Chairman David Laub called the regular meeting of the Utility Board to order at 7:07 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA.
Chairman David Laub, Wendy Weiker, Tana Senn, Ben Levie, Glynda Steiner, Kwan Wong, and Suresh Malhorta were present. City Staff Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher, Assistant City Engineer Anne Tonella-Howe, Deputy Finance Director Francie Lake and Recording Secretary Asea Sandine were also present. Robert Sexton was absent.
The minutes of March 12, 2013 were approved.
Meter Replacement Program
Boettcher advised the purpose of the discussion was for the Board to provide direction regarding a new residential meter replacement program and determine the parameters for replacement. Finance staff views the meter replacement program as proper asset management by preventing the loss of revenue from under-reading meters. The Board discussed replacement of meters with radio read or other advanced technology meters. Staff shared the pros and cons of radio reads with the Board. Staff will invite a meter distributor/manufacturer to discuss smart/radio read meters at the next meeting.
The Board also discussed what the replacement age should be. Staff advised the Board that American Water Works Assocatiation (AWWA) recommends a 5/8 inch residential meter be replaced every 20 years. However, staff opinion is that could be too soon. Boettcher suggested switching out the system’s oldest (30-50 years old) meters, which total approximately 243 meters, and perform flow and volume testing to determine optimum age for replacement.
The Board was in agreement that an initial phase of a residential meter replacement program is needed to collect data that will help determine how to identify meters for replacement. The Board agreed with staff’s recommendation to pilot test the oldest meters this year to gather this data. Staff would then be able to design a replacement program and budget for the upcoming biennium.
Boettcher advised he will prepare a summary for the Board to review at the next meeting based on the direction received.
Boettcher reminded the Board that elections need to take place at the next meeting, and that Board members should think about who will be chair and vice chair. David Laub and Robert Sexton are leaving the Board and were thanked for their service. Council will review applicants for the vacant Board positions and appoint new members in June.
2013 Work Plan
Staff will schedule a vendor for the smart/radio read meter replacement options.
Next Meeting: The next scheduled meeting is June 11, 2013.