BERNARDS TOWNSHIP SEWERAGE AUTHORITY

MINUTES OF THE OPERATING MEETING

JUNE 23, 2009

                                                         

Vice-Chairman Carpenter called the meeting of the Bernards Township Sewerage Authority to order at 6:00 p.m. on June 23, 2009 in the Conference Room of the Municipal Building, Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:       Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Ms. Pavlini (arrived at 6:04 p.m.)

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:         Mr. Malay

 

STAFF PRESENT:                Mr. Roger Bowlby, Plant Superintendent; Ms. Marie Eula, Human Resources Manager; Mr. Peter Messina, Administrator; Mr. Glen Plesnarski, BTSA Collections Supervisor; Mr. John Belardo, Esq., BTSA Attorney; Mr. Nicholas Valese, Hatch Mott MacDonald

 

OTHERS PRESENT:           

 

OPEN PUBLIC MEETING STATEMENT

Vice-Chairman Carpenter read the following statement: “Adequate notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building, One Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, New Jersey; e-mailed to the Bernardsville News, Bernardsville, and faxed to the Courier News, Bridgewater, New Jersey, and was filed with the Township Clerk, all on December 22, 2008.  Any motion to go into closed session will be deemed to include a motion that the matters discussed at such closed session will be disclosed to the public when such matters are finally determined and there is no further reason to prohibit the public disclosure of information relating to such matters.”

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

a.                   May 20, 2009 – Regular Meeting Minutes

Motioned by Ms. Boquist, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes dated May 20, 2009.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano

Nay:

Abstain: 

Motion Carried

 

CORRESPONDENCE

None.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

ACTION/DISCUSSION ITEMS

  1. Discussion – 2008 Audit
Mr. Messina stated that the annual audit confirmed that the BTSA is in sound financial shape, with no outstanding debt and healthy cash balances.  He also noted that the BTSA was applauded for the upgrades that have been made to the plant. 

 

Mr. Messina explained that the Auditor wants to ensure that all capital expenditures are listed accordingly.  Specifically, the Auditor felt that some areas that were in listed under capital expenditures should have been listed under maintenance.  Mr. Messina confirmed for Ms. Boquist that if something that has been added to the plant is to last for at least five years, then the expense should come from capital funds.  Mr. Belardo added that having capital expenditures charged properly increases the connection fee and avoids granting new users a “free ride” on improvements that were made in the past.

 

Ms. Gaziano expressed concern, as the report indicated that not only were some things in the wrong categories, but also that some things were missing.  Mr. Carpenter asked Mr. Messina if he could provide an itemized list about specific items that were an issue.  Mr. Bowlby stated that he would email a list to Authority members. 

 

Mr. Messina assured Authority members that all of the issues raised by the Auditor have been rectified.  Ms. Boquist urged Authority members to ensure that proper record keeping is in place, as recommended in the Auditor’s report.

 

  1. Resolution # 0925 – Annual Audit Certification

Motioned by Ms. Pavlini, seconded by Ms. Boquist to Approve the Resolution # 0925,

Certifying that the Bernards Township Sewerage Authority has personally reviewed and accepted that Annual Audit Report, noting that there are no recommendations to report for FY 11/30/08.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Ms. Pavlini

Nay:   

Abstain: 

Motion Carried

 

  1. Resolution # 0932 – Design FST Building Repairs and Lagoon

Motioned by Ms. Pavlini, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to Approve the Resolution # 0932, Authorizing a contract for general professional engineering services for the Final Settling Tank (FST) building repairs and lagoon valve chamber design be awarded to Nicholas L. Valese, P.E. of the firm Hatch, Mott, MacDonald of Millburn, New Jersey for a 12-month term, from June 23, 2009 thru June 22, 2010, for a lump sum fee of $12,300, as amended.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Ms. Pavlini

Nay:   

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

  1. Resolution # 0933 – Time Extension HMM – Phosphorous Study

Motioned by Ms. Pavlini, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to Approve the Resolution # 0933, Authorizing the contract for professional engineering services for the study of the phosphorous reduction demonstration trial awarded to Nicholas L. Valese, P.E. of the firm Hatch, Mott, MacDonald, Millburn, New Jersey be extended from June 23, 2009 to June 22, 2010.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Ms. Pavlini

Nay:   

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

  1. Discussion – Response to Holtaway’s Letter

Mr. Belardo recused himself from the discussion of this matter. 

 

Mr. Messina stated that he received a letter in which Mr. Robert Holtaway, P.E. requests a change order for additional time spent working on the Harrison Brook WWT Facility Standby Generator.  Mr. Messina explained that construction management costs are billed on a “not to exceed” basis.  Specifically, he referenced pages two and three of Holtaway’s original proposal.

 

Mr. Messina explained that he believes the work that has been done falls under item two of Holtaway’s proposal, and pointed out that there is no specification of the time required to do it.  While, perhaps, Mr. Holtaway should have specified a time frame, he did not.  As a result, the work should be considered “unlimited”.  Authority members agreed Holtaway should have managed the situation better, but that the error should not fall on the BTSA.

 

Mr. Valese noted that the proposal should have called for “two anticipated shop drawings”, and then specified anything additional.  Mr. Bowlby agreed and noted that Mr. Holtaway kept sending things back to the contractor that actually were on the shop drawings.

 

Mr. Messina noted that Mr. Holtaway has billed for 90% of the work, which has not yet been completed.  He confirmed that no payment has yet been made.  Further, Mr. Messina stated that Mr. Belardo could not provide legal services on the matter due to a conflict, so he has reached out to Mr. Steve Warner Esq. for legal services if needed. 

 

Authority members agreed that Mr. Messina should respond to Mr. Holtaway's letter, making sure to respond to directly to Mr. Holtaway’s comments.  Mr. Messina will finalize a letter and remove Mr. Belardo’s name from it.

 

  1. Discussion – Sewer Service Area Revisions

Mr. Messina stated that all of the wetland areas in the sewer service area are going to be removed from the sewer service area, as the NJDEP requirements say that there can be no construction in those areas. 

 

Ms. Boquist asked about the area in front of the YMCA on Mount Airy Road.  Mr. Messina confirmed that the land has some wetlands but remains in the sewer service area, as it is less than five acres.

 

Mr. Messina stated that the following areas must be addressed in the revision plan: 

1.)                          Farmstead Park – There is a proposal to build a comfort station by the soccer field in the future.  As a result, the sewer service area was drawn to include the area by the soccer field.  Ms. Pavlini expressed concern about a comfort station and the problems that may follow (e.g. attracting inappropriate behavior, etc.).  Specifically, she reminded Authority members that the soccer field caters to young children, and therefore a comfort station should not be necessary.  Authority members agreed with Ms. Pavlini’s concerns and that the area should not be included in the sewer service area. 

2.)                          Lord Stirling Road – As previously discussed, there are three homes that were recommended to be tied into the sewer service system.  Mr. Messina stated that one home has severe septic problems, therefore it would be permitted to tie in.  Ms. Gaziano expressed concern about previous requests to tie in that have been denied and any repercussions that may come from granting such a request now.  Mr. Messina explained that in 1999, the owner of 167 Lord Stirling Road asked to be tied in due to septic problems and the request was denied because, at the time, the Sewerage Authority said that it would not tie in any homes in a three acre zone.  Mr. Belardo recalled three later requests for connection that were also denied.

 

Mr. Belardo stated that making many exceptions could potentially be problematic in the future, and result in litigation, noting that it would be a lot easier to deny such requests if there was a consistent policy on the issue. 

 

Ms. Pavlini questioned whether or not the homeowners have any other alternatives to rectify their septic issues.  Mr. Messina explained that mounded systems are not successful if there is a high water table in the area.  He noted that 47 homes throughout the township in the 3 acre zone are connected at no more than 200 feet off of the road as proposed for the three homes in question on Lord Stirling Road.

 

Mr. Carpenter questioned the uniqueness of this situation and why an exception is justified.  Mr. Messina stated that a report from the engineer working on the home with the failing septic system certifies that there are no alternative solutions because of the high water table and poor soils in the area.  Mr. Messina also stated there are the health and safety hazard associated with a failing septic system.  Mr. Messina also noted that any recommendations made by the BTSA on the issue are not final and will still need approval from the County and the NJDEP before being made official.

 

Motioned by Ms. Boquist, seconded by Ms. Pavlini to allow the one home on Lord Stirling Road with the failing septic system to connect to the sewer service line, no more than 200 feet off of the road, at the homeowner’s expense.

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Ms. Pavlini

Nay:   

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

  1. Consulting Engineer’s Report

Mr. Valese referred to his Consulting Engineer’s report and informed the Authority that:

  • Sanitary Sewer Video Inspections 2008/2009 – During the past month, there was significant rainfall to conduct the rainfall induced infiltration/inflow investigations.  HMM conducted approximately 1,549 lf of video inspections on Friday, June 5th in the Queen Anne Drive area and identified pipe defects and possible sump pump discharges to the sanitary sewer system.  HMM has identified approximately 37,520 gpd I/I entering the sanitary sewer system from pipe defects a manhole leak and one private building service connection (PBSC).  This work is the start of the 2009 video inspections in accordance with the proposal dated January 9, 2009.  The status of work completed to date under the 2008 video inspection project included approximately 18,994 lf of the sanitary sewers and approximately 183,950 gpd of I/I has been identified.  This represents approximately 74% of the 25,532 lf of sewers to be inspected for the 2008 project.  Note that approximately 6,500 lf of sewer has not been inspected to date under the 2008 project.  This consists of approximately 3,000 lf of sewer that can be inspected in Galloping Hill and Lyons Road/Newell Drive areas.  Approximately 3,500 lf of sewer cannot be inspected due to right of way access requiring an easement machine (track vehicle) with video equipment arrangement.  This includes work in the right of way between Old Coach Road to Canterbury Road that also cannot be accessed due to an upstream blockage as previously advised.  A report on findings for the 2008 project will be prepared when the Galloping Hill and Lyons Road/Newell Drive work is completed.  HMM will continue to track weather conditions and conduct video inspection work when the wet weather conditions are satisfactory for identifying sources of I/I.

·        Phosphorous Pilot Study – The status is similar to last reported.  The BTSA has installed the necessary components to begin the six (6) month phosphorous reduction demonstration trials.  HMM has notified the proper agencies within the NJDEP in a letter dated March 31, 2009, of the BTSA plan to initiate the Phosphorous Removal Demonstration Testing.  HMM is advising the BTSA on the dosage of Alum expected to lower the Phosphorous level toe the required limit.  Monitoring of the final effluent is recommended two to three times per week.  The pilot study should begin the first week of this month.

·        Final NJPDES General Permit – The status of the NJPDES Permit remains the same as previously reported.  HMM identified two major issues with the Final NJPDES Permit for the plant.  The first was the imposing of a more stringent Chronic Toxicity Limit, which HMM objected to in the November 7, 2008 comments on the Draft Permit.  The second issue was the imposition of Nitrate Limits and compliance schedule in the permit.  As requested, HMM had submitted to the NJDEP on January 20, 2009 an Adjudicatory Hearing and Stay Request for the NJDEP’s consideration of the above items.  The BTSA received a letter from the NJDEP dated February 5, 2009 denying the Stay of these issues, citing no immediate financial or enforcement liability due to the time limit for compliance. 

 

OPERATOR’S REPORT – JUNE 2009 (reporting on May 2009 activities)

Mr. Bowlby informed the Authority of the following:

  • BTSA crews jetted 2 roads (Gerard Avenue and Woods End). 
  • BTSA crews TV’d Spring House Lane.
  • BTSA crews performed quarterly RPZ testing.
  • BTSA crews set up alum tank and prepared for June 8th startup.
  • BTSA crews refloated lagoon aerator #5.
  • BTSA crews cleaned contact tank.
  • BTSA crews restriped parking lot.
  • BTSA crews cleaned Pleasant Valley Pool grease trap.
  • Power Equipment performed full maintenance on station generators.
  • BTSA crews jetted stormwater pipe at corner of Vail Terrace and Lake Road for the DPW. 
  • BTSA crews cleaned Madisonville, Rebel Hill, and Stonehouse wet wells.
  • BTSA crews replaced carbon for odor control at Juniper and East Oak Street.
  • BTSA crews checked manholes at Saint James Church.
  • BTSA crews checked manholes on Annin Road, Cedar Creek Drive, and Stone Hedge Drive North.
  • BTSA crews checked cleanouts for 73 and 66 Kensington Road (73 Kensington Road has leak by saddle).
  • BTSA crews investigated odor and slow flush complaint at 134 Bayberry Row (lateral and main lines OK).
  • BTSA crews checked siphons. 
  • BTSA crews cleaned Valley Road siphon.
  • BTSA crews continue to meet permit parameters without any problems.
  • BTSA crews completed fire extinguisher, lighting, and safety shower checks.
  • BTSA crews attended monthly JIF safety meeting at Bricktown.
  • Two BTSA Operators attended confined space safety training.
  • BTSA crews are working on the Right to Know survey.
  • BTSA crews were lost time accident free for 142 days.

Mr. Bowlby provided updates on the following projects:

Valley Road Pump Station:  Construction meeting was held on Friday, May 15th.  Silt fencing was installed.  Work on the Pump Station should begin on June 24th.

 

SCADA System – DeMaio Electric/Morehouse Engineering:  RSP 1 and 2 connected to PLC1.  Inlet control center construction was started.

 

I&I:  73 Kensington Road has a saddle leak.

 

Madisonville Road Pump Station:  Reviewing final draft.

 

Emergency Generator:  Piping has been run and the pad has been poured.

 

Transformer Install:  Waiting for the installation of the generator.

 

Mr. Bowlby stated that the Phosphorous study just began on June 8th, and therefore a statistical report on the progress will not be available for approximately one to months.  He explained that 160 gallons of alum are being added per day and within two days, a gaseous odor from the sludge appeared in the plant.  Mr. Jurek Patoczka will visit the plant to investigate the odor complaints.  Mr. Bowlby noted that sludge production has increased and that the pH initially dropped, but then rose again.  However, the pH limit has not been reached.  Initial readings have shown a slight reduction in the amount of phosphorous.

 

In response to Mr. Carpenter’s previous request, Mr. Bowlby presented a review of the SCADA stations.  He explained that FIOS has been connected in the main plant and data is being received only from the Rebel Hill Pump Station.  DSL has been installed at the Jamestown Road and Annin Road Pumping Stations.  FIOS has been connected at Fieldstone Drive, Juniper Way, Oak Street, and South Maple Pumping Stations.  Valley Road pump station is still in the process of reconstruction.  FIOS is available at Crown Court and Stonehouse Road Pumping Stations, although conduit issues still need to be addressed.  Mr. Bowlby confirmed for Ms. Boquist that he hopes all of the stations will be connected within the next month.

 

Motioned by Ms. Pavlini, by Ms. Gaziano to approve the Operator’s Report – June 2009 (reporting on May 2009 activities).

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Ms. Pavlini

Nay:

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

Mr. Messina discussed the Solar Field installed by the Morristown Sewerage Authority that illustrates energy used and saved by residents.  Mr. Messina stated that he, Mr. Bowlby, and Mr. McArthur will be visiting the Morristown plant to gain information about potentially implementing a Solar Field at the STP.

 

BILLS

Motioned by Ms. Pavlini, seconded by Ms. Boquist to approve the Operating Bills as follows:

a.         Accounts Payable Current        -  $ 135,446.09

b.         Accounts Payable Reserve        -  $   66,191.76 

c.         Payroll Current             -  $   51,880.84

d.         Payroll Reserves                       -  $         -0- 

e.         Total Operating                        -  $ 253,518.69 

f.          Developers Escrow                  -  $        153.00   

            GRAND TOTAL                     -  $ 253,671.69

 

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Ms. Pavlini

Nay:   

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

Motioned by Ms. Pavlini, seconded by Ms. Boquist to move into Closed Session at

7:01 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist, Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Ms. Pavlini

Nay:

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

Motioned by Ms. Boquist, seconded by Ms. Pavlini to move back into Regular Session at

7:37 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Aye:    Ms. Boquist, Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Pavlini

Nay:

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

ADJOURNMENT

Motioned by Ms. Pavlini, seconded by Ms. Boquist to adjourn at 7:37 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Shaun Lockett