PARKWAY UTILITY DISTRICT MINUTES OF BOARD MEETING
JUNE 10, 2020
THE STATE OF TEXAS §
COUNTY OF HARRIS §
PARKWAY UTILITY DISTRICT §
The Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Parkway Utility District (the “District”) convened in a regular session, at 6:15 p.m. on June 10, 2020, via teleconference pursuant to Section 551.125, Texas Gov’t Code as modified by the temporary suspension of certain provisions thereof pursuant to guidelines issued by the Texas Attorney General and approved by the Governor for use during the COVID-19 statewide disaster. A roll call was taken of the persons present:
Brenda McNeil, President
Alphonso (“Al”) Rettig, Vice President
Jennifer Balderas, Secretary
Ron Everhart, Assistant Secretary
Gloria Woods, Director
All members of the Board were present, thus constituting a quorum. Also attending all or parts of the meeting were Mr. Jamal Singleton of Direct Waste Solutions, Inc. (“Direct Waste”), solid waste and recycling collectors for the District; Ms. Diane Bailey of McLennan & Associates, L.P. (“Bookkeeper” or “McLennan”), bookkeeper for the District; Ms. Delia Yanez of Assessments of the Southwest (“Tax Assessor-Collector”), tax assessor and collector for the District; Mr. Bradley Jenkins and Ms. Katherine Vu of Jones|Carter (“JC”), engineers for the District; Mr. Calvin Browne of Municipal District Services (“Operator” or “MDS”), operator for the District; Mr. Gary Syzek of Systems Project Management, General Manager for the District; Ms. Karen Sears of Storm Water Solutions; Mr. Reginald Wilson and Ms. Meghan Koett of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (“NRF”), attorneys for the District; Mr. Loren Morales, Financial Advisor with RBC Capital Markets (“RBC”); and Mr. John Howell, financial advisor with The GMS Group L.L.C. (“GMS”).
Pursuant to Section 551.054, Texas Gov’t Code, as modified by the temporary suspension of certain provisions thereof, notice of the meeting was posted on the District’s website within the time limits prescribed by law. A certificate of such posting is attached hereto as Exhibit A. The agenda packet was posted on the website as items became available incompliance with the guidelines issued by the Texas Attorney General.
Call to Order. Mr. Wilson called the meeting to order. He noted that the meeting was being held by teleconference in accordance with federal, state and county directives to slow the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding meetings that bring people together. He said the notice of the meeting included a toll-free dial-in number for members of the public to call so they can hear the meeting and address the Board. He noted that the meeting was being recorded and a recording would be available upon public request. Mr. Wilson then set out guidelines for the conduct of the meeting. He asked each speaker to identify themselves before speaking. He then proceeded with the meeting business:
1. Public Comments. There were no comments from the public.
2. Minutes of previous meeting(s). Minutes of the regular meeting of May 13 2020 and of the special meeting of May 21, 2020, previously distributed to the Board, were presented for consideration and approval. Upon motion by Director Rettig, seconded by Director Woods, after full discussion and the question being put to the Board, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of May 13, 2020 and of the special meeting of May 21, 2020 as presented.
3. Report from Direct Waste Solutions. President McNeil recognized Mr. Singleton, who presented the Direct Waste Solutions Report, a copy is attached as Exhibit “B.” Mr. Singleton reported on status of the recycling, stating that they are collecting approximately 2.3 tons per week which is approximately 2 pounds per home.. He also stated that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay home orders, the volume of recycling has increased. President McNeil inquired about the volume of waste. Mr. Singleton reported that waste volume continues to remain the same.
4. Report from General Manager. President McNeil recognized Mr. Syzek, who reviewed and presented the District’s General Manager’s Report, a copy is attached as Exhibit “C.”
Mr. Syzek reported that the Wastewater Treatment Plant is close to being placed backed into service. Mr. Syzek said the electric meter is running and the plant has power
Mr. Syzek reported on the new natural gas generator. He said the fabrication for the generator has started and it will be about a week before it is complete. Mr. Syzek also stated that the installation of steps for the motor control cabinet has been started.
Mr. Syzek reported on the landscape around the administration building. He stated the building has not been updated in 15 years. Mr. Syzek presented the board with five quotes for various landscape projects. One quote totaled $1,135.00 which included improving the landscaping around the sign, repair of sprinkler heads, and fertilizing the shrub. The second quote totaled $1,785.00 and included tree trimming, a removal of a tree, and thinning out the canopies of 14 trees. The third quote totaled $2,900.00 and included the removal of vines along the fence line, shrubs, and wild vegetation grown. The fourth quote totaled $2,646.00 and includes the installation of parking lot bumpers, striping of the parking lot, and pressure washing the parking lot surface. The final quote totaled $2,365.00 and includes a concrete curb replacement and repair to 27 feet of curb damage.
Mr. Syzek reported on the walking trail, stating that Storm Water Solutions made the repairs to the leaks on the trail. He reported that Storm Water Solutions is adding crushed granite to the trails, wherever necessary, and applying herbicide along the curbs. Mr. Syzek reported there is still some work to be done and that there is growth between the fence
Mr. Syzek reviewed the ongoing action items. He stated that a third alligator has been captured and released at the San Jacinto Pond, but believes there may be a fourth. He reported that he will continue to assess the situation, as needed.
Mr. Syzek reported on the status of the Parkway Water Plant Construction.
Mr. Syzek reported on the Harris County Tidwell Road widening project, stating that the construction is ongoing. Mr. Syzek said they are working on relocating the surface water line.
Mr. Syzek spoke to the directors about the Subsidence District Water Wise Program. He stated that they can either donate the money or wait until the next school year to participate.
Upon motion by Director Rettig, seconded by Director Woods, after a full discussion and the question being put to the Board, the Board voted unanimously to not exceed $11,000.00 in the administration beautification project, to wait to participate in the Water Wise Program until the next school year, and to approve the General Managers Report.
5. Report by Harris County Precinct Three Constable, including community Crime Watch, and action relating to Security. Lieutenant Ganey did not attend the meeting however the Security report for the Month of May 2020 was previously distributed to the Board. A copy of the Security Report is attached as Exhibit “D.”
6. Tax Assessor and Collector’s Report, status of delinquent tax accounts, and payment of bills. Ms. Yanez presented to and reviewed with the Board the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Report for March, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit “E.” Ms. Yanez reported that 96.54% of the District’s 2019 taxes have been collected as of May 31, 2020.
Ms. Yanez presented 8 checks and 2 wires to the board for review and approval.
Ms. Yanez reported that May notices have been sent out with the note that on July 1 there will be an extra 20% attorney fee added on real property account.
Ms. Yanez updated the board on water termination. She said that 15 accounts have been lifted, 2 accounts were paid in full, 3 are vacant with no service, and one was tenant. Ms. Yanez said that the remaining 10 were not terminated due to COVID 19.
Ms. Yanez requests authorization from the board for Perdue Brandon to move forward with regular business in moving 26 personal property accounts to the uncollectable roll.
Upon motion by Director Rettig, seconded by Director Woods, after a full discussion and the question being put to the Board, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Tax Assessor and Collector’s Report, and to authorize payment to the persons and in the amounts provided in the report, and to approve Perdue Brandon to move forward with delinquent tax report and to have the 26 accounts to move to the uncollectable roll.
7. Bookkeeper’s Report, Investment Report, payment of bills, and take any necessary action. Ms. Bailey reviewed the Bookkeeper’s Report and quarterly investment report, copies of which are attached as Exhibit “F.”
Ms. Bailey discussed with the board that there was one voided check.
Ms. Bailey presented checks 10614 through 10736 for review and approval of the board.
Ms. Bailey reviewed the budget comparison for the month.
Ms. Bailey reviewed the expenses and stated there is a surplus of $612,737.00.
Upon motion by Director Rettig, seconded by Director Woods, after full discussion and the question being put to the Board, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Bookkeeper’s Report, to authorize payment of checks to the persons, and for the purposes listed therein.
8. Operator’s Report and hearing on delinquent accounts. President McNeil recognized Mr. Browne, who presented to and reviewed with the Board the Operations Report for March 2020 a copy is attached as Exhibit “G.” He reported the operating capacity is at 79.68% .for the period from April 15, 2020 to May 15, 2020.
Mr. Browne reported that Parkway Utility District has a total of 2,435 connections and Greenwood Utility District has a total of 2,892 connections.
Mr. Browne reported on the Surface Water Treatment Plant. Mr. Browne stated that modifications were made on the transmission and they are getting ready to put the plant back into service.
Mr. Browne reviewed maintenance and repairs for June 2020 of the District’s individual and joint facilities.
Mr. Browne reported that 6,537,144 gallons were transferred from GUD to TLWWTP for the month of May and 211,000 gallons are being transferred per day.
Mr. Browne reported that 9 biological samples taken throughout the district and all tests came back negative.
Mr. Browne reported on the repairs and maintenance within the month at the lift stations.
Mr. Browne reported that the District facilities are being prepared for hurricane season. Steps being taking to ensure we are prepared for the season.
Mr. Browne provided an update on the steps that MDS is taking to ensure the safety of their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Browne presented to and reviewed with the Board the Consumer Confidence Report (“CCR”), a copy is attached to the Operator’s Report.
Mr. Browne reported how there is a storm man hole directly outside of administrating building. Mr. Browne said Harris county is slow in responding to get a repair. Mr. Browne asks the board if they want to move forward with repair of the hole or to continue to contact Harris County regarding repairs.
Mr. Browne reported that a note was sent in the water bills referencing to flushing district lines and annual fire hydrant maintenance. Mr. Browne said he will bring the report to the board once received.
Mr. Browne reported there are a total of 30 sanitary sewer manholes that need to be repaired. He said the total cost will be $27,400.00. Discussion ensued regarding manhole repairs.
Director Everhart expressed his concerned with the low water pressure. Discussion ensued.
Upon motion by Director Balderas, seconded by Director Rettig, after a full discussion and the question being put to the Board, the Board voted unanimously to: (1) accept the Operator’s Report; (2) Proceed with operator reaching out to Harris County to fix the storm manhole; (3) continue to waive late fees on delinquent accounts for another month; (4) and to have MDS repair all 30 manholes totaling to $27,400.00.
9. Annual Review of Rate Order, and amend if necessary. Mr. Wilson said to defer this agenda item to the July meeting.
10. Discuss security cameras at the Water Plant and administration building, and take necessary action. Mr. Wilson reminded the board that there was a proposal last month from Integration Today regarding the installation of security cameras at the Water Plant and Administration building.. The contract was forwarded to the board for review. Discussion ensued between the directors regarding the contract details.
Upon motion by Director Balderas, seconded by Director Rettig, after a full discussion and the question being put to the Board, the Board voted unanimously to accept the proposal from Integration Today regarding the installation of security cameras as the Water Plant and Administration Building with the inclusion of entrance and exit instructions and code directions being sent to each director.
11. Engineer’s Report, including review of Engineer’s projects, and capital repairs. Mr. Jenkins presented to and reviewed with the Board the Engineer’s Report, a copy of which is attached as “Exhibit H.”
Mr. Jenkins reported that there is power to the plant. He said that start up is scheduled for June 11, 2020 and that the water plant will be online with the exception of the new ground storage tank.
Mr. Jenkins also discussed how the plant will improve Parkway’s water pressure issues.
Discussion ensued regarding the board members and the engineer completing a walkthrough of the plant. Director Everhart expressed his concerns about the delay of the plant coming online.
Discussion ensued regarding factors that have slowed down the process.
Mr. Jenkins requested for the board to approve the pay estimate number 20 totaling $14,437.00. Upon motion by Director Rettig, seconded by Director Woods, after a full discussion and the question being put to the Board, the Board voted unanimously to approve the payment.
Mr. Jenkins reported on the sanitary sewer rehab. He said that the remainder of the project has been postponed until August.
Mr. Jenkins reported on the Lift Station No. 2 expansion. Mr. Jenkins said the project will not be complete until a year from now. Mr. Jenkins requested authorization from the board to begin the design of Lift Station No. 2. President McNeil, the operator, and the general manager met with Parkway Baptist Church on May 26, 2020, to discuss purchasing additional property from the church. An appraisal has been received, a copy of which is attached as “Exhibit I”. President McNeil stated she is hesitant to proceed with moving forward until she meets with the church to see how they want to proceed. The board decided to hold off on moving forward with Lift Station No. 2 until the next month meeting.
Mr. Jenkins reported that there is no update with Sunrise Plastic Enterprise.
Mr. Jenkins reported that there are no updates regarding the elevated storage tank variance- alternate capacity request.
Mr. Jenkins reported on the incorrect billing with Greenwood Utility District.
Mr. Jenkins reviewed the emergency preparedness plan and emergency response plan. He said that updates will be available by next month’s board meeting.
Mr. Jenkins asked for a motion to award bid for clearing and budding. Upon motion by Director Balderas, seconded by Director Everhart, after a full discussion and the question being put to the Board, the Board voted unanimously to approve the motion.
12 Discuss purchase of property for Lift Station No. 2, and take any necessary action. This item was discussed during the engineer’s report. Action will be taken at the July meeting.
13. Report from Storm Water Solutions. President McNeil recognized Ms. Sears, who reviewed a report from Storm Water Solutions.
Ms. Sears reminded the board that the detention pond permit renews in August and the quality permit renews in October.
Discussion ensued regarding vehicles getting in to the bottom of the Sunrise Pines Detention Pond. Ms. Sears reported there was no significant damage and there is no need to pursue any repairs.
14. Discuss Financial Advisor for the District, and take any necessary action. Mr. Wilson stated that Mr. Bill Blitch submitted his letter of resignation on May 29, 2020. Mr. Wilson introduced Mr. Loren Morales with RBC Capital Markets, Inc. (“RBC”), and Mr. John Howell with The G.M.S. Group L.L.C. (“GMS”), both of which present and reviewed with the Board of Directors their proposals to become the District’s new financial advisor.
Mr. Morales with RBC presented and reviewed his proposal hereby attached to as “Exhibit I”. Mr. Morales discussed the District’s current debt and the current callable debt. After review, Mr. Morals explained how he could help the District save $477,000 be refunding outstanding debt, which is about $38,000 a year. Mr. Morales then spoke about the history of the company and his role within the company since 2013.
Mr. John Howell with GMS presented and reviewed his proposal hereby attached to as “Exhibit J”. Mr. Howell discussed the District’s tax rates. Mr. Howell also spoke on the history of the company and his experience with municipal bonds.
The Board concurred to schedule a special meeting for additional discussion.
15. Cybersecurity Training reminder. Mr. Wilson reported that all directors have taken the security and received a certificate. Ms. Bailey requests that the certificates be sent to her.
16. Building Superintendent’s Report. Director Rettig reported on the renovations done to the building. Director Rettig reported the building trim has been painted, a new A/C has been put in, the attic staircase has been installed, the plumbing that was deteriorating has been repaired. Director Rettig states the building is in better shape than it was before.
17. Additional Comments. Mr. Wilson reported to the board that Greenwood would like to reschedule the joint meeting until both districts are able to meet in person. Discussion ensued between the Board regarding their frustrations with delaying the meeting. The Board asked Mr. Wilson to inquire whether Greenwood would be interested in a zoom meeting or teleconference.
Director Balderas inquired about the possibility of District meetings being held via Zoom. Mr. Wilson noted that NRF has the capability of setting up Zoom meetings at this time.
THERE BEING NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE BOARD, the meeting was adjourned.
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The foregoing minutes were passed and approved by the Board of Directors on July 8, 2020.
President, Board of Directors
Secretary, Board of Directors