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Commission Meeting Minutes Thursday, April 18, 2019

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, April 18, 2019.

Commission Meeting Minutes 4-18-19 with Attachments 1

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Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM



G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Steve Copeland, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Bob Duncan, 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

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

MEDIA PRESENT:               

Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News

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

Commissioner Neal provided the invocation and Commissioner Elliott led the pledge.


Chairman Turnipseed opened the public comment period.

Monica Smith, Sewer Sanitation – Mrs. Smith commented that she has concerns regarding sewer sanitation.  After some research, she has concluded that Glynn County seems to have been moving backwards in this area.  She noted that in the 1940’s when subdivisions were laid out they provided space for parks, roads and eventual sewer installation.  That was true of Brunswick Villa, Oglethorpe Park on SSI, and it was also true of Petersen Subdivision off of Demere Road.  She added that Oglethorpe Park, Kings Terrace, and the south end of St. Simons Island were provided with central sewer services some time ago.  Glynn County passed a resolution back in March 3, 1983 that said “Be it hereby resolved by the Board of Commissioners, Glynn County, Georgia in regular meeting this third day of March 1983 that we allow impact fee free and reduced tapping fee sewer connections in the entire south end bypassed area for a period of 180 days after completion of the entire Arnold Demere Proctor Area Sewer Project on St. Simons Island and certification of availability of the final portion   …”  Mrs. Smith said that she brings this to the attention of the Commission because now in 2019 we have a subdivision on St. Simons Island, Petersen Subdivision with 19 lots and adjacent to that is some 20 acres of undeveloped land without sewer service, and it has not had sewer service but now has a proposal to put in small pumps for the houses.  She feels this is inadequate, if you are going to plan for the future and take into account that there are least 28 undeveloped acres on either side of that subdivision, then JWSC would put in a proper sewer line and a lift station, if required.  Mrs. Smith advised that on the prior night the citizens of St. Simons had a town hall meeting and the main SSI representative to the County Commission indicated that they were seriously considering a SPLOST that may extend for as long as 6 years and should bring a considerable amount of money.  She further commented that we are counting on the Joint Water and Sewer Commission to bring forward a proposal to take care of many of the bypassed areas both on St. Simons Island, within the City of Brunswick, and in the unincorporated area of Glynn County around the city.  She asked that as JWSC puts together the budget and also the SPLOST proposals together to please consider that there is a lot of catch up to do in addition to the repair and replacement, and thanked the Commission.

Chairman Turnipseed thanked Mrs. Smith for her commentary, and then provided that JWSC currently has an engineering firm looking at certain areas to extend sewer and other areas will be considered after receiving that report.

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


Facilities Committee – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed provided an update on the Facilities Committee meeting from April 3, 2019.  The proposals for the Engineering Services for the Academy Creek and Dunbar Creek Upgrades are due May 1st.  Smoke testing on SSI is expected to start May 1st with completion by the end of May or mid-June and will result in a determination of the sewer rehab needs for SSI.  Chairman Turnipseed informed the Commission that today, there was a collapse in the 30” sewer line on Whitlock Avenue, of which this portion of the line would not allow access to get the CCTV camera line through during inspection.  He advised of the absolute need for ensuring this line is strong and can handle the additional capacity for the North Mainland.

Finance Committee – Commissioner Copeland

Commissioner Copeland reported that the Finance Committee met on April 17, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.  He noted that the review of the draft budget for FY2020 was completed and the committee recommended it be in front of full Commission today for approval to send to City and County for review and comment.  He added that some administrative amendments to the Pension Plan were reviewed and approved to move forward to full Commission for final approval.  The committee also considered two leak adjustments which are on the agenda for today and recommended those for approval. The committee also reviewed the Financial Policies and will revisit those again. The next Finance Committee Meeting scheduled for Wednesday May 15th at 1:30 p.m.

Human Resources Committee – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Elliott updated that the Human Resources Committee met on the previous day at 10:00 a.m.  He highlighted the items discussed at that meeting.  The committee first reviewed the pay scales and recommended to staff to complete a market survey to determine if our pay scales are in line with the industry and in the local economy.  Commissioner Elliott noted that the previous salary survey was done by Condrey and Associates and advised that Condrey will be asked to present a briefing for the Commission for understanding of the purpose of the study, how it is conducted, and what the expected results can be.  Performance appraisals were discussed and the incorporation of changes in the job descriptions of the operations superintendents.  He also reported that technical training (hard skills) as well as licensing and certification required for operations staff was discussed.  The statistics of JWSC’s workers’ compensation were reviewed, and Commissioner Elliott indicated that staff is doing well in keeping work related accidents down.  The current enrollment in health insurance was reviewed and compared with that of 2018.  Finally the committee reviewed the amendments to the Pension Plan and determined that those changes were not significant.

There were no additional committee updates.


  1. Minutes from the April 4, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to approve the minutes from the April 4, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

2.  Minutes from the April 4, 2019 Executive Session

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the April 4, 2019 Executive Session.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

 3.  Fiscal Year 2020 Budget – Plan Approval – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy provided the Commissioners with a copy of the proposed budget for the Fiscal Year ending 2020 and advised that staff began working on the budget back in February and has worked on it with the major emphasis of improving maintenance throughout the organization as well as providing the funding to the Repair and Replacement Reserve for the upgrade of infrastructure.  He indicated that there was an intention of having no rate increases for the coming year, and the 2020 year rates will remain the same as the current year for JWSC’s customers.  Mr. Donaghy reported that the budget itself was $33,279,000.00, and there was an increase in the transfer to the Repair and Replacement Reserve of over a million dollars.  With review and recommendations from the Commissioners staff finalized the budget numbers and presented it to the Finance Committee and the committee has recommended that it be approved by the full Commission to be forwarded to the City and County for their review and comment.

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve submission of the Proposed Fiscal Year 2020 JWSC Budget to the City of Brunswick and to Glynn County for their review and comment, and approval of the Fiscal Year 2020 JWSC Budget in the amount of $33,279,000 subject to revision upon receipt of comments received from the City of Brunswick and/or Glynn County.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

 4. Amendments to Pension Plan – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy advised that request was received from Georgia Municipal Association who administers the Defined Benefit Plan for JWSC.  Request was made by GMA to amend the adoption of that plan and to the master plan due to some changes in the Tax Law of the 2017 Federal Tax Bill.  The changes are mostly technical and administrative to make the plan and GMA’s master plan be in compliance with the law, and there is no effect on JWSC’s plan at this time.

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to move that the JWSC approve the amendments to the Defined Benefit Retirement Plan Adoption Agreement and the General Addendum to Defined Benefit Retirement Plan Adoption Agreement and that the JWSC Chairman, Executive Director and Attorney be authorized to execute the adoptions.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Ratification of NuRock Agreement – C. Dorminy

Charlie Dorminy advised that this ratification was a formality for the NuRock Purchase Agreements that were entered into on April 4, 2019 by the Commission.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move to ratify the NuRock contracts originally approved at the last meeting dated April 4, 2019.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

 6.  Leak Adjustments – J. Junkin

Mr. Junkin advised that leak adjustments in excess of $2,000 must come before the Commission for approval.  Currently there are two leak adjustments requiring the Commission’s approval, one for Raymond Trace and the second for The Hampton Club.

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick- Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve leak adjustments in the amounts of $2,344.37 for Raymond Trace and $3,407.19 for The Hampton Club. 

Commissioner Harvey inquired as to how the amounts for leak adjustments are arrived at.  Mr. Junkin replied that if the billed usage is twice the normal usage amount (a 12 month average) then it is determined as eligible for a leak adjustment in excess of that average. Andrew Burroughs advised that proof of an actual leak being repaired is required for leak adjustment approval.  Mr. Junkin added that in some cases the landlord may be refusing to make the repairs, but the residents still have to make their payments.  Commissioner Stephens noted that an adjusted 12 month average may be used for seasonal residences to include only the months of actual usage for this type of determination.  Commissioner Neal indicated that he would like to meet with Mr. Junkin regarding those landlord owned residences and the possibility of a County and/or City ordinance to mandate that landlords make those necessary leak repairs on rental properties.  Mr. Junkin stated that staff has discussed this on many occasions and there may be multiple issues with this that could affect the residents who are the most vulnerable in this process.  Commissioner Harvey added that there is software to help identify possible leaks by indicating spikes in usage.  Charlie Dorminy advised that ordinance changes are to be handled by the Legislative Committee and that perhaps this and any other ordinance changes should be handled at the same time.  He also noted that if there is anything needed for the legislation in 2020, it is time now to take care of that as well.  Commissioner Harvey, Chairman of the Legislative Committee agreed.

With no additional discussion Chairman Turnipseed requested a vote.

Motion carried 7-0-0.


Mr. Junkin stated that staff has been working very diligently to produce the budget and he thanked all for their hard work and efforts.  He also thanked Commissioner Copeland for his leadership in making sure staff presented the budget and materials in a fashion and form that the Commissioners needed it in.  Mr. Junkin added that through all of those efforts, there would not be a rate increase necessary this coming year.


Chairman Turnipseed commended both the Chairman for the Human Resources Committee and the Finance Committee Chairman and their committee members for their efforts in addressing issues that affect staff and also customers.  He noted appreciation for all the hard work.


Chairman Turnipseed advised that there would be an executive session to discuss property, personnel and litigation with no vote to be taken after.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to enter into Executive Session to discuss Property, Personnel and Litigation.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Return to Regular Session.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to return to regular session.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Harvey was not in the room at the time of the vote.)

Chairman Turnipseed requested a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Harvey was not in the room at the time of the vote.)

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 4:12 p.m.

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Brunswick - Glynn Joint Water & Sewer Commission - 1703 Gloucester Street Brunswick, GA 31520 - 912-261-7100