Monday Check-in: April 27, 2020

The Advisory Board has two critical meetings scheduled over the next week:

  • On Thursday, April 30th at 10:00 am, the Executive Committee will meet to discuss joint recommendations by both the Advisory Board and Authority staffs to help mitigate the impact of MWRA charges to communities in FY21. Click here for the agenda.
  • A week from today on Monday, May 4th at 10:00 am, the full Advisory Board will convene to discuss and vote on these recommendations on the FY21 CEB. Members will also hear about the deferral process for the Community Loans Program. Click here to access the draft agenda.

These meetings are critical and we hope that you will participate remotely. We have limited the agendas to budget-related matters only.

On Wednesday, May 6th at 3:00 pm, there will be an emergency meeting of the MWRA Board of Directors to discuss and vote on Advisory Board and Authority recommendations on the FY21 CEB. They will also discuss and vote on a package of recommendations that defers FY20, 21, and 22 community payments. These actions taken by both agencies will allow communities to know their FY21 assessments and total payments due to MWRA much earlier than normal. Most importantly if both our recommendations to the budget and the loan programs are adopted, communities’ impact from MWRA charges for FY21 will be significantly mitigated at a time when communities desperately need a break.

We hope to have you participate in our upcoming meetings. Please contact us with any questions. Thank you.

Weekly Check-in: April 13-17, 2020

Good morning to all.

We hope that you are all staying safe. Advisory Board staff continues to work remotely. Below is an update on ongoing activities impacting our communities.

Advisory Board: Expediting the Budget Review Process
  • Both staffs of the Advisory Board and MWRA continue to develop a plan to mitigate proposed increases to communities for FY21.
  • We realize that this year, more than ever, communities need their MWRA assessments as early as possible in order to develop their budgets.
  • With this in mind, the Advisory Board is accelerating our upcoming meeting schedule.
Meeting Schedule
  • The Executive Committee has been rescheduled to April 30th at 10:00 AM to discuss and vote on Advisory Board Package of Recommendations on the Community Loan Assistance Program, as well as the FY21 proposed CEB, which will assist MWRA communities. (Click here for agenda.)
  • The Full Advisory Board will remotely meet on May 4th at 10:00 AM to discuss the package of recommendations brought forward by the Executive Committee. (Click here for legal notice.)
  • MWRA is in the process of rescheduling their Board of Directors meeting for the first week of May.
Financial Impacts of COVID-19
  • Raftelis on behalf of AWWA and AMWA developed a report that outlines the sobering impacts on water utilities. (Click here for the report.)
  • Boston Business Journal outlines conditions as taxes evaporate. (Paywall; click here to access.)
MWRA Update

Weekly Check-in: April 6-10, 2020

Until we return to a more normal state, we will continue to use a weekly check-in to keep our members in the loop. Here are the key updates from the week of April 6 to April 10, 2020:

Meeting Schedules
  • Advisory Board Meeting for April 16 – Cancelled
  • MWRA Board of Director Meeting for April 15 – Cancelled
  • Meeting with EOEEA Secretary Theoharides regarding watershed staffing – Postponed
  • MWRA Public Hearing on the Proposed FY21 CEB for April 30 – Access details to come soon
Advisory Board Updates
  • The Executive Committee held their scheduled meeting on April 10. Seventeen members participated remotely. Also joining the meeting were Advisory Board staff and Fred Laskey, Ria Convery, Tom Durkin, Matt Horan, and Mike Cole of the MWRA.
  • Advisory Board staff introduced a proposal to mitigate total MWRA charges to communities (loan repayments for the I/I and LWSAP programs) with benefits in FY20 and FY21. The Executive Committee voted unanimously to send the proposal to the MWRA Board of Directors. Advisory Board staff are working closely with MWRA staff to develop this approach; more details to follow.
  • The Executive Committee also voted to waive restrictions on Quincy’s use of LWSAP for their the pipeline replacement program.
  • Advisory Board staff continue to meet remotely with MWRA staff for budget briefings. Meetings to date include finance, administration, Deer Island, FOD, operations, and capital improvement projects in engineering and construction. The spring revisit to further discuss adjustments as well as the impact of COVID-19 on the proposed budget will be scheduled soon.
May Advisory Board Meeting
  • It is our expectation to hold a remote Advisory Board meeting for May 21st. The lessons learned from our remote public hearing in March and the most recent remote Executive Committee meeting give us the confidence to hold a full meeting for all members in May.
  • Agenda items will include:
    • Presentation and vote on Advisory Board recommendations for the MWRA’s proposed FY21 budget, and
    • Presentation and vote on the Advisory Board budget.
  • Meeting packets along with details about accessing the remote meeting will be sent in May.
MWRA Updates
  • Executive Director Fred Laskey sent a detailed email to staff last week with updates on masks, COVID-19 cases, a biobot study on wastewater, and community water use trends.

Please remember to follow all federal and state requirements regarding social distancing, and stay safe.

Weekly Check-in: Friday, April 3, 2020

To all of our members: we have made it through another week, and we are hoping you continue to stay safe and healthy.

As indicated last week, through the duration of this pandemic, Advisory Board staff will be sending a weekly update to all of our membership. Here are some items from the Advisory Board and the MWRA:

Advisory Board
  • Staff continues to work remotely. Remote briefings with MWRA staff will continue with the Operations Division proposed FY21 CEB briefing and a look at the proposed FY21 CIP
  • As is scheduled on our calendar, the Executive Committee meeting for April 10th will be held remotely. Agenda items include discussing the community impacts of COVID-19, FY21 MWRA budget review, Quincy’s request regarding LWSAP borrowing, and the Advisory Board budget for FY21.
    • Of particular note, Advisory Board staff will present a plan that would extend community payments for the I/I and water loan programs for the remainder of FY20 and all of FY21 by adding approximately 15 months to the term of the loans.
    • If adopted, this proposal could significantly benefit our communities by deferring $35-40 million in payments. Many details still need to be determined.
  • Staff, in consultation with Chairman Taverna, have decided to cancel the regularly scheduled April 16th Advisory Board meeting in light of the increasing severity of COVID-19. We hope to hold our regular May meeting on May 21st and will be emailing members with our budget comments.
  • Staff is developing a plan to remotely hold our PFAS workshop in June.
  • MWRA will be sending their May 2020 invoices (with assessment charges only) via email. Click here to see the notice to communities.
  • Mr. Laskey updated all employees with the status of MWRA operations here.
  • April 10 | Executive Committee Meeting at 10:00 AM
  • April 15 | MWRA Board of Directors Meeting TBD
  • April 16 | Advisory Board Meeting Cancelled

Please stay safe. We hope to see you in the near future.