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Commission Meeting Minutes – January 4, 2018

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Commission Meeting Minutes 1-4-18 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, January 4, 2018 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES 

PRESENT:                             

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

 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

Cindy Barnhart, T.S.I.

Robert Bowen, Commissioner 2016-2017 

ABSENT:                               

David Ford, Commissioner 2017 

Chairman Elliott called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM.

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

Chairman Elliott requested a motion for the election of officers for the coming year to be added to the meeting agenda, after the certification presentations.  Commissioner Adams made a motion seconded by Commissioner Bowen to place the election of officers on the agenda behind the employee recognitions.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Ford was absent for the vote.)

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Chairman Elliott opened the public comment period. 

Monica Smith – Boil Water Advisory

Monica Smith noted that there had been a Boil Water Advisory posted for her neighborhood.  She saw the advisory on the JWSC website.  She spoke to one of her neighbors, of which there are only 5 houses in the neighborhood.  She advised the Commission that her understanding was that when there was a boil water advisory, the households would be given a door hanger or some additional form of contact from JWSC.  From what the other neighbors told her, no one had told them anything, and they did not know anything about the boil water advisory until one of them got a phone call from someone in another part of the county. She noted that perhaps her understanding of how people would be notified was in error, but in this particular instance it doesn’t seem to have worked and the people did not know about it.  She then thanked the Commission.

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

COMMISSIONER’S SWEARING-IN CEREMONY- Probate Judge Debra Godwin Duncan

Stanford Orion (Tripp) Stephens, III

G. Ben Turnipseed

Judge Debra Godwin Duncan read the oath to each incoming Commissioner, swearing them into their new position, and also prompted each to sign all 3 original copies of the formal oath of which she also signed. Judge Debra Godwin Duncan congratulated them and wished them to have a wonderful year.

RECEPTION

COMMISSION SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Donald Elliott, Commission Chairman 2017

Cliff Adams, Commission Vice-Chairman 2017

Robert Bowen, Commissioner 2016-2017

David Ford, Commissioner 2017

Mr. Junkin presented Commissioner Bowen with a plaque to recognize and thank him for his service as a Commissioner for the past two years.  Mr. Junkin also presented a plaque to Chairman Elliott and Vice-Chairman Adams for their service as Commission Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the past year.  (Commissioner Ford was absent for the presentation.)

EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION

The employee recognitions and certificate presentations were moved to the next Commission meeting due to crew requirements in the field.

ELECTION OF THE CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN

Commissioner Stephens nominated Commissioner Browning to serve as chairman for the year 2018.  Commissioner Adams nominated Commissioner Elliott to remain as the chairman for the year 2018.  No additional nominations were received.  The nomination for Commissioner Browning carried

3-4-0.  The nomination for Commissioner Elliott carried 4-3-0.

Commissioner Harvey nominated Commissioner Browning to serve as Vice-Chairman for the year 2018.  No additional nominations were received.  The nomination carried 7-0-0. 

COMMITTEE UPDATES

There were no Committee meetings since last month and there have not been new assignments made yet to the Committees, therefore there were no Committee updates. 

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the December 21, 2017 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the December 21, 2017 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 5-2-0. (Commissioner Stephens and Commissioner Turnipseed abstained from the vote.) 

  1. Minutes from the December 21, 2017 Executive Session

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to approve the minutes from the December 21, 2017 Executive Session.  Motion carried 5-2-0. (Commissioner Stephens and Commissioner Turnipseed abstained from the vote.)

  1. Proposed Legislation – C. Dorminy

Chairman Elliott introduced the discussion and approval item on the proposed legislation regarding the sales tax legislation.  He noted that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission has a mission to provide for the water and sewer infrastructure required by this county.  It currently has two methods of obtaining funds.  One is through user rates, and second is through fees.  One of the fees we do charge to those developing projects, new homes, etc. is a Capital Improvement Fee.  That fee has gotten too high for certain commercial businesses and needs to be relooked at.  He added that there is another way of obtaining capital that is in current Georgia law that is currently appropriate for the city of Atlanta. Today it will be discussed and direction given to JWSC’s attorney as to the suggestion on how we may be able use this tax methodology to fund our capital and restoration & renewal projects, and reduce our ratepayers’ water bills through payment of debt instruments that we may accumulate in performing water and sewer projects. Charlie Dorminy then continued to discuss the background information regarding the proposed legislation.  He noted that the JWSC has been working with local leaders to determine all viable options for sustaining the JWSC business model.  These meeting have routinely discussed the JWSC benefitting from tax revenue, whether property or sales.  The sales tax option appears to be the most palatable and practical given all factors.  Mr. Dorminy continued noting that the sales tax option could be modeled after a similar tax imposed in the City of Atlanta.  The City of Atlanta first approved the sales tax in 2004 to help pay for a $4 billion court-ordered overhaul of Atlanta’s water and sewer systems.  The JWSC is under a similar Court order to make improvements to its system and has been working diligently to satisfy the order.  With many of Atlanta’s multi-year projects still ongoing, the tax was renewed by referendum in 2008, 2012, and 2015.  The 1 percent tax increased Atlanta’s sales tax rate to 8%.  Mr. Dorminy them presented the overview of Water and Sewer Projects and Costs Tax, O.C.G.A. § 48-8-200 et seq.:  Requires resolution by municipality to County; “Municipality” defined as treating at least 85 million gallons; County or Counties may participate similar to SPLOST; Requires referendum by voters; Maximum of 1%; Collected and distributed similar to SPLOST; Duration as specified in Resolution and Referendum, or when amount is met; Renewable by resolution and referendum; “Water and sewer projects and costs” means (1) Any capital outlay project or projects for the development, storage, treatment, purification, or distribution of water, (2) Any capital outlay project or projects for storm-water and sewage collection and disposal systems, (3) Any maintenance and operation costs for projects.  He finally noted that the JWSC could draft similar legislation or could through its enabling legislation make O.C.G.A. § 48-8-200 et seq. applicable to JWSC.  Mr. Dorminy noted that at this time in Georgia, Atlanta is the only municipality meeting the criteria of treating 85 million gallons. There was detailed discussion between the commissioners and staff, involving the recommendation from JWSC staff with a list of the projects that the money would go toward.  This tax would help with the Capital Improvement Fees, not eliminate them, but help to reduce them.  There were various concerns discussed such as a sales tax being imposed for everyone to help fund JWSC’s needs.  The new commissioners had concerns to know how the rates were structures before making a formal vote on the tax issue.  Mr. Junkin pointed out notes and challenges with the budget, and that he does not believe that the current rate payers can pay for all the needs existing right now. Commissioner Harvey made commentary on how few citizens attended the public meetings to discuss the increased rates they had to pay, and that they seemed to just accept it.  He also noted that the rate payers cannot afford to fund all of the needs of the infrastructure.  After more detailed discussion between the Commission, it was decided to table the motion for the time.  Mr. Dorminy would still need to work with local delegation and state to finalize any details.  As proposed at this meeting, this would provide a guideline to follow for starting the process.  There were some concerns that a tax is not the correct way to fund the needed improvements and Capital improvements.  Mr. Junkin noted that this proposal was to facilitate the mechanism in the case that the Commission did decide to take that path.  A workshop was planned to advise what the Master Plan is, how it came about, and the rate structure and modeling of planning for the future and impact fees. It was discussed that there were timelines that had to be met in the case this moved forward.

DISCUSSION

  1. 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. Seeking easements to get out of right of way.  Seaboard / GA Pacific easements possible. Additional change orders are pending.  Phase II is 90% complete; recent change order will allow completion.  JWSC agreement to relocate WM within G-DOT r/w if required due to road widening.

Project 319 – Essentially complete.  Record drawings received and under JWSC review.  Project closeout documents received.  Working with City Engineer on a list of locations holding water.

Project 421 – Sanitary sewer is complete. Storm system substantially complete. Water: JWSC in-house valve installation complete. JWSC awaiting approval from G-DOT for WM replacement at intersection of Mansfield St. and Bay St. Curb & gutter complete. Paving company to complete installation of GAB prior to paving per City Engineer.

Project 503 – Record drawings have been reviewed by JWSC staff and returned for revisions.  Awaiting submission of project closeout documents, and warranty docs.

Project 504 – All drawings and documents complete. GA Power service transfer complete.

Project 701 – This is the initial component to open small amount of N. Mainland capacity; coordinated with SPLOST 2016 Phase 1. Involves 3,200 LF of 24” force main upgrade using open cut, Jack & Bore and HDD methods. CSX & NS Railroad Jack & Bore is complete.  Horizontal directional drill Phase I and Phase II complete.  HDPE manhole installation complete. Tie-Ins: Receiving Manhole and PS 4005 complete, balance in progress.

Project 702 – First component of SPLOST 2016, and is a long term component for the N. Mainland capacity. Is a Design/Build Project. First phase of SPLOST out of 4 Phases.  Pumps have been pre-purchased. Contractor mobilized and working at PS 4028, PS 4048, PS 4005, PS 4006, and PS 4110. Still moving on schedule.

Engineering / Design in Progress:

Project 501 – SPLOST funded project.  Currently on hold by County awaiting re-evaluation of project scope.

Project 602 – SPLOST funded Project. Final engineering design complete.  Evaluating construction schedule.  Glynn County to handle construction bidding and award.  Meeting with Glynn County scheduled to discuss incorporation of drainage improvements along Holly Street.

Project 702 – SPLOST 2016 Project.  Is a long term component of solution for N. Mainland capacity. Divided into four phases to expedite.  Various preliminary evaluations of phases are underway.  Projected construction for pump station 4110 segment: 8-10 months; 2-3+ year project in total.

Project 703 – 2nd SPLOST 2016 project, with allotment of $3.3M.  Involves elimination of PS 4003; gravity flow straight to Academy Creek WWTP. Four Waters evaluation complete; recommended options under review.

Project 704 – Pre-engineering in progress; route discussions with Glynn County.  Eliminate single feed to Glynco Pkwy., airport and FLETC; loop Canal Crossing.  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.  Recent finding of closed 12” valve by Water Distribution at Community/Habersham.

City of Brunswick Magnolia Park Roadway & Drainage Improvements – Scope of work is under review.  City of Brunswick adding water system improvements to scope of engineering design.

City of Brunswick “L” Street Roadway & Drainage Improvements – Scope of work under review.  City of Brunswick adding water system improvements to scope of engineering design.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Junkin reminded that the refinance of the 2010C bonds was complete. Reiterated Mr. Kline’s notation that the first phase of the SPLOST project was about to be completed, which will soon help to free up the capacity for the North Mainland for construction and development. There will still be some issues in the Southport area which funding will be needed for. Otherwise the majority of the service area will be in good shape for adequate capacity. The JWSC Special Called Workshop will be on January 17th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

There was no further update at this time.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

There was no Executive Session.

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Elliott adjourned the open meeting at 3:57 p.m.