LUCC Meeting Minutes December 5, 2019

Welcome – President Roman Hernandez called the meeting to order and welcomed all attendees.

Self-Introductions – 21 people were present.

Meeting Minutes –Meeting minutes were approved at the opening of the meeting.

Treasurers Report – Naomi Shirtcliff: Purchased lunch for the November guest speaker and one Q4 board meeting lunch. Purchased giveaways for Dec meeting and paid the invoice for the yard signs. Getting ready to send out 2020 Member invoices.

Publicity & Education– Jim Franklin: Going to start working on contractor’s breakfast. Noticed the contractors haven’t been attending many meetings, possibly due to work not slowing down in the winter. We’ve had lots of dry weather. Sandi brought in a box of 2020 (811) calendars.

Damage Report– Jason Williams: We purchased 30 yard signs with stakes. They were printed on one side and we’ll add a large 811 sticker to the backside. Jason will place them in new subdivisions and move them to new sites as the house is wrapping up construction.

Reece Landscaping was digging before their ticket was due. Jason spoke to them. Another company (not local to Eugene area) was found digging before their ticket was due, they thought it was ok to dig by hand without waiting. A homeowner damaged his gas service with a post hole digger.

Web Page– Amy Abramson:  the website is up to date.

OUCC Standards Review – Rocky Stewart: Jason mentioned a recent situation where they had to site the standards manual for a survey company that called in a large pre-survey locate because they were concerned they couldn’t set up their survey equipment without a ticket. Pg 48 in the manual states you don’t need a locate to set up tri-pods or similar equipment.

Old Business: NWN gas had an excavation site that uncovered unlocated phone. They spent a lot of time trying to contact the locator to come mark the lines and ultimately had to call a USIC manager to get help. This is noted as another issue that we are having locally with communications locates.

2020 Officer Chair Elections were held and voted as follows:

President – Roman Hernandez, CenturyLink

Vice Pres – Rocky Stewart, PRG Consulting & Hole in One Locating

Secretary – Amy Abramson, Eugene Water & Electric Board

Treasurer – Naomi Shirtcliff, Williams Pipeline

Publicity & Education – Jim Franklin, Lane County

Damage Coordinator – Jason Williams, NW Natural Gas

Programs – Sandi Bonn, City of Eugene

Webpage & Info Liaison – Amy Abramson, Eugene Water & Electric Board

New Business:  Jim Franklin – permits for pole installations or replacements in the Lane County ROW will now include specific language regarding how and where to place the pole, this will be found on the face of the permit.

Roman – CTL will be transitioning to a new line extension contractor in 2020. C-2 will no longer hold the contract after January 1st. Roman will share more info when available. Jim suggest to have the new contractor meet with the City and County permitting depts to discuss expectations.                      

Program:  Tim Blume – Williams Pipeline: “Using Drones for Utility Work”

We have a DJI – Phantom drone now, the first one we purchased went into the Mckenzie River. There was a little bit of a learning curve to learning how to fly it. The drone uses a cellular connection and transmits images to the phone with 4k video resolution. You can also get different lenses for wide angle or other effects. The cost starts around $1000 plus accessories for a basic drone.

If you are using the drone as a hobbyist you don’t need an FAA license. However, to use it for Utility work purposes you should be licensed with a “private pilot’s license”. Williams is no longer using it for utility work due to these new regulations, as we don’t have a licensed pilot on staff. When we were able to fly it, we found it useful for inspecting the pipeline where it crosses the river during flood stage waters, where access was otherwise impossible. We couldn’t get within a mile of the crossing on foot.

A hobbyist pilot has a 5 mile radius buffer zone from any airport where it cannot fly and must maintain line of site. There is a small work around for hobbyist, if the drone is less than ½ lb and flies less than 400ft elevation there currently aren’t any regulations.

Williams has an actual small aircraft that fly’s their entire ROW every week, checking for unwanted activity, land movement, or any other signs of maintenance that could be needed.

Some common uses of drones for utilities or contractors (beside inspections) is sharing of job site images, land management, before & after shots of job sites, etc. There are licensed contractors / drone operators that you can hire if you don’t have a drone in house.

Meeting Adjourned-  1:00  pm

Next Meeting Topic:    Locator Open Discuss: “What’s working? What’s not Working?” – for the locators, by the locators.