BERNARDS TOWNSHIP SEWERAGE AUTHORITY

MINUTES OF THE OPERATING MEETING

AUGUST 25, 2009

                                                         

Vice-Chairman Carpenter called the meeting of the Bernards Township Sewerage Authority to order at 6:01 p.m. on August 25, 2009 in the Conference Room of the Municipal Building, Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:       Ms. Boquist; Mr. Carpenter; Ms. Gaziano; Mr. Malay

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:         Ms. Pavlini

 

STAFF PRESENT:                Mr. Peter Messina, Administrator; Mr. Roger Bowlby, Plant Superintendent; 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.                   July 28, 2009 – Regular Meeting Minutes

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Boquist to Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes dated July 28, 2009.

 

ROLL CALL

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

Nay:

Abstain:  Ms. Gaziano

Motion Carried

 

b.                  June 23, 2009 – Closed Session Meeting Minutes

Motioned by Ms. Boquist, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to Approve the Closed Session Meeting Minutes dated June 23, 2009.

 

ROLL CALL

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

Nay:

Abstain:  Mr. Malay

Motion Carried

 

CORRESPONDENCE

a.       Mr. Messina explained that although the work done thus far on the Valley Road Pump Station Rehabilitation Project is satisfactory, the Contractor has not been forthcoming and has exceeded the deadline of August 19th.  T&M Associates had requested that the Contractor submit an application for extra time, if needed, but no application has been made.  Mr. Messina also noted that the Authority has the ability to charge a $500 daily fee for liquidated damages..

 

Mr. Carpenter wondered if the lack of communication from the Contractor means that they are in financial trouble.  Mr. Valese stated that HMM has worked with the Contractor for years and has not heard of any financial problems, but noted that they can be difficult to work with sometimes.  Mr. Messina noted that the Contractor would only be paid once the work is complete.  Mr. Bowlby confirmed that the project is roughly 30% complete and with the equipment, the job could be finished rather quickly. 

 

Authority members agreed to put the Contractor on written notice.  Mr. Belardo stated that he would review a draft with Mr. Messina to memorialize that the Contractor is in breach of the contract.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

None.

 

ACTION/DISCUSSION ITEMS

  1. Resolution # 0936 – Sale of Surplus Vehicles

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to Approve the Resolution # 0936,

Authorizing the sale at public auction of the BTSA’s personal property not needed for public use, specifically a 1998 Ford F-250 Truck (VIN#: FTPF28W2WNB50253) and 1992 Ford F-150 Truck (VIN#: 2FTDF15Y3NCA83394).

 

ROLL CALL

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

Nay:   

Abstain: 

Motion Carried

 

  1. Resolution # 0937 – Personnel Appointment – Kelli Dochterman

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to Approve the Resolution # 0937,

Authorizing the appointment of Kelli Dochterman as full-time Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, Sewerage Authority, effective October 5, 2009 at an hourly rate of $22.99 per hour for a 40-hour workweek.

 

ROLL CALL

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

Nay:   

Abstain: 

Motion Carried

 

  1. Discussion – Draft 2010 Budget

Mr. Messina explained that he and Mr. Bowlby reviewed the draft 2010 budget and were able to reduce funds in the areas of “Administrative Expenses”, “Operations and Maintenance Expenses”, and “Capital (Regular) Areas”.  Mr. Messina reminded Authority members that there is always money carried over into the following fiscal year because of the conservative estimates used in drafting the budget. 

 

Of some of the expenses that remain, Mr. Bowlby explained that he is recommending the purchase of a new TV lateral launcher.  The current camera is around ten years old, which is long considering the environment in which it functions, and is in continued need for repair.  The lateral launcher, which comes fully equipped, can be put right up a sewage line so that any problems may be diagnosed much quicker.  Additionally, Mr. Messina stated that, with regards to the ongoing pump station rehabilitation project, Madisonville Road will go out to bid for construction this year, and that East Oak Street will be up next year.

 

With regards to the proposed solar field, Mr. Messina estimated that the project would cost roughly five million dollars, most easily acquired from the reserve funds.  He further explained that the actual cost of the project would depend on the number of panels used.  Mr. Messina confirmed for Ms. Boquist that the Bernards Township solar field has the potential to be larger than the Morristown solar field.  Mr. Messina noted that he has prepared a draft drawing of a farm with 4,000 panels, but the final design will depend on a final design and on how much the Authority decides to spend on the project. 

 

Mr. Bowlby and Mr. Malay noted that Hopatcong and Mount Arlington are also exploring the idea of a solar field as well.  Ms. Boquist expressed concern about jumping into the project too soon, as the price of parts always goes down and regulations change.  Mr. Messina stated that the price of solar panels is dropping due to a peak in interest.  He confirmed for Ms. Boquist that he does not think that the BTSA is considering such a project too early, particularly since bidding would not commence until early next year. 

 

Mr. Carpenter questioned whether or not, in light of the expense for this project, the BTSA should consider re-examining the allocation of reserves, or if this capital expense is a viable replacement for what was originally anticipated to address the phosphorous issue.  Mr. Messina stated that although the project would reduce the amount of capital reserves to fourteen million dollars, the annual return on the project would make it worthwhile.  Mr. Malay agreed.  Mr. Messina noted that the project should yield a full payback via energy savings and solar credits within roughly eight years, and an additional 17 years of energy usage saved.  Mr. Messina advised Authority members that the life expectancy of the electrical components is 15 years and 25 for the panels.

 

Ms. Boquist reminded Authority members that the surplus was not built up strictly to address the phosphorous issue, but simply because the BTSA has been fiscally responsible.  Ms. Gaziano questioned what is a safe amount to have in reserves to address potential phosphorous issue.  Mr. Messina estimated that the phosphorous regulations would require a few hundred thousand dollars per year to meet.  Mr. Valese also reminded Authority members that hopefully the phosphorous requirement will only be instituted six months out of the year.  Mr. Malay reminded Authority members that there is no way to predict the future DEP regulations, so we can only estimate in accordance with current guidelines.

 

Mr. Carpenter recommended conducting an assessment of solar panel technology (i.e. history, pricing, future innovations, etc.).  Authority members agreed.  Mr. Messina stated that he would survey the issue and present his findings at the September BTSA meeting. 

 

With regards to the issue of reducing rates for senior citizens, Mr. Messina stated that Peggy Warren, Tax Collector, identified 70 senior households that are “in need” of financial assistance.  He also confirmed that those seniors must apply for the “in need” status on an annual basis.  Mr. Carpenter opposed a fee reduction or abatement exclusively for all seniors.  Mr. Carpenter stated that if there were to be a fee reduction, he would like to see it be for all ratepayers.  Ms. Boquist stated that in the current economy, all seniors are “in need”, as they are living on fixed incomes.  She noted that the BTSA is in strong fiscal shape, due much in part to the contributions of seniors in the community and that a two-person senior household should not have to pay the same rate as a family with five people.  Ms. Gaziano expressed concern about instituting a reduction for all seniors on the premise that they are “in need”, as there are many non-senior families that are “in need” as well. 

 

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Gaziano to reduce the 2010 user fee to $320 for all ratepayers and $200 for seniors “in need”, as defined by the Tax Collector.

ROLL CALL

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

Nay:    Ms. Boquist

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

Mr. Messina stated that the 2010 budget will be introduced at the September BTSA meeting.

 

  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, on August 3rd, we had a significant rainfall to conduct the rainfall induced infiltration/inflow investigations.  HMM identified additional leakage of approximately 2,160 gpd and approximately 650 lf of sewer in Fairview Drive with Hydrogen sulfide corrosion.  The status of the 2008 and 2009 work is as follows:  The work completed to date under the 2008 video inspection project included approximately 19,641 lf of the sanitary sewers and approximately 186,110 gpd of I/I identified.  This represents approximately 85% of 23,032 lf of sewers that can be inspected for the 2008 project.  The 2009 video inspection project remains the same as previously reported with approximately 1,549 lf (approximately 10%) of video inspection complete and approximately 37,520 gpd I/I identified entering sanitary sewer system from pipe defects, a manhole leak, and one private building service connection (PBSC).  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.
  • FST Building Leak Repairs and Lagoon Valve Chamber Design – HMM has conducted its site review and has begun design of the valve chamber and FST Building Leak Repair.  HMM will provide a preliminary copy of the chamber design and leak repair to Roger for review prior to finalizing the design for bidding. 

·        Phosphorous Pilot Study – The pilot study was started during the first week of June.  The alum dosage in August was increased to approximately 260 gpd and to date, the ph has been satisfactory and the addition of other chemicals has not been necessary.  Based on recent data from effluent sampling, the phosphorous levels are below the 0.76 mg/l.  The amount of additional sludge produced with this process is not known at this time and will be evaluated at the end of the pilot trials. 

·        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. 

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Boquist to approve the Consulting Engineer’s Report.

ROLL CALL

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

Nay:

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

OPERATOR’S REPORT – AUGUST 2009 (reporting on July 2009 activities)

Mr. Bowlby informed the Authority of the following:

  • BTSA crews jetted 3 roads (Deer Creek Drive, Pheasant Run Drive, and Quail Court). 
  • BTSA crews checked siphons.
  • BTSA crews repaired pump #1 contactor at Madisonville Road.
  • BTSA crews received a call from a resident that a manhole by Berta Pond was uncovered (replaced lid that was removed by others).
  • BTSA crews repaired a noisy manhole in front of 51 Mount Airy Road.
  • BTSA crews inspected grease traps.
  • Boiler inspection was performed.
  • BTSA crews received an odor complaint at 121 Culberson Road (checked manholes and lateral and no odor was present).
  • Crown Court, East Oak, Jamestown, Plant, Rebel Hill, South Maple, and Stonehouse generators ran due to power failures.
  • Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) failed at plant due to power fail. 
  • BTSA crews continue to meet permit parameters without any problems.
  • BTSA crews completed monthly fire extinguisher, lighting, and safety shower checks.
  • BTSA crews attended monthly JIF safety meeting in Toms River.
  • BTSA crews set up written AED program.
  • EJIF performed annual inspection of underground and above ground storage tanks and stormwater.
  • Connor Strong Risk Control performed a plant wide safety inspection.
  • BTSA crews were lost time accident free for 203 days.

 

Mr. Bowlby provided updates on the following projects:

Valley Road Pump Station:  Doghouse manhole, wet well, and valve chamber installed.

 

SCADA System – DeMaio Electric/Morehouse Engineering:  Modem was installed at Jamestown.  FIOS was installed at Stonehouse.  Pull rope was installed at Madisonville.

 

I&I:  Contractors examined leaks.  BTSA is awaiting quotes.

 

Madisonville Road Pump Station:  Waiting for final design documents.  Test pits to be dug on August 13th.

 

Emergency Generator:  Generator pad form removed, CT’s and control transformer installed.

 

Transformer Install:  Waiting for the installation of the generator.

 

Belt Filter Pressformer Install:  Drainage manhole was uncovered.  Bid specs are being prepared.

 

Motioned by Mr. Malay, seconded by Ms. Boquist to approve the Consulting Engineer’s Report.

ROLL CALL

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

Nay:

Abstain:

Motion Carried
 
BILLS

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

a.         Accounts Payable Current        -  $ 165,900.80

b.         Accounts Payable Reserve        -  $   12,002.93 

c.         Payroll Current             -  $   50,776.35

d.         Payroll Reserves                       -  $         -0- 

e.         Total Operating                        -  $ 228,680.08 

f.          Developers Escrow                  -  $     2,797.25   

            GRAND TOTAL                     -  $ 231,477.33

 

ROLL CALL

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

Nay:   

Abstain:

Motion Carried

 

ADJOURNMENT

Motioned by Ms. Boquist, seconded by Mr. Malay to adjourn at 6:54 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Shaun Lockett