North Fork Special Service District
Monthly Board Meeting
December 6, 2018 at 7:00 pm
North Fork Fire Station
Board members present:
Stephen Minton-Chair, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Gary Liddiard-Secretary, Duaine Dorton,Thomas Merrill and Bert Thomas.
Duaine Dorton left at 10:21 p.m., didn’t return.
Staff members present:
Emily Johnson-District Clerk, Dave Marsella-Fire Chief, Stephen Miche-Public Works, Aubree Durrant-Public Works, and, Ryan Taylor of TO Engineering.
Meeting called to order at 7:02 p.m. by Chair, Dr. Stephen Minton
-No Public Comments
- #1 Aspen Grove Pump-House
-Ryan Taylor of T O Engineering, presented. Ryan is working with Gerber Constructions as well as the State of Utah and Utah County regarding construction in the Spring, due to the snowfall. The well project will be pushed until Spring also due to the unexpected amount of snow. Discussion of the current aquifer levels and questions as to it being any indicator that we will have a water shortage before the Spring of 2019 pursued. Resident Chris Storbeck discussed some of the research and data collection he has been working on and information he has collected regarding water such as the aquifer, concerns of water shortages and how that correlates to North Fork. Chris stated more specific data is needed for a clearer prediction, for now we are depending on historical information that the members of the District can provide. It was suggested the previous Water Master (Dave) may be able to help provide some historical information,perhaps during the construction that will resume in the Spring of 2019.
Discussions of a community awareness meeting and continuance of the water conservation and research groups were conversed. The newly organized NFSSD water conservation team (official name yet to be decided)is planning a meeting for December, ideas on how to communicate water concerns with the residents such as emails/mailing, handouts, etc. were proposed. That will be decided at the next community meeting held in December 2018.
Concerns of a possible conflict of interest regarding Laughlin has arose since Laughlin is doing work for Sundance Resort and NFSSD (the well). It was decided a conversation with Sundance would be needed about sharing data, pending agreements and transparency in working with Laughlin. Laughlin has been working with Lee Kapaloski-Legal Council on adjudicating water rights. Discussion of water rights ensued, Ryan Taylor of TO Engineering stated that the goal is to keep all of the water we can in the canyon, if there is a conflict we should deal with that after we have an accounting of all of the water and when we are sure what is here in regard to the water and water rights. Until then, he foresees no conflict and stated there are no problems at this time with a conflict of interest.
-Dave Marsella-Fire Chief, presented. Chief Marsella reported the house fire near Mile Marker 23 has resulted in a lawsuit concerning the homeowner and their fire alarm company. The Chief is working with the County Fire Marshall in obtaining information to fulfill the GRAMA request that was submitted by the insurance company investigating.
The FEMA grant has been approved and the fire department is moving forward with staffing.
The ambulance billing will be changed from IRIS to Gold Cross Ambulance Billing. Gold Cross has reported their collection rate has been at 65% compared to IRIS who has been reporting 50% collection rate. Currently NFSSD has approximate $90,000 in outstanding/uncollected ambulance billings. By changing to Gold Cross for billing services Chief Marsella is hoping to see a faster turn around and a higher collection rate with our ambulance billings.
Wild Land Billings for NFSSD has issues from prior fires and prior billings (prior to Chief Marsella coming to NFSSD) there are approximately$40,000 in billings that are being resubmitted to the State of Utah for reimbursement to the North Fork Fire Department, which the Chief stated he is currently working on.
Chief Marsella stated he met with the Sundance Safety Team and they are working together to create safety plans for the “best united care we can provide” to the North Fork and Sundance community.
Chief Marsella reported that we are maintaining 24-hourcoverage without a rate increase being incurred to the District for the 2019year. There is a 1-year plan in the works to reach out to the community and find out what they see as being priority and what they are seeking from our Fire Department such as programs,fire concerns, etc.
It was announced that Volunteer Fire Chief, Scott Hart has offered to host the 2018 NFSSD Fire Department Christmas Party, Friday December 7th
, the Board Members were invited to join.
- #3 Financial Report/District Clerk Information
-Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented. Emily discussed some of the ongoing issues regarding the data that has been entered in Caselle and how that is affecting the budget numbers. Bank accounts have been reconciled in Caselle and books closed through November 2018. Emily received a mailing from SSI stating discrepancies in the form W-2’s vs. the 941, 943, 944 or schedule H reporting from 2017. Emily recommended some forensic accounting be done to make sure the conversion from QuickBooks to Caselle software was done correctly, and to come up to speed with back log of work, delinquent filing and reporting required from prior years to current. Emily has been researching a Certified Public Accountant that works part time for Timpanogos Special Service District by the name of Joe Martin. The District Clerk feels that his services are necessary due to fact the District’s year end audit is coming up and there remains to be a large amount of filing and year end reporting. Issues that occurred in last year’s audit (per information received from Squire) were lengthy, unorganized and costly. Squire’s fee is much higher than Mr. Martin’s. Emily stated it would be more cost effective to take measures now and be proactive to prepare for the 2018 end of year auditing, especially since this is the first year NFSSD has been utilizing the new database (Caselle).
- #4 Water/Wastewater Report
-Aubree Durrant-Public Works presented. A diagram of November 2018 Source Total was given out. Aubree demonstrated that leaks are going down and although the unaccounted water levels look high, the actual leaks are less constant. Over the month public works have found and fixed multiple leak issues. PW feels confident they found unaccounted water on Stewart side, but multiple meters need to be replaced due to age and deterioration, most are Sundance master meters and they will be expensive to replace. The SNOTEL graph handout showing current and historical snow trend was provided diagramming snow water equivalent averages.
Plans for meter transmitter conversions are underway, the ones we have now are no longer supported by Badger. Aubree drew a diagram for the plan on the whiteboard describing both current and proposed meter replacements.
- Residential that have meter have transmitters
- Water electronically reads meters via transmitting
- Current transmitter is CE we need to move to ME (migratable)
- 4Collectors will be needed and are approximately $7,000 per unit.
- To get full transmittal, they are proposing placements at Stewart Tank, Tank 3,WWP and Sundance
- The transmittal will be uploaded to internet which will require internet access to the locations of the transmitter boxes. This will also provide accessible to homeowners and District so if there is a leak a notification will be given, limits can even be set by customers to be notified immediately of water overages instead of reporting in their monthly billing.
- Antenna will need to be purchased for the truck (one-time cost) to read ME meters.
Discussion of new equipment pros and cons along with a time frame of instillation were discussed. Propagation studies are being done at this time to decide if all meters can be hit by transmittal. Accuracy tests are needed prior to instillation of new ME meters on all meters, which is a lengthy process which could span over years, so the replacement will have to be done in sections and on a priority basis.
Stephen reported the new backhoe has been used for snow removal, emergency water meter break by home owner, several meter cans have been replaced and barriers for snow plows have been created.
The District lost the opportunity to buy the DAF, due to time restraints and convenience on seller’s behalf it was sold to another bidder. The testing requested by the Board regarding the function of the machine in the Utah weather conditions was not in vein since they were able to determine a similar devise would be usable and successful in the conditions of cold and heat. Ryan and Stephen will get word out they are interested should another device become available. Sundance is doing an evaluation of their entire waste-water system to audit the entire system and to see what the best remedy is for waste-water treatment, this is taking place now. During this evaluation they are requesting information and data from NFSSD to help in the process. The evaluation is scheduled to be done by March2019 and new systems will be ready to start in Spring 2019.
Stephen reported Waste Water has exceeded their budget on samples and chemical cleans, anew polymer is being tested.
The tank is recording data and water will be measurable. The next step is to get Aspen Grove data tracked. Water committee discussed community outreach, Chris Storbeck will be doing “data mining” and report back to the District. Stephen suggested bringing Dave Boshard in as a consultant to discuss some of the objectives of the water committee.
- #1 Approval of Board Meeting Minutes
-The minutes of November 2018 were submitted to all attending Board Members. Some discussion of the Mandan HOA items from the November meeting ensued. Duaine Dorton stated he would speak to legal counsel Lee Kapaloski regarding a final signed agreement between NFSSD and the Mandan HOA. Dr. Minton-Chair, moved to accept November2018 meeting minutes as final draft, Duaine Dorton seconded the motion, all present voted aye. Motion passed.
- #2 Approval of Revised Budget for 2018
-Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented. Due to some unexpected expenses during the2018 calendar year, the change of District Clerks, the conversion from Quick books to Caselle and other unexpected occurrences, a new budget was presented to better reflect the revenue and expenses of the District. Per the Little Manual for Local and Special Service Districts
, “original budgets may be amended during the budget year to increase the original budget; however,budgets may not be changed after the budget year end” Discussions of how to better keep up to date on budget actuals were had, Dr. Minton stated that when a large expense or decision is made during mid-year, we should revisit the budget at that time. Emily spoke in depth of the issues she has been finding regarding the duties of the District Clerk and the importance of having integrity and transparency regarding the finances of the District. Dr. Minton expressed his concerns of how things have are not being overseen as closely as they could be and asked for a resolution on how to have better checks and balances. Emily has been researching a CPA who works part time for another local Special Service District, as they too were finding similar issues in the past regarding accounting and budgeting. The Special Service District reported that since using CPA services, not only have they streamlined their accounting practices and accuracy in finances/budgeting, but also have saved money since services as a part time employee are considerably lower than hourly rates of an accounting firm. The CPA they have used specializes in government entities and could be a resource to all District staff on a “as needed” basis. Emily asked that the Board consider hiring the CPA as soon as possible to ensure large costs are not incurred at year end by auditors as Squire expressed to Emily they had to return “multiple times” to conduct the 2017 year end audit which was costly to the District. Dr.Minton-Chair, moved to the hiring of part time/non-benefit employee Joe Martin,CPA. Duaine Dorton seconded the motion,Stewart Olsen obtained, all other Board Members voted aye. Motion passed.
The Board requested that 2017 Financials be sent to them in electronic form by District Clerk to review. Duaine Dorton motioned to adopt the NFSSD revised budget for 2018, Dr. Minton seconded, all present voted aye. Motion passed.
- # 3 Approval of Budget for 2019
-Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented. There have been significant changes is the budget over the past few years due to a tax increase, updating of property values, Caselle conversions, along with other revenue and expenditures for the District as it is growing. For that reason, following a trend for the 2017 and 2018 budget years is impossible as the District necessities have substantially changed. After spending many hours on the 2019 budget,the District Clerk discussed budgeting with the Public Works Director, the Fire Chief and a consultant, as well as Matt of Squire it was decided the best numbers to go off of were the values found in the prior year audits with Squire and the data entered into the new database (Caselle). Discussion of budget line items pursued and the benefits the CPA will bring to NFSSD with monthly tracking and budget reporting.
Duaine Dorton motioned to adopt the NFSSD 2019 budget, Dr. Minton second the motion, all present voted aye. Motion passed.
- # 4 Water Consultant Hire and Usage
-Stephen Miche-Public Works presented. As the District is entering the drilling phase and analyzing water data, Stephen addressed hiring former employee Dave Boshard as a paid consultant to aid in determining sources for water, tracking water, data and methods for water measuring, etc. Dave has a degree in Geology and a strong knowledge base and history with the District. Discussions of pros and cos of having Dave as a consultant ensued including utilizing consultants in a responsible manner,with a plan and purpose. Stewart Olsen suggested a list be compiled of information and expectations the District desires to obtain from Dave prior to any consulting work. Should Dave be used for consulting purposes it was agreed one person would be designated to communicate with the consultant to avoid having multiple people using time to address the same questions/information and that objectives be set so the time and work stays on point. Duaine Dorton suggested a project completion pay instead of hourly rate,Stephen stated he would present that offer to Dave as a compensation offer. Discussion of prior data collected by Dave for the District and where that data is being stored, followed. The Board would like Dave to produce that historical information prior to any further paid consulting with him. Bert Thomas suggested the historical data and information be separated from all current and future data. Stephen is asking for direction from the Board and their approval to move forward with a controlled proposal to Dave. This matter is being tabled until a more concrete contract between Dave Boshard and the District is established and a list of questions and proposals are presented to the Board.
-Stephen Miche-Public Works, presented. Stephen brought the issue of his vacation accruals before the Board due to his vacation that is set to expire he has accumulated. Policy states limited amounts of vacation can roll over into the next year. Stephen stated due to limited availability for him to use his vacation, sick and holiday pay he is proposing the District consider a buy back on his unused vacation time. Discussions of flat rate vs. salary and hourly pay ensued. Discussion of District policy, State laws and labor laws ensued. The Board asked that the District Clerk check to see if vacation is setup correctly in Caselle, find out laws on salary-based positions in a Special Districts and submit the findings to Dr. Minton, Gary Liddiard and Board Members for review. Agenda item is tabled upon further review of findings.
- Motion to adjourn public hearing made by Dr. Minton-Chair, at 10:45 p.m. Motion seconded, all present voted aye. Meeting adjourned.
- The Board met in closed executive session, no actions were proposed or voted upon.
- Minutes recorded and noted by Emily Johnson-District Clerk. Recording malfunctioned when transferring to computer file.