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Mohawk Valley Water Authority – March 21, 2016

Vice Chairman Brodsky called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM and opened with the Pledge of Allegiance 

Roll Call:  Present: Rocco Arcuri, Denny Bova, Bruce Brodsky, Vincent Coyne, Mark Ford, Eric Kane, Richard Karam, Frank Mutolo and Bette Szesny.  Absent: Elis DeLia and Scott Mahardy.  Also Present:  Richard Goodney, Phil Tangorra, Jim Korfonta, Anne Milograno and Ken Bobrow, Esq.  

Chairman DeLia presided and Suzanne Harmon took the minutes.

Chairman DeLia welcomed Richard Karam to the Board. 

Approval of the February 16, 2016 Minutes

Motion made by Mr. Ford to approve the minutes.     Seconded by: Mr. Arcuri

Vote:  (8) Ayes   (0) Nays   (0) Abstain    (4) Absent      Motion Carried. 

Chairman DeLia tabled the next three resolutions regarding water charges on county, city owned, four family residential structures, commercial properties and vacant lots.  Mr. Becher stated that the resolutions need to be reviewed and make language changes.

Resolution:  Accepting Part 1 of the Short Environmental Assessment Form and Issuing Notice of Intent to Establish the MVWA as “Lead Agency” Pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act Relative to the West Canada Creek Bank Erosion Repairs

The MVWA proposes to conduct bank stabilization activities along approximately 200 linear feet on the south side of West Canada Creek below the Hinckley Dam, which will require 1165 square feet of rock material fill below the ordinary high water.  Pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Authority caused to be prepared Part 1 of a Short Environmental Assessment for dated 3/3/16 for the project.  The EAF having been reviewed by the Authority was deemed adequate and accurate relative to the project.  The project is an “Unlisted Action” pursuant to 6 NYCRR and therefore coordinated SEQRA review is optional.  The Authority identified the NYSDEC as a SEQRA involved agency relative to the project.  The Board intends to establish itself Lead Agency with respect to the project in accordance with the SEQRA regulations.

Motion made by Mr. Mutolo to approve the resolution.     Seconded by: Mr. Coyne

Vote:  (8) Ayes   (0) Nays   (0) Abstain    (4) Absent      Motion Carried.

Approval:  Quarterly Investment Statement – 4th Quarter ending 12/31/15

Mr. Korfonta stated that this is an investment statement of the MVWA trust funds.  The Board has been presented with these statements every quarter for approval.

Motion was made by Mr. Arcuri to approve the resolution.  Seconded by: Mr. Bova

Vote:  (8) Ayes   (0) Nays   (0) Abstain    (4) Absent      Motion Carried.

Committee Reports:

Finance:  Mr. Korfonta stated that this is the second month of the MVWA calendar year and consumption is down and revenue is on track.   

Executive Director’s Report:

·         Mr. Becher commended the Engineering Department completed a sweep through the system for leak detection.  There have been a lot of leaks detected and the maintenance department has been out fixing them as fast as they find them.  This winter was not as severe as last winter therefore we were able to stay on top of the leaks.

·         The City of Utica Common Council last week acted on the Mayor’s budget proposal.  It appears that the promissory note that the Water Authority pays every year to the City, the Mayor wanted to accelerate the payoff which meant that the MVWA would have had to bond for that.  The Common Council did not agree with that and voted it down.  The MVWA’s bond counsel, Rick McCarthy told Pat that there are some 2006 bonds that might be right for re-financing because rates are still down.  Mr. Becher and Mr. Korfonta will be looking into that and will get back to the Board.

·         Arcadis Engineering is a consulting firm that does a lot of work in the water industry across the country.  There is an organization called the Water Research Foundation, which is a branch of the American Water Works Association.  The Foundation put out an RFP for consultants to look at the whole process of rate setting and the process that goes with it.   A report will be out soon.

·         Last fall the Paige Group came to the MVWA to help the Authority with branding ideas.  There was a workshop with employee participation and they will be coming back soon with some concepts that they have developed and ideas on how to project our image and organization into the minds of our customers so that they know what kind of company we are.  Suzanne will let the Board know when the workshop will be held so that Board members will have an opportunity to sit in on it.

·         Mr. Ford wanted to know if the Water Authority received more calls after the Flint Michigan water incident wanting to know if that could happen here.  Mr. Becher stated that there were more inquiries and the media called asking if that was possible.  Mr. Becher stated that it could not happen here because the Water Authority does things differently. 

In Flint Michigan they decided to switch water sources.  They were treating the water source they had similar to ours with corrosion control.  The MVWA uses soda ash and lime at the Treatment Plant which neutralizes the water and provides a coating over time on the lead pipes. Therefore when the water sits in the pipes overnight there is no contact with the lead.   This is a solution that takes it to the faucet and solves the problem.  The MVWA levels have been below the acceptable levels with the EPA guidelines. There are approximately three thousand lead service pipes left in the MVWA system.  It could cost per job around $2500 to $3500  The total expense to the Water Authority could be between $8 to $11 million dollars.  Mr. Mr. Becher stated that he does not think it is necessary but it could become federal law.

Mr. Becher stated that the Authority is using new technology for leak detection and changing meters to more accurately record where water is going.  The Authority is finding leaks as fast as they can and fixing them in a reasonable amount of time.  The State’s recommendation was to keep doing what the Authority is doing.  Also, Chairman DeLia stated that the Authority’s finances are in order. 

Mr. Brodsky wanted to bring the Board up to date on one thing.n style="mso-spacerun:yes">  The computer upgrades that were recently done were for emergency back-up.  In a committee meeting Mr. Brodsky bought up looking at the MVWA technology future.  The MVWA does not have the staff or resources internally in order to do an assessment of all our technology.  Mr. Brodsky and Mr. Becher will be getting together to look for a consulting firm that would be able to give us advise. 

Chairman DeLia asked for a motion at 5:28 PM to go into Executive Session to discuss an Industrial Rate Schedule and Contract renewal for the Executive Director and Comptroller.

Motion was made by Mr. Mutolo.   Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky

Vote:  (8) Ayes   (0) Nays   (0) Abstain    (4) Absent      Motion Carried. 

Went into Executive Session at 5:35 PM

Motion was made by Mr. Mutolo to come out of Executive Session at 5:50 PM. 

Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky

Vote:  (8) Ayes   (0) Nays   (0) Abstain    (4) Absent      Motion Carried.

In Executive Session the Board voted to renew the contracts for the Executive Director and Comptroller. 

Respectfully submitted,

 __________________________ 

Suzanne M. Harmon, Secretary 

Mohawk Valley Water Authority