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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Call To Order:

Chairman Ron Kaufman called to order the regular meeting of the Utility Board on June 24th, at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th St., Mercer Island, WA.


In Attendance:

Ron Kaufman, Chairman, John Ewald, Vice Chairman, Benjamin Levie, Ron Rosie, Bob Burd, Robert Sexton


Council Liaison:

El Jahncke


Staff Present:

Joanne Sylvis, Francie Lake, Glenn Boettcher; Suzanne Riddell, Rona Lin, Doug Sternback, Patrick Yamashita, Anne Tonella-Howe, Terry Winkel



Robert Hirsch, Gov’t Relations Administrator, Wastewater Treatment, KC Dept. of Natural Resources



The Minutes of the May 13, 2003 meeting were approved.


Regular Business:


·         Garbage Rate Change


Glenn Boettcher distributed copies of the 2003 Eastside Disposal Adjustment (Exhibit A).  Board members reviewed the rate adjustments and found them in accordance with the contract. 


·         Discussion of Amendments to the Sewage Disposal Agreement between King County and Local Sewer Service Agencies


Glenn distributed copies of amendment proposals (Exhibit B) and introduced Robert Hirsch, Relations Administrator, Wastewater Treatment, KC.  Mr. Hirsch gave a brief overview of the proposed changes and advised the Board that King County is meeting with individual cities to explain the proposed changes and with the Metropolitan Water Pollution Abatement Advisory Committee (MWPAAC), an advisory committee made up of representatives from local sewer agencies.  Patrick Yamashita advised that he is scheduled to attend these meetings in 2003.  Ron Kaufman asked that the Board review each of the proposed changes individually.


-     Extending the agreement term.  Mr. Hirsch stated King County needs to extend the contracts to 50 years in order to maintain favorable long-term bond financing arrangements.  Discussion followed.  The Board asked to be advised of the rate of increase of King County’s bonded indebtedness for the wastewater utility.  Mr. Hirsch advised the Board that KC is reviewing options and methodology for collection of capacity charges for new growth.  The Board concurred with the proposed amendment.


-     Amending the rate provision.  The current agreement requires that the County sewer rate for a given year be adopted by July 1 of the previous year.  The proposed amendment would give the County Executive authority to declare an “emergency” pending approval of the County Council.  The County’s financial advisors have developed amendment language to allow for interim rate adjustments in an emergency that would go into effect the first day of the second month after the Council’s decision (Exhibit C).  Discussion followed. The Board expressed concern with the proposed “emergency” rate setting language; that one unforeseen development should not set a precedent.  The Board did not concur with the proposed amendment.  Mr. Hirsch was asked to provide a copy of the proposed rate setting language.


Mr. Hirsch advised Joanne Sylvis that the sewer rates for 2004 were expected to remain the same as the rates for 2003.


-     Changing the Unanimous Concurrence Feature.  Mr. Hirsch advised that currently any single participant could veto contract changes, even if participant represented less than 1% of ratepayer base.  Discussion followed.  The Board asked for a list of participating agencies and their specific percentages and that Glenn provide a copy of the draft contract to the members when received.  The Board concurred with the proposed amendment.


Ron Rosie introduced a motion that City Council formally appoint a representative and alternate to MWPAAC to provide the City a vote on the advisory committee.  Robert Sexton seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.


·         Sewer Lake Line Briefing


Anne introduced Jeff Lykken and Doug Genzlinger, consultant and engineer with Tetra Tech.  Copies of the Sewer Lake Line Replacement project were distributed.  The Board reviewed the presentation scheduled to be made to the regulatory agencies (Exhibit D) and was advised no project cost information is available at this time for the proposed alternatives.  Board members advised staff they prefer In-Lake Dual Pipe System alternative.


Off Agenda Items:



The next regular meeting of the Utility Board will be scheduled at a later date.  The Board adjourned at 10 p.m.



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