DOWNRIVER UTILITY WASTEWATER AUTHORITY
MARCH 11, 2021 MEETING MINUTES
VIRTUAL MEETING (due to COVID19)
1. Roll Call and Introductions
DUWA Chair Gail McLeod (Allen Park) called the virtual meeting to order at 9:04 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, Dearborn Heights, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, River Rouge, Riverview, Romulus, Southgate, Van Buren Township, and Wyandotte. A quorum (at least 7 members) was present.
2. Approval of Agenda
Copies of the Agenda were made available prior to the meeting (Attachment 1). Motion by James Krizan (Lincoln Park) and supported by Dave Flaten (Ecorse) to approve the Agenda.
Due to the meeting being held virtually, a roll call vote was completed for Board actions. A roll call vote was taken to approve the agenda. The motion passed unanimously by all attending members.
3. Approval of Minutes from February 11, 2021 Board Meeting
Copies of the meeting minutes from the February 11, 2021 Board Meeting were distributed by email prior to the meeting (Attachment 2). Motion by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) and supported by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to approve the minutes. A roll call vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously by all voting members. Richard Marsh (River Rouge) abstained from the vote as he was not present at the last Board meeting.
4. Legal Update
Attorney Jim Fausone, of Fausone Bohn, provided the Legal Update.
a. General Counsel Monthly Report
Attorney Fausone stated that a written summary of the monthly legal update was provided in the pre-meeting Board packet (Attachment 3), and he had no further comments to add. He noted that the Fausone Bohn team has been involved in addressing permit issues related to BASF’s permit renewal and PFAS related issues. He also noted that the tunnel agreement, as it relates to Riverview’s tunnel connection request, is in the draft stage and there will be more discussion about this over the next few months.
5. 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).
a. System Manager Monthly Report
System Manager Kaunelis noted the following highlights from the System Manager Report:
• The Alkali sewer project is proceeding well. The sewer was cleaned last month in preparation for lining. Lining began last week, and approximately 200 feet of sewer has been lined thus far.
• In regard to the SCADA split project, Eramosa hired a subcontractor who has previously worked at the DWTF to install the SCADA equipment and perform onsite programming due to issues with crossing the Canadian border due to COVID restrictions. A meeting will be held with Wayne County this week prior to the installation process.
• Raftelis held a successful Town Hall related to the rate methodology. ASI will be developing alternate flow metering programs to obtain more useful data along the DUWA interceptors to help with the analysis of the rate methodology. These flow metering programs will include either increasing the number of meters, maintaining the same number of meters, or decreasing the number of meters. ASI will present these alternate flow metering programs at the next Technical Committee meeting.
• DUWA professionals are working with the EPA to ensure WIFIA requirements are met. It was learned that the 51% match by EPA was set to size the loan, and DUWA can submit reimbursement requests to draw the entire loan amount for eligible project expenses.
• Michigan’s American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) chapter recently presented a merit award to DUWA for the successful restructuring of the utility for long-term success.
Kerry Morgan (Riverview Attorney) asked whether the underlying pipe structure of the Alkali sewer is in good enough condition to hold its structure for a spray-on liner. System Manager Kaunelis responded that the Alkali sewer is a brick sewer, and its inner ring is losing some brick and mortar, but its outer ring is in good structural condition per the Engineer’s analysis.
b. Biosolids Dryer Facility Project
The biosolids dryer facility monthly progress report is provided in the pre-meeting Board package (Attachment 10). The DBE team has completed 100% design for submittal to EGLE as a part of the permit request. The demolition work is almost complete. Equipment has been ordered, and the team is awaiting delivery. The thermal oil room building will be constructed next.
6. Other Requests for Authorizations and Approvals
System Manager Lambrina Tercala, of OHM Advisors, provided the following requests to the Board, unless otherwise noted.
a. Overpayment and Underpayment Policy for Approval
Attorney Fausone provided this requests to the Board.
The Overpayment and Underpayment Policy has been discussed at length in previous Board meetings, and has been updated to reflect the various comments to date (Attachment 6). Based on this policy, communities can request a refund for overpayment within the last 3 years of the flow estimate, and DUWA can request a refund for underpayment within the last 4 years. The provision regarding deducts and exemptions has been removed from the policy and will be presented to the Board separately at a later date after further discussion and revision occurs with DUWA’s Technical and Legal Committees. The Wayne County policy document will be used to further develop the exemption policy.
The vote to adopt this current policy will not be used against any community from a legal standpoint, and all decisions regarding overpayment or underpayment refund requests will be made by the Board. This policy sets a clear standard of how DUWA will handle all overpayment and underpayment requests in the future.
Motion by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) and supported by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) to approve the Overpayment and Underpayment Policy as presented. A roll call vote was taken, and the motion passed with 70.5% of the vote. Richard Marsh (River Rouge) abstained from the vote as he has not had the opportunity to review the policy. Motion passed unanimously with all voting members.
b. Dykema Contract Amendment for WIFIA Support
Dykema has been serving as DUWA’s Bond Counsel and assisted DUWA with the WIFIA loan transaction process. Most recently, Dykema has helped DUWA secure funds for transition of the system and is aware of DUWA’s Master Bond Ordinance that will be used as part of the transition process. Dykema’s initial proposal was for a not-to-exceed fee of $30,000. The loan closing efforts were greater than previously anticipated, thus Dykema requested a contract amendment for their additional support (Attachment 7). The loan has now closed, and the contract amendment would increase the fee to $80,000 for Dykema’s ongoing support. These funds are WIFIA eligible as a cost of issuance for the loan.
Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) asked whether Dykema’s effort matches the requested contract amendment fee. System Manager Tercala responded that Dykema provided more effort than what is requested in the amended fee. There will also be no further efforts nor costs by Dykema now that the WIFIA loan has closed.
Motion by James Krizan (Lincoln Park) and supported by Doug Drysdale (Riverview) to approve Dykema’s Bond Counsel fee from $30,000 to $80,000 for support of the completed WIFIA loan efforts. A roll call vote was taken, and the motion passed with 70.5% of the vote. Richard Marsh (River Rouge) abstained from the vote. Motion passed unanimously with all voting members.
c. Assignment of WIFIA Post-Closing Authorized Representatives
The WIFIA loan requires several post-closing tasks to be completed over the life of the loan. Some of these post-closing deliverables include an updated financial model, annual financial statements, notices, final designs, construction progress reports, and any other requested information (Attachment 8). The System Manager will work to provide EPA with these deliverables. To simplify this process, Board action is requested to allow the Chair to assign additional Authorized Representatives via a Certificate of Incumbency. The Authorized Representatives would include Dustin Lent (Southgate) as DUWA’s Vice Chair, Jason Couture as DUWA’s Treasurer, and Doug Drysdale (Riverview) as DUWA’s Accountant.
Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) asked whether Jason Couture can be an Authorized Representative if he is not a voting Board Commissioner. Attorney Fausone responded that for purposes of incumbency, Authorized Representatives do not have to be a voting member of the Board, but the Board does have to vote to assign someone as an Authorized Representative. The Board’s vote to assign individuals to an Authorized Representative position will occur on an annual basis since Officers are voted on an annual basis.
Kerry Morgan asked if any of these Authorized Representatives can sign documents relating to the WIFIA loan. System Manager Tercala responded that the Chair or Vice Chair will have to sign any documents beyond the loan drawdown requests. Kerry Morgan also asked that the deliverable task list could be included as an attachment to the Certificate of Incumbency so it is clear who can sign which documents. System Manager Tercala stated that the written motion in the Board’s pre-meeting package can be revised to include a revised Certificate of Incumbency with an attachment of the deliverable tasks, and other Board Commissioners concurred.
Motion by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) and supported by John Selmi (Dearborn Heights) to authorize the Chair to sign the proposed Certificate of Incumbency with an attachment of deliverable tasks for WIFIA loan post-closing efforts. Individuals noted on this Certificate are expected to assist in the following capacities:
• Chair and Vice Chair may sign routine, post-closing documents associated with the loan, as necessary.
• Treasurer and Accountant may sign financial documents associated with drawing down the loan for eligible WIIFA costs expressed in the loan agreement.
A roll call vote was taken, and the motion passed with 75.3% of the vote. Motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
d. Implementation of Blending Minimization Control Measure A
As part of DUWA’s blending minimization efforts, HRC developed several improvements that were presented to EGLE for agreement on implementation. HRC has completed the design of Control Measure A which involves reducing wet weather flow blending events by increasing the flow through the secondary treatment system (secondary clarifiers) by 10%, or from 125 MGD to 137.5 MGD (Attachment 9).
HRC’s opinion of probable cost for this work was $172,550, but Veolia indicated that they can use their existing staff to support the installation. This would reduce the overall cost and expedite the project schedule as there would be no need to go out for bids. Veolia estimated a not-to exceed fee of $107,818.11 for this work. This project was included as WIFIA Project No 4-11 within the loan at a cost of $176,000.
Jason Tapp, of Veolia Water, added that as part of the in-house work, Veolia has found fabrication shops to work with. Veolia will use Lakehore Welding and will be using stainless steel baffles instead of galvanized baffles to increase the useful life. Additionally, Veolia will be upgrading circuit breakers and will be working with professional electricians. A summary of the vendors and costs are provided in the Board’s pre-meeting packet.
Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) asked whether there are individual warranties and who will be installing the motors. Jason Tapp, of Veolia Water, responded that there is a one year manufacturer warranty on the motors, and Veolia will be installing the motors on the gear boxes.
Motion by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) and supported by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) to authorize Veolia for implementation of Control Measure A for a not-to-exceed fee of $107,818.11. The work will be funded as part of the WIFIA loan and/or cash reserves. A roll call vote was taken, and the motion passed with 70.5% of the vote. Richard Marsh (River Rouge) abstained from the vote. Motion passed unanimously with all voting members.
7. Contract Operator Update
Kelly Irving, Veolia’s Program Manager, provided the Contract Operator update.
a. January 2021 MOR
The January 2021 Monthly Operating Report (MOR) was provided in the Board’s pre-meeting packet (Attachment 10). Highlights from the summary and other updates included the following:
• There were relatively low flows throughout the month of January.
• The DSDS area experienced only 1 inch of rainfall throughout the month of January, which is significantly less than the 4 inches received in January 2020.
• Plant operations were in compliance for the month of January, and no bypasses occurred.
• Glycol loadings have been lower than expected due to the mild winter. This has resulted in less sludge production.
• Ferric chloride usage has increased because the glycol loading has decreased, but the cost savings in the decreased sludge production outweigh the costs for the increased ferric chloride usage for phosphorous removal.
• Preventative maintenance occurred on the centrifuge while the bowl is out for rebuild.
• Many maintenance activities were performed including maintenance on a tunnel pump, HVAC units, and a unit heater.
• The sample line relocation will be occurring soon once the samplers are delivered.
• The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) show that Veolia staff is catching up on preventative maintenance which means there are fewer work orders. This can sometimes indicate that staff is low on work; however, this is not the case and the KPIs can be somewhat subjective. Veolia’s highly skilled maintenance staff performs many in-house repairs which adds to the corrective maintenance hours. Veolia will be working with their asset management group to adjust the KPI targets.
• PFAS concentrations have been relatively low since the high reading last October, which appears to be an anomaly. Sampling for local limits is almost complete and the data will be reviewed. Currently, monthly sampling is required at the DWTF.
• Veolia’s warehouse laborer was called back to work at US Steel; Veolia is currently interviewing to fill this position.
• Chemical consumption is tracking normally.
• Water consumption has decreased since the closed loop system was installed, and Veolia is continuing to look for ways to reduce water usage.
Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) mentioned that he looks for trends in the KPIs and noticed that there are much fewer corrective maintenance hours this year than last year and asked whether this indicates that Veolia is catching up on outstanding work. Program Manager Irving responded that the fewer corrective maintenance hours do indicate that they are catching up on work to an extent, but Veolia will also be working with the asset management group to adjust the targets and review the year-over-end trending report. The primary clarifiers took many corrective hours, but there were far fewer crisis repairs this year than the last two years. The criticality of repairs were also not as critical. Veolia is now focusing on maintaining equipment and continuing to improve operations.
b. February 2021 Emergency Replacement of 4” Seal Water Pipe at DWTF
A water main break was experienced on the 4-inch industrial water line that feeds the Influent Pump Station (IPS) pump seals. The industrial water is potable water with an air gap, which is a safety feature required by high hazard connections and is used prevent contamination of the potable water supply.
There are two industrial water skids that feed the DWTF. Either one of the skids can feed the DWTF, and one is located in the Administration building. There is a 6-inch industrial water line that runs from the Administration building to the IPS that feeds the seals of all the primary sludge pumps and IPS pumps. The water line break occurred under the Administration building so it could not be isolated and seal water could not be supplied. This break occurred along an old water main 17 feet deep under concrete footings. RJ&J performed the emergency repair, and the tunnel pump station was used during the repair.
Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) asked what flexibility the System Manager has to approve costs for emergency repairs noting that he wants the System Manager to have enough flexibility to immediately react and approve emergency repairs without having to wait for Board action. Veolia’s Program Manager Irving responded that at the time of the water main break, the cost to repair was unknown, but there is a clause in Veolia’s contract that allows Veolia to do whatever is reasonably necessary to maintain service of the DWTF. Veolia typically waits for Board approval when possible. System Manager Tercala added that the System Manager can approve up to $10,000 without Board approval based on the current Administrative Policy. Anything above $10,000 requires limited or full Board concurrence.
Attorney Fausone stated that he can provide the Board with a snapshot of emergency action approvals. Veolia’s Program Manager Irving stated that the final invoice for the repair was about $35k which she noted as being a very reasonable cost since the work was emergency in nature, the size of the crew for a 3-day repair, and RJ&J was incredibly responsive. Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) asked whether the invoice for the repair will be paid this month or next month. System Manager Tercala responded that this invoice will be included in April’s Board package for approval.
8. Treasurer’s Report
a. Pending Invoices
Jason Couture (DUWA Treasurer) presented the invoice register for a request for payment. The invoice register was provided in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 11). The invoice register included 42 invoices due for a total of $6,640,483.39. Largest invoices included those to US Bank for the semi-annual SRF debt payment, Veolia for O&M services and the biosolids dryer facility project, Walsh for the biosolids dryer facility project, Wayne County for the SWRDDD outfall usage, and Wyandotte for utility services.
Motion by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) and supported by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) to pay the invoice register. A roll call vote was taken, and the motion passed with 74% of the vote. Rick Rutherford (Belleville) was absent from the vote. Motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
9. Public Comment
There was no public comment.
10. Other Business
System Manager Tercala advised the Board of the following items:
• Richard Marsh (River Rouge) recently began working for the City of River Rouge and will be a voting member at Board meetings going forward.
• Due to the unexpected attendees at the last Board meeting, the format of the virtual meetings will be changed going forward. The virtual meeting format now includes attendees and panelists. The host of the virtual meeting will promote Board members, DUWA Professionals, and known DUWA Committee members to panelists so that they can speak, and the general public will remain as attendees. Attendees can watch the meeting, but cannot share their screen or speak. This new format will increase the security of the Board meetings.
11. Next Board Meeting Date: Thursday, April 8, 2021 (Taylor City Hall or Virtual via Zoom)
Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) reminded the Board that the next meeting would take place on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 9:00 AM in person at Taylor City Hall and/or virtually via Zoom.
There being no other business, Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) announced that a motion to adjourn would be in order. Motion by Dustin Lent (Southgate) and supported by James Krizan (Lincoln Park) to adjourn the meeting. Rick Rutherford (Belleville) was absent from the vote. Motion passed unanimously at 10:14 AM.
Meeting Minutes Prepared by:
Mackenzie Johnson, OHM Advisors, Engineer
Meeting Minutes Reviewed by:
Lambrina Tercala, OHM Advisors, DUWA System Manager
1. Meeting Agenda
2. February 11, 2021 DUWA Board Meeting Minutes
3. Monthly Legal Update (by Fausone Bohn)
4. System Manager Report for March 2021 Board Meeting (by OHM Advisors)
5. Biosolids Dryer Facility Project February 2021 Monthly Progress Summary (by Veolia)
6. Request for Board Approval of Overpayment and Underpayment Policy
7. Dykema Contract Amendment for WIFIA Support
8. Assignment of WIFIA Post-Closing Authorized Representatives
9. Implementation of Blending Minimization Control Measure A
10. Monthly Operating Report for January 2021 (by Veolia)
11. Invoice Register, dated March 4, 2021 (by Doug Drysdale)