Commission Minutes – March 17, 2016

For your consideration, please review the minutes for the Commission Meeting from March 17, 2016:

BGJWSC_Commission_Meeting_Minutes_March_17,_2016 – Posted 4/8/16

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

PRESENT:                            

Thomas Boland, Chairman

Clifford Adams, Vice-Chairman

Donald M. Elliott, Commissioner

Allen Booker, County Commissioner

John A. Cason, III, City Commissioner

Robert Bowen, Commissioner

ABSENT:                              

Ronald Perry, Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:                

Jacob Kitchens, Legal Counsel

John D. Donaghy, Director of Administration

Pam Crosby, Director of Procurement

Todd Kline, Senior Engineer

Chairman Boland called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM. Commissioner Booker provided the invocation, and Chairman Boland let the pledge.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

There being no citizens that wished to address the Commission, Chairman Boland closed the Public Comment Period.

PRESENTATION

Employee Recognition – Commissioner Cason / Kirk Young

The Georgia State Board of Examiners for Certification of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators and Laboratory Analysts recognizes Austin Andrew Gowen, Michael James Daniels, and Leslie C. Hunter as a Wastewater Collection System Operators in the state of Georgia and he is now entitled to all of the privileges allowed under the Registration Act of Georgia. Special Recognition of Gregory Sellers for his quick reaction and bravery.  Mr. Sellers placed the bucket from the backhoe in front of a worksite hole where 2 JWSC were working when Glynn County Police were chasing a vehicle on the streets of St. Simons Island.

Chairman Boland recognized the absence of Commissioner Ronnie Perry and requested a motion to excuse his absence.

Vice-Chairman Adams made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to approve the absence of Commissioner Perry from the meeting. Motion approved 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Communications & Customer Service Committee Commissioner Adams

There is nothing new to report at this time. There is a scheduled meeting for March 10th.

Economic Development Committee – Commissioner Boland

There was nothing new to report at this time.

Facilities Committee – Commissioner Perry

There was nothing new to report at this time.

Finance Committee – Commissioner Elliott

There was nothing new to report at this time.

Human Resources Committee – Commissioner Cason

The committee had a productive meeting this morning but nothing new to report.

Legislative Committee – Commissioner Boland

The Legislation did pass the house and more information to come soon.

APPROVAL

Minutes from March 3rd, 2016 Regular Meeting (subject to any necessary changes)

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to approve the minutes from the March 3rd Regular Meeting. Motion carried 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

Capital Equipment Purchases – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Elliott presented the Capital Equipment Purchases and explained there has been a hold on Capital purchases for the last 2 years. The list of items were reviewed.  The memorandum discussed the request to use not more than 1.5M to procure vehicles and equipment designated by Superintendents as being priority 1 or 2 for their division.  The staff recommended / requests the Commission approve the use of $1,500,000 operating reserves to procure high priority equipment and vehicles required to perform the JWSC mission.   It was stated that there is no debt of leased equipment.

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Booker to approve the use of $1,500,000 operating reserves to procure high priority equipment and vehicles required to perform the JWSC mission. Motion approved 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

It was explained in detail that some of the equipment are non-functioning and could be a safety issue.

Safety Manual Acceptance – J. Sellers

Jay Sellers presented the Safety Manual to the Commission and provided a brief history of the Safety Committee which was formed in 2008. The Safety Committee is an employee led program that administers standards of practice to help ensure a safe working environment for all staff. He stated the Committee has assembled the document and, once approved by the Commission, the committee would like to maintain the document and begin using the principles.  It was stated that all employees will be required to review the manual and sign an acknowledgment document. This will also be a part of the new employee hire in-processing documents.  It is also a way of formalizing the concern for a safe work environment and a rule for employees to follow. A smaller version will be in the vehicles for crews to use.

Commission Adams made a motion seconded by Commissioner Booker to accept the Safety Manual as written and authorized the Safety Committee to maintain. Motion carried 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

Master Plan Acceptance – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Elliott discussed the Master Plan that was presented on March 3rd by Angela Bryant and Laura Constantino of 4 Waters Engineering.  This presentation showed the road map of JWSC for the next 5 years and subsequent 15 years and further and will be used for the Financial Plan.  It was noted the Finance and Facilities Committees reviewed and approved this guide showing the prioritization of JWSC infrastructure.  Jay Sellers shared the JWSC website on the screens showing the Master Plan is accessible for the public to review.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commission Cason to accept the Master Plan as its road map for the future. Motion carried 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

2016-2017 Draft Budget for Release to County/City – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy discussed the Draft Budget for the Commissioners to review. The memorandum was presented and read that as required by the Operational Agreement between the BGJWSC, the City of Brunswick, and Glynn County, Section 14(a) to present its budget for review and comment by May 1 of each year.  John discussed the Reserve Balances, Capital Tap Fees, Cash Transfers, and Repair and Replace for projects.  The Operating Reserve total was discussed leaving a balance of 7M after the 1.5M transfer for Capital Equipment Purchases.  The balance of 2.6M are available in funds for projects to include expansion and repair/renew.  The 2017 Proposed Budget was discussed and noted that the Finance Committee has reviewed and recommend that is be forwarded to the City and the County for their review and comment.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cason to approve submission of the Proposed Fiscal Year 2017 JWSC Budget to the City of Brunswick and to Glynn County for their review and comment. Motion carried 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

Rate Resolution Acceptance to Begin Public Notice – Andy Burnham / John Donaghy

The Rate Resolution is based on two things: The Master Plan and adopting the budget. These two items will reveal what the Rate Resolution needs to look like.  Andy Burnham presented the overview of the Financial Management Process.  Each year as part of establishing the budget that is adopted, the JWSC goes through an analysis of measuring adequacies of revenue current rates to meet the current upcoming cost requirements.  The rate adjustments are made through the process and there were no increases last year.  It has been a couple of years since the last rate adjustments in the system and those previously were very small in nature. Commissioner Elliott explained the I & I problems and the Manhole Rehabilitation Program stating that many manholes are in distress which explained the 1M in the FY17 budget.  The cost increase related to additional staff was explained. The key capital funding considerations from the Master Plan was discussed.  The Growth Related Capital needs are substantial and clearly on the sewer side of expanding the system. Growth funding sources are only through tap fees, potential SPLOST funds, and developer contributions, but not from the rate payers and this continues to be reflective of the financial management plan. The Financial Management Plan Summary was previously discussed and is being review today.  The only expansion that is included is that which could be funded by tap fees.  It was explained that it could cost up to 109M just to fix the problems we already have and not expansion.  Andy explained that it goes back to the beginning of acquiring the systems.  There was no cash funding set up for capital reinvestment and so this organization began the 3M transfer for renewal and replacement as it was zero when it began.  The JWSC and industry standards were compared discussed.  If JWSC had increased the rates each year it would still be at the same rate price.  The average resident uses 4,000 gallons a month.  The Southeast Coastal rate survey was reviewed and compared to Glynn County.  The GEFA website provides a great tool for rate comparison and states the Brunswick District combined water and sewer bill is very comparable to the majority of utilities in Georgia.  The Tap/Impact fees were discussed.  It was stated that these fees are the primary mechanism that JWSC would use and have complete control over.  These fees can generate funds for new developments and expansion.  The cost for tap fees were discussed and is recommended to leave as the policy maker’s decision and to have the opportunity to develop a plan.  The fees could be phased in slowly and try to find a balance and be leveraged.  It could be debt funded, meaning developers would pay and not the current rate payers.  It was noted that the Commission has the authority to adjust or forgive tap fees in the rate resolution and should be done fairly.  A consideration would be for older established neighborhoods going onto sewer would pay for the installation but not the tap fees, etc.  Mr. Burnham recommended the 3-5 year span to update fees. Generally above 5 years is too long as you would need a new study.  John Donaghy presented the proposed Rate Resolution July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.  He discussed the process and the timeline required to meet deadlines.  The Schedule of Fees & Charges and REU’s documents were discussed.  Commissioner Elliott requested a change to section IV under Capital Tap Fees and add the use of capital tap fees can be used for repaying of debt.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion Seconded by Commissioner Cason that JWSC accept the Proposed Rate Resolution for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017 subject to change during the public hearing and input process and also subject to the additional paragraph to be added regarding Capital Tap Fees for debt servicing. Motion carried 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

DISCUSSION

Revision of SPLOST List Dated 3/16/15 – Chairman Boland

Commissioner Boland discussed the revised SPLOST list and will be forwarded to the City and County. A few items were added which included 2032 Regional PS, and the PS 4036.  The total is approximately 31M.  It was noted that JWSC was not part of or invited to attend the City and County meeting on the SPLOST projects.  Commissioner Booker stated the proposal is to look at 3-4 years at about 19M a year.  There is a request to limit the amount of projects to 67 and added Jekyll Island.

Application Selection Procedure – Chairman Boland

Commissioner Boland updated the Commissioner on the job position applicants. He requested they be reviewed by the Commissioners and provide the top 10 back by next Thursday in order to set up telephone interviews.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Commissioner Elliott and Todd Kline shared the contractors’ inspection of work previously done on Atlantic and Frederica. The reason this was brought forward is that the staff and the Commission need to thoroughly inspect how the projects are executed.  There was additional discussion of sewer lines recently worked on.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to go into Executive Session. Motion carried 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

Commissioner Adams made a motion seconded by Commissioner Bowen to exit the Executive Session and return to the Regular Session. Motion carried 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

Back in session.

Commissioner Boland stated the land swap for the back parking lot area has gone through. There is another pieces that the City can use and therefore agreed to the swap of land with JWSC.

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Bowen to adjourn the Regular Meeting. Motion carrier 6-0-1 (Commissioner Perry was absent for the vote).

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Boland adjourned the meeting at 4:05 PM.