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November 18, 2021 Minutes

The Telford Borough Authority Meeting held this date was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairman John Harrell, with the following members in attendance: Dan Cole, Eric Kratz and David Musselman. Also present were Manager Mark Fournier, Finance Director Craig Davies, Public Works Director Gary Yoder, Solicitor Jim Jacquette, Engineer Patrick DiGangi and Recording Secretary Megan McShane. Robert Nice was absent.

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

1.         2022 Budget Presentation

Manager Mark Fournier gave an overview of the proposed Budget for 2022, which includes the following proposed increases: a water rate increase of $.05 to $4.85 per 1,000 gallons used, a sewer rate increase of $.25 to $8.05 per 1,000 gallons used, a water service fee increase of $3.00 per quarter and a sewer service fee increase of $3.00 per quarter, bringing the quarterly service fees to $39.00 for each.

Board Chairman John Harrell asked how the franchise fees in the sewer revenue fund are determined, and Finance Director Craig Davies explained that they will fluctuate, depending on what TBA does at the WWTF.

A discussion ensued about what long-term planning TBA can put into place to mitigate the reduction of funds in the future. Mr. Harrell asked Mr. Davies to look at what expenses will be coming off the books as far as loan payments.

A Kratz/Cole motion carried unanimously (4-0) approving the 2022 Budget.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes of the October 21, 2021 Authority meeting were approved unanimously (4-0) by a Cole/Musselman motion.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Accepted as presented.

Payment of bills and requisitions for the month of October in the amount of $551,540.67 was approved unanimously (4-0) by a Cole/Kratz motion.

WATER DEPARTMENT REPORT: We received a written report for the file.

COLLECTION REPORT: We received a written report for the file.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT REPORT: We received a written report for the file.

Mr. Fournier reported that DEP came to the plant for another inspection on October 15th, and the results were good.

PTWA REPORT: We received a written report for the file.

SOLICITOR’S REPORT: We did not receive a written report for the file.

Solicitor Jim Jacquette reported that the Agreements were signed by the Lutheran Home and returned to both the Borough and the Authority. Mr. Jacquette then provided an update on the latest communications with customers on the excess users list, and an update on the TMDL matter.

ENGINEER’S REPORT: We received a written report for the file.

Engineer Patrick DiGangi informed the Board that there was a pre-construction meeting on the Lutheran Home project today, and that the project will start after the Thanksgiving holiday. Mr. DiGangi then reported that there will be a meeting next week to discuss the Mill Creek Drive streambank re-stabilization, adding that a wetland survey will be needed for that project.

Mr. DiGangi stated that the contractor for the Well #3 electrical rehabilitation project is still waiting on equipment. Further, Mr. DiGangi reported that CKS received 3 different quotes for a generator for the wells.

MANAGER’S REPORT: We received a written report for the file.

Board Member Dan Cole asked for clarification on the Liberty Bell Trail, and Mr. Fournier provided details on the proposed route and the project.

2.         Discussion – Late Notices and Policy

The Board continued its discussion from last month’s meeting about late notices and the current late policy. Mr. Fournier gave an overview of the existing policy. After some discussion, Mr. Harrell suggested that the staff work on revising the wording and format of the late notice, so there is something to review for the January meeting. Mr. Harrell also asked the staff to locate the “forgiveness” policy, if one exists, and for the staff to work with their software people on inserting an electronic signature into the late notice, to eliminate the need for the manager to manually sign approximately 300 late notices per quarter. Further, Mr. Harrell asked the staff to look into adding the option for the customer to initiate their own ACH payments without the customer or TBA incurring any fees. Lastly, asked Ms. McShane to check the Authority minutes from July 14, 1994 to verify the Board’s action on that date that established the late penalty amounts.

3.         Date & Time of December Meeting

It was the consensus of the Board to change the start time of the December 16th Board meeting to 5:00 pm. Administrative Secretary Megan McShane will advertise this change in the newspaper.

OTHER BUSINESS:

PENDING ITEMS:                                       

  • Mr. Harrell will work with staff on revising the wording and format of late notices, so there is something to present to the Board for consideration in January.
  • Ms. McShane will send the Board minutes from the July 14, 1994 meeting to Mr. Harrell, which verifies the Board's action on that date to establish the late penalty amounts.
  • Staff to locate a copy of the “forgiveness” policy, if one exists.
  • Staff to contact their software people on inserting an electronic signature into the late notice to eliminate the need to manually sign the late notices every quarter.
  • Staff to look into the option for customers to initiate their own ACH payments without the customer or TBA incurring any fees.
  • The Board will continue its discussion about implementing rate structures.
  • A letter should be sent to all customers on the excess usage list with an explanation as to why TBA is reviewing accounts and announcing a new rate program being considered by TBA. The Solicitor, Engineer, Manager and Chairman will continue to work on this letter.
  • Continue discussions on the potential adjustment of service charges for customers with excess usage.
  • Pursue risk assessment of TBA’s cyber security.
  • Mr. DiGangi to prepare a proposal with recommendations as to how to improve treatment and flow at the WWTF.
  • Pursue cost information (lease vs. purchase) for generators at TBA’s wells.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:27 pm by a Kratz/Musselman motion.

Respectfully submitted,

David Musselman

Secretary

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