Submitted to the Utility District for Approval May 7, 2001

 

 

REGULAR MEETING OF THE

TOWN OF MENASHA UTILITY DISTRICT

Municipal Complex - Assembly Room

Monday, March 26, 2001

 

MINUTES

 

The agenda was posted at the Municipal Complex, Fire Station 40, Town of Menasha Utility District, Appleton Public Library, Menasha Public Library, and Neenah Public Library and is available on the Town of Menasha Website at town-menasha.com.

 

I.   CALL TO ORDER, PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND ROLL CALL

President Arden Tews called the Regular Meeting of Utility District Commissioners to order at 4:50 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Deputy Clerk Karen Tweedie noted the roll as follows:

 

PRESENT:

Arden Tews, President                                                Jeanne Krueger, Commissioner #1

Jerry Jurgensen, Commissioner #3                           Russ Handevidt, Commissioner #4      

Brad Werner, Town Engineer                                     Steve Laabs, Util. Dist. Wastewater Supt.                                   

Patrick DeGrave, Administrator                                  Paula Pagel, Util Dist Office Manager

Myra Piergrossi, Dir. of Finance                                 George Dearborn, Dir. of Com. Dev.

Jeff Roth, Utility District Water Supt.                         Karen Tweedie, Deputy Clerk

                                     

EXCUSED:

Carlene Sprague, Utility Dist. Secretary

Bob Sprague, Commissioner #2

 

 

 

 

ALSO PRESENT:

Gary Rosenbeck, Rep. McMahon & Assoc.            Dee Lynch

John Andres, Rep. Virchow Krause                        Sherrie Bencik

Richard Stinski                                                           Rod Viegut

Mike Lynch                                                                  Judy Viegut

Carol Rick                                                                   Gerald Kjemhus

Donald Rick                                                                Todd Schnasse

Barbara Ulmer                                                            Bill Eastman

Larry Ulmer                                                                 Gregg Graverson

Bill Buksyk                                                                  Tony Treml

John Zaborsky                                                            Diane Miller

Ron Porto                                                                    Scott Sauer

           
II.         PUBLIC DISCUSSION-NON-AGENDIZED UTILITY DISTRICT RELATED MATTERS
 
III.                DISCUSSION ITEMS

A.                 Expansion of E. Shady Lane Water Treatment Plant and American Drive Garage Building

Gary Rosenbeck, representing McMahon & Associates, stated he found it difficult to expand the #3 pump house with the setback and permits from DNR.  He would like to use the existing Utility District building on American Drive for records, break room, rest rooms, locker rooms and office.  He would also like to add on a garage approximately 142 X 64 in size with mezzanine, for maintenance and equipment.  The estimated amount for the expansion and remodeling of both facilities on Shady Lane and American Drive will cost $1,831,000.00, up from the budgeted amount of $1.6 million.  Included in these costs would be repairs for softeners, roof, locker rooms, restrooms and garage doors. 

 

A new supervisory control system will also need replacement along with the garage and office remodeled on American Drive for a cost of approximately $550,000.00.

 

Water Superintendent Steve Laabs mentioned the timeframe for the loan as over a 5-10 year period.

 

President Tews said the budget was $150,000.00 more than the original estimate.  He questioned whether the town could construct a building on American Drive without a Special Town or Annual Town meeting for a vote by the townspeople.

 

Administrator DeGrave stated that when borrowing for a facility expansion, he did not believe a Special Town meeting was a legal requirement.  He also stated that he was expecting a call back from Virchow, Kraus & Co. and the Wisconsin Town’s Association regarding this issue.  Mr. DeGrave also clarified that the town is spending borrowed money not budgeted money.

 

Supervisor Krueger asked how much more this would put on the town’s debt.

 

Discussion ensued regarding the budget for the remodeling.  Administrator DeGrave stated the debt service is paid for by the Utility Service and would be determined as to how rates are set to cover debt service.

 

Supervisor Handevidt stated he did not see contingency fees in the $1.8 million dollar amount and questioned how locked in these figures were.  His requested more accurate numbers for architectural fees, add-on costs and adjustments. 

 

Gary Rosenbeck stated that the worksheets have the contingency already built in by adding the fees, plus 10% and remarked that he is comfortable with the cost estimates provided.

 

Commissioner Handevidt expressed concern regarding the costs provided.

 

Administrator DeGrave stated he would present complete architectural drawings, material lists a full detailed estimate and then, proceed for approval of bonding for the construction amount and revenue bond to pay the pre-paid debt.  He stated the next step would be to put the proposal together for discussion at the next U.D. meeting.

 

President Tews stated a resolution would be prepared for that meeting for board approval for this information.

 

Virchow Krause – Water & Sewer Rates

John Andres, representing Virchow, Krause & Co. commented on the Rate Study and the proposed rate increase of 25% on water rates.

He stated $240,000.00 would be taken from the tax levy in the water utility for public fire protection and shifting this portion from the tax bills to the utility bills, which will be approximately $6.60 on average per household.

 

The Public Service Commission will host a telephonic Public Hearing on April 5, 2001 at 10:00 with the Finance Department and the Utility District participating.

 

This will add $20.00 per quarter, per household for water.

 

There are options for water rates:

The tax levy amount is $783,000.00.  In leaving the levy as is, he stated increases of 44% would be needed as a minimum amount.

 

-Option 1.  47% or $12.36 / per quarter

 

-Option 2. Shifting a portion of the tax levy off of the tax bills onto utility bills

(1/3 over in each of the next three years), $45.00 / per quarter for sewer only,   or $18.00 / per quarter increase

 

-Option 3.  Everything off tax levy and put on utility bill

Avg. bill $33.00 / per quarter


 

*All options require an additional $20.00 increase in water rates.

 

President Tews stated to keep the tax levy where it is with an increase in costs, the sewer bill will go up 44%.

 

Discussion ensued.

 

Dir. of Finance, Myra Piergrossi presented the board members with her computed rate increases.  Taking the current sewer bill, she calculated the sample tax bill that was used.  Dividing it by 4 to get a quarterly amount on a sewer bill, she got the total picture of what residents are actually paying now.

Example: Option 3 shows an 8% increase change.  Tax rate would go

down $.75, or no tax rate.

 

Commissioner Handevidt stated that his personal opinion is to go with Option 3 as he felt the user would be paying their share right from the beginning.

 

President Tews would like Option 2 stating this would be comparable with City of Menasha, below Grand Chute and Appleton and ahead of Neenah only.

 

Commissioners Jurgensen and Krueger voted for Option 2 and reviewing the choice in a two-year period.

 

John Andres stated the new rates would take place in mid to late April 2000.

 

Finance Director Myra Piergrossi stated that the sewer rate change would take effect when the water rates change.

 

IV.       OLD BUSINESS

 

V.        NEW BUSINESS
A.        010326-1:UD Expenditures

MOTION: Commissioner Handevidt, second Commissioner Krueger to adopt to approve the expenditures as submitted with the exception of (none).  Motion carried unanimously.

 

B.                010326-2:UD  Virchow Krause Sewer Rates

MOTION: Commissioner Jurgensen, second Commissioner Krueger to fill in the blank to choose OPTION 2 for the elimination of the sewer tax levy (by $.24 cents off the 1st year).

On roll call, Commissioners Krueger and Jurgensen and President Tews voted YES. Commissioner Handevidt voted NO.  Motion passed on a 3-1 vote for Option 2.

 

C.                010326-3:UD  Write-Off Old Accounts

Supervisor Krueger questioned the invoice for Sturm Builders.

Wastewater Supr., Steve Laabs, stated that the owner of the duplex was having problems.  A piece of sewer pipe was inside the lateral, so Steve Laabs reached our contractor for the repair. The Utility District found the lateral faulty and felt Sturm Builders was responsible during the process of building the duplex. They have been unable to collect from Sturm Builders for this repair.

 

MOTION: Commissioner Handevidt, second Commissioner Jurgensen to adopt to approve the write-off of the following uncollectible accounts as submitted.

            S99-1       1/20/99       Sturm Builders    Reimbursement for Lateral Repair      $1,087.36

            W97-16     6/3/97        Joseph Baruch    Repaired Damaged Fire Hydrant         $     77.00

            UD-336     7/18/00      City of Menasha  Service for Midway Business Park       $       3.00

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 
VI.       ORDINANCES

 

VII.      RESIGNATIONS/ APPOINTMENTS

 

VIII.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A.     Regular Utility District Meeting – February 12, 2001

MOTION: Commissioner Sprague, second Commissioner Jurgensen to adopt to approve the minutes as submitted. Motion carried unanimously.

 
IX.               CORRESPONDENCE

A.     Water Mains – February 2001

B.    Water Pumpage - February 2001

MOTION: Commissioner Sprague, second Commissioner Krueger to adopt to approve the correspondence for filing.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

X.        REPORTS

            A.  Town Administrator - None

B.     Engineer – None

            C.  Water Superintendent - None

D.  Wastewater Superintendent 

Wastewater Superintendent Steve Laabs, provided a report regarding his recent contact with Globe Construction regarding laterals that needed repair from the 1998 sewer reconstruction on Gardner’s Row.  Mr. Laabs stated that Globe Construction   would be willing to pay half of the repair costs.

 

E.     Commissioners

Ø      Commissioner Krueger - None

Ø      Commissioner Sprague – None

Ø      Commissioner Jurgensen – None

Ø      Commissioner Handevidt - None

 

F.  Commission President - None

 

G.     Other Town Officials - None

 

XI.       MOTIONS BY COMMISSIONERS
 
XII.      ANNOUNCEMENTS – Same as agenda.
 
XIII.     ADJOURNMENT

At 4:50 p.m., MOTION: Commissioner Sprague, second Commissioner Handevidt to adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Utility District of Commissioners.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Karen J. Tweedie

Deputy Clerk