Chair’s Report: Dave Hunstad welcomed the Board and observed that the Board would probably continue to meet virtually for a while. Suggestion of shorter meetings with greater frequency.
Election of Secretary and Appointment to Executive Committee: Ward Westphal elected Secretary and appointed to the Executive Committee to replace Jodi Corrow.
Legislative Report: Dean Parker reports that there will be no cahnges to the leadership of the committee that oversees changes to Minnesota Statutes Chapter 216D. Bonding bill passed in October with $700 million for road and bridge construction and $300 million for wastewater treatment and is expected to directly impact excavation in Minnesota.
Chief Operations Officer Report: Barbara Cederberg reviewed 2020 ticket volumes. Through October tickets are up 8.8% YTD with online submission up to 82.9%. The new user interface has been widely accepted with few still using the legacy interface. ITIC created polygons are now able to be accurately viewed by Korterra and iRTH.
Notification Buffer Size Change: Beginning Jan 1, 2021 the buffer for ITIC submitted tickets will change from 500 ft or the nearest right-of-way to 300ft or the nearest right-of-way, whichever is less. There will be no change to the buffers for tickets called in by phone.
Process Change for Start Time/Date of tickets: Web submitted tickets must be reviewed by the notification center before they are accepted. Beginning December 1, 2020, acceptance time will be adjusted such that the work start time/date requested by the ticket submitter is at least 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. This is only expected to effect tickets submitted during peak times where review times may be longer.
One Calll Process Review Team:
Team had prioritized several efforts that could have a positive impact on reasonable use of llocator resources and/or improving safety.
Limit tickets on busy days – request that users push out start times if they are able to do so.
Limit multiple updates of normal tickets – provide strong encouragement for use of meet tickets instead.
Force new marking instructions when a ticket is updated for the third or fourth time – theory is that some of the work has already been done, so the marking instructions should be revised to reflect only what excavation remains.
Require an excavator state the reason why “no” white marks on ticket requests and insert the reason in remarks section.
Request more precise marking instructions when a ticket is submitted with “mark entire lot”.
GSOC is participating in the utility mapping pilot project to explore potential offered by advacing technologies and to encourage implementation where appropriate.
GSOC is working on a metrics project to provide data to facililty operators and excavators in the field.
MnOPS Update: Working on alert notices to excavators and utilities regarding white markings, communications between locator and excavator, and complaints. Intended change to complaints process - no more form, all complaints to be taken by phone. Final 216D Stakeholder meeting to review these changes.
PR/Awareness Report: Star Tribune campaigns were overall successful and the third largest source of traffic to the GSOC website. St. Paul Saints initiatives have been pushed to 2021 due to the pandemic. GSOC will experiemnt with a virtual booth for the Norther Green Lanscaping Show, which will be entirely virtual this year.
OCC Report: Post pandemic OCC is planning on a hybrid office model with personel such as database or training coordinators wokring from the office and allowing CSRs to continue working at home if desired. MN is experiencing significantly larger increases in ticket volume as compared to other OCC notification centers. GSOC is on pace for a record year finally beating out the 2004 record. Review times are up slightly and will become a key performance indicator next year.
Chair’s Report: Dave Hunstad welcomed the Board and noted his appreciation to everyone for making time to attend the Board meeting. He expressed hope we would be meeting again in person soon.
Legislative Report: Dean Parker gave a brief legislative report summarizing legislative activity of the previous session.
Board Discussion: Reports from the Field The Board continued to engage in a wide discussion of experiences from the field. Phil Lesnar noted that he believed there were still apparently not enough locators.
Chief Operations Officer Report: Barbara Cederberg reviewed 2020 ticket volumes. Through July tickets are up over 11% versus the same time in 2019. Increases have varied widely month to month and even included one month where ticket numbers decreased (May).
Board discussion: Additional metrics: Keith Novy led a discussion concerning the role that GSOC might play in providing additional metric information for stakeholders.
Open Forum: Guest Hawthorn Bjorback addressed the Board. He noted his family’s long history in Minnesota’s utility locate industry and voiced his concern that safety in the underground damage prevention industry may be eroding as a whole.
MnOPS Update: Mike Mendiola indicated the 216D Stakeholder meetings were in process and a number of subgroup meetings were held the previous week. Further discussion will take place concerning proposed changes this Fall.
OCC Report: Kimberly Boyd advised the work from home initiative continues at the notification center and has been a great success. Currently, 56 CSRs are working from home with 17 well-spaced in the office for a total of 73.
Outreach and PR Report: Olivia Jensen advised the Board that more outreach on radio is being provided this year due to the cancellation of so many events, including Farm Fest and the State Fair. The 811 Run itself was cancelled.
Finance Committee Report: Tom Hoffman advised the Board that the Finance Committee has not met over the summer due to the pandemic. However, the audit of the 2019 financial statements has been successfully completed.
OCC Contract Extension: After an introduction and discussions by the Board, upon motion made and duly seconded, the Board voted unanimously to approve a five (5) year extension to the OCC agreement.
Summary of Election of Sam Richert to the Board: Dan Munthe reminded the Board that the Vetting Committee was unable to meet even virtually with Sam Richert prior to the last election, due to the pandemic and conflicting schedules.
Chair’s Report: Dave Hunstad welcomed new Board members Mark Sellin of Sellin Brothers Excavating, Jason Ponciano of Vanguard Partners and Ben Wallace of USIC.
Reports from the Field: Keith Novy noted the substantial increases in locate ticket requests that CenterPoint Energy was experiencing. He and others noted that constraints of the pandemic are making it tough to manage and staff personnel particularly because training has been adversely affected.
Chief Operations Officer Report: Barb Cederberg noted Homeowner tickets have increased up to 16% of the total ticket volume, probably due to more do it yourself projects being done as a result of the pandemic. Online ticket submission by homeowners has dramatically increased to approximately 70% of the homeowner volume.
PR Awareness and Outreach Report: Olivia Jensen addressed the Board regarding GSOC’s marketing and outreach activities. GSOC had an expanded presence at the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show this year.
OCC Report: Kimberly Boyd, general manager of the notification center, advised that the “work from home” model was fully adopted by the notification center early in the pandemic.
MnOPS Update: Jon Wolfgram furnished an update from the Office of Pipeline Safety. Most staff is working remotely now, some inspections are occurring remotely, social distancing and masks for inspections and investigators in the field as everyone adapts to new conditions required by the pandemic.