Woodland Hills Sanitary District

Minutes of Public Hearing for Drinking Water Facilities Funding Application

7:00pm March 20, 2013


The Woodland Hills Sanitary District (WHSD) held a public hearing regarding the district's drinking water facilities funding application.  The meeting was held at the Black Hawk Volunteer Fire Department meeting room at 6010 Peaceful Pines Rd, Black Hawk, SD 57718.


Attending were:

Randy Alexander - WHSD president

Evan Hutchings - WHSD trustee

Jim Stewart - secretary

Dale Hansen - legal counsel

Ted Schultz - Cetec Engineering Svc Incorporated   

Alexis (Ali) Demersseman - Community Development Planner, Black Hills Council of Local Governments


Randy Alexander called the hearing to order and introduced Ali.  Ali covered the purpose of the hearing and turned the meeting over to Ted from Cetec.


Ted covered the handout which explained the proposed water project and explained all the alternatives and how the district arrived at the proposed solution.   To lessen the financial impact the water system would be overhauled in phases.  Ted then explained what parts or sections of the water system will be repaired or replaced in Phase 1 and the price breakdown of each those parts or section. 


Ali discussed the proposed financing for the project, a drinking water state revolving (DWSRF) loan through the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  The amount of the loan would be $780,000 and the revenue source would be a project surcharge revenue bond.  The interest on the loan would be 3% for 20 years.  Ali explained the affect of the proposed financing on the customers of the water system would be a surcharge of $47.20 per month, based on 101 customers.


Randy then asked for public comments or questions.


Tim Severson asked about the proposed phases and if a timetable had been established.  Ted replied that the results of the work in Phase 1 would determine the urgency for starting Phase 2.  If the repairs in Phase 1 revealed the system to be in terrible condition then Phase 2 would need to start sooner rather than later.


Jim Kienitz asked how this project would affect water rates in the future and would the proposed meter replacement and pits be for part of the system or the entire system.  Ted answered that the water rates would be independent of the water project surcharge and that rates would mostly likely be adjusted for inflation or the cost of operating the system.    Jim also suggested the district consider installing generators as a backup power source for the system. 


Gary Colasardo commented that Phase 1 would reveal fairly quickly if Phase 2 needs to be sooner.  The repairs to the system in Phase 1 could impact the rest of the system if water pressure increases as leaks eliminated.


Terry Nelson thanked the district trustees for studying the issue and  putting together this proposal.  He also commented that home values are affected by the quality of the water system.  If the system doesn't work properly the $47 surcharge would big insignificant to the loss of home values.  Terry then suggested that the project be expanded to replace more of the mainline pipes because there is really no way to know what kind of pipe was used and if it was installed correctly.


Scott Haskell asked if the meters will be at or near the curb stops.  He was told yes. 


Sue Jones inquired about construction in winter and how could proper compaction be performed with frozen ground.  Ted replied that the schedule would have backfill and compaction completed before freezing conditions occurred.  Sue asked if a weather shutdown is in plan.  Sue asked Ted who would perform inspections of the work and how often would that take place?  Ted replied that inspections would be frequent and would cover all fittings and connections and backfilling to ensure the pipe bedding was correct.


Rich Rairdon asked about the purpose of the meter pits and had the board considered sonic detection of the water leaks that we have.  Ted answer that the meter pits at the curb would be used to quickly track down residential service line leaks and to eliminate the self reads of the meters.   Sonic leak detection has been used where possible.


Scott Haskell asked about the type of pipe that will be used.  Ted covered the technical specifications of the pipe.


John Zogorski asked if landowners will be consulted with regards to the location of the meter pits and would he get credit for a meter that he installed at his own expense a few years back.  John also asked about repairs to the roads affected by the water project construction and asked for definition of service line.   The reply from Ted is that meter pits would be located at the current curb stop location where practical.  The question of a credit for John's meter was left open.  The cost of patching the roads was included in the project cost estimate.


Tony Rodriguez asked if remote read meters would be used and if any road district money is going to be used in the project.  Ted replied that remote read meters will be used and Randy stated road district funds will not be used in the project.  The road district account is separate from the WHSD accounts.


Sue Jones: will CETEC write the contract?  Ted answered yes.


John Zogorski seconded Terry Nelson's idea that the project should replace more mainline pipe.  Ted answered that we should see the results of Phase 1 before deciding how much more main pipe should be replaced.


Rich Rairdon asked how the board arrived at the scope of the proposed project.  Ted answered saying the trustees evaluated the entire system and picked what they considered the most urgent needs based on repair history and age of the various sections of the water system.


Ed Streibel, the water system operator, commented how Phase 1 would be a learning experience allowing us to see first hand how the current pipe was installed and exactly what we have underneath us.  By seeing the pipe it can guide us in deciding what comes next.


Larry Taylor commented on the cost of replacing all the mainline pipe would double or triple the surcharge to each homeowner. 


Terry Nelson asked about what amount of loan forgiveness (sic) that we might expect from the state.   Ted's reply was that we really have no way of knowing and that all the cost projections assumed zero percent forgiveness.  Terry said that whatever that amount might be it should go to replacing more of the aging mainline pipe.  He wished to confirm his belief that loan rates are low and that an increase in the surcharge would be negligible compared the loss of home value if the water system failed.


Garry Colosardo seconded Terry's notion adding that we should pay more now and get things fixed while the cost of money is low.


Jim Stewart asked if the surcharge could be placed on the property tax bills making it eligible for a federal income tax deduction. 


Rich Rairdon asked if the district trustees would estimate where water rates might go with this project.  Randy replied that the district would like to set aside enough money to pay for future upgrades rather than seeking loans.


Terry Nelson asked if a timetable had been established for the different phases saying that it seemed unreasonable for one section of the system to  be repaired while asking everyone to pay for that repair. 


Lisa Goodwin suggested a wait and see approach on future phases because we have to see what's in the ground in Phase 1 before committing to a Phase 2 or 3.


There were no more comments or questions from the audience.


Jim Stewart made a motion for the district president to sign the following documents:


a.  Application Cover Page for the Drinking Water Facilities Funding Application

 b.  Resolution of Authorized Signatory:  “Resolution Approving an Application for Financial Assistance, Authorizing the Execution and Submittal of the Application, and Designating an Authorized Representative to Certify and Sign Payment Requests.”


c. “7.3.10 – Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters”


d. “7.3.8 – Certification of Drinking Water Needs Categories”


e. “7.3.9 - Preaward Compliance Review Report for all Applicants and Recipients Requesting EPA Financial Assistance”


Evan Hutchings seconded the motion and Resolution 2013-1 "Resolution Approving an Application for Financial Assistance, Authorizing the Execution and Submittal of the Application, and Designating an Authorized Representative to Certify and Sign Payment Requests.”  carried unanimously.


President Randy Alexander then signed the application., attested by Jim Stewart, district secretary.


The public hearing ended at 8:17pm.


These minutes recorded and submitted by:

Jim Stewart

WHSD secretary