The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by Jim Haney.
Present: Jim Haney, Parke Smith, Mike DeWald, Bob Marcuccilli, Joe Cleland, Emily Shipley
Absent: Frank Kurth
Report of Meeting Notice
The meeting date and time were posted and advertised as required.
Approval of Previous Minutes
Jim Haney noted that there was not a voting quorum at the January meeting, so minutes from December 2021 could not be approved in that meeting. Jim presented the December 15, 2021 Regular Meeting minutes and made a motion to approve as submitted. The motion was seconded by Mike DeWald and was carried by the voice vote of:
Jim Haney also presented the January 19, 2022 Regular Meeting minutes and made a motion to approve as submitted. The motion was seconded by Joe Cleland and was carried by the voice vote of:
Treasurers Report and Other Financial Matters
Mike DeWald reviewed the financial reports. Mike noted the following:
Expenses were about $18,000 over budget, mostly due to maintenance expenses and most of that was the preventative maintenance on the main lines with Haskins.
All other items were generally on target.
The ending balance for the month was $2,390,683.
Mike DeWald made a motion to approve the Unaudited Schedule of Cash Receipts and Disbursements, the Monthly Analysis of Funds and Balances, and the Monthly Analysis of Cash Investment Accounts. The motion was seconded by Bob Marcuccilli and was carried by the voice vote of:
Mike raised a concern and there was some discussion as to potential future strategies to budget more accurately or take other steps outside of the budget for large regular expenditures that are known and occur on a fairly regular basis. The example of the line flushing expense, which is not an annual need and not budgeted, but does occur every several years, provided a basis for the discussion. Ideas were discussed, but no action was taken.
Mike presented the Cash and Fund Balance Matrix and noted $392,591 was withdrawn as scheduled by the USDA on February 1, 2022. Mike also noted that a CD was coming due on February 22, 2022 and was not producing much return. Mike suggested that the district move that money from the CD into the Money Market account upon maturity. While the Cash and Fund Balance Matrix does not require board approval, Jim Haney made a motion to authorize Mike DeWald to move money from the CD to the district Money Market account upon maturity on February 22, 2022. The motion was seconded by Joe Cleland and was carried by the voice vote of:
Mike also presented the monthly claims report. Jim Haney made a motion to approve the February monthly claims report in the amount of $29,102.47. The motion was seconded by Parke Smith and was carried by the voice vote of:
Waive Late Payment Fees – Anderson
The customer provided some documentation that payment (for properties 3751 North Barbee, 6 B60B, and 24 B60B) was mailed to an erroneous address and was returned to sender. Upon receipt of the returned payment, the customer subsequently made payment to the district, although missing the payment deadline, for which late charges were assessed.
Bob Marcuccilli made a motion to deny the request based on insufficient evidence to demonstrate effort to make timely payment. The motion was seconded by Parke Smith and was carried by the voice vote of:
Amend LRSD By-Laws
The board recognized that there is no provision in the existing by-laws by which a current board member may be removed. In addition, there is no guidance on the subject provided by IDEM or by Indiana Code.
After several ideas were circulated among the entire LRSD board and counsel, Andy Boxberger provided a draft proposal that would add a section to the by-laws that would provide provisions and processes for board member removal.
Parke Smith made a motion to amend the by-laws as proposed. The motion was seconded by Mike DeWald and was carried by the voice vote of:
Independent Contractor Committee
Bob Marcuccilli reported that two American Rescue Plan Act applications have been submitted. The two proposed projects are:
Sludge De-Watering Equipment
Construct Bulk Storage for Ferric Chloride
Bob also reported that they are reviewing a proposal submitted by Astbury.
Astbury Monthly Report
Astbury provided a written report prior to the board meeting and Matt Rippey and Dan Fox were in attendance.
Matt provided an update on the generator for Lake Estates. At this time, the project is waiting for the meter to be set before start-up can occur. Set-up is currently scheduled for some time in the next week.
Given the length of time it has taken to complete this project and the status of the project, Jim Haney made a motion to approve payment to Ritter Electric in the amount of $6,439, for the portion of the project that has already been satisfied. The motion was seconded by Bob Marcuccilli and was carried by the voice vote of:
Matt provided an update on the installation of the crane base. The base has arrived and is scheduled to be installed. Matt also noted that the Influent Screen will then be replaced once better weather arrives.
There was follow-up discussion from last month regarding call-outs to the three lift stations. Dan and Matt reported that the call-outs were primarily the result of inconsistent power flow to the stations. Once a power disruption occurs (even if it is brief), resetting is a manual process. Matt and Dan have explored alternatives, such as adding an auto-restart component, but no such option is available on the existing equipment. The board asked DLZ if they could further explore the situation and potential solutions.
Astbury also announced that Matt Rippey would be leaving Astbury in the next couple of weeks and that a new Astbury representative would be introduced at the next regular meeting. The board thanked Matt for his service and wished him luck in his new endeavors.
Letter to Property Owners Regarding Prohibited Items
Jim Haney raised the issue of property owners that have repeated call-outs to their grinder station as the result of prohibited items in the grinder. Jim asked the board for ideas on how best to handle these situations and what processes and procedures can be put into place.
After discussion, it was decided that the best strategy would be to leverage options in the existing ordinance that allows for charges to be levied if property owners cause damage to LRSD property.
Jim Haney made a motion to draft a letter that can be sent certified to property owners with multiple call-outs for prohibited items in their grinder providing notice that ensuing costs for the additional maintenance and/or repair that can, in turn, be charged to the property owner. The motion was seconded by Mike DeWald and was carried by the voice vote of:
The board directed Greg Gear to draft the letter and circulate among the board for input.
Low-Income Housing Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) – Carson
Andy Boxberger provided an update. LRSD initially notified customers of the program in October and November of 2021. There is now a formalized process for organizations and individuals to participate. For LRSD to participate in the program, the district will be obligated to provide reports as requested regarding the program and agree not to shut off services to any customer participating in the program.
Jim Haney noted that the district will soon be sending out approximately 68 notices to customers who are 90-days late in payment and that the district may want to consider targeting those customers for information regarding the program.
Jim Haney made a motion for LRSD to participate in the Low-Income Housing Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) and to notify customers with 90-day or more past due accounts regarding the program and that additional program information would be placed on the LRSD website. The motion was seconded by Bob Marcuccilli and was carried by the voice vote of:
Update – Selge Breach of Contract
Andy Boxberger reported that a response from Selge (Ron White) was received approximately three weeks ago and the Selge position on the issue is that the connection was a “good connection” but the valve failed.
Jim Haney asked DLZ to follow-up and response as to whether this issue should be pursued.
Property Owner Connection Status
Greg Gear reported that the current number of properties that have yet to connect remains at five, but that the new owners of the former Gillespie property are currently working with a contractor and intend to connect.
Greg also reported that there were no new permits requested this month.
The board asked Andy Boxberger what options the board has to pursue the remaining four property connections. There are currently two properties that may be considered inhabitable, and two that are not. For those that are inhabitable (viable), Andy suggested that the board consider pursuing the legal forced connection process, in which case a court could decide to order connection by the property owner and there is a possibility that attorney fees can be recovered by LRSD.
Jim Haney made a motion to direct Carson to send a letter to the property owners and mortgage holders of the four properties outlining potential legal next steps for failure to connect. The motion was seconded by Joe Cleland and was carried by the voice vote of:
Other Items That May Come Before the Board
Andy Boxberger introduced Zack Zehner, a new colleague at Carson, that may be in attendance from time to time.
Joe Cleland noted that he has seen advertisements by NIPSCO offering a pay service to maintain homeowner sewer lines and raised the question if the district should address the topic. After some discussion, it was determined that the district would not pursue any action.
Public Q & A
Motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:02 was made by Mike DeWald. The motion was seconded by Bob Marcuccilli and was carried by the voice vote of:
Parke Smith, Secretary