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Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Call To Order:

Chairman Ron Kaufman called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th St. Mercer Island, WA.



In Attendance:

Ron Kaufman, Robert Sexton, Bob Burd, Benjamin Levie, Ron Rosie. (There are two vacancies on the Board.  Richard Erwin has resigned from the Board. Shannon Mollerís term has expired.)



Council Liaison:

El Jahncke




Douglas Race 2928 72ND Ave SE, Robert Bailey 2930 72ND Ave SE, James Mullen 2932 72ND Ave SE.




The Minutes of the November 13, 2001 meeting were approved.



Regular Business:

Item 1   Eastside Disposal Drive-In Rate.


Mr. Jeff West, General Manager of Eastside Disposal for the Mercer Island territory, attended the Utility Board meeting to give an update to Board Members and staff about the special drive-in rate imposed by Eastside Disposal.  Mr. West provided a letter and spreadsheet (attached) which showed that as of January 31, 2002, there are 501 services billed at $6.26 per month for a service where the garbage vehicle drives into a private road or driveway, off of a City maintained roadway.  Mr. West further explained Eastside Disposal uses three kinds of vehicles for garbage pick-up: a small retriever vehicle, a single-axle rear loader, and a side loader. The small retriever vehicle is used for 85% of special drive-in customers, while 15% are served by a regular larger truck.  Mr. West provided a spreadsheet showing that even with the extra charges, Eastside Disposal loses a small amount of money by providing this service.


Island residents Douglas Race, Robert Bailey, and James Mullen were in attendance at the Utility Board meeting to discuss the special drive-in rate recently imposed by Eastside Disposal on their bills.  The residents objected to the rate because their garbage and recycling has always been and continues to be picked up by a regular collection vehicle rather than any type of special truck. They informed the Board that their particular private road is well maintained and wide enough for the larger vehicle to easily maneuver. With that being the situation, they believe their rate should be the same as residents served by the regular trucks but located on public streets.


There was general discussion and agreement by board members that the special drive-in rate approved by the Utility Board in October 2000 was only applicable to the small retriever vehicle.  It was the Boardís understanding that the retriever was required for all special drive-in service.  The small truck was needed because a regular large garbage truck could not safely traverse some roads.  In addition, this special rate was charged only to residents where the truck served a private road or drive, which is outside the scope of the contract.  There was general discussion about the scope of the contract, liability issues, and other factors concerning the special pick-up service.    


It was moved by Utility Board member Ron Rosie to continue the special drive-in rate only for residents on private roads who are serviced by the special (smaller) collection vehicle.  Utility Board member Ben Levie seconded the motion.  The motion passed four to one.  Opposed by Board Member Bob Burd.



Item 2   Overview of the Water Utility System.


Project Engineer for City of Mercer Island Shaunie Cochran presented an overview of the Cityís Water System.  Finance Director Joanne Sylvis explained in general the financial policies of the water fund and Utilities Operations Manager Doug Sternback briefly explained the responsibilities and major duties involved in order to maintain the water system. 


Item 3   Storm Water rates.


Chairman Ron Kaufman pointed out that, at the November meeting, the Board had approved an increase of 75 cents per month for the Storm Water rate.  The City Council, however, decided to use funds from the capital reserve instead of increasing the Storm Water rate for 2002.  Mr. Kaufman requested that City Staff provide feedback to members of the Utility Board when Council takes action different from the Boardís recommendation.


Item 4   Utility Board meetings for 2002.


The next Utility Board meeting, a review of the Sewer and Storm Utilities, is set for April 9, 2002 


Utility Board adjourned at 10:00pm.


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