Mohawk Valley Water Authority Minutes

March 21, 2022

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

Roll Call

Present: Carl Annese, Bruce Brodsky, Dave Corr, Elis DeLia, Mark Ford, Richard Karam, and Bette Szesny. Absent: Rocco Arcuri, Dennis Bova, Vincent Coyne, Joe Samson and Frank Mutolo. Also Present in Boardroom: Patrick Becher, Phil Tangorra, Anne Milograno, Eric Schuler, Jim Mack, Jim Korfonta, Greg Santry and Ken Bobrow Esq.

Approval of the February 7, 2022 Minutes

Motion made by Mr. Ford to approve the minutes. Seconded by: Ms. Szesny
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (5) Absent Motion Carried.

Resolution: Authorization to Expend Funds for Kemble Street Improvements Project

This is a construction contract for the Kemble Street building improvements project. The Project calls for construction of new office space, window replacements, flooring and wall coatings, and HVAC-related work. This resolution went through the Capital Committee last week. There were 5 bids received ranging from $67,000. to $124,000. The low bidder was National Building & Restoration, a company that we have worked with before, specifically at Kemble St.

Motion made by Mr. Corr to approve the Resolution. Seconded by: Ms. Szesny
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (5) Absent Motion Carried

Resolution: Authorization to Expend Funds for Raw Water Main Phase 1 Project

This resolution went through the Capital Committee last week as well. The Board’s current Capital Improvement Plan calls for a pre‐engineered pipe bridge to support a new 48‐inch water pipeline across the West Canada Creek gorge, demolition of an existing south pipe bridge, and construction of approximately 500 LF of new piping to connect to the existing piping on the east side of the gorge and on the water treatment plant site. We received 5 bids for this project ranging from $5.39 million to 6.52 million dollars. The low bidder was Carver Construction out of Albany, in the amount of $5,394,145. We obtained a grant for a little over $2 million dollars to help offset the costs of this project.

Motion made by Mr. Corr to approve the Resolution. Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (5) Absent Motion Carried

Committee Reports: Finance

Mr. Korfonta says we are above budget, regarding revenue, and consumption is up compared to last year. Cash flow is down by budget. The cash flow is down due to the health insurance payment, workers compensation payment and bills of that sort. We take a dip at first and then build it back up over time. The next board meeting we should be caught up with the February and March finance reports. The auditors were here about 4 days and the audit is about done. The question came up as to what Company we use to complete the audit. We are using BST Auditors.

Executive Director’s Report

Mr. Becher wanted to let the Board Members know that next month at the board meeting we will be taking portrait shots for anyone who would like to have their picture taken for or updated on our website. The Town of Schuyler has been working on the West Schuyler Water District since 2002, which was on hold for some time. In 2003 and 2004 we passed 2 separate resolutions, pledging a total of $50,000. to help upsize and make sure the district they were creating, would have additional use to suit needs beyond the local needs and help the system. They are now moving forward with the project.

The SUEZ contract will be expiring in the beginning of summer, it has been 5 years. Mr. Tangorra has been taking the lead for the contract renewal. We will be meeting with SUEZ again on March 29, to discuss any questions and iron out the final details for a renewal.

Mr. Corr asked for an update on the delinquent accounts. Mr. Becher stated, now that the moratorium is over, we have begun posting properties and turning off water. To date, 472 accounts for approximately $720 thousand dollars, have been posted. We have collected $219,000. for accounts paid in full, $91,000. came in as partial payments and $99,000. was paid through the City of Utica tax re-levy. Approximately $103,000. of the posted accounts is for the PF Michael Walsh Apts. They have broken the payment agreement and proceedings have begun to prepare to shut off their water. Calls have been made to the local office as well as the headquarters for the apartments and the Local and County Officials have been notified of the situation. Another account of concern is The Pines Nursing Home. We will be working with Local and County Officials, as well as the NY State Health Department regarding the possibility of shutting the water off.

Mr. Becher spoke about the ongoing situation with Neptune and the AMR (automated meter reading) system. The project was a 20-year project that is being paid with 20-year bonds. In year 10, Neptune has said that they will no longer be able to support the system. They are trying to force us to migrate to a Cloud based software. Neptune says there is no deadline and will let it run as long as we can obtain parts for the system. We have experienced some issues over the past several weeks, problems with the collectors. Neptune has figured out this issue and the IT department is now catching up on billing. Mr. Becher, Mr. Mack and Attorney Bobrow had a phone call with an industry expert to discuss other options. Neptune is currently working on a proposal for us, one being a full radio option and the other is a full cellular option. Mr. Becher said there may need to be an executive session in a future meeting to discuss other options.

Mr. Brodsky asked if we will be billing customers monthly instead of quarterly in the future. Mr. Becher said that is a goal, to be able to bill customers monthly.

Ms. Szesny asked how the East and West end Schuyler project will be fitting in with meters and billing. Mr. Becher stated that we already read and bill for Schuyler and when they come online with us, we will be installing meters and AMI’s so we can read their meters remotely.

Old Business:

Mr. Corr asked for a status update on the lead lines. Mr. Becher says that the regulatory component has not been finalized yet, so we do not know specifically what the trigger levels will be. We are setting up a test loop of lead service pipes to see if there is a chemical corrosion control solution that might get us to wherever the new regulations will require us to be. If we don’t make that cut, then we have to find out if they will mandate, to start removing lead services and replacing them, and how many per year. Mr. Tangorra stated that we have the revisions which are fine, and they promise to make improvements by 2024. We need to know how many lead services exist in the entire distribution system by 2024, on both the utility side and the customer side and we need to have a plan in place, so that if we have to do replacements, we can enact the plan. That needs to be submitted to the state by 2024.

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

Motion made by Mr. Karam to go into Executive Session. Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky.
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (5) Absent Motion Carried.

Went into Executive Session at 5:34 PM.

Motion made to come out of Executive Session at 6:14 PM by Mr. Brodsky. Seconded by: Mr. Karam.
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (5) Absent Motion Carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Passacantando, Secretary
Mohawk Valley Water Authority