Taylor City Hall City Council Chambers

1. Roll Call and Introductions

DUWA Chairman Rick Sollars (Taylor) called the meeting to order at 9:01 AM and asked for roll call to be taken. At the time of roll call, voting representatives were in attendance from 11 communities: Allen Park, Belleville, Brownstown Township, Dearborn Heights, Ecorse, Riverview, Romulus, Southgate, Taylor, Van Buren Township, and Wyandotte. A quorum (at least 7 members) was present.

Subsequent to roll call, Chairman Sollars requested the Board and meeting attendees introduce themselves, as there were new attendees in the audience, including interested bidders for the Biosolids Design-Build opportunity.

2. Approval of Agenda
Copies of the Agenda were made available prior to the meeting (Attachment 1). Motion by Vice Chair Gail McLeod (Allen Park) and seconded by Doug Drysdale (Riverview) to approve the Agenda. Motion passed unanimously.

3. Approval of Minutes from November 14, 2019 Board Meeting
Copies of the meeting minutes from the November 14, 2019 Board Meeting were distributed by email prior to the meeting (Attachment 2). Motion by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) and seconded by Dustin Lent (Southgate) to approve the minutes. Motion passed unanimously.

4. Approval of 2020 Board Meeting Dates
A listing of the existing Officers was distributed prior to the meeting (Attachment 3). The meeting dates were presented to the Board, and no objection was received. Motion by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) and seconded by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to approve the 2020 meeting dates. Motion passed unanimously.

5. Legal Update

DUWA Attorney Jim Fausone, of Fausone Bohn, provided the Legal Update. The following items were highlighted:

  • DUWA and SWRDDD are working on revisions to the SWRDDD Agreement. The current effort focuses on the electrical charge bill split. The revised Agreement may come to the Board at the next Board meeting.
  • Fausone Bohn’s team reviewed proposed Attachment No 4 to Veolia’s O&M Agreement.
  • Fausone Bohn’s team is actively working with Veolia to develop Attachment No 5 to the Veolia O&M Agreement. This Attachment will address minor items in Attachment No 3 regarding CPI usage and a calculation error. This will come to the Board in January.
  • The legal team and the System Manager are working on the non-residential user fee analysis. This item will be brought back to the Board in the future.
  • The last escrow from Wayne County is being reviewed with the Treasurer. The teams are wrapping up analysis, and a report will be provided soon.
  • Wayne County has requested an Amendment to the Closing Memo from the system transfer. Wayne County seeks to memorialize items that have changed, such as access to SCADA. The time period for addressing this is unknown, but it does not have material consequence to DUWA.


6. System Manager Update
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 for the System Manager Report (Attachment 4), as well as a summary on biosolids efforts (Attachment 5).

a. System Manager Report

System Manager Kaunelis noted the following highlights from the System Manager Report:

  • SCADA Separation: The team is awaiting comments from Wayne County on the final design. The desire is to bring data from SWRDDD into DUWA system. The approach for how to bring the data into the system requires agreement. In the interim, Eramosa is proceeding with procuring the equipment after the new year.
  • Alkali Sewer Rehabilitation: The dry weather bypass into SWRDDD requires agreement by SWRDDD. The team is pending a meeting with SWRDDD to finalize. There is a large desire to proceed with this work before spring rains, however, the required coordination may cause the project to slip into the summer months.
  • 2019 CCTV: Inspections are complete, and no serious problems were identified. A formal document is being prepared by Veolia’s team.
  • Asset Management: SEMCOG has approved DUWA’s reimbursement grant application. DUWA was awarded the maximum amount of $30k.
  • US Steel Water Usage (Ecorse): A meeting was held to discuss US Steel’s water usage, as previous suspicion assumed US Steel could be consuming water in their process, and thus large volumes of purchased water was not discharging as wastewater into the DSDS. This type of activity could be addressed as a wastewater exemption to US Steel. That was the intent of the meeting. However, based on further review and meeting discussions, it was identified US Steel had a large historical water main leak, which was recently repaired. A wastewater exemption is not necessary. Based on the line repair, it is expected water consumption will be reduced, and may impact next year’s rate package.
  • American Cane Sugar (Taylor): Historically, this industrial user provided a surcharge revenue to DUWA. American Cane Sugar will be shutting down operations. This will be a loss of revenue that will be reflected in next year’s budget (see Agenda Item 9a).
  • APWA Downriver Award – Project of the Year: DUWA prepared and submitted a nomination for a 2019 Project of the Year award to the APWA’s Downriver chapter. DUWA received the nomination and was presented an award for ‘Successful Transfer of DSDS’ under the Government Cooperation category. Several of DUWA’s members were able to attend the luncheon and receive the award on behalf of DUWA.

b. Biosolids Update

System Manager Kaunelis noted the following highlights related to the pending biosolids project:

  • Dryer Manufacturer: Proposals have been received. Two of the proposals stood out to the Selection Committee. The Committee will proceed with interviews with these manufacturers in early January. The manufacturers are Kruger and Huber, which are belt dryer systems.
  • Design-Build Entities: Proposals are due at end of month for this RFP. DUWA has a process in place for pre-submittal meetings; one meeting was held yesterday, and two more are scheduled for today. The proposals will be evaluated in January. In February, the final contracts will be negotiated. A request for award will occur in March.

c. Year 1 Recap Report

 A Year-in-Review report was prepared by OHM Advisors and provided to DUWA at the Board meeting (Attachment 6). The report provides a lookback on major events, which included some great successes, including DUWA coming in well underbudget, even given all the recently completed and on-going activities. The Board may use the report to communicate to their Councils or the public. Additionally, requested revisions to the document can be provided to OHM.

7. Requests for Authorizations

System Manager Lambrina Tercala, of OHM Advisors, provided the following requests to the Board.

a. Release of Final Retainage to Weiss (SRF No 5420-01)

Project closeout is now complete for the SRF Project No. 5420-01. A request for final payment to Weiss was provided in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 7). Weiss was the general contractor on the project. The final invoice (No 31) is for a total cost of $50,000, which is the remainder of the contract’s retainage. Greg Tupancy, of Wayne County, was retained by DUWA via the Shared Services agreement. Mr. Tupancy assisted with construction administration for the SRF project and recommended payment.

 Motion by Vice Chair Gail McLeod (Allen Park) and supported by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to authorize the System Manager and DUWA’s accountant to release the final retainage of $50,000 to Weiss for their Invoice No 31 associated with SRF No 5420-01 construction project. Motion passed unanimously.

b. Veolia O&M Agreement, Amendment No 4 – Annual MissDig & Vehicle Transfer

A request to approve proposed Attachment No 4 to Veolia’s O&M Contract was included in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 8). The intent of Amendment No 4 was to add 1) Miss Dig services to Veolia’s O&M obligations and 2) turnover vehicle fleet management to Veolia. The total fees due to these new items was $161,959. The proposed efforts were presented as follows:

Miss Dig Services: Wayne County did not perform Miss Dig services for the DSDS; DUWA has a desire to complete these services moving forward. A pilot program was implemented for a portion of 2019. The intent of the pilot program was to assess the amount of resources that would be necessary to perform these services on an on-going basis. The results of the pilot program suggest one FTE with vehicle would be required to perform the services on a routine basis.

 Vehicle Management Turnover: At system transfer, Wayne County’s fleet vehicles were turned over to DUWA. Veolia rents the vehicles from DUWA and is responsible for insurance requirements, fuel, maintenance, etc. On an annual basis, DUWA incurs direct costs for ‘all auto’ insurance coverage due to Hudson, lease agreement fees to Veolia, and vehicle registration, and intermittent labor fees for DUWA’s Professionals to support vehicle management. Amendment No 4 sought to transfer ownership of 14 vehicles from DUWA to Veolia. This transfer would allow Veolia to manage the type and number of vehicles they use for their O&M services and be responsible for all costs associate with fleet vehicle management. 

The Board had several questions related to the Vehicle Management Turnover item, and requested it be withdrawn from Attachment No 4, and additional information be brought forward associated with the request at the January meeting. The Board entertained a motion for the Miss Dig services (only) associated with Attachment No 3. The budgetary cost for the Miss Dig services is approximately $123k for Year 1.

 Motion by Dustin Lent (Southgate) and supported by Vice Chair Gail McLeod (Allen Park) to authorize the Chair or Vice Chair to execute a revised Attachment No 4 for Miss Dig services (only) upon the recommendation of the terms by General Counsel. A role call was collected, as the Attachment’s services relate to professional services. All present members voted in favor of Attachment No 4 (Miss Dig services only); the motion passed with 83.01% of the vote present.

c. Repair of Influent Pump Station’s Pump No 3

Veolia recently incurred an expense for a critical repair of IPS Raw Sewage Pump No 3. A request to approve repair of the Influent Pump Station (IPS) Pump No 3 was included in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 9).

DUWA’s incurred and remaining capital projects and equipment costs are tracking underbudget based on the FY2019 rate package projects. DUWA’s 2019 fiscal year includes CY2019 Q3 & Q4 and CY2020 Q1 & Q2. There are several factors that have caused this, including receiving better pricing for replacement equipment (e.g., flow meter replacements) and also refining and sometimes eliminating budgeted projects (e.g, eliminated replacement of $350k for SFE Pumps & Strainers (‘Big Blue’), phased HVAC upgrades at IPS from $125k down to $64k, and so on).

An update on the IPS Raw Sewage Pump No 3 repair work was provided to the Technical Committee on 12/5. The Technical Committee recommended reimbursement for this work. The cost for the work was $70,555. This cost would be covered by FY2019 rate package’s capital budget. Veolia worked with multiple contractors to secure bids for the work prior to proceeding.

Motion by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) and supported by Dave Flaten (Ecorse) to approve Veolia for a lump sum fee of $70,555 for reimbursement of the critical repair associated with the Influent Pump Station’s Raw Sewage Pump No 3. Motion passed unanimously.

d. Site Improvement Expenses

Veolia made substantial site improvements to the treatment facility in 2019. Several expenses have been incurred associated with the improvements, including fence repair and disposal costs for municipal waste and also special or hazardous wastes. The amount of debris that required disposal continued to compound over the year, as Veolia systematically reviewed all of the facility’s buildings and rooms. Additionally, the amount of obsolete equipment and scrap metal that could be sold for revenue also compounded. Veolia prepared the items for sale and all proceeds were turned over to DUWA as they became available.

A listing of extraordinary expenses that Veolia incurred in 2019 was provided in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 10), along with a listing of revenue sources. The total expense was $32,678.55. The total revenue was $20,450.

The request was to reimburse Veolia for their 2019 site improvement expenses. The expenses would be offset by the total revenue received to date. The total due to Veolia would be $32,678.55, however, DUWA’s incurred cost is $12,228.55 (i.e., less equipment sale revenue).

Motion by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) and supported by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to reimburse Veolia for the 2019 site improvements at a total cost of $32.678.55. Motion passed unanimously.

e. CY2020 Hourly Rates for System Manager

OHM requested the Board’s approval for accepting their CY2020 hourly rates for all billing categories and also to modify Lambrina Tercala’s billing category from PEIII to PEIV. Vyto’s CY2018 hourly rate would be maintained (ie no change) to partially offset the change in Lambrina’s hourly rate. The proposed hourly rates are in line with other DUWA Professional rates. The request was provided to the Board in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 11).

 Motion by Vice Chair Gail McLeod (Allen Park) and supported by Dustin Lent (Southgate) to approve OHM Advisors’ CY2020 hourly rates for their System Manager services, with the exception of Vyto Kaunelis, who will maintain his CY2018 rate. Lambrina Tercala will bill at a PE IV category. The rates will go into effective January 1, 2020. Motion passed unanimously.

8. Contract Operator Update

Kelly Irving, Veolia’s Program Manager, and Jason Tapp, Veolia’s Assistant Project Manager, provided the Contract Operator update.

a. Staff Spotlight: Mike Tapp, Collection System Manager

Veolia’s Collection System Manager, Mike Tapp, greeted the Board. Mr. Tapp is a former Wayne County employee, who has worked in various departments at DWTF. His current role with Veolia is to oversee the Collection System, which includes overseeing CCTV inspections, standing up the Miss Dig program, coordinating with outside agencies, etc. Mr. Tapp expressed his appreciation for his time with Wayne County and now Veolia.

b. October 2019 MOR

An October 2019 Monthly Operating Report (MOR) was provided in the Board’s pre-meeting package (Attachment 12). Highlights from the summary and other updates included the following: 

  • The DWTF is running well and in compliance.
  • The airport is discharging glycol to the DWTF.
  • The new, lower phosphorus limit come into effect on January 1. During the winter season, the use of ferric chloride is reduced. The team expects to halt the dosage soon. An automated system has been installed to assist with optimized dosage during the warmer months. Veolia is working on getting new chemicals on standby for the secondary portion of the process.
  • EGLE will visit DWTF next week to review the proposed influent sample relocation approach. The team expects an official approval in the coming weeks.
  • Asset Management is ongoing.
  • Several types of polymers have been trialed with the solids system. While jar testing seemed promising for non-emulsion types, a piloted use in the centrifuges did not provided positive results. The team expects to use emulsion polymer going forward.
  • The stock room is close to moving from the SWRDDD rented space to the DWTF.
  • A number of shutdowns were necessary for UIS’s preventative and remedial maintenance work on the electrical system; the team is wrapping up the efforts.
  • CCTV work is complete. Dye tests are pending.
  • Strong odors have been present at DWTF. This is because only the centrifuges have been running so the team could complete repairs to the belt filter presses, in preparation for the winter season. The centrifuges pull from only two of the four sludge holding tanks. As such, the remaining two tanks are becoming septic, although they are able to overflow to the headworks for recycle. While there is no overall negative impact to the process system, the odors are not ideal. The team is looking at options to manifold the tanks with a common header to eliminate this issue in the future. 


9. Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Jason Couture (Taylor) provided the Treasurer’s Report.

a. CY2020-2021 Budget (2 Year)

Treasurer Couture presented the two-year budget for CY2020 and CY2021, which was provided in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 13). The budgets were prepared by DUWA’s Accountant, Doug Drysdale (Riverview), of DNS Financial Services, and reviewed by DUWA’s Financial Consultant, Beth Bialy, of Plante Moran.

Motion by Dustin Lent (Southgate) and seconded by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to approve of the two-year budget. Motion passed unanimously.

b. Pending Invoices

Treasurer Couture presented the invoice register for a request for payment. The invoice register was provided in the pre-meeting package (Attachment 14). The invoice register includes a request for payment for 19 invoices for a total of $1,611,635.54. Motion by Vice Chair Gail McLeod (Allen Park) and supported by Dave Flaten (Ecorse) to pay the invoices. Motion passed unanimously.

10. Public Comment

There was no public comment.

11. Other Business

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

12. Next Meeting Date: Thursday, January 16, 2019 (9:00 AM; Taylor City Hall)

Chairman Sollars (Taylor) reminded the Board that the next meeting would be the Board Meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2019 (9:00 a.m. Taylor City Hall). This will be held on the third Thursday of January.

13. Adjournment

There being no other business, Chairman Sollars (Taylor) announced that a motion to adjourn would be in order. Motion by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) and supported by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed unanimously at 9:57 AM.

Meeting Minutes Prepared by:
Lambrina Tercala, OHM Advisors, DUWA System Manager


  1. Meeting Agenda
  2. November 14, 2019 DUWA Board Meeting Minutes
  3. Proposed 2020 Board Schedule
  4. System Manager Report for November 2019 Board Meeting (by OHM Advisors)
  5. Biosolids Project Update (by OHM Advisors)
  6. Year 1 Recap Report (by OHM Advisors)
  7. Request for Approval of Weiss Final Payment (by OHM Advisors)
  8. Request to Approve Veolia O&M Agreement Attachment No 3(by OHM Advisors)
  9. Request to Approve Repair of IPS Pump No 3 (by OHM Advisors)
  10. Request to Approve Veolia for Site Improvements & Extraordinary Expenses (by OHM Advisors)
  11. Request to Approve System Manager 2020 Hourly Rates (by OHM Advisors)
  12. Monthly Operating Report for October 2019 (by Veolia)
  13. Request to Approve CY2020-2021 Budgets (by DNS Financial Services)
  14. Invoice Register, dated December 5, 2019 (by DNS Financial Services)