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Dakota Ridge Board of Directors Meeting
March 11, 2021 @ 4pm via Zoom
Present: Sarah Jones, Jim Lob, Ron Lemieux, Holly Van Deursen
Others Present: Andrea Wilhelm, Commercial Property Group
The meeting was held as part of the Board’s ongoing efforts to responsibly manage our water supply system and minimize water loss resulting from aging equipment and changing requirements. The Board reviewed the information received from the 2/23/21 Board consultation with Water Engineer, Ron Dvorak as well as a 3/3/21 memo from CDC titled “Response to questions regarding water loss and capital improvement questions and comments regarding the Dakota Ridge Water System Review.” In addition, the Board identified for CDC which capital water projects were approved for implementation in fiscal year 2021/2022.
Andrea reported that following the meeting with Ron Dvorak, she sent an extensive list of questions to CDC and also spoke with both Tim Gibbons, Dakota Ridge Water Operator, and Jeannie Durham with Professional Plumbing who completes the annual meter re-certifications. Per Tim, the only unmetered water to his knowledge was the annual fire hydrant flushing which he estimated as minimal. With the addition of hydrant flush meters this year, this usage can now be metered and factored into the loss summaries. Tim further confirmed that he tested the calibration of the water treatment plant meter last year by comparing real-time meter display to the analog data on the website. Jeannie Durham reported that her certification process involves minimal calibration/flow testing which would normally be conducted in a lab. Instead, she focuses on testing the communication and wiring between remote and meter while also looking for any unauthorized taps/usage before the meter. Both Jeannie and Tim agreed the current house meters were very old and both supported the installation of smart meters. Ron Dvorak told the Board that older mechanical house meters become highly inaccurate over time and tend to underreport actual usage by as much as 20%. In addition to the installation of flow meters in various parts of our HOA supply lines, Ron Dvorak strongly recommended the installation of smart meters for three reasons: (1) it will allow homeowners to be able to monitor their water use in real time on the internet, regardless of whether it is a full time-time or part-time residence; (2) it will allow our Water Operator to identify the source of potential leaks more quickly; and (3) it will give the HOA a much more accurate picture of our actual water use versus water lost as a result of supply system design or problems. Andrea also had a conversation with CDC about what would be required and what it would cost to install smart meters in meter pits where individual service lines are connected to the HOA supply lines. While they agreed it would preferable for reducing unbilled water, CDC estimated this would add a cost of about $5000 per meter pit and be very disruptive in terms of both service and excavation. Lastly, Andrea reported that CDC was strongly encouraging acoustic leak detection during the smart meter installation because it would be an opportune time to hear any water in the service lines when there should be none flowing.
Next, Andrea directed the Board to an email received earlier that day from Matt Mielke at CDC with the requested map and history of Dakota Ridge water leaks. The email further indicated that Native was waiting for a revised scope of services from last fall’s original RFP now that the ductile iron piping replacement was no longer slated for summer of 2021. Andrea outlined the following items that the Board would need to approve or deny per the revised [V7 draft] CIP:
3.14 Smart Meter Upgrades: $75,000
3.6 Addition of ARVs (x3): $44,000
3.8 PRV Replacement (x2): $15,000
3.5 Acoustic Leakage Testing: $5,000
3.7 Install Continuous Pressure Monitoring Devices: $2,500
3.3 Storage Tank Maintenance (required every 5 years): $2,000
3.10 Rebuild Fire Hydrant near lot 55: $2,000
3.12 Hydrant Flush Meter: $1,500
Estimated Total: $147,000
After some discussion and explanation of each item, Jim made a motion to approve the aforementioned capital projects totaling roughly $150K. Sarah seconded the motion and Holly and Ron were also in favor.
When questioned about timing, Andrea reported that CDC estimated they could have at least the smart meter RFP and potentially some preliminary bids pulled together by the April 13th Board Meeting. CDC also reported that Native tentatively plans to start on the ARVs and PRVs as early as April or May but a revised scope of services and pricing estimates will be necessary beforehand.
The last item in question was whether to proceed with potholing this summer in the area where the DIP replacement was originally scheduled so that the exact length and location of DIP - and associated asphalt repair - could be solidified for a future bid. Given the disruption and potential road damage, the Board voted not to proceed with any potholing in 2021 and instead felt this could be scheduled to coincide with future road or water system repairs.
Next, there was discussion as to how to best provide information to the homeowners about the smart meter project. Andrea was asked to include a cover letter with the annual meeting packet explaining the Board’s decision and highlighting the benefits of the upgrade for each homeowner. If extensive questions are raised before or during the Annual Meeting, CPG will consider scheduling a Q&A session for homeowners with CDC.
Lastly, the Board asked CPG to follow up on two items: 1) exploring whether any local internet providers would be willing to provide a proposal for making fiber-optic (GB) service available for the entire HOA; and 2) updating the Design Guidelines to require that smart meters be installed in meter pits at the curb stop for all future construction.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:55pm.