For the hearing-impaired, an interpreter can be provided with 48 hours' notice prior to the meeting. To arrange for this service, call (541) 744-3603.
“The Mission of the Springfield Utility Board is to provide safe, reliable, cost-effective utility-related services to the citizens and businesses of the Springfield community.”
To ensure safe public meetings, we continue to follow current and up-to-date COVID precautions.
April 14, 2021
Executive Session – 5 to 5:45 p.m.
Pursuant to ORS 40.225, ORS 192.660(2)(i), ORS 192.660(2)(e), ORS 192.660(2)(f), and ORS 192.660(2)(h); attorney-client privilege, to review the General Manager performance evaluation, to deliberate with persons designated to negotiate real property transactions, to consider information exempt from public inspection, and to consult with counsel regarding pending or potential litigation. The executive session is a non-public meeting.
Regular Board Meeting – 6:00 p.m.
The public is invited to join this meeting and will commence at approximately 6:00 p.m., after the conclusion of the 5:00 p.m. executive session. The public will be prompted to address the Board during Business from the Audience. Public comment may also be submitted to the Board in advance to be entered into the record via our Contact Us form by Noon, April 14. Detailed agenda on following page.
Instructions to Join the Regular Board Meeting
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Executive Session – to commence at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Pursuant to ORS 40.225, ORS 192.660(2)(e), ORS 192.660(2)(f), and ORS 192.660(2)(h); attorney-client privilege, to deliberate with persons designated to negotiate real property transactions, to consider information exempt from public inspection, and to consult with counsel regarding pending or potential litigation. This is a non-public meeting and will commence following the conclusion of the Regular Board Meeting.
Special Meeting, if needed – to commence at approximately 8:00 p.m.
The purpose of this open meeting is to allow potential Board action following executive session. The meeting will commence after the conclusion of the 7:30 p.m. executive session, if needed.
Regular Board Meeting – 6:00 p.m.
Agenda – Updated
I. Call to Order
- A. Pledge of Allegiance
II. Business from the Audience
III. Business from the Board
- A. Consent Agenda – Action Items – 5 min
- 1. Approval of Minutes
- 2. Approval of Accounts Paid Listing
- 3. Adopt/Approve Bids/Proposals
- 3.a.WSC Bid No. 2021-12, Mohawk & Olympic Overlay Project
- 3.b.WSC Bid No. 2021-14, Thurston Road Paving (West)
- 3.c. ESC Purchase of Used 2015 Fuel Truck
IV. Business from the General Manager
- A. Presentation on SUB’s 2020 Annual Audit – 20 min
- B. Draft Net Neighborhood Agreement Review – Action Item – 15 min
- C. Electrification of SUB Fleet – 15 min
- D. Telecommunications Strategy Initial Update – 15 min
- E. Commercial Industrial Research Update – 10 min
- F. Telecommunications Update – 5 min
- G. Team Springfield Update – 5 min
V. Other Business from the Board
- A. Board Member Updates – 10 min
- B. Future Board Agenda Items – 5 min
Total Time: 105 min
Regular Board Meeting – April 14, 2021
Board approved at May 12, 2021 Regular Board Meeting
Chair Eyster called the virtual regular board meeting of the Springfield Utility Board (SUB) to order at 6:02 p.m. and lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Board: Mike Eyster, Chair; Robert Scherer, Vice-Chair; David Willis; John DeWenter; Mark Molina.
Staff: Jeff Nelson; Cynthia Scoble; Sanjeev King; Greg Miller; Meredith Clark; Tracy Richardson; Cindy Flaherty; Joe Leahy and Matt Dahlstrom, Attorneys for the Board.
Others: Julie Desimone and Nicole Shine with Moss Adams; Jeff Paschall, City of Springfield; David Grabicki, City of Veneta; Jennifer Joly, OMEU.
Business from the Audience
SUB received an email correspondence in advance of tonight’s Board meeting from SUB customers, Frank Felter and Linda Cheney of 21 Kathleen Court, Springfield, who shared concerns regarding SUB’s wood chips that had been offered to interested customers in the past. Sanjeev King shared some input with the Board on the status of SUB wood chips and the challenges experienced in providing those wood chips to its customers. General Manager Nelson has followed up with response to the customer’s concerns.
Business from the Board
Consent Agenda – Action
February 10, 2021 Special Work Session
February 10, 2021 Special Meeting
March 10, 2021 Special Work Session
Accounts Paid - March 2021
- WSC Bid No. 2021-12, Pavement Restoration, Mohawk & Olympic Overlay Project – Phase 1-2 Final Paving to Wildish Construction for a total amount of $98,500.00 for the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications (Exhibit A).
- WSC Bid No. 2021-14, Thurston Road Paving (West) to Wildish Construction for a total amount of $73,416.25, for the lowest bid submitted meeting specifications (Exhibit B).
- ESC Purchase of 2015 Fuel Truck to Seneca Tank for a total amount of $89,500.00 (Exhibit C).
* Mark Molina moved to approve the Consent Agenda, as presented. This motion carried unanimously 5:0.
Business from the General Manager
Presentation on SUB’s 2020 Annual Audit
Jeff Nelson shared that Moss Adams has performed SUB’s annual audit for a number of years and did so for 2020 as well.
Julie Desimone noted that she is the audit partner in charge of the SUB engagement and introduced Nicole Shine, one of Moss Adams’ utility senior auditor who led the engagement this year.
Ms. Desimone referred to her presentation (Exhibit D) and reviewed the process of the audit. She noted that SUB once again received an unmodified opinion. This means it is a clean opinion, where the financial statements are presented fairly and in accordance with the United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Ms. Desimone emphasized that this is exactly what you want to see in an audit.
Nicole Shine then shared that part of their communication to the Board they are required to update the Board if there are any difficulties or disagreements with management. She noted there were no difficulties encountered and that management was very cooperative throughout the audit process.
Jeff Nelson recognized SUB’s accounting team. Following Bob Fondren’s retirement, Cynthia Scoble was recently hired as the Director of Finance and Information Services. Ms. Scoble worked on the end of the audit. He also wanted to recognize the efforts of Accounting Manager Gen Parker for her good work on the audit and for her help with the handoff from Bob Fondren and with the smooth transition for Cynthia Scoble.
Cynthia Scoble expressed her appreciation for Ms. Parker who handled a lot of the audit process and for the rest of the accounting team’s efforts too.
The Board thanked Ms. Desimone and Ms. Shine for their work on the audit and for their presentation.
Jeff Nelson added that in the past, after the Annual Audit has been presented by the auditors, the Director of Finance and Information Services presents information that compares SUB to how other utilities are doing. SUB would like to continue with this tradition and offer this presentation during the May or June Board meeting this year.
Draft Net Neighborhood Agreement Review
Jeff Nelson, referring to his memo on Net Neighborhood Contract Update (Exhibit F), explained that the Board had requested additional information and review on this item, with the intent for further clarity in language in Article 13 of the Draft Net Neighborhood Agreement (Exhibit G). The Board wanted further visibility on what is being used by the provider for SUB’s middle mile dark fiber and how that operates going forward; as potentially, the provider’s needs change or SUB’s network expands, and that the contract reflects that continuous engagement.
Joe Leahy added that draft language presented for the Board’s consideration tonight would make it clear in contracts going forward that General Manger Nelson will be negotiating. There will be paragraphs included in these contracts like paragraph 13.1 and 13.2 in the Draft Agreement, that nelson will fill in for new contracts.
Chair Eyster noted that the purpose of this change in language is to further clarify the contract language, based on input from the Board. At this time, he would entertain a motion from the Board.
* Robert Scherer motioned to approve the new net neighborhood contract language be adopted as presented and the new language will be part of net neighborhoods not already approved by the Board. This motion carried unanimously 5:0.
John DeWenter shared that consistent to what was discussed at the last Board meeting and to ensure the Board’s sentiment is clear to management in negotiating these Net Neighborhood Agreements, he prepared the following guidance for the Board’s consideration. Board’s Guidance to GM Regarding Net Neighborhoods: “A provider of internet services under SUB’s Net Neighborhoods program should use SUB’s middle mile dark fiber from the Net Neighborhood to any regional internet exchange, as much as possible, to the extent that doing so is feasible and reasonable.”
Following brief discussion Chair Eyster noted that he would entertain a motion from the Board.
* Mark Molina motioned, to approve Board’s Guidance to GM Regarding Net Neighborhoods, as presented. This motion carried unanimously 5:0.
Electrification of SUB Fleet
Jeff Nelson recognized Brandon Harper for the great job he has done honing and improving SUB’s Fleet long-term plan.
Sanjeev King shared an update on his memo 5-year Vehicle Plan Process and Electrification Outlook (Exhibit H). He noted that also attached as material reference to this memo is the 5- year Capital Vehicle/Equipment Plan and his March 29, 2021 memo on Meter Reader Vehicle #605 Replacement – Power Train Recommendation.
No action is being requested from the Board at this time.
Telecommunications Strategy Initial Update
Jeff Nelson referred to his memo on Telecommunication Strategy (Exhibit I) and shared an update on a variety of telecommunications strategies and options that are intended to provide concepts for consideration and discussion. Included in his memo are lists of current, emerging, and potential telecommunication projects.
Following discussion, the Board thanked Jeff Nelson for his thoughtful memo.
Commercial Industrial Research Update
Mr. Nelson explained that the Board has a priority goal to conduct a Commercial Industrial Survey. He shared a brief update on his memo on Commercial Industrial Customer Survey (Exhibit J). He also noted a template, included with his memo that he requested and received from Courtney Griesel, lists the questions that the City asks to businesses in Springfield.
He noted that the Board also received a memo from Meredith Clark on Commercial Industrial Research Update (Exhibit K) for additional information on this topic.
Board shared discussion on components for this type of survey as well as concerns related to potential backup generation for emergency preparedness.
The Board consensus was for Jeff Nelson to move forward on the development of the survey and thanked him for providing this update.
Chair Eyster shared that it was agreed upon previously to meet with some small group from the City and from SUB, and would include a few elected officials and some management staff. This meeting will potentially be scheduled for May 2021 to continue discussions on telecommunications and mutual interests in expanding fiber in the community.
TEAM Springfield Update
General Manager Nelson shared that the 2021 Olympic Trials are coming up in June, and as part of that component there is going to be a run/walk in Springfield. Team Springfield is collaborating on a way to expand Springfield’s presence at that run/walk. Willamalane reached out to all the Team Springfield agencies and its Board to participate in a tree planting ceremony for Arbor Day on the afternoon of April 30.
Additional General Manager Updates
Mr. Nelson said there is a special joint Board meeting planned for May 5 at 6:00 p.m. for a presentation by SUB consultants on a Water System Master Plan. This will be a joint meeting with SUB and Rainbow Water District.
SUB has been looking into the Equity and Community Consortium (ECC) entity and that effort has been underway for some time and has gone through a fresh relaunch. Team Springfield members, Willamalane and SUB are not members of the ECC, but the City of Springfield and Springfield Public Schools are members. SUB will be joining the ECC group; through his recent conversations with Nancy Newton at the City and Todd Hamilton at the School District, there is renewed focus with this group.
Other Business from the Board
Board Member Updates
John DeWenter stated that at a meeting in February, where the presenter with HR Answers had offered to provide a sample Request for Proposal (RFP) to get comparator utilities that would help the Board with respect to General Manager compensation packages. We have reached out to HR Answers numerous times, and have yet to receive that sample RFP. In an effort to move forward, he and Mark Molina will meet to prepare a draft RFP for review by General Manager Nelson and SUB legal counsel. The plan is to provide the draft RFP for Board consideration at the May Board meeting.
Chair Eyster asked for an update on a date for the Board Retreat Work Session. Cindy Flaherty shared that June 15 and 16 are looking promising, and once she receives the final results of the Doodle Poll she will be able to confirm a date.
Future Board Agendas
The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 7:29 p.m.
Mike Eyster, Board Chair
Jeff Nelson, Board Secretary