Mohawk Valley Water Authority Minutes

February 7, 2022

Chairman DeLia called the meeting to order at 5:01 PM.
Chairman DeLia presided, and Amy Passacantando took the minutes.

Roll Call

Present by WebEx: Carl Annese, Rocco Arcuri, Bruce Brodsky, Dave Corr, Vincent Coyne, Elis DeLia, Mark Ford, Richard Karam, Frank Mutolo, and Bette Szesny. Joseph Samson arrived at 5:05pm (after the election of officers and before the resolutions) Absent: Dennis Bova. Also Present in Boardroom: Patrick Becher, Phil Tangorra, Anne Milograno, Eric Schuler, Jim Mack and Jim Korfonta. Ken Bobrow via WebEx.

Approval of the December 20, 2021 Minutes

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

Approval: Election of Officers

Mr. Corr 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 Amy Passacantando to the Secretary position. Seconded by: Ms. Szesny
Vote: (10) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (2) Absent - Motion Carried.

Resolution: Award of Professional Engineering Services Contract to Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C. for Hangar Zone Water Storage Reconfiguration Project

Mr. Schuler stated that this resolution came through the Capital Committee on January 27th. This will be paid out of 2015 capital bonds to do some work on the hanger zone tanks out by the airport. Barton & Loguidice D.P.C. was awarded this contract in the amount not to exceed $33,500.00. This is infrastructure that we inherited when we took over that portion of the system. This is for the preliminary engineering phase to get us a deliverable document for grant applications that are going to be due this spring and also help us plan for costing a long-term remedy at this zone for future bonding purposes.

Motion made by Mr. Corr to approve the Resolution. Seconded by: Mr. Coyne
Vote: (11) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (1) Absent - Motion Carried

Resolution: Authorization to Expend Funds for Distribution System SIPP Rehabilitation-Phase 1 Project

This will be the first project using this technology, it also went through the capital committee on January 27th. The project will be paid out of 2020 capital bonds, 2019 and 2022 IMF funds. This project came in below budget for the work planned, not to exceed $609,440.00. The hope is that this rehabilitation method works well for our system because it will lead to an increased rate of system renewals. Rehabilitation is cheaper than full replacement, especially with the cost of ductile iron pipe continuing to climb in this climate.

Mr. Mutolo asked if we are targeting a specific area and how much of an area are we testing? Mr. Schuler stated that this has been rolled out in many utility authorities throughout Upstate NY, however, it is our first time using it. We will be rolling out about 3000 ft in this phase, streets were chosen based on break frequency per linear mile. This is based on quantifiable data.

Mr. Brodsky wanted to comment that he is thrilled that we are investigating new technologies with respect to pipe repair and upgrades and/or replacement. Anything we can do to reduce the cost per mile, he compliments the staff on moving in the direction of trying to find innovative ways of increasing our repair of transmission pipers, so we can look at something more reasonable. Putting our system in a strong position for the future. This board has always looked 20 and 30 years ahead and he credits the Board of Directors.

Motion made by Mr. Brodsky to approve the Resolution. Seconded by: Mr. Corr
Vote: (11) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (1) Absent - Motion Carried

Resolution: Authorization to Expend Funds for Deerfield Tank Slope Stabilization Project

Mr. Schuler stated that this resolution also went through the Capital Committee on January 27th. It will be paid for out of 2016 and 2022 capital bonds. This project generated a lot of interest. We received 11 bids for the project and felt comfortable with the cluster of prices. We received a number that was below the engineering estimate, which is a positive. The bid was awarded to Mohawk Valley Materials, Inc. in the amount of $307,238.36. This is priority critical work for an ongoing drainage and slope stabilization issue on the Reale Creek side of this tank. The design of this will be to remedy this situation and to stabilize it for many years. It has been on the docket for several years.

Mr. Arcuri asked if we feel this bid came in low because the company is local? Mr. Schuler said he believes company’s yard is on Rte. 49 and he says that it may have helped, since they are local.

Motion made by Mr. Arcuri to approve the Resolution. Seconded by: Mr. Mutolo
Vote: (11) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (1) Absent - Motion Carried

Resolution: Award of Professional Services Contract for Raw Water Transmission Main Upgrades

This project also went through the Capital Committee on January 27th. It is being paid for out of 2020 capital bonds. This has been a critical path item for the Mohawk Valley Water Authority for a number of years. It will increase our available draw capacity from Hinckley at low reservoir elevations. This is the design phase of the project for professional services that will cover us through the design bidding, construction inspection and construction administration. We are proposing to award this to the Engineering Firm EDR in the amount of $145,200. Grant funds were received for this project and when we did this, we entered an amount just under one million dollars, so we are significantly below budget and hopefully that will give us wiggle room when we move into the construction phase.

Motion made by Mr. Corr to approve the Resolution. Seconded by: Mr. Ford
Vote: (11) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (1) Absent - Motion Carried

Resolution: Authorization to Expend Funds for Southern Reservoir FEMA Assessment Repairs Project

Mr. Schuler said that this project is being paid out of the 2016 capital bonds and also came out of the Capital Committee on January 27th. This is to repair damages caused by the 2019 Halloween storm that we received FEMA money for. There’s about $80,000 that FEMA is picking up for this project and we came in well below budget. The low bidder was Weakley Excavating who is also a local company. There was a lot of interest in this project as well with 7 bids. Most of the numbers came in around $200,000.

Motion made by Mr. Corr to approve the Resolution. Seconded by: Ms. Szesny
Vote: (11) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (1) Absent - Motion Carried

Approval: 4th Quarter Investment Statement

A reminder that the public authorities law requires us to provide you with quarterly investment statements showing the balances for that quarter, any income earned, and any expenses incurred during that time period. This is a full year statement that shows the balances as of December 31, 2021. It shows the annual income, which is less than what we had budgeted by about $100,000. because these types of investments did not perform well. The difference will need to be made up in different areas.

Mr. Brodsky asked if our cash flow will be about the same over the next year as it was this past year. Mr. Korfonta stated that it should be, depending on some of the larger vendors, coming through, Cree and such, that we had budgeted, which is in the monthly report, the next agenda item, shows we were up 1 ½% for the year compared to 2020 which was a quirky year (due to Covid). However, we were down about 2% compared to 2019 on the consumption. We’re anticipating that consumption will be about the same and collections will be similar.

Motion made by Mr. Brodsky to approve the Investment Statement. Seconded by: Mr. Arcuri
Vote: (11) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (1) Absent Motion Carried

Committee Reports: Finance

Mr. Corr asked how we are doing with the delinquent accounts. Mr. Becher updated the Board Members regarding The Grand Nursing Home, The Pines Nursing Home and The PF Michael Walsh Apts., all with high balances. We are doing a lot of catch up on delinquent accounts now that the moratorium is over. We have started posting accounts and will be putting together crews to start shut offs.

As stated previously, we are up 1 ½% compared to 2020, down 2% compared to 2019. Revenue compared to budget, we’re up $137,000. Compared to 2020 we’re up $500,000. Cash is up for the year $571,000. before we funded our reserve, which put us in the negative about $325,000. We budget that way, to use reserves/cash from prior years, which was anticipated. We are preparing for our audit which should start the first or second week of March.

Executive Director’s Report

Mr. Becher spoke about a seminar that was put on a couple years ago by Hancock Estabrook Law Firm. It was pertaining to making the company website more compatible with Americans with Disabilities Act. We are required by Federal Law to offer certain features on our website for the ADA.

Mr. Mack stated that there were certain features that are required for our website to be compliant. Mr. Mack handed out a Lighthouse report that stated our website performance was 87% and is now 99%. Accessibility was in the mid 70 percentile and is now 100%, best practices was in the 90’s and is now 100% and search engine optimization was 94% and is now 100%. The website has been redone, web content and applications are now more accessible for people with disabilities. Mr. Mack spoke of the process of what needed to be done in order to become compliant.

Mr. Becher mentioned that our Cyber Security Insurance premium has increased from $5,000. to $16,000. There have been phone calls made to other Water Authorities and they are experiencing higher premiums as well. The insurance carrier has requested us to have multi-level authentication on the work phones as well, to continue the insurance coverage.

Mr. Becher updated the Board on the situation with Neptune. Neptune was supposed to be a 20-year project and now in year 9 Neptune is telling us the equipment is becoming obsolete and eventually they will no longer be able to support it. There is no drop-dead date, meaning they won’t just cut the service off. They will keep it running as long as parts are available. Mr. Becher reached out to Don Schlenger, an expert in the automated meter reading field. We have been given a couple of alternatives by Neptune.

Update on Chase regarding the processing fee for payments being made with a credit card. This was supposed to be in place in January, however Chase has not been able to get this up and running yet. They haven given us a proposal and will begin to test it.

Hinkley reservoir is low, and Mr. Becher stated that he has been in touch with Howard Goebel regarding the level and not letting it go below 1200.

The Utica Common Council was presented with a resolution from a concerned citizen regarding replacing lead service pipes. Mr. Becher and Mr. Tangorra will be attending the Utica Common Council meeting on February 9, 2022 to speak in reference to this.

Mr. Becher says that the discussions are continuing with the MEA (Management Employee Association). The contract expired last April. There will be another meeting next week.

Mr. Brodsky commended Mr. Mack and his team in the IT Dept. for their work on the new website. He says it is easy to navigate and he made a payment as well.

Old Business:

Mr. Corr asked if there has been any progress on the turbine at the plant. Mr. Schuler stated that the location of the turbine will be at the Maynard Regulator Station. This is part of the energy performance base work that is starting to roll out. The first part of that will be presented at the March Board meeting.

Mr. Corr then asked about the progress of the Oxford Rd pipe replacement. Mr. Schuler stated that the materials have been ordered for the Oxford Rd, Hoffman Rd and Terrace Hill roads.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:54pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Passacantando, Secretary
Mohawk Valley Water Authority