May 15, 2024 Meeting Minutes

May 15, 2024 Meeting Minutes

Lakeland Regional Sewer District (LRSD) Board of Trustees met at the District’s Administration Office, 5002 East 100 North, Warsaw, Indiana. The monthly general meeting date and time were posted and advertised as required and was called to order at 6:00 PM by Jim Haney.

Present: Jim Haney, Mike DeWald, Joe Cleland, Mark Koehler, Jack Bonewits, and Cullen Reece (arrived 6:03PM)

Absent: (one vacant seat)

Joe Gallas, owner of Lakelife on N. Barbee Rd, was present at the meeting. He has noticed that District personnel have been doing some testing (oil and grease) at Lakelife and questioned if there was anything that he needed to be doing and if they were in compliance. Mr. Gallas was advised of communication sent to his attorney on April 9, 2024; Mr. Gallas requested and will be copied on all communications to his lawyer going forward. Since the District is unaware of any modifications to Lakelife’s system since last fall, weekly testing began again on May 1, 2024 and will continue until there is enough data to determine the current grease levels and what the ongoing testing frequency should be.

An initial draft of the April 17, 2024 Regular Meeting Minutes was submitted to all Board members via email on April 22, 2024, and the final version was posted on Boardable.

Motion by Mark Koehler to approve the April 17, 2024 Regular Meeting Minutes with second by Joe Cleland.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 5 Yeas; 0 Nays; 1 Abstain

Mike Dewald overviewed the Cash and Funds Balance Matrix – April 30, 2024 denoting the funds grand total of $2,291,306. Between Jim Haney, Mike DeWald, and the accountant, there is some disagreement between the fund balances of the Asset Replacement Fund and the USDA Improvements fund. Mike asked Andy (Carson LLP) a clarifying question about fund distribution. The three will continue working on and will have a resolution prior to the June Board Meeting.

Mike DeWald overviewed the Management Cash Budget of January 1, 2024 through April 30, 2024 and Monthly Claim Approval Form of May 2024.

Motion by Jim Haney to approve the payment of monthly claims grand total of $80,640.24 with second by Jack Bonewits.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains

Board members affixed their signature approval to the Monthly Claim Approval Form.

The following financial reports, prepared by O. W. Krohn & Associates, were presented by Mike DeWald: Unaudited Schedule of Cash Receipts and Disbursements; Monthly Analysis of Funds Balances; and Monthly Analysis of Cash and Investment Accounts.

Motion by Mike DeWald to approve the O. W. Krohn & Associates statements with second by Joe Cleland.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains

There will be situations from time to time, especially on tight lots, where homeowners are going to want to build or landscape that may encroach on the sewer utility easement of the grinder stations and laterals. A draft of the Easement Exceptions Variance Resolution was submitted to Board members by Carson LLP for review, discussion, and adoption. The resolution provides property owners with an avenue to request an encroachment. If it is determined by operations personnel that the encroachment will not hinder repair or maintenance operations, and if Board members approve the request, the specific requested encroachment will be allowed, documented, and recorded so it will apply to future homeowners as well. The agreement does not alter the District’s rights to remove the encroachment, if needed, in the course of repairs or maintenance, nor does it alter the liability of the property owners for any costs incurred by the District to remove the encroachment.

Motion by Jim Haney to adopt Resolution 2024-06 Easement Exceptions Variance with second by Mark Koehler.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains

Chuck and Kim Plumer provided a request for an easement exception under the new resolution and provided the required documents for the boards’ review. Astbury confirmed that the encroachment would not significantly impair the ability to service the station.

Motion by Jack Bonewits to approve the easement variance for 201 EMS B1 as submitted with second by Cullen Reece.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains

Also, at 201 EMS B1, a broken panel was noted on November 10, 2023 during a disconnect inspection. Now that their (re)connection is approved, a technician was at the property to replace the panel today, but was asked not to by the homeowners. Astbury is concerned about potential water damage and it was agreed that the panel would be replaced now, but a determination regarding the damage costs will be made at the next meeting.

Dallas and Lois Sheward provided a request for an easement exception under the new resolution and provided the required documents for the boards’ review. Astbury confirmed that the encroachments would not significantly impede the ability to repair or service the grinder station or curb stop.

Motion by Joe Cleland to approve the easement variance for 31 EMS B1B as submitted with second by Cullen Reece.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains


The LRSD Treatment System Operations Treatment System Operations Report of May 10, 2024 was emailed to Board members by Astbury Water Technology, Inc. Thomas Astbury and Josh Koontz reviewed key aspects of the report and provided clarifications to Board members’ inquiries.

Work order #243457 was incorrectly coded as Lift Station #1 and should be the wastewater plant. There were some issues with a line on the compressor leaking air.

A George E Booth Representative was onsite to adjust the programming of the low-level transducer at Lift Station #1. They indicated that they had been set incorrectly from the beginning, but since adjusting have been working perfectly. While here, they also reviewed and adjusted the settings at Lift Stations #2 & #3 as well.

Evapar determined an issue with the soft start at Lift Station #1 was tripping the generator. There is a spare soft start in the shop that an electrician will need to install.

In April, there was an odor complaint from a homeowner that lives north of Lift Station #1. Josh Koontz and the Board Members were notified of the complaint that day, and Josh drove out to the Lift Station as well as an ARV that is near the junction of 600 E & McKenna Rd. He did not notice any odors when he was there, and Joe Cleland stated that he had driven by as well and did not notice any odor. Josh noted that when the ARV’s have air, they “burp” that out and it can have an odor. Joe questioned if it would be feasible or beneficial to have a stack on the ARVs or lift stations so they would release further up into the air, but the air and gases that they eject would be heavier than the air, so not effective in lifting odors. Josh indicated that normally chemicals are used to combat the odor. Astbury noted that the District’s average hydrogen sulfide of 31PPM at Lift Station #1 was pretty good and even the maximum of 102PPM was acceptable. Tom also noted that the diffusers were started up again after the station was coated last month and along with the scrubbers, we are doing several processes to minimize odor.

Casey (DLZ) and Josh Koontz had a call with Aeromod and they believe that the Rotork valve can be repaired, rather than replaced, and they can walk Josh through making some control adjustments to minimize the gap between losing air in the digestor tanks. The quote provided for $3551.99 seems to be a feasible and economical option to resolve both the broken Rotork valve and operational issues.

Motion by Jim Haney for DLZ and Astbury to move forward with the Aeromod proposal, total cost not to exceed $4000, with second by Joe Cleland.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains

Jim questioned a couple expenses on the annual maintenance expenditures.

  • About $3000 was spent on repairing the plant water heater. Because the District has an industrial sized water heater, a new one would have been $10,000-12,000, so repairing the existing unit was more economical.
  • About $2000 was spent on a spare soft start, which is going to be used in Lift Station #1, so another one will need to be purchased to have as a spare. These have a 6-month lead time which is why Astbury feels the District should have one on hand as a spare.
  • A new receptacle for the ITR sludge dewatering unit was installed because the prior one kept tripping.

The report noted that all three (3) Lift stations were cleaned on April 16th, however, Josh clarified that two of the lift stations (#2 & #3) were cleaned on that date and lift station #1 was cleaned when they did the coating on it. It was noted that way in their records to document that all three have been cleaned.

Barbee Hotel will be sampled this upcoming week for oil and grease levels. During the most recent monthly visual inspection a ring of grease was noticed and the prior month also showed increasing signs of grease. The grease trap is not due to be cleaned until June 19, so the District wants to sample their levels to ensure they are remaining within the appropriate range.


Nothing to report.


Nothing to report.


Nothing to report.


Written request received on April 18, 2024 from Janet Cassidy to rescind late fee assessed to account on March 31, 2024. Ms. Cassidy states she handed payment to a USPS mail clerk on March 19, 2024 for mailing. The payment was not received until April 29, 2024.

Motion by Joe Cleland to rescind the $7.87 late fee if Ms. Cassidy signs up for Auto ACH payments; second by Jack Bonewits.

Cullen questioned if there should be a deadline for her to elect ACH, to allow the late fee to be rescinded. After further discussion, Cullen Reece amended the motion to rescind the $7.87 late fee if Ms. Cassidy to signs up for auto ACH payments within 45 days; Jack Bonewits accepted the amended motion.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 5 Yeas; 1 Nays; 0 Abstains


Request submitted by Frank Donahue to rescind late fees in total of $16.88 assessed to new account since February 29, 2024. The Donahue’s had another property to which they had elected auto ACH payments and they thought that election applied to their newly connected property at 341 EMS B1 as well. They had not noticed that no withdrawals were being made from their bank account for their sewer services.

Motion by Jim Haney to deny the request to rescind the late fees; second by Jack Bonewits.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains


Septic exemption for 50 EMS B61i expired on April 26, 2024. The District has no obligation to remind homeowners of the expiring septic exemptions, however, does so approximately six months in advance as a courtesy. It was noted by the homeowner and the contractor that the wet weather and standing water delayed the installation during April. Connection to the sewer system was approved on May 15, 2024, therefore, the property was in violation of the Use Ordinance for eighteen (18) days (April 27 – May 14, 2024). Section 29.13.3 within the ordinance addresses a penalty of $100/day for failure to connect.

Motion by Jim Haney to assess $1800 Failure to Connect penalty for the eighteen (18) days the property was in violation of the Ordinance; second by Mike DeWald.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains


Two quotes have been provided to the District for installing electric from the house at 27 EMS B56 to its shared grinder station (A476-08).

Motion by Jim Haney to accept Adam Richcreek’s quote of $680 to correct the electrical issue at 27 EMS B56; second by Mark Koehler.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains


Lichelle Parker reviewed the Property Owner status report updated through May 10, 2024.

  • Jim Haney noted that he would follow up with the County Attorney towards the end of the month to see if any action will be taken with the Commissioners for the two non-connected properties.


Andy (Carson LLP) questioned if the Board wanted to introduce a fee and a penalty to accompany the newly adopted resolution for the easement variance process. Discussion surrounded the appropriate amounts to collect as a fee when the variance request is made and for a penalty if owners are found to have encroached on the easement without obtaining a variance request.

Motion by Cullen Reece to introduce a $150 fee, plus engineering expenses if required, to apply for an easement encroachment, and up to a $2500 penalty if a property owner encroaches without obtaining a variance request; second by Jack Bonewits.

Motion carried by voice vote of: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains

Jim Haney would like a committee to evaluate the permit process to identify items that can be added or modified to head off some of the recent issues the District has encountered. For example, adding an item on the permit checklist to provide property owners with a copy of the easement, adding verbiage on the inspection list to check for encroachments, homeowner’s email address, etc. He feels it would be beneficial for Astbury personnel, Casey (DLZ), and Carson LLP personnel to have input. Lichelle Parker was asked to lead the committee and to have some recommendations for the next meeting.

Current Board Members met with a prospective Board Member recently and recommendations will be discussed to fill the vacant seat.


Motion to adjourn meeting was made at 8:05PM by Jim Haney with second by Cullen Reece.

Motion carried via voice vote as follows: 6 Yeas; 0 Nays; 0 Abstains

Submitted to Board by Lichelle Parker, District Administrator

Reviewed by Board Secretary, Mark Koehler