Town of Germantown

Official Website of the Town of Germantown, Juneau County, WI

O’Dells’s Bay Sanitary District No. 1


                                                                                  Held Remotely via Skype

                                                                                      July 9, 2020, 9:00 AM



Present(All via Skype): Board Members Jim Murphy, Jim Keene, Brad Pavloski,  Ken Jax, Rodney Abbrederis, Administrator Kathy Oliver, Tom Fitzwilliams from MSA, Kyra Peach from MSA

Call to Order/Approve Agenda

The meeting was called to order at 9:06 AM and the agenda was approved by Jim Murphy, President. With all board members present we did have a quorum.

Discussion and Possible Action on Officer Elections per Wis. Stat. ss60.76(1)(a)and Oaths of Office

Jim Murphy welcomed newly appointed board member Ken Jax and confirmed that he did take his Oath of Office with the Town of Germantown. Ken was appointed by the Town Board to fill Pat Connors remaining term after his resignation. A motion was made by Brad Pavloski, with a second by Jim Keene that officers be elected as follows: President Jim Murphy; Vice President Brad Pavloski and Secretary/Treasurer Jim Keene. The motion passed with all in favor.    


A motion was made by Brad Pavloski, seconded by Jim Keene  to approve the minutes from the May 14, 2020 regular meeting. Motion carried 5-0.

Administrator’s Report

-Financial Status Summary Financial information was provided by Kathy Oliver, including bank account balances, accounts payable and accounts receivable, and 2020 YTD Budget vs Actuals.

-Connections Update There have been 12 connections in 2020. The District has an overall current total of 1,131 members/lots.

-Brad Pavloski made a motion to approve the Financial Report, with a Second by Ken Jax. Motion carried 5-0. 


Discussion and Possible Action on Spectrum Insurance Policy Dispute –

Jim Murphy explained that Spectrum has now taken the claim to Small Claims and after our attorney filed a Motion to Dismiss we are still required to go to trial, which will cost at least $2,500 in addition to legal expenses we have incurred thus far. Spectrum is willing to settle for $3750 and our attorney advises that we do so because there is the risk that the District could incur substantial legal expenses to fight the case and still be on the hook to pay Spectrum a judgment of $5,000. The board would need to give our attorney the authority to settle out of court. Ken Jax commented that he feels it makes financial sense to settle and avoid more expense.  Jim Murphy agreed. Jim Keene made a motion to ask our attorney to counter at $2500, but to give him the authority to settle for up to $3,750 if necessary. Ken Jax seconded the motion. Motion passed with all in favor.


Wastewater/Compliance Update – Discussion and Possible Action on WWTF Design Update-

Tom Fitzwilliams reported that a number of factors have contributed to increased levels of ammonia in our effluent flow. Those factors include increase in influent flow, perhaps due to Covid and more people being in their homes during the pandemic situation, rain, and warmer water in the ponds. The warmer water causes bacteria and bugs that normally metabolize and consume ammonia to die off. The levels have stabilized and are back to normal for this time of year. Tom questions whether the increase in influent flow will continue as people are staying in the area and working from home more, thus causing the issue to be ongoing. Brad Pavloski commented that he is seeing a big increase in people buying and staying in the area and that this will be the new norm for us. Tom and Kyra Peach from MSA are working with the lagoon manufacturer to deal with the issue as they design the facility upgrade. They will continue to monitor ammonia levels and may possibly add a tertiary reactor treatment unit with the upgrade. If levels remain high we could get a permit violation from the DNR, and a mandate to move up timeframe for treatment to maintain levels. Jim Keene commented that he feels we should be proactive and plan for such now. Tom estimates that cost will be $100,000 to $250,000. Kyra Peach commented that it would save money to plan and build with the current upgrade vs possibly having to get a contractor to do the work again a few years down the road. Rod Abbrederis commented that he thinks we should address the issue ASAP to avoid any violations. Jim Keene and Brad Pavloski expressed agreement. Tom will put some numbers together for including this in the upgrade. September 30 is our deadline to submit plans for approval so he feels we will need to make a decision before our next meeting in September.   Jim Keene made a Motion, with a second by Rod Abbrederis to allow Tom and Kyra to include ammonia treatment and expenditure not to exceed $250,000 in our Facility Upgrade Plan.  The Motion passed with all in favor. 

Tom shared the early physical plan for the facility and said he’ll have a 3D renderingl to share at the September meeting. By September 30 we will have all documents prepared and submitted for approval.

Discussion and Possible Action on Maturing CD’s and District Funds –

Tom explained that the project will cost an estimated $3.2 to $3.5 million. He anticipates that we will receive approx $1 million in grants. We plan to use $1 million of our own money and the remaining $1.5 would come in the form of a loan. Kathy Oliver mentioned that she is working with MSA on the financial information and application for grants and loans. We have CD’s up for renewal and anticipate that we will need to use some of those funds to pay for the upgrade in the coming months. Jim Murphy spoke with JK Walsh at the Bank of Mauston and he said the bank will allow us to access funds in the CD’s for the project without any penalty for early withdrawal.   A Motion was made by Ken Jax, with a second by Brad Pavloski that Kathy Oliver and Jim Keene look at our accounts and decide the on the best plan for CD renewal. The Motion carried with all in favor. 

Jim Keene commented that we will need to evaluate rates and the possible need to raise them to re-build our reserve funds. He asked that Tom provide some facts at the September meeting on our rates compared to similar districts and the Kathy provide additional financial info with a prediction of how things will look at the end of the year. This will prepare us for budgeting at our November meeting. Jim Murphy agreed that this will also provide what we need to make a decision in November about rates for 2021.

Tom also shared the fact that we have experienced a lateral blockage in the Three Rivers area twice in the past few weeks. He and Jason Terry are working to get a handle on why and thinks we may need to add a curb stop to solve the problem. That would be an additional expense for the District.


Discussion and Possible Action on Ordinances and By-Laws –

Jim Murphy lead the discussion by saying that Ordinances and By-Laws are there to guide our actions and show our members how we operate. Our attorney suggests that we use our Ordinances to guide our actions and that perhaps they need to be updated to include some of the things that were written into By-Laws. Tom Fitzwilliams agreed that the Ordinances should be ruling law for procedural purposes.  Brad Pavloski suggested that we should ask Tim Homar to speak with us by phone at our next meeting to further explain how and why we might make changes. Kathy will contact and set it up. Ken Jax asked for a copy of the Ordinances and By-Laws. Kathy will email such to all board members. 

Public Comment –

Brad again welcomed Ken Jax to the board and Ken explained that he has experience as an accountant.


A motion was made by Ken Jax, with a second by Brad Pavloski, to adjourn at 10:17 AM. Motion carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kathy Oliver, Administrator