Mohawk Valley Water Authority Minutes

June 20, 2022

Vice Chairman Brodsky called the meeting to order at 5:03 PM.
Vice Chairman Brodsky presided and Amy Passacantando took the minutes.

Roll Call

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

Vice Chairman Brodsky asked for a moment of silence for our Colleague and friend, David Corr, who passed away on May 26, 2022.

Approval of the May 9, 2022 Minutes

Motion made by Mr. Bova to approve the minutes. Seconded by: Mr. Ford
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (4) Absent Motion Carried.

Presentation of Audit

Brendan Kennedy from BST Auditors is present to give a brief report on the findings of our audit for December 31, 2021. The Mohawk Valley Water Authority has a 90-day filing deadline with the State Comptroller’s Office under the Authorities Budget Office. The audit was completed and filed on time, at the end of March 2022. BST Auditors expressed an unmodified opinion on the financial statements. Mr. Kennedy explained that an unmodified opinion is the highest level of assurance that we can give you, The Board, that the financial statements are free of material error. An unmodified opinion is also known as a clean opinion, which is good. The Investment Compliance Audit also has a clean, unmodified opinion. Overall, it was a good audit for BST Auditors. They appreciate the cooperation from management during the audit. Mr. Brodsky stated that the audit is a very detailed management summary. It’s a historical trend and description of what’s been happening relating to the Water Authority and its impact of its operations to the community.
Mr. Brodsky also noted that he has never been part of an organization that has been as transparent as the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. He feels the Board has been a driver for this transparency and should be proud of what you provide to the public, to our funding sources, our rate payors, our Governments and people that receive our product. You do a good job for them, and it’s reflected in this audit.

Resolution: Award of Professional Engineering Services Contract to Ramboll Americas Engineering Solutions, INC. for Toby Rd/Marcy pressure zone storage evaluation update

Mr. Schuler stated that this resolution is for an expenditure of $14,900. for an engineering firm called Ramboll Engineering America. In 2015/2016 they developed a study, essentially a preliminary engineering report up at our Toby tank site, looking at the third Toby tank. Now it is time that we look at putting up the third tank.
Mr. Coyne asked for more detail as to the purpose of this tank.
Mr. Schuler says we are getting close to the threshold of needing another tank. Now that Wolf Speed is online and we know what their usage is, and we know what could potentially come to that site in the future. We now need to hone in and determine what size tank will be needed at the site, what the costs will be and what that does to water age etc…
Mr. Becher added that the Marcy site is very attractive. It is actively marketed and there is continuous interest in the site.
Mr. Schuler also added that in the next 6 months there may be 2 more resolutions like this one. For Marcy and also the Water Treatment Plant Capacity Evaluation that was done in 2012.

Motion made by Mr. Annese to approve the Resolution. Seconded by: Ms. Szesny
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (4) Absent Motion Carried

Committee Reports:

Finance: April and May Reports

Water consumption is up 10.5% compared to May 2021. Water sales are up $700,000. compared to May 2021, up $145,000. in relation to the budget. Cash flow is up $1.2 million YTD (these accumulated funds will pay retirement and insurance in the fall). Supply chain issues are affecting us in costs and delays.

Executive Director’s Report:

  • Chairman DeLia is not present today but asked that we set up Mr. Corr’s name plate/seat as a tribute. Mr. Corr was a man with a golden heart who gave back tremendously to the community. Our sympathy’s to his family.
  • The moratorium ended December 31, 2021 and to date we have collected approximately $610,000. from shut off postings.
  • Mr. Becher said the contract for the Water Treatment Plant will be expiring at the end of July. It was a 5-year contract. Some of the details are still being sorted out and it should be ready to be presented at the July Board Meeting.
  • Neptune has sent several proposals for the Meter reading system. We are now evaluating the proposals and we also have an industry consultant on board who has a lot of expertise in this area. He is looking at the proposals and the original contract. The next step will be to have a representative from Neptune go over the proposals with us.
  • Hinckley reservoir water level is now within an inch of the average number for this time of the year, which is good. We continue to watch the level daily and Howard Goebel keeps in touch with us as well, regarding the levels.
  • We are in the process of verifying the lead service inventory, which needs to be complete by the end of 2023. We have had several meetings and have several methods of verifying the lines. There was a bulletin this morning that says there is going to be legislation introduced to allow for tax exempt bonds to be used for private benefit if it is a lead service pipe. Some municipalities have tried to bond and use their own money to do the homeowners side of the lead service and they were blocked by the IRS, they couldn’t use tax exempt bonds to work on private property, they then had to be taxable if they wanted to do it. Congress is trying to address that and there’s legislation being introduced to the house to use tax exempt bonds to allow us to do our normal bonding.
  • In 2017 we were required to have a Cyber Security Vulnerability Assessment. An outside firm looked at our IT platforms and identified vulnerabilities. We chose to hire IBM and they came in and made a full presentation. They did a great job. Some of the functions that our engineering department handled are now being handled by our IT department. Anything that transmits data should be considered an IT function. Managing the meter reading system, Scada update project, physical security-alarm systems transmitting signals. The IT department has also been working with General Security to update the security at all of our sites for cameras, remote operations, monitoring etc…
    Mr. Mack explained that the large (main) sheet shows the update as of where we are with physical security and fire systems and says that we continue to move along with updates. The sheet on the right shows you the equipment we are using, and the sheet on the left is a diagram that shows that our cameras are set up at our Southern reservoir, the Main Office and the Maintenance Yard. We have set up cross visibility, so that any of the facilities are able to view each other’s cameras. We also have some field personnel that have access to view the cameras as well in case of an emergency. The separate sheet shows a list of affiliations that have helped us reach the level of security that we are at.

Vice Chairman Brodsky stated that technology can be confusing and in the future, it may become more confusing and expensive. He encouraged the Board to ask questions anytime.

Old Business:

New Business:

Vice Chairman Brodsky asked for a motion to go into Executive Session at 5:46 PM to discuss the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Motion made by: Mr. Coyne to go into Executive Session. Seconded by: Ms. Szesny.
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (4) Absent Motion Carried.

Motion has been made to accept the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Motion made by: Mr. Coyne Seconded by: Mr. Bova

Motion made to come out of Executive Session at 6:08 PM by Mr. Coyne. Seconded by: Mr. Bova.
Vote: (7) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (4) Absent Motion Carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Passacantando, Secretary
Mohawk Valley Water Authority