WATER COMMITTEE MEETING
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 – 5:30 p.m.
Chamber Room – Countryside City Hall
I. Call to Order and Roll Call.
Chairman Von Drasek, Members: Ald. Michalczyk, Jasinski
II. Approval of February 25, 2013 meeting minutes.
III. Discussion regarding Potential Amnesty on Water Penalties.
IV. Recommendation on Water Disconnections due to Non-Payment.
V. Recommendation to install valves on Dansher Road.
VI. Other Business.
MINUTES OF THE WATER COMMITTEE MEETING
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE – CITY HALL
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 – 5:30 pm.
CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL
1. Meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm. Those present: Chair Von Drasek; Committee members: Ald. Michalczyk, Jasinski. Also present: Mayor Krzeminski, DPW Essig, Fin. Dir. Drazner, Administrator Paul, Asst. Adm. Peterson, Operator Hartigan, Acct. McShane.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
2. The minutes of the February 25, 2013 Water Committee meeting were approved as submitted.
DISCUSSION OF POTENTIAL AMNESTY ON WATER PENALTIES.
3. Fin. Dir. Drazner distributed the delinquent water customers’ list. Nine accounts comprise those over $1,000. He recommended authorization be given for those accounts to enter into an amnesty agreement having both a current delinquent balance exceeding $1,000 and of this amount, penalties exceeding $500.
The two conditions would require paying the entire delinquent water usage balance and 25% of the outstanding cumulative penalties within a 3-month period; and during the 3-month period stay current on paying the current water bill. After both conditions are met, the remaining 75% penalty would be written off.
The Committee agreed based on the criteria above which specifically affected only four accounts.
RECOMMENDATION ON WATER DISCONNECTIONS DUE TO NON-PAYMENT.
4. Fin.Dir. Drazner stated that in a prior meeting, authorization was received to reduce the late payment penalty rate from 10% to 1.5% per month. Authorization was also received to increase the turn on fee for late payment from $50 to $100. The third change involved increasing the timeline before turn offs took place. However, to keep the turn offs on an automated system, staying at 45 days instead of the 60 day is more efficient. He wanted the committee’s approval before the ordinance is changed. After further clarification, the Committee agreed to the recommendation and an ordinance will be drafted with the two changes above.
A related item was raised concerning an internal policy on disconnections. The Staff presented guidelines as follows:
Water disconnections would only be done Monday thru Thursday. Water turn-on during the Water Department’s regular hours of M-F, 7:00AM -3PM would be assessed a $100 fee as previously approved by the Finance Committee. During any other time, including city observed holidays, the turn- on fee would be $200. This would need to be reflected in the City code if approved by the Water Committee.
Water would only be disconnected for nonpayment if delinquent balance is equal to or greater than $50.
To prevent freezing of pipes, water would not be turned off from December-March.
Staff would have the discretion to make exceptions to disconnecting water for extenuating circumstances.
It was the committee’s consensus to accept the internal policy. F.D. Drazner would have an ordinance presented at the next council meeting including the penalty rate change, and the turn on fee increase. This ordinance would be effective 1-1-14. It was also noted that this change should be included in the next newsletter.
DISCUSSION ON THE INSTALLATION OF VALVES ON DANSHER ROAD.
5. Sr. Water operator Hartigan informed the committee that when a break in service occurs on Dansher Road, with the existing valves at Plainfield and the other at 55th Street, practically the whole Industrial Park is affected. Companies have to shut down and send their employees home due to water shutoffs. The Staff is recommending that two additional valves be installed, eliminating the total interruption to the Park. The lowest quote received was from Aries Construction for $15,300. The Committee agreed to present this recommendation to the Council for action.
6. Next, Mike Hartigan requested the renewal of the maintenance contract with Cummins for the industrial generator, amount for $7300. This is for a three year term. He informed the committee that they are the company that built it and installed it and have a broad understanding of their product. Since this is under $10K bids are not required. Committee agrees with the recommendation.
7. City Engineer Fitzgerald informed the committee that a few years ago, he and Jim Essig attended a Regional Drainage meeting held in La Grange. Representatives from LGHSD, La Grange, Cook County Highway Dept, WMRD were present and discussed storm water drainage. Recently Ryan Gil, DPW of La Grange, contacted Countryside to work with them in conjunction to seek a grant to alleviate storm water drainage. He stated the project would involve a storm sewer being installed down Plainfield Road from Willow Springs to East Avenue. This project would have an urbanizing effect on the area eliminating culverts, installing curb and gutter.
After the 4-18-13 rain storm, both he and Jim Essig surveyed the town and no new areas experienced flooding. The usual areas were flooded but fortunately it was on the streets and not in people’s homes. They felt that this project is not warranted and would cost the city millions. Even though we could assess towns for their pro-rata share, it’s a cost we shouldn’t have to bear. Our sewer works very well when heavy rains occur. The flooded areas drain within a few hours. At this time, the engineer recommended not involving the City with this project.
Fitz named the familiar locations where standing water appears after a heavy rainfall and stated that drainage occurs within a few hours.
8. Engineer Fitzgerald reported that a pre-construction meeting is scheduled for this week for the Lift Station project. He would recommend that the project start after Labor Day.
9. Mayor Krzeminski suggested that if a committee does not meet after two months has elapsed since their last meeting, the minutes be acted upon at a Council meeting, so that the minutes can be released to the public. The minutes can be listed under the Administrator’s order of business for approval. This will be the procedure from now on.
10. F.D. Drazner mentioned that another water rate increase is scheduled for 1-1-14 at 15 percent. At this time, McCook has not informed us is they will tack on any additional charges. He expected to have more details in October.
11. With no further business, meeting adjourned at 6:16 pm. Next water committee meeting is October 8 at 5:30 p.m.
John von Drasek, Chair