Webb Creek Utility District
Friday, August 2, 2013
John Steven McCarter, President
Robert Vick, Vice President
Delmar Ball, Secretary
Wayne Ball, Interim District Manager (Staff)
Angie Parton, Interim Office Manager (Staff)
Outdoor Resorts of America
Gary McGill, McGill and Associates
Jim Gass, Ogle, Gass, and Richardson, Attorneys at Law
Donald Wallace, Utility Customer
Daniel Franklin, Pugh and Company
John Steven McCarter (McCarter) called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. at the district office located at 3625 Lindsey Mill Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738.
Delmar Ball (D. Ball) made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Robert Vick (Vick) with all voting in favor of the motion.
D. Ball made a motion to approve the minutes from 7/5/13 and Vick seconded with all in favor of the motion.
Outdoor Resorts of America (ORA) did not have a representative present.
Mr. Gass stated the UMRB adopted their original order again for Outdoor Resorts.Â Dropped their action to challenge further, so this ordeal is over.
Mr. Gass reported that he, Robert and Gary attended the UMRB concerning Bent Creek.Â Their new associate general council met before the meeting with Bob Vance and Gass prior to meeting; and encouraged us to reach resolution.Â They want us to revisit rates again for a break on their costs.Â Bent Creek is looking to use green systems to reduce their costs.Â UMRB has placed a deadline with Bent Creek to file an order of complaint by 10/15/2013. Â If no resolution is reached, our deadline to file a response should it be required of 11/1/2013 to file a report.Â December, possibly December 5, is the next regular meeting in which we would go before the Board and they would request a solution.Â The Board would review documentation and address questions.Â McGill stated Bent Creekâ€™s attorney has asked to meet with us again in August to see if we could reach a settlement one last time. Â Robert stated any official information should be on letterhead to support our position.Â McGill suggested not to submit anything unless suggested.Â Their original complaint this was an arbitrary decision not supported by proper decision by us, but was UMRBâ€™s decision.Â We need to set out our issues to see what data is needed.Â The UMRB requested this information.Â Â â€œWe have a rate study and it should be sufficient, the Bent Creek rep wants to make it defensible if the court has to review again.â€
McGill mentioned he had a conversation with Sherry who is trying to get them a green grant for a fire hydrant at Pinnacle Vista.Â His representative suggested McGill meet with Sherry to go over why we couldnâ€™t do fire hydrants so she can explain reasons why no fire hydrants could be installed by WCUD.
Wayne Ball reported the SCADA system has been installed for 1 week; there are still some bugs to work out, but the guy is coming back out to do some more work on it.Â So far it seems to work great.Â Â Wayne would like Gary to review before he looks at it.Â Gary doesnâ€™t need to log on from his firm, but can if he would like him to.Â Wayne and Gary will get together on the SCADA system.Â Â Â Taller antennas have to be installed on Butler Branch.
Wayne Ball reported that Newport Utility Board came out Wednesday and put in a new master meter to track water flow and they supplied new rates.Â They called last Thursday and said we had 2 weeks to install new meters and they would be here Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to do the installation.Â TheyÂ Â officially started yesterday tracking the flow and the commissioners have copies of the new rates.Â McGill asked if we had been forewarned that it had increased as per the original notice.Â Â Â He wanted to locate the water contract and they may be in violation.Â The new amount will stay the same until Â 1/1/14.Â Then the fiscal year was discussed. Â Â Wayne to get in touch with Linton of Newport Utility District and get more information to determine the budget.Â Robert requested to see the contract.Â McGill thinks it could be in compliance depending on fiscal year. Â Linton will come over and meet with Wayne; Wayne will get confirmation of fiscal year.Â We need to find out the specific date the increase will take effect.
Wayne reported the hand held meter readers were in for the last reading and they worked great.
Wayne reported the water loss between 7% for this month.Â No leaks this past month; the state says the grade is 20%.
Wayne gave the commissioners updated bank account balances and will continue to do so monthly.
Wayne reported the lead and copper tests were sent out again; all ten of them came back and all fell under the limit.
Wayne reported a lightning storm blew up some equipment resulting in obtaining another computer and other equipment at both the main office and the sewer plant.Â The insurance adjuster did come out and take photos and is waiting on bills.Â The insurance company is waiting on bills for the claim.
Wayne stated we had installed a flow meter at ODR.Â We called about 6 weeks ago and were having problems getting it to down loan to a lap top.Â Â Alvin called, had to buy udated program to put on our lap top.Â The cost was approximately $1,800.Â ODR did not help us at all.
Wayne asked about the status on James and Janice.Â Steve thought we were waiting on report from comptrollers.Â Gass reported in employee handbook, the board has the authority to terminate any employee because they are considered â€œemployees at willâ€ and can be terminated at any time for no reasonMr. Bond told them the things we had found were considered justified terminations.Â Gass stated we needed no reason at all.Â WCUD wants to end the cost of benefits and salary.Â Robert made a motion to terminate them without cause, Delmar seconded.Â The motion passed.Â McCarter suggested Gass to draft a termination letter for Janice and James and Wayne sign off.Â Starmark would assist with COBRA letters. We need to look at any benefits they may be entitled to.Â Â Â Gass would get with Wayne the first of the week on this matter.
Vick made a motion to appoint Wayne as the permanent district manager; Delmar seconded.Â The motion passed.Â Steve and Wayne will decided on a salary based on experience and time employed.Â Â Robert suggested it be retroactive.Â Gass didnâ€™t think it was a good idea, but to make the directors approve at next meeting and the Board make a decision out and whether to make it retroactive.
Delmar mentioned Angie.Â Vick stated since the manager ran the district that Wayne could make a decision about Angieâ€™s status and salary.
Wayne suggested to hire Edward Burke with a 90 day probation.Â Â D. Ball made a motion to hire Edward and Vick seconded.Â The motion passed.
SCADA â€“ Wayne made a request to add another system.Â Gary liked the idea; would have an impact on what we are paying for water. Delmar made a motion, Vick a 2nd.Â Â The motion passed.
Daniel Franklin with Pugh and Company has had a discussion with Marvin Bond from the State.Â P&C canâ€™t get the books caught up see what we can do; he asked for permission to talk to all of us.Â Marvin apologized for the confusion, and he did not mean for us not to move forward for us to break the tie.Â We need to keep things going.Â Marvin gave the okay.Â The state has original records, and Marvin said hopefully soon we could get those back.Â They are not finished or we would have the records back.
Weâ€™ve held audit reports up since 2012 and 2013 because of irregularities.Â Â Once complete, the State will make their findings public record.Â The state wanted to do the investigation themselves.Â He would not be surprised if the audit would be still going on over 6 months down the road.
He will send Barron up Monday and Tuesday to get the books straightened out roughly to give us an idea of where we are and get the books caught up through Monday.Â They also have a department than can do just bookkeeping and are familiar with Mas 90 to get us going on financial part.
Daniel, met with Wayne and Angie to discuss the financial situation.Â Wayne discussed in detail about what Suzanne was getting done.Â Daniel had also spoken with her; she was trying to do the books on a month to month basis.Â Suzanne has more on her plate than she could handle ad is a little overwhelmed right now.Â Barron Kennedy is okay with it, is much more economical and can come up as early as Monday and Tuesday to get started.Â At least we could get a rough look at the financial situation.Â Pugh and Company would not be able to do a lot of training now, but can later on.Â Currently they need to work on the audit and budget to get up to speed.Â Â Once the budget is complete, the Board can have its regular budget meeting and get 2013 completed.Â First step is to balance books, then start on budget.
Barron will work on financials Just to get the books up to date.Â Based on the records we have to work with we wonâ€™t know where we are exactly.Â Can train others of us to work on Mass 90.Â Pugh and Company have a couple of ladies who work in Mas 90 and they post in day in and out.Â This system is not used very often at this time.Â They can let them train after we get clean books.Â Donna can begin in August and post the numbers, then do the training.Â Wayne and Robert thought this was a good idea. There are questions as to whether their adjustments had been made or not before they completed the audit.
Other suggestions would be to consider to change the fiscal date.Â Wayne and Daniel can coordinate this.Â They would also like to use Pugh and Company instead of Suzanne as P&C have more staff members and could handle our book work.Â Â If the directors wanted to change auditors, they could still be our advisors.Â The way they have it set up now, P&C could do both. Â P&C will put a proposal together.Â Daniel knows an auditor who does a lot of work for many utility districts.Â Daniel would like us to consider Suzanne going away and using Pugh and Company to help us better.Â Could even be advisors on the laws and bookkeeping side.
Daniel also wanted the Board to consider changing the date of the Board meeting to the latter part of the month to get a more accurate picture of the numbers.Â Â Â This would give time for the month-end checking account statements to come in.Â This would need to be made formally.
Robert would like to hear more details before making a decision on the future services.
P&C do spot checks for irregularities on a monthly basis.Â They donâ€™t question anything that was approved and signed off on.Â Delmarâ€™s signature raised a red flag, it was obviously not his signature.
The board discussed an invoice from Pugh and Company concerning an audit in the amount of $9,000+.Â Daniel explained this was associated with finding out that WCUD did have a problem, and helped with the state investigation, etc.Â The Board requested an itemized invoice.Â Vick stated weâ€™ve paid for the 2012 annual audit fee, this check cannot be issued until the statement is itemized.Â Daniel explained most of the itemization.Â Furthermore, the state might also send an invoice for their part.
Angie supplied financial information.Â She also included a packet for the directors to keep them in the loop on goings on.Â One major factor was Starmark insurance was going away the end of this year.Â Our representative would shop rates with 6-7 insurance companies, do a summary and present to the Board for their decision on which company to go with.
Steve brought up the termination of Janice and James to ensure how it would be handled.Â Mr. Gass explained.Â Mr. Gass will also review benefits entitled to James and Janice.
Vick complemented Wayne on doing a good job.
Delmar commented he was glad we seemed to be going in the right direction with the accounting function.
Angie briefly explained the packets given to the directors.Â Wayne added comments.
The meeting adjourned at 10:38 a.m. with D. Ball making a motion and Vick made a second.Â Â Â All approved.