THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS
April 19, 2021
The regular meeting of the Board of Public Works was held on April 19, 2021 at 4:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. Those in attendance were 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, Mayor James “Talt” Holman, City Administrator Avis Marshall and City Councilman Anthony Petre. Shannon Howe with Howe Company, LLC was an attending guest. President John Neer was absent.
Vice President Brian Terry called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm, Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Board Member David Wilt, to approve the minutes from the March 15, 2021 meeting with an amendment that the Natural Gas Adder rate code on utility bills will be reviewed by the Board of Public Works annually. The motion carried with three votes for and none against.
The first item on the agenda was Review of Monthly Financials – March 2021. General Manager Stephanie Wilson shared activity for each fund and continued impacts year-to-date from the fallout of electricity and natural gas commodity prices from February 2021. Quarterly cash balances with forecasts for financial outlays for 2021 were also presented and discussed.
Next on the agenda was Discussion of Loan Program through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources – Division of Energy. General Manager Stephanie Wilson shared that Governor Mike Parsons has offered an amendment to the budget for the State of Missouri to allow for zero interest loans to be borrowed by municipalities and joint municipal utility commissions due to the extraordinary electricity and natural gas commodity costs. The legislature is to consider the $50 million amendment for approval in May 2021. For the next item on the agenda, Ms. Wilson shared an Update on Natural Gas Price Investigations – February 2021. The update noted that Attorney Generals for both Kansas and Missouri are sending subpoenas to companies involved in supplying the wholesale market. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and North American energy Reliability Corporation (NERC) investigations are sealed and they have not made any public statements to date.
Next on the agenda was Approval for Additional Natural Gas Strip Purchasing for November 2021- March 2022. Assistant to the General Manager Benjamin Stueve and Ms. Wilson shared various physical and paper risk strategies based on consultation with MMU’s account manager at Kinect Energy. After a review of various options and discussion, Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to proceed with allowing for the hedge of an additional 25% of 3-year historical winter usage, 60,112 dekatherms, for November 2021 to March 2022 at a maximum price of $3.30 per dekatherm. The motion carried with three votes for and none against. MMU previously hedged 119,689 dekatherms, 50% of 3-year historical usage, for November 2021 to March 2022 at $3.00 per dekatherm.
Next item on the agenda was Approval of Bid for Removal of Retired Equipment for Roof Improvements. Assistant to the General Manager Bryce Butner presented information noting roof leaks and retired exhaust stacks and cooling equipment present on the flat roof of the building previously used for the Nordberg and Worthington diesel generators. After a review of the bids, Vice President Brian Terry made the motion, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to accept the low bid from Harold G. Butzer, Inc. from Jefferson City, MO. for $18,734.00 to remove the equipment from the roof. The motion carried with three votes for and none against. Bids will need to be obtained from companies to replace the flat roof of the building.
Next item on the agenda was Pre-Approval for Purchase of Used Dump Truck for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Mr. Butner showed pictures of the condition of the 2001 International dump truck and the extensive corrosion on the metal frame due to hauling of the wastewater sludge. Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, for pre-approval of the purchase of a replacement used dump truck up to $45,000 in a competitive bid process. The motion carried with three votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was Discussion of Public Hearing for the Wastewater User Charge Ordinance. General Manager Stephanie Wilson provided preliminary information regarding rate increases options for wastewater services. More information will be developed to plan towards a public hearing to discuss a wastewater rate increase to be held on Monday June 21, 2021. Wastewater rates where most recently adjusted in May 2015.
Next item on the agenda was Discussion of Employee Residency Requirements. After much discussion, Vice President Brian Terry made a motion, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to recommend to the City Council of Macon, Missouri to consider modifying Section 1400.05 Residency – Regular Employees of the policy manual to change the employee residency requirements from 10 miles to 15 miles as measured from a concentric circle from 106 W. Bourke Street, Macon, Missouri and to increase the 15 minutes response time under normal driving conditions to 30 minutes. The motion carried with three votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was a Discussion of North Water Tower Logo. The tank is set to be painted in 2021. General Manager Stephanie Wilson will submit the project to a crowdsourcing website based on ideas discussed and bring back to the Board for review.
Under manager reports, Ms. Wilson also shared updates on the integrated planning process for wastewater improvements, MMU’s recognition of 130 years in business at the Macon Area Chamber of Commerce banquet, interviews will be taking place for the Underground Facilities maintenance vacancy, the financial audit for 2020 by Williams Keepers, Inc. will be taking place the week of April 26, 2021, and utility service updates for the new housing development Weatherby Ridge.
Assistants to the General Manager, Ben Stueve and Bryce Butner provided maintenance activities for the Macon and Audrain Energy Centers. Potential generation opportunities for the Caterpillar units at Substations 2 and 3 were also discussed. Regarding electric distribution, the crew worked at Agri-Genesis preparing for the three-phase service, relocated poles, performed arbor work around electric lines and changed out street light arms. For underground facilities, upcoming water main installations were discussed. Additionally, various activities for wastewater collection and natural gas distribution performed were noted.
Updates were also provided from Supervisor Ed Samel at the Water Treatment Plant and Supervisor Ronny Smith at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. At the water plant, the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services is offering to update equipment to administer fluoride in the amount of $4,418.00 and a faulty bulk tank is being replaced by USA Blue Book. Staff are also training for additional license certifications. At the wastewater plant, work continues on the headworks project. MMU underground facilities staff will be involved in lowering water lines for MMU and the Macon County Public Water Supply District #1 due to spacing conflicts with the 24-inch gravity main from the headworks to the overflow basin. Staff has also continued with COVID-19 sampling and working additional shifts for processing of sludge.
After approval of accounts payable and setting the next regular meeting for Monday, May 17, 2021 at 5:00 pm upon adoption of the by-laws by the City Council, a motion was made by Board Member David Wilt, 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: Brain Terry, yea; David Ausmus, yea; and David Wilt, yea.
When the open meeting reconvened at 7:00 pm, a motion was made by Vice President Brian Terry, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed with three votes for and none against.