NOVEMBER 8, 2007
The Stokes County Water and Sewer Authority met in Court Room C of the Stokes County Government Center with the following members present:
John Hawkins, Vice Chairman
Arzell Montgomery, Member
Worth Hampton, Member
Julia Edwards, Finance Director
Bryan Steen, County Manager
Mark Delehant, Public Works Director
Brenda Carter, Secretary
The meeting was delayed for the arrival of Mr. Hampton until 3:40.
Mr. Hawkins brought the meeting to order
GOLDER ASSOCIATES NC, INC.
Mr. Chuck Pippen, Golder Associates NC, Inc. gave a project update and noted the best locations for drilling a well and would also get a list of the best drilling sites for the Board.
After discussion, Mr. Hawkins asked if there was a motion to continue with this project. Mr. Montgomery made a motion to continue the project, seconded by Mr. Hampton and the motion was approved. Mr. Hawkins thanked Mr. Pippen for his update and Mr. Pippen exited the meeting.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
At this time Mr. Hawkins asked if there were any discussion or corrections to the August 23, 2007 minutes. As there were no corrections to the minutes, Mr. Montgomery made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Mr. Hampton and the motion was approved.
MLP CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
Mr. Steen, the County Manager, asked the Board if the Utilities Director was formally appointed as the Executive Director? Ms. Edwards noted that at the time the Board was established that the Finance Director and the Public Works Director (Utilities Director) were to be automatically a part of the Board.
ELECTION OF NEW CHAIRMAN
The election of a new chairman was tabled until a new member was appointed.
Mr. Steen noted that he had been speaking to the officials of Walnut Cove and Homer Dearmin about taking over the duties that have been provided by MLP Construction. MLP had informed Mr. Steen they would be terminating their services effective October 31, 2007. Mr. Steen noted that he had not received any confirmation from the officials of Walnut Cove about providing these services and the new Public Utilities Director, Mark Delehant, had the background and the certification to provide these services. Mr. Delehant informed the Board that he had certification for water distribution and sewer collection.
He noted that he was not certified in treatment plant/water, but when it leaves the well or the treatment plant, his certification allows him to operate a system up to 100,000 customers and he has the highest level certification for the sewer side as well. Mr. Delehant noted that he looked forward to get certification for treatment plant also.
Mr. Steen then noted that he would request that the Board make a motion to contract with the County to provide services that would normally be handled by MLP, provided that the Board of Commissioners would approve. Mr. Steen noted that the plan was to sub contract out the billing process and asked Mr. Delehant to explain the information received concerning this billing process. Mr. Delehant noted that he had not met with the company that was to do the billing, he had been waiting to get all the required information from MLP before meeting with them. He noted that the company will print out and mail out all the bills and the county will still do the accounting end.
Mr. Delehant noted that he will read the meters and will give Southern Imaging the reading sheet, they will process the invoices and will mail out to the customers. The payments will be received by the Finance Department for processing. The fee will be $45.00 per month and there would be a $150.00 set up fee. In a year the fee $45 x 12, will be $540.00 R&A Labs charges will be $1,580.00 for all the lab work, $540.00 for the mail out fee. MLP was charging about $23,000.00 per year. Part of this amount charged by MLP was for travel and something will be worked out to compensate the county for fuel, etc. Mr. Delehant noted that it would be a substantial savings to the Board.
Mr. Steen noted that if the charge for use of the county truck was $200.00 per day and he didn’t think it would take more than two days to read the meters and $300.00 for a county employee, it would still be a savings for the Board for the Public Works Department to read the meters. He noted that the contract could be rescheduled each year.
Mr. Delehant noted that as for leaks, etc., he would contract these out just as MLP Construction was doing. Mr. Delehant also noted that there were basic tools that would be required for his department to read the meters, a chlorine tester, a valve wrench and basic hand tools, the chlorine tester being the most expensive at a cost of $350.00. Mr. Hampton asked if the amount of $500.00 would cover the costs of the needed supplies and Mr. Delehant noted this would be sufficient.
Mr. Hampton made a motion to approve the purchase of the chlorine tester and other needed tools and supplies, seconded by Mr. Montgomery and the motion was approved.
This motion was amended by Mr. Hampton and seconded by Mr. Montgomery to include the transfer of$500.00 from the Miscellaneous Contractual Services line item into Departmental Supplies, and all approved.
After further discussion Mr. Montgomery made a motion to approve Mr. Delehant, the Public Works Director, to contract with the Board for the services on a cost basis plus ten percent for county services and to subcontract out to an appropriate sub-contractor billing services, Mr. Hampton seconded the motion and the motion was approved.
Mr. Delehant noted that when the billing contractor informs him of their rates that he has the authority to sign the contract on behalf of the Water and Sewer Authority.
Mr. Delehant informed the Board that he would read the meters, then he would turn over to the billing firm the meter read sheet, which dictates consumption. Mr. Delehant noted that when he meets with the billing firm, Ms. Edwards would meet with them to determine how to set up the billing process.
Mr. Delehant noted that he would be working with Ms. Edwards to collect any delinquent accounts and any other matters concerning the billing and collection process.
Ms. Edwards noted that a certified letter would be sent to customers notifying them that they have thirty days to respond and if not they will be turned over to the State. Mr. Steen asked Ms. Edwards if she had the amounts from MLP of delinquent accounts and Ms. Edwards noted that she had the August report that stated the amount of $24,100.00 was delinquent.
Mr. Steen noted that the Board might wish to recess this meeting until December in order to discuss changing schedules and bylaws and other changes.
Mr. Delehant noted that the Board needed to appoint another ex-officio member to replace Ron Morgan, the former Economic Development Director. Mr. Steen is the acting Economic Development Director. Mr. Hawkins made a motion to appoint Mr. Steen as the ex-officio member to the SCWS Authority, seconded by Mr. Montgomery and the motion was approved.
The members received a copy of a letter sent to Mr. Hawkins, Vice Chairman, from Ms. Julia M. Godfrey, the Director of the Germanton Christian Child Care Center requesting the SCWS Authority to reduce the charges on the invoice that she had received. Ms. Godfrey stated that the high usage of water resulting in the charges were from a leak in an underground line and an inaudible toilet overflow in the tank.
After discussion, Mr. Montgomery made a motion to give no relief on the Germanton Christian Child Care Center bill and it should stand as it is. After further discussion, Mr. Montgomery noted that it would be at Ms. Edward’s discretion to allow the payment of the bill over a six-month span. Ms. Edwards noted that an agreement would have to be in writing stating that the Center would be in agreement with this.
Mr. Delehant asked about the delinquent accounts and the cutoff time. Ms. Edwards noted that she would need direction in this matter. Mr. Delehant noted that this might be discussed at the next meeting. It was noted that this had previously been
determined and was stated in the SCWS Authority Water System Policy Resolution. Mrs. Carter noted that she would get a copy of the Resolution.
Mr. Hawkins noted that the motion made by Mr. Montgomery that no relief be given to the Germanton Christian Child Care Center bill, but Ms. Edwards, at her discretion, could allow the payment over a six-month span. Mr. Hampton seconded the motion and the motion was approved.
WALNUT COVE JOINT VENTURE
There was further discussion concerning the joint venture with the Town of Walnut Cove.
Mr. Hawkins noted that the only issue the Town of Walnut Cove had was the uncollected bills. Mr. Montgomery noted that the Water Authority should be responsible for collecting these bills. Ms. Edwards noted that there are 325 accounts, more accounts than there are meters, but this is due in part to renters not paying their accounts and moving.
Ms. Edwards noted that with the debt set off program and it has not been more than ten years you can attach the amount to someone’s state income statement. Ms. Edwards noted that she must give the customer 30 days to respond. She noted that you have to send a certified letter and give 30 days to appeal and if there is not response and if the letter is returned to her marked undeliverable, then she can forward it to the State.
Mr. Hampton asked if MLP Construction was not getting the needed information to the Board and Mr. Delehant responded by telling the Board that he had called Ms. Joyce with MLP requesting billing information on numerous occasions. Ms. Edwards suggested that Mr. Delehant call Mr. Manuel Perkins if he did not get the requested information.
Mr. Hampton again apologized for being late and asked about a second book that Golder Associates had presented to the Board showing the location of the wells in the County, he noted that he would like to get a copy of this book.
Mr. Hawkins then made a proposal to recess the meeting until December 13th and the proposal was seconded and approved.
December 13, 2007
John Hawkins, Vice Chairman
Worth Hampton, Member
Wayne Smart, Member
Mark Delehant, Public Works Director
Julia Edwards, Finance Director
Brenda Carter, Secretary
On December 13, 2007, the SCWS Authority reconvened from the November 8th meeting. Mr. Hawkins brought the meeting back to order upon the arrival of Mark Delehant, the Public Works Director.
SCWS AUTHORITY WATER SYSTEM
The Board discussed the water rates that the Germanton/Hwy. #65 residents were charged.
There was discussion concerning water usage and charges from Forsyth County. Mr. Delehant informed the Board that he had received a call that a tap was running wide open near Germanton Park. He noted that when the line was put in a 2-inch tap had been requested to hook in to it underneath the bridge at the creek. Someone had turned it on and left it running and no one had ever hooked on to this line.
Mr. Delehant noted that he had pulled some billing history and in August, 2007, is when the billing skyrocketed. Mr. Delehant noted that he would like to track a normal usage per month and when he had this data he will know when something like this open tap had happened. He noted that within three months he should have good data for the Board.
Mr. Smart informed Mr. Delehant that across from the Stokes County Bus Garage, there is water standing that could possibly be a leak. Mr. Delehant noted that he would check at this location.
Ms. Edwards noted that she had manually set up a data base and the invoices did go out late and the customers were not to be penalized this month if their payment was late. Ms. Edwards noted that the meters were read by Public Works staff and these readings were sent to Southern Imaging, a firm in Greensboro. Mr. Delehant noted that the firm was only doing the printing and mailing of these invoices, the Finance Department would be receiving the payments. Ms. Edwards presented a copy of a bill to the Board.
Mr. Montgomery had questions concerning his bill for water usage. He stated that the new billing was showing consumption and the old billing from MLP did not show this. Mr. Delehant noted that he would receive this in his invoice from this day forward. Mr. Hampton asked Mr. Delehant to get information for the Board for the next meeting concerning this billing and surrounding areas billing/rates.
It was discussed that the Town of Walnut Cove should be considered a customer and pay $16.00 availability fee and Mr. Smart noted that the Town of Walnut Cove had not sent in a bill for maintenance repair that they had done for the SCWS Authority.
Mr. Hawkins noted that this matter would be held open until the next meeting when new data could be obtained.
Mr. Delehant informed the Board that he would have at the next meeting the water rates of surrounding areas. Mr. Hampton asked that data be obtained from the City of Winston-Salem. Mr. Delehant stated that he would get gallons and dollar figures for the next meeting also.
Mr. Delehant informed the Board that he had R.E. Griffin install a water tap as Kevin Webb with the Town of Walnut Cove was tied up with other projects. Mr. Delehant noted that the charge was $650.00 for same side tap and if there was a bore under the road the charge would be $350.00, but the charge of $1,500.00 should cover the costs unless there are extenuating circumstances. Mr. Delehant noted that in his previous job, there was a notation added concerning tap fees that says “Note-A Cost Recovery Fee may be Applicable, depending on Location” and that allowed for unforeseen costs.
Mr. Delehant noted that if there was a list of contractor’s that have worked for Stokes County or Danbury, that he would like to have a copy of the list to get in touch with them to have them ready if needed.
Mr. Hawkins noted that Mr. Delehant had provided the Board with the water tap and meter fees and he felt that the new development on Hwy. #65 might create a problem if the Board did not have a fee schedule of this type. Mr. Delehant noted that the water tap and meter fee schedule that he had given the Board from Burke County would work with the SCWS Authority Board.
The Board further discussed the new development on Hwy. #65.
Mr. Hampton noted that the Board might discuss an Impact Fee, that the City of King has this fee in place now. The Board then discussed an Impact Fee, but made no decision concerning this.
There was further discussion concerning the meters and rates and this was to be discussed at the next meeting.
Mr. Hawkins noted that from the last meeting the Board was to discuss a consumer survey. Mr. Delehant noted that this survey was supposed to have been mailed out, by law, in the middle of summer, but was not done by the former contractor. He noted that he had received a letter from the State and that is why the Board had just received this. Mr. Delehant noted they would be receiving another for the year 2007 with a deadline of June that the State mandates that it must go out in the mail and the State also must receive a certified copy stating that it has been done. Mr. Delehant noted that this was called a Consumer Confidence Report.
The Board then discussed a time for the next meeting and Mr. Montgomery noted that the Board normally met on the second Thursday of the month. The Board decided to hold the next meeting on January 10th, 2008, at 3:00.
As there was no further business, Mr. Montgomery made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Hampton and the motion was approved.