December 2012

BWWB To Appeal Permit For Reed Minerals, Inc.

The Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) recently appealed the permit for strip mining by the Shepherd Bend Mine and plans to do the same for Reed Minerals Inc. after filing a petition for an appeal of the mining company to stop mining on November 28, 2012.

The Alabama Surface Mining Commission (ASMC) issued Reed Minerals a permit to engage in surface coal mining operations on approximately 178 acres of land along the banks of the Mulberry Fork of the Warrior River in Walker County, Ala. After receiving notice of this, the BWWB expressed its concern about the close proximity of the mining intake and the need for additional measures to be taken to protect the quality of water for its customers. The permit for Reed Minerals fails to meet the guidance of the Alabama Handbook for Erosion Control, Sediment Control, and Storm-water Management on Construction Sites and Urban Areas, and thus fails to conform to the requirements.

The BWWB created a 19-point petition addressing all the issues it felt should be reviewed and requested a hearing for a closer examination of the subject. The BWWB also requested that the ASMC revoke or modify the permit issued to Reed Minerals so that it reflects the problems stated in the petition.


November 2012

Collecting Debts
Board members listen to debt-collection services’ presentations

Several agencies have come to plead their case as to why they should be chosen to collect the Birmingham Water Works Board’s (BWWB’s) debt. Companies such as AmSher, Credit Systems International Inc., and CBSi all have explained their order of operations, each hoping to convince the board that their company is best suited for the job. Members of the board are currently reviewing information and plan to collectively make their decision in the near future.

Other business:
The board approved expenditures with G.E. Analytical Instruments Inc., a sole source provider, for renewal of an annual Preventative Maintenance Agreement— effective October 25, 2012, to October 25, 2013— for seven Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analyzers to assist with monitoring TOC in the process water streams at BWWB facilities at a total out-of-pocket cost to the Board of $32,869.76; and to authorize the General Manager and/or the Assistant General Manager to enter into said contract.

October 2012

BWWB to Evaluate Policies and Procedures

The Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) approved authorizing the general manager and/-or the assistant general manager to accept an agreement from Forensic CPAs LLC regarding an audit of BWWB policies and procedures for- earnings and pay; supplies and parts inventory; and equipment and fixed assets for an amount not to exceed $50,000. Phase I of these services will not exceed $12,500. The Board hired Michael Mason, CPA, to evaluate the company’s policies and procedures to help identify possible fraud risks and improve system-wide checks and balances, as well as departmental reports. The company plans for the risk analysis to support and enhance the 2012 organizational strategy, in addition to identifying any gaps of deficiency in the current system.

Other business:
The Board approved authorizing the general manager and/or assistant general manager to enter into a contract with SHI International Corp. for Microsoft Enterprise Licensing Agreement for a three-year period, from October 2012 through October 2015, at an annual cost of $138,476.05 and a total out-of-pocket cost to the Board of $415,428.15.

September 2012

Items Approved by the Board

The board granted an easement to Alabama Power Co. to cross Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) property to place an additional overhead power line at Hugh Daniel Drive off of Highway 280 to provide an upgrade in service to the area for a sum of $1; and to authorize the general manager and/or the assistant general manager to execute said agreement, as recommended by the Engineering and Maintenance Committee.

The board approved to take bids for replacement of approximately 3,810  feet of 2-inch P-21 unlined cast iron pipe; 530 feet of 6-inch P-21 unlined cast iron pipe; 1,600 feet of 8-inch unlined cast iron pipe with approximately 2,200 feet of 8-inch DICL pipe; 2,500 feet of 6-inch DICL pipe; 840 feet of 4-inch DICL pipe; 95 water services; and four fire hydrants along 2nd Avenue North; 49th Street North; and surrounding areas located in the City of Birmingham, at an estimated out-of-pocket cost to the board of $523,072.

The board approved Jake Marshall Service Inc., the lowest responsibleand responsive bidder, for purchase of six heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) metal duct systems for the main office building at a total out-of-pocket cost of $69,785 to the board.


August 2012

Health And Wellness Center Off To A Great Start

Several departments joined together in a collaborative effort to assure the Health and Wellness Center’s readiness for opening day. Before the opening of the center employees from the E&M shop, IT, Human Resources and security department worked to assure the center was nicely decorated and fully equipped to service employees. In the center’s first full week of being open it has serviced over 18 patients. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 12:00 p.m. – 6:00p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
Other business:
The Board approved a resolution Amendment Number Three to the Retirement Plan for Employees of the Water Works Board (a) to company with the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Act “HEART” which provides certain benefits to eligible employees who are on military leave and (b) to eliminate possible ambiguities related to administration of the Plan in light of such HEART compliance amendments and certain prior amendments made to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), as recommended by the Human Resources Committee.
The Board approved the relocation of Water Board facilities in conflict with the City of Birmingham/ALDOT Project No. STPBH-7229(500), along Tarrant Huffman Road between 14th Avenue North and Roebuck Drive in the City of Birmingham, Alabama, at an estimated total cost of $1,650,363.55, less estimated ALDOT reimbursement totaling $1,650,363.55, at an estimated $0.00 out-of-pocket cost to the Board.

July 2012 

For the record…

Board Members Look To Keep Up With Green Initiative Through New Program
After further review, the board will soon decide whether or not they will approve a three -year agreement with Diligent Boardbooks Board Portal Software.  Diligent Boardbooks is a virtual book that will work very similarly to a paper book, but without the paper. It has tabs and page numbers, you can flip through the pages, and it includes all the features expected in a board portal. The software will allow board members to instantly access information pertaining to meetings online, giving them more time to easily review materials. It will also allow the board to view materials offline, project the book at meetings, print paper books or, better yet, go paperless. Board members have been looking for new ways to reduce the amount of paper used and through the use of this new technology, they may have found a way to do just so. 
Other business:
The Board approved a computer numeric controlled lathe in the electrical and maintenance department at an out-of-pocket cost to the Board not to exceed $170,000.00, as recommended by the engineering and maintenance committee.
The Board approved the replacement of HVAC metal supply plenum and duct work for six air handling units in the main office building at an estimated out-of-pocket cost to the Board of $210,000.00.