Utility Board - Minutes Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Call To Order:
Chair Tim O’Connell called the regular meeting of the Utility Board to order at 7:02 p.m. in the Council Chambers Room at City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA.
ROLL CALL: Present: Chair Tim O’Connell, Vice Chair Tom DeBoer, Mary Grady, Stephen Milton, Will Pokorny, Brian Thomas, and Kwan Wong present. Council Liaison Mayor Debbie Bertlin was also present.
City Staff: Jason Kintner, Public Works Director, Chip Corder, Assistant City Manager & Finance Director, Brian Hartvigson, Right-of-Way Manager, and Asea Sandine, Recording Secretary were also present.
MINUTES: Board Member DeBoer moved to approve the minutes from the August 14, 2018 meeting. Board Member Grady seconded the motion. The Board unanimously approved the minutes.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES(EMS) RATES Corder presented the 2018 EMS Rate update, noting that EMS rates are intended to cover the average cost of four firefighters (excluding overtime), who were hired back in 1996 to provide capacity to handle simultaneous EMS calls. He added that the last cost of service study was performed in 2015 and that the next one is planned for 2019. He also noted that the rates varied by customer class before the BLS ambulance transport fee was instituted in 2011. Rates are applied based on Equivalent Service Units, which have been updated based on September 2018 statistics. The Board inquired about the possibility of taking a different, more comprehensive approach to the development of EMS rates. Corder said that such a review would be challenging in 2019-2020 given what is on the current workplan for those years. The overall rate increase in 2019 is only 1.64% primarily due to firefighter turnover, with new firefighters replacing retired firefighters. Staff recommends the 1.64% rate increase in 2019.
Motion: Moved by Board Member Grady, seconded by Pokorny to recommend a 1.64% rate increase. The motion carried unanimously.
Motion: Moved by Board Member Thomas to encourage staff to examine a long-term fee structure and recovery of services. Seconded by O’Connell. The motion carried 6-1, Grady abstained.
STORMWATER RATES Corder outlined the 2019-2020 operating budget for the Board. He noted that there is a proposed service enhancement added to meet National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. The permit requires inspection of an average of 12% of the City’s system beginning in 2018 to meet permit regulations. Corder concluded the presentation with an overview of the Stormwater Capital Budget and by outlining how the rates are applied. Rates are applied based on impervious surface which is converted into Equivalent Service Units (ESUs). He noted that staff recommends a 3.2% rate increase in 2019-2020, which is driven by the cost of increasing catch basin inspection/illicit discharge monitoring by $50,000 per year and planned capital projects in 2019-2024.
Motion: Moved by Board Member Thomas and seconded by Board Member Pokorny to recommend a 3.2% rate increase. The motion carried unanimously.
SOLID WASTE O’Connell stated that he had sent a previous email regarding Board Member Thomas’ inability to participate as a member of the Solid Waste Contract Review Committee due to a conflict of interest. O’Connell inquired if any other Board Members were interested in participating on the Committee. DeBoer said he would volunteer. The Board unanimously recommended DeBoer to volunteer.
2018 WORK PLAN Mayor Bertlin advised of Council meeting on the same date as the December Utility Board Meeting. Staff advised they would explore other dates and poll the Board for a quorum.