General Manager

Morgantown Utility Board
Morgantown, WV

MUB (Morgantown Utility Board) – General Manager

System Overview

The Morgantown Utility Board (MUB) is a municipally created utility providing potable water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater services to the City of Morgantown and surrounding communities of Monongalia County, in north-central West Virginia. The current annual budget for all MUB operations totals over $35 million. Growth and demand for expanded utility services is generally strong throughout the MUB service area.

The MUB water system serves approximately 26,500 customers, which equates to nearly 100,000 individuals, including those served by resale utilities. Water system facilities include 411 miles of pipelines, a 16 MGD Water Treatment Plant (WTP), 15 booster pumping stations, and 41 water storage tanks with a combined volume of 21.5 million gallons. Recent upgrades to the WTP include addition of a membrane filtration process, and expansion of plant capacity to 16 MGD, with preparation provided for incremental upgrades to 24 MGD. Those improvements were completed in 2012, at a cost of $40 million. A $48 million project is currently underway to provide a 370 million gallon raw water reservoir, and a 36 inch gravity fed raw water line connecting the new reservoir to the WTP. Rates were adjusted in 2016 to fund the current construction, and remain among the lowest in the state.

The main MUB sanitary sewer system serves approximately 20,000 customers. Sewer system facilities include 315 miles of pipelines, a 12 MGD Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) at Star City, 58 lift stations, and 40 Combined Sewer Outfalls (CSO’s). A $6.5 million upgrade to the WWTP was completed in the summer of 2008; it added a third secondary clarifier, and updated the belt filter presses and SCADA system. That project was the first of several proposed in MUB’s original Long Term Control Plan (LTCP). A $15 million project, completed in 2012, upgraded the Deckers Creek lift station and provided it a 30 inch force main, connecting directly to the Star City WWTP. A current project will upgrade the WWTP by adding an MBR treatment process, and will expand the capacity of the Star City WWTP to 20.8 MGD. That project is now 80% complete and has a cost of $101 million. Rates were adjusted in 2016 to fund the current construction, and remain among the lowest in the state.

The Cheat Lake sanitary sewer system serves approximately 3,000 customers. Sewer system facilities there include 51 miles of pipelines, a 750,000 GPD Wastewater Treatment Plant (Cheat Lake WWTP), and 20 lift stations. The Cheat Lake system contains no combined sewers. The Cheat Lake WWTP, lift stations, and major interceptors and force mains were constructed in 2000 at a cost of $10 million. Preliminary planning is underway for an expansion of the Cheat Lake WWTP, with construction expected to take place in 2022 and 2023.

The MUB stormwater system serves approximately 15,500 customers. Stormwater system facilities include an estimated 225 miles of pipelines, and an unknown number of outfalls. A program to inventory and to map the stormwater system has begun. A $9 million improvement project was completed in the summer of 2009. That project addressed flooding in the Burroughs Run and Poponoe Run drainage basins. It included culvert upgrades, wetlands restoration, stream restoration, and focused floodproofing. A $2.5 million project, completed in 2013, added an overflow storm culvert to help prevent flooding of the Hartman Run stream along Hartman Run Rd and Rt 7 in the Sabraton area. A recent $3.5 million bond refinanced the 2013 debt, and provides funds for $1.9 million of current miscellaneous system upgrades.

Organizational Structure

MUB is governed by a five (5) member Board of Directors. Members of the Board are

appointed by City Council to five (5) year terms, and the terms are staggered so that

one term expires annually. The Board has full authority to operate, control and manage

the MUB organization, but with City Council retaining authority to set rates, to issue

bonds, and to appoint the members of the Board.

MUB relies solely upon its utility revenues for funding the utility. MUB receives no

routine funding from any other government agency. Occasional capital projects may be

funded by the issuance of municipal bonds or by taking advantage of state revolving

loan programs, and in such cases the borrowing is done in the name of the City of

Morgantown (with City Council approval), but even then, debt service is both paid and

secured solely with/by MUB’s utility revenues.

The GM oversees the full operations of the organization and its 153 employees. The GM

manages six direct reports, described below:

• Assistant General Manager / Chief Engineer – oversees the Engineering

department with a staff of 18, which currently includes 4 PE’s (not

counting the GM or Asst GM).

• Comptroller – oversees the Business, Customer Services, Billing,

Accounting, and Meter Reading departments, with a combined staff of

33.

• Manager of Treatment and Production – oversees the potable Water

Treatment Plant, the Star City Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Cheat

Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, and all related pumping stations,

with a combined staff of 38.

• Distribution and Collection Superintendent – oversees all new

construction and system maintenance performed by MUB field forces,

with a staff of 61.

• Director of Communications – oversees all press releases, media

relations, internal and external communications, public outreach, social

media presence, and website.

• General Counsel – oversees all legal matters, risk management, claims

management, legislative issues, contracts and rights of way.

The ideal candidate will:

• Be a strong leader, capable of both inspiring the organization to

pursue and achieve excellence; and to maintain the magic balance

of high performance and low rates.

• Possess a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or similarly demanding

technical field and ideally an advanced degree in Engineering,

Business or Public Administration. Equally important, the individual

should have a minimum of 20 years of experience and successful

fulfillment of responsibilities including water/sewer/storm system

design, operation, and maintenance; hydraulics and system

modelling; capital planning; water/sewer treatment; combined

sewers and LTCP’s; environmental regulations; utility regulations;

budgeting and rate design; personnel management; customer

service; and public relations

• Be an effective communicator in every context, including individual

interactions; team meetings; stakeholder groups; public meetings of

all kinds; written format; public speaking; live and recorded media

settings; etc.

• Be a recognized expert and industry leader, skilled in working with

industry associations, local and state regulators, City

Administrations and Council persons, County Commissioners,

Legislators, Federal agencies, and Congressional representatives.

Morgantown Utility Board - GENERAL MANAGER

Job Description


JOB SUMMARY:

The primary responsibility of the General Manager of the Morgantown Utility

Board is to ensure that the water, sewage, and stormwater systems of

Morgantown and the greater Morgantown area are operating safely, efficiently,

and effectively. This is achieved through good operations management and long

term planning; employing qualified employees and applying progressive human

resources practices; practicing sound financial management; maintaining

appropriate and effective communications with the MUB Board of Directors, the

City Council, other governmental bodies, community, utility customers, local and

statewide news agencies, and WV regulatory agencies; and conducting public

relations in a thoughtful and appropriate manner as the “public face” and primary

spokesperson of the organization.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

1. Operations management and long-term planning:

• Review all areas of operations and determine if execution is

being completed efficiently a nd within budget limitations.

• Determine planning priorities as they relate to water,

stormwater and wastewater facilities management.

• Provide vetted goals to the Board of Directors, ensuring

adequate facility capacity and capabilities to satisfy the

demands of a growing customer base, and compliance with

all state and federal requirements.

• Develop manpower estimates to adequately provide for all

operations and construction. Track employee turnover and

develop methodologies to retain best qualified staff

members.

• Become familiar with the components of each operational

system, and plan for replacement based on useful life and

operational efficiency.

• Project future dollar requirements to meet system renewal and

replacement needs.

• Utilize professional staff to develop required short, medium and

long term construction requirements.

• Manage all construction completed by MUB forces and also

completed by external contract. Ensure all contracts meet state

and federal requirements.

• Oversee all submissions to WV Health Department, WV

Department of Environmental Protection, the WV Infrastructure

and Jobs Development Council, WV Water Development

Authority, the WV Public Service Commission, the WV department

of Natural Resources, .

• Develop possible plans for utility regionalization, both water and

wastewater, by reviewing existing public service districts and their

capabilities, to identify potential mergers, as well as potential

acquisition of private sewage and water systems.

• Consider possible contract operations of private facilities.

• Identify opportunities to develop enterprise activities that may

provide additional sources of revenue.

2. Human Resources management:

• Ensure employee policy manual is current and meets all

requirements of state and federal agencies.

• Monitor hiring practices and ensure regulatory compliance.

• Review and update compensation requirements based upon local

economy, unemployment and specific job requirements.

• Review employee benefits package and modify accordingly

based upon the cost to provide the benefit as well as the need to

remain competitive in the local job market.

• Review worker’s compensation costs and claims, taking

appropriate corrective action for recurring problems based upon

historic data.

• Provide pro-active employee orientation, safety, and training

programs as key elements of a risk management program.

• Provide an open door policy to facilitate employer/employee dialogue

concerning employment practices and procedures.

• Meet with employee groups for the purpose of discussing

employee benefits packages.

• Promote an atmosphere of service, by promptly addressing

concerns of employees and customers.

3. Financial Management:

• Coordinate and direct the preparation of the annual budget and

financial forecast.

• Review monthly and annual financial statements; compare with

budget estimates and make changes/corrections if necessary.

• Monitor short term and long term investments; ensure

available liquidity for major expenditures; anticipate and

satisfy future cash needs for capital improvements.

• Be aware of debt service requirements and scheduled bond

maturities. Plan future borrowing around such information, in order

to minimize annual debt service requirements.

• Compare the terms of current long term debt to current market

conditions, and identify opportunities to refinance current long

term debt in order to minimize annual debt service

requirements.

• Analyze rate sufficiency with regard to O&M expenses, capital

expenditures, and debt service requirements. Present necessary

rate adjustment proposals to the Board of Directors and the City

Council.

• Maintain appropriate funding of the contingency reserve account,

and oversee the investment management of said funds. Coordinate

the investment policy and utilization of said contingency account

with the MUB Board.

• Track costs of employee benefit package and negotiate with

benefit vendors for the lowest possible rates that can be provided.

• Pursue low interest funding of MUB projects by the WV Water

Development Authority, WV DEP, WV DHHR, and/or WV

Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council.

• Establish and monitor financial benchmarks to determine if MUB

is over spending.

• Monitor payroll and overtime pay to determine if all overtime is

required.

• Monitor valuation of physical plant as it applies to general

liability insurance and property insurance.

• Provide financial evaluation regarding acquisition of existing

public/private utilities and/or expanding into un-served areas.

• Provide MUB Board and MUB bondholders with an accurate and

current financial reports.

4. Communications to the Board of Directors;

• Develop monthly Board meeting agenda and provide the Board

with read ahead material explaining the agenda items.

• Prepare staff members for specific staff briefings to the

Board.

• Develop list of priorities and get Board approval of proposed

capital projects for new fiscal year.

• Report monthly financial position, current construction underway,

proposed future construction, and current matters of concern or

interest.

• Keep the Board informed regarding current or emerging

situations about which they may be questioned.

• Provide a Board Notes newsletter that reports past, current and

future work completed or forecasted for completion. Describe

various MUB departments and provide operational information on

how they do business.

• Advise the Board on purchases or construction contracts

through the bidding process, and submit related bids /

proposals for their approval.

• Solve problems promptly so that they are not elevated to the

Board level.

5. Communications with community, customers, news agencies and public

relations:

• Act as primary spokesperson for MUB with regard to any

emergency, mishap, complaint, public request for information

or public interview.

• Utilize the Director of Communications to develop various

communications to bring MUB’s successes to the public’s

attention.

• Provide escorted tours for community leaders, public officials,

WVU class leaders and anyone on the state level that is

interested in viewing our facilities.

• Work closely with the City Council regarding their requests for

repairs or improvements to MUB infrastructure.

• Maintain contact with critical stakeholders that can be consulted

to vet proposed rules, policies, and future plans.

• Maintain communications with WV House of Delegate

members and Senate members in order to comment on

pending legislation that may impact MUB.

• Keep state regulatory agencies current on proposed capital

improvement/expansion projects and related funding needs.

• Maintain strong relationships and transparency with local

media.

LEVEL OF SUPERVISION:

This position operates under the direct supervision of the MUB Board

of Directors.

WORK RELATIONSHIPS:

This position interacts with the general public, customers, all MUB

employees, the MUB Board of Directors, consultants, bankers, lawyers, news

media, WV PSC, all state regulatory authorities and overseeing health and

environmental agencies, vendors, and City Council.

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, SKILLS:

A Bachelor of Science in Engineering, or a similarly demanding technical field,

from a four-year institution is mandatory. Advanced degrees in Engineering

and/or Business are ideal. Management work experience of at

least 15-20 years in a utility environment is a major prerequisite, with a

demonstrated record of progressive responsibility, accomplishment, and

expertise. The GM must be a strong leader, capable of both inspiring the

organization to pursue and achieve excellence; and of maintaining the magic

balance of high performance and low rates.

Interested and Qualified individuals can contact:

Tony Trouse, Managing Partner, The Giddings Group

239/267-8290

ttrouse@giddingsgroup.com