Berea Utility Advisory Board
Meeting Minutes
April 24, 2012

Present: Rodney Short, Josh Bills, Diane Zekind, Ed Fortner

Absent: Bill Suter, Randy Stone

A.        Solar Farm

  • Josh shared an article that he drafted for the Berea Citizen about the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission 2013 Earth Day Award and Public Service Award that the City of Berea Municipal Utilities Department has been chosen to receive.  It was unanimously approved.
  • Josh needed some information concerning the solar farm grant vs. lease to complete an article that Nina Cornett submitted to Power Home, a national magazine.  Ed said the $90,000 lease revenue from the BMU Solar Farm did not completely cover the cost of Phase 1 & II and was supplemented with grant monies.  Rodney asked about insurance on the Solar Farm and Ed said it was added to the City’s insurance.
  • Additionally, Ed noted that the $750 lease fee would cover the cost of the next solar farm panel installation because of a cost decrease since the Phase I & II installation.

B.        Updates

  • Ed said the recent KMUA Frankfort meeting had a great venue. None of our legislators showed up but Ed has been in touch with them. He touched on House Bill 1 special districts and said it would put municipal utilities in the category with the exception of Utilities that are departments of the City.  He said BUAB is an advisory board, not a governing board so BMU would be exempt.  Ed also mentioned that the Red Lick Watershed Conservancy District is a special taxing district.  They had not taxed enough to cover the maintenance of the dams.  He invited the members to attend a city work session tentatively set for April 2, 2013 where Ron McMaine, Bell Engineering will speak to the council concerning BMU’s water issues.
  • Ed announced that Brad Anglin, Water Filtration Operator Class IV, was named as Michael Eirich’s replacement on the RLWCD board.  Brad, Tom McCay, Ronnie Terrill and a representative for Andy Barr toured the watershed a couple of weeks ago.  Through the federal agency NRCS we have applied for grant money.
  •  Alternatives to the water supply issues would be pumping wastewater effluent to Cowbell Lake, recycle filter backwash water (3.5 million gallon per month or 12 more days of capacity), lake improvements for more capacity, revisiting a new line being built to Richmond and looking at different equipment for detection of water loss (production vs. billed).
  • Ed received the KU tentative rate increase which looks similar to last years and will share the increase once he’s had a chance to crunch the numbers.  It’s a formula based contract that contains both usage and transmission based increases and is captured through the Power Cost Adjustment line item on the monthly electric bills.
  • Net Metering Changes – Ed has a draft.  He said the Deep Green Dorm will have a 50 kW; which will be the new limit and Anna Smith will fall within our current limit at 13 kW.
  • Ed informed the group that we have implemented a cross connection or backflow program.  It was prompted by an AWWA award that the Water Plant has been nominated for.  Ed said we will begin putting meter setters with backflow prevention on all new residential water connections and all connections above 2 inches.  Rodney suggested staying in touch with the Codes Office since they would be at the sites during inspections.  Questions were raised about whether Southern Madison Water District has a program in place.  Ed also said we should put more information on our website to promote the backflow prevention program, conservation and the drop-off stations for prescription medicines at the police department (so our wastewater system isn’t affected), etc.

C.        Mission

Ed said the group mission needs to focus on BMU fees which aren’t adequate.

D.        New Business

Ed invited the members to a tour of the Water Filtration Plant and the Wastewater Plant along with council members on April 1, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

E.        Future Meetings

The next BUAB meeting will meet the 30th of April 2013.  .

Minutes submitted by:                              Joyce Hendricks