Mohawk Valley Water Authority – October 27, 2014

  

Chairman DeLia called the meeting to order at 5:40 PM and opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Roll Call:  Present:  Dennis Bova, Bruce Brodsky, Vincent Coyne, Elis DeLia, Mark Ford, Mitch Ford, Scott Williams and Steve Zywiak.  Absent:  Rocco Arcuri, Scott Mahardy, Frank Mutolo and Bette Szesny.  Also Present:  Anne Milograno, Richard Goodney, Jim Korfonta, Scott Gorgas, Mario Bequer and Ken Bobrow, Esq.

 

Chairman DeLia presided and Suzanne Harmon took the minutes.

 

Approval of the September 15, 2014 Minutes

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

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

 

Resolution:  Proposed Marcy Reservoir Breaching and Partial Removal; SEQRA, MVWA Lead Agency Establishment

The MVWA proposes to breach and partially remove the Marcy Reservoir Dam, which was rendered inactive.  The project will involve the placement of soil erosion and sediment control measures, excavation of the western embankment, the grading of spoil material within the retired reservoir and site restoration.  The EAF, having been reviewed by the Authority was deemed adequate and accurate relative to the project.  No one involved objected to the establishment of the Authority as Lead Agency and the Authority desires to establish itself Lead Agency with respect to the project. 

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

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

 

Resolution: Proposed Marcy Reservoir Breaching and Partial Removal; SEQRA, Acceptance of EAF and Negative Declaration

The Authority now desires to make its determination of significance in accordance with the SEQRA regulations.  Based upon the investigation of the potential environmental impacts of the Project the Authority makes the following findings:  a) it constitutes an “Unlisted Action” as said quoted term is defined in the SEQRA regulations, b) will result in no significant environmental impacts and is one which will not have a significant effect on the environment and c) as a consequence of the foregoing, the Authority has decided to prepare a “Negative Declaration” with respect to the project.

Motion made by Mr. Mark Ford.     Seconded by: Mr. Zywiak.

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

 

Approval of the MVWA 2015 Calendar Year Proposed Budget

The MVWA is required to hire an outside rate consultant to assure the bond holders that the Authority is

maintaining a budget that will meet all of the Authority’s payments; including debt payments.  The MVWA has had six bond rating increases since we have taken over the system.  The rate consultant had some concern about a slightly smaller increase but with some adjustments the consultant feels that what is in front of you now works.  The MVWA will have the rate consultant’s certification letter as soon as Mr. Becher reports back on what the Board does tonight.

 

Mitch Ford stated that the increase would take effect January 1, 2015 and in fact would start billing customers on October 1, 2014, which is three months earlier due to the change in the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2015.  Mr. Becher stated that it would apply to bills going out after January 1st.  Mr. Ford stated that with the AMI system he would like to see an up to date reading on a daily basis, therefore billing customers at the old rate before December 31, 2014 and at the new rate starting January 1, 2015.  Mr. Brodsky also had a concern regarding how many increases there have been in the last four quarters.

Chairman DeLia stated that if the Board passes the proposed budget tonight then we could have an analysis done by Mr. Korfonta to show how this is impacting it and if there is a need to correct it. 

Mr. Bova stated that on line 12 and 13 other department costs 13 Water Distribution:  one staff moved (Maintenance Engineer) from Distribution to Maintenance; this is the first Mr. Bova is hearing of this.  Mr. Korfonta stated that one position was moved, which leaves the same number of positions on the roster at a little bit lower cost.

Motion made by Mr. Coyne to approve the budget.     Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky.

Vote:  (6) Ayes   (2) Nays   (0) Abstain    (4) Absent      Motion Denied.

 

Resolution:  Decision Regarding Establishment of Water Rates, Fees and Charges Effective January 1, 2015

An increase of 2.8% rate increase to fund a $22.150 million dollar budget for calendar year 2015.  The main reasons are a reduction in overall water consumption of approximately 2.0%.  Additional principal payments due on the 2012 revenue bonds of $124,000.  Funding of the capital maintenance reserve an additional $145,000 for cash-financed capital projects.  Employee benefit increases including: health insurance premiums increasing $59,000 or 4.0%; worker’s compensation premium increasing $82,000 or 43.0%; a reduction in the state-mandated retirement premium of $107,000; offsetting the above increases is an overall reduction in operating expenses in other areas resulting in budget expense reduction of .67% on the $22.1 million budget and federal unfunded mandates for covered storage tanks and water treatment improvements cost $26.6 million between 2003 and 2008.

 

Mr. Brodsky stated that last year the MVWA created the recreation rate regarding a 50% reduction in municipal water and he could not find it in the rate schedule.  Mr. Korfonta stated that he will put it in the rate schedule.

Mr. Bova asked Mr. Korfonta how long it would take to do the analysis that Chairman DeLia spoke about.

Mr. Becher stated that it would take approximately one week.  Mr. Bova would like to see everyone starting out at the same time with an even playing field.

Chairman DeLia stated that the Board could pass the rates and make any corrections at a later date after all of the questions have been answered.  Mr. Ford stated that it would satisfy him.

Mr. Becher stated that if the Board passes the Budget and the Rate Schedule tonight that the fiscal year would begin on January 1st and then vote on how to implement the rate moving forward.

 

Chairman DeLia asked if anyone would move the proposed Budget for calendar year 2015.

Motion made by: Mr. Mitch Ford.    Seconded by:  Mr. Bova

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

 

Chairman DeLia asked if anyone would move the Decision Regarding Establishment of Water Rates, Fees and Charges effective January 1, 2015.

Motion made by Mr. Bova.     Seconded by: Mr. Coyne.

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

 

Approval: Quarterly Investment Statement – 1st Quarter Ending June 30, 2014

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 made by Mr. Williams.     Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky.

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

 

Committee Reports:

Finance:  Mr. Korfonta stated that consumption is continuing to go down.  Overall in the northeast they are seeing double digits in reduction.  Water sales continue to be at budget and collections this month came up.

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Director’s Report:

         On September 16 the MVWA filmed the next segment of CNY Open House TV show.  The topic was street restorations and paving cuts.  Customers want to know if there is a cut in the road in January why doesn’t it get fixed until summer, so we thought we would take this opportunity to explain it. 

         On October 22 a kick off meeting was held for a study for water regionalization for western Oneida County.  GHD Engineering, which is the firm the Board awarded to were here along with some representation from the other towns.  They are on track and will have a report ready in June 2015, which will have a variety of options.

         The MVWA is currently being audited by the office of Minority of Woman Business Enterprise, which is a division of Empire State Development.  These are the rules that are passed by Governor Cuomo under an executive order.  That required us as a public authority to spend certain percentages of the MVWA’s money to the best certified minority business owners or woman business enterprises.  The Governor just increased that goal from 25 to 30%.  The MVWA was able to get an extension from them and will get the information together by the end of the week.

         Last Saturday Mr. Becher spent his day at the Campground of America in Herkimer with approximately 400 boy scouts who were earning badges.  One topic was on the water cycle and water conservation, which Mr. Becher spoke about.

         Mr. Becher introduced a new reporter from the OD, Alex.  He is new to the area and the Board welcomes you.

         Last week the Governor signed legislation that amended the MVWA bond limit and allows the MVWA  to legally finance the kinds of projects that would allow major industry’s to move to this area.   

 

Chairman DeLia adjourned the meeting at 6:15 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

__________________________ 

Suzanne M. Harmon, Secretary 

Mohawk Valley Water Authority

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