North Fork Special Service District

Hearings and Monthly Board Meeting

January 14, 2021 @ 7:00 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 or call 801.225.7263 or 801.404.4734 prior to the meeting in 2 separate public posts.

Monthly Meeting of the Board of Officers

 Board members present:

Dr. Stephen Minton- Chairman, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Scott Hart, Duaine Dorton, Gary Liddiard, Bert Thomas

 Staff members present:

Stephen Miche-Public Works Director, David Marsella-Fire Chief, Emily Johnson-District Clerk, Aubree Durrant-Public Works, Joseph Martin-Controller, Ryan Taylor-Engineer, Lee Kapaloski-Legal

 Public present:

Chris Storbeck, Bryan Kindred, Chad Linebaugh, Justin Sorenson, Brent Hayes. Keith Payne, Gene Payne

(Chris Storbeck left at approximately 9:55 p.m.)


At 7:02 p.m. The January 2021 Monthly Meeting of the Board of Officers was brought to order by Dr. Stephen Minton-Chairman.  Dr. Minton discussed some of the things that took place over the prior year 2020 including Sundance Resort being sold to Storyteller’s Canyon, Dr. Minton feels that they will be a great addition to the community and is excited to see the future developments.

Public Comments

– None

#1 Sundance Pretreatment Phase 3 Project

 Gene Payne of Broadreach Capital Partners introduced himself to the attendees to the board meeting.  Broadreach along with their partner Cedar Capital Partners are the new ownership group.  He expressed his excitement of being a part of the community and looks forward to a great working relationship with the North Fork Special Service District (the District).  Several meetings have taken place between the Sundance Resort in the past weeks since the change in ownership, Sundance Resort is working closely with the District under the pretreatment compliance agreement.  Dr. Minton gave a brief description of the wastewater system in the District and how the plant processes the waste.  Justin Sorenson presented a letter titled “Construction timeline for EQ project”.  Justin explained that as part of the process in the pretreatment agreement a grease trap has been installed near the lift station in the parking lot of the Sundance Resort.  Justin gave thanks to TO-Engineers and the District for their assistance in the project.  He also thanked the Sundance Report representatives for their support in the endeavor.  Justin stated through the estimate and bidding processes, the contractor that was chosen for phase 3 of the pretreatment contract is TecExcavation (TexEx).

Justin reviewed the construction timeline.  Tentatively, Sundance Resort will be closing April 4, 2021.  Construction of the EQ/Lift Station installation is expected to take place April 5, 2021 through June 25, 2021 if the weather permits and there are no unforeseen circumstances in the construction process.  Justin read through the timeline presented.  Discussion of a main power source that was not marked on utility markers where had, Dr. Minton asked that an updated schematic be compiled for any future construction.  Dr. Minton inquired on the status of the recently placed grease traps.  Justin stated the FOG removal is doing what they expected.  There was a lab testing that came back with high numbers, since then another test was done and it came back within the needed parameters.  BOD and TSS levels are still within parameters with exception to the single test mentioned.  Justin stated there have only been 3 recorded lab results, Stephen Miche stated a 4th lab came back today and it was within the parameters required.  The grease trap will continue to be monitored through lab testing.  Stephen Miche stated the grease trap has mitigated the oil that is in the lift station.

There was a brief discussion of the compliance due date of August 2021.  The anticipated date of completion to be integrated into the system is July 2, 2021.

#2 District Clerk Information

– Emily Johnson-District Clerk presented.  Emily stated the 3 vacancies for the North Fork Board of Officers are now officially posted around the District community areas, information is also posted at and the Utah County website.  Emily reported there have been multiple properties sold in the past weeks in the District.  Some of these properties are part of the pool of promised water rights that are not currently hooked into the District’s system.

Year end reporting, taxes, W2 will be done in house again this year.  The year end reports will be provided when we get closer to the audit review.

Emily reported that Utah Retirement System conducted an audit for the District.  Some adjustments need to be made with Caselle but overall, it was successful.

There have been power outages in the Canyon, Emily fears there will come a point where we will have no access to the internet.  There is a need for the District to find a permanent internet solution, this needs to be address immediately.

To cut down costs, Emily encourages customers to choose the paperless statement option.

 #3 Fire Information

– Chief David Marsella presented.  Chief Marsella reported the District did 74 ambulance transports last year.  The District billed for just over $150,000 and received $128,072.76 for EMS services, 83.8% collection rate.  Discussions of expenses vs. revenue were had.  Chief Marsella stated EMS is majority of the labor/calls responded to within the Fire/EMS departments, Dr. Minton asked about insurance costs, personnel costs and other expenses for EMS services to the District.  The District Clerk stated she would gather the insurance data pertinent to ambulance/EMS and provided that to the Board.

The State of Utah has been billed for $402,705.48 for wildland reimbursements, of that the District has collected $302,083.58.  There is approximately $15,000 submitted to the State for reimbursement that the District is pending approval.  Chief Marsella expects the net wildland revenue will be approximately $200,000.   Joseph Martin-Controller explained that Caselle (the Districts accounting software) has a self-balancing system for each department/fund.  Even though all the departments share a checking account, Caselle knows what portion of the banking balance belongs to its corresponding department.  Dr. Minton inquired if the Wildland department should have a separate capital improvement account created.  Joe stated he didn’t think that was necessary, but it couldn’t hurt to keep the funds better segregated even though that is being tracked in Caselle. Dr. Minton asked if the $25,000 pump repair to be performed on the wildland engine is cost effective, or if it should be sold without repair.  Chief Marsella explained the value of the engine would decrease significantly without a working water pump, furthermore a new engine would have to be ordered and can take upwards of 18 months to be built and delivered.  If the District does not repair the pump, they will not have an engine to send out for the 2021 season.  Chief Marsella’s hope is we will have another good year fiscally for the wildland program in 2021, and hopes to revisit discussions of replacing the 22-year-old engine after the season has ended.

Chief Marsella reports that he has rapid response COVID tests available at the fire station.  He is certified to administer the test, contact him if you feel you need one.  The fire station is still closed to the public.  1 member of the full-time staff has had their first COVID vaccine and still tested positive for COVID-19.

The paramedics will be moved from $15 per hour to $17 per hour, this will take the District from the lowest paid paramedics to the second lowest paid in the County.  This was calculated and approved in the 2021 budget.

Chief Marsella has a Zoom meeting with the Forest Service coming up later this month.  Discussion of drought conditions in the canyon commenced.  Fire mitigation and chipping will be a priority for the chipping crew prior to going out on wildland calls.

There was a minor accident involving the ambulance, it was struck by a vehicle at the Sundance Resort by one of the resort’s vehicles.  This will be taken care of through insurance.

Chief Marsella feels it would be wise to have a plan with Sundance Resort along with other large structures to keep our ISO rating low.  Chief Marsella is working on 3 grants currently, two of which are for fuels mitigation.  This could help with improvements to get ahead of the mitigation issues.

Chris Storbeck-resident asked Chief Marsella what the District’s call volume was compared to other fire/EMS departments.  Chief Marsella explained that based on our location and unique staffing there is no other department that is comparable.  Chief Marsella’s evaluation of the employee pay scale was based off what other entities in the County pay part time certified firefighter/paramedics.  Chris asked Chief Marsella how many calls the District’s paramedics respond to a day compared to other paramedics in other stations.  Chris stated he feels knowing the District’s call volume compared to the call volume of other departments in the County is a pertinent statistic and he wants to know what the different is.  A discussion of expenses vs. revenues concerning the ambulance ensued.  Dr. Minton expressed the importance of understanding the cost and efficiency of the department for transparency purposes and so questions can be answered for the public.  Scott Hart recommended the fire committee put together a monthly cost analysis including wages, milage, insurance and other costs and revenues regarding the ambulance services and present to the Board next month.

Emily-District Clerk stated she has put together a year end video showcasing some of the calls, trainings and other information preformed through 2020 by the fire/EMS department.  She will make that available for the everyone to view as she was unable to present it in this meeting (some participants were on the phone and unable to view the screen).

Dr. Minton asked Gene Payne-Sundance Resort representative if the resort would be willing to share with the District their future plans in order for the District to coordinate with them.

#4 Financial Information

– Joe Martin-Controller presented the November financial statements.  The District reports include data from the closed prior month.  These reports are available prior to the monthly board meeting for review so questions can be addressed during the board meeting.  Joe anticipates the District will be ready for their year end audit in mid to end February.

Joe met with the full time District staff for a small training including generating reports and financial statements and how to read them.  He feels like this may be a good class for the Board to be included in.  Even though the District is one fund, the accounting system is set up to separate each department.  Joe gave a short explanation of the financial report while presenting it on screen.  Discussions of the wildland fund and revenue were had.  Scott Hart stated he has never seen the wildland program so successful, he is excited to see what the future of the wildland program will generate for the District as well as help local and out of State communities.  Dr. Minton asked Chief Marsella if the fires in California are currently burning?  Chief Marsella reported that the southern California fires are currently out, the extended forecast is looking like April 2021 it’s expected we could see wildfires in Texas, southern Arizona, New Mexico.  Utah County and other departments had personnel responding to southern California wildfires as late as New Year’s Eve.  The fire season is 75 days longer than it was 20 years ago.  Concerns of the aging engine in the 2021 wildland season were discussed.  New belts and hoses will be placed during the Spring in the wildland engine, although it does not have an excessive number of miles on it the engine is 22 years old.  Chief Marsella will do more research on possibly purchasing a new engine and present options in next month’s meeting.

Joe Martin explained that the District is set up as a component unit of Utah County, the District has an enterprise fund which is a government fund that adheres to government regulations and rules but unlike a city who has a general fund with tax revenue.  Emily Johnson explained that 2020 is the first year the District will have separate all accounts by departments within the Caselle accounting system.  District Central, Public Works and other general departments/funds were dissolved to reflect specifically where revenues and costs are generated through each department/fund.

#5 Water/Wastewater Report

– Aubree Durrant-Public Works presented.  Graphs and reports were distributed to the Board prior to the meeting.  Aubree reported that she added a new report for the year end titled “Total Water Yearly”.  It gives a breakdown of water used over the past 4 years.  Due to conservation efforts including repairs made in the system and finding unaccounted water the District used half the amount of water in 2020 compared to 2017 (132,164,400 gallons in 2017 compared to 57,347,922 gallons used in 2020).

SNOTEL data shows poor snow levels.  There is still some unaccounted water in the upper pressure zone.  It is a consistent flow; the public works department is continuing to track down this possible leak.  Aubree reports the District is staying under the annual water used District wide allowed for water rights.  Residential use was up but the Resorts usage is lower, it is unknown if this is related to the pandemic.  Duaine Dorton asked if the Water Moratorium could be lifted due to the accounted water and lower usage rates.  Stephen Miche stated the Water Moratorium was driven by two factors, first being the District did not know where it stood with paper water rights in relation to the State.  All of the paper water rights that were submitted to the State for the Provo Canyon water adjudication were accepted last month.  The 2019 usage shows the District was using 49% of those rights in compared to 25% in 2020.  In cases of drought, the District needs to be able to operate at half capacity.  In “normal” years (not during a pandemic) the District has ran at nearly the 50% capacity.  Stephen stated the water master plan shows there is still a need for paper water, but the District’s water moratorium needs to be addressed in next month’s meeting.  Dr. Minton explained that the District is a water shed for Salt Lake City.  If a severe drought emergency should occur, Salt Lake City can restrict water usage to 50% possibly less.  Dr. Minton expressed his concerns of lifting the Water Moratorium during this drought and feels this needs to be reviewed carefully.  Emily Johnson stated there have been many sales of property in the past week, several of which are properties that have been promised water and are excluded from the Water Moratorium, they may be seeking to hook into the District’s system soon. Stephen Miche stated the Board needs to take into consideration the size of proposed buildings and consider if one acre foot will accommodate the proposed buildings/homes.  Stewart Olsen explained as these lots are sold, this will cut into our percentage of water consumption.  Dr. Minton asked Chris Storbeck to review with the community water community if the Water Moratorium should be continued or ended.  Chris stated he would have that prepared for the February 2021 board meeting.

Stephen stated a chemical clean was required for the treatment plant.  It didn’t have the effect they were hoping for.  Lab testing shows a build up of fat, oil and grease that blinded the filters.  They are going to try an acid rinse.  The wastewater plant also experienced some pump problems that required repairs and electrical issues.  The grease trap installed due to the pretreatment agreement has had a positive effect.  Lab results showed permit violations in TSS and BOD, there is a higher ammonia in the sewage which may be a result of the cleaning agents.  A chart named Plant Limits (discharge permit limits) was displayed, this depicted lab results.  A chart named December 2020 Influent Daily Flow was displayed.  The orange line represents the average daily flow limit for District capacity.  The charts are going to be made available through a shared drive with Sundance Resort for transparency.  A conversation for the best way to display wastewater testing data, reporting and chart development ensued.  Stephen stated he appreciated the feedback and would work on developing other informational reports.

The District received multiple calls that water was running down the road near Deer Run Road. Bert Thomas stated it was running into a gully near Deer Run.  Bert stated in the past there was a spring that emerged from the back of a resident’s garage near that area.  He believes construction and digging in that same area caused a larger flow.  During that same time Sundance Resort was making a repair on an 8” snow making pipe that was leaking.  Bert suspects the leak has been going on for several months.  He wonders if the water has accumulated under the ground from the pipe leaking.  This combined with the spring is causing water flow.  The water flow has been diminishing since the repair on the snow  making machine was fixed.  This will be monitored in the subdivision over the next weeks.

 #6 Water Master Plan

– Stephen Miche presented.  A 47-page report titled “DRAFT Water Utility Rate Study” which included the culinary water capital facility plan was displayed for attendees to view on screen.  Stephen discussed some of the recommendations and information included in this report.  (A copy of this report is available at the District office-too large to upload to minutes).  Stephen stated he will be recommending a water rate hearing soon to follow through with the commitment on the Forest Well.  He asks that the Board and community water committee review the information included in the drafted study and come to him with any questions or suggestions in order to make a recommendation on how the District will move forward to increase their water sources.  Dr. Minton talk about the drought the District is currently in and future development of water sources.  The chairman asks that everyone reviews the information provided in the DRAFT Water Utility Rate Study prior to the hearing.

Action Items

#1 Approval of November and December 2020 Board Meeting Minutes

Stewart Olsen motioned to accept the November 2020 board meeting minutes as written, Duaine Dorton seconded.  All aye, no opposed.  Motion passed.

Gary Liddiard motioned to accept the December 2020 board meeting minutes as written, Stewart Olsen second.  Ally aye, no opposed.  Motion passed.

#2 Closed Executive Session

At 9:58 p.m. Stewart Olsen moved leave the open session and enter the closed session of the January 2021 board meeting to discuss personnel issues.  Duaine Dorton seconded.  All aye, no opposed.

Community members and District staff in attendance left the meeting.  Those in attendance for the closed session were as follows:

Board members present:

Dr. Stephen Minton- Chairman, Stewart Olsen-Vice Chair, Scott Hart, Duaine Dorton, Gary Liddiard, Bert Thomas

Staff members present:

Stephen Miche-Public Works Director, Emily Johnson-District Clerk

 At 10:28 Gary Liddiard motioned to leave closed session and reconvene in open session.  Duaine Dorton seconded, all aye.

Gary Liddiard motion to grant the public works director a bonus for “services above and beyond” for the year of 2020 to be paid from the sewer fund.  Stewart Olsen seconded. Duaine Dorton abstained, all others aye.  Motion passed.

At 10:37 Scott Hart motioned to close the January Monthly Meeting of the Board of officers; Stewart Olsen seconded.  All aye, meeting closed at 10:37 p.m.