Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board Meeting - August 3, 2017
To watch for in the Future:
Is a Study Session on an Independent Inspector General for the Water Reclamation District on the Horizon?
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - July 6, 2017
Significant Decisions Made:
Referred to Committee:
The Secretary is now required to read into the record all resolutions coming before the Board at each meeting. When questioned on this apparent waste of time, it was noted by Executive Director St. Pierre that the Illinois Supreme Court now requires this step.
Observer: Diane Edmundson Meeting Length: 90 minutes
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - June 1, 2017
Highlights of meeting:
These items were deferred from the agenda:
Observer: Michele Niccolai
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - April 4, 2017
Major Item Discussed:
Highlights from the Meeting:
Final Comment: The meeting was adjourned for an executive session to discuss human resource issues. One of the commissioners graciously shared with me that I would need to exit due to the executive meeting breakout and kindly offered that I could wait in her office. She was not able to tell me how long the meeting would last and after waiting 20 minutes, I left the building.
Observer - Laura Davis Time observed - 40 minutes
MWRD Board Meeting - February 18, 2016
Length: 1 hour
Significant Topic Discussed:
There was interesting discussion about the District negotiating and entering into a contract with Clearas Water Recovery Inc. for a period of five years. (Agenda Item #9) This company has a proprietary process for the removal and recovery of phosphorus and nitrogen from effluent using algae. The interesting part of this process is that the byproduct is algae biomass, which can be harvested and and converted into a saleable commodity (bioplastics and bio-based industrial acids). Due to its size, the Hanover Park WRP is better suited for installation of this demonstration project therefore this process will be piloted at the Hanover Park WRP. There were questions from two commissioners on money generated from sales, ability to exit contract, and other byproducts that could be harvested from the process.
The meeting began with a resolution to recognize the 23rd Annual African American Contractors Association Annual Membership Awards. This was followed by recognition by the Government Finance Officers’s Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the District for 2015 Excellence in Financial Reporting. The District has received this award for 31 consecutive years!
The consent agenda contained 47 items, with one item deleted. The Board approved all consent items presented.
Observer: Peggy Kell
Observers: Priscilla Mims and Laura Davis
Meeting Date: December 17, 2015
Significant Decisions Made:
The 2016 Budget. The MWRD Board at a Special Meeting on December 10 voted to approve a budget of $1,251,955,410 for the 2016 fiscal year that begins January 1. Per law, the MWRD may revise the budget at the first regular Board meeting following that vote. At this meeting, the Board approved a $20,000 increase to the Corporate Fund, bringing the total budget to $1,251,955,430. The total budget for 2016 is $38 million higher, or 3.2% greater, than that for 2015. The total number of positions is 1,976 (6 more positions than in 2015). Motions to reconsider the budget failed, which means that the 2016 budget is now final.
The full budget is available on the MWRD web site: www.mwrd.org.
The 2016 Property Tax Levy. The MWRD also finalized the total 2016 property tax levy of $577,833,062. The MWRD votes separately for the tax levies for each of the different funds: Corporate, Construction, Reserve Claim, Stormwater Management, Retirement, and Bond Redemption and Interest funds. Motions to reconsider these tax levies also failed, meaning that the tax levy is finalized. This is $18 million greater than 2015, which is a 3.3% increase.
Items to Watch for the Future:
New rules for public speakers. Under existing procedures, speakers may speak separately up to 3 minutes each on any individual item. They may also ask questions within that time period. At this meeting, George Blakemore spoke separately on several different items. A member of the Green Party also spoke and raised questions on different items that were responded to by Executive Director David St. Pierre following the 3 minute speaker limitation. Commissioner Michael Alvarez suggested that the MWRD Board look at other government bodies’ rules for public speakers and change to conform to them. Presumably, this will mean allowing a speaker to only speak once, rather than separately on different items. It may also mean eliminating the ability of speakers to raise questions that will be responded to.
Broadcasts of meetings. Commissioner Frank Avila asked that the Board look at televising the meetings on a public access channel. Currently, one can watch the meeting live via the web site, and videos of the meeting are made available on the web site after a short delay.
Next Meeting: January 7, 2016 at 10 am.
Individual authors are credited at the end of each report.