• 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

February 26, 2009

Municipal Utilities Commission


February 26, 2009

The Municipal Utilities Commission met on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at the Council Chambers, 305 Gay St., Cambridge, Md.  Mayor Jackson-Stanley convened the meeting at 6:30 pm.

Present:             Mayor Jackson-Stanley

                          Glen Ford - MUC Commissioner

                          Charles Prahl - MUC Commissioner

                          Rex Marshall - MUC Commissioner

                          Gary Newcomb - MUC Manager

                          Carrie Hall - MUC Asst. Manager

                          Sylvester Molock - MUC Superintendent

                          Kevin Johnson - MUC Asst. Superintendent

                          Greg LeBlanc - DPW Asst. Engineer


Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked for approval of the expenses for the Month of

January 2009 in the amount of  $141,687.59.

Mr. Newcomb commented on Ck#19481  HD Supply (meter purchases) $15,998.00 which we sell in turn to contractors. Ck# 19537 $1,685.00 (maintenance on computer hardware in office), Ck# 19549  $1,058.00  (2 new PC's for office with 2 yr maintenance)

Mr. LeBlanc asked about ck#19511  $1916.02 to Lennar Blders. 

Mr. Newcomb explained this was an overpayment at transfer of several properties.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked about Ck#19510 to MUC.  Do we pay ourselves?

Mr. Newcomb said this is to reimburse petty cash which is used for postage to mail dial and meters back, etc.  We maintain petty cash at $130.00 at the office.

Motion to approve the expenses for January 2009 was made by Mr. Marshall, seconded by Mr. Ford.  Approved.


Motion to approve the Minutes of January 2009, seconded by Mr. Ford.  Approved.

Proposed Budget

Mr. Newcomb stated at our last meeting, he introduced the proposed budget, which basically was a maintenance budget, with no capital improvements.  This included increments for eligible employees with no additional or any reduction of employees.

With the proposed budget of $1,644,823.00 and the projected revenue of $1,774,000.00, this would leave a surplus of $129,177.00.

We previously discussed several improvements to the budget.  The main extension for the By-pass Rd was one.  Mr. Newcomb handed out an estimate from Davis, Bowen & Freidel.   This is something we could do in house.  $316,000.00 would be the estimated cost.  Mr. LeBlanc looked at it today.  It is a very substantial amount, but at the same time it is a very important improvement.  After looking at the numbers, Mr. Newcomb said he priced the valves, piping etc. We would have to contract out the directional boring, but he was comfortable that we could do it for $130,000.00.  This would not include salaries, equipment gas and usage.  We pay salaries anyway and we would have the use of equipment. The estimate from Davis, Bowen & Freidel, the piping was $110.00 per linear foot installed.  We could get the pipe at $24.00 a linear foot.  The $110.00 is actually cheap.  If it were a street in town, it would be twice as much.  This would be a shoulder of the road type of installation.  The $316,000.00 would be a contractors price.  It is something we could do for the $130,000.00. 

Of  the $130,000.00 surplus in the budget, there are a few things Mr. Newcomb said he would like to do from the list of budget considerations.

Station 7 - Window replacement    $2700.00

Station 8 - Window replacement   $1800.00

Station 11 - correct drainage problem  $5000.00

Additional Chlorine tester   $2000.00

4" wet tap shell cutter & adapter   $1750.00

$13,250.00 would be the total from the budget considerations which was discussed at our last meeting.

Other items such as the replacement of Well pump at Nathan's Avenue, right now is okay, but next month we may have to comeback and say the pump is gone.  Currently it is running fine.  Mr. Newcomb said it is running now and we should run it.  If we pull it, it  won't go back in.  It may go another year or another five years. 

The generators we talked about, he feels very comfortable with what we have.  The new well, we should definitely be considering in the future. No immediately need.  Long term yes. 

Mr. Prahl asked where would we consider the new well?

Mr. Newcomb said it would be a Magothy at the Nathans Ave Pump Station.

Mr. Marshall asked if the budget included cost of living increases for the employees.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley replied, increments only.

Mr. Marshall stated that with the economy the way it is, are we doing everything other agencies are doing with furloughs and increases?

Mayor Jackson-Stanley stated she thinks Mr. Newcomb works very hard for the MUC and is very frugal and she appreciates this.  As for the other agencies, you can ask for anything you want but it has not been approved as of yet.

Mr. Newcomb said he would ask consideration for our force to begin installation on the By-pass Road and include it in our next years budget.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley stated because of the structure of the land and the time would make it much cheaper.

Mr. Newcomb said and a very necessary project and we will still operate within our own revenues without going into reserves.  Before we go into reserve accounts, we must have board approval.

Based on this information, I would like to submit a budget which is completely balanced with no reserve funding.  We will also not be putting any money into reserves.

Mr. Newcomb asked for approval of the budget as submitted with the items listed above from the budget considerations totaling 13, 250.00 plus the extension of the Bypass Road main to be done by our own work force.

Mr. Prahl motion to approve the budget as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Ford.  All approved.  Passed.

Jenkins Creek - Washington St By-pass Road Water Line

Mr. Newcomb stated he handed out the estimates for the By-pass Rd earlier and this was included in our discussion of  the proposed budget.

Federal Stimulus Project

Mr. Newcomb said each member should have a copy of the letter from the Department of the Environment dated Feb. 5th, 2009. A couple of months ago, the State indicated that there was no grant money available for municipalities.  The Federal Government has now put money in for Local Governments.  There is some Federal money coming down. 

Mr. Newcomb felt it is appropriate to put application in for some of the improvements that are outlined in the Master Plan revision.  He thanked Mr. LeBlanc for working on the application.  We plan on having them submitted on Feb. 27th, 2009.  Deadline is the 28th.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if we file it electronically or overnight it?

Mr. LeBlanc stated we do both.

Mr. Newcomb stated the items that are outlined by Davis, Bowen & Freidel total 5.47 million dollars.  If we could get help with some of these projects it would be to the City's advantage.  Hopefully we will get something. The Bypass Road is only a piece of the puzzle in strengthening the system on Jenkins Creek Rd.  We may get enough money to replace the lines on Jenkins Creek Rd to Glasgow St which would further enhance the fire flow to Jenkins Creek.  This does not include anything for the Tech Park or Christ Rock. 

Mr. Prahl asked why can't we use impact money for the new line?  He said we have mentioned before it does not look good to have too much money in impact fees.

Mr. Newcomb stated we could use the impact money for that but, looking at 5.47 million dollars in improvements as well as future plans for a new well, we will be using it in the future.

A new well would be a long term investment the City should consider.  The last well we had drilled was in 1995.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said in the past we have questioned the unaccountable water. She noted that there are cones in the street at Spring & Gay St.  Is this some more unaccountable water?

Mr. Newcomb said he told Sylvester & Kevin that since Jan. 4th, 2009  something had happened. The daily pumpage from our stations had changed.  You can get a general feel of what should be pumped.  We knew we had to have a leak somewhere. It amounted to 3 to 4 hundred thousand gallons a day. We noticed near the manhole cover there was a swale. Looking down the manhole, a ten inch pipe was running full.  There was quite a bit of concrete in the road so the road did not wash away. 

Mr. Newcomb stated, our water conservation report factors in leaks, fire company training, meter inaccuracies etc.  With these taken in to consideration, it would bring our unaccountable to 6%.  There were some months such as November, before we found a leak, we were up to 19%,  another was up 10% and as low as 2%.  The average is 6% so we do not have to file a water conservation report.

Mr. LeBlanc said item number 11 was overlooked.  He thought we were only looking at 10 items.   Is it very important?

Mr. Newcomb said yes because it would complete the loop as well as increasing the fire flow to the area.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if he could include it.

Mr. LeBlanc said he would.

Superintendent's Report

Mr. Newcomb stated we have had a number of cast iron lines crack in the month of  January.  Cast iron has now been replaced by ductile iron and later by PVC.

New services were listed for the Commission, most were at Foxtail Crossing.

The pumpage report for January was 56,248,000.  Billed water was as low as we have seen. The unaccountable was up due to the leak a Spring & Muse.

G/L Report

As recommended from our Auditors, the Commission should review our expenses and our income.  The Bank accounts were given to each Commissioner for review. 

Mr. Newcomb explained water sales, November and January are traditionally the lowest.  Our projected income should still be on track.

Mr. Newcomb said it looks like we are over budget on meters but the figure does not reflect the meters which we have sold to developers.

Mr. Newcomb reviewed the water amount billed to customers. 

Mr. Marshall said he had two questions.  Are the new services all new construction? And if the Gas Company or other utility damages a line, do we bill them or just fix it?

Mr. Newcomb said they are new services for new homes and normally if the Gas 

Company were to damage a water line, if it is small, we would go out and fix it.  There have been times when they have hit a large line.  In front of the Post Office is a prime example.  The gas company said they pulled a ¾" line, but what they did was pull copper pipe and a corporation  and a hole in an 8" pipe. We had to shut water down. The whole area under the brick street was sinking down.  The Gas Company contacted us about sharing the cost.  We didn't charge them for repairing the leak but we took no responsibility for repairing the street.

A contractor did confront Mr. Newcomb about fixing the street for the Gas Company. 

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said she would like to send a letter to reinforce the repairs to the street because there have been a lot of complaints from that area.

Mr. Newcomb said it is to be repaired shortly.

With no further business, motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Mr. Marshall, seconded by Mr. Prahl, at approximately 7:40pm.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and exact accounting of the business of the MUC during the regular meeting held on February 26, 2009.  In so far as I am peronsally aware.

Jane W. Dorman