Board Meeting Mintutes February 13, 2020
North Fork Special Service District
Monthly Board Meeting
February 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm
North Fork Fire Station
Board members present:
Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Bryan Ackerman, Keith Payne, Duaine Dorton, Gary Liddiard and Thomas Merrill
Staff members present:
Emily Johnson-District Clerk, Ryan Taylor-TO Engineering, David Marsella-Fire Chief, Joseph Martin-Controller, Lee Kapaloski-Legal Council
Aubree Durrant-Public Works arrived at 7:15 p.m.
Stephen Miche-Public Works Director arrived at 7:20 p.m.
February 2020 Monthly Meeting of the Board was brought to order by Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair at 7:00 p.m.
#1 Financial Report
– Joseph Martin- Controller presented. He stated year end financials are being completed therefore he didn’t have a detailed financial report at this time to review. A check register for January 2020 was distributed to the Board which included all checks made in January 2020. The District Clerk will start distributing this report every month prior to the meeting so any questions or further documentation the Board may request can be addressed prior to or during the meeting.
#2 Fire/EMS Reports
– Fire Chief David Marsella presented. A handout titled “ambulance yearend report for 2019” was distributed (it was the wrong version; the correct version will be emailed to the Board to review). Chief Marsella gave a brief overview of the information provided in the handout graphs. Chief Marsella discussed the changes in our ambulance billing and revenue since the transition from IRIS to Gold Cross Ambulance Billing in 2019. The change to paperless (Ipad) reporting has allowed us to electronically bill within 24 hours of the medical services and for the paramedics to chart and document more information. This has increased our ability to capture more billable services and bill more accurately. North Fork’s collections are up 25% from 2018. Chief Marsella briefly described types of billing collections and insurance billings. In January there were 20 transports which included one fatality and one structure fire. Ambulance services billed in January for the amount of $43,000. $15,000 of past due accounts were sent to Mountainland Collections on 120-day old accounts. Data collected for 2019 (full data will be captured for 2019 in April 2020 after billing and insurance processes have been completed) was at 72%. Chris Storbeck-Resident asked if total calls could be broken out to show comparison of calls to include residents, commercial and public lands (Forest) specifically in the future. Chief Marsella stated he would do his best to gauge that, the Forest Service doesn’t have an “address” so that may difficult to narrow down.
Chief Marsella reported we have received $50,000 in reimbursement from wildland deployment in 2019 from the State of Utah bringing us paid in full for 2019 billings and the $32,000 FEMA grant reimbursements has also been deposited. Red card classes are currently taking place at the fire station and some cleanup is going on at UDOT in order for us to have more equipment storage.
Per the State of Utah Fire Marshall, House Bill 190 will mandate that the County pay for EMS responses to unincorporated areas of the County, that may affect us if it passes. House Bill 66 may affect the District area as well; this bill will mandate power companies to preform mitigation services around power lines.
Gary Liddiard-Board inquired about the progress of a fire committee forming. Chief Marsella reported that fuels mitigation and fire service committees are being designed. Chief Marsella is hoping to have more information on this in March.
-Brief intermission taken for dinner
#3 District Clerk Information
– Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented. Emily reported that all year end reporting to both State and Federal Governments for 2019 have been submitted and excepted. Emily stated she has been working with the public works staff closely while inputting the new water rates in Caselle’s utility billing system and associating the proper pipe sizes to the customer accounts. After running some cross-referencing data reports, it was found 11 individual who have homes on their property were never set up to be billed for garbage services. That has now been rectified. A property that has a meter but not being charged for conveyance was also discovered and the proper adjustments were made on the account.
Emily stated that she and Chief Marsella have been working with Gold Cross Ambulance billing services and Mountainland Collections to coordinate the collection of outstanding accounts. While setting up the ambulance service with Mountainland Emily inquired if they would aid in collecting on some outstanding utility accounts for the District as well. They are willing to provide this service on a case by case scenario as the in-house delinquency process is effective for most accounts. There are 2 HOA’s that are still in delinquent status. Contracts are pending on these HOA’s, legal counsel was asked to follow up on all HOA contracts.
A handout regarding a severely delinquent account was distributed. After a short description of the account, the Board asked that the District Clerk take action to obtain a lien on the property and use legal resources if necessary. Policy on properties that do not have a structure (fire protection only) need to be reviewed including liens on properties and lien lawyers. Stewart Olsen-Chair requests an ordinance be produced regarding this issue in the near future.
The District Clerk stated that she has been working closely with Aubree Durrant-Public Works to understand the Utility Management module in Caselle. They have learned a lot and are working together to fix any prior issues associated with the initiation of the Caselle software. She states comparable reports are becoming more available as the data is being collected in Caselle.
#4 Community Water Committee/Adjudication Update
– Stephen Miche-Public Works Director presented. Stephen stated he would be meeting with the Forest Service next week to further discuss the well and the placement of it. Ryan Taylor-Engineer, Stephen Miche and Chris Storbeck-NF Community Water Committee Chair will all be in attendance of this meeting on February 20th. Bryan Ackerman inquired if moving forward with the well is necessary since the redevelopment of the Spring seems to be going so well. Stephen responded that although the springs are doing good, February has historically been the time we see the least amount of output in our springs, so a full month of data is needed. The SNOTEL report will now allow us to obtain data on snowpack and allow us to see if there is a correlation with spring levels to determine our water situation. Chris Storbeck-Community Water Committee stated that they are exploring other options to improve our water sources and possibly a third water source to present so the Board can make a final decision with multiple possible options for the future. Ryan Taylor discussed the possibility of a pilot well and exploratory well, the Board will have to decide (once or even if we obtain approval from the Forest Service to build a well) what is the best option, but knowing the well is a possibility and what outputs it may produce is an important factor.
Chris stated he would put together a summary of the meeting with the Forest Service and provide that to the Board after they meet on the 20th. Ryan Taylor made mention that until we have a “bad snow year” it will be hard to measure how successful the Stewart Spring redevelopment really is as we have been having average and above average snow years. We need comparable against this year’s data collected to understand our water sources better.
2019-01 Water Moratorium: Stephen stated he is still collecting the February data therefore cannot give a recommendation at this time on lifting the moratorium. The Spring typically puts out the least amount of water in February, having all the February data collected is needed. Stephen stated he feels optimistic about the “wet water” but the paper water may be a concern. We are currently operating at 97% capacity; Stephen feels the Board needs to decide next month on whether or not to continue the Moratorium. Stephen advised the District is still in the beginning stages of the Provo Canyon Water Adjudication process and we have not heard back from the State Engineer on if they are excepting all our paper rights that were submitted. Lee Kapaloski-Legal Counsel stated prudence says we receive a judgment from the Courts before the Moratorium is lifted. Duaine Dorton inquired about timing and when a decision may be expected regarding the filing of the water rights to the State and the Courts ruling, Lee Kapaloski said this is hard to predict. Bryan Ackerman inquired about the current tank levels; Stephen stated the tanks are full, but he will have more information next week after a stress test is performed on the spring outlet.
Stephen informed the Board he attended the Provo River Water Users shareholders meeting. It was reported that Deer Creek Dam is at 95% capacity, Jordanelle Dam is at 84%, and the snowpack levels Statewide average was 121%. The hope is we will get a little more snow before the year end so there is carry over into the next year.
#5 Water/Wastewater Report
Aubree Durrant-Public Works presented. A handout named Monthly Water Usage and February Water and Wastewater and SNOTEL was distributed. Aubree reported some transmitters and registers (meters) have been replaced to supply more accurate readings. 5 days ago, usage spiked in the tanks, staff has been investigating and it seems there is a leak somewhere above the Sundance Resort which could be a homeowner. No meter readings were substantially high, they are narrowing down a possible break somewhere on our line.
Duaine Dorton inquired about the status of the rate study analysis/cost of service analysis. Lee Kapaloski stated this is a priority for the District, Ryan Taylor reported that he has met with individual to engage in this process and finalizing a formal proposal before a sit-down meeting. Ryan will reach out to Zions Bank to moved forward in this process. The engineering portion will be done by TO Engineers, the rate study is to be done by Zions Bank. Ryan feels there are things we can currently be working on to prepare for the rate study such as flow studies from fire hydrants.
Aubree informed that dumping fees have increased (nearly doubled) in January 2020. This will cause us to review the customer fees for garbage and sewer services. Discussions of looking at other facilities to dump at were had, Gary Liddiard emphasized that we keep sewer and garbage expenses and revenue separate. Stephen assured Gary this is currently being done through the Caselle accounting module coding and will continue to be kept in separate funds/departments.
Keith Payne reported at the mouth of Provo Canyon there is a plot of land that was acquired by a developer who is trying to get the zoning changed on about 50 acres, this zoning request was just for the parcel within Provo City limits. The developer’s request is to change the land from agriculture to residential. This could affect traffic in and out of the Canyon or possibly impact the fire department for calls. A “competition” for water may be a concern for the District. Water is proposed to come from “Smith Ditch”, Stewart Olsen explained that through the adjudication we may be short on “paper water” and that we should investigate what our obligation could be to this development. Stewart Olsen feels that once the adjudication is complete, we will have more information and direction.
Approval of January 9, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes
– Thomas Merrill moved to approve the January 9, 2020 meeting minutes, Keith Payne seconded the motion, all voted aye. Motion passed.
River Run Billing Request
– Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented. Earlier in the week, a letter was submitted to the Board from the River Run HOA regarding penalty fees associated to their accounts. A history of the accounts and correspondences were explained and reviewed by Emily. Stewart Olsen asked what the responsibility of the Board is to assure that people who entrust their accounts to third parties (accountant or another agent) are operating or communicating properly. Duaine Dorton asked if there was a current policy on contacting an HOA and what we have done in the past. The District Clerk stated she could add a secondary contact to the accounts if requested, she made attempts to find out who the HOA president was, but the information was not made available online or through her contacts within the District. Discussions on correspondences between customers and their appointed account representatives and whether a policy regarding this should be established ensued. Lee Kapaloski stated it would be very difficult to write a policy regarding this matter because each HOA runs differently and in this case the issue was with their agent was receiving and accepting the statements and not paying, not the fault of the District which the HOA recognizes in their letter to the Board. Bryan Ackerman emphasized the importance of consistency and equality for all customers. The District Clerk asked what steps could be taken in the future to avoid this type of problem. Duaine Dorton offered to supply the District Clerk with some of the HOA representatives’ information.
The Board discussed the content of the letter sent from the River Run HOA, the responsibility of the District to convey services and the customers responsibility to ensure their fees are being paid. Thoughts of prior cases arose, fairness to all customers who are paying on time, cost and time the District is incurring to collect on delinquent accounts were deliberated. District policy is to charge penalty fees on all delinquent accounts.
Thomas Merrill motioned to decline the proposal of the River Run HOA, Gary Liddiard seconded, all voted aye. The request of the River Run HOA to have North Fork Special Service District waive late and interest fees on their past due accounts motion failed.
At 8:53 p.m. Gary Liddiard motioned to adjourn the February 2020 Monthly Meeting of the Board of Officers, Duaine Dorton seconded, all voted aye. Meeting was adjourned at 8:54 p.m.
• Minutes noted and recorded by Emily Johnson-District Clerk.