North Fork Special Service District

Monthly Board Meeting

July 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm

North Fork Fire Station

*NOTE:  July’s Meeting took place July 11, 2019 due to the Federal Holiday.

Board members present:

Dr. Minton-Chair, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Gary Liddiard-Secretary/Treasurer, Bert Thomas, Duaine Dorton, Thomas Merrill

Staff members present:

Stephen Miche-Public Works Director, Emily Johnson-District Clerk, David Marsella-Fire Chief, Aubree Durrant-Public Works, Ryan Taylor-TO Engineering, Lee Kapaloski-Legal 

Public Present:

Chris Storbeck


July’s meeting of the board was brought to order by Dr. Stephen Minton-chair at 7:00 p.m

  • Public Comments


– Dr. Minton discussed the importance of the Board serving the community equally, transparency and making people aware of the “rules” of the District and its policies.  Dr. Minton expressed the importance of being organized and having documents available to the Board and the community.

Informational Items:

#1 Fire/EMS Reports

– Dave Marsella presented.  We are at the 6-month mark for the year and had one call less than last year.  Chief Marsella spoke about some issues with volunteer vs. part time status which will be discussed during the action items.  The Chief has spoken with the Utah Trust who takes care of the majority of legal and insurance issues for the District, they believe this is the right choice for the District to avoid crossing over of paid and unpaid employees.  Wildland still has no engine boss with exception to the Fire Chief himself, there are no available engine bosses available for hire in the State from his research.

Chief Marsella reported that he has been researching personnel policies that have already been vetted, he believes some administrative policies need to be update for the District.

Chipping has been successful, a lot of the piles are gone, hydrant clearing, and marking of hydrants is the next project for the Chipping Crew.

The hazmat payment has been received from the spill at Deer Creek and the equipment has been returned from Wasatch County.

#4 District Clerk Information

– Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented.  Emily reported some progress regarding the cleanup of Caselle’s 2018 data and processing.  It’s been a very rocky process taking bad data that was either entered or transferred incorrectly from the start up.  After cleaning up the AR accounts, the cash clearing accounts are balancing other than Utility Management, that is the next major project.  Most of these issues are related to not having the cash receipting module.  Emily is still working with Joe Martin-Controller to prepare for the 2018 financial audit with Caselle.  Caselle and Squire are both aware of the problems with Caselle and its origination issues and the urgency to have this audit completed by the end of July.  Emily reports she and Joe are working together as this is their first year with the District and they are trying to familiarize themselves with prior year events in order to have an efficient and accurate audit.

#5 Water/Wastewater Report

– Aubree Durrant-Public Works presented.  Source Totals for June 2019 and 2018 were presented.  We have had less usage of water this month, most likely due to the wet season and people are not using sprinklers as much as they have prior years.  Dr. Minton voiced concern of tanks overflowing, Aubree didn’t feel this would be an issue.  Aubree explained that the Springs would overflow and not go against unaccounted water.  A 100 gallon per minute leak was fixed in June.  Some unaccounted water occurred while draining lines for construction for this fix.  Nine meters have been replaced, we will be able to see better accuracy when we read the next meters since they were changed mid-month of June.   Dr. Minton asked how the meters were determined to be targeted first.  Aubree explained they had been targeting meters with issues of high use, visible leaks and other known problems to prevent any health or safety issues.  The high-pressure zones will be the next main targets.  Stephen Miche-Public Works Director stated ultimately, he would like to get to the point we are using newer technology that is longer lasting and more accurate.  Public Works is keeping detailed records of what steps they are taking in the meter and line replacements so in the future we have a “blue print” of what has been done and how best to move forward.  Stephen stated his goal is to take the steps necessary, so the water moratorium is no longer necessary.  Stephen expressed thanks for the Board’s support while they work on bettering this system.  Aubree has been identifying the cans that are accessible and which cans need to be replaced, a goal is to have 18” cans eliminated.

Stephen Miche-Public Works Director reported a change was made to both basins in the Waste Water Plant to increase the volume by 1000 gallons.  Stephen referred to some detailed information that was emailed to the Board prior to the meeting for them to review concerning this matter.  The idea behind adding volume to the basins was to increase microorganism’s ability to handle more “food” and tolerate it.  Operational process has gone up because they are now working at a higher level.  Dr. Minton asked if we need a backup blower to aid in processing.  Stephen explained that blowers are costly, and it may not be efficient to have a backup blower on onsite.  Stephen stated he had done research on the equipment/blowers we have, and feels the company is reputable with low failure rates and viability checks are done regularly to help assist in life and necessary maintenance of the machines.

The Waste Water Plant has been trying to run off one basin as the engineers from Water Works had advised that the plant was built to do so.  On May 28, 2019 one basin was drained for maintenance, it took 2 days to drain the tank as it’s done slow not to affect the other basin and its organisms.  On June 3rd waste water testing was done.  The oxygen levels were too low to function, so the blowers were turned on and ran constantly to bring oxygen levels up.  Filterability was 12.5 to 2.5 despite the blowers running continually.  The ammonia in the treated water was not broken down enough to keep with in levels necessary to sustain production.  The second tank had to be brought online to treat the 89lbs of BOD in the system.  Stephen discussed operations and actions he is taking to regulate oxygen levels, BOD and ammonia levels.  Adding an additional blower, sensors, and the addition of the EQ were discussed as solutions.  Bert Thomas suggested an additional fine air blower be added for oxygen delivery, Stephen agreed that this may be a good idea.  Stephen stated he attempted Water Works recommendations on running one basin, after the failed “experiment” of running on one basin, he has not been in contact with the Water Works engineers to explain the lab results and issues that arose from trying to run one basin.  The Board would like Stephen to bring this information back to the engineers at Water Works and see what the next steps are after the model they suggested didn’t seem to work as hoped.  Dr. Minton asked that another WW community meeting take place with the engineers to discuss a solution.  Stephen is optimistic about moving forward on the EQ (grease trap) that was discussed during WW community meetings.  Stephen will coordinate a meeting to take place for the WW community committee and the engineers.

Action Items

#1 Approval of June 2019 Meeting Minutes.  

– Motion to accept June 2019 Board Meeting Minutes with exception to corrections advised by the Board was made by Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Duaine Dorton seconded, Thomas Merrill abstained, all others aye.  Motion passed.

#2 Approval of Well Site Selection and Application

– Chris Storbeck- Water Committee Chairman presented.  Chris submitted information from all the meetings had by the Community Water Committee and the professional recommendations they received, as well as the recommendations of the Committee.  Chris expressed the next step is to submit an application to the Forest Service for approval to move forward with a well site.  Other options as to a well site were discussed, but Chris would like those options to be conferred by the committee prior to a final decision.  Stewart Olsen has asked that Chief Marsella do an evaluation of the power lines and their vulnerability to fire/avalanche, etc.  Chris explained that delineation from Loughlin and plans from the engineer are needed to move forward with this will site application.  Dr. Minton expressed thanks to the Committee, Board, and staff members that were involved with the Community Water Committee research to meet the best interests of the District as a whole.  Discussions for approval to submit application for a well site on Forest Service land, and some funds for a concept sketches not to exceed $5,000 for the design ensued.  Alternate sites, previous design modules and processes were discussed.  Motion to allow Chris Storbeck to converse with Forest Service to devise a preliminary well site and approval to submit an application and pay for application fees was made by Stewart Olsen-Chair, Thomas Merrill seconded, all aye.  Motion passed.

Stewart Olsen motion for Ryan Taylor engineer to draft a design to support the application to the Forest Service after Chris has clarification as to what design they would like to see, not to exceed $5,000 to be paid through the bond, or to adjust existing Loughlin designs if needed.  Duaine Dorton seconded, all aye.  Motion passed.

Stephen Miche thanked the Community Water Committee for their help and efforts.

#3 Fire Department Staffing and Policies

– Chief David Marsella presented. Due to the special circumstances of the District, limited staff and resources, some of the volunteer fire fighters (VFF) are also paid employees (wildland fires, chipping, water department cross trained employees, etc.).  This is something that needs to be changed for legal reasons.  Chief Marsella is proposing that most employees be changed from volunteer status to part time.  These employees do not live in the area, and travel to NF.  There will not be an impact on the budge as volunteer stipends are included in the current budget.  A few residents will remain volunteers, but volunteers receiving stipends would be paid hourly.  The Chief figures the cost to be approximately $21,000 for weekend part time volunteers through the 2019 year.  There is $23,000 of VFF incentives in the budget currently for the 2019 year.  Dr. Minton spoke of compliance and vulnerability to the District for blurring lines between paid employees and volunteers.  Dr. Minton-Chair and Chief Marsella agree it is an issue that must be resolved immediately.  Chris Storbeck-resident asked if the job description for full time employees could be adjusted to include fire department duties or a generalist District position.  The Chief will speak with legal counsel to figure out the best option for all employees.  Stewart Olsen motioned that we change fire fighter volunteer positions to part time hourly positions with call back pay options.  Duaine Dorton seconded all aye, Motion passed.

Chief Marsella reported that administrative policies need to be updated.  He has been in communication with a company named Lexapro whose policies are vetted through State and Federal laws.  They would come through and evaluate the District and help us to design administrative policies that are specific to our needs.  They charge $5,800 a year and will evaluate the policies every time a law may change in order for the District to maintain compliance.  They offered a 6-month trial basis for $2,700.  Advantages and disadvantages of obtaining this service were discussed such as copyrights and cost of using their information after the trial period.  The Board requested Chief Marsella look into adopting existing Provo City and Utah County policies and procedures at this time.  This matter is tabled until the first of the 2020 year.

At 9:23 p.m. Stewart Olsen motioned to end the open session and move to closed executive session.  Gary Liddiard seconded, all aye.  Public and employees left the room and closed session ensued.  Present Board members and Chief Marsella were in attendance.

Stewart Olsen motioned to end the closed executive session and to close the July Meeting of the Board, as all public and employees had left.  Gary Liddiard seconded, all voted aye.  Meeting concluded at 9:24 p.m.

  • Minutes noted and recorded by Emily Johnson-District Clerk. Draft sent to Board Members 7/29/19
  • Water Reports scan0220