February 2021 Regular Board Meeting

Date

Time

Agenda

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.

February 10, 2021

Special Work Session – 5 to 5:45 p.m.

HR Answers will provide a presentation to the Board on executive compensation and factors to consider in setting General Manager’s pay policy. Please note that the Board does not take public comment during work sessions.

Regular Board Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

This meeting will commence at approximately 6:00 p.m., after the conclusion of the 5:00 p.m. Special Work Session. A public hearing will be held on the proposed increase to electric rates with time allowed for public testimony during Business From The Board portion of the meeting.

The public is invited to attend the 6:00 p.m. Regular Board Meeting and the 7:30 p.m. Special Meeting via phone or internet by following the instructions below and will be prompted for comment during the meetings. The public also has the opportunity to submit public comment in advance, to be entered into the record, via our Contact Us form by Noon on Wednesday, February 10.

Instructions to join the Regular Board Meeting and Special Meeting

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Access Code: 763-970-301

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Executive Session, if needed – 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, if needed.

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 Executive Session, if needed.


Special Work Session – 5:00 p.m.

Presentation on executive compensation on factors to consider in setting the General Manager’s pay policy. The Board does not take public comment during work sessions.

Regular Board Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

Agenda

I. Call to Order – 5 min

  • A. Pledge of Allegiance

II. Business from the Audience – please limit comments to 3 min each

III. Business from the Board

  • A. Consent Agenda – Action – 5 min
    • 1. Approval of Minutes
    • 2. Approval of Accounts Paid Listing
    • 3. Adopt/Approve Bids/Proposals
      • 3.a. ESC Bid No. 01.21, Distribution Transformers
      • 3.b. ESC Bid No. 03.21, Chassis and Service Body for 2021 Ford F550
      • 3.c. ESC Bid No. 04.21, 115kV Circuit Breakers
      • 3.d. ESC 3-year Contract for Flame Resistant Clothing Rental Program
      • 3.e. WSC Bid No. 2021-01, Statements of Qualification for Architect/Engineer Related Services
      • 3.f. WSC Bid No. 2021-02, South Hills 4th Level Reservoir – Construction Services
  • B. Public Hearing on Proposed Electric Rate Increase – 15 min
    • 1. Staff Presentation
    • 2. Public Testimony

IV. Business from the General Manager

  • A. River Glen Net Neighborhood Application – Action – 15 min
  • B. XS Media Marcola Meadows Net Neighborhood Application – Action – 15 min
  • C. Watershed Protection Efforts – 5 min
  • D. City’s Request for Grant Funding for Failed Underground Street Light Feeds – Action – 10 min
  • E. Telecommunications Update – 5 min
  • F. TEAM Springfield Update – 5 min

V. Other Business from the Board

  • A. Ethics Review – 15 min
  • B. Board Priorities – 15 min
  • C. Board Member Updates – 5 min
  • D. Future Board Agenda Items – 5 min

VI. Adjournment

Total Time 120 min

Executive Session, if needed – 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.

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, if needed.

Minutes

Regular Board Meeting – February 10, 2021

Minutes

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 6:03 p.m. and proceeded to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Attendance

Board: Mike Eyster, Chair; Robert Scherer, Vice-Chair; David Willis; John DeWenter; Mark Molina.

Staff: Jeff Nelson; Sanjeev King; Greg Miller; Janis Brew; Meredith Clark; Tracy Richardson; Dave Embleton; Amy Chinitz; Cindy Flaherty; Joe Leahy and Matt Dahlstrom, Attorneys for the Board.

Others: Jeff Paschall, City of Springfield; Stephen Parac, XS Media; Josh Kvidt, Alyrica Networks; Matt Sayre, Onward Eugene; Kelly Hoell, Lane Transit District.

Business from the Audience

None.

Business from the Board

Consent Agenda – Action

Minutes:

  • November 9, 2020 Budget Committee Meeting
  • December 1, 2020 Budget Committee Meeting
  • December 9, 2020 Regular Board Meeting

Accounts Paid –January 2021

Bids/Proposals:

  • Bid No. 01.21, Distribution Transformers. Following a recent solicitation for bids, Electric Division staff recommends award of this bid for 75 distribution transformers as follows: Hees Enterprises/Ermco for 24 distribution transformers for a total amount of $102,783.00, and Irby Utilities/Central Moloney for 51 distribution transformers for a total amount of $85,229.00 (Exhibit A).
  • Bid No. 03.21, Chassis and Service Body for 2021 Ford F550, to Pacific Truck Colors for the purchase of service body package, accessories, and related options for a total of $40,965.00. Also the additional purchase to Northside Ford for a 2021 Ford F-550 chassis meeting SUB specifications from State Contract #5549 for a total of $52,882.30. The combined total amount is $93,847.30 (Exhibit B).
  • Bid No. 04.21, 115kV Circuit Breakers, to Carlson Sales/GE Grid Solutions for a total amount of $157,730.00 (Exhibit C). Springfield Utility Board - MINUTES February 10, 2021 - Regular Board Meeting Page 2 of 9
  • 3-year Contract for Flame Resistant Clothing Rental Program, for a 36-month contract with Cintas for Flame Resistant clothing rental and laundering services for the Electric Division for approximately $24,700.00 per year with an approximate total amount of $74,100.00 over the 3-year term (Exhibit D).
  • Bid No. 2021-01, Statements of Qualification (SOQ) for Architect/Engineer (A/E) Related Services, for an amount of $657,000.00 for 2021, with regard to SUB’s SOQ process for A/E and related services (Exhibit E).
  • Bid No.2021-02, South Hills 4th Level Reservoir – Construction Services, for an amount of $126,788.00, as part of the SOQ process, for Murraysmith to provide project management and construction related services for South Hills 4th Level Reservoir (Exhibit F).

* Mark Molina moved to approve the Consent Agenda, as presented. Motion carried unanimously 5:0.

First Public Hearing on Proposed Electric Rate Increase

Chair Eyster opened the public hearing on the proposed electric rate increase at 6:09 p.m.

Presentation on Proposed Electric Rate Increase

Jeff Nelson provided his presentation on April 2021 Proposed Electric Rate Increase (Exhibit G) for an overall increase of 2 percent (2.0%) to electric rates with a proposed effective date of April 1, 2021, on all bill statements rendered on or after May 1, 2021. The Board may take action following the second public hearing at the March 10 regular Board meeting. Mr. Nelson noted that SUB has advertised the public hearings for public input on the proposed increase in electric rates via legal ads and display ads in the local newspaper, as well as some outreach via SUB’s website on the main page, which is linked to the press release page on SUB’s website.

Mark Molina expressed concerns that SUB needs to reach more of the community to be able to encourage more participation in SUB processes and public hearings on proposed rate increases. He suggested SUB advertise by using direct social media to engage more of the community.

Following brief discussion, Board consensus was for General Manager Nelson to come back to the Board with recommendation on further public outreach on what Mr. Molina suggested, as well as to encourage community participation in the Budget Committee meetings where the rate process starts.

Public Testimony on Proposed Electric Rate Increase

Chair Eyster asked if there was anyone wanting to give public comment on the proposed electric rate increase.

The Board will take no action at tonight’s meeting, but will allow for any public testimony at this time.

As there was no public comment, Chair Eyster closed the public hearing at 6:21 p.m.

Business from the General Manager

River Glen Net Neighborhood Application

Jeff Nelson offered a brief overview on his memo on Telecom – Net Neighborhood Overview (Exhibit H) and shared that approximately 3-4 years ago the Board had publicly stated it was interested in investing another $1,000,000 towards telecommunication infrastructure. Of that $1,000,000, the Board has approved approximately $850,000 with the Ambleside Net Neighborhood and the Redwood Net Neighborhood. The proposals for two new Net Neighborhoods being presented tonight would total just over an additional $1,000,000 in Net Neighborhood request. If approved, this would bring the total commitment to Net Neighborhoods to $1,900,000.

Tracy Richardson provided a presentation on River Glen Subdivision Net Neighborhood Application – Alyrica Networks (Exhibit I). She noted the Board may consider taking action tonight on an Agreement for River Glen with Alyrica Networks, as proposed.

Due to a conflict in interest, Vice-Chair Scherer recused himself from the discussion and any potential Board action related to the River Glen Net Neighborhood.

Recognizing Matt Sayer’s attendance tonight, Chair Eyster noted that Mr. Sayer is a community expert on fiber and offered him the opportunity to share comment if he had any input during the discussion.

Jeff Nelson noted there are two Net Neighborhood representatives present: Josh Kvidt with Alyrica Networks, and Stephen Parac with XS Media, who will also be invited to comment on their applications.

After discussion, the Board made the following motion:

Josh Kvidt with Alyrica Networks was invited to comment at this time. Mr. Kvidt shared that Ms. Richardson outlined the application well, and that there is nothing too elaborate with this particular deployment, and is similar to other work they have done in other parts of the Willamette Valley area.

The Board shared brief discussion related to middle mile usage.

Upon Robert Scherer’s return to the meeting, Joe Leahy explained to him that no decision or action was made on the River Glen Net Neighborhood, and now Ms. Richardson will give her presentation on Marcola Meadows. As there is only a finite amount available in the funds for Net Neighborhoods, and one of the decisions the Board makes may be to fund one Net Neighborhood and not the other. Vice-Chair Scherer said he would listen to the presentation on Marcola Meadows and will then once again recuse himself to allow the remaining four Board members present to consider taking suitable action.

Marcola Meadows Net Neighborhood Application

Tracy Richardson shared a presentation on XS Media Marcola Meadows Net Neighborhood Application (Exhibit J). She noted the Board may also consider taking action tonight on an Agreement for Marcola Meadows with XS Media, as proposed.

Stephen Parac with XS Media shared a brief update on the Marcola Meadows and explained that this project is expected to cost $800,000 due to a higher than normal contingency associated with this project, and also in part because this project is being done in eight phases, although they expect the cost to be significantly less but they didn’t feel it was practical to have to ask the Board a second time for additional money, should the plan change. Mr. Parac added that the Marcola Meadows Net Neighborhood project is to include 451 residential homes, and they plan to lease dark fiber from SUB for the entire length of the agreement and provide extremely fast internet service at an affordable cost.

Tracy Richardson added that in both cases, the payback period is set at 14 years for 100% payback.

The Board shared brief discussion on topics related to trench credits, what SUB can afford for Net Neighborhoods on a yearly basis, and concerns related to return on investments.

Chair Eyster then asked Matt Sayre to offer any comments at this time. Mr. Sayre noted that his attendance at tonight’s meeting is as a citizen of Springfield, and is not in the River Glen neighborhood, but certainly close. He is encourage by the conversation tonight on Net Neighborhoods, and is thankful he resides in Springfield, and feels it can do a world of good where the internet is being seen as a gateway to education, a way to access healthcare, and even for some employment. He said the internet has become critical infrastructure, and is thankful that the Board is having this as a topic of conversation tonight.

Chair Eyster noted that he, Jeff Nelson, and Vice-Chair Scherer will follow up on concerns expressed during tonight’s discussion, review a blank Net Neighborhood Application, and come back to the Board with some thoughts and proposals. Robert Scherer then noted, due to a conflict of interest, he will act as just an observer and will abstain from the discussion and any action taken by the Board on the two Net Neighborhoods presented tonight.

* Mark Molina motioned, to authorize the General Manager to execute an Agreement for River Glen Net Neighborhood with Alyrica Networks in an amount not to exceed $250,000.00. Prior to execution, Exhibits and the Agreement may change, but are subject to review by SUB legal counsel. Motion carried unanimously 4:0.

* Mark Molina motioned, to authorize the General Manager to execute an Agreement for Marcola Meadows Net Neighborhood with XS Media in an amount not to exceed $800,000.00 plus SUB’s up-front costs (currently estimated at $233,000.00). Prior to execution, Exhibits and the Agreement may change, but are subject to review by SUB legal counsel. Motion carried unanimously 4:0.

Watershed Protection Efforts

Jeff Nelson shared that, as a follow-up to the Board’s request for a brief summary of Water Division staff’s protection priorities for the Middle Fork Willamette watershed, the Board was provided the memo on SUB Protection Priorities – Middle Fork Willamette Watershed (Exhibit K). Greg Miller, Water Division Director, Amy Chinitz, Drinking Water Source Protection Coordinator, and Dave Embleton, Water Quality Program Manager, worked together on this memo to update the Board on efforts SUB is doing in collaboration with other agencies regarding watershed protection.

Following brief discussion, the Board expressed their appreciation to Greg Miller, Amy Chinitz, and Dave Embleton for their work to provide such an informative update.

City’s Request for Grant Funding for Failed Underground Street Light Feeds

Jeff Nelson referred to his memo to the Board on Failed Underground Street Light Feed Grant Request (Exhibit L); also included in his memo is a brief update on SUB’s In-Lieu-of-Tax payment to the City. He noted that SUB has provided a grant to the City of Springfield to repair failed underground electrical feeds to City street lights. The City has requested an additional grant of $65,000 for 2021.

Following General Manager Nelson’s update, the Board made the following motion.

* John DeWenter motioned to approve the City’s request that SUB provide a $65,000 grant to the City to address failed underground street light feeds, as presented. Following discussion the Board took a vote by a show of hands. Motion carried unanimously 5:0.

Telecommunications Update

Mr. Nelson explained that the City of Springfield is taking the lead with the US Ignite grant for the carrier hotel project. The City has retained the services of an engineering firm to design the structure and mechanics, and the internal functions of a carrier hotel. The exact location is still being evaluated, but SUB has worked with a consultant and the City to do some site visits at different locations.

In response to John DeWenter’s inquiry of the status of the task force involving the City and SUB in terms of developing a comprehensive long-term strategy regarding fiber, Jeff Nelson explained that SUB has not yet been able to meet with the City. He is optimistic that there will be some momentum now that the City has a Mayor, and when they appoint a replacement for the vacancy in Ward 1.

Chair Eyster wanted to recognize Matt Sayre to thank him for his role and efforts with the US Ignite grant.

TEAM Springfield Update

Jeff Nelson shared that SUB is continuing to work with the City and Willamalane about the disposition of the Georgia Pacific property on the Willamette River. This property is co-owned by SUB, the City, and Willamalane, and they are exploring transferring SUB’s ownership to either one or both of them. He will continue to update the Board with any progress.

Other Business from the Board

Ethics Review

Due to time, Board consensus was to push out the Ethics Review to the March Board meeting.

Board Priorities for 2021 Board Goals

John DeWenter the Board received the following four documents for review prior to the meeting tonight: 2021 Board Goals (Exhibit M), Prioritization of 2021 SUB Board Goals –  High Priority (Exhibit N), Prioritization of 2021 SUB Board Goals – All Priorities (Exhibit O), 2021 SUB Board Calendar – Regular Board Meetings (Exhibit P).

Following brief discussion on Board goals and items to include in the 2021 SUB Board Calendar, Board consensus was that the documents presented tonight were consistent with what the Board envisions going forward with the 2021 Board Goals.

Jeff Nelson added that given that the Board may wish to give additional time and attention to items, such as the important issue of ethics, and given the volume of goals and priorities the Board has, he may be requesting additional Board meetings.

Chair Eyster noted that the Board will try hard to balance time during Board meetings and will be sensitive to staff time, as well as Board time, and thanked Mr. Nelson for speaking to this matter.

Board Member Updates

Chair Eyster thanked David Willis and John DeWenter for their very informative report on the Salt Creek watershed and their recent Salt Creek Hike (Exhibit Q). Salt Creek is a tributary of the Middle Fork Willamette River.

Vice-Chair Scherer commented on the recent bill stuffer and thanked Community Relations Manager Meredith Clark and any other staff who worked on it. He felt it was a very good document to have for a bill stuffer.

Future Board Agendas

Chair Eyster discussed the upcoming Board self-evaluation next month and referred to the 2019 Self Evaluation Form (Exhibit R) which the Board used last year. This document was sent to the Board prior to tonight for its review, and asked the Board for any changes they would like to suggest for this year’s self-evaluation.

Following brief discussion, the following two items will be added to the document for this year’s self-evaluation: 1) Is there sufficient review of SUB’s 10 year planning process and alignment with the Board’s major goals? 2) Does the Board effectively monitor Electric, Water, and Telecommunication infrastructure? An updated fillable form will be distributed to participating Board members to be completed and returned to Cindy Flaherty by Friday, February 19. A final document compiled of the participating Board members responses will be provided to the Board for its review.

Vice-Chair Scherer noted the Ethics Review with legal counsel to be held potentially in March.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 7:46 p.m.

Mike Eyster, Board Chair

Jeff Nelson, Board Secretary