Commission Meeting Minutes – December 21, 2017

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Commission Meeting Minutes 12-21-17 with Attachments

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

Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES 

PRESENT:                             

Donald M. Elliott, Chairman

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

Mike Browning, Commissioner

Steve Copeland, Commissioner

Robert Bowen, Commissioner 

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Jimmy Junkin, Executive Director

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel HBS

Andrew Burroughs, Deputy Executive Director

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

Pam Crosby, Director of Procurement

John D. Donaghy, Director of Finance

Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

ABSENT:                               

Cliff Adams, Vice-Chairman

David Ford, Commissioner                               

Chairman Elliott called the meeting to order at 2:04 PM.

Commissioner Copeland provided the invocation and Chairman Elliott led the pledge.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Chairman Elliott opened the public comment period.

Tim McDermott – Agenda

Mr. McDermott addressed the Commission by noting he had been present at the Finance meeting the day before, and commented that he felt it was important for the attachments for the meeting to be included on the agenda for the public to preview it ahead of the meeting.  He noted that the Glynn County Commission does this.  Mr. McDermott also commented that based on the presentation on the arrears report, he had looked up the census data and compared the number of accounts to be turned off with the number of households in Brunswick, and it seemed like this large amount of the City that is going to potentially be turned off.

There being no additional citizens for public comment, Chairman Elliott closed the public comment period.

 COMMITTEE UPDATES

Compliance & Legislative Committee – Commissioner Browning

There was no update at this time.

Facilities Committee – Commissioner Adams

There was no update at this time.

Finance Committee – Chairman Elliott

Chairman Elliott noted that most of the points of the Finance Committee would be part of this meeting, except for the matter of the update on plans to reduce the accounts in arrears. He added the statistics were provided and certainly this number of accounts would not be turned off all at once.  Chairman Elliott continued that this will be a rigorous program of encouraging people to have payment plans to reduce the arrears, and that if there was not a lot of cooperation in that respect where people do not meet the criteria of their payment plan, then it will be necessary to cut them off.  This is the only way to get people to understand they need to pay their water and sewer bills, and this is a course of action that must be taken when people refuse to pay for the service they are receiving.  Commissioner Browning added that he thought the Finance Committee discussions were very interesting and noted that regarding the issue of the delinquent accounts there has to be a plan to address them, and that anything to be done will be difficult.

Human Resources & Safety Committee – Commissioner Harvey

There was no update at this time.

Public Information & Customer Relations Committee – Commissioner Copeland

There was no update at this time.

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the December 7, 2017 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from December 7, 2017 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 5-0-2. (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote.)

  1. Minutes from the December 7, 2017 Executive Session

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from December 7, 2017 Executive Session.  Motion carried 5-0-2 (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote.)

Chairman Elliott then requested a motion to excuse Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford from the Commission Meeting.

A motion was made by Commissioner Browning and seconded by Commissioner Harvey to excuse Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford from the December 7, 2017 Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were not present for the vote.)

  1. U.S.G.S. Project – P. Crosby / Greg Cherry, U.S.G.S.

Pam Crosby introduced Greg Cherry from the U.S.G.S. and she provided the background information that the updates have been discussed regarding the renewal of the annual U.S.G.S. contract with the Brunswick Glynn Joint Water and Sewer.  She noted that in each fiscal year prior, the JWSC has fully funded that program for the Glynn County community at an amount of $129,000.00, and that staff recommended to fund this year’s study for $50,000.00, and that Mr. Cherry was going to provide a brief overview of what the U.S.G.S. study encompasses with regard to the salt water plume and intrusion into the aquifer and the historical funding of that program.  She also noted that provided in the packet was a sample letter that would be circulated to other key stakeholders and waters users in the community soliciting a contribution to fully fund the U.S.G.S. study.

Greg Cherry then presented to the Commission an overview and information regarding the U.S.G.S. project of monitoring salt water intrusion in the Upper Floridian Aquifer which included the root causes of salt water intrusion in the area, the current chloride levels in the aquifer, and a brief discussion on the Master Plan and some of the tools that can be used to look at how things will be possibly in 20 years. The first bar chart provided indicated the development of ground water and ground water use from 1940 to October of 2015, including marked bars reflecting the usage of Brunswick Cellulose and Pinova (formerly Hercules) and the public supply as well as the decline of the water levels over time.  The decline of the water level and pumping that could not be sustained is how the problem of saltwater intrusion developed.  Additional visuals and charts were presented including a map showing the model, charts for comparison of the chloride levels and the plume development, a conceptual model of local groundwater flow in the Upper Floridian Aquifer in Brunswick, along with a map of Brunswick showing the 2016 chloride plume overlaid on the Brunswick ground map which noted the chloride levels in neighborhoods near the marked plume area.  The 2 hot spots are identified in the area of the Brunswick Cellulose plant and the Pinova area.  A real time monitoring network map was shown indicating the wells and monitoring equipment placed in the Brunswick area.  Mr. Junkin added a note that what is important to be relayed to the Commission is that the study looks at the salt-plume and they have created a digital model that predicts what is going on with the plume and indicates if the situation and levels are going to get worse or get better.  This year’s data will advise if the predictions were reliable and correct as to what was going to happen with the plume this year.  This will also aid in determining future technologies necessary to provide water. He believes that it is in JWSC’s best interest to understand that, and if the model can be verified to have some value in predicting what may happen in the future, the impact, and if we need to make some changes.  This year’s continuation of the study will help to determine that. Mr. Junkin noted that he believes this is something that we need to do not only because of the impacts on us, but on our community as a whole, and that our contribution as the water and sewer utility is a sign of our leadership in an area that we need to be leading.  There was some additional questions and discussion regarding the models, scenarios and programs used for this application. Brian Hughes with U.S.G.S. noted that this study helps JWSC in managing the water supply for Glynn County and the City of Brunswick and that the information can be used in communicating with the EPD regarding permitting of industries and water use. Mr. Junkin added that it had been discussed in a previous meeting that JWSC would contribute $50K towards the matching portion that would have to be contributed from the outside to be required to complete the project for the 2017-2018 phase of the project.  The discussion was that JWSC would commit our $50K and that the other main community stakeholders, that are drawing, that have a reason to be interested in the outcome of this process would be solicited for the balance of the matching funds. At that time, his understanding was that the U.S.G.S. would be doing the solicitation, but that it was discussed in the Finance meeting on Wednesday that all the contributing funds would have to come through JWSC as a public entity to get the matching funds.  He suggested a motion to contribute the budgeted $50K funds, and to have an account to hold the money and as contributions come in from the stakeholders that it would be immediately channeled to the U.S.G.S. for this purpose. Chairman Elliott questioned if the JWSC would be responsible for the entire balance if the worst occurs and no other entities contributed.  Mr. Junkin advised that was not the agreement that was being made. Commissioner Browning noted that his understanding from the Finance meeting was that there was a total amount of dollars required to take care of paying for the studies, and that if a lesser amount was provided then the study and monitoring would be tailored and trimmed back.  He added that there is no way of knowing at this time if the other stakeholders will provide any funding and added that in his opinion water quality is very important and that if there is already money in the budget to cover the $50K, that he is for supporting to help finance the continued monitoring of the chloride issue. Knowing that USGS does not need all the money at one time, he would like to wee JWSC make a commitment and encourage the other stakeholders to come forward and contribute. Mr. Junkin mentioned the letter to the stakeholders that had been drafted requesting contributions. Commissioner Copeland added that regarding the letter to the stakeholders, he would like the approach to be to provide the total cost of the study in addition to providing the data indicating their total contribution to the pumping and water usage so that they better understand their percentage of the total flow and ask them to contribute their part to parody their part of the total cost of pumping. Mr. Junkin agreed this was a good proposal, and noted that JWSC has previously gone through this exercise with them and the same data regarding the situation was provided to the other stakeholders at that last meeting.  There was not a very forthright response from the representatives there at the time. Not all the stakeholders were present; there were at least 1 of the 2 of the major industrial stakeholders missing. While Mr. Junkin agrees with the proposal, he thinks that for whatever reason those stakeholders don’t believe that the impacts are going to ever merit their involvement, and they were very resistant.  He believes that we may have to take whatever we can get from them to help mitigate the costs, because there was clearly not the same level of concern as we felt at the meetings. We can do it again, but based on the reaction we got in the last meeting and previous there was a certain reluctance to be a parodied sharing of cost. Chairman Elliott agreed and added that maybe they believe that the price they have to pay is not worth the product that they receive and we look at it a little differently. He noted that the last 3 commissions have looked at this and have angst over it, but every year, we end up covering the total cost. He recollected that there have been no collections from others during the last 3 years plus of the study and we have made the same plea. Mr. Junkin mentioned that one of his concerns is JWSC staff is put under the burden of tracking the stakeholders down and trying to make it happen.  He doesn’t mind JWSC sending out the letters, staging a meeting, and holding a place for the stakeholders to meet and get the discussion issues out on the table, but it is to where staff has to phone and repeatedly and constantly contact the other stakeholders of which JWSC does not have the staff time to do that. He added that Greg and Brian have agreed and understand where JWSC is coming from in that regard and they are willing to put in the extra time, so JWSC is willing to be the conduit if U.S.G.S. is willing to have a vested interest in seeing the completion of the project as well and will help in soliciting those added donations. Chairman Elliott noted that his understanding is that JWSC will provide the letter but U.S.G.S. will make the efforts to get the money.  Commissioner Browning commented that as we move forward to this next step to get the money from them that he will attend those meetings. He believes that additional discussion with those stakeholders is needed. Chairman Elliott added that this should be brought up to the regional water council that this may be something they want to invest in. Commissioner Browning agreed and noted he would bring it up at the first opportunity. He also expressed disappointment of what he has heard because water is the lifeblood not just to the private citizens, but also to the types of industries we have in Glynn County and they do have an interest in the quality of the water which is not used just for cooling but they also have to have quality water at the paper mill, which they retreat, for their boilers. So, we need good quality water all around in Glynn County. Commissioner Browning continued to say that that the first meeting should be organized. Commissioner Copeland mentioned that it was not just the cost as an issue, but that clean water is the lifeblood of the community; and there are 2 stakeholders that we want to make sure that they fully understand the issue, their contribution to the issue and that they are committed to doing their part to keep this community healthy. It is not the amount of money, it is the commitment level. Chairman Elliott added that if having clean water is paramount to JWSC, then this should be expanded so that we are involved in it so that we know where the wells should be, the types of water and the issues that we have with water within the county and maybe it should expand to the nearby counties outside of Glynn.

Commissioner Bowen made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to fund the WRMAC 2017-2018 aquifer study by $50,000.00 and to serve as a conduit for other private sector entities to provide the additional matching funds required to complete the project for the 2017-2018 period. Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote.)

  1. JWSC Project #232 – SR99/US341/Green Swamp Rd. WM Extension Project Change Order #3 – T. Kline

Todd Kline updated the Commission as to where Project #232 is currently at, noting that the waterline now extends to the fire station on Grant’s Ferry Road and underneath Hwy. 99.  He provided a map of the project to the Commissioners and explained the details of it, noting the section concerning the requested Change Order #3.  The recommendation is to switch from Open Cut methodology to Horizontal Directional Drilling with the reason being of existing utilities that have been discovered once the construction had already started. The line will be fusible PVC which is very common for directional drilling and requires no special adapters for attachment. He then referred to the Change Order calculations noting the deductions and additions from the variations which netted a total Change Order requested increase of $98,661.69.   Mr. Kline added that this amount still keeps the price of the project below the opinion of probable cost estimate completed by RGA and the JWSC Capital Project Budget.  Commissioner Browning questioned the cost of $88.00 per foot of the PVC pipe and why this cost was so much more.  Todd responded that the cost included labor and equipment required for the methodology in Directional Drilling.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve and authorize the Executive Director and Board Chairman to execute the additional pricing provided by Seaboard Construction Company to be processed as Contract Change Order in the amount of $98,661.69.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote.)

  1. JWSC Project #421 – Mansfield St. Water & Sewer Main Replacement – Change Order #6 – T. Kline

Todd Kline presented the recommended Change Order #6 for the JWSC Project #421 Mansfield St. Water & Sewer Replacement to the Commission.  He gave a brief update and noted that the project was complete with respect to JWSC’s portion, except for a small amount of water main on Bay Street to be installed by the contractor. Due to necessary incidentals incurred by some minor changes that were required, the requested change order in the amount of $31,499.90 is needed to reimburse the contractor for the list of various incidentals.  The changes have been inspected and approved by JWSC inspectors, and all prices are consistent with the original bid documents.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to authorize the Executive Director to execute a contract change order in the amount of $31,499.90 for the additional work described in Exhibit “A”.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote.) 

DISCUSSION

  1. Sanitary Sewer Flow Monitoring Project Update, St. Simons Island – Greg Anderson, PE, McKim & Creed

Ellis Zeitler from the JWSC Planning & Construction Division introduced the Sanitary Sewer Flow Monitoring Project update and Greg Anderson to the Commission. Greg Anderson gave his presentation on the update for the flow monitoring that has been incurring on St. Simons Island. This was started on November 22nd.  JWSC has a direct link to the flow monitors that were installed in each location.  He explained the details of the project and what is involved. The monitoring is involving the flow of storm water intrusion into the JWSC system.  Mr. Anderson gave a very thorough and detailed update and discussion of the project and advised that there would be recurring updates for the Commission.

  1. Wastewater Treatment Plant Flows Update – M. Ryals

Mark Ryals presented the Wastewater Treatment Plant Flows update to the Commission.  The update included data from the Academy Creek, Dunbar, and Southport Wastewater Treatment Plants.  He discussed the flows from each plant, the B.O.D. averages and plant performance. 

  1. November Month End Financial Statements – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy presented the November Month End Financial Statements to the Commission, which encompasses the first 5 months of the current fiscal year.  He noted various accounts on the Balance Sheet and discussed those with the Commission, with additional discussion regarding the Capital Tap Fees fund balance.  Mr. Donaghy then proceeded to discuss the data provided on the Combined Revenue Statement noting revenues and expenses, the Project Report for 2017-2018 and the anticipated balances for June 30, 2018, and mentioned the Overtime Report for month end November 30, 2017.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to adjourn into Executive Session.  Motion carried 5-0-2. (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote).

The Chairman stated that there will be a vote after the Executive Session.

Return to Regular Session.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to return to the Regular Meeting.  Motion carried 5-0-2. (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote).

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to add an agenda item, the renewal of the Executive Director’s contract.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote.)

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Browning to renew the Executive Director’s contract for one year and make it retroactive to August 15, 2017 to August 15, 2018.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Ford were absent for the vote.)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Junkin reminded the Commission that on December 27th the refinancing of the 2010C bonds will be executed. He also noted that staff is still working on options for the Capital Improvement Fees and have come up with a possible option, staff is also working on the rate model that will be presented to the Commission during the budgeting process, and that staff is continuing to work with customer service and the upcoming call center. 

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Chairman Elliott noted that this meeting concludes this Commission for the current year, and the new Commissioners would be starting in January.  He commented that this has been the best Commission that he has worked with regarding people who have grasped how the utility functions, and it has been a pleasure to work with this Commission.

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Elliott adjourned the open meeting at 4:35 p.m.