WPCC COMMITTEE MEETING
FEBRUARY 23, 2015
The joint WPCC meeting was held at the Eastlake City Hall. Chair and City of Eastlake Councilwoman Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins opened the meeting at approximately 6:00 p.m.
In attendance from the City of Eastlake: Councilwoman Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins, Councilman Kimberly C. Evers and Eastlake City Engineer Tom Gwydir. Councilman Jeff Licht was absent and excused.
In attendance from the City of Willoughby: Councilman and Willoughby WPCC Chair Bob Harrold, Service Director Angelo Thomeselli and Willoughby City Engineer Jim Sayles. Also present were WPCC Plant Superintendent Jack Gorka, Assistant Superintendent John Hall and Industrial Associate Diana Passwaiter. Councilman Bob Carr was absent and excused. Councilman Wooden was absent. Also in attendance was Council Clerk Ms. Radebaugh.
ANNUAL REPORT: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
(Executive Summary attached)
2. Main Water Service Line
Mr. Gorka: We are hoping to add replacement of the line to some of the future activities – it is not leaking now but the issues are obvious.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: Is this the main line that comes out of the lake and into the plant?
Mr. Gorka: No. This is our water service line for clean water – it comes through the CEI property to the west of the trailer park and to us. It is undocumented – there is no easement.
We have nothing on this line – in theory we don’t have an easement to work on it. It is at least 54 years old. The engineers feel it needs replacement at some point and that it should come in some other way. It is not a high priority – until it breaks.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: Does that line come from the Lake County Water Plant on Lost Nation?
Mr. Gorka: It is part of the water service on Lakeshore Blvd.
Mr. Sayles: There is a water main on Lakeshore Blvd. for all of Eastlake.
3. National: Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit
Mr. Gorka: Last year we only had one violation. We owe that to an awesome staff.
Mr. Gorka: We spoke about them last year and the study they did. They promised a report in a couple of months – we never received one. I started to see what happened in December and was quoted “the USEPA is not interested in the WPCC.” They did not review and are not going to comment on our existing permit. Therefore the new permit we just had issued is good for five years. They are leaving us alone or they are happy with what the OEPA is doing.
Mr. Gorka: Items in the 2011 SSES study have been incorporated in the new draft operating permit (see Executive Summary). I thought we were very successful. We, and our engineers, met with the OEPA at the plant and had a couple telephone conferences mad negotiated what we have in front of us. It could have been worse. They could have made us do all of it. But, at this point we only have to do the things in the Summary. In six years we will evaluate it. Everyone involved deserves credit. We negotiated a reasonable forward approach.
We provided information on the wet weather improvement projects time line which also shows the estimated cost – which could be less (see attached). The Finance Directors should start looking at this – when we will start spending money and how we will have the money to spend – what we need to borrow.
8. NPDES draft permit
Mr. Gorka: They noticed that our minnows are dying but they found an error in the original permit – due to the math error we still do not have a limit for our toxicity – we will be monitored for five years. We think we have a handle on how we can stay under the radar – by reducing our ammonia in the summer months. If we do not – to get rid of the ammonia would require an entire change in how we operate the plant which would be quite costly.
16. Joint Agreement
Mr. Gorka: We talked last time about this and increased it – this year it is at $250,000. We were at $150,000 divided between the two Cities and increased it $50,000 each. Next year we will go to $350,000 and the year after $450,000 and stay there. Based on the replacement studies this was the number we think we can use to fund all the future replacement issues.
19. 2015 Replacement Projects
Mr. Gorka: The rehabilitation of the equalization tanks will start after July and proceed into the fall. Our four aeration air blowers have not been serviced since 1974. Two started having problems and now the two can be used to repair one – we must buy another one at the cost of about $48,000 instead of the $94,000 – lead time is about six months.
2. Outfall Sewers
Mr. Gorka: When we had the plant flooding we wanted to make sure our entire system was clear. We had a diver swim though the pipe. We found the diffusers were tipped. They used to be buried but the lake bottom has gone down and they were exposed – ice plowed them over. In September we found they were broken off. Also, someone dropped a boulder on the pipe and pierced it where the diffusers start. It is wedged in – we left it in instead of causing more problems by taking it out. So, we started moving forward with this and upon research found there is no submerged land lease for the pipe. Even if there was one in 1959 they have to be renewed every 50 years. When we did our research we found that Eastlake built it. At some point they had to turn it over to Willoughby. If you did not renew the lease you have to start over. The engineers said it takes seven months to get that. The Army Corps of Engineers said they would help us fast track it.
Mr. Sayles: The Corps of Engineers said that – ODNR did not. They will try to expedite it but it will still be a six to seven month process to get a submerged land lease.
Mr. Gorka: It was said the work on Lake Erie could take 3 weeks but you have a window of June and July and we would not have a permit until September. I would not put it out to bid until we have a permit.
Mr. Sayles: Even though we were trying to rush we now think 2016 will allow us to get everything ready in 2015.
Mr. Evers: This huge boulder – the company who does the dredging – have they been supplied with the GPS coordinates as to where these are – so, they are not dumping on top of us? That would go through Eastlake Port Authority. The rock had to come from somewhere.
Mr. Gorka: One speculation was that there was a barge with ballast and one rolled off – it was not dumped – it was rolled off.
Mr. Sayles: Part of this project is that we are going to get the location marked with the appropriate marine authorities so boaters know where this is.
Mr. Gorka: The fact that ODNR could not find a lease – they may not have asked for one originally. The good news is we will not be spending the money now but putting it into a grant request. I would like to apply for the permit and do the design so we can hit the ground running in October or November to put it out to bid. The cylinder pipe takes 2-3 months to build. We would have to award the contract by January or February so the pipe can be delivered by June so the work can be done in the summer.
Quentin Road Equalization Tank
Mr. Gorka: Effective March 1st the clock is ticking – the EPA needs an approval permit. They have to have the design to them that is pretty clean so they can say to go ahead. Construction is to be completed within a year from that time. The engineers are comfortable with the timeline. They are amendable to adjusting the timelines as long as progress is being made. They are usually pretty reasonable when you ask for an extension if you give them everything. As always Willoughby/Eastlake is a good actor – we always comply and do what we can. I think that played into them being amenable as they were when we were negotiating this.
Unidentified speaker: Knowing the figure is $8 million – do the Finance Directors have any idea how we will fund this?
Mr. Sayles: No, they have not met.
Unidentified speaker: I know they agreed on the $1 million for the pipe. But, now we are looking at $8 million.
Mr. Sayles: That is a couple of years out. For the Quentin equalization project we have applied for a low interest loan. The next step will be the applications and each City does that for their half of the project.
Unidentified speaker: So, everyone’s half is $4 million. What do you thing about the loan?
Mr. Sayles: The interest rate on the loan varies from month to month – right now it is at 3.5%.
Comments could not be understood due to interference from a mechanical device
Unidentified speaker: If we have to get started next year engineering should start.
Mr. Sayles: Engineering should start now.
Unidentified speaker: What will the engineering be?
Mr. Sayles: The project costs will be baked into the total.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: Are we redesigning – I missed that. What are we designing exactly?
Mr. Gwydir: There are two projects going on – the Quentin Road equalization – adding a storage tank outside the Quentin Road pump station and the design associated with that. Then once that is done we will follow along with the Waverly relief sewer which will be totally an Eastlake project. We have applied for and been nominated for a low interest loan – that is pending. As the time draws closer we have a detailed schedule – we will make application to the OPWC again for a grant. There is much to be garnered from taking a loan in excess of $150,000 to try to get some dollars to offset. The equalization basin is a joint Willoughby/Eastlake project and is 50%/50%. The other one is solely an Eastlake project with all the funding being directly from Eastlake.
Mrs., Quinn-Hopkins: So it is all new designing.
Mr. Gwydir: Yes. They are all new basins and sewers.
Comments could not be heard.
Mr. Sayles: We think this will take care of a lot of the issues the EPA with us – this could knock out 40% – which is significant.
Unidentified speaker: Is there room there for the basin?
Mr. Gorka: comments could not be heard. There is a park there.
Mr. Gwydir: In getting these things into permit – which is much less than what we would have ever thought they would have asked for. There is a whole list of things they could have asked for. We were successful in driving them way down and getting the timeline pushed back. Per Mr. Gorka’s point – these items we are addressing will take care of a lot of the overflows at Quentin Road and potentially even coming into the plant – helping it slow down. It just looks better and potentially lessens the changes that we will have to spend a lot less future dollars. It does not mean the projects will be truncated but there is a good chance they may ease off on us a little bit because of the success of these projects. If you go back and look at the SSES study and the money involved this is the best we could have hoped for.
comments could not be understood
Unidentified speaker: Could you set a timeline as to when we have to meet certain milestones – if the Councils need to do something. I think it is important. Do you think sometime in April you would need legislation?
Mr. Sayles: If C.T. Consultants is selected you would need to authorize the City Engineer.
Unidentified speaker: That is part of the dollars included in the design phase.
Mr. Sayles: If you go with another engineering firm you would have to go through the negotiations – fees and structures.
Unidentified speaker: Will we have to get another company to do inspections?
Mr. Sayles: It would be the same company.
Unidentified speaker: If someone from Eastlake would like to sit in on the meeting. It would be probably three to four weeks before we can meet.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: What meeting would that be?
Unidentified speaker: It would be a meeting with other engineering firms to pick the best firm. It is a lot of sitting and talking with everyone filling out their own form.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: I would like to sit in on that.
Mr. Gwydir: Similar to Willoughby who is doing this now for the Quentin Road sewer we will have to do the same thing for the Waverly Road relief sewer. If you take a loan you have to do this – it is a federal requirement. We would start the same process in the beginning of 2017.
Plant Stress Test
Mr. Gorka: Originally in our plan we wanted to have a tank outside the plant but the EPA believes plants can take more water in on a peaking then they are taking in. They will adjust our permit loading violations for 24-26 million – whatever we can stress the plant to how much it can take without us disrupting could not be understood. There is a lot you can try to do in the permit – there is a lot. That is why the stress test number – the ballpark is $5 million. If anything comes out of it we may be able to – with some minor modifications – bigger pumps and all that stuff – be able to push more water through the plant and meet certain criteria. The stress test itself…
Mr. Sayles: Under $100,000.
Mr. Gorka: Yes. What comes out if it is where that number is driven. My feeling is modification inside our plant and our primary area is going to be required to when we hit that 20 million peak to add primary tanks then. As it is now hydraulically we add them around 12-14 million. Way before the peak actually comes and by the time the peak comes they are already in play. There is no extra capacity – they are already used up. I would rather use them at the 20 but hydraulically now it is not possible. We will have to do something – raise tank size or something. I need a flow model of the plant. They gave us a little longer timeline for that – they gave us 18 months to submit a report and another year to take action on the report. We have until September, 2016 to conduct the testing. We will have 2 ½ years before we have to start doing anything.
Mr. Gorka: I always found comfort in the fact that you can borrow $1 million for 20 years at 3.5% and your debt service is $66,000. If you think about that you can fund a lot of projects for not a lot of money. These numbers are big but when you look at them that way comments could not be understood due to mechanical interference. If we get low interest loans…
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: And grants.
Mr. Gorka: I think it is doable but I am not a Finance Director. The nice thing is the plant is paid for.
Mrs. Quinn-Hopkins: So, you will come up with a timeline for us?
Mr. Gwydir: Yes.
There were no further questions or comments.
The meeting was adjourned.