Mohawk Valley Water Authority Minutes

November 15, 2021

Chairman DeLia called the meeting to order at 5:02 PM.
Chairman DeLia presided, and Amy Passacantando took the minutes.

Roll Call

Present: Dennis Bova, Bruce Brodsky, Dave Corr, Vincent Coyne, Elis DeLia, Mark Ford, Richard Karam, Joe Samson and Bette Szesny. Absent: Rocco Arcuri, Luke Lewis and Frank Mutolo. Also Present: Patrick Becher, Phil Tangorra, Jim Mack and Jim Korfonta.

Approval of the October 25, 2021 Minutes

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

Re-Authorization of HR Policies:

  1. Sexual Harassment
  2. Workplace Violence Prevention

Motion made by Mr. Corr to approve the Re-Authorization of policies. Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky
Vote: (9) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried

Mr. Brodsky Stated that the Audit Committee met and discussed the existing Audit firm, BST. MVWA is satisfied with their services and the price was reasonable. We have renewed the contract with BST, but may be looking to re-bid at the end of this 3 year contract.


Mr. Korfonta stated that water consumption is consistent with the prior year. Compared to 2019, consumption is down a little over 3%. Water sales are very close to budget at about 19.2 million dollars. Cash flow is positive about $800 thousand dollars, which is good because we have a retirement payment of about $780 thousand dollars coming up in a few weeks.

Mr. Brodsky spoke about the Oneida County Sewer Department. He is one of about 50 representatives on the advisory committee for the consent order, which began in 2007. Mr. Brodsky wanted to provide the Board with more information regarding the situation which effectively concludes this year. The consent order has been extended twice, and possibly again, but it hasn’t happened yet. He gave an overview of the consent order and why the sewer rates have been going up as much as they have.

Executive Director’s Report

Mr. Becher spoke of the coverage on News Channel 2 after the recent election, regarding the statewide proposition for a right to clean water, clean air and a healthful environment. Mr. Becher sat with Kirk Tupaj, who is with WKTV, and one thing he mentioned to Mr. Tupaj, that was not used in the footage was that he envisions that now the advocacy Groups and Lawyers may be deciding that water should be free.

There will also be upcoming coverage from an interview that Mr. Becher and Mr. Tangorra had with Amy Roth from the OD regarding The Environmental Working Group. They are a group that looks at health standards set by the EPA with the input from the American Medical Association and other studies. They (The Environmental Working Group) decide to set their own limits for contaminants and state that ours are wholly inadequate. Mr. Tangorra submits a Consumer Confidence Report every year from our Water Quality Laboratory that lists everything that we test for and everything that is found. All our levels are well within our regulated limits, no violations at the state or federal level.

There was an article in the paper with an update on the Herkimer Pipeline Project. The project is moving along pretty well.

Last month Mr. Becher mentioned that the IT Dept, headed by Jim Mack, had overseen the project of replacing the fire alarm system at the water treatment plant. Joe Roy was very instrumental in working closely on that. The new system was tested about 10 days ago when there was a pump motor that burned up. Necessary contacts were made quickly. Mr. Becher stated that the old system would have worked, however it was a different protocol and may have taken a little longer to alert the proper contacts. Everything is working as it should, there are 2 back up pumps.

There will not be an executive session as mentioned on the agenda. The meeting with Neptune included Pat Becher, Jim Mack, Steve Gassner, Attorney’s Ken Bobrow and John Murad along with 2 representatives from Neptune. We were told that Neptune will not pull the plug on the existing system, nor will there be a drop dead date. Mr. Becher requested this to be put in writing which had been received prior to the meeting 11/15/21. Mr. Becher also asked them to provide to us in writing, a list of options that can be used to remedy this situation if, or, as it begins to fail over the years. They have committed to giving us these options in writing, if possible, before our December Board meeting.

Mr. Coyne asked about a previous conversation stating the current system should last about 10 more years and then we would transition? Mr. Becher agreed that in approximately 7 or 8 years we would start considering changes to the system or migrating to a new one.

Mr. Samson asked if there is any compatibility between the current system and the one they were proposing? Mr. Becher stated that there could be, depending on what they propose. Neptune will write up the range of options.

Mr. Corr asked if there has been any response to the publishing of delinquent accounts and Mr. Becher replied that this is still being worked on. There will be a button on our home page in the near future to view delinquent accounts.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:43 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Passacantando, Secretary
Mohawk Valley Water Authority