Commission Minutes – August 4, 2016

For your consideration, please review the minutes for the Commission Meeting from August 4, 2016:

BGJWSC_Commission_Meeting_Minutes_August_4,_2016_w

To read the minutes, please open or download the pdf from the link above or you may see more below:

PRESENT:                             

Thomas A. Boland, Sr., Chairman

Clifford Adams, Vice-Chairman

Donald M. Elliott, Commissioner

Allen Booker, County Commissioner

John A. Cason, III, City Commissioner

Ronald Perry, Commissioner

Robert Bowen, Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:                  

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel

John D. Donaghy, Director of Administration & Finance

Pam Crosby, Director of Purchasing                                               

Commissioner Boland called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM.  Commissioner Booker provided the invocation and Commissioner Boland led the pledge.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Potential Litigation

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott made a motion to adjourn into Executive Session for Potential Litigation issues and Contract Issues.  Motion carried 6-0-1 (Commissioner Bowen was absent for the vote).

Executive Session

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to adjourn the Executive Session and return to the regular meeting.  Motion approved 7-0-0.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Ron Sluder, Silverton Mortgage – there is a lot of confusion with what is going on and what JWSC has stopped allowing. Mr. Sluder stated he is working on 2 subdivisions on SSI.  He stated he went to pick up the permits but was unable to do so.  Please make a deadline on when permits were submitted and consider the projects already turned in.

Wayne Hutcheson – Mr. Hutcheson discussed the area of the potential water park on HWY 99. The capacity should be there.

Patrick Duncan, Hampton Plantation – I wanted to share with the broader commission.  I’m the owner of a personal lot on Hampton for 17 years.  I came in last week and found out there were no more taps. I was recommended to the website to view the minutes from the July 7th meeting that addresses the stopping of sewer taps and it was not addressed.

Lamar Smith, Stated he and others are in the dark of what is going on.  We represent families that work on job sites, etc.  Can you let us know what your decision are?   We came to pick up permits on Monday and were turned away.

Keith Boone, I was born and raised in this community.  We have contracts and people can’t buy property because they can’t get permits.  How could the JWSC not place a notice a month ago to let people know.  There was very little building in 2006-2009 and things are just now starting to be productive again.

Jason Counts, I would like to express my disappointment that no one is willing to talk to us today. I come as a realtor, builder, developer, and a building material supplier.  All of these entities will be hurt if new construction is shut down.  Water and sewer has been available since 2004 on the properties he is working on.  After having these properties, paying property taxes, putting in infrastructure and now being told there can be no building on these properties plus the contracts in limbo are liable for.  Please come up with a quick solution to this problem.

Bob Nash, Representing Alexander Properties. Please provide a statement before end of the meeting on the raw land and plotted lots.  He bought the lots and had no warning that there is no tap.

Greg Wilkes, Home Builder, After a couple of months with the tap in fees that were increasing I had a project waiting for the decision on the timeline.  Construction is the major industry in this town.   I bought lots and are in the affected area.  There was no warning for no tap in fees.  I have paid on the sewer tap in fees and hoping it will be honored.  We as builders need answers as we have customers to share information with.  Requesting the answers by tomorrow on how people can plan.

Jay Roberts, Attorney here on behalf of Frederica Development.  FD has 83 platted lots on the North end on Basin 2032.  There was a meeting last week with JWSC.  FD and owner of platted have vested rights in those lots.  They also have vested rights in public water and sewer system.  There is typically alternative solutions to avoid damage to the lot owners.

Chairman Boland thanked those who are present and provided comments.  He stated that the Commission is working on a solution and recognizes the implications of this problem and it is diligently being worked on.  The Commission and staff are going to continue to try to resolve this.  There are a number of lift stations that are over capacity and there are numerous problems that have been just now being discovering.  The Master Plan from 2009 was not pushed to complete it.  Most of this Commission began in 2014.  This Commission discussed the tap fees in the Rate Resolution and capacity issues on the July 7th meeting minutes.  This Commission will meet again to discuss your comments.  This Commission does not receive tax money but from approx. 30k customers.  A meeting may be planned next week with the County and the City to discuss these issues.  JWSC rates were one of the lowest in the state and the money was not coming in to fix the systems/problems.  The request for SPLOST was discussed and noted that it could help pay for a lot of the problems.  The previous debt of the County and City was explained as now being paid for by JWSC.  Other options were discussed to borrow the money or obtain a bonds.  The JWSC will look at all the comments and see what can be done and try to accommodate entirely without encountering an issue.

Commissioner Elliott addressed those present and those leaving the meeting by stating the issues being discussed today is beneficial for all present and addresses the concerns the problems faced by JWSC and the community.

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Communications & Customer Service Committee Commissioner Adams

There was nothing new to report.

Economic Development Committee – Commissioner Elliott

The Chairman met with the Economic Development Board and are discussing issue in the North Mainland area.  A future meeting is planned next week.

Facilities Committee – Commissioner Perry

There was nothing new to report.

Finance Committee – Commissioner Elliott

There is nothing new to report.

Human Resources Committee – Commissioner Cason

The Committee met this morning and there is nothing new to report.

Legislative Committee – Commissioner Boland

There was nothing new to report.

Commissioner Perry made a motion seconded by Commissioner Bowen to add item #3 contract Hussey Gay, Bell to the approval items.

APPROVAL

Minutes from the July 28, 2016 Regular Meeting

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Bowen to approve the minutes from July 28, 2016 Regular Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Minutes from the July 28, Executive Session Meeting

Commissioner Perry made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cason to approve the minutes from the July 28, 2016 Executive Session Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

 N. Mainland Basin Assessment Contract – T. Kline

Todd Kline presented to the Commission on the Hussey Gay Bell Engineering firm contract.  JWSC staff have had discussions on providing a further in-depth assessment on basins of interest and to develop a plan of action for immediate and long term solutions.  HGB has provided a proposal for the Commissions’ consideration.  The firm would be able to start right away.  This firm have just completed something similar in Pooler and Statesboro, GA.  They will begin with every lift stations beginning with those operating 80% or above.  They will then continue to the yellow zone and those lift station that will need help.  Commissioner Elliott asked that the map of the basins be presented so the Commissioners and public can be aware.  This is to set up a frame work and establish process and procedure for the whole system of in-depth basin analysis.  Going forward we will set up as a formal RFP for consideration.  Pam Crosby stated this will cover the N. Mainland and part of the scope of work will be to develop the standards by which we are assessing the Master Plan at a high level.  The firm will provide various data that will be very instrumental.  Maps were provided sharing the basin and LS4039 as the main lift station.  There was further discussion on repairs and expansions.  When you have growth that occurs it causes the number of users in the system to increase and makes it an expansions.   When there is maintenance that need to be done because of the age of the infrastructure that makes it a repair.  It was discussed by Commissioner Elliott that he believes that repairs of the system falls as the responsibility of the rate payers whereas the expansion has to be paid for by other funds like Capital Tap Fees.  There was a question if exit 29 has capacity and a tap fee could be purchased today would JWSC accommodate.  The Chairman and Commissioner Elliott stated there is room but there are a few issues and they he would be happy to discuss further at another meeting time.  The maps were discussed in further detail.  The contract would be for 90 days and the commission is anxious to get solutions and open up the capacity.  There were additional public comments questioning the St. Simons Island capacity problems.  Another project is being engineered for the SSI basin and will fix most of the problem area.   Commissioner Boland explained the work and time it takes to Commission this board and the difficult decisions they face.  They are doing their best to change the system and get it up to date and appreciate the support to solve the problems being faced.

Commissioner Perry made a motion seconded by Commissioner Bowen to approve the N. Mainland Basin Assessment Contract.  Motion approved 5-0-2 (Commissioners Cason and Adams stepped out).

DISCUSSION

Restaurant REU’s – J. Donaghy

Commissioner Elliott introduced the REU’s for restaurants that the county commissioners wanted JWSC to discuss.  It was noted that restaurants use a lot of water and it is JWSC feels the REU’s are in line with the water use.   John discussed the average customer uses about 4.5 thousand gallons which is essentially ½ of an REU.  This constitutes the average daily demand of the residential unit which then transferred to the maximum daily demand by the peaking factor which in this case is 2.  There is some variance in other users.  Once this is determined a comparison was made from 20 other restaurants and received an average usage.  The residential theory was applied to the mix of restaurants and received the average usage.  It was confirmed that the tables, by in large, are fairly accurate for the majority of the restaurants by the number of REU’s assessed.   It was stated that we are charging less than should be.

Insurance vs Operating Reserve – J. Donaghy

In recognition of the needs that JWSC have for the infrastructure and the immediacy of the problems, JWSC is looking for funds and cash flow beginning these repairs and maintenance projects as soon as possible.  In doing this JWSC recognizes there is approx. 7.5M saved in Operating Reserve that was established when the 2010 revenue bond was issued.  Some of this money was earmarked for asset purchases last year.  Staff has been in contact with McGinty-Gordon for necessary insurance coverage.  This will address cash flow and the fixes necessary to obtain capacity back as soon as possible.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

The roof in the annex has been fixed and the parking lot in back is complete.

There is a meeting with the County, City, and Dev. Authority will be on August 10th.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Bowen to return into Executive Session for Potential Litigation.  Motion approved 7-0-0.

Commissioner Adams made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to adjourn the meeting.  Motion approved 7-0-0.

Meeting adjourned at 4:04 pm