester Sanitary District for $50.00. It is for the Glasgow Street Pumping Station front footage charge.
We have no sewer connections to the bldg and now it is also in City Limits and we are assessed this charge. This has always bothered him. Ck #20573 to the City of Cambridge for $17,262.07 is broken down on a separate sheet in the packet combing the expenses we have discussed before. Ck #20580 to the City of Cambridge $58,161.55 is the annual billing to the Maryland State Retirement & Pension System which is also broken down in your packet. Everything else is normal operating expenses. Expenses for the month of February total $90,519.55 and March total $138,926.05.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked for a motion to approve the minutes of February 25th, 2010 and expenses.
Motion to approve was made by Mr. Pasden, seconded by Mr. Ford. Approved.
Magothy well-Station 7
Mr. Newcomb said he was sorry to say he was supposed to have a contract for signatures tonight and still some delay and review by Mr. Collison. The last issue is a penalty clause. We can't seem to agree on a penalty for completion time. Mr. Newcomb said he is adamant about it needs to be some kind of fee if it is not completed in the time frame for completion. We had no trouble agreeing on a time frame. They are concerned about the subs we would be using. Mr. Newcomb said he requested $100 a day if it goes past the time frame. They may come back with $50.00 a day.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked what would be listed as a reasonable amount of money?
Mr. Newcomb said it is based on the size of the contract. This is a big contract and that is why I am insisting on $100 a day.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if this could be a deal breaker for us?
Mr. Newcomb said it would not.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley said we will wait until next month.
Credit Card Acceptance
Mr. Newcomb reported on the Credit Card Payment. The amount collected for one month was $5,704.44. The amount of fee deducted was $116.39. He also went over the amount collected since we started in December. It is increasing each month.
Mr. Pasden asked if this was MUC's share.
Mr. Newcomb said no, this is the total. MUC gets approximately 25%.
It has worked out well. We will continue to see it increase. He will also be sending his report to Commissioner Sydnor.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley said she was glad we took the steps to get this started.
Consumer Confidence Report
Mr. Newcomb said this is a requirement of EPA and MDE. They are not the cheapest thing that we do. He enclosed a copy of the PO# for $2,888.00 which is not our total cost. We still have to mail them.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if they go first class?
Mr. Newcomb stated we send them bulk rate. We are required to send them out by July 1st. If this is not done, the City would be in violation. We will be in compliance. We will receive these by the middle of May.
Mr. Newcomb said he wanted to give a little report on the how much activity goes on at the MUC office.
One thing that surprised him the most is how many people come to the counter at the office in one day.
Mr. Newcomb explained the shut offs, estimated bills during the winter months and general office procedures. These figures are based on monthly billing.
Mayor Jackson-Stanley said those numbers will come down once credit cards catch on.
Mr. Pasden said he too was amazed a how many people come in to pay their bill at the counter.
Mr. Newcomb said he just wanted to show the office activity and said we are fortunate to have an excellent office staff.
Leak Adjustments FY-10
Mr. Newcomb said he wanted to bring the Commission up to date on adjustments.
The majority are for leaks. Some would be billing errors. This year it has been running a little bit higher than in the past. Water was $13,612.12 and almost $29,000 on the sewer side. Most in XF would be billing errors. Penalties, we have an unwritten policy. If someone who never gets a penalty and is never late and for some reason the are away or something, we will credit off the penalty. Meter installs would be billing error. He said he thought our adjustment policy is good. It would have tremendous hardship on people if we did not have it.
Mr. Pasden asked how do we determine that amount?
Mr. Newcomb said on previous usage. No more than a two month period and not more than one in a calendar year. There is no particular month that stands out more than another.
Mr. Pasden asked if we deduct the sewer adjustment before we pay the City money owed?
Mr. Newcomb said yes.
Ms. Hall stated when we say billing errors, it could be just a bill generated before it is due to be billed. For example, a new account is set up and only in the system for 10 days, but the bill is pulled and credited off because it is less than 15 days.
Mr. Pasden stated by looking at the XF, with a million bills you send out, that is pretty accurate. Incredibly accurate.
Mr. Newcomb said he has been very pleased.
Mr. Newcomb said if you look at the leak report, you will see the cast iron pipe which we discussed in the past.
We have one 3" pipe in the system and that is on Church St. It is an odd size.
We also replace any galvanized services we find. It cuts down on the amount of leaks we do have. Just two new services installed in the 3 month time frame.
Pumpage was down for the month of February compared to a year ago same time. We pumped 45,799.000. 15% unaccounted for.
March was under 50 million for pumpage. 16% unaccountable water.
We billed $98,787.71 in February for water and $103,667.26 for March Any time we bill under $100,000. it is not good because our expenditures are over that $100,000.
We did find one leak which was running since December on Rt 16. It was a split down in the vault. We found this from a Miss Utility ticket. The meter reader did not pick it up because it is a radio read.
Mr. Newcomb briefly summarized the Budget comparison from the General Ledger sheets. Looking a March he said no drastic changes and very little interest added.
On page 4 we are in March and should be looking a 75%. We are in line with manufacturing, however, commercial , residential and municipal are a little down.
Some is due to February being so bad. He felt we will be under even what he projected for the year. Penalties are up. The sewer service charge is still being billed to Mr. Kinnamon but we know we will not be paid for those. Our Budget money, we are under budget. No real concerns. We can't spend more money than we have coming in. Some of these are purposely keeping to a minimum.
Page 5 shows that the meters percentage is getting close. The other items, we are not having any trouble staying under budget. Acct 6110 shows we are over budget. This is one you are aware of which we discussed in the past One other account we know we will not be under budget is general insurance acct#6300. We have $5,089.97 left and we paid a bill today for $26,600.00 for workman's compensation. The projection we have for next year is $33,000. This is for 17 employees. We will have to do an adjustment on next years budget before we even submit it.
Mr. Newcomb said he has nothing else unless someone has questions.
Mr. Pasden asked if Mr. Newcomb has run the numbers of revenue against expenses.
Mr. Newcomb said he is right on the money thru the nine months of this year.
With no other business, motion to adjourn was made by Ms. Alschbach, seconded by Mr. Pasden. Adjourned at approximately 7:15pm.