Vice Chairman Ben Levie called to order the regular meeting of the Utility Board at 7:04 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA.
Board Members Ben Levie, Vice Chairman, Kwan Wong, Tim O’Connell, Steve Milton, Wendy Weiker and Susan Kaltenbach were present. Council Liaison Tana Senn was present. Board member Glynda Steiner was absent.
City Staff: Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher, Utilities Operation Manager Terry Smith, Deputy Finance Director Francie Lake and Recording Secretary Asea Sandine were present.
Kwan Wong moved to approve the minutes of May 14, 2013 as written. Senn seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
New Board Member Introductions
Vice Chairman Levie introduced three new Board members, Tim O’Connell, Stephen (Steve) Milton and Susan Kaltenbach to the existing Board members.
Vice Chairman Levie entertained a motion for nominations for a Chairman and Vice Chairman. Wong nominated Levie for Chairman, who accepted the nomination. There were no other nominations for Chairman. Weiker nominated Wong for Vice Chairman, who accepted. There were no other nominations for Vice Chairman. The motion passed unanimously.
Eric Ongstad, Territory Manager with Sensus Meter USA
Boettcher advised that at the last meeting the Board discussed meter replacement options such as radio read or other advanced technology meters and requested more information about new meter technology. The City is currently using radio reads in hard to read and or dangerous areas. Eric Ongstad, Territory Manager with Sensus USA, shared the features of “‘intelligent registers” or “smartpoints”. Ongstad advised that utilities such as Shoreline Water, City of Renton, and Woodinville Water District are moving to smart meters for two reasons: 1) due to the Federal regulation requiring meters to be made without lead beginning Jan 1, 2014, and 2) meters are becoming outdated due to new technology. Smartpoint features include alarms (backflow, tampering, and leaks), data logging, remote shut off, pressure monitoring and temperature. Each unit is approximately $250 dollars and would require a significant investment in separate software. The Board inquired about battery failure. Ongstand advised that the whole meter must be changed out when the battery fails, which is approximately 20 years and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) recommended replacement age. The Board reached consensus that smart read meters would not be a good fit for the Island. Furthermore, the Board agreed that a phased approach to residential meter replacement should be considered after additional analysis and meter testing. The Board directed staff to prepare a plan to include cost estimates, number of meters, size and meter age to be analyzed for a pilot replacement program.
2013 Work Plan
Boettcher suggested the Board utilize July 9, 2013 for the King County Stormwater Monitoring presentation.
Boettcher offered an individual briefing/orientation with each new member to share how the utilities are structured and to answer any questions. Boettcher advised each member to call him to schedule a time to meet.
Next Meeting: The next scheduled meeting is July 9, 2013.