• 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

December 3rd, 2009

Municipal Utilities Commission


December 3, 2009

The Municipal Utilities Commission met on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at the Council Chambers, 305 Gay St., Cambridge, Md.   Mayor Jackson-Stanley convened the meeting at approximately 6:30pm.

Present:             Mayor Jackson-Stanley

                          Andy Pasden-MUC Commissioner

                          Rex Marshall-MUC Commissioner              

                          Norma Alschbach-MUC Commissioner

                          Sylvester Molock- Superintendent

                          Kevin Johnson-Asst. Superintendent

                          Jane Dorman- MUC Financial Specialist

                          Greg LeBlanc-DPW Asst. Engineer

                          Chuck & Mary Prahl-Special Guest

Mayor Jackson-Stanley presented Mr. Charles Prahl with a certificate of appreciation for his dedicated service to the Municipal Utilities Commission and the City of Cambridge.

Mr. Prahl served the MUC both as employee and Commissioner. 

MUC served light refreshments in Mr. Prahl's honor before continuing the meeting.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley reconvened the meeting at 6:58pm.

Expenses for the Month of October & November were submitted for approval.

Mr. Newcomb stated ck#20198 to East Coast Underground for $13,000 is for the West Side bypass drilling.  The Westside Bypass is connected and pressure tested.  We are getting ready to run bacteria samples. He stated when we get the final cost, the Commission will be pleased.

Ck#20220 to PKS & Co for $6,000 is payment for the audit which Mr. Newcomb passed out copies to each Commissioner.

Ck#20226 to Utility Services $44,795.52 is the annual maintenance for Woods Rd, Fletcher Ave and Nathans Ave tanks.

The Total for October is $236,314.36.

Ck#20284 to Dover Plumber for $4461.31 is for materials for the Westside Bypass Rd.

Ck#20300 for $6,972.37 to Jess Jr Body Shop is for repairs to a truck which was involved in an accident with another City truck.  We were reimbursed from the insurance company  all but $500 deductible.

Ck#20309 to PKS & Co for $6,900.00  is the balance for the audit.

Total expenses for November 2009 $117,385.49.

Motion to approve expenses for October and November 2009 was given by Mr. Marshall, seconded by Mr. Pasden and approve.

Minutes for the meeting of October 22nd, 2009 were submitted for approval.

Motion to approve minutes was given by Mr. Pasden, seconded by Mrs. Alschbach, passed.

Credit Card Acceptance

Mr. Newcomb stated after our last meeting, he met with Mr. Kinnamon, Commissioners Sydnor and Thomas in reference to the City accepting credit cards for payments of  the water bill.  They were in agreement to start.  They would like the MUC to report  back in three months on volume, cost and so on. Mr. Newcomb stated, his proposal to them pertaining to cost associated to accepting credit cards would be the MUC would absorb 25% of the cost, 12 ½ % to Bay Restoration reimbursement fund and 62 ½ % to sewer fund.  These amounts would be deducted prior to turning collected fees to the City and no checks would be written.  In  three months we should know what kind of costs we would be looking at. With the Mayors approval and consent from the City, Mr. Newcomb said he signed an agreement with BB & T Bank.  We have established another bank account  which will be directedly debited to this account for credit card payment.  We just received the terminal today and expect to start within the next day or two.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said she did not see any publicity for this.

Mr. Newcomb said there is a number of ways to make customers aware of the service.

We have signs to post at the office.  If we do continue with this, when we order new bills, we may want to have it printed on the bills.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley stated how about a press release?  After the trial period.

Mr. Newcomb said that is a possibility.

Mr. Pasden stated that on a $36 bill, it will cost the MUC about 10 cents.

Mr. Newcomb said on a 79cent cost of the bill we would pay 25% of that.

Magothy Well - Station 7

Mr. Newcomb handed out information from AC Schlutes and stated he did not receive this proposal in time to send out in advance of the meeting.  The letter is a proposal to consider them as a sole source provider. Their proposal was more than Mr. Newcomb said he expected.  This proposal could amount to $476,000.  They did give us some options.  The first part is the well itself with a total depth of around 1000 ft.   It would develop a yield to a minimum of 500 gallons per minute. This would dictate which pump would go into the well. If it would only go 500 gpm, we would have to go with option #1 which would be roughly $34,000.

If the well yield was better, and he is hoping it would be, we would like to see at least 700 gpm which means one million gallons per day. One million gallons per day means 10,000 people.  If this is the case, we would be looking at the larger pump for $47,645.00.

The third page is piping options which is connecting the well into the pipeline that goes into the ground storage tank. Option #1 is $19,351.00 and Option#2 is $22,956.00.

There are some possibilities listed in the event that they would have to go deeper.  The prices are listed per foot.  This would basically be Schultes work. They have listed some references.  As we discussed before there will be some other things necessary.

The next would be Earth Data, a company which would provide the changing of the appropriation permit. There is a possibility that very little will be necessary or more for the State.  Mr. Newcomb said when he talked to the State, they are in the process of looking at everyone's water appropriation permits.  Our current permits are for a fair amount more than what we are actually pumping. They are talking about reducing our appropriation permit amount.  The bad thing about that is if growth comes about, we would have to get the permit changed.  His argument to them was that they should at least consider all the projects that are approved within the City.  We do have some that are presently not being constructed but have got the approval.  The main reason for this well, the master plans shows that with the completion of these projects, the well will be needed. He said he did not know where this will go. 

The maximum amount for Earth Data, depending on what is needed is $6,250.00.

The next proposal is for the Electrical part. Mr. Travers and Mr. Newcomb met with Delmarva Power to examine what cost they would have.  They will not charge us for changing the transformers there.  They will put up another pole and transformer but will not move the meter location.  We will have a separate meter on the pole. There is no cost to Delmarva Power. We could have been looking at up to $30,000. 

Mr. Travers prices are based on what size well  pump is required.  He also listed options of using cooper or aluminum.  If we look at the highest option for the well, we are looking at $476,000.

The last page from Schultes shows a list of customers that use them as a sole source provider.  Mr. Newcomb said he talked to Mr. Collison  concerning the proposal and he felt we could not go wrong by putting something out in the paper to accept proposal for this project.  With a large expenditure like this, it would cover all bases.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said it is better to over communicate.

Mr. Newcomb said he would like to draft up a scope of services and run something in the paper that we are accepting proposals from a reputable well drilling company.

Commissioner Alschbach asked if there is a time frame we have for the well?

Mr. Newcomb said no.  Six months would be reasonable.

Mr. Newcomb stated the other issue we discussed was if we needed an engineer.

I would like to hear Greg's option after seeing this.

Mr. Leblanc said he is able to draft up the documents.  That is what he does.

Mr. Newcomb said he did review the last well that was constructed.  There are some guarantees. Performance bonds, should be included for the protection of the City.

Once we have someone, we need to have a good contract. 

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked who would oversee this project?

Mr. Newcomb said the Earth Data would do a lot of the overseeing of the project.

Mr. Leblanc stated we need to put together a set of specifications to cover any questions that may come up during the well drilling.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley stated this is a very expensive venture so we need to do it right the first time.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked who is the point person from the Commission to oversee this?

Mr. Newcomb said it would be him.  All concerns would be addressed to him.  He could not grant any approvals, because all money would be approved by the Board.
Mr. Newcomb said he looked back on the last well drilling and the engineer  fees amounted to $36,000.  At that time the project was $225,000.   A lot of time the engineering fees are a percentage.  We could be 50-60 thousand dollars.

Greg Leblanc said it doesn't look like too much to put together.  Well drilling is not  one of his expertise areas.  He wasn't sure if the State would require certain engineer stamps  and if they did then we would need to have someone  else because of liability to the City.

However, drilling a well  is not a lot of safety to the Public, except water quality.

Mr. Newcomb said the MDE requires a PE and Schultes has a PE.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if this is part of the fee we are paying them anyway?

Mr. Newcomb said this would be basically just like the wells we have already there.

This contract does not include the fencing. He estimated that would run around another $1,000.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley stated we would be saving on engineering costs.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked when would we be advertising?

Mr. Newcomb said within the next week and we will see if we get any response.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if we need a motion?

Mr. Newcmob said no, we have discussed it and we will just see if we get any other response based on the scope of services required.


Enernoc is a company that approached the City with the possibility of saving some money for power costs.  They basically approached the City for the Waste Water Treatment Plant because they have auxillary generators.  We have generators at Stone Boundary and Nathans Ave.  They are ready to go at anytime.  Mr. Newcomb handed out information of what the City would be saving based on a 200kw demand.  With the two stations we are looking at a 300-350kw demand.  This is no cost. The metering device is provided by them thru Delmarva Power and installed by them. Once it is installed, we can bring up on the internet our usage and demand.  We can monitor it 24 hours a day.

They could call us and require us to drop a load and run the generator. It states it would be no more than 6 hours in the high peak times.  If for some reason we can't drop the load, it would be no penalty.  If we can then we could be looking at these savings. 

Mr. Newcomb said we run the generators anyway so it is not an issue.  In a three year period, we would save $18,000 or as high as $25,000 to $28,000.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley said it sounds like a win-win.

Mr. Newcomb said previously thru Delmarva Power, if we missed one time, we would be penalized two months.  We would save $1,000  and if we ran over it costs us $2000.

There is no penalty to it   We are signed up.

Ground Water Rule

Effective this month, the new regulation  states systems have to guarantee 99.9% virus removals based on their chlorination contact time at the fartherest point in the distribution System.  There is a possibility that we may have to have some remote continual sampling sites to meet the requirement of this rule.  We are better off than he originally thought.

If we were to pick up a bad bacteria sample, we are required to pick up 15 a month, normally we pick up 23-24 samples.  If this happens, we check to see if there is a chlorine residual in the sample that was picked up?  If it is good, then it would mean a collector error.  If there was no chlorine in the water then it would mean there is a possibility something else is going on.  We monitor chlorine residuals daily.  One time in East Cambridge we had none, so we started flushing hydrants, several times until we get adequate chlorine residuals. If we pick up a bad sample, the lab will notify me the next day and we will resample the same location. If it is then okay then we know it is no problem.  If it is bad, we will go to public notification.

With this ground water rule, if we get a bad sample the first time, we have to sample each of the wells that could have supplied water to that sample site.

Mr. Pasden asked if it is a Federal or State ruling?

Mr. Newcomb said iit is Federal mandated by the State.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley asked if this has to do with Homeland Security?

Mr. Newcomb said he thinks it is just for Health issue.

Mr. Pasden asked in a year how many bad samples do you have.

Mr. Newcomb responded one.  If we mark a sample (Special - like testing for a new development) then we do not have to report this because no one is living there yet.

Supterintendents' Report

Mr. Newcomb just briefly looked at the couple of new services and the couple of leaks on the system.

Mr. Pasden asked if we located the leak yet?

Mr. Newcomb said no , we are still drilling holes.

Oct unaccountable water did increase.  We did replace the measuring element at the Hyatt and there was a problem with meter.

We are also replacing the measuring element at Food Swing, Egide and Mushroom Canning  Co.

Went over the Oct & Nov. billing.

Briefly went over the copies of the general ledger. 

Mr. Newcomb said  sales are not too bad to date.

We will be under budget for the Bypass Road and we are done with that.

Mr. Newcomb handed out the inspection report for Stone Boundary and Nathans Ave.

Everything is good.

With no further questions, motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Ms. Alschbach, seconded by Mr. Pasden. Adjourned at 7:50pm.

Respectively submitted

Jane Dorman