The regular meeting of the Board of Public Works was held on July 19, 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, City Administrator Avis Marshall and City Councilman Anthony Petre.
President John Neer called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm. Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to approve the minutes from the June 21, 2021 meeting. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Under old business, a discussion was held regarding the proposed Sewer User Charge Ordinance recommended for adoption. It was tabled at the July 13, 2021 City Council meeting for 30 days to be post the tour of the sewer collection system and treatment works, to be held at 6:00 pm on July 19, 2021 between the City Council and Board of Public Works. Modifications to the calculations in Appendix A of the ordinance were also discussed and will be updated to reflect the proposed increase to sewer rates. Also, under old business, utilizing the City of Macon’s asphalt bid for 2021 from Capital Paving for a street repair due to a water leak on Maffry Street and the status of insurance claims related to a failed recloser in Substation 1 were also discussed.
For the next item on the agenda was the Review of Monthly Financials – June 2021. General Manager Stephanie Wilson noted the receipt of $3,003,279.24 in 0% interest, 5-year term loan funds from the Missouri Utility Emergency Loan Program (MUELP) on June 28, 2021. The loan funds represent the difference between February 2021 and February 2020 electricity and natural gas commodity costs as a result of Winter Storm Uri. Highlights for each the electric, water, wastewater, and natural gas fund’s activity were also noted.
Next item, Jeff Barnard and Debi Gibbins from Burns & McDonnell were in attendance to explain Change Order No. 4 for Headworks Project at the wastewater treatment plant. After a discussion of the items, Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Board Member David Wilt, to accept the modifications which adds trace wire to underground lines, reroute the force main for improved sampling of wastewater, adjusts the approach for electric service, and adds walk pads to the roof for a net addition of $3,798.20 to the project. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
Following this item, a discussion was held regarding the progress on the Integrated Management Plan currently being developed to address long-term improvements to the wastewater collection system and treatment works at an affordable pace. MMU will collect feedback from business owners at the Chamber of Commerce meeting scheduled for August 17, 2021. Two meetings for public feedback need to be scheduled by the end of the summer.
The next item on the agenda was approval of a bid for the Jackson Street Sewer Main Installation project to install an 8-inch main for the 600 block. Willis Brothers, Inc. was the only bidder with a bid of $47,320.00 when bids were opened on July 14, 2021. Board Member David Ausmus made a motion, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, to accept the bid. The motion carried with four votes for and none against.
For the next item on the agenda, additional hedging of natural gas for November 2021 to March 2022 was discussed. MMU currently has 75% of the 3-year historical volume hedged for winter heating needs. Current market conditions and hedged amounts compared to minimum usages by month were discussed. No action was taken.
For the next item, a discussion was held regarding strategic planning for the utility. While no action was taken, items such as a revised mission statement, vision statement, and consultant services to formulate a plan were discussed.
Under manager reports, General Manager Stephanie Wilson noted the approval of modifications to antenna installations by US Cellular on the east and west water towers, participation in a climate change webinar, and potential items for the next meeting.
Assistants to the General Manager, Ben Stueve and Bryce Butner provided updates for the Macon and Audrain Energy Centers. Regarding electric distribution, various underground services were installed, the 800 block of Malone Street was improved to address voltage issues, removed trees in multiple areas of the system, addressed outages caused by burnt primary line due to a squirrel, and assisted with flood light installation at the Macon County Park. Regarding underground facilities, the north water tower was filled post the rehabilitation of the tank, replaced water main at Vine and Rubey Street intersection, and worked on fire hydrant in Macon Plaza. Also, wastewater collection jetted various mains for preventative maintenance and assisted Creek Enterprises with repair of main due to the boring of fiber through the main. Natural gas distribution crews installed a new service connection on Kellogg Street and worked on cathodic readings.
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, lake levels have been monitored due to recent extended rain events. At the wastewater treatment plant, progress on the headworks project, COVID-19 sampling, and maintenance activities were noted.
After approval of accounts payable and setting the next regular meeting for Monday, August 16, 2021 at 5:00 pm for convenience of the Board’s schedules, a motion was made by Board Member David Ausmus, seconded by Vice President Brian Terry, 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 5:50 pm, a motion was made by President John Neer, seconded by Board Member David Ausmus, to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed with four votes for and none against.