Commission Meeting Minutes Thursday, August 22, 2019

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 2:00 PM in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 8-22-19 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 22, 2019 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES

 PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Steve Copeland, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner                            

Bob Duncan, Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Andrew Burroughs, Interim Executive Director

Charles Dorminy, Legal Counsel HBS

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

Pamela Permar Shierling, The Islander

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

Chairman Turnipseed provided the invocation and Commissioner Stephens 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 – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed advised that the Facilities Committee had met and several of the items as discussed and approved in the committee session will be brought before the Commission today for approval.

Finance Committee – Commissioner Copeland

Commissioner Copeland advised that the Finance Committee met on the previous day at 1:00 p.m.  The North Mainland Smoke Testing Award was approved to be moved forward to the full Commission for final consideration and approval.  Discussion items included the GEFA loan, project funding and a 5 year forecast of reserve balances, investments and reallocation of funds on-hand to bring in the greatest return, financial statement for month ending July 31, 2019, current budget, and high level goals staff will prepare for the 2020 Strategic Plan.

The next Finance Committee Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.

Human Resources Committee – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Elliott advised that the Human Resources Committee had met on Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. and went into Executive Session to discuss the search for a new Executive Director.

Legislative Committee – Commissioner Harvey

Commissioner Harvey provided that the Legislative Committee had met on the same day at 11:00 a.m.  Discussion involved city and county ordinances which are in need of revision to be in sync with Customer Service procedures and policies which have been adopted.  The subject matter of those ordinances are billing per gallon, deposit credits, leak adjustments and metering of sewer only accounts.  Those revisions were approved to be brought before the full Commission today for approval to recommend to the City and County to finalize within their ordinances.  Commissioner Harvey also noted that JWSC has become more customer friendly and has concern for the citizens which is reflected in the recommended ordinance revisions and JWSC policies that have been implemented with more of a customer and community focus.

The next Legislative Committee meeting will be a called meeting on an as needed basis.

Emergency Preparedness Committee – Commissioner Stephens

Commissioner Stephens reported that the Emergency Preparedness Committee has not met since the last scheduled meeting.  At that time general preparedness was discussed and there were no items for approval.

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the August 8, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to approve the minutes from the August 8, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to absence from that meeting.)

  1. Minutes from the August 8, 2019 Executive Session

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to approve the minutes from the August 8, 2019 Executive Session.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to absence from that meeting.)

  1. North Mainland Smoke Testing Award

Chairman Turnipseed advised that the Smoke Testing Project on St. Simons has been completed and staff has recommended that Smoke Testing be done on the mainland.  He added that staff prepared the specifications and plans for the RFP to be placed.  There were 3 proposals received from which the evaluation team selected the proposal provided by PUMPS from Hollywood, Florida.  PUMPS’ proposal was in the amount of $231,648.81 which was below what the staff had estimated the cost to be.  Chairman Turnipseed advised that both the Finance Committee and the Facilities Committee had reviewed the staff recommendation and approved for it to be submitted to the full Commission.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission enter into a contract with Public Utility Management Planning Services, Inc. (PUMPS), in the amount of $231,648.81 for Smoke and Dye Testing Services for the Brunswick and North Mainland Districts.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Emergency Response Pay –A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that at the Emergency Preparedness Committee meeting the matter of how JWSC has been paying employees in the event of emergency response was discussed.  Upon that review it was decided that the policy itself was relatively solid with some clarifications of wording that were needed.  Mr. Burroughs provided redlined copies of the Human Resources Standards of Practice indicating the recommended revisions.  Mr. Burroughs confirmed for Chairman Turnipseed that this subject matter had already been approved by the Human Resources Committee to be moved forward to the full Commission for approval.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to approve amending Sections 4.1 and 6.2 of the JWSC HR Standards of Practice as shown in the attached documents.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Ordinance Revisions – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed provided that the recommendation for ordinance revisions had been discussed earlier in the Legislative Committee meeting and was approved to be moved forward to the full Commission.  Mr. Burroughs advised that there are four ordinance revisions and all are customer service related.  The first recommendation was to change the ordinance language to reflect billing by the gallon.  The second is to revise the deposit credits section of the ordinance which currently allows crediting deposits to only residential accounts.  After the recommended revision the ordinance would provide for deposit credits to non-residential accounts after 60 months of payments.  The third revision would simplify the leak adjustment policy for better understanding of the calculations, as well as allow leak adjustments for customers who currently have outstanding balances and were previously not granted those adjustments.  The third revision would also allow an adjustment for those installing new sod.  The fourth recommended revision regards metering of sewer only customers.  The current ordinance requires a meter on the water service for a sewer only customer. The JWSC Rate Resolution provides for a flat rate billing for those customers and this revision would clean up that section of the ordinance to concur with the Rate Resolution.  This fourth revision would also allow JWSC to install a lockable plug on a sewer only account that does not have a metered water service so the sewer services could be shut off in the event of non-payment.  Mr. Burroughs advised that this has been discussed extensively with the Department of Public Health and they are fully aware that JWSC is recommending this.  He also confirmed that this request was to recommend these ordinance revisions to the City and County for their Commissions’ approval.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to recommend to the City of Brunswick Commission and Glynn County Commission that the ordinances be amended as shown in the attached documents. Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Pump Station Dedications – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed stated that there are about 70 pump stations in JWSC’s system for which the titles were never transferred to the JWSC.  These pump stations are in the process of being transferred of which three, PS2052 at King’s Point, PS2039 at Harrison Point, and PS2042 at The Commons are now ready for dedication.  The Chairman noted that these dedications have been presented to the Facilities Committee and approved to go before the full Commission for final acceptance.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission accept the 3 Wastewater Pump Stations described above as public infrastructure for ownership, operation and maintenance.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Dedication of Infrastructure (5) and Easement (1) – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed provided that this dedication of multiple projects has also been presented to the Facilities Committee and approved to go before the full Commission.  This set of dedications includes the Ossabaw Low Pressure Force Main Extension, Holiday Inn Express, The Enclave Phase 2 (infrastructure and easement), Ash Street Water & Sewer Improvements, and Viewpoint Condos.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve the projects described in the table above as public infrastructure for ownership, operation and maintenance.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

DISCUSSION

  1. Mauldin & Jenkins Pre-Audit Discussion – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy introduced Mr. Trey Scott and Ms. Samantha Jenkins from the auditing firm of Mauldin & Jenkins.  The Commissioners asked several questions relating to the FY2019 Audit process and Mr. Scott responded.  Commissioner Elliott requested that comments be provided regarding internal controls since previously noted issues were addressed.  Mr. Burroughs provided that he would confirm with GEFA as to provision of the specific audit letter required for the GEFA Loan.  The Mauldin & Jenkins staff will present the audit findings to the Commission upon final completion, which is expected to be at the October 17th Commission Meeting.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Burroughs advised that the Board approval was received for the GEFA loan on the previous day.  He also noted that a table-top exercise led by Michael Faulkner from FLETC would be coming up on September 4th for hurricane preparedness, and will begin at 9:00 a.m. that morning.  For the North Mainland SPLOST Project contractors are mobilized doing the pre-cleaning and CCTV on the sections that will need lining.  The lining of pipes is expected to being in 30 days.  A public meeting will be scheduled prior to the lining due to some of the occurrences that may happen during that process.  Mr. Burroughs also mentioned that the Meter Request For Information was released the previous day and responses are due back on October 1st.  He provided that the meeting for the SPLOST Oversight Committee will be held during the following Wednesday evening at the Pate Building of which he and Mr. Kline will be attending.  Mr. Burroughs added that the equipment for testing the accuracy of the large meters has been received and testing will begin soon.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Chairman Turnipseed advised that Mr. Burroughs and he met with the representative from the U.S.D.A. that morning and discussed possible funding of grant funds for sewer expansion.  He recalled for the Commission that the study had been done for three of the unserved areas in Glynn County and that a letter will be sent out to the residents in those areas to determine the level of interest in connecting to the JWSC sewer system.  Chairman Turnipseed provided that at the Facilities Committee Meeting the reports for the three treatment plants were reviewed and all three plants are operating well within permit.  He then commented that the GEFA loan is a low interest loan, and since a sewer rehab will be done a conservation credit will be received for that.  The Chairman then commended the staff for their work in submitting the GEFA Loan Application and mentioned that the loan funding is for the Academy Creek Treatment Plant rehab and sewer rehab on St. Simons Island and the Mainland.

Commissioner Stephens inquired as to the status of Electronic Bill Payments.  Mr. Burroughs provided that for customers willing to bring in a cancelled check there is currently the capability to set up auto draft payments, and staff is working with the software vendor on the ability to do this without provision of a cancelled check.  If the software update does not include the electronic payments procedure as desired, then the auto draft procedure using cancelled checks will be used.

EXECUTIVE SESSION – Property & Litigation & Personnel

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to enter into Executive Session to discuss Property, Litigation and Personnel with no vote to be taken.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

Return to Regular Session.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to return to Regular Session.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 3:25 p.m.