Mohawk Valley Water Authority Minutes

February 8, 2021

Chairman DeLia called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM.
Chairman DeLia presided and Suzanne Harmon took the minutes.

Roll Call

Present by WebEx: Rocco Arcuri, Dennis Bova, Elis DeLia, Bruce Brodsky, Vincent Coyne, Mark Ford, Richard Karam, Joe Samson, Bette Szesny and Ken Bobrow, Esq.. Absent: Luke Lewis and Frank Mutolo. Dave Corr joined WebEx at 5:12 PM after Agenda item #5. Present in Board Room: Patrick Becher, Suzanne Harmon, Eric Schuler, Anne Milograno, Phil Tangorra, Jim Mack and Jim Korfonta.

Approval of the November 16, 2020 Minutes

Motion made by Mr. Arcuri to approve the minutes. Seconded by: Mr. Samson
Vote: (9) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried.

Election of Officers

Ms. Szesny moved to make a slate of nominations as presented: Elis DeLia for re-election to the Chairman position, Bruce Brodsky to the Vice-Chairman position, Rocco Arcuri to the Treasurer position and Suzanne Harmon to the Secretary position. Seconded by: Mr. Coyne.
Vote: (9) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried.

Mr. Becher introduced Eric Schuler who is replacing Dick Goodney as Principal Engineer. Dick Goodney has not formally retired and in the meantime we were fortunate enough to find Eric Schuler. Eric has a PE and has experience in both private consulting sector and more recently was the City Engineer from the City of Oneida and has a broad range in public service.

Resolution: Award of Professional Engineering Services Contract to Gomez and Sullivan Engineers for Engineering Assessment at Southern Reservoir No. 2

The CIP Programs calls for an Engineering Assessment for Southern Reservoir No. 2 to meet NYSDEC requirements. The Engineering Assessment will include Hazard Classification evaluation of the dam’s structural stability, evaluation of the dam’s outlet works capacity, review of the dam’s Emergency Action Plan, and to develop a conclusion as to whether the dam is in conformance with current dam regulations and safety guidance. Gomez and Sullivan Engineers, Utica, NY was selected to prepare Emergency Action Plans for the Southern Reservoirs in 2003 and is already familiar with the site. They submitted a detailed task-based Scope of Services to be completed at a fee of $46,800. The funds for these services shall be paid out of the Capital Improvement Fund.

Motion made by Mr. Karam to approve this resolution. Seconded by: Mr. Arcuri
Vote: (9) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried.

Resolution: Award of Construction Contract for Bleecker Street Water Main Replacement

The Board’s Current Capital Improvement Plan calls for replacement of water mains on Bleecker Street, City of Utica due to damage received in the October 31, 2019 “Halloween” storm. Replacement of 140 linear feet of 12” water main is also required to support the Welshbush Tank rehabilitation that is scheduled for construction in Spring 2021. Bids were received from nine general contractors and the bid of Central Paving Inc. in the amount of $37,450.00 was the lowest and within the budget.

Motion made by Mr. Corr to approve the minutes. Seconded by: Mr. Bova
Vote: (10) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (2) Absent Motion Carried.

Approval: Fourth Quarter Investment Statement Ending 12/31/20

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. Brodsky to approve the minutes. Seconded by: Mr. Arcuri
Vote: (9) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried.

Committee Reports

Mr. Korfonta stated that for the twelfth month of the year, total revenues are $24 million, which is $564,000 lower that last year and $1.2 million below budget. Water revenues are $326,000 higher than last year and close to budget. Consumption was down 3.4 % for the year. We were able to end the year with a positive of $300,000 to $400,000. Even with the economic shut down with Covid, the MVWA ended up doing pretty well considering.

Executive Director’s Report

  • Mr. Becher stated that with snow and really cold temperatures the watershed is pretty much frozen. The effect of that the inflows into the reservoir get choked off this time of the year. In the Fall we were running low and then with some snow it came up 19 feet. After that point the Canal Corp. was following the Operating Diagram, we were losing 5 feet every week and a half. We are now down elevation 1200. We have reached out to Howard Gobble and recently they have decided that they are not going to deviate from the Operating Diagram and slow the flows down. Mr. Becher reached out last week, and they are still not going to slow it down. Elevation is at 1196. Mr. Becher called Anthony Picente who is on the Nipa Board and he is going to intervene and will get back to us.
  • The EPA has now promulgated the new regulation for the Lead and Copper Rule. There have been additional burdens put on water systems regarding testing. We may be forced to start replacing some lead services. This may cost the MVWA $300 to $400 thousand dollars as early as next year.
  • The MVWA has hired Corona Environmental Engineering to look at our water quality and our corrosion control technique. They are also doing work for the Village of Ilion to look at their water system to see what happens when the MVWA water begins flowing through the pipes into Ilion. We need to know ahead of time if there are any changes in treatment Corona needed to have an operation here in New York to be approved by the NYS Health Department to do this work. They created a subsidiary and we technically are doing business with them. The subsidiary is called Corona Environmental Engineering of New York. Ken Bobrow, Esq. stated that this does not change the award of the contract in any way.
  • The MVWA was doing some work at Kemble Street that involved digging to install a new staircase and they ran into contamination. Years ago they used to allow underground storage tanks with petroleum products. The Utica Water Board operated these tanks and have since been taken out. It could have been heating oil, gasoline or diesel fuel. The HR Director notified the DEC and an Environmental Company. They removed about 10 dump trucks of contaminated soil. The DEC is satisfied that our property is cleaned up adequately and since been filled with stone and paved over. It did leak onto private property and the MVWA will have to do clean up there. Right now the cost is about $130,000, which will come out of the Repair and Improvement Fund.

Mr. Corr wanted to inquire on the status of the pipe replacement on Oxford Road. Is that still on schedule because it was scheduled for last Fall. Mr. Schuler stated that he just received the additional survey that Dick Goodney put forward at the end of last year. The Engineering staff are starting to lay out the drawings for the Department of Health approval. After approval it will be put out to bid and the anticipated start date will be June of 2021.

Chairman DeLia asked for a motion to go into Executive Session at 5:25 PM to discuss a personnel matter.
Went into Executive Session at 5:30 PM.

In Executive Session the Board voted to increase the salary for the Executive Secretary for the coming year to take effect upon her anniversary date.

Motion made by Mr. Arcuri to approve. Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky
Vote: (10) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (2) Absent Motion Carried.

Came out of Executive Session at 5:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,


Suzanne M. Harmon, Secretary
Mohawk Valley Water Authority