2019 April – Board Meeting Minutes

 DOWNRIVER UTILITY WASTEWATER AUTHORITY

APRIL 11, 2019 MEETING MINUTES

Taylor City Hall City Council Chambers

 

  1. Roll Call and Introductions

DUWA Vice Chair Bill Matakas (Allen Park) called the meeting to order at 9:02 AM and asked for roll call to be taken. At the time of the Roll Call, voting representatives were in attendance from 11 communities: Allen Park, Belleville, Brownstown Township, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, Riverview, Romulus, Southgate, Taylor, Van Buren Township, and Wyandotte. A quorum (at least 7 members) was present.

  1. Approval of Agenda

Copies of the Agenda were made available prior to the meeting (Attachment 1). Motion by Doug Drysdale (Riverview) and seconded by Jim Taylor (Van Buren) to approve the amended Agenda. Motion passed unanimously.

  1. Approval of Minutes from March 14, 2019 Board Meeting

Copies of the meeting minutes from the March 14, 2019 Board Meeting were distributed by email prior to the meeting (Attachment 2). Motion by Doug Drysdale (Riverview) and seconded by Dave Flatten (Ecorse) to approve of the minutes. Motion passed unanimously.

  1. Legal Update

Attorney Paul Bohn, of Fausone Bohn, provided the Legal Update.

a. Transition Escrow Update

Attorney Bohn advised the Board that the $500K Post-Closing Escrow is still with Wayne County. Wayne County is in the process of closing out their accounting and will remit remaining funds to DUWA by September 2019 rather than by March 2019.

b. Easement Update

Attorney Bohn reported a call between Wayne County and DUWA attorneys will be held today to discuss post-closing issues. Focus of the discussion will include deeds and easements and what activity may be necessary to better satisfy property title. The Fausone Bohn team expects it will take time to complete this process – years not months. This was expected pre-closing based on the titles provided as part of the transfer. Additional information will be available after the call and reported out by the legal team at the next Board meeting.

Attorney Bohn noted the Davis v Southgate litigation case, where Bodman was re-assigned to DUWA, remains open. The financial settlement matter was agreed upon several months ago, but court procedures are delaying the final closing of the case. Dustin Lent (Southgate) stated payment is in process and should be distributed soon.

  1. System Manager Update

a. System Manager Report

System Manager Vyto Kaunelis, of OHM Advisors, provided a verbal summary of activities since the last meeting. A written summary was in the pre-meeting Board packet (Attachment 3). Highlights from the summary and other updates included the following:

    • Closeout of construction work is underway. The final, balancing change orders associated with the work is expected to be brought back to the Board in April.
    • Disposal costs for biosolids continues to be a major issue for the DWTF. At the April 9 Technical Committee meeting, Veolia’s SMEs presented two proposed alternatives to reduce the volume of bio-solids generated by the DWTF: 1) On-Site Dryer and 2) Off-Site Digester. The Technical Committee have determined that the Biosolids Dryer Alternative is the most promising alternative for consideration. The biosolids quantity would be significantly reduced and would meet criteria allowing for potential beneficial reuse. OHM has asked HRC, DUWA’s as needed engineering consultant, to review Veolia’s proposal in detail to assess its feasibility, identify critical assumptions or unknown and validate the cost estimate. Based on current understanding, the Dryer alternative appears to be viable, and can be implemented within a years’ time. Procurement considerations will need to be addressed once technical review is complete.  The Board will be provided with the Technical Committee’s PowerPoint presentation in the coming days.
    • TetraTech is in the process of reviewing the IPP rates. Capital costs were not previously included in the IPP rates. Revised rates will include consideration of capital improvement costs.
    • Eramosa is preparing a report of their findings regarding review of the Wayne County SCADA split proposal. An additional alternative will be included where DUWA would split from the system and upgrade to a new SCADA platform. The draft report is expected to be received later this month.
    • OHM is working with Veolia on projecting future repair needs at the DWTF. At the April 9 Technical Committee meeting, Veolia also presented an electrical inspection and repair work package. Bids were received from three companies. The best pricing was received from UIS. The work is for $200k for system testing and $280k in outstanding system repairs. This repair work had previously been identified by the DWTF in 2012 and 2016 but had not been completed. Veolia will provide a proposal to advance on this work at the next Board meeting. The contract will be with Veolia with UIS as their subcontractor.

System Manager Kaunelis concluded the report. The floor opened for questions by the Board.

Vice Chair Matakas (Allen Park) asked about the status of the Employee Service Building given its recent water damage. System Manager Kaunelis and Kelly Irving, DWTF Program Manager for Veolia, responded that the building is no longer needed, so it has been vacated. The building will remain intact but will be mothballed prior to freezing temperatures.

  1. Request to Authorize Payment to HRC for Pre-Transfer Invoices

System Manager Tercala informed the Board of several carryover invoices that had not been paid by Wayne County for Hubble Roth and Clark (HRC). HRC functioned as Wayne County’s as-needed engineering consultant. A memorandum that details a request for payment, along with HRC’s invoices, was provided to the Board in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 4).

The invoices were for $49,156.88 for various professional services. The expense relates to the Downriver system, and thus should be paid by Downriver funds. Wayne County returned the Accounts Payable escrow to DUWA at the beginning of the year, and thus does not have funds available to pay HRC for the outstanding invoices.

Motion by Dustin Lent (Southgate) and seconded by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) to approve payment to HRC for the $49,156.88 in outstanding invoices associated with services rendered. Motion passed unanimously.

  1. Contract Operator Update

Ms. Irving and Mr. Jason Tapp, DWTF’s Assistant Project Manager for Veolia, provided the Contract Operator update.

a. February 2019 MOR

A February 2019 Monthly Operating Report (MOR) was provided in the Board’s pre-meeting package (Attachment 5). Highlights from the summary and other updates included the following:

    • The primary tanks have been repaired and are operational. All primary tanks now have 1-2 ft blankets. For future maintenance efforts, each of the primary tanks will be taken down from service on an annual basis for inspection and repair.
    • MDEQ has provided approval for the corrective action items associated with the November excessive solids inventory activities.
    • The last rain event, which was the weekend before last, the DWTF pumped 130 MGD in roughly 48 hours. Bypassing was not necessary, which is a favorable sign for future bypass reduction efforts.
    • The staff continue to perform cleanup of the grounds and building spaces at DWTF. There is more work to do, but great progress has been made.
    • Maintenance staff is now available as ‘on-call’ during off-shift hours.
    • Staff are being cross trained to reduce ‘silos’ – those that work on the primary treatment system are also trained on the secondary system. Veolia operates two groups of employees – operations and maintenance.
    • Veolia has augmented the 48 FTE organization chart with limited FTEs of certain trades, such as electricians, due to amount of work to be completed. Staff vacancies are now at 6 net full-time equivalents (FTE) and 8 actual FTEs. (Net is based on 48 FTE org chart.) Veolia is also using contractors to assist, where appropriate.
  1. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Jason Couture (Taylor) presented the Treasurer’s Report that was included in the pre-meeting packet. The Treasurer’s Report included an invoice register (Attachment 6).

a. Pending Invoices

The invoice register included request for payment for 35 invoices for a total of $1,586,202.17. Cash revenues, of $63,613.88, were available to offset the total invoice cost. The request for payment is $1,522,588.29. Motion by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) and Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to pay the invoices. Motion passed unanimously.

After the motion, Mr. Couture and Doug Drysdale (DNS Financial Services; Riverview) reminded the Board that DUWA is in the process of their yearend financial audit. The audit is nearing completion; the team is pending final items to be provided by Wayne County. It is expected the audit will finish up by next week and then the Auditor, Plante Moran, will have final review.

Community rates are also being reviewed. A Financial Committee meeting is slated for this coming Tuesday. A recommendation for rates will be brought to the Board in May and go into effect in July.

  1. Public Comment

There was no public comment.

  1. Other Business

There were no items brought forth for consideration as “Other Business” items.

  1. Next Meeting Date: May 9, 2019 (9:00 AM; Taylor City Hall)

Vice Chairman Matakas (Allen Park) reminded the Board that the next meeting would be the Board Meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2019 (9:00 a.m. Taylor City Hall).

  1. Adjournment

There being no other business, Vice Chairman Matakas (Allen Park) announced that a motion to adjourn would be in order. Motion by Doug Drysdale (Riverview) and supported by Dustin Lent (Southgate) to adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed unanimously at 10:10 AM.

Meeting Minutes Prepared by:

Lambrina Tercala, DUWA System Manager

Attachments

  1. Meeting Agenda
  2. March 14, 2019 DUWA Board Meeting Minutes
  3. System Manager Report for April 2019 Board Meeting (by OHM Advisors)
  4. Request to Authorize Payment to HRC for Pre-Transfer Invoices (by OHM Advisors and Wayne County)
  5. Monthly Operating Report for February 2019 (by Veolia)
  6. Invoice Register, dated April 6, 2019 (by DNS Financial Services)