DOWNRIVER UTILITY WASTEWATER AUTHORITY
AUGUST 12, 2021 MEETING MINUTES
HYBRID MEETING (Taylor City Hall and Online)
1. Roll Call and Introductions
DUWA Chair Gail McLeod (Allen Park) called the hybrid meeting to order at 9:10 AM and asked for roll call to be taken. At the time of roll call, voting representatives were in attendance from 11 communities either in person or virtually via Zoom: Allen Park, Belleville, Dearborn Heights, Ecorse, River Rouge, Riverview, Romulus, Southgate, Taylor, 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 Rick Rutherford (Belleville) and supported by Dustin Lent (Southgate) to approve the Agenda. The motion passed unanimously by all attending members.
3. Approval of Minutes from July 8, 2021 Board Meeting
Copies of the meeting minutes from the July 8, 2021 Board meeting were distributed by email prior to the meeting (Attachment 2). Motion by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) and supported by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) to approve the minutes. The motion passed unanimously by all attending members.
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). He noted that the Fausone Bohn team has been assisting the System Manager with contract reviews and payments as well as matters related to the Arkema easement sewer outfall. The Riverview Tunnel Agreement is currently being drafted and will be presented to the Legal Committee for approval in the next couple weeks. Upon approval, the Agreement will be presented to the Board.
b. Board Commissioner Appointments
Attorney Fausone stated that OHM Advisors is in the process of updating Board Commissioner designation listings for each community. A Board Commissioner must either be an elected official or municipal employee. Each Board Commissioner must also appoint a substitute representative should he/she be unavailable. A municipal employee can be either part time or full time, or have a personal services contract with the community that explicitly states that the individual acts as a municipal service representative. A community representative must be an individual under the personal services contract, not a firm or company.
Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) emphasized the importance of maintaining the personal services contract policy into the future to keep Board matters focused and on track. He stated that if independent consulting firms are allowed to act as community representatives, then the Board could ultimately be filled with only community representatives and no actual community officials.
Attorney Fausone also informed the Board that requests for several DUWA professional contract renewals/extensions will be brought to the Board at the September meeting. There have been no requests to hire different firms for these professional services.
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 provided 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:
- It is hopeful that the Board will have access to better technology at the new City of Taylor media center to conduct future hybrid Board meetings.
- DUWA has received multiple claims related to the June flooding event. Most of the claims were outside of the service area of the system, however a few were located in Dearborn Heights. Veolia did a good job of handling the flows and the system appeared to operate as expected. Additionally, the Flooding Committee work group shared an action plan with each community last year providing recommendations to mitigate future flooding in the regional and local systems. Communities will be expected to share an update on their progress of implementing the recommendations later this year.
- There has been a lot of progress made on the SCADA System Split project over the last month since the border crossing issues have been resolved. There has been much coordination between parties while working on this project. The transition plan has been reviewed and comments are being received. Veolia will be able to perform their analyses once the split is put into place.
- The Wastewater Exemption Policy was adopted at the last Board meeting and a draft letter was shared with the communities that they could send to their industrial users informing them of the new
- Wastewater Exemption Policy and application requirements.
b. Biosolids Dryer Facility Project
The biosolids dryer facility monthly progress report is provided in the pre-meeting Board package (Attachment 5). Construction is progressing well, and there are many great photos of the work. Two dryers have been placed on the floor, and the thermal oil room foundation work has begun. Startup is expected in early 2022. Many pieces of equipment still need to be delivered, but the project remains on schedule.
6. Other Requests for Authorizations and Approvals
System Manager Lambrina Tercala, of OHM Advisors, provided the following requests to
a. Selection Committee Recommended ‘As-Needed Engineering Services’ Consultants
A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released to receive Statements of Qualifications for firms that would perform as-needed engineering services for DUWA. One addendum was released that answered the questions received from various firms. Firms who were not familiar with the DUWA system visited the DWTF for a tour. A total of 12 Statements of Qualification were received. These did not include costs, but did include hourly rates for a 3-year term. A Selection Committee comprised of various Board members, system operator rep, and DUWA professionals, who independently reviewed the Statements of Qualification from each firm.
Firms were ranked based on score and six firms were invited to interview with the Selection Committee. Following the interviews, three firms were recommended: Hazen and Sawyer, HRC, and Wade Trim (Attachment 6).
- HRC has an existing as-needed contract and knows the system well.
- Hazen and Sawyer has worked with another large authority (GLWA) and is solely focused on water and wastewater, which was identified as a strong positive.
- Wade Trim currently supports Walsh with the Biosolids project and has previous experience with the DWTF and collection system as this firm designed the tunnel. Wade Trim is also located within DUWA’s service area.
Motion by Craig Lyon (Taylor) and supported by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to accept the recommendations of Hazen and Sawyer, HRC, and Wade Trim for the As-Needed Professional Services Contractor and commence contract negotiation efforts with the intent to award contract on September 9, 2021. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
b. Extension of Pollution Legal Liability Insurance by Allied World (through 2021)
DUWA’s $60k, three-year Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Policy by Allied World National Assurance Company will expire on September 27, 2021. This policy provides pollution liability protection in excess of Veolia’s O&M contract and where there is no coverage. The policy also covers select clean-up costs and emergency response expenses associated with an incident.
At the end of CY2020, the Board approved insurance policies for Package Liability, Inland Marine, and Property, all with end of CY2021 expiration dates. It is desired to extend the Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Policy until the end of CY2021 such that it aligns with the other insurance policies when it is time to renew. The cost to extend this policy to the end of the year is pro-rated at $4,784 (Attachment 7). DUWA has available budget in its Insurance Premiums budget to cover the expense.
Motion by Dave Flaten (Ecorse) and supported by Dustin Lent (Southgate) to approve extending the existing Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Policy by Allied World from 9/27/2021 to 12/31/2021 for a total cost of $4,784. The cost shall be applied against DUWA’s Insurance Premiums budget line item. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
c. ASI Local Data Analysis Proposal
As part of the evaluation of alternative rate methodology efforts, DUWA’s community members expressed a strong desire to meter sanitary flows, where practical. ASI has supported the technical development of alternative flow metering options, which have been presented to Raftelis as well as DUWA’s Technical Committee. Ecorse and Allen Park have moved forward with temporary flow metering to assist with the analysis of the “Enhanced” metering alternative for the Riverdrive Interceptor. ASI proposes to use this data to compare the Riverdrive Interceptor flow allocations using the existing metering methodology to the Enhanced program with the temporary flow metering data for a fee of $8,500 (Attachment 8). It should be noted that at this time, Allen Park may be unable to share their temporary flow metering data due to their ongoing class action lawsuit related to the June flooding events. ASI’s proposed scope of work for this local system analysis was reviewed and recommended for approval by the Technical Committee. This work will be financed from DUWA’s Engineering Services budget.
Motion by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) and supported by Dave Flaten (Ecorse) to authorize ASI for a not-to-exceed cost of $8,500 associated with their 6/29/21 ‘Local Data Analysis’ proposal. The work shall be completed per the terms and conditions of their 11/19/2018 contract. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
d. PFAS/PFOS Sample Costs
As required by EGLE, Veolia has completed periodic PFAS/PFOA sampling at the DWTF and within the collection system. The Board previously authorized sampling costs incurred in 2020 and in early 2021. Veolia is requesting a $12,890 reimbursement for sampling costs incurred during part of February and all of March 2021 (Attachment 9). These costs include $700 for DWTF required sampling, $10,405 for a one-time Local Limit sampling, and $1,785 for IPP sampling. Of these costs, the required DWTF sampling and Local Limits sampling efforts are plant expenses totaling $11,105 and were budgeted for as part of the Plant Operations budget. The IPP sampling costs were not budgeted for and will be reimbursed by the industrial users. Thus, the net expense to DUWA will ultimately be $11,105 for the Plant Operations once the repayments are received from each industrial user.
Additionally, periodic sampling of PFAS/PFOA will be required in the future, and sampling costs are not currently included in Veolia’s O&M contract. It is requested to authorize the System Manager to approve future PFAS sampling costs through the remainder of CY2021 up to the balance of the allocated budget. PFAS/PFOA sample costs will be considered to be incorporated into Veolia’s contract when it is opened ahead of the new dryer systems going online.
Motion by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) and supported by Dustin Lent (Southgate) to authorize payment to Veolia for $12,890 in PFAS sampling costs for February and March 2021. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
Motion by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) and supported by Craig Lyon (Taylor) to authorize the System Manager to approve future PFAS sampling costs through the remainder of CY2021 for up to the balance of the allocated budget of $16,807.50. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
7. Contract Operator Update
Kelly Irving, Veolia’s Program Manager, provided the Contract Operator update.
a. June 2021 MOR
The June 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:
- Plant operations were in compliance for the month of June, with no violations.
- The June 25-26 storm event resulted in the first bypass/blending event of the year, but the DWTF handled the flows well. The DWTF received about 8-inches of rain.
- There have been many activities surrounding the Biosolids Dryer Facility project, and many contractors have been onsite. O&M teams have been coordinating well with the contractors to ensure all work is performed correctly. A shut down sometimes occurs for a day or two in order to allow the contractors to install equipment.
- The DWTF received a small amount of glycol in June when the airport’s ponds were full, but the DWTF does not expect to receive any more glycol from the airport at this time.
- Many maintenance activities have occurred including:
- Small process water lines were discovered to be leaking and were dug up for replacement. This work was performed in-house.
- A sidewalk was formed and poured between the Administration Building and IPS building. A concrete pad was also poured to provide a sitting area for employees.
- IPS fine screen #2 was damaged as the tension arm failed. The arm was replaced and was put in service the next day.
- An inferior auger was discovered on one of the centrifuges. Veolia was able to use another screw conveyer that was being demolished instead.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are slightly behind due to the many larger activities currently ongoing, however they are almost in the green.
- The number of Miss Dig locates have increased due to the many ongoing construction activities.
- Veolia sent in an ADS flow meter from one of the less critical meter sites to the ADS laboratory for troubleshooting to resolve communication issues.
- The IPP inspection was held last week. Four people from EGLE visited the DWTF, reviewed documents, and visited three industrial user sites. EGLE will provide a report following their review and inspection.
- The annual EGLE inspection was held a few weeks ago and no deficiencies were identified.
- The use of consumables such as electricity, oxygen, polymer, and water are all trending downward.
- Two wet weather events occurred in July, and the DWTF handled the flows well.
- There is a wet weather event occurring today (August 12, 2021), and bypassing began at 8am.
- Many aesthetic improvements have been ongoing at the DWTF.
Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) asked how many Miss Dig tickets Veolia has had since their initiation into DUWA. Jason Tapp, of Veolia, did not have an exact number but estimated about 300 per month on average. Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) also asked about the small leaks in the piping and whether Veolia has performed condition assessments of these water distribution and fire suppression lines. Jason Tapp, of Veolia, responded that they are able to inspect lines as they come into the buildings, but have done only minimal potholing to assess the exterior condition. Veolia staff typically sees inside-out failure of these pipes simply due to them sitting. They have performed x-ray condition assessments on some larger pipes, such as the pressurized sewer transport pipes, and these were in good condition. Veolia will look to assess water line conditions, and will look for opportunities to replace longer stretches of pipe if they are digging it up.
Kelly Irving noted that Jason Tapp and other Veolia staff will be going to North Carolina to visit another dryer facility that is up and running so that they can ask questions and learn best practices to apply to the DUWA Biosolids Dryer Facility project.
b. Pending Critical Repair: Secondary Final Effluent Yard Pipe Leak
A leak was discovered in the Screened Final Effluent (SFE) 4-inch pipe along the solids handling building next to the sludge tanks (Attachment 11). There is a lot of traffic in this area, and there is an electrical duct bank located above or near the SFE pipe route. This pipe feeds the secondary clarifiers, thickened sludge tanks, and parts of the primary treatment process. The leak is located at the same spot where the pipe was repaired 10 years ago. Veolia has received one quote for repair, but is still looking for additional quotes.
Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) asked if Veolia indicated a deadline for receiving quotes. Program Manager Irving responded that there is a soft deadline for quotes, but have granted extensions when asked. HVAC quotes are difficult to obtain at this time.
c. Video Production Update
Veolia will be producing 3 brief videos related to DUWA and the DWTF.
- One video will be used as a success story/case study that will be shared on Veolia’s website.
- Another video will be inward-facing for the Board members and DUWA professionals, and will include a tour of the DWTF.
- Another video will be outward-facing that DUWA can use for its website.
The video filming will take place on September 8th and 9th, and will include interviews from various Board members and DUWA professionals. Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) and System Manager Kaunelis have volunteered to be interviewed. Program Manager Irving and Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) encouraged other Board members to volunteer to be interviewed.
Craig Lyon (Taylor) left the Board meeting at this time to address an urgent matter.
8. Treasurer’s Report
a. Quarterly Financial Statement
Jason Couture presented the Quarterly Financial Statement for Q2 of CY2021 (Attachment 12). This was presented to the Finance Committee last week. The basis of accounting for the report is on a budget or cash basis, i.e. modified accrual. At the end of the year, the basis of the report is adjusted to represent a full accrual. Cash reserves are at about $40M and accounts receivable is at about $3.8M. Fixed assets are at about $188M and total assets amount to about $222M. Short-term liabilities are approximately $12.4M and long-term liabilities are about $106M for a total of $121.4M in total liabilities. DUWA’s net position including retained earnings and revenues and expenditures is about $100M. The fund balance with total liabilities included is about $222M. All amounts are as of June 30, 2021.
DUWA’s total revenue as of June 30, 2021 is about $23.3M, which is over 50% of the budgeted revenue. Total expenses are about $22.5M, which is about 30% of the budgeted expenses. Expenses to date are less than expected due to a lower capital outlay than what was expected at this time. Considering revenues and expenditures, DUWA has about $800k in excess as of June 30, 2021.
Jason Couture added that at the last Finance Committee meeting, it was noted that some communities are behind on their payments related to the self-reporting requirements. It was recommended that a procedure be developed to disclose to the Board when a community is over 90 days delinquent of payment or filing of their reports/invoices. Beginning next month, information will be disclosed to the Board on which communities are delinquent on their payments. Beth Bialy, of Plante Moran, added that they will begin enforcing the late payment provision stated on the self-reporting form, which will involve a certain percentage late fee to be applied depending on the number of days overdue. She noted that participation in the Finance Committee is variable, so by disclosing this information to the Board, at least someone from the community is aware of the delinquent payment(s) and can address it.
b. Pending Invoices
Jason Couture presented the invoice register for a request for payment. The invoice register was provided in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 13). The invoice register included 34 invoices due for a total of $6,712,124.69. Largest invoices included those to Veolia for O&M services and unit cost reconciliation, Kruger for the dryer equipment for the biosolids dryer facility project, Walsh for the biosolids dryer facility project, and Wyandotte for utility services.
Motion by Dustin Lent (Southgate) and supported by Jim Taylor (Van Buren Township) to pay the invoice register. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
9. Public Comment
There was no public comment.
10. Other Business
There were no items brought forth for consideration as “Other Business” items.
11. Next Board Meeting Date: Thursday, August 12, 2021 (9:00 AM; Hybrid)
Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) reminded the Board that the next meeting would take place on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 9:00 AM in a hybrid format (virtually via Zoom or in-person at Taylor City Hall). The Board meeting may take place at the City of Taylor’s new media center located next door to City Hall in front of the police station if it is ready and available.
There being no other business, Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) announced that a motion to adjourn would be in order. Motion by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) and supported by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed unanimously at 10:18 AM.
Meeting Minutes Prepared by:
Mackenzie Johnson, OHM Advisors, Engineer
Meeting Minutes Reviewed by:
Lambrina Tercala, OHM Advisors, DUWA System Manager
- Meeting Agenda
- July 8, 2021 DUWA Board Meeting Minutes
- Monthly Legal Update (by Fausone Bohn)
- System Manager Report for August 2021 Board Meeting (by OHM Advisors)
- Biosolids Dryer Facility Project July 2021 Monthly Progress Summary (by Veolia)
- Recommendation of Firms for As-Needed Engineering Services Contract
- Extension of Pollution Legal Liability Insurance by Allied World
- Request to Authorize ASI for Local (Temporary) Flow Meter Data Analysis
- Request to Reimburse Veolia for PFAS/PFOS Sample Costs & Pre-Authorize Future CY2021 Sample Expenses
- Monthly Operating Report for June 2021 (by Veolia)
- SFE Water Line Repair (Veolia)
- Quarterly Financial Statement for CY2021 Q2
- Invoice Register, dated August 3, 2021 (by Doug Drysdale)