August 3: RPE, Facilities/Operations Overview & OPEB Updates

Good afternoon,

After a busy week, it’s crazy to think that we are now in the month of August. Summer has gone by too fast, and starting Thursday, September 7, we are back on our regular work hours. Be sure to mark your calendars and set a reminder to start showing up on Friday mornings!

Today, our operations crews began our Rapid Penetration Emulsion program on Scio Church Rd out in Lodi & Scio Townships. This is a preventative maintenance activity that is applied to recently paved roads and is a fairly new practice of our organization. This maintenance is meant to prevent water from seeping into the pavement, which eventually will cause pavement degradation over time.

During our working session this week, Adam Lape provided the board with a phenomenal presentation about our facilities and operational equipment. The presentation outlined the equipment needs that our operations department requires to continue maintaining our road system, along with a financial plan that would allow these upgrades to take place. We then took our board members out to the parking lot to show them some of our equipment, both old and new. Shop staff and Aaron Clavier were there to share their experiences and how important this equipment is to their daily work activities. Shout out to Adam, the facilities team and our shop for such a well thought out plan. This proposal was a group effort and you all knocked it out of the park – especially all the mechanics and Aaron!

Then, during our board meeting, Dan Ackerman provided our board with updates on our Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB), which is mostly retiree healthcare, and our pension program. Per PA 202, OPEB plans are considered underfunded if the ratio is below 40%. Dan’s update explained that from 2020 to 2022 our funded ratio went from 59.3% to 67.4%. With recent performance of the financial markets, this kind of increase is incredible! Additionally, WCRC was awarded $4.5 million from the Protecting MI Pension Grant Program to put toward our pension fund. The purpose of this program is to help Michigan’s underfunded municipal pension systems and get organizations to a 60% funded level. A huge thank you to Dan Ackerman for jumping through multiple hoops to acquire this grant for our organization and ensure that our pension fund remains stable for all of us.

It looks like we have a beautiful weekend ahead of us! I hope you all get to enjoy it.

Take care & stay safe,