Thursday – September 15: The Buckeye Water District Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting last Thursday at Wellsville Village Hall. Present at the meeting was Board President Mike Ryan and all eight Trustees. Also attending was District Manager Al DeAngelis, Legal Advisor Fred Emmerling, Fiscal Officer Tony D'Angelo and Office Manager Greg Stanley.
For the Treasurer's Report the District had $307,988 in receipts and $116,936 in expenses for the month of August. Trustee Bob Wines reported that income is running behind projections for the year but the Finance Committee is optimistic for year end results. The Treasurer's Report was accepted as submitted.
The Board then retired into a 21 minute Executive Session with Legal Advisor Emmerling for pending litigation. There was no immediate comment of actions taken upon their return.
For the Operations Report it was noted that the District sold a total of 948,667 gallons of water for the month of August.
For the Service Committee Trustee Roy Dray reported there are two issues dealing with the Village of Salineville. The first is their non-payment of their water bill for their Sewage Treatment Plant. That bill averages $9,000 per month and they are currently $27,000 or three months in arrears. That amount will soon total $36,000 if no payment is made in the near future.
It was noted a while back that Salineville must have been under the impression that they were not responsible for the cost of water to run their Sewage Treatment Plant when Buckeye took over furnishing water to the Village. Another problem may be in the process they are using to treat their sewage. The Committee has authorized District Manager DeAngelis and Legal Advisor Emmerling to draft a letter to Salineville making two suggestions that by using either one would reduce the amount of water needed at the treatment plant.
Salineville became a Buckeye Water customer once the District assumed furnishing the Village with an EPA approved source of water. Although a water usage meter has been installed on the Salineville Sewage Treatment Plant it is a public utility and their water can not be shut off for non-payment. It may boil down to legal action if Salineville authorities continue ignoring their bills.
The second problem with Salineville is their failure to live up to a contractual agreement in regards to their sewage customers. Sewage bills are based on the amount of water used by an individual customer. Buckeye Water furnishes Salineville monthly water meter readings so they can bill their sewage customers. If an individual customer fails to pay their sewage bill they eventually get their water shut off – no water means no flushing toilets.
Per an agreement signed by Village officials if Buckeye water has to repair or replace a curbside shut off on a customer's water line Salineville will share the costs for parts and labor. It's the same agreement that the Water District has with the Village of Wellsville. Salineville is nearly $9,000 in arrears for paying their share of repairs to shut off non-paying sewage customers. District Manager DeAngelis noted that Wellsville pays their bill without argument. With an unanimous count the Board voted to cease furnishing Salineville with water meter readings until that bill is paid.
Tim O'Hara for the Personnel Committee recommended that a part-time clerk position be created for the Administration Office. The Committee motioned that the new position be for three 8-hour days a week. It was noted that it was particularly needed for vacation coverage, etc. The motion passed to add the position and bid for applicants.
For the Engineering Committee Roy Dray reported the Committee recommends that Buckeye Water does not pursue becoming a Water & Sewage District. At the August Board meeting an individual recommended that the District look into getting in the sewage business too, during the Public Speaking portion on the agenda. That recommendation was accepted with no nays being voiced.
For the District Manager's Report, DeAngelis noted that the Distribution Crew fixed six water line breaks in Salineville within two days after tremors were felt from the earthquake in Virginia. Also a 2” water line on Salineville's Sycamore Street was replaced recently. There was a history of excessive leaks within a month's time.
American Electric Power has advised the District's monthly bill will be increased by $77.36.
Trustee Gene McGaffick inquired on the status of the new CDBG required road to the Salineville water tank. DeAngelis reported that it will cost approximately $18,000 for engineering to be done to complete that part of the Salineville Waterline Project. CDBG advised they will not cover the engineering costs at this time and Buckeye Water doesn't have funds to cover in this year's budget. At this time it's a wait & see if money comes available. Another issue is who actually owns the land around the tank where the road will go. There is conflicting reports on ownership. Ownership will be determined as part of the engineering.
DeAngelis noted that replacing the road is not a pressing problem. If necessary District employees can walk up there. Greg Stanley advised the existing road is only 200 to 300 feet in length with spots washed out. An old culvert Salineville had there has washed out. New storm sewers and drains will be required. Board President Mike Ryan referred it back to the Engineering Committee when McGaffick suggested Buckeye Water build the road themselves.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:42 AM. The next scheduled Board meeting is Thursday, October 20, at 9 AM. The meeting will be held at Wellsville Village Hall, 1200 Main Street.