THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS
The regular meeting of the Board of Public Works was held on May 17, 2021 at 4:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. Those in attendance were President John Neer, Vice President Brian Terry, Board Member David Ausmus, Board Member David Wilt, General Manager Stephanie Wilson, Assistants to the General Manager Benjamin Stueve and Bryce Butner, Controller Jennifer McLeland, City Administrator Avis Marshall and City Councilman Anthony Petre.
President John Neer called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm, Vice President Brian Terry made a motion, seconded by Board Member David Wilt, to approve the minutes from the April 19, 2021 and the May 11, 2021 meetings. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
The first item on the agenda was Review of Monthly Financials – April 2021. General Manager Stephanie Wilson shared activity for each fund and the continued impacts year-to-date from the February 2021 fallout of electricity and natural gas commodity prices.
Next on the agenda was Discussion of Loan Program through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) – Division of Energy. On May 13, 2021, Governor Mike Parson’s signed a budget amendment for a $50 million loan program for natural gas and electric municipal utilities as well as joint municipal utility commissions. The money is for extraordinary wholesale costs from February 10-20, 2021 to be loaned out at 0% on a first-come, first served basis to be paid back on terms no longer that 5 years. Board Member David Ausmus made the motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to apply for the loan for both the electric and natural gas commodity expenses that MMU paid for during that timeframe. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next on the agenda Discussion of Public Hearing for Wastewater User Charge Ordinance. Controller Jennifer McLeland assisted in presenting modeling of various wastewater rate scenarios. After much discussion, President John Neer made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to hold a public hearing at 5:30 pm on Monday, June 21, 2021 at 106 W. Bourke Street, Macon, Missouri to discuss the below rate adjustments.
Current Rates: Inside City Limits—$21.66 base fee, $3.85 per 1,000 gallons
Outside City Limits—$23.72 base fee, $4.09 per 1,000 gallons
Proposed Rates: Inside City Limits—$24.58 base fee, $4.37 per 1,000 gallons
Outside City Limits—$26.92 base fee, $4.64 per 1,000 gallons
The motion carried with four votes for and none against. The results of the public hearing and wastewater rate recommendations will be presented to the City Council of Macon, Missouri for adoption.
Next item on the agenda Approval of Amendment for the Development of an Integrated Plan for Wastewater Improvements. On December 20, 2020 a base agreement was approved for the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) to remit payment to Burns & McDonnell in the amount of $45,000 through use of funds from MDNR to assist Macon in developing an integrated plan for wastewater improvements. Due to MPUA’s former Environmental and Public Policy Manager Lacey Hirschvogel’s departure, in April 2021 Burns & McDonnell was requested to perform additional tasks. MPUA and Burns & McDonnell are discussing the efforts. The amendment proposes additional fees up to $20,000. President John Neer made the motion, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to agree to the amendment contingent upon approval by MPUA. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was Approval of North Water Tower Logo. Utility Service Company, Incorporated is currently on-site performing rehabilitation work on the inside and outside of the 1-million-gallon hydropillar water tower. Samples of logos were presented from a crowd sourcing website. Vice President Brian Terry made a motion, seconded by Board Member David Wilt, to proceed with a logo noting Long Branch State Park and Macon City Lake. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was Discussion of Street Repair Asphalt Overlay Bid for Vine & Rubey Street Intersection. After discussion of the bid presented for the repair, the agenda item did not proceed due to lack of a motion.
Next item on the agenda was Discussion of Natural Gas Capabilities. General Manager Stephanie Wilson and Assistant to the General Manager Ben Stueve provided information regarding consumption trends and contractual limits for maximum daily quantities of natural gas through Panhandle Eastern Pipeline. Additional information will be brought to the Board in future months regarding the ability to add capacity with opportunities in the region. Regarding an Update of the Natural Gas Price Investigations from February 2021, Ms. Wilson mentioned that a report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is to be available by November 2021.
Under manager reports, Ms. Wilson also shared Williams Keepers, Inc. was onsite the week of April 26 – 30, 2021 for the 2020 financial audit, information from ongoing conversations with US Cellular and placement of antennas on the east and west water towers, and a request for consideration of natural gas at Macon Lake Estates.
Assistants to the General Manager, Ben Stueve and Bryce Butner provided maintenance activities for the Macon and Audrain Energy Centers. MMU and Poet Biorefining, Inc. staff are monitoring the steam feed to Poet at the Macon Energy Center. At the Audrain site, bi-annual maintenance was performed on the engine. The electric distribution crew moved a street light pole and installed new underground feed for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) sidewalk project. Also, the crew performed dress-up at various sites, installed an underground service, performed maintenance at Substation 2, performed tree trimming, hooked up temporary electricity for a new industrial customer, and installed three-phase conduit for a new housing development. The special services group began disconnecting and removing equipment off the roof from the retired Norberg and Worthington engines preparing for the new roof. Underground Facilities performed tasks to prepare the North Water Tower for its rehabilitation, facilitated contractual work by Municipal Pipe Tool, Inc for the repair of wastewater collection mains, conducted dead end water main flushes, and began installing a 4” natural gas main at Agri-Genesis.
Updates were also provided from Supervisor Ed Samel at the Water Treatment Plant and Supervisor Ronny Smith at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Mr. Samel reported that the Long Branch Pump #1 has been repaired per the 5-year maintenance schedule and it will be reinstalled within a week. General Manger Stephanie Wilson and Mr. Samel also certified Risk and Resiliency Assessment and Emergency Operation Plan as required by the American Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. At the wastewater treatment plant, Mr. Smith reported that David E. Ross Construction has been onsite working on the Headworks Project. MMU staff has helped haul fill dirt to the former public swimming pool and trees were removed from the site. Mr. Smith has continued with COVID-19 sampling for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health and Senior Services.
After approval of accounts payable and setting the next regular meeting for Monday, June 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm, a motion was made by Vice President Brian Terry, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to go into executive session regarding Legal (Rs.MO.610.021(1)) and Leasing, Purchase, or Sale of Real Estate (Rs.MO.610.021(2)). The motions were as follows: John Neer, yea; Brian Terry, yea; David Ausmus, yea; and David Wilt, yea.
When the open meeting reconvened at 6:10 pm, a motion was made by Vice President Brian Terry, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed with four votes for and none against.