Chairman DeLia called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM.
Chairman DeLia presided and Suzanne Harmon took the minutes.
Present by Phone: Present by Skype: Rocco Arcuri, Denny Bova, Elis DeLia, Bruce Brodsky, Vincent Coyne, Mark Ford, Joe Samson, Bette Szesny and Ken Bobrow, Esq.. Absent: Luke Lewis and Frank Mutolo. Present in Board Room: Patrick Becher, Suzanne Harmon, Richard Goodney, Anne Milograno, Phil Tangorra, Jim Mack, Jim Korfonta and Mr. Corr. Richard Karam joined by phone during Resolution #4.
Approval of the August 17, 2020 Minutes
Motion made by Mr. Brodsky to approve the minutes. Seconded by: Mr. Bova
Vote: (8) Ayes (0) Nays (1) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried.
Resolution: Decision Regarding Establishment of Water Rates, Fees and Charges Effective January 1, 2021
A proposed schedule of rates, fees and charges for the upcoming fiscal year was made available to the public prior to the hearing. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the public was provided the opportunity to provide written comments, via email, or through the MVWA website, regarding the proposed rate increase. The basis for the proposed rate increase was also provided on the MVWA website.
The Executive Director presented the case for a 2.0% rate increase to fund a $26,400,000 budget for FY 2021. He stated that the main reasons for the increase are:
- An increase in non-personnel operating costs of 4.75%
- Cash capital maintenance and repairs funded at $600,000;
- Workers Compensation costs are projected to increase by 5%;
- Property and liability costs are projected to increase by 7%;
- A reduction in system-wide demand of approximately 33.2%.
Motion made by Mr. Coyne to approve this resolution. Seconded by: Mr. Brodsky
Vote: (9) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (3) Absent Motion Carried.
Resolution: Approval of the MVWA 2021 Calendar Year Proposed Budget
Motion made by Mr. Corr to approve. Seconded by: Ms. Szesny
Vote: (9) Ayes (1) Nays (0) Abstain (2) Absent Motion Carried.
Approval: Third Quarter Investment Statement Ending 9/30/20
Mr. Korfonta stated that this is an investment statement of the MVWA trust funds. The Board has been presented with these statements every quarter for approval.
Motion made by Mr. Ford to approve. Seconded by: Mr. Corr
Vote: (10) Ayes (0) Nays (0) Abstain (2) Absent Motion Carried
Mr. Korfonta stated that at nine months of operations, accumulated cash is now positive by approximately $600,000. September cashflow netted an increase of $400,000. We are cautiously optimistic that the remaining months of the year will cover the anticipated expenses including retirement and liability insurance outlays in the last months of the operating year.
Executive Director’s Report
- Mr. Becher stated that he sent a press release out that came from Moody’s Investment Service. They notified us that they were going to upgrade out bond rating from an A1 to a AA3 which was a result of a presentation that we made during the prior week to get the bonds rated. We started the process in early June. Moody’s upgraded us and Standard and Poors kept us where we were. The analyst handling it said there is a negative outlook across water and sewer sectors. They kept us at an A+ and a stable outlook. A press release will be going out tomorrow about the rate increase. The bonds are scheduled to close on November 5th and they have already been priced and sold as of last Thursday. The interest rates ranged from .52% for the 2021 maturity date up to 2.37% in 2033 on the taxable bonds and as high as 2.41% for the final redemption in 2046. We did get bond insurance and they were sold as insured AA bonds which drove the rates down a little bit lower.
- Unfortunately, we did have one active Covid case involving one of our water maintenance workers. We did the tracing for anyone that was in direct contact. We did keep a number of employees out for a period of time. The infected employee is steadily recovering and no one else has developed any symptoms.
- The Teamster Contract is expiring on December 31st of this year and the Contract for the Management employees expired as of April 31st . Last week we sat down with our labor attorney, John Corcoran and looking at some options to move forward. We will keep the Board updated.
- Hinckley Reservoir’s elevation is at 1203, which is 10 feet below for the average for this date. The good news is that with the rain we had last week we picked up 2 feet. The Canal Corp. voluntarily cut back what they were letting out of the dam back in May. They have been fully cooperative.
- Mr. Becher attended a Town Hall meeting in Schuyler last week. The meeting was on the proposed west Schuyler water district. The meeting did get a little ruckus and I did answer a few questions. Ms. Szesny stated that the Town Board voted to conduct a permissive referendum. People are out already getting signatures. If it does go to vote she is very optimistic. A permissive referendum means that the Town Board voted to create the district and now those who are opposed to it have to gather at least 10% of the people in the district to sign a petition saying they want it to go to a public vote. They have 30 days to do that. In 2003 this Board voted to make a contribution to that district to do a little bit of upsizing to their water tank. That resolution is still on the books and if this district is created we will be on the hook to contribute $50,000 to that district.
Meeting was adjourned at 5:37 PM.
Suzanne M. Harmon, Secretary
Mohawk Valley Water Authority