Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, April 16, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 4-16-20 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, April 16, 2020 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES 

PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Bob Duncan, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Charles Cook, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner                             

 ALSO PRESENT:                  

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

John Donaghy, Director of Finance

LaDonnah Roberts, Senior Financial Analyst

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

LIVE STREAMING & TELECONFERENCE:              

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel 

MEDIA PRESENT:               

No Media Present

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

Commissioner Neal provided the invocation and Commissioner Duncan led the Pledge of Allegiance.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Chairman Turnipseed opened the public comment period.

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

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Facilities Committee Meeting Update – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed reported that the Facilities Committee had met on the previous day and approved a change order for the Magnolia Park Water System Rehab, a project in conjunction with the City of Brunswick; approved a contract award for Brockington Sewer Line Repair; the bids received for the SPLOST North Mainland Phase III Pump Station Project all came in substantially over budget, staff recommended a bid rejection which the Facilities Committee approved; also approved was the Infrastructure Dedication for the pump station and water system in West Point Plantation; Water  Distribution had some inventory items no longer needed which were approved to be declared as surplus; the change order for the SPLOST North Mainland Phase III Pump Station Rehab was deferred until the next Facilities Meeting by the Committee due to the changes and to research a different option; and a change order for the PS4105/4107 Expansion was approved.  The WPCF plants had good reports for the month of March, all operating well within permit levels.  Academy Creek Plant is at 57% of its capacity, with 94 to 95% removal.  The Dunbar Creek Plant is at 73% of its capacity and is getting 98 to 99% removal.  Southport is at 28% and is getting 98 to 99% removal.  The Project Report was also presented indicating good progress on projects, including the completion of the SR99 Water Main Extension.

Finance Committee Meeting Update – Commissioner Duncan

Commissioner Duncan reported that the Finance Committee had also met on the previous day.  He noted that the items requiring funding are on the Approval Agenda for today and were endorsed by the Finance Committee to be moved forward.  The monthly budget and financial statement indicate that JWSC remains on track and is forecasted to remain on track through year end.  The Finance Committee approved the Rate Resolution to be submitted to the full Commission today.

Human Resources Committee Update – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Elliott reported that the full Committee along with Commissioner Cook and Chairman Turnipseed were present at the meeting.  The discussion included self-funding health insurance claims.  He noted that it was a good discussion, however the Committee is not at a decision making point.  In May, staff is to report to the Committee how JWSC can implement and provide a look at costs for 5 years and the staffing requirements to assume paying for our own health care claims.  The Committee also discussed changes to the Pension Plan.  The Committee voted to send the recommendation to the full Commission for decision.  Based on that Mr. Chairman I would like to make a motion:

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move to defer Item 11 until the Facilities Committee Meeting in May, and move to add Item 13 – Pension Plan Changes under the Approval Section on the Agenda.  Motion carried 6-0-0.  (Commissioner Stephens was unable to vote.)

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the March 19, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to approve the minutes from the March 19, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to absence from the meeting.) 

  1. Minutes from the March 19, 2020 Executive Session

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the March 19, 2020 Executive Session.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to absence from the meeting.) 

  1. Contract Award and Change Order No. 1 – Magnolia Park Water System Rehab.
  2. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that this is a City of Brunswick SPLOST Project to resurface roadways in the Magnolia Park Subdivision.  JWSC had planned to update the water distribution system in that neighborhood.  Bids were received by the City in March 2020, for which the water system portion came in much higher than expected.  JWSC was allowed to negotiate with the low bidder to do a deductive change order at the start to get the price for the water system down to not-to-exceed $1.65M.  The original contract price was $2.5M and with the deductive change order to get the price down to $1.65M, this item was presented to the Facilities Committee at that meeting on the previous day.  Chairman Turnipseed commented that this is a very important project for the City of Brunswick; and JWSC will be putting in the water lines at the same time since the streets will be being paved and the storm drainage system will be rehabbed, making it the ideal time to do the water lines which are currently transite and have several leaks.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Brunswick for the Magnolia Park Water System Rehab and approve Change Order No. 1 to the Intergovernmental Agreement to adjust the Division II price to not-to-exceed $1,650,000.00.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Contract Award – Brockington Area Sewer Line Repair – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed provided that the bids for this Project were received on March 31, 2020 and there were six bidders.  The low bidder was Gulf Coast Underground, LLC, for a bid of $98,327.00.  This Project involved repairing some 12-inch sewer lines.  The Facilities Committee reviewed the Project on the previous day and recommended it to be presented to the full Board for approval.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission enter into a contract with Gulf Coast Underground, LLC, in the amount of $98,327.00 for the Brockington Area Line Rehabilitation Project.

Commissioner Neal asked why there was such a disparity between the bids, and Mr. Burroughs advised that the firms were allowed to bid trenchless and open-cut options, with the open-cut options being substantially higher than the trenchless options.  He added that staff was surprised at the spread of the bids, but this seemed to be the delineating factor.  Commissioner Duncan noted also that the Facilities Committee had a fair amount of discussion on the previous day about this and he had raised those same concerns.  Additionally that discussion focused around the unit price versus open-cut and trenchless construction, and he had questioned if the bidders really understood the scope and was JWSC’s confidence level considered very high for the scoping in that we believe that the bidders were fully understanding of the scope, and that was certainly the case.  Commissioner Duncan also noted that staff may want to discuss this with the other five bidders to see if there was anything to learn from this and if perhaps their interpretation of the scope might have been different.  Chairman Turnipseed commented that the two lowest bidders were those who are most familiar with this type of work also.  Commissioner Elliott commented that he liked the move to trenchless seems to start being less expensive than open-cut, and he believed this was the way to go.  With no additional questions, a vote was taken.

Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Contract Award – Facilities Landscaping Services – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that proposals were received for Landscaping Services for 186 of JWSC’s locations including all of the lift station sites, water stations, wastewater facilities, as well as the administration building.  The lift stations and water stations will be services once per month; wastewater facilities will be services every two weeks; and the administration building will be services once per week.  The total price proposed by the preferred provider was $184,689.00 for the year.  This item was presented to the Facilities Committee on the previous day, and was included as a part of the FY2021 Budget.  Commissioner Stephens asked if the proposal included an hourly rate for add-on services in case there is something additional we needed them to do, and Mr. Burroughs responded yes.  Chairman Turnipseed asked if we had used this company before, and Mr. Burroughs replied yes, they had the bid two years ago.  Commissioner Neal asked how did this bid come out as compared to the projection staff thought it would, and Mr. Burroughs provided that it was under what was in the next year’s budget.  Commissioner Harvey asked who was doing this work, and Mr. Burroughs stated that JWSC was self-performing for the last two years.  Commissioner Harvey then asked if it was more advantageous to bid the work out.  Mr. Burroughs responded yes, that JWSC would be saving money by bidding it out, and that when it was originally decided to self-perform it was only supposed to take two staff members but has taken four to keep up with all of that work in addition to the equipment and fuel, so it ended up being more expensive to keep that in house.  Commissioner Stephens asked what happens to that staff, and Mr. Burroughs replied that they are being transferred to vacant positions in other divisions and that division is being dissolved and had been presented as part of the FY2021 Budget. Commissioner Stephens commented that he was all for going to a contract instead of staff, and that he wanted to make sure that the contract includes all of the equipment rates and hourly rates for different performances spelled out, because there will be some add-ons.  Commissioner Stephens advised that he would have those equipment rates, etc. spelled out prior to contract.  Mr. Burroughs provided that he will be sure this is provided in an attachment on the contract.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve a contract for Facilities Landscaping Services for the JWSC to be awarded to Coastal Greenery, LLC., in the annual amount of $184,689.00.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Bid Rejection – SPLOST NM Ph II Pump Station Rehab – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed provided that bids for this Project were received on March 17, 2020, with the low bidder being R2T, Inc. with a bid of $3,432,420.00 which is substantially over the engineer’s cost estimate of $2,816,000.00.  Staff did meet with R2T to try to negotiate and lower the price by making some changes, which was not successful.  Staff recommends JWSC rejects all bids and rebid the Project at a later time with the scope of the Project revised.  The Facilities Committee approved the staff’s recommendation to reject all bids and to rebid it at a later date.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the JWSC reject all bids for the IFB 20-015 2016 SPLOST North Mainland Phase II Pump Station Improvements, amend the scope of the project and re-advertise the project.

Chairman Turnipseed commented that by doing this, we are not delaying the overall project; we still have the force main work to be done which has not been bid yet.  We will still be on track.

Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Infrastructure Dedication – West Point Plantation – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that Pump Station 2038 and the water system at West Point Plantation have been in service for over 20 years and have been being maintained by JWSC, however the dedication process was never completed.  The package provided for the Commissioners to review includes the Warranty Deed, an Easement for the Pump Station, and the dedication for the water and sewer infrastructure.  The fair value of the infrastructure is listed the same as previous infrastructure over 20 years old.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve terms of the Release Agreement with West Point Plantation, LLC and acceptance of Pump Station 2038 and water system as public infrastructure for ownership, operation and maintenance.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Water Distribution Surplus Items – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed referred to the list of Water Distribution Surplus Inventory and provided that there were over 20 different items for $8,000 that have been in storage at the facility for a long period of time, and JWSC has no need for those items anymore according to staff.  Staff recommended that these items be declared as surplus at $8,739.55.  The Facilities Committee approved this on the previous day.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the full Commission approve the Water Distribution Surplus Items be declared as surplus and disposed of in a manner most beneficial to the JWSC.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Commissioner Elliott requested that the list of these items be provided to the City and County to see if they can use any of them prior to placing these items on GovDeals.

  1. HR SOP Update – Other Emergency Situations – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that as staff was reviewing the HR SOP, given the current pandemic situation, there was nothing in the language that allowed JWSC to take action in this area.  The suggested language as presented covers a catch-all of other emergency situations where there may be extremely hazardous conditions and allows for teleworking opportunities for staff who are able to do so.  Mr. Burroughs added that it allows for in the event that it is beneficial for the JWSC to limit exposure because of required staffing, to grant administrative leave for individuals that do not need to be present at that time.  It also states that JWSC will remain open for full schedules in the event that we are teleworking.  He noted that as of this date, we do not have anyone on administrative leave and it is not being considered at this time; this is providing it as an option should the situation progress.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the amendment to Section 4.1 of the Human Resources Standards of Practice as presented.  Motion carried 6-1-0.  (Commissioner Stephens voted against the motion.)

  1. Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Rate Resolution – L. Roberts

Mrs. Roberts stated that following up on the presentation to the Finance Committee on the previous day that in conjunction with the annual budgeting process staff also reviews the water and sewer rates as well as other fees that are charged within the organization.  She provided a copy of the Resolution with the red-lines for the Commission’s review and approval.  Mrs. Roberts also commented that at the Finance Committee Meeting on the previous day Committee Chairman Duncan requested one additional revision that was now reflected in the packet on page 6, Roman Numeral VIII, staff was asked to add a reference also to the City of Brunswick.  She added that with that the packet is complete, and staff is asking for the Commission’s approval today.  Commissioner Harvey asked if the rates had been changed.  Chairman Turnipseed provided that the only rate that had changed was for the sewer only customers where the rates are the same and Mrs. Roberts added that the basis was changed from 7,000 gallons to 4,200 gallons.  The Chairman noted that some of the other fees were changed, but are generally lower than they were including tap-on fees for residential houses.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the attached Rate Resolution for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2021 subject to any revisions made necessary by the comments from the City of Brunswick or Glynn County.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Commissioner Stephens left the Commission Meeting at 2:30 p.m. to chair a meeting at the hospital.

  1. Change Order No. 1 – SPLOST NM Ph III Pump Station Rehab – Engineering – A. Burroughs

This item was deferred until the May 20, 2020 Facilities Committee Meeting. 

  1. Change Order No. 1 – PS4105/4107 Expansion and Downstream Rehab Project – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that this project involves pump station expansions and force main design in the North Mainland area to handles the flows from the Bergen Woods development, some residential development, and also the Public Safety Complex.  The original scope provided by the engineer only assumed a survey amount of 2200 linear feet of force main.  Upon review, staff has determined that the entire force main will need to be upsized as part of the design.  The construction will not occur until it is necessary, but the design is being done now.  This change order adds another 5,500 linear feet of survey, for an amount of $10,850.00.  Commissioner Harvey asked if the JWSC engineering group had looked at this as well.  Mr. Burroughs advised yes, that JWSC had done the preliminary work on the design and then submitted it to engineering for an RFP.  Roberts Civil Engineering, LLC was selected.  Staff originally thought the design included a force main being relocated down Crispen Blvd. instead of crossing under the interstate. It was hoped to take the point where it turns to go under the interstate and intercept it there to the new location with a larger force main, but it appears that the entire length of  force main will have to be done and will also need to be surveyed.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve Change Order No. 1 to the PS 4105/4107 Expansion and Downstream Rehab Engineering contract in the amount of $10,850.00.

Commissioner Harvey inquired if Roberts was only doing the engineering and will not do any of the construction on the project.  Mr. Burroughs confirmed that was correct, and that Roberts was doing the design for three aspects:  pump station increases, the force main to be done later, and downstream gravity sewer rehab and improvements.  After Roberts has done the design for the pump station rehab and gravity sewer rehab those will be placed for bid by JWSC.  Chairman Turnipseed advised that the Facilities Committee approved this item on the previous day and referred to the drawing as presented.

Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was not present for the vote.)

  1. Pension Plan Changes – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that at the Human Resources Workshop on the previous day, staff presented options for amending the existing Pension Plan considering either existing employees, new employees, or completely freezing our existing plan and moving everyone to a 401K style plan.  After discussion yesterday the recommendation is to require employees hired on or after July 1, 2020 to contribute three percent (3%) of their compensation to the plan, and that the vesting schedule for those employees would be changed to be fully vested upon ten (10) years of service.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the JWSC approve amendments to the Defined Benefit Retirement Plan Adoption Agreement to require employees hired on or after July 1, 2020 to contribute three percent (3%) of their compensation to the plan and that those employees will be fully vested upon completion of ten (10) years of service, and that JWSC Chairman, Executive Director and Attorney be authorized to execute the necessary plan amendments.

Commissioner Cook commented that he thought it was important to know the pension is not going to change for any of the current employees, and that new employees are going to be contributing three percent (3%), and if they do not make the full vesting period that three percent (3%) they put into the pension will then be returned to them.  Commissioner Cook then asked if that was taxable income, and Mr. Burroughs responded that it is not taxable if it is rolled into an IRA but that if the money was deposited directly into a regular bank account then it would be taxable.  Commissioner Cook then said that money will be returned from the pension not from the JWSC because that money will have already been put into the pension.  He added that he thought it is wonderful that employees that are current employees are not going to have to give any of their 3% because a salary cut at this point is difficult; and I am very much in favor of this, and I think it is a great plan they have worked out here.  Chairman Turnipseed commented that by moving it to the ten (10) year vesting time from the current five (5) year we are saving some money there also.  Commissioner Cook added that maybe it will encourage people to stay longer. 

Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was not present for the vote.)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Burroughs reported that the Master Plan RFP that has been discussed is out for advertisement at this time with responses due form engineering firms by May 5th.  The goal at this point is to have a recommendation for awarding that contract at the May Facilities Meeting so that we can get the master Plan updated.  It has been five years since we have done so, and it is time to do that.  JWSC is purchasing re-usable cloth face masks for staff members to wear when interacting with the public; an upholstery and drapery firm on the island is sewing those for us and we will be getting those in the next few days.  Mr. Burroughs advised that typically when someone gets a new operator license, we have them come in and give them an award for doing so.  JWSC had two staff members in the past month acquire licenses, Zachary Yawn got his Class III Operator License, and Willie Walker got his Wastewater Laboratory Analyst License.  They will be honored when we can get back to normal, but I want to give them the kudos they deserve for their recent accomplishments.

Commissioner Elliott asked if Willie required that license for his job or if he is moving away from P&C.  Mr. Burroughs provided that Willie is not moving, he is an inspector in the Planning & Construction group but he wanted to learn more about the laboratory side of wastewater and he went and got that license on his own.  Commissioner Elliott requested Mr. Burroughs to please pass on his congratulations to Willie for wanting to do that and doing it.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

The Chairman stated that he proposed there be only one Commission Meeting in May again due to the virus.  That will be in the third week, the 21st of May.   The next Facilities Committee Meeting will be held at 1:00 on the day before and a Finance Meeting at 3:00.  We are not sure if we will have a Human Resources Meeting or not.  Commissioner Elliott commented that it depends on staff.  Mr. Burroughs provided that staff was given some data that the Committee wanted them to pull on the previous day at the HR Committee Meeting; assuming we can get that all together before the next meeting, we will have an HR Meeting on the Wednesday before like we did yesterday.  Commissioner Neal asked Mr. Burroughs if they had received the information.  Mr. Burroughs responded they did not receive all of the data and did not receive the five years’ worth of claims data since Catina is still pulling all of that.  Mr. Burroughs added that as soon as the information is all received, he will distribute it to the Commissioners.

EXECUTIVE SESSION – Property

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to adjourn into Executive Session to discuss Property.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was not present for the vote.)

Return to Regular Session.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to return to Regular Session.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was not present for the vote.)

Chairman Turnipseed requested a motion to add Item #14 to the agenda, which is the Second Amendment to the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move to add Item #14 to the agenda.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was not present for the vote.)

APPROVAL cont.

  1. Second Amendment to Purchase and Sale Agreement – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed provided that the item before the Commission is extending the Due Diligence Period on the contract with Port City Partners to a date of June 1, 2020.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move to approve the Amendment.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was not present for the vote.) 

Chairman Turnipseed requested a motion to adjourn the Commission Meeting. 

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to adjourn the Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was not present for the vote.)

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 2:52 p.m.