Blakely Island Maintenance Commission, Inc.


The meeting was at Marc Droppert’s home on Blakely Island with the following participants:

Marc Droppert, President
John Madden, Vice President
Ron Griffin, Secretary
Cindy Zech, Treasurer
Ben Dole, Fire commissioner
Martha Mills Airports and Roads
Jim Davis Facilities manager
Russ Keyes Water project assistant
John Davidson Fire Truck project assistant

Not participating:
John Howieson, Water commissioner

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 PM by Marc Droppert

  1. Marc moved that the minutes from the February 17 meeting be approved without changes. Unanimously approved.
  2. Correspondence to the board was reviewed including:
  3. a. Burkhart water hookup
    b. Ledfors letter
    c. O’Neil letter regarding lots 22, 23
    d. Lot 139 Olson right of first refusal - waived
    e. Mark Smith e-mails to Marc
    f. Roats e-mails to Marc
    g. Weller letter regarding driveway gravel – approved
    h. Kincaid building permit - conditionally approved
  4. Roads/Airport: Paving maintenance was discussed. Now that the water project road impact is complete, Jim will coordinate with Harold Bartram for an on-site estimate with the contractor Harold mentioned at the last annual meeting, for road repair within the $15K budget the owners approved at that meeting. Jim will also request recommendations regarding the short term and long term cost issues relative to Blakely road maintenance requirements for BIMC board consideration prior to starting the road repair project.
  5. Fire Commissioner Ben Dole reviewed the efforts being made to determine the optimum fire truck specification for Blakely and the used trucks (and their trade
    offs) that have been considered. Getting a truck big enough for adequate tankage yet small enough to fit the existing fire truck stall, 4WD, PTO vs. powered pumps, water/foam/Compressed Air Foam, ease of driving, ease of use fire fighting, upper island capability and compatibility and other considerations were discussed at length. The need for community fire drill and equipment training is critical and difficult to achieve. Ben is working on a maintenance schedule for all the fire equipment including the new equipment installed this year. CAF capability may make the most sense for Blakely – effective capacity is 5X to 10X greater than the same tankage/flow of water or injected foam. New units on skid packs can be purchased that allow one button operation from inside the cab, including a joystick to apply the foam on the way to the fire and at the fire quickly and safely. The new CAF equipment is not generally available used and with the cost of the truck, would exceed the budget authorized for a new truck at last year’s annual membership meeting. Several local fire department personnel have been identified who are knowledgeable and interested in helping Blakely find the most effective solution at the lowest cost. Ben plans a presentation at the May membership information meeting and collateral bulletins for the annual membership mailing and meeting. Ben is also planning to discuss mutual aid interface with the Blakely Island Fire Service group who purchased the large upper island trucks.
  6. Community Intiatives. John Madden will prepare a bulletin regarding low flow toilets and fire extinguishers for members to order from. If enough people want to order, the price, transportation logistics and installation service can be coordinated for minimum cost to owners
  7. John Madden reported on behalf of the Nominating Committee (John Madden, Ann Malmo and BC Crowley). Two candidates have expressed interest and a third will be approached for next year’s Board of Govenors.
  8. Airport runway sealcoating is due this year on the established three year schedule. A bid will be requested. Opinion of the contractor regarding the Blakely roads will also be solicited.
  9. Facility manager’s report is attached as a separate document. A high capacity valve was opened too long in a pre-use flushing operation which emptied our water system. Several related equipment failures were quickly fixed with substantial help from Russ Keyes who flew parts in and out and worked with Terry and Jim (by telephone during his vacation).
  10. Water project report is that all the lines are in and operational. Two lines had multiple glue joint failures requiring re-excavation, re-gluing and additional pipe procurement. An additional charge of $5,000 to complete the project and extend the warranty was negotiated to maintain the scheduled completion in a reasonable manner. A motion was made to accept and was unanimously approved.
  11. Water project planning – Russ Keyes has met several times with the engineer and contractor to develop the quotation for the additional water tank required to bring the Blakely system into compliance with Washington State regulations for approval of additional lot domestic water hook ups. A system of enhanced chlorine contact piping added at the location of the existing treatment plant and a new 99,000 gallon tank (slip form poured on site) are being proposed. The tank is
    much larger for a slightly greater cost and should provide a long term solution for Blakely. Cost estimates are slightly higher than estimated last year. If the project is approved, construction could be started in September with completion in November. Water usage proposals were outlined and remain a work in progress.
  12. Treasurer’s report included year to date budget data and a first pass draft for the next fiscal year’s budget. Currently our checking balance is $95,370. The maintenance Reserve account balance is $157,454. Of this amount, approximately $90,000 is allocated for fire truck acquisition and road resurfacing. Capital items for next year are still being determined and will be based on quotations not yet received.
  13. Preparation for the annual meeting mailing was discussed. Goal is to mail no later than May 13 to include:
  14. i. Agenda
    j. Preliminary Financial Statement for FY ending 5/31/2005
    k. Proposed operating budget for FY starting 6/1/2005
    l.   Proposed Capital budget for FY starting 6/1/2005
    m. President’s report
    n. Fire report
    o. Manager’s annual report
    p. Water project reports
    q. Nominating Committee report

The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 PM

Ron Griffin, BIMC Board of Governors Secretary

Facility Manager’s Report
Jim Davis
April 5th, 2005


Water System Update

Many members are already aware that our domestic water system suffered problems beginning the evening of March 23rd. Margo and I had left for a week’s vacation on the 22nd. The water system and usage were all normal for this time of year. Terry Pence was in charge of our facilities in our absence. Water use thus far in March had been averaging about 6,000 gallons per day. Due to an early algae bloom at the lake, we had reduced the flow through the filter to increase efficiency. Terry had visually checked reservoir levels early in the day on Tuesday and observed them to be nearly full. At the average flow we had over 8 days of reserve. However, an unexpected/unintentional flow on private property consumed approximately 37,000 gallons of water in a period of only a few hours. At approximately 11:30 PM, Judy Tompkins observed little or no water pressure at her home. Judy knew we were gone but also knew that if the reservoirs were low, the yellow light would be flashing on our roof. She drove to our house and noted that the light was indeed flashing. She immediately notified Terry. He got to the plant in short order and began working the problem. Our system has an intrinsic flaw in that we must have water to process more water. This is a catch-22 situation that I have worked around for the past 12 years. That is, the reservoir levels low or dry combined with the filter plugged and needing a backwash, with no treated water available to facilitate the backwash. We have had low water level situations in the past. At times I have had to shut off water to part or all of the plat, in order to build up enough water in one reservoir to accomplish a needed backwash. To compound the problem, a leak had developed in the pump room. The leak occurred as a result of the service pump pumping a mixture of water and air for a time, as the reservoir was going dry. The resulting water hammer caused the pipe on the pressure side of the pump to break at just the right spot to spray water directly into the backwash pump motor. The water caused the motor to short-out. While we have spares for all of our continuous use pumps, we did not have a spare for this occasional-use application (eight minutes every six to eight hours of plant operation).

The result of what turned out to be an unforeseen, cascade failure was as follows: A small amount of untreated (unfiltered) water was pumped from the raw water reservoir to one of our domestic water reservoirs. This water was treated with a high dose of chlorine to disinfect it so that it could be used to backwash the filter. Soon after, it was found that the backwash pump motor was non-functional. Russ Keyes was on the island and he was able to locate a new motor in Auburn, transport it to the island and help Terry with the installation. I was being consulted by phone and the three of us worked out a plan to get the system back up and running. Unfortunately, during this process, a small amount of untreated water entered our distribution system. As a result, the Department of Health requires us to issue a “boil order” for our water system. While Terry and Russ were engaged in the pursuits previously described, Judy Tompkins printed and distributed boil notices to all public locations and to individual homes. There was very little or no water pressure in most of our system for about twelve hours. Residents were asked to use water on a very limited basis until the system was completely restored, about 24 hours later. The boil order will remain in effect until successful completion of ten bacteriological samples from our system. We are anticipating completing those tests next week.

Terry Pence and Russ Keyes worked non-stop on this problem for the better part of two days and nights, to restore water service to our members. Judy Tompkins printed and distributed the boil notices and helped stay in touch with me by phone, relaying messages back and forth. We owe these folks major Thank-Yous for serving the Blakely community.

This report would not be complete without a few comments on “what did we learn?” First, while Terry has a complete understanding of our day-to-day operations, the what-if scenarios, regarding some low water situations and emergencies have been covered only in verbal and written instructions. Terry now has “hands on experience” with what can only be described as a worse case situation. Second, we need additional training and better descriptions in our manuals that describe our distribution system valves so all operators have a clear understanding of how certain elements of the system can be completely isolated if the need arises. Third, we all must realize that we operate a small system. Small systems by nature do not have the buffer to accommodate very large flows over a short period of time. Even with plans in the works to increase our storage capacity, we will always have the potential for problems, when extremely high demands or large leaks tax our system.

Water Meter Installations

We have installed nearly 100 meters since the approval of this project last July. We have about a dozen installations remaining.

We have recently used the newly installed water meters to locate two significant leaks. In the first instance, we noticed increased use on the west side of the runway (47 homes). After noting that the use continued for more than one day I walked the area checking meters. Even though the leak was at the second to the last place to check, it took less than ½ hour to find and stop the leak. The problem was a toilet running resulting in a loss of several thousand gallons per day. When we retuned earlier this week, Margo noted that the water use on the South road (16 homes) had been increasing and looked very high considering the occupancy. I was busy with other aspects of the system so she checked the meters on the South road. She was able to locate the leak (about 3,500 gallons per day) within a few minutes. The service was shut off and the homeowner was notified. In both of these cases it would have previously taken many hours or perhaps days locate the problem. There will be many more similar stories. It would seem, with these types of results, the value of water meters will be more and more difficult to dispute.


New Domestic Water Line

The contractor has rectified the previously reported problems on this new water line. They replaced over 100 joints and the line was successfully tested at over 150% of working pressure on March 18th. We disinfected the new line on March 19-20th and it was placed in service on March 21st. Work on the pipeline and restoration of the excavation routes was completed by March 24th.

Irrigation Distribution Line Extension

The contractor located and repaired two leaks in this new pipeline last month. The new line is in service and ready for the upcoming season.

Facilities Manager Vacation

We have used 5 days of vacation since February 1st. As of April 1st we will have 17 2/3rds days of vacation accrued.


Jim Davis