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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Call To Order:

Chairman Ron Kaufman called to order the regular meeting of the Utility Board on May 25th, at 7:05 p.m. in the Farside Room @ City Hall, 9611 S.E. 36th St., Mercer Island, WA.


In Attendance:

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


Council Liaison:

El Jahncke, absent


Staff Present:

Joanne Sylvis, Glenn Boettcher, Anne Tonella-Howe, Rona Lin, Patrick Yamashita, Francie Lake, Terry Winkel



The Minutes of the March 31, 2004, meeting were approved with the following corrections: 

“The components of the Plan were presented to the Board (Exhibit C) by Jane Preuss and Lisa Bona.”

“John suggested he may ultimately recommend…in the event of an emergency, stating that wells are more reliable than storage tanks in the event of an earthquake.”



Joe Wallis, Scott McMurray, Jeff Lykken from Tetra Tech


Joe Wallis, 8730 SE 48th St., read and submitted a letter he had prepared to the Utility Board (Exhibit A) regarding Drainage Basin 26 stabilization measures, the establishment of criteria for prioritizing needed drainage basin improvements and communication with affected neighborhoods. Patrick Yamashita informed the Board that he and a consulting engineer recently reassessed Drainage Basin 26, that no further erosion appears to have taken place, and that a monitoring schedule for the Basin will be put in place.  He also advised that all problematic basins will be evaluated and that stabilization projects will be identified and prioritized over the next two years as a part of a Comprehensive Basin Review.  


Scott McMurray, 3623 74th Ave. SE, asked the Board to consider not renting the “Utility House” on First Hill, stating that the neighborhood would like to see the house demolished and the lot become a passive park.  Glenn Boettcher reminded the Board that the City’s Utility Vulnerability Assessment, which could help determine whether the First Hill property might someday be needed for future water storage, will be discussed at the Board’s June 15 meeting. Glenn advised that Mr. McMurray’s suggestion should be considered as part of the discussion about the ultimate use of the First Hill property.


Regular Business:


·         Update on Sewer Lake Line Project


Jeff Lykken, Tetra Tech, presented an updated schedule for the project (Exhibit B).  He advised the Utility Board that the Project could be ready to call for bids in January/February of 2006, with pipeline construction during the summers of 2006 and 2007. The EIS now being developed will address all project alternatives. Board members asked they be notified of all upcoming meetings related to the project with State and Federal agencies.  


·         Storm Water Budget, Operations, Capital and Rates


Glenn advised that staff needs the Board to review/recommend the adequacy of the capital component of the stormwater rate and help prioritize the several large projects competing for limited funding.  Patrick gave a brief overview of the Comprehensive Basin Review process that is scheduled to begin this year.  Concern was expressed by the Board regarding the cost of the proposed projects, the lack of available funding, and the need to develop more detailed criteria for ranking/prioritizing projects.  Discussion followed.  Ron Rosie made a motion to recommend a rate increase of $.60 per year and to defer the watercourse stabilization projects for Basin 29 and Basin 45b to the 2007/2008 Biennium.  The motion was seconded by Benjamin Levie and approved. 


The Board asked that City Council be made aware that additional rate increases may be needed/ recommended once the Comprehensive Basin Review has been completed.  Staff was also asked to update Attachment C to reflect the recommended rate increase and provide copies at the next Utility Board meeting.


·         Eastside Rate Adjustment Information


Glenn informed the Board that Eastside Disposal is requesting a rate increase of 1.5% in July.  Ron Kaufman was asked to review their proposal and advise Glenn if he had any questions.


Upcoming Meetings

June 15, Water Utility Budget, to include a GIS presentation by Mike Onzay

July 13, Sewer Utility Budget

July 20, Sewer Utility Budget (2nd meeting, if needed)


Off Agenda Items:


Joanne expressed thanks for Bob Burd’s commitment of time and energy to the Utility Board and stated she would contact him personally as well.


Ron Kaufman asked why the Board had not been involved in Comcast’s recent rate increase process.  Joanne advised that the Council had reserved that review process but that the Utility Board would have the option to review Comcast’s contract in it’s entirety during the renewal process.



The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.


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