Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, August 20, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting minutes 8-20-20 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, August 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES

PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Bob Duncan, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Charles Cook, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

 ALSO PRESENT:                  

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

LaDonnah Roberts, Deputy Exec. Director

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

Frances Wilson, Senior Accountant

Charlie Dorminy, HBS Legal Counsel

Cindy Barnhart, T.S.I.

Daphne Gable, T.S.I.

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

 ABSENT:                               

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner                      

 MEDIA PRESENT:               

Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News

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

Chairman Turnipseed 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. 

EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION – C. Harvey / C. Barnhart / D. Bankston

            Joshua Alexander White, Water Production – Water Operator Class 3

Commissioner Harvey announced that this Employee Recognition is for Joshua Alexander White who obtained his Water Operator Class 3 license.  Mr. White’s Superintendent, Donnie Bankston presented Mr. White to the Commission and advised that he is the newest member of the Water Production team, and has just become a Class 3 Water Operator.  Mr. White has been with JWSC’s Water Production for 8 months, and recently attended a Class 3 Water Operators’ school.  Shortly thereafter he took the test, and passed it on his first attempt.  Mr. Bankston commended Mr. White on his studying and being prepared for the test as it is not an easy one, and then congratulated him.  Cindy Barnhart from TSI remarked that Mr. White should be proud of his achievement, and that it is an excellent step toward his career and working with his division.  Mrs. Barnhart then congratulated Mr. White.  Commissioner Harvey commented that as he was listening to Mr. White’s supervisor speak about Mr. White passing his test on the first time, it was evident that what he has said about only the best come to JWSC is really working.  Commissioner Harvey added that JWSC has good people, and said to Mr. White that he is a testament to that.  Commissioner Harvey commented that JWSC expects only the best and that by Mr. White being here, it tells them that he also expects the best and expects to give his best to the organization.  Commissioner Harvey read the certificate from the State of Georgia and Mr. White was then presented with his certificate recognizing his licensure for Water Operator Class 3.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION – T. Kline / C. Harvey

            Dana Read – Georgia Air National Guard, Technical Sergeant

                                  Service During COVID-19 Pandemic

Mr. Kline commented that JWSC does have something to be proud of in all their staff members for sure, and added that these people do many heroic things, a lot of times not officially pointed out during the day, but often times even outside of their role in their work environment here.  Mr. Kline then highlighted some facts about Mr. Read.  He had been with the City of Brunswick since 2007, and then joined JWSC.  He is currently a CMMS GIS within the Planning and Construction Division.  Mr. Read officers the community outside as a Technical Sergeant with the Air National Guard and often has to serve with his unit.  Due to COVID-19, from April 3rd to July 1st of this year Mr. Read’s unit was activated to support the Infection Control Team where their main mission was disinfection of long term care facilities where the residents are vulnerable.  Mr. Kline also commented that Dana often jumps in the role to help as many people as he can.  We were all thinking of him while he was gone, and were happy for his safe return once his mission was accomplished.  Mr. Read is a good example of the excellent staff at JWSC, and we are proud of what he did for his community and state.  Mr. Read thanked the Commission, Mr. Kline, and his co-workers and said that it means a lot that everyone is thinking about him when he is gone.  Commissioner Harvey inquired as to the large golden belt Mr. Read was holding and what it was for.  Mr. Kline advised that in Planning & Construction, when someone does something above and beyond the call of duty, or something of note such as spearheading a project they are recognized.  This is that case.  Mr. Read along with a lot of help from other staff in Planning & Construction finished up the sewer basin assignments in CIS for our customer service system, where each customer is assigned to a sewer basin.  Mr. Read spearheaded that project and has obtained the “Champ” belt which he can show off for 30 days.  Commissioner Harvey also expressed his appreciation for Mr. Read’s service to our country as well, and added that this is really a testimony of how Mr. Read views himself as giving back to the community and to the country.  Commissioner Harvey also commented that what Mr. Read does here for JWSC is definitely well respected, and by what he has achieved lets our customers know that he is dedicated.  Commissioner Harvey then congratulated Mr. Read and said for him to continue and keep on doing great things.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to excuse Commissioner Neal due to required out of town training for the County.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)  

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Facilities Committee Meeting Update – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed reported that the Facilities Committee had met on the previous day, and approved the dedication for a short force main to be presented to the full Commission at this meeting.  Also a contract award for Engineering Services for the Community Road Area Water & Sewer Improvements Project was approved to move forward.  The Agreement for GEMA and FEMA Grant to provide 8 standby generators of which JWSC’s share in the cost will be 15% or $203,000.00.  Chairman Turnipseed also commended the staff for submitting that application, and advised that a previous grant had been awarded for installing transfer switches.  For discussion the wastewater flow reports and all 3 plants were well within permit with Academy Creek operating at only 42% of permitted flow capacity, Dunbar Creek is operating at 74% of its capacity, and Southport plant is operating at 28% of its capacity.  The project report was also reviewed and discussed by the Committee. The Chairman commented that at this time JWSC has $45M worth of work underway on 21 projects of which $32M still remains to be done, so the staff is going to be very busy in the next year on these projects. Chairman Turnipseed highlighted some of the more notable projects.

Finance Committee Meeting Update – Commissioner Duncan

Commissioner Duncan reported that the Finance Committee had also met on the previous day.  He noted that the Committee approved a number of items to pass along to the full Commission for its review.  The GEMA Recipient-Subrecipient Agreement was reviewed by the Finance Committee and was approved to move forward to the full Commission, along with surplus equipment and inventory, as well as a banking resolution was approved to pass on to full Commission, and the budget transfer for group health insurance was very important and approved to move forward.  The last item on the agenda was a review of the financial statement for month ending July 31, 2020, which in short showed JWSC is on track.

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the July 16, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the July 16, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.) 

  1. Easement and Infrastructure Dedication – Auto Tech Dedication Application – T. Kline

Mr. Kline advised that this item was presented to the Facilities Committee on the previous day and moved forward for approval.  This is a relatively routine acceptance of privately installed water/sewer infrastructure.  Mr. Kline noted that this one is located on Rose Drive, just off of Community Road and includes about 300 linear feet of force main that the business owner needed to install to reach JWSC’s sewer system.  Once privately installed infrastructure is put in the right of way, it is typically dedicated to JWSC for ownership and maintenance from that point forward.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the documents supporting the acceptance of infrastructure for Auto Tech Auto Repair Shop as public for ownership, operation, and maintenance.  Motion carried 5-0-2. (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.) 

  1. Contract Award – Engineering Services for Community Road Area Water & Sewer Extension – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs commented that this item was presented to the Facilities Committee on the previous day.  There were 11 firms that responded with proposals for this project at the end of July, with several of those being firms which JWSC has not received proposals from before.  A 3 person scoring committee recommended the highest scoring firm which was from Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung in the amount of $280,916.00.  Mr. Burroughs added that this project will be to extend sewer service to mostly commercial customers between Altama Avenue and Habersham along Community Road, including some side streets.  Also noted was that there are a couple sections of water improvements included in this work as well.  Mr. Burroughs commented that staff has worked with Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung closely on projects currently ongoing as well as previous projects, and staff is confident that they will do a good job.

Commissioner Cook made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer approve the contract award for Engineering Services for Community Road Area Water & Sewer Extension to Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc. in the amount of $280,916.00.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

  1. GEMA Fixed Generator RSA – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that this is the fourth of these grants JWSC has received back, and this Agreement is for 8 fixed generators.  JWSC applied under the FEMA Mitigation Grant program for these generators, of which 5 will be located at water production facilities replacing existing aged assets and 3 will be at the Academy Creek Facility which currently has 2 fixed generators that will be replaced.  Currently we cannot operate the full plant on 2 generators and adding this 3rd generator at the plant will allow us to operate at full capacity at the plant during power outages.  The total cost of all 8 generators is $1.3M, however as 85% is reimbursable (75% coming from FEMA and 10% from GEMA) this leaves JWSC responsible for $203,660 for these 8 generators.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission enter into a Recipient-Subrecipient Agreement with GEMA for HMGP 4338-0035 for the purchase and installation of 8 fixed generators.

Commissioner Cook asked if JWSC will be able to install these generators, and Mr. Burroughs replied no sir, these will be bid out for installation.  Commissioner Duncan asked if the reimbursements will come as JWSC requests per unit or at the end of the entire project.  Mr. Burroughs responded that the reimbursements will come as JWSC incurs the expenses, and they will basically pay an invoice back to us for that.  They will follow a standard invoicing process.

Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

  1. Surplus Equipment / Inventory – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that as part of the ongoing efforts to improve our inventory are both Academy Creek and Harrington facilities, staff has identified aged SCADA assets that are still with us from two SCADA systems ago.  There are 82 antennas, 79 actual units, along with 28 level sensing pros which are all over 10 years old and are of no value to JWSC at this time.  The approximate value of the material is $2,000.00, and staff is requesting to surplus this material.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the above listed items as surplus to be disposed of in a manner most beneficial to the JWSC.  Motion carried 5-0-2. (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

  1. Banking Resolution – F. Wilson

Frances Wilson stated that this is simply a routine item.  She explained that anytime there is a change to the Banking Resolution a new one has to be completed.  With John Donaghy retiring on June 30th, he needs to be removed from the old Banking Resolution.  Mrs. Wilson advised that this new one will have the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director listed as authorized signees on our bank accounts, and it will give authorization to execute any needed Resolutions.  Also, the “Capital Tap Fee Reserve – St. Simons” to “Capital Fee Reserve” due to the consolidation of the cash accounts only for those.  Capital water and capital sewer expenses for each district are still being captured, it will just be consolidated into one bank account and rename that account, which also requires a Banking Resolution.  Mrs. Wilson mentioned that there will be another Banking Resolution necessary when a new Director of Finance is hired.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the renaming of the Capital Improvement Fee Reserve and that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the JWSC be authorized to execute the necessary Banking Resolution and signature card with BB&T (Truist) Bank and that the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Director, and Deputy Executive Director be authorized signatories on the BB&T (Truist) Bank accounts of the JWSC.  Motion carried 5-0-2. (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

  1. Budget Transfer / Group Health Insurance – L. Roberts

Mrs. Roberts stated that this budget transfer was presented to the Finance Committee on the previous afternoon.  Staff is asking to consolidate the budgets that were allocated to the individual divisions within the 2021 fiscal budget. Mrs. Roberts said that at the time staff was not anticipating having this self-funded option, however now that we have transferred to that self-funded option we need to consolidate those budget items into one cost center.  Staff is proposing that cost center be the Finance Division.  Mrs. Roberts clarified that staff is not asking for additional funding but to consolidate existing funding.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve transferring and consolidating Fiscal Year 2021 budgeted funding for employees’ insurance into the Finance Division’s budget.  Motion carried 5-0-2. (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

DISCUSSION

  1. Self-Funded Health Insurance Plan Update – L. Roberts / D. Gable

Mrs. Roberts stated that she wanted to say on the behalf of Catina Tindall with First Coast Benefits and Daphne Gable with TSI, that they have been extremely responsive to JWSC staff.  There was an aggressive timeline with an August 1 planned start date, and they have committed a lot of time and resources to this process in order to get JWSC to where the August 1 start date was possible, and the new insurance cards were received in advance. Mrs. Roberts said that it was anticipated that there would be a cost savings to JWSC both to the organization and to the individual employees.  She added that there are many other benefits that come with the program including a wellness incentive which is what Mrs. Gable was going to present to the Commission.

Mrs. Gable commented that the conversion from the fully-funded to self-funded group health insurance went really well, is in effect and started on August 1st.   After many meetings, phone calls, and implementation webinars, all went really well from working with staff leadership to get the accounts for the funding of claims in place.  She stated that they worked with United Healthcare to migrate all the employees over from the fully-funded to the self-funded side without having to interrupt anyone’s coverage as well as their ID, plans and services.  The Summary Plan of Descriptions was updated for each of the plans, and those were e-mailed out to the employees. Mrs. Gable said that unfortunately due to COVID, there had not been much movement on the wellness plan.  She stated that they do have a plan that can serve in its place to get us started.  That is the “Real Appeal” program which is with United Healthcare, and TSI has been working with UHC to implement that program.  Mrs. Gable referred the Commissioners to the Real Appeal Launch Plan which was displayed on the monitors, and completed her explanation of the details of this beneficial 52 week program that will be available for JWSC employees.

Chairman Turnipseed provided that Commissioner Stephens had planned to be late to this meeting due to another meeting at the hospital.  Since he had not arrived, the Chairman requested a motion to excuse Commissioner Stephens from this meeting.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that Commissioner Stephens be excused from the meeting.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr.  Burroughs advised that beginning on the next Monday customers who are a part of the pilot program for the meter change out will be getting new water meters.  Bids are due on 4021 Tuesday.  The Academy Creek Wastewater Plant Rehab bids are due September 1st at noon.  Mr. Burroughs stated that at the Finance Committee Meeting it was noted that the audit field work was supposed to begin on Monday, however they have requested to delay that until September 8th, and this will not affect their audit report completion date.  Finally he provided that the Boil Water Advisory update language is officially on public notice as of the previous day until September 18th.  There is a public ZOOM meeting with the GAWP and EPD which the public can take part in on September 2nd for which he can send the link for that to those interested.  He added that essentially this is going to update the Boil Water Advisory language so that if JWSC is able to do a controlled shutdown of the situation and maintain adequate depth below the pipe on excavation there will not be a Boil Water Advisory necessary.  Boil Water Advisories will not come out nearly as frequently as before.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

The Chairman stated that he wanted to commend the staff again for working through the pandemic, practicing social distancing, and wearing masks.  So far the staff has done a real good job of these things when having to work pretty close on the job site and working with contractors, etc.  Staff has done a good job in taking care of themselves.  Chairman Turnipseed commented that he is very pleased with the new incentive plan as presented.  The Chairman noted that during the pandemic, there has only been one Commission Meeting each month, and he has spoken with the Executive Director and some of the staff members and they supported continuing with just one meeting per month since there are monthly Committee Meetings.  He has also spoken with some of the Commissioners.  The Chairman asked for a motion to have one Commission Meeting each month for September and October.

All 5 (five) Commissioners present were in favor of only having 1 (one) Commission Meeting in each of those months.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Chairman Turnipseed requested a motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss Personnel with no vote to be taken after.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to enter into Executive Session to discuss Personnel with no vote to be taken after.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.

Return to Regular Session.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to come out of Executive Session and return to Regular Session.  (Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried 5-0-2.  (Commissioner Neal and Commissioner Stephens were absent from the meeting.)

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 2:58 p.m.