Commission Meeting Minutes – September 21, 2017
For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
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Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission
1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520
Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM
Donald M. Elliott, Chairman
Clifford Adams, Vice-Chairman
Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner
Mike Browning, Commissioner
Steve Copeland, Commissioner
David H. Ford, Commissioner
Robert Bowen, Commissioner
Jimmy Junkin, Executive Director
Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel HBS
Andrew Burroughs, Deputy Executive Director
Todd Kline, Senior Engineer
Pam Crosby, Director of Procurement
John D. Donaghy, Director of Administration
Chairman Elliott called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM. Commissioner Copeland provided the invocation and Chairman Elliott led the pledge.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
Chairman Elliott opened the public comment period. There being no citizens for public comment, Chairman Elliott closed the public comment period.
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 the Finance Committee did meet and discussed the Sanitary Sewer Flow Monitoring RFP, the Water Production Report, the FEMA Reimbursement Plan, the Tentative Calendar for Bond Issuance, the Current Status of Innoprise Implementation, the Audit Status, and the Financial Report.
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.
- Minutes from the August 17, 2017 Regular Commission Meeting
Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to approve the minutes from August 17, 2017 Regular Commission Meeting. Motion carried 7-0-0.
Minutes from the August 17, 2017 Executive Session
Commissioner Ford made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from August 17, 2017 Executive Session. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- Minutes from the August 24, 2017 Special Called Meeting
Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Browning to approve the minutes from August 24, 2017 Special Called Meeting. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- Minutes from the August 24, 2017 Special Called Executive Session
Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Browning to approve the minutes from August 24, 2017 Special Called Executive Session. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- Sanitary Sewer Flow Monitoring RFP Award – P. Crosby
Pam Crosby presented the recommendation for Sanitary Sewer Flow Monitoring RFP award to the Commission. She noted that a few months prior, there was a presentation given regarding this project, which will be specific to St. Simons Island. The purpose of the project is to measure the amount of storm water inflow and infiltration that is coming into the system. Mrs. Crosby also provided maps of the areas to be monitored, a brief description of the project, copies of the bids received from five firms, the evaluation matrix showing the evaluation criteria, and related documents. She continued by noting that identifying where the problem areas are is one of the steps to addressing it. Also mentioned was that in last year’s budget there was $1M to address manhole rehab, grouting and other things to help tighten up the system’s pipes, of which the full amount was required for repairs. This is an ongoing annual budgeted amount. This project is another was to identify where in the St. Simons basins where some of the bigger issues are and may help to set priorities on where that next portion of funding should go to address these issues. Flow monitoring is a required part of the consent order JWSC is currently under, in addition to the requirement to install flow meters at every lift station. ISCO Flow Monitors are approved for JWSC use and will be used on this project. There was some additional discussion of the details of the project. Mrs. Crosby advised that this will be a three month study and was the more cost effective proposal received. The project is expected to begin immediately. The project is recommended to be awarded to McKim & Creed out of Tampa, and their references have been checked and confirmed.
Commissioner Ford made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission award the contract for Sanitary Sewer Flow Monitoring to McKim & Creed. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- Watershed Protection Plan – M. Ryals / W. Burcham – Integrated Science & Engineering
Mark Ryals introduced Mr. Burcham and the Watershed Protection Plan for discussion and clarification on consideration for moving forward with the plan. Mr. Burcham presented the background information regarding Academy Creek. Academy Creek has a NPEDS permit, and that permit requires that there is a Watershed Protection Plan. He noted that in 2010 JWSC along with the City and County, through Stantec, had cooperated and put together a Watershed Protection Plan. The original plan was turned in to EPD with comments made, but was never finalized. The original plan as was started in 2010 needs to be updated, and Mr. Burcham suggests gathering a working group by bringing all the stakeholders back to the table to discuss and update the plan from the original. The Watershed Protection Plan involves checking and long term monitoring of the components of the watershed as a whole to include; streams, creeks, tributaries, bayous, etc. Chairman Elliott requested an electronic copy of the original draft of the 2010 plan be sent over on the following day. This will need to be reviewed by staff, City and County.
- Operational Agreement – J. Junkin
Mr. Junkin discussed the Operational Agreement and noted that the rate consultant has been asked to provide a working model of the rates, and recommend the fixed and variable portions of the billing rates to be charges to customers. The current Operating Agreement dictates what is fixed and what is variable, and does not allow for the proper amount of fixed costs to cover the O & M expenses. He further explained that customers who are not full year residents are not being billed the proper amounts on the fixed portion to cover the O & M expenses. The O & M expenses are those that are related directly to the systems which all customers use. It was noted that the bond rating agencies favor the fixed costs rather than the variable, and this will also be reviewed by them in preparing the bond issue. The draft has been reviewed by the County and still needs to be reviewed by the City. The Commission agreed that it should be further discussed and that JWSC legal counsel will review the draft again for any revisions with the City and again with the County.
3. ARCO Grant Update – J. Junkin
Mr. Junkin advised that the representatives to introduce the Step technology have been invited to come and do a presentation. This project does involve grant monies at about $800K, about $5,000 to $6,000 per household, depending on the condition of their septic tanks. It appears that the Step system will be a better option to go with. The Grinder option cost was estimated at around $10,000 per household. There is a conceptual analysis to be done as to which method to go with on the project. The E1 representatives are to come in and discuss their grinder pumps with staff and present their product. An overall life cycle analysis would need be done to decide which method to go with, the Step system or the E1 Grinder system. There is also a concern to be able to provide for as many households as possible, as well as the costs and maintenance fees. There will be further discussion as more information is available.
- Water Production Report – J. Donaghy
John Donaghy presented some raw data reports on the water production. This information is gathered on a monthly basis. The commission discussed the production numbers as provided. The month of June was mentioned as an example with 231 million gallons produced, but only 210 million gallons billed. John advised that this difference is due to water used or lost within the system. Water used within the JWSC system is termed as non-revenue water, including water for fire hydrants, water for flushing lines, etc. This report is requested to be presented each month for review, and to include metered water as well.
- FEMA Reimbursement Plan – J. Donaghy
John Donaghy advised that the hurricane hot wash meeting was held earlier in the same morning. He explained some of the details of the hurricane staffing. He also noted examples such as there being a staff of 6 persons for administration/finance during the hurricane event to assist staff with proper time keeping and invoicing. Also, the day prior to releasing the employees a meeting was held to explain to the employees the forms to be used and the importance of properly documenting and accounting for hours and costs. The overtime numbers will be included on next month’s overtime report.
- Innoprise Implementation Status – J. Donaghy
John Donaghy advised that the CIS billing system has been up and running live for just over 2 months. The initial problems were corrected and most of the systems are functioning. There were still some data errors being found, but not direct systematic errors. He added that accounts are being looked at on an individual basis where any errors are being found for all of the data fields to be corrected. At the time of the start up of the new system, customers were not being charged late fees for past due bills. This will not start back up until the system is fully corrected and confirmed.
- FY 2016-2017 Audit Status – J. Donaghy
John Donaghy also updated the Commission regarding the audit for the previous FY of 2016-2017. The auditors were present at JWSC from August 18 through August 22. They provided a list of about 30 items to be gathered and sent by JWSC to the auditors. The auditing firm will come in to brief the full Commission after the audit is complete.
- August 2017 Month End Financial Comparative – J. Donaghy
John Donaghy presented the financial statement for August 2017 month end to the Commission. He briefed the Commission on the Balance sheet noting some of the details such as the bond sinking fund and the bond payment. Additional items that were reviewed were the budget execution by division and overtime by division. The capital project funding report was reviewed and various details discussed.
- SSN Requirement on New Accounts – J. Sellers
Jay Sellers presented and discussed with the Commission the Social Security Number requirement for setting up new accounts. The SSN collection is required to verify the customers. There is a legal requirement to have a Social Security Number in order to secure utilities or water services. If the JWSC does not collect a customer’s Social Security number when setting up a new account, the JWSC is subject to a $3,500 fine for each instance. JWSC does us an online service for SSN verification.
- Customer Service Issues and Corrective Actions – J. Sellers
Jay Sellers discussed the issues that have been experienced recently in the customer service area and the corrective actions that have been taken to address those issues. He advised that the customer service issues came to a head when the transference to the new billing software happened on July 1. There was some training done, and customers were experiencing problems with their bills. Customers were calling in, and with the great increase in the call volume the ability to respond to those calls was greatly reduced. Jay has plans to work with the customer service representatives on their abilities and training. He has moved his office up front to the main customer service area and Luke Orser-Schwalm has relocated his desk to an area where he is more available to assist customers as well. There has been staff added to the customer service division and their schedules have been staggered. The plan is to have no less than three persons at the customer service area at a time. There are some additional measures to be put into place to aid with customer service such as adding a payment box on the sidewalk for walk-ups to pay by check, an additional staff person to take calls on two days of the month, credit card payment machines to take payments via that method, etc. In addition there will be additional training provided to the customer service representatives.
- Hurricane Irma After Action Report – J. Sellers
Jay Sellers also discussed the Hurricane Irma After Action with the Commission. He advised details of the training and what had been done to prepare for this hurricane season. Jay noted that last year, JWSC was properly staffed on the operations side, but lacking in the administration and planning side. This year, more attention was given to the planning side. Discussion continued to the fact that more generators are needed to provide power during outages involved in a storm. Elevation of the generators is also an issue. The costs of procuring proper generators, installing and elevating them is very high. There was some additional discussion regarding the need for generators, and what options there are. This will be a matter for further future discussion and consideration.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE
Mr. Junkin gave a brief update to the Commission. He also formally introduced Andrew Burroughs the newly hired Deputy Executive Director to the Commissioners.
There was no update from the Chairman at this time.
There was no Executive Session at this time.
There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Elliott adjourned the open meeting at 4:53 pm.