Town of GermantownOfficial Website of the Town of Germantown, Juneau County, WI
O’Dells’s Bay Sanitary District No. 1
BOARD OF DIRECTORS SPECIAL MEETING
Held remotely via Skype
November 12, 2020
Present: (all via Skype) Board Members Jim Murphy, Jim Keene, Brad Pavloski, Ken Jax, Rod Abbrederis. Administrator Kathy Oliver, Tom Fitzwilliams from MSA, Kyra Peach from MSA, Hillary Sorge from MBE CPA’s, Gregg Haunroth.
Call to Order/Approve Agenda-
The meeting was called to order via Skype at 9:02 AM and the agenda was approved by Jim Murphy, President. With all board members present, we did have a quorum.
With one note for the January 2021 meeting date change, a motion was made by Ken Jax, seconded by Brad Pavloski to approve the minutes from the September 10, 2020 regular meeting. Motion carried 5-0.
Presentation with Discussion and Possible Action on 2019 Financial Audit presented by Hillary Sorge from MBE CPA’s-
Hillary presented the report draft and said that it is a fairly presented Audit Report and Balance Sheet. Cash flow was up as expected due to NMRCA fees from new lots in the district. She noted that going forward with the expansion project that we need to make sure we properly record release of restricted revenues for the project, along with any grants or loans for the project. Hillary noted some adjustments that she and Kathy Oliver will make, and commented on a few other aspects of the report. Overall there were no concerns with findings or actions needed as a result of the 2019 audit. Brad Pavloski made a Motion to approve the 2019 Audit Report, with a second from Jim Keene the motion passed with all in favor. Brad Pavloski also made a Motion to send the final report to the Town of Germantown when it is complete. The motion was seconded by Jim Keene and passed with all in favor. Jim Murphy extended a thank you on behalf of the District to Hillary for all of her efforts on the audit.
Administrator’s Report –
-Financial Status Summary – Financial information was provided by Kathy Oliver, including bank account balances, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Ken Jax asked how much the current NMRCA fee is. Kathy answered that it is $3,329.00 and will go to $3,429.00 in 2021 with the usual annual increase of 3%.
-Connections Update– There has been 31 connections in 2020, with another 34 in progress. The District has an overall current total of 1167 members.
Discussion and Possible Action on District Insurance Policy Renewals –
There was discussion on the renewal quote being only $103 more than we paid last year, and Tom Fitzwilliams’ agreed that our equipment values are accurate. Kathy Oliver presented the option of adding Extended Sewer Backup Coverage for an additional annual cost of $1,750.00. It would cover a homeowner or claimant’s deductible, clean-up and repairs costs in the event of a backup of our lines, in addition to the claimants insurance. Jim Keene commented that he thinks the cost is minimal for the benefit, with Ken Jax in agreement. Jim Keene made a Motion to add the coverage for 2021, at a maximum cost of $1,750.00. Ken Jax seconded and the motion carried with all in favor. Kathy Oliver will proceed with the application and renewal process.
Discussion and Possible Action on WWTF Operations Update –
Tom Fitzwilliams reported that the plant is currently running well and meeting all standards for compliance. He noted that effluent ammonia concentrations have remained low through September and October. He noted non-routine work performed by MSA since the last meeting, and upcoming work that is planned. This includes repair of a sewer leak in Half Moon Bay, which is dependent on wet weather, and cleaning the gravity sewers by the end of this year.
Discussion and Possible Action on WWTF Design Update and Plan Review-
Tom Fitzwilliams reported that plans, specifications and the Clean Water Fund Application were submitted to WDNR on 9/30/20. We should receive a response on funding by the end of November and plan on review/approval by mid-December. He gave a virtual tour of the facility with proposed updates and commented that the whole plant can stay “live” and functioning during the construction process. Tom commented that he feels it would be prudent to get the bid process started before out January 2021 meeting so we can get on contractors lists ASAP. Jim Keene made a Motion to approve the project to go to bid, pending WDNR plan approval and posting of Clean Water Fund Grant/Loan awards being posted. The motion was seconded by Ken Jax and passed with all in favor. Jim Murphy asked Tom and Kathy to make board members aware via email when the funding notice is received.
Tom Fitzwilliams presented the 2021 MSA Annual Contract for services, with rates and fees remaining the same. Brad Pavloski made a motion to approve the contract and, with a second by Jim Keene the motion passed with all in favor.
Discussion and Possible Action on 2021 Member Fees, Annual Letters and Late Payment Policies-
There was discussion on the most efficient way to mail annual invoices and enforce late payment policies. Current policy states that payment is due on January 1 of each year, with a late fee of $25 imposed on any outstanding accounts as of February 1. 1.5% interest is added monthly thereafter. Jim Murphy commented that he feels we should leave it to the Administrator’s discretion as to waiving such fees when she feels appropriate. Gregg Haunroth mentioned that the county offers the option to include a note on their tax bill as a reminder that the SD invoice is coming soon. Kathy commented that we are most likely too late to do this for 2021 fees. Brad Pavloski made a Motion that Kathy look into the option for next year. The motion was seconded by Jim Keene and passed with all in favor.
Discussion on annual Sanitary District #1 fee began with Jim Keene noting that our annual fees have not increased in 10 years and that if we had increased by just 2% each year we would now be at about $425 for connected members. Our NMRCA fees are currently set to increase by 3% annually. With further discussion of anticipated growth in members/customers, project costs, fees in other similar size districts, and debt payoff needs, it was decided that an increase in fees is necessary. Jim Keene made a Motion to increase the annual fee for connected members to $450 and leave the fee for unconnected members at $225 effective January 1, 2021. The motion was seconded by Brad Pavloski and carried with all in favor. Tom Fitzwilliams commented that at $450 we remain below the median for fees among similar districts in the state. Jim Murphy suggested that the board take an annual percentage increase in annual fees into consideration at the March 2021 meeting. Kathy Oliver and Jim Keene will revise the letter that goes out with invoices and Kathy will send the invoices out ASAP.
Discussion and Possible Action on 2021 District Budget-
Kathy Oliver presented the 2020 Budget, YTD numbers, Annualized estimates and a projected Budget for 2021. As part of the discussion a motion was made by Jim Keene, with a second by Ken Jax to increase hourly wages for Arvine Gates by .50/her and for Kathy Oliver by $1.00/hr. Also to waive annual member fees for Kathy Oliver going forward, beginning in 2021. Motion carried with all in favor. Following further discussion and anticipated changes needed for 2021, a Motion was made by Jim Keene, with a second by Brad Pavloski to approve the budget as presented, with changes as discussed for payroll, insurance, member fees, and professional services. Motion passed with all in favor.
Discussion and Possible Action on Formation of a Committee to work with Township and County on Connection Policies and Feasibility-
Gregg Haunroth, Chairman of Germantown Board, led the discussion noting the necessity for the 3 entities to work together on policies and plans for future consideration when a homeowner needs to either connect to the district system, or install a private septic system. This includes both existing and new build properties. Tom Fitzwilliams noted that MSA is still working on a map of the district that denotes all lot and system types currently is existence for the committee to work from. Gregg noted that he feels the need for an engineer such as Tom to at least review committee findings and recommendations. Tom agreed that he would serve in this function. Gregg Haunroth volunteered to serve on a committee, with Jim Keene and Ken Jax agreeing to also serve. They agreed to get started and report any progress at the January 14, 2021 meeting.
Public Comment –
Jim Murphy commented that he had been contacted by Steve Laridaen from Sanitary District #2 about the process of adding customers to the district. Following discussion of such, and the fact that the Recapture Agreement between Districts 1 and 2 expires in September of 2021, it was agreed that we should plan to merge at that time and that in the meantime, SD #2 will work with MSA to coordinate any additions they may have.
A motion was made by Ken Jax, Seconded by Jim Keene, to adjourn at 10:25 AM. Motion carried with all in favor. The next board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 9:00AM.
Kathy Oliver, Administrator