THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS
December 21, 2020
The regular meeting of the Board of Public Works was held on December 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm in the City Council Chambers. Those in attendance were President John Neer, Vice President J.D. King (via phone), Board Member Brian Terry, Board Member David Ausmus, General Manager Stephanie Wilson, Assistants to the General Manager Benjamin Stueve and Bryce Butner, and Mayor James “Talt” Holman. Guests included Jeff Bernard and Amanda Caldwell with Burns & McDonnell, Inc.
President John Neer called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Board Member Brian Terry, to approve the minutes from the November 9, 2020 meeting. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
The first item on the agenda was the Monthly Review of Financials for November 2020. Monthly and year-to-date information was discussed as well as projections for the year. Electric usage is similar to 2019, but commodity prices have been more expensive. Water and wastewater usages have increased due to residential customers being at home more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Natural gas usage is also similar to 2019, but the retail rate is more expensive due to increased Panhandle Eastern Pipeline transportation fees.
Next was Approval of Change Order No.1 for the Headworks Project at the Wastewater Treatment Plant which is to be completed by November 2021. Jeff Barnard with Burns & McDonnell was on hand to share information regarding switching out a portion of the Ductile Iron Pipe (DIP) for the water line to PVC pipe (-$22,918.34), addressing a fence line and gate (+$4,350.88), plus a change in the water tap for the facility (-$1,838.71). The change order is a deduct in expenses in the amount of $20,406.17. President John Neer made the motion, seconded by Vice President J.D. King, to accept the change order as presented. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda, was an Approval of Interfund Transfer from the Electric and Natural Gas funds to the Wastewater fund to finance the Headworks Project and other wastewater needs. With acceptance of Change Order No. 1, the costs for the headworks at the wastewater treatment plant is currently $4,803,106.83 for engineering and construction. A $500 thousand Rural Sewer Grant was also received from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to assist funding of the Headworks Project. Board Member Brian Terry made the motion, seconded by Vice President J.D. King, to transfer $2 million from the electric fund and $3 million from the natural gas fund to the wastewater fund in December 2020 for the aforementioned needs. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was Approval of an Extension of the Industrial User Permit with ConAgra Frozen Foods, Inc. In 2019, the Board of Public Works agreed to allow for increased flow and to extend limits noted in in the Wastewater Industrial User Permit. The permit between Macon Municipal Utilities (MMU) and ConAgra Frozen Food, Inc. is renewed every five years. Board Member David Ausmus made the motion, seconded by President John Neer, to extend the agreement to March 31, 2021 to allow for additional effluent sampling due to process changes at the pretreatment plant. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item was the Approval of Professional Engineering Services for City of Macon/Macon Municipal Utilities Integrated Plan with the Missouri Public Utility Alliance Resource Services Corporation for Wastewater Improvements. Lacy Hirshvogel, Environmental and Public Policy Manager with the Missouri Public Utility Alliance attended a Board meeting on September 21, 2020 to share information about funds available through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to the MPUA Resources Services Corporation. An integrated plan would be considered a living and breathing document to be on file with the MDNR for future wastewater improvements at an affordable pace. Communities are expected to develop an integrated plan and Macon is fortunate to have been selected for professional fees paid through a MPUA to Burns & McDonnell, Inc. up to $45,000. A motion was made by Board Member David Ausmus, seconded by J.D. King, to accept the services as presented to develop an integrated plan for wastewater improvements. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was Approval of Payment Arrangements for Natural Gas Input Costs for Macon Energy Center. Currently, MMU pays the natural gas input costs for the Macon Energy Center and the Missouri Joint Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) provides reimbursement to MMU the following month. To clean up monthly financials and the gap that exists from month to month and the volatility of gas price from year to year, Ethanol Products has agreed to receive the funds from MJMEUC. President John Neer made the motion, seconded by Board Member Brian Terry, adopt the new payment arrangements for the Macon Energy Center’s natural gas input costs. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was a Discussion and Approval to Hedge the Purchase of Natural Gas for November 2021 – March 2022. Due to the volatility of natural gas prices, Board Member Brian Terry made a motion, seconded by Vice President J.D. King, to recommend to the City Council of Macon, Missouri to allow for the hedging of 50% of Macon’s historical load for 3 years, 119,688 MMBtu’s, for November 2021 to March 2022 at $2.60/MMBtu or less. After approval by the City Council, the transaction would be solicited by MMU’s account manager at Kinect Energy and approved by MMU. The motion carried with four votes for and none against. The hedge recommendation will be on the agenda for approval at the City Council meeting to be held on January 12, 2021.
Next item on the agenda was Discussion of Senior Citizen Housing Water Meter. On October 20, 2020, the customer was notified of increased flow on the water meter at 706 E. Briggs Drive, Macon, Missouri. The customer hired a private contractor to replace a portion of the service line. Based on a series of events where MMU also had a leak on its water main to be fixed during the repair, President John Neer made a motion, seconded by Board Member Brian Terry, to assist with 25% or $1,437.43 of the repairs billed. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Next item on the agenda was appointments to the Macon County Economic Development Board. Due to expiring terms and eligibility for one more term, Vice President J.D. King made a motion, seconded by Board Member Brian Terry, to reappoint Shannon Wray and Caleb Shoush to another 2-year term. The motion passed with four votes for and none against.
From the operational updates provided to the Board, General Manager Stephanie Wilson touched on a few items which included meeting with vendors to receive audio-visual proposals from vendors for the City Hall Council Chambers, employees Luke Mosley passed his final test to become a Journey Lineworker and James Reed passed his first-year tests in the Apprentice Lineworker program, and MMU received an “in compliance” response from MDNR for an evaluation of the wastewater collection system.
After approval of accounts payable and setting the next regular meeting for Tuesday, January 19th at 4:00 p.m. due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, a motion was made by President John Neer, seconded by Board Member Brian Terry, to go into executive session regarding Legal (Rs.MO640.021 (1). The motions were as follows: John Neer, yea; David Ausmus, yea, and Brian Terry, yea.
When the open meeting reconvened, a motion was made by President John Neer, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed with three votes and none against.
President John Neer adjourned the meeting at 6:15 p.m.