Water authority discovers ways to save money
Published: November 29, 2012
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VALLEY VIEW - Saving money seemed to be the theme of the November 21 meeting of the Hegins-Hubley Water Authority.
Although several board members were not present due to illness including, Susan Troup, Robert "Whitey" Klinger, and Tim Klinger, the board had just enough for a quorum and approved the following actions that will save money for the authority.
Earlier this year board member Keith Masser suggested getting quotes from various insurance agencies for coverage for the authority building. Manager Demetrius Kasmari said the authority received six quotes from various companies and after the insurance committee reviewed the proposals a savings was found.
The board decided to go with Selective Insurance through Allen B. Chubb Insurance Agency. The authority will be saving $2,200.
"Selective Insurance does a lot and they are one of the better insurance companies out there," said Paul Datte, solicitor for the authority.
Another savings for the authority in the coming year will be realized when they switch health insurance companies for employees. The authority will switch to Geisinger Choice and will save $200 per month.
Earlier this year a resident on Grove Drive expressed concern with a tree on the water authority property. The resident is concerned that the tree could come down on their property and damage a garage. Instead of having the cost of cutting down the tree, the authority will have a timber sale in the near future and expects to make approximately $7,000 on the sale.
Board member Keith Masser suggested that next time the authority should shop around for a forester to conduct the sale, since the current forester will be paid 15% of the sale. Masser said there are some foresters out there that only charge 10%.
In other business, the audit was presented and the reports show the authority to be in the black by $27,000.
Although the authority is saving money where it can, there will be some unexpected expense as well.
The pump on well No. 2 has stopped working and the authority will need to hire a company to come in and pull the pump and the housing in order to have the well functioning again.
After much debate it was decided to have a study completed to determine what size pump would be adequate for that well. The current pump has been in use since the 1960's.
Masser said he would like to have the well tested, but feels it's not necessary to hire a hydrogeologist. The well is currently permitted to pump 325 gallon per minute and he doesn't want to risk losing the well. He feels a variable capacity pump would solve the problem and keep the same yield as its permitted for.
The cost of fire hydrants for both Hegins and Hubley Townships was a topic of discussion. There are currently 96 hydrants in Hegins Twp. and 46 in Hubley Twp. For many years Hegins Twp. has been purchasing one new fire hydrant every year while Hubley was being charged $35 per hydrant per year and not receiving any new hydrants because theirs aren't that old. Hegins would pay $1675 for a new hydrant each year.
Masser suggested that there be a flat $22 fee per hydrant per year and just replace hydrants as they need be and not have Hegins Twp. purchase one each year. All were in favor of the change.
Water authority employees will be receiving wage increases in the new year. The board agreed to give 3% raises. Christmas bonuses will be paid in accordance with the budget.
The board issued the following statement concerning Robert "Whitey" Klinger not seeking reappointment to the water authority board: "The Board of the Hegins-Hubley Authority would like to take this time to thank Mr. Klinger for his 28 years of valuable service. His good counsel, wisdom and active participation with this Authority will be sorely missed, but his legacy will continue to be evident in the fine works that he initiated and oversaw throughout almost three decades."
Board member Keith Masser is also up for reappointment and he stated he is planning to seek reappointment to the board.
Jacqueline Peleschak of Alfred Benesch reported that DEP is still reviewing the ACT 537 plan and said she is sure DEP will request a 60-day extension.
The board has set the following dates for water authority meetings for the upcoming year: the third Wednesday of February, May, August and November.