Board Meeting Minutes December 10, 2020
North Fork Special Service District
Hearings and Monthly Board Meeting
December 10, 2020 @ 6:30 p.m.
This meeting was held remotely through the ZOOM application
Any members of the public that wanted to join the public portion of the meeting were asked to email a request for invite to the District Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801.225.7263 or 801.404.4734 prior to the meeting in 2 separate public posts.
Board members present:
Dr. Stephen Minton- Chairman, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chairman, Scott Hart, Duaine Dorton, Thomas Merrill, Gary Liddiard, Duaine Dorton
Staff members present:
Stephen Miche-Public Works Director, Emily Johnson-District Clerk
At 6:30 p.m. Dr. Stephen Minton-Chairman brought the December 2020 Monthly Meeting of the Board to order. At 6:33 p.m. Thomas Merrill motioned to enter closed session to discuss year end personnel reviews. Stewart Olsen seconded. All aye, the closed session commenced.
At 7:08 p.m. Gary Liddiard motioned to return to the open meeting and Stewart Olsen seconded, all aye. The public was admitted to the Zoom electronic meeting at 7:09 p.m.
Monthly Meeting of the Board of Officers
Board members present:
Dr. Stephen Minton- Chairman, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Scott Hart, Duaine Dorton, Thomas Merrill, Gary Liddiard
(Bert Thomas was added at 7:10 p.m.)
Staff members present:
Stephen Miche-Public Works Director, David Marsella-Fire Chief, Emily Johnson-District Clerk, Aubree Durrant-Public Works, Lee Kapaloski-Legal Counsel, Joseph Martin-Controller
(Ryan Taylor-Engineer joined at 7:44 p.m.)
Chris Storbeck, Bryan Kindred
(Chad entered meeting at 7:28 p.m.)
At 7:06 p.m. The December 2020 Monthly Meeting of the Board of Officers commenced.
#1 Fire Information
– Chief David Marsella presented. He reports that the EMS billing for 2020 is just shy of $140,000 the collections are $120,000 making the collection rate 86.7%. The District received a $3,644.00 EMS Grant which will be used for PPE and a defibrillator for back country rescues. There is an additional grant of $4,000 that will be available in 2021. Dr. Minton asked about the EMS (specifically revenue vs. expenses). Chief Marsella explained that the fire and EMS labor are combined since the staff covers both fire and medical services. Dr. Minton asked that this be discussed in the Fire Community Committee.
The wildland crew returned just before Thanksgiving. The engine was called back out but due to engine repairs that were required, the crew was not deployed again. The gross revenue YTD for wildland is $402,000.
Chief reported there were 234 calls for the year.
Discussions of COVID-19 vaccines and dates to expect to have them available ensued. Chief stated there are a couple of EMS bills going before the State Legislator which could make EMS an essential service. He will have more information next month.
There was a County Fire Chief’s meeting recently. They reported the Forest Service is very concerned that we are in exceptional drought conditions and if there is not significant precipitation fire season may start early this year. Chief Marsella will be meeting with the Forest Service and State officials to discuss possible funds from the State of Utah and federal government to aid North Fork for fire mitigation and setting up fire breaks.
An evacuation survey was distributed to North Fork residents during the Rage Fire this year through the Sheriff’s office. There were 69 total responses. This is the same system that puts out the prevacation notices. This was a baseline for the fire department on how to prepare for evacuation in the future.
A pay rate study was performed by the fire department, a chart named “Hourly Rate for Medics” was presented. North Fork is currently offering the lowest pay for paramedics in Utah County. Qualified medical professionals are in high demand and short supply. He proposed a new pay scale for 2021 raising Paramedics from 15 to 17 hourly
Advanced EMT from 14 to 15
Basic EMT from 9 to 10
These rates were figured and included in the 2021 adopted budget.
Wildland revenues and increasing personnel was discussed. Engine 213 is in the shop for repairs, it will be 22 years old this year, the pump needs repair and is estimated to cost $24,000 (photos showing rust and decay were presented).
The District received 3 architectural bids for the remodel of the fire station. The lowest bid was $32,800. The architectural plans are necessary to understand what the financial needs will be for future construction. This will be a discussion for the fire committee.
Chief Marsella stated he is looking into other ways for the District to generate revenue, due to North Forks small size we are very limited with wildland and EMS services and County contracts. Inspection fees and special event fees are not an option for the District.
Discussions of a drought ensued. Chief Marsella relayed that the Forest Service is reporting that we are in an exceptional drought at this point in the year. They are confident this is year 2 of a 4-year drought and they are predicting we need to be prepared for a high-risk fire year ahead. Chief Marsella stated there are still wildfires active in California and Utah at this time.
#2 District Clerk Information
– Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented. Emily stated the bank accounts have been reconciled for November. Check register and detailed credit card charge reports were presented to the Board prior to this meeting for review. Emily has been contacting the County Commissioners, they are running behind on posting the 3 vacancies for the North Fork Board of Officers. They will be visiting this on December 16 to open the vacancies then will vote in January on the individuals to be appointed. She asked that anyone interested in applying contact herself or the County.
There have been a lot of properties sold recently in the District, she wanted to remind everyone to contact the District to have services transferred to the new owner. Emily reports Caselle is running better. Due to the change of chart of accounts this year, it is difficult to gather prior year comparisons. 2021 she intends to improve the reports so she can provide better information to the District and have a comparable breakdown of revenues and expenses.
#3 Financial Information
– Joe Martin-Controller presented. The October financial statements were presented in preparation for the budget hearing. The November statements will be sent out to the Board prior to the December meeting for review. The December full financials will not be produced until the year end entries and auditing processes have been completed. If anyone has specific questions concerning the District’s financials before that time Caselle reports can be provided by the District Clerk.
#4 Water/Wastewater Report
– Aubree Durrant-Public Works presented. Graphs and reports were distributed to the Board prior to the meeting. Aubree reported that this time last year the District’s water consumption was slightly lower. During this time last year leaks were fixed and metered for water to be better accounted for. We are now seeing a trend of similar use from 2019 to 2020. There is still a leak in the upper pressure zone, the leak was discovered on Aspen Grove property, due to that fix she expects to see a drop in usage. They will continue to check the upper pressure zone to see if any other leaks are present or if that was the only issue. Aubree reported a new home was connected to the system this month.
A chemical clean was required on the membranes in November.
Stephen Miche reported he met with the Utah State water adjudication team. They indicated that the 155-acre feet rights in question have been approved and belongs to the District, a Judge still will need to make a final ruling. The water sources will still need to be investigated by the State as part of the adjudication process which includes points of diversion, GPS, etc. Lee Kapaloski stated the adjudication meeting included Ben Jensen from the assistant attorney general’s office and Mr. Gray the assistant state engineer. Mr. Gray spoke the most on the approval of the 155-acre feet. Three separate office were in attendance, AG office, adjudication specialist and the assistant state engineer. This does not include the 13.054-acre feet that Sundance Resort will be transferring to the District with Ridge properties, those water rights are being processed now by Boavage (Sundance Report Attorney). Stephen stated that 3.3-acre feet Pines phase 2 is not included with these adjudicated rights either. This would be a total of 344-acre feet of water rights for the District. Duaine Dorton asked if this will eliminate the issue of the paper water rights and now only physical water concerns for the District’s water moratorium. Lee Kapaloski stated the District is facing a reduction of water use from Deer Creek unless we have an extraordinary Spring. The snowpack level is at 15% on SNOTEL in our rage. Stephen stated that unless a water right is not now promised to an existing customer, they will still be held to the water Moratorium as we are not excepting new connections per the addendum to the original water moratorium. Stephen explained that water has been promised to properties (bought into the District water pool in the 1980’s) that have not been fulfilled, the District needs to maintain the amount of water rights to tolerate a 50% water reduction should there be water restrictions due to drought or emergencies. Ryan Taylor-Engineer stated the news of the 155 acres being adjudicated to the District is wonderful but because these shares are associated with Deer Creek, it may be more paper water rights than we need in a GOOD year, but not enough paper rights for a bad year (drought). It does solve the issue of the customers who have paid to be connected to the District’s water system but have not tied into the District’s system yet. He recommends any new water connections in the future would need to bring water rights to the pool.
Stewart Olsen asked Aubree Durrant to provide a monthly report for the wastewater department and results of how the new grease trap is working. Due to budget restrictions labs have not been performed. Tests have been being performed based on oxygen levels and flow data. There has been a positive result since the grease trap was installed, but certainty will be clearer when labs are performed. Stephen stated he is in the process of creating reports for the wastewater data. Stewart also asked for the amount of acre feet the District is currently using to be included in future reports.
#5 Water Committee Board Report
– Chris Storbeck-Chairman of the North Fork Community Water Committee presented during the water/wastewater portion of the meeting and explained the report that was emailed to the Board prior to this meeting. A Zions Bank analysis tool was used to check the previous proposal in November’s board meeting presented by the water committee. Chris met with Stephen Miche and Susan Becker who is the VP for public finance with Zions bank. Susan confirmed that the methodology the District was using to compile its rate structure was essentially the same as her method. November’s proposal rates were displayed in the report. Chris provided information on the current rate structure and comparisons. It showed if rates were to remain the same it would cause the cash on hand to be in a continual decline which would not allow the District to qualify for a bond. Chris stated the District can suffice under the District’s current water rate system, but it would not allow for any capital projects or allow the District to borrow any money. Chris explained in detail the rate analysis chart submitted, he explained that the committee reviewed the supply of wet water for the District. Some preliminary figures were done on average daily household water usage in the District including gallons per day. It was approximately 370 gallons per day, the State recommends planning for 400 gallons per day per household. The committee is working on other data of the District’s water use.
Stephen Miche stated he has the draft report for the financial component for the cost-of-service analysis. The bulk of the master plan that TO Engineering is putting together is so close to being completed and it being the end of the year, he wants to include the 2020 data in the master plan. Stephen hopes to present the master plan and cost of analysis in the January 2021meeting. Ryan Taylor stated if he receives the data at the first of January, he should be able to provide 12 consecutive months of meter readings and spring levels.
Discussion of the 2020 water rate resolution took place. The fee schedules were reviewed for the 6” meter size, “(6” $1758.54 Reduced to 3” charges for a 1-year period)”. Stephen shared the contract for the meeting to view and read Sec. 5 of the resolution referencing the cost-of-service analysis. Discussion of the legal language of the resolution ensued.
The Board thanked Chris Storbeck and the water committee for their work on these reports.
#6 Fire Committee Board Report
– Scott Hart Presented. Scott announced a community fire committee would be meeting to assist Chief Marsella and the fire department. If anyone would like to be involved, they are asked to reach out to the District Clerk or Chief Marsella.
#1 Approval of November 2020 Board Meeting Minutes
Scott Hart motioned to accept the November 2020 Board Meeting Minutes as written, Gary Liddiard seconded. Stewart Olsen asked for clarification on a sentence but was unable to recall what line, the motion was tabled.
#2 Water Rights
Discussion of controls of the State of Utah during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis ensued. The North Fork District was advised by their legal counsel in early 2020 that any disruption of water services to property owners in the District should be ceased due to this crisis. Evidence that the designated representative of this account was notified of delinquency and provided a meter reading by mail and email monthly was provided. In addition, attempts were made via telephone to the contact on the account. Once contact was made between the District and the property representatives, and it was made known that no persons were dependent on the water source for this property, the District staff immediately met onsite with the property’s grounds keeper (Mr. Ford), inspected the connection for possible leaks and subsequentially disconnected the water services.
After review and consideration of a letter from Thomas Kummer-Hardt by the North Fork Board of Officers and District’s legal counsel and by the recommendation of the North Fork Water Supervisor, his letter requesting “subtracting the July, August and September water overages as well as the above first payment from the September balance”. A motion to deny this request was made, all members of the Board were opposed to the customer’s request. Customers request denied.
At 8:46 p.m., a motion to close the open meeting of December 2020 Monthly Meeting and reenter the closed session to finish the employee year end employee evaluations was made by Stewart Olsen, Scott Hart seconded, all aye no opposed. In attendance was Emily Johnson, Garry Liddiard, Dr. Stephen Minton, Thomas Merrill, Stewart Olsen, Scott Hart and Duaine Dorton.
At 9:13 p.m. Stewart Olsen moved leave the closed session and enter the open session of the December 2020 meeting. Gary Liddiard seconded. All aye, no opposed. At 9:15 p.m. Thomas Merrill motioned to close the December meeting, Gary Liddiard seconded the motion, all aye no opposed. At 9:15 p.m. the meeting ended.
- Minutes noted and recorded by Emily Johnson-District Clerk.