Commission Meeting Minutes – February 1, 2018
For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission meeting held on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
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Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission
1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520
Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 1:00 PM
Donald M. Elliott, Chairman
Mike Browning, Vice-Chairman
Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner
Clifford Adams, Commissioner
Steve Copeland, Commissioner
Tripp Stephens, Commissioner
G. Ben Turnipseed, Commissioner
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
Chairman Elliott called the meeting to order at 1:15 PM.
Commissioner Harvey provided the invocation and Chairman Elliott led the pledge.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
Chairman Elliott opened the public comment period.
John Callaway – Tap Fees
John Callaway advised that Canal Crossing has been dead since the last rate increase and asked the Commission to help to get it back on its feet, and to help commence development. He is the developer of the project and noted that Glynn County had provided $4M towards the development. Mr. Callaway had various meetings with JWSC staff and Glynn County staff during a period of 2 years for planning and design with a mission to help pull the county out of recession. He added that in the first year of development 400,000 square feet of space was created along with 400 jobs, JWSC was paid $370K in tap fees, and an increase of $230K per year in property taxes to Glynn County was provided. Mr. Callaway noted that the development came to a halt when the JWSC rates increased, and that businesses have been waiting to see if the rates would become more affordable before coming into the area.
Bert Etheredge – Tap Fees
Bert Etheredge noted he is representing Tom Purdie who is planning an apartment complex with 252 units and another developer (Shivar Properties) currently in the process of building 98 homes and are planning to plat another 150 lots in a subdivision in north Glynn. He commented he appreciated the Commission revisiting this matter because with the current rates both projects have struggled and he is sure that the apartment complex will not happen.
Jeffery Counts – Agenda and Comment Period
Jeffery Counts addressed the agenda and the comment period happening before the public is able to look at the items on the agenda. He felt it was appropriate for the Commission to reserve part of the comment period for after the meeting so that any additional questions could be asked. He would also like to see the agenda posted in the same manner as Glynn County Commission where the reports for agenda items could be clicked on and reviewed ahead of time. He suggested that when there is public interest in an item, that the Commission defer their voting on that item until they have the public input
Rick Shelnutt – Tap Fees
Rick Shelnutt noted that he is a member of Frederica Baptist Church and that recently the IPC approved a site for the new church on the north end of St. Simons. Back in the spring it was inquired as to what the tap fees would be for the church and were advised about $32K. He added that this church will have about 6 or 7 bathrooms which will be used only twice per week at the most, but when they applied for the tap (last week) the cost was about $52K. Mr. Shelnutt advised that from what he has understood from recent newspaper articles is that those needing to pay for tap fees are paying for past mistakes, which he thinks is unfair. He suggested that there must be a different way to make up for mistakes that have been made in the past and try to correct things previously done improperly.
Robert Driggers – Tap Fees
Robert Driggers noted that he is representing the realtor community and that they receive many calls from persons wanting to move here and buy property here. As a commercial realtor he receives calls from persons wishing to bring a business, open a new retail location or office in the area. When he gives them a tour he begins in downtown Brunswick, then takes them down Altama to the hospital and college area, continues to Canal Crossing and finally to St. Simons Island. Mr. Driggers advised that they are interested in the area until they have come to JWSC, and he asked the Commission to work with them to bring new business and families here.
The remainder of those who had signed up for public comment abstained from speaking due to being repetitive to those who previously spoke.
Chairman Elliott asked for those who spoke, including anyone else interested, to go to the JWSC website to the Commission page, obtain his e-mail address and advise him of their thoughts on how JWSC should do capital formation if the tap fees are reduced.
There being no additional citizens for public comment, Chairman Elliott closed the public comment period.
- Minutes from the January 17, 2018 JWSC Capital Needs Workshop
Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to approve the minutes from the January 17, 2018 JWSC Capital Needs Workshop. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- Minutes from the January 18, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting
Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the January 18, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting. Motion carried 7-0-0.
Chairman Elliott requested a motion to move the Health Benefits Renewal to be the last item on the agenda after the discussion period to become the last discussion and approval item, due to information being developed as was asked for earlier in the workshop session.
Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move the Health Benefits Renewal item to be last on the agenda. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- Banking Resolution and Signature Cards – F. Wilson
Frances Wilson presented to the Commission a memo regarding the bank resolutions and signature authorizations. She advised that the JWSC Financial Policy requires two signatures on any check issued for $25K or more. She added that in the absence of either the Executive Director or Director of Finance, it would be necessary to have either the Chairman or Vice-Chairman approve disbursements, sign checks, etc. Mrs. Wilson noted that staff recommended that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of JWSC be added as authorized signatories on the bank accounts of JWSC and that the Chairman, vice-Chairman, Executive Director and Director of Finance be authorized to execute the necessary banking resolutions and signature cards with BB&T Bank.
Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the addition of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the JWSC as authorized signatories on the bank accounts of the JWSC and that the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Director, and Director of Finance be authorized to execute the necessary banking resolutions and signature cards with BB&T Bank. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- Plan Review Fee Schedule Revision – T. Kline
Todd Kline presented the proposed revision for the Planning & Construction Fee Schedule to the Commission. He provided the background information as to the creation of this fee schedule in order to obtain fees for professional services provided by JWSC Planning & Construction Division to developers. A key objective of this is to provide funding for these services and minimize use of the Operational Budget. Mr. Kline explained the research and methodology used to develop and refine the fee schedule which included researching existing fees assessed by Glynn County Community Development, researching fees charges by similar entities, notifying the P & C Community, and devising a way in which to bill/collect these new fees using JWSC infrastructure. He then noted that on June 29, 2017 the Rate Resolution was passed by the Commission and the fee schedule included the initial proposed P & C Fee Schedule. He added that a period of time elapsed between then and when invoicing began for these fees, and gave reasons such as waiting on the internal mechanism to be available for invoicing the fees. In December 2017 when these bills were applied it was noticed that when doing the calculations as approved, that some of the fees were accumulating to be above the level of the original intent. Mr. Kline provided a chart with examples of several actual projects and explained what the calculated fees would be based on the current schedule as compared to what they would be based on the proposed revisions to the fee schedule. Commissioner Turnipseed asked how the inspection fees were determined, and if they would cover the costs of inspection. Mr. Kline explained the calculations with notation to construction inspections requiring much varied time with no fixed amount of inspections planned for each, and that the time will be tracked using project codes and the data closely reviewed. Commissioner Turnipseed then asked if the inspections were on private property or on public right of ways, and Mr. Kline advised both private and public infrastructure. Chairman Elliott asked how far along were they in tracking the time and if they had the time spent on each of the projects, and Mr. Kline responded that the tracking of time began back in October 2017 and they did have the time for each on the inspection side and are working on the tracking of the internal time. Chairman Elliott asked if we will be covering our costs and Mr. Kline advised that they will know better after more data is gathered and noted that the intent is to supplement as best as possible but not to be excessive in the amount, and that it will be looked at again at the end of the year and can adjust if needed. Chairman Elliott noted concern regarding lowering the fees now and finding that at the end of the fiscal year that they have to raise the fees to cover costs. Mr. Junkin commented that the intent is to cover all actual costs incurred for doing the development services, reviews, inspections, etc. He added that the analysis has been done to this point, and that the intent is for data to be collected and reviewed each year continuously. Chairman Elliott noted that the one that may be subjective is the review fee. Commissioner Stephens commented on the premium fee for an expedited request, and asked what the typical turnaround time on a plan review is. Mr. Kline advised that the premium was charged for the hardcopy of the documents, for example if someone needs a map today, and that it generally takes about 2 weeks for the first review and then about 7 days afterwards in a typical county review. Chairman Elliott asked how many people are involved, and Mr. Kline noted that at least 10 of the staff are involved in a review process. Chairman Elliott expressed concern as to if the Commissioners had enough information to make a decision. Commissioner Harvey indicated that in the beginning they did not have a baseline to draw to set the fees with, but now they were trying to adjust and would have a baseline. He noted that previously there was no time study of which now there is, so he was generally good with where they were going. Commissioner Stephens added that he was also comfortable with the recommendation, and that as they are tracking through year if the costs are found to be over the fees, staff should look to see if the process can be done more efficiently, and continue to refine the numbers as they go along. Commissioner Browning noted that he agreed with Commissioner Harvey, and he recalled previously asking Todd if he was going to reach out and talk to the P & C Community to get some feedback on where we thought we needed to go, and added that he can see that was done. Commissioner Browning then asked how much that feedback has weighed on the decision to bring the revised rates to the Commission. Mr. Kline advised that he only received 5 responses out of 250 people he reached out to, but one response did point out that on a site plan review there was a base fee plus a linear footage fee, and Mr. Kline noted that this did cause that total to be very high for a site plan review fee. Commissioner Turnipseed added that he thought the proposed fees were reasonable and moved to make a motion.
Commissioner Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Browning to move to authorize the Executive Director to execute a revised Planning & Construction Fee Schedule (Exhibit D) for all new submittals received as of December 1, 2017, and incorporate it into the Rate Resolution July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
Chairman Elliott asked if there was any further discussion. Commissioner Stephens asked to clarify the dates as noted and asked if someone received a review prior to December 1, 2017 if they would be charged for it, and Mr. Kline responded that they would not be charged any fees for reviews prior to December 1, 2017. Chairman Elliott requested at the time of the upcoming budget process for Mr. Kline to provide the data on time and costs based on salary in order to review the fees again. The Commission then took the formal vote.
Motion carried 6-1-0. (Commissioner Adams abstained from the vote.)
- Capital Improvement Fees – A. Burroughs
Andrew Burroughs presented the staff recommendation regarding Capital Improvement Fees to the Commission. He provided an overview of the presentation that was given at the JWSC Capital Improvement Needs Workshop on January 17, 2018, and noted that there were questions after that presentation regarding exactly what goes into a Capital Improvement Fee. He noted that it was requested that comparisons with similar utilities were made, and for staff to bring forth their recommendation for the Commission to take a vote on, and he added that after the recommendation is made there would be discussion on follow-up items intended to be done if the motion passed. Mr. Burroughs continued to present the previous presentation recap and began by noting the five methods that had been presented for potentially changing the current Capital Improvement Fees calculation. Those methods were a Five Year REU, a Ten Year REU, Maximum Flow by Meter Size, Average Flow by Meter Size, and Cost per Gallon. He then explained details of the pros and cons of each of the methods, and that the method of Cost per Gallon was not considered for recommendation including the details of why it was not considered. Next he discussed a chart providing revenue projections for the next five years based on the four possible recommended methods. He explained the chart was created by combining Capital Improvement Fee sales since 2012 with the current account breakdown, and explained that it looked at the sales and REUs sold annually for the past five years to project a trend, and also used data regarding meter sizes that were sold in the case that a meter size method was recommended. Mr. Burroughs then explained the projected 5 year totals and annual shortfalls for each of the current and 4 possible recommended methods of CIF calculations, and that the top 10 needed expansion projects were taken into consideration to calculate the estimated needed budgets for the next 5 years in the calculations for the annual shortfalls. He addressed the components of Capital Improvement Fees and noted that each CIF is based off of 5 components: Water Capital Fees, Water Operational Fees, Sewer Capital Fees, Sewer Operational Fees and Administration Fees. He commented that any changes made would only affect the capital portion of the fees and would not affect the Water Operational Fees, Sewer Operational Fees and Administration Fees. He then provided what the typical calculation is for a typical single family residence for a combined water and sewer customer including the details of the calculations. As requested, Mr. Burroughs presented a chart of comparisons of the REU costs for various other utilities, a chart showing the CIF comparison of JWSC with 6 similar size utilities, and a chart with case study comparisons for 51 REUs, 12 REUs and 230 REUs in 7 similar size utilities. He continued to provide the staff recommendation to convert the Capital Improvement Fees to the Max Meter Size method of calculation and gave very detailed explanations as to why this method was recommended, including a chart that reflected the estimated costs based on meter sizes. He also discussed adding 1.5” and 3” meter sizes for customers if this method was approved, and then provided the 3 case studies and comparisons of each for similar size utilities using the Max Meter Size method. Mr. Burroughs finally presented the follow up work that would be done if the change were approved. The Commission then discussed meter sizes, master meters, costs, the comparisons with the other utilities and how those are funded, etc. Commissioner Stephens requested for any of the public in the audience to be allowed to make comment.
Jeffery Counts – Jeffery Counts noted appreciation. He added that the commercial side / multi-family side would be improved, but that the costs still do not seem favorable for residential (single family homes). The CIF as in the case study is $ 477,380.00 for a 230 REU unit which is approximately $2,000 per unit and a house is $8,480 for a unit. He asked the Commission to take a second look at the cost and how it is calculated for a single unit house.
Jim Watson – Jim Watson also noted appreciation for what the Commission is doing. He had a question for a particular case regarding a lady who wants to put in 2 commercial washing machines and was quoted $42,000 to put in 2 commercial washing machines which caused her to not do it. He wanted to know how this would be affected. Mr. Burroughs attempted to estimate that the 2 machines would either need a 1.5” or 2”meter and with a 2” meter the estimate should be around $30,000 and for a 1.5” meter the estimate would probably be around $20,000. Mr. Watson noted that she was told if she put in 2 residential machines there would be no extra charge. Mr. Burroughs agreed that there were different estimates for commercial washing machines and residential machines.
Commissioner Turnipseed asked Mr. Burroughs if he was correct that the tap fee estimate for Frederica Baptist Church would be $6,800 under the new fee. Mr. Burroughs responded potentially, but he was not 100% sure what size meter the church would need, but it should be no more than the $13,600.
John Callaway – John Callaway noted that he was appreciative of the concern the Commission has shown to the problems, and if he is reading correctly this would help get Canal Crossing growing quickly possibly creating another 400 jobs there.
Jeffery Counts – Jeffery Counts added that he agreed with the residential tap fee comment, but does see that as a different market than commercial. He is a home builder and the tap fee for residential does seem inflated and he has not been able to recoup the costs for those tap fees since they increased.
Nancy Doren – Nancy Doren noted she is trying to establish a small business in Glynn County and asked when this new fee would be implemented. Chairman Elliott said the Executive Director would implement it the next day. She also asked a question regarding the fee being based on the size of the line going into the facility and wanted to confirm that the old REU # is still calculated into the administrative fee. Mr. Burroughs noted that for the Capital Fee portion yes, and for the administrative fee the debt service charge on the bill is related to the REU count. Chairman Elliott advised that during the budget process the Commission will take a look at how the REU portion of the bill is managed.
Commissioner Turnipseed questioned why ¾” meters were not being used. Mr. Burroughs referred the question to the Distribution Superintendent. Derrick Simmons responded that previously they did use ¾” taps, but as the sizes of houses built were getting larger they were still putting in ¾” and found that a week thereafter they were having to replace and upgrade them with 1” taps, so the use of ¾” was stopped.
There was some additional discussion pertaining to expansion, debt, Capital Improvement Fees, unsolicited proposals, etc. Commissioner Copeland questioned the expansion plan and the shortfall if adopting the recommended method. Mr. Junkin noted that with the expansion plan they now have at this time, it was expected that the collections would meet the needs for the next 5 years, and Mr. Burroughs noted that with the current plan that in 15 years there would be an expected shortfall with this method unless very many taps were sold. Commissioner Copeland questioned the shortfall for the expansion in the next 5 years as shown in the presentation, and Mr. Burroughs clarified that the shortfall in his presentation was based off of the projections in the current Master Plan and that the shortfall as noted is not related at all to the plan that Mr. Junkin would be presenting later in the meeting. There was additional discussion pertaining to future needs, REUs, population growth, expansion needs, etc. Commissioner Browning commented regarding the future and not being able to determine exactly what population growth, etc. would be, and he suggested that the Commission move forward with the change on the fees and if it has to be tweaked and adjusted at a later time then it can be, but that you cannot determine what the shortfall in the future will really be. Commissioner Copeland noted that he is in support of setting tap fees at a level that recovers the costs, and certainly supports economic growth, but is reluctant to agree to change the fees if it is unknown what is needed to recover, particularly if the fees that are being changed are the commercial fees and not the residential fees. He added that if we are deciding to reduce commercial fees for the sake of development and we believe that is not going to recover the costs that we are going to have then that means our existing customer base is going to have to pay that cost one way or the other, and he expressed he is reluctant to do that. Chairman Elliott commented that he does not view this as reducing the commercial fee which was not the intent, but that the fees have to be determined based on a standard with a simple calculation, and the outcome of the process that was used to determine the fees was. There was added discussion between the Commission regarding revenue, reserves, sales, growth, expansion plans, etc.
Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Browning to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission authorize the Executive Director to execute a revised Capital Improvement Fee Schedule (Exhibit A) for all new submittals received as of February 1, 2018, and incorporate it into the Rate Resolution July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
Chairman Elliott asked for any further discussion. Commissioner Harvey commented that the main thing is how the Commission has reacted to our community, and if we do nothing we can see exactly what is going to happen. He noted appreciation for everyone who came to the meeting to let the Commission know how they feel about this, and added that when the Commission decided to raise the rates back in June no one showed up, but now everyone is on the back end asking the Commission to change things. Commissioner Harvey asked for everyone to be on the front end the next time to let the Commission know their thoughts in order to avoid the disparity that we are having now. He added that the Commission is trying to make sure that this organization survives and is able to do its mission to provide service to our community. We are trying to do the best we can for the community, and we want growth in our community while providing great service to our community as well. Chairman Elliott called for the vote. Motion carried 6-0-1. (Commissioner Copeland voted against the motion.)
Chairman Elliot requested a motion to move the Health Benefits Renewal to be next on the agenda due to the information as requested for the approval having been made ready.
Commissioner Adams made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move the Health Benefits Renewal to the end of the approval period. Motion carried 6-1-0. (Commissioner Stephens was not in the Commission Meeting Room at the time of the vote.)
- Health Benefits Renewal – C. Tindall, T.S.I.
Catina Tindall presented the information regarding the Health Benefits Renewal as requested by the Commission during the workshop. She explained the chart as provided which gave the percentages as requested in the earlier discussion and noted that the Commissioners would also be able to see the comparisons between the previous plans and the new ones. The Commissioners had asked to be able to see if the percentages were adjusted how it would affect the bottom line in order to make the decision on the selection of plans for the Health Benefits Renewal package. Mrs. Tindall discussed the proposals with the Commission. The goal for this additional information was to determine if the plan with the $3,000 deductible should be offered to the employees.
Commissioner Adams made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to go with the United Healthcare Proposed Plan 2018 on the 85/75 split, which will be the bottom of the second page. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- Financial Policies Update – J. Donaghy
John Donaghy presented an update on the Financial Policies to the Commissioners. He gave the background of the months previous when there appeared to be a need for borrowing for new monies, an RFP was released for Financial Advisors. Davenport was the one selected, and assisted JWSC with the refunding of the 2010C Bond debt in December 2017. He noted that as part of working with Davenport, there were several suggestions given to do in preparation for issuing debt, one of which would be updating the Financial Policies and changing some of the wording within. That drafted policy was presented to the Commission at the last meeting, and it was requested that the section on internal controls be greatly expanded or that it referenced the procedures manual that would be followed in finance for that. Mr. Donaghy added that during the last couple of weeks he has taken the systems understanding documents that the auditors provided to JWSC along with internal control questionnaires, a sample of internal control procedures documents and he has begun work on compiling that fairly lengthy piece of work to complete. Progress with the Financial Policies Update is underway.
- Arrears Accounts and Cutoff Procedure Update – J. Sellers
Jay Sellers presented an update on the Arrears Accounts and Cutoff Procedure. He began by noting that for the purposes of the discussion the arrears accounts would be considered those arrears accounts for which the balance is $100 or greater of which those are at risk of being cutoff due to the balance being past due as of the previous statement. He provided a chart which indicated that the accounts in arrears is remaining relatively stable since the increase was seen in October following Hurricane Irma, and noted that an increase in arrears had been actually seen since the rate increase in July 2017. Mr. Sellers added that the aging balance for the accounts in arrears may trend upwards until either the rates are lowered, the cut-off process is begun, or set up more payment plans. He noted that the number of payment plans is shown very significant progress, and as of the end of the previous business day there are 342 payment plans set-up. He then referred to the Account Cutoff Statistics and provided the detailed information by Districts, of which there are a total of 4,400 accounts in arrears with 3,264 of that total being within the City/Mainland District. He also noted that out of that 3,264, 1,863 are within the City limits which equals to 42% of all accounts in arrears. Due to some previous misunderstanding, Mr. Sellers clarified that percentage does not mean that JWSC will be cutting off 42% of the accounts within the City limits. He continued by noting the cut-off process has not started yet, as the billing system software testing the implementation process to be sure that it is accurate and thorough. A cut-off date would be noted on the bills. Cut-off would occur Mondays through Thursdays, and that date would be generated as 10 days beyond the due date for the current charges. Only the portion of the bill that is 30 days past due as of the next statement would put a customer at risk of being cut-off. Mr. Sellers then addressed “vacant” accounts of which there are 4,043 some of which have been discovered to have water and those are being disconnected daily due to showing use of water. He explained that prior to November 2017, closed accounts were left on and the customers would come in and sign up for the service when they moved in. This was found to not be happening and some of those accounts were discovered to be suing water for a number of months with no active account. He advised those meters are now being locked, and in the future when an account is closed the services will automatically be turned off and the meter locked. Mr. Sellers then noted the various causes for high balances of accounts, with the most common cause of a high balance is the failure to pay as agreed, and continued by discussing adjustments as allowable and not allowable. He discussed various ways of how to avoid service disconnection which included receiving allowable adjustments, paying the balance in full by the due date, setting up a payment plan and following it, and he also noted that the goal is to not have service disconnection. As a final mention, he added a piece of good news in that the Request For Quotes process had been started for the administration of the new Customer Payment Assistance Program which is intended to provide a means for those in financial hardship to get assistance in paying their bill.
- GEFA Leak Detection Grant Results – A. Burroughs
Andrew Burroughs presented the GEFA Leak Detection Grant Results to the Commissioners and advised that it was awarded in November to JWSC. The amount was about $20,000 for leak detection studies. At that time it was expected to be completed within 2 to 3 weeks, however due to some issues with software it took longer to get the list of results back. He noted the background that the leak detection surveyed 75 miles of lines between King & Prince and “R” Street, which was selected due to being some of the oldest lines in the system. The actual work was completed in 2 weeks, and 13 leaks were found on JWSC’s side of the lines and 9 leaks found on customers’ sides of the lines. He advised that those customers have been notified about the 9 leaks. He noted that the total leak count was estimated at 52 gallons per minute equating to 27 million gallons of water per year, just within that 75 miles of lines, and the value of the revenue of that water is about $68,000 per year. Mr. Burroughs advised that the study was found to be very successful and that the JWSC leaks have been repaired, in fact were being repaired immediately upon discovery during the time of the study. He finally noted that there was intent to apply for additional Leak Detection Grant funding.
- 5 Year R & R Plan / Staff Priority Expansion Projects – J. Junkin
Mr. Junkin presented a Five Year Plan for R&R and Expansion Projects to the Commission. He explained the spreadsheets and documents as provided for the discussion. First he noted the spreadsheet for the R&R Projects and explained the calculations using the budgeted capital reserves for each of 5 fiscal years 2019 through 2023. Mr. Junkin discussed each project and indicated expected total costs, budgeted amounts, details of funding, priority and details of project, and scheduling of various phases and processes. There was some discussion between the Commissioners and Staff regarding various details of the projects, and concerns regarding issues such as the rehabilitation of the Academy Creek Plant. The Expansion Projects list and spreadsheet were discussed separately from the R&R projects list. The same process was followed in discussing the Expansion Project listing, with a great amount of details explained and reviewed. It was noted specifically what the intent and reasoning was for each project, to include areas for capacity to be increased, commercial developments and growth, residential developments and growth, fire protection, marketing value, etc. Chairman Elliott noted that he did not see any plans on the list for storm renovations or upgrades to lift stations. Mr. Junkin added that those may be things that can be done along but not included on this specific plan. Chairman Elliott advised that this plan should be discussed again and the Commission needs to decide if it wants to formally adopt this plan or if it is a working document to use, and he requested that this item be placed on the next meeting agenda.
- R & R Capital Projects Update – T. Kline
Todd Kline presented the R & R Capital Projects update to the Commission. He noted the various projects with construction in progress and those nearing completion.
Construction in Progress:
Project 232 – Phase IIA and Phase III are complete. Phase I construction is 15% complete, with revisions to the route and methods of installation due to existing utilities. Additional change orders are pending. Phase II is 90% complete.
Project 319 – Record drawings have been received and submitted to the contractor to revise and resubmit. Project closeout documents received.
Project 421 – Change order request has been submitted: concrete removal, curb & gutter, concrete driveways. Meeting with City Engineer, City manager & legal counsel. Walked site with City Engineer to verify actual quantities.
Project 503 – Final record drawings have been received and are under final review.
Project 701 – Tie-Ins at Lee & Fifth Street in progress and Townsend in progress. Curb & gutter in progress at Fifth and Norwich Street. Change order is under review with the next progress meeting scheduled for February 9, 2018.
Project 702 – First component of SPLOST. Contractor is mobilized and working at PS4028, 4048, 4005, 4006, and 4110. PS4005 station is on by-pass with wet-well rehab and electrical panel installation in progress. PS 4006 station on by-pass with wet-well rehab work complete, installation of pump bases, pumps and piping in progress. PS4028 station is on by-pass with wet-well rehab in progress, pre-cast building to be delivered and set next week. PS4048 by-pass installation is complete, and are awaiting Bionomics for mobilization and coating. PS4110 wet-well cored with electrical work in progress. Awaiting delivery of precast vaults and concrete pads to be formed and poured for booster pumps at Jetport.
Engineering / Design in Progress:
Project 501 – On hold by County awaiting re-evaluation of project scope.
Project 602 – Final engineering design complete. Glynn County to handle construction bidding and award. Meeting with Glynn County to discuss incorporation of drainage improvements along Holly Street.
Project 702 – Divided into four phases to expedite. Various preliminary evaluations and engineering of phases are underway. Projected construction for pump station 4110 segment: 8-10 months; 2-3+ year project in total.
Project 703 – 2nd SPLOST project. Four Waters evaluation complete; recommended options under review.
Project 704 – Pre-engineering in progress; route discussions with Glynn County. Evaluating JWSC in-house project; design & construction. WM installation under Altamaha Canal is complete.
Project 705 – Will provide the second connection between the former City and County water systems. Engineering design by Planning & Construction is complete. Proposed construction by JWSC Water Distribution Division. Investigating addition of Pressure Reducing Valves to regulate effect on water production facilities; modeling in progress.
Project 804 – City of Brunswick has added water system improvements to scope of engineering design. Replacement and upgrade of existing Transite water mains due to condition and available fire flow. City has advertised RFP which is due 3/2/2018.
Project 805 – City of Brunswick project to improve drainage and roadways on “L” Street. City has added water system improvements to scope of engineering design. Engineering design in progress.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE
Mr. Junkin commented that with regard to the medical insurance options, there could be additional workshops to discuss further options after the implementation of the current plans. He noted that staff is working with the County to refine the review process and resolve various issues. Additional comments regarded upcoming discussions and meeting in Washington regarding legislation for the infrastructure bill and the possibility of having dignitaries attend to represent the Commission. Mr. Junkin also noted that staff is working on the Operating Agreement to refine the wording to allow flexibility to look at rate structure options that may be considered in order to become more stable with the rate structure and maintain affordability for the customers.
Commissioner Stephens added commentary to applaud Mr. Junkin and staff for all of the work done towards the positive results from the meeting, and asked Mr. Junkin to be sure this is communicated with the media to illustrate the positive things that the staff is doing. He agrees with previous comments from Commissioner Browning that there should be good communication with the media about the positive things that staff is doing to make the system better. He thanked the staff.
Chairman Elliott provided a war story from his past to illustrate the success in having a plan in place, and the reasons why he believes having a plan is important.
There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Elliott adjourned the open meeting at 4:53 p.m.