The Onondaga County Water Authority met in regular session on February 27, 2013.

Members of the Authority present were F. Picardi, S. Miller, E. Gilligan, J. Bianchini and J. Brown.

  • Others present: M. Hooker, A. Geiss, T. Pickard, L. Khanzadian, and G. Miller.
  1. F. Picardi called the meeting to order at 12:30 p.m.
  1. Minutes of the regular Board meeting, Finance Committee and Governance Committee of January 16, 2013 were, on motion by E. Gilligan, seconded by J. Bianchini, approved by all Members.
  2. F. Picardi, Acting as Chair, introduced Jeffrey Brown, newly appointed to the OCWA Board.
  3. F. Picardi requested the election of an OCWA Board Chairperson move to the first item of business at the next Board meeting scheduled for March 27, 2013.


  • M. Hooker reviewed the Executive Director’s report.
  • Reported on OCWA billing the City of Syracuse $72,000 for metered water at the Hancock Airpark Housing facility.  The metered water was high due to a break on a City water line.  OCWA notified the City and shut off the service.
  • Reported on progress of implementation of new billing system.  Once mapping of the data from the Banner system to the Advance system is completed the two systems will run in parallel to work out any bugs prior to switching over to the new system.
  • OCWA new payment site is going smoothly since it went live on February 1, 2013.
  • Reported that the public referendum for water district #6 in Granby did not pass.
  • Distributed the annual Board member evaluation form. Board members were asked to complete and return by the March Board meeting.
  • Discussed a recent Kiplinger article on the topic of infrastructure repair bills and their effect on water rates.
  • E. Gilligan raised discussion about the effect of Oberdorfer, LLC closing.
  • Reviewed data from 1990 to present with comparisons of water system statistics along with plant and equipment.
  • Reviewed the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. AWWA Water Utility Council has been an avid supporter of this bill which will provide financing for large water projects.
  • F. Picardi inquired about OCWA’s number of days of cash on hand.
  • E. Gilligan asked about the AMWA Financial Survey and the data from the City of Syracuse. AWWA issued a water rate survey of Western New York utilities. M. Hooker will draft a comparison with OCWA’s rates.
  • YNN covered the water break in the Armory area last week and interviewed Executive Director on OCWA’s perspective of older cities and their infrastructure.
  • F. Picardi discussed the water main break in Camillus that was reported to the attorney general without contacting OCWA first.
  • Reviewed the hydrant meter report. 153 permits with double the consumption in 2012 over 2011.
  • Discussion regarding availability of water for economic development at the Clay business park.


  • A. Geiss reviewed the Chief Engineer’s Report
  • Otisco Lake level has been rising and is currently above the dam.  -7 ¼”
  • ·         Reviewed the recent Camillus fire and its impact on the water supply in Camillus and the need for boil water advisory. J. Brown requested a written summary on what OCWA has been doing in coordinating with Fire departments.
  • Attended a meeting with Town of Camillus officials on 2/26/13 with representatives from Pioneer Development Corporation to discuss the request for water service to a proposed development in the West Hill area.
  • Request from the Town of Elbridge attorney to expand serving water to the area of the Town between the Village of Elbridge and the Town of Camillus.  The options are to connect to the Village or connect to OCWA. The result would be approximately 200 new customers. OCWA does not have capacity to supply this location.  Response will be sent to town attorney.
  • Reviewed the Honeywell arrangement for OCWA to perform maintenance and operation of the Tooks/Cardiff water system. OCWA has given a verbal ninety-day notice to find another company and OCWA has verbally advised the health department of its intentions to discontinue.  OCWA has made recommendations of possible companies. Board requested that OCWA provide written notice of discontinuance of service.
  • Discussed the recent RFQ sent out to eight Engineering firms for Consulting Engineering services for OCWA.
  • Reported that OCWA met with the National Guard to discuss OCWA’s water supply to the Air National Guard Base. Toured the pumping station that supplies the Base and the Water Treatment Plant.
  • Commented favorably on the paper prepared by Joel Plumley on Marcellus and Utica shale.
  • G. Miller reported on the following projects:
  • Southern Branch pump station work continues. Pump delivery scheduled for early April.
  • Commented on Otisco lake level and turbidity.
  • OCWA is a participant in a climate change study and its effect on water.
  • Water Treatment Plant is performing well with filter runs slightly shorter than normal.
  • Reported that OCWA has opted for a swing load of carbon from Granular Activated Carbon as we rotate the filter change outs. Carbon in filter #6 will be changed this week.
  • The residents in Granby WD #6 voted down the project by a vote of 100 no’s to 80 yes’s. The Town may resize the district or pursue additional funding.
  • Bernhard’s Bay continues with their efforts to obtain additional funding.
  • Town of Lenox Water district #12 has provided plans for OCWA to review. They intend to bid their project this Spring
  • Town of Lincoln is moving ahead with potential funding from Rural Development for their project to serve the hamlet of Clockville. They continue to look for funding to get water to the Madison County landfill as well.
  • LED exterior lighting has been completed.
  • EPA – NYS health department have agreed to allow for the electronic delivery of the Consumer Confidence Report.
  • 2011 Bond fund reports
  • Reviewed the six bids received for the East Hill tank & Hastings Corporate Drive tank maintenance and repair. Management recommends the lowest responsible bidder, Erie Painting & Tank.

On motion by J. Bianchini, duly seconded by J. Brown, with all Members approving, the Board accepted the bid of $877,000.00 by Erie Painting & Tank Maintenance Inc. as recommended.

  • Reviewed the three bids submitted for Gate Valves and recommended the lowest responsible bidder, Blair Supply Corp.

On motion by S. Miller, duly seconded by J. Bianchini, with all Members approving, the Board accepted the bid of $35,185.00 by Blair Supply Corp. as recommended.


  • T. Pickard reviewed the Legal Report.
  • Reviewed the Bond sale that is scheduled for next Tuesday, March 5, 2013.
  • OCWA Public Authorities Compliance manual was provided to OCWA’s new Board member, J. Brown.


  • L. Khanzadian reviewed the Human Resource and Insurance/Risk Management report.
  • Provided an update on the review of potential health coverage options available for OCWA retirees.
  • Advised the Board of a grievance received from the IBT union on February 20, 2013. Preliminary meeting with the union is scheduled for March 6, 2013.


  • Two Contractor Main Extension Contract(s) were presented for consideration.

On motion by E. Gilligan, duly seconded by J. Bianchini, with all Members approving, the Board authorized M. Hooker to execute the following Main Extension Contract(s):

4130011          FAHS Construction Group                8” Ext., Sisters of St. Francis, T. Salina

4130017          Riverwalk Associates                         8” Ext., Riverwalk, Sec. 2, T. Clay

  • One Right(s) of Way were presented for consideration.

On motion by S. Miller, duly seconded by, J. Bianchini with all Members approving, the Board authorized the following right(s) of way

4130017             Riverwalk Associates, Inc.                           8” Ext., Riverwalk, Sec. 2

On motion by J. Bianchini, duly seconded by J. Brown, with all Members approving, the Board adjourned the regular Board meeting to discuss Teamster contract negotiations in Executive Session at 2:45 p.m.

On motion by S. Miller, duly seconded by, J. Bianchini with all Members approving, the Board adjourned Executive Session and returned to the regular Board meeting at 4:20 p.m.

  • Revised the start time of the March 27, 2013 meeting to 1 p.m.

There being no further business to come before the  Board, upon motion duly made and seconded, the meeting adjourned at 4:22 p.m.

The next Authority meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at the Northern Concourse Office.

Respectfully Submitted,                                                                                 Laurie Khanzadian, Recording Secretary