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Minutes - December 13, 2018MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE RATE COMMISSION OF THE METROPOLITAN ST. LOUIS SEWER DISTRICT The Members of the Rate Commission of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District met on December 13, 2018, at 8:00 a.m. at the District’s Administrative Offices at 2350 Market Street, Room 109 in St. Louis, Missouri. Commissioners Beckmann, Bowdry, Brockmann, Croyle, Goss, Mahanta, Mahfood, Palans, Ratzki, Schoedel, Stein, and Toenjes were present in person. Commissioner Ziegler was present by telephone conference. Commissioners Bresnan and Hawes were absent. Also present were Brian Hoelscher, Executive Director, and Susan Myers, General Counsel, of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (the “District”), Pamela Lemoine of Black & Veatch, Rate Consultant to the Rate Commission; and Lisa O. Stump and Brian J. Malone of Lashly & Baer, P.C., counsel for the Rate Commission. Agenda Item 1 – Call to Order Mr. Toenjes served as Chair and declared that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order. Agenda Item 3 – Approval of Minutes Agenda Item 3 was taken up before Item 2 because Commissioner Bowdry had not arrived until 8:06 a.m. Ms. Stump presented the Commission with draft minutes from the Rate Commission’s meeting on August 3, 2018. A motion was made by Commissioner Brockmann to accept the August 3, 2018 as presented. Commissioner Stein seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken. All Commissioners present voted Aye. No Commissioners voted Nay. No abstentions. The minutes from the August 3, 2018 meeting were approved and signed by Secretary Mr. Schoedel. Agenda Item 2 – Introduction of New Rate Commissioner Commissioner Brandy Bowdry was introduced as a delegate from the Mound City Bar Association. Mr. Tim Snoke administered the oath of office for Commissioner Bowdry at 8:08 a.m. Agenda Item 4 – Rate Consultant Contracts A discussion was held regarding renewal of contracts with the Rate Consultants. Contracts had been approved for 2018 with an option for a second year. A motion was made by Commissioner Croyle to renew all three consultant contracts. Commissioner Brockmann seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken. All Commissioners present voted Aye. No Commissioners voted Nay. No abstentions. Agenda Item 5 – 2018 Stormwater Proceedings Brian Hoelscher gave the Rate Commission an update on the issue of third-party contributions, which included information about state grant programs which are likely to become available. In 2 some cases, municipalities have also begun their own stormwater remediation projects which may present opportunities for third-party contributions. Commissioner Palans expressed his concern regarding the inadequacy of the District’s review and response and proposed that the Rate Commission consider preparing a letter to the District’s Board of Trustees in response to the Board’s letter of November 8, 2018, in which the Board explained that it lacked the funds to enter into a program where it would provide a 50% match with local communities. Commissioner Palans felt that the letter did not adequately address the Rate Commissioners’ concerns on this topic. Commissioner Brockmann made a motion to table further discussion on the topic of a letter to the Board of Trustees regarding third-party contributions. Commissioner Schoedel seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken. Commissioners Beckmann, Bowdry, Brockmann, Croyle, Mahanta, Mahfood, Ratzki, Stein, Schoedel, and Ziegler voted Aye on the motion. Commissioners Goss, Palans, and Toenjes voted Nay. No abstentions. The motion passed by a vote of 10-3. Agenda Item 6 – 2019 Wastewater Proceedings Marion Gee informed the Rate Commission that a rate change proposal will be presented to the Rate Commission on February 25, 2019. A discussion was held regarding whether bonds would be proposed as part of a proposed wastewater rate increase, and regarding the impact of such bond issuance on the District’s credit rating. Mr. Gee informed the Rate Commissioners that voters would likely be presented with a bond issuance as part of the rate change proposal. Such vote would likely occur during Fiscal Year 2021. A discussion was held regarding whether the Rate Commission should seek a 45-day extension at the outset of its proceedings in 2019. Ms. Stump noted that the Rate Commission had sought this extension during each of its proceedings since the Commission was established. Mr. Hoelscher noted that the District’s Charter Change Commission would consider extending the Rate Commission’s timeline from 120 days to 165 days, effectively automatically incorporating the 45-day extension. However, such change would not take effect until 2021. Agenda Item 7 – Other Business A discussion was held regarding whether additional submissions should be sought for rate consultants. A concern was noted that commissioners felt they did not always have the information needed at the times requested. This led to a discussion as to whether the Operational Rules should be amended to permit more timely communication with the Rate Consultant. Commissioner Goss requested that future meeting agendas include language permitting the Commission to go into closed session for consultation with legal counsel. Ms. Stump stated that such a notice would appear on future meeting agendas. Commissioner Goss made a motion to ask the Rate Commission’s Legal Counsel to review the Operational Rules and Procedural Schedule to consider revisions which would present earlier 3 opportunities for the Rate Consultant to meet with the Commission and present her analysis. Commissioner Palans seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken. All Commissioners present voted Aye. No Commissioners voted Nay. No abstentions. Agenda Item 8 – Adjournment A motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Stein. Commissioner Goss seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken. All Commissioners present voted Aye. No Commissioners voted Nay. No abstentions. There being no further business to come before the meeting on motion duly made, seconded and carried by unanimous vote, the meeting was adjourned at 9:28 a.m. BY: ___________________________________ MARK SCHOEDEL Secretary of the Rate Commission of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District