February 19, 2020 Minutes

February 19, 2020 Minutes

Meeting Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by Jim Haney.

  • Present: Joe Cleland, Mike DeWald, Jim Haney, Bob Marcuccilli, Sue Ann Mitchell, Parke Smith
  • Absent: Frank Kurth

Report of Meeting Notice

The meeting date and time were posted and advertised as required.

Welcome Joe Cleland

Jim Haney welcomed Joe Cleland to the LRSD board. Joe will be filling the remainder of this term and the next full term vacated by Greg Mitchell.

Approval of Previous Minutes

Parke Smith presented the January 14, 2020 Executive Session minutes and the January 15, 2020 regular meeting minutes and made a motion to approve. The motion was seconded by Sue Ann Mitchell, and was carried by the voice vote of:

5 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Abstain

Engineering Update – DLZ

Casey Erwin submitted a written report prior to the meeting and was in attendance, representing DLZ and provided commentary. Casey reported:

  • 1-Blower noise at WWTP (current, no action items)
  • 2-Grassy Creek Subdivision (current, no action items)
  • 3-Standards & Process for Privately installed District Infrastructure Subdivision (current, no action items)
  • 4- Check Valve Failures – Astbury investigating
  • 5-Standards Update for Equipment Vacation and Home Tear Downs-Reconnects
    • The proposed updates have been reviewed by the LRSD Board, Greg Gear, and Astbury.
    • Jim Haney made a motion to approve the updates to the Design Standards Manual and add Form Packet D (Infrastructure Vacation). The motion was seconded by Mike DeWald, and was carried by the voice vote of:

6 Yeas 0 Nays 0 Abstain

  • 6-District Boundary (current, no action items)

Treasurers Report and Other Financial Matters:

Mike DeWald presented financial reports and statements from Krohn and Associates and provided commentary. Mike reported:

  • This is the first negative cash flow month in some time, perhaps since the district began billing.
  • The negative cash flow can be attributed to a few non-recurring disbursements, such as dual payments to Astbury (to correct the billing cycle), lien costs, and engineering costs (Standards Manual Update).
  • 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 Parke Smith, and was carried by the voice vote of:

6 Yeas 0 Nays 0 Abstain

Mike DeWald presented the Cash and Fund Balance Matrix, the Management Cash Budget, and the Monthly Claim Approval Form and provided commentary. Mike reported:

  • Receipts were a little better than budgeted.
  • Liens should level out as the district receives the semiannual payments from Kosciusko County.
  • A small amount of non-connection penalties has been collected.
  • Included was a maintenance repair bill that was approved in the previous month.
  • Plant operations is now paying currently for the month, instead of 1 month in arrears. This month the district paid 2 months to correct scheduled payment dates.
  • There were higher than normal billing costs due to liens being filed.
  • There was a higher than normal Engineering bill from DLZ due to updated standards work.
  • Mike also provided an update and recommendation of current CD’s being held by the district, including the purchase of a new CD to replace the CD that is reaching maturity this month. Mike is confident that the amount remaining in the Operations and Maintenance fund will be sufficient after the purchase.
  • Mike DeWald made a motion roll out the current CD on schedule as of 2/22/20, retain the current CD’s dated 2/22/21, 2/22/22, and 2/22/23, and to purchase a new CD dated 2/22/24 in the amount of $150,000. The motion was seconded by Sue Ann Mitchell, and was carried by the voice vote of:

5 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Abstain

  • The monthly payment to Astbury was withdrawn until rate issues can be resolved. Jim Haney made a motion to approve the Monthly Claim Approval Form and the list of bills paid after 1/1/20 in the amount of $107,182.74. The motion was seconded by Bob Marcuccilli, and was carried by the voice vote of:

5 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Abstain

Astbury Monthly Report

Matt Rippey provided a written report to the board prior to the meeting and was present and provided the updates from Astbury. Matt reported:

  • During the January board meeting, a problem with check valves was discussed. Astbury had identified eight grinder stations that had failed check valves on the discharge line outside of the tank. The board had given permission to have three of these check valves replaced in order to identify the cause of these failures. On February 7th, two of these check valves at 3631 North Barbee and 62 EMS B22 were replaced. The failed check valves that were removed both showed a similar failure. The plastic pin that passes through the rubber flapper had broken. The third property located at 58 EMS B33A was not replaced due to the proximity of an electrical pole that was next to the check valve. This pole will have to be supported when this valve is replaced.
  • The board requested that Casey Erwin (DLZ) analyze purchasing documents and follow-up with Crane-Barnes to help investigate potential causes of the failures.
  • Matt also provided a 2019 Operation and Maintenance summary report for LRSD.
    • Treatment Plant: In 2019 the Lakeland Regional Sewer District’s Wastewater Treatment Plant treated a total of 42 million gallons of wastewater without any NPDES discharge permit violations. The average daily flow was 114,000 gallons a day which is 29% of the plant’s design capacity.
    • Collection System: Provided a detailed list of maintenance call outs during the year.
    • Barnes Warranty Repairs and Parts: Provided details of items that were repaired or replaced under warranty.
  • Matt suggested that the board consider sending notices to property owners where service needs may have resulted from customers failing to follow usage recommendations. Astbury will provide a sample letter for board consideration.

Property Owner Connection Status

Greg Gear reported:

  • There are currently 10 properties that are not connected. Of the remaining properties, 1 will have a new owner with plans to apply for a permit and rate reduction.
  • The district received a request for 1 new build permit.
  • One property was returned to service.

Commissioner Sale of Towne Property – LRSD Lien

  • This property was not purchased at a tax sale but was purchased at a Commissioner Sale.
  • There is a current lien on the property from the LRSD. The district believes the lien should have been forgiven, but the County believes the lien needs to be released by LRSD.
  • LRSD counsel has reviewed the issues and provided a couple of options:
    • LRSD could release the lien.
    • LRSD could notify the Auditor that LRSD would consider forgiving the lien after deed transfer providing current policies and guidelines are met.
  • After discussion, Jim Haney made a motion to authorize Carson to provide notice to the Auditor and buyer that LRSD would consider applications of rate reductions and/or waiving of failure to connect penalties after the deed transfer in accordance with existing LRSD Policy. The motion was seconded by Bob Marcuccilli, and was carried by the voice vote of:

6 Yeas 0 Nays 0 Abstain

Rate Reduction/Elimination Requests – Heart of Barbee MHP, Jinks

  • Property Owner Brian Erne is requesting that 1 space within the Heart of the Lakes Resort be eliminated from all rate charges.
    • Property owner purchased the former Barbee Landing Mobile Home Park.
    • There are currently 14 spaces in the park that are in service. There were 15 recognized spaces at the time of the DLZ and Umbaugh rate analysis and the LRSD bond obligation date.
    • The property owner indicated that the 15th space has not been utilized for some period of time and he does not anticipate that it will be utilized in the future.
    • The board indicated that the space does not qualify for rate elimination but does qualify for rate reduction. Jim Haney made a motion to grant a rate reduction for Heart of Barbee from 15 full EDU’s to 14 full EDU’s and 1 debt service only rate in accordance with Section 7 of the Rate Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Sue Ann Mitchell, and was carried by the voice vote of:

6 Yeas 0 Nays 0 Abstain

  • Property Owner Jinks is requesting a rate reduction. The property owner was not present and did not submit inspection documentation, therefore, the board took no action.

Request to Waive Failure to Connect Penalties – Skillman, Swihart

  • Property owner Bruce (Skillman) has requested that his non-connection penalties that were previously paid be refunded.
    • The property owner agreed to have a grinder installed, with no plans for immediate hook-up to a vacant property.
    • After failing to connect, the property owner ignored notices from the district regarding failure to connect and associated fees.
    • The property did qualify for and was granted a rate reduction in July of 2018.
    • The property owner has paid all failure to connect fees and is requesting a refund.
    • Jim Haney made a motion to refund the failure to connect penalties in the amount of $1,595.00. The motion was seconded by Bob Marcuccilli and a roll call vote was requested. The motion carried by a roll call vote of:

4 Yeas (Haney, Marcuccilli, Mitchell, Cleland)

1 Nays (Smith)

1 Abstain (DeWald)

  • Property Owner Swihart is requesting that failure to connect penalties be waived. The property owner was not present and did not submit any documentation, therefore, the board took no action.

Updates to LRSD Website

Parke Smith reported:

  • Greg Gear will provide to Greg Burkett (Ripfish) the final items needed.
  • Once the final items have been loaded on the site, the new site will go live.

Other Items That May Come Before the Board

Jim Haney reported on 3 items:

  • Town of North Webster v. LRSD Boundary Issues
    • Jim Haney reported that he has been in contact with the town of North Webster regarding boundaries and will continue to work with North Webster and internal counsel to document accurate boundaries.
  • Updated Legal Service Agreement
    • Jim Haney noted that the existing agreement with Carson needed to be updated.
    • Jim also noted that Carson has not raised rates over the previous 3 years.
    • Jim Haney made a motion to approve the updated agreement with Carson, which is identical to the previous agreement with the exception of dates and rates. The motion was seconded by Mike DeWald, and was carried by the voice vote of:

6 Yeas 0 Nays 0 Abstain

  • Inquiry from Outside Entity Regarding Potential Addition to LRSD
    • Jim Haney shared that an entity outside the current LRSD boundaries has inquired as to the possibility of connecting to the LRSD system.
    • After hearing some background, Jim Haney made a motion to authorize the formation of a 3-person committee to explore the issue. The motion was seconded by Parke Smith, and was carried by the voice vote of:

6 Yeas 0 Nays 0 Abstain

    • The committee includes Bob Marcuccilli, Mike DeWald, and Jim Haney.

Public Q & A

Grassy Creek Subdivision

  • Property Owner Brian Erne asked the board if they could provide any guidance as to next steps for the potential installation of grinders and laterals for the 3-parcel subdivision known as Grassy Creek Subdivision.
  • After much discussion regarding the absence of, and need for, a district subdivision policy, the board advised that the property owner could move forward under current policy and would need to provide his own internal subdivision legal protections regarding the system design.
  • In parallel, Andy Boxberger will provide the LRSD board with sample language to initiate the creation of a subdivision policy.

Sellers (Sechrist Lake)

  • Property Owner Tony Sellers asked the board for any assistance possible related to charges and fees of a property he recently acquired. He is attempting to rehab the home at significant costs and is requesting any refunds that may be appropriate.
  • Given the lack of information available regarding current charges, fees, and penalties, the LRSD board informed the property owner that the district would research the issue and provide updated information at the next board meeting.


Motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:02 PM was made by Jim Haney, seconded by Mike DeWald, and was carried by the voice vote of:

6 Yeas 0 Nays 0 Abstain

Parke Smith, Secretary