Mohawk Valley Water Authority Minutes

June 21, 2021

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

Roll Call

Present: Rocco Arcuri, Dennis Bova, Elis DeLia, Bruce Brodsky, Vincent Coyne, Luke Lewis, Richard Karam and Joe Samson. Absent: Mark Ford, Frank Mutolo and Bette Szesny. Dave Corr arrived at 5:02 pm after the minutes. Also Present: Patrick Becher, Phil Tangorra, Eric Schuler, Jim Mack, Anne Milograno and Ken Bobrow, Esq.

Approval of the April 19, 2021 Minutes

Motion made by Mr. Arcuri to approve the minutes. Seconded by: Mr. Coyne
Vote: (8) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (4) Absent Motion Carried.

Re-Certification of Board Actions Passed Electronically

Chairman DeLia stated that his intention was to have the Board re-certify all actions and discussion reflected on the following agendas over the last year and a half. Each Board meeting was recorded and has minutes.

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

Resolution: Award of Contract for WTP Fire System Replacement

The current Fire System at the Water Treatment Plant is functionally: obsolete and no longer supported by current infrastructure and needs replacement. It is to replace the current fire detection, alarms and emergency service dialer systems. Bids were received from 2 contractors and the bid to Engler Electric Inc., Utica, NY in the amount of $39,640.00 was the lowest. Engler Electric Inc. has previously worked for the MVWA and has completed past projects in a satisfactory manner.

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

Re-Authorization of IT Policies

Remote Access Policy, Network Infrastructure Security Policy, Mobile Device Policy and Information Security Policy. These are the same policies that the Board previously approved.

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

Committee Reports:


Mr. Arcuri stated:

  • Water consumption is down 1.9% compared to May 2020; however, water consumption is down 4.3% compared to May 2019, before COVID hit.
  • Water Billing is $80k less than budget but $100k more than May 2020 actual. Water receivables are up $333,000 compared to May of last year. Shut-offs of water service has been restricted by NY Governor’s Directive.
  • Cash flow the significant cash deficit after January has been eliminated and a very small surplus remains. We will need to accumulated surpluses over the next months as our annual retirement and insurances payments are due.

Mr. Becher stated that the County and City are getting money and there are Federal guideline that say that certain portions of that must be spent on water infrastructure. The MVWA has on-going conversations with both the City and County on ways that we can collectively target that. The hot topic is going to be lead services.

Informational Update on Fire Hydrant Inspections

Mr. Becher stated that the MVWA does not inspect the fire hydrants the fire departments do the inspections. They inspect them and if there is a problem they report. It. They will fax it to the MVWA, then a work order is created. We want to automate that to make it faster for them but also go right into our work order system.

Mr. Mack stated that this was a very large effort including multiple companies and agencies. The second item is a snapshot of the system which shows a map of the hydrants. The screen was developed for the Utica Fire Department which can be pulled up by district. The inspection app used by the UFD are using them on tablets provided by the Oneida County 911 center. This app was developed by Capraro technologies. From the hydrant app the information comes into our system and makes a record of it. The MVWA is able to take on many manual functions with this. Since May 24, 2021 we have inspected 92% of the hydrants, which is 1632 and have had 72 work orders processed.

  • The MVWA is redesigning the website it is standardized menu all the way across. The graphics are more customer friendly, which should be rolled out this fall.
  • The MVWA had to do a second bid for the telephone system. This first bid which is the company we have now was a low bid and could not provide the solution to continue with us. The second bid was won by Spectrum Telecom and will be done in August. The bid was below budget.
  • The MVWA will be running all of its programs from the server not from the desktops, which is more secure and the desktops will be locked down.
  • Brock was hired to upgrade the SCADA system, which is remote control and monitoring of the tanks, etc. The MVWA has upgraded two thirds of the SCADA panel at the Water Treatment Plant, which have been tested and are working fine. Four of the distribution sited have been done, tested and working fine. Sensors have been installed at 12 remote sites, tested and working fine. Looking to complete the project in March of 2022.

Executive Director’s Report

  • Mr. Becher stated that Hinckley Reservoir is back to normal which was down 6 to 7 feet below normal. The protocol for this was in effect and having weekly calls. The MVWA will be going back to the Operating Diagram release rate.
  • There is a draft of an inter-municipal agreement that Eric, Ken Bobrow and I have been reviewing to help coordinate this pipeline project going down into Herkimer County. Initiated originally to help out the Village of Ilion. There are now five partners on board down there. The Village of Frankfort as a back up connection, the Village of Herkimer as a back up connection. The Town of Herkimer looking to service a new district and Schuyler has a new district going in. All of these town are getting money. There is another $10 million dollars available that may come through to support this project. They need an agreement between the towns and villages to release that money. The Herkimer IDA will stay in the driver’s seat for the duration of the project until completed and then will be turned over to the MVWA to own and operate.
  • Congress is in the final process of finalizing the new lead and copper rule. Phil Tangorra our Water Quality Director is overseeing our latest round of lead samples. About half have been collected and have to stay under 15 ppb. The thinking is that the MVWA will be forced to replace all of the lead services.

Chairman DeLia asked for a motion to go into Executive Session at 5:30 PM to discuss a Cyber Security Update and Discussion of Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Motion was made by Mr. Arcuri to go into Executive Session. Seconded by: Mr. Coyne.
Vote: (9) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried.
Went into Executive Session at 5:32 PM.

Motion made to come out of Executive Session at 5:47 PM by Mr. Samson. Seconded by: Mr. Corr.
Vote: (9) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried.

In Executive Session the Board approved Ratifying and Funding Teamsters’ Collective Bargaining Agreement through December 2022.

Respectfully submitted,


Suzanne M. Harmon, Secretary
Mohawk Valley Water Authority