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Commission Meeting Minutes Thursday, December 20, 2018

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, December 20, 2018.

Commission Meeting Minutes 12-20-18 with Attachments

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Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Thursday, December 20, 2018 at 2:00 PM 



Donald M. Elliott, Chairman

Mike Browning, Vice-Chairman

Cornell Harvey, Commissioner

Clifford Adams, Commissioner

Steve Copeland, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner

Ben Turnipseed, Sr. 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

Mark Ryals, Superintendent

Cindy Barnhart, Teamwork Services, Inc.

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

MEDIA PRESENT:               

Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News

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

Chairman Elliott provided the invocation and Chairman Elliott led the pledge.


Retirement Plaque Presentation – C. Harvey, C. Barnhart

Gary Keith Campbell – Retirement

Commissioner Harvey presented Gary Keith Campbell with a special plaque acknowledging his service to JWSC and congratulated him on his retirement. Cindy Barnhart from Teamwork Services, Superintendent Mark Ryals and Mr. Campbell’s immediate supervisor, Alvin Lang were also present to recognize this employee.


Chairman Elliott opened the public comment period.

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


  1. Minutes from the December 6, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to approve the minutes from the December 6, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.   

2. Minutes from the December 6, 2018 Executive Session

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to approve the minutes from the December 6, 2018 Executive Session.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. FY2017-2018 Audit Presentation and Approval – J. Donaghy / Grant Davis, Mauldin &

Jenkins, LLC

John Donaghy advised that Grant Davis of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC would be presenting the FY 2017-2018 Audit to the Commission due to the illness of David Irwin who was not able to attend the meeting.  Mr. Davis noted that there were three deliverables from the audit for the Commissioners’ review including the Financial Report for Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2018, the Auditor’s Discussion & Analysis/Financial & Compliance Audit Summary, and the Audit and Management Letter Findings.  He reviewed and explained the sections of the Financial Report and details contained in each section.  A few typographical errors were identified, prompting Commissioner Copeland’s comment regarding the reports being sent on to others for review such as the state.  It was provided that the audit report will not be sent to the state for review.

Commissioner Copeland read from item (d) of the Georgia Code Section 436-81-7 (2018) which provides:  “Each annual audit report of a local unit of government shall be completed and a copy of the report forwarded to the state auditor within 180 days after the close of the unit’s fiscal year. In addition to the audit report, the local unit of government shall forward to the state auditor, within 30 days after the audit report due date, written comments on the findings and recommendations in the report, including a plan for corrective action taken or planned and comments on the status of corrective action taken on prior findings. If corrective action is not necessary, the written comments should include a statement describing the reason it is not.”

Mr. Donaghy advised that in the early years those audits did get sent to the state, but then they said not to bother.  Commissioner Copeland confirmed that the state does not want to receive them anymore, and Mr. Donahgy responded no. Commissioner Copeland said, so they are not applying the Code.  Mr. Davis noted that if the DOAA reviewed this audit report, you would get a summary of their review, and it would say whether there were any issues with compliance with state laws. You don’t get that because they do not do it; they don’t look at these financial statements.  He then added that for cities, counties and school districts they do look at them, including state agencies, but not for entities such as this.  Commissioner Copeland then asked if this Georgia Code is state law, and the response was yes.  He then asked if we are supposed to be complying with that.  Charlie Dorminy then confirmed with Mr. Donaghy that he sent the report to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, which is a part of the federal SEC.  Commissioner Copeland indicated concern to ensure JWSC is complying with the state law.  Mr. Dorminy additionally confirmed with Mr. Davis that Mauldin & Jenkins does other audits of this sort, and Mr. Davis advised they do about one hundred of them, and no water and sewer audits are submitted to the state for DOAA review.  He also noted that if they (DOAA) did not get it and wanted it, they would let you know.

The Commissioners had a variety of questions for Mr. Davis and Mr. Donaghy regarding the audit findings and recommendations, various reports, details included within, and governmental reporting requirements and compliance. Further discussion included clarification was made as to who is responsible for the specific portions of the reports (i.e. auditors, JWSC staff, etc.) and as to which sections are audited.  The typographical discrepancies found within the documents as provided will be immediately corrected and new document copies provided in electronic form and hardcopy.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to move that the JWSC accept the audited financial report as presented with the exception of the typos as identified and discussed to be corrected to the satisfaction of the Commission for a full acceptance.

Commissioner Turnipseed requested to go on record as preferring to receive the audit sooner than provided this year in order to allow more time for review prior to discussion in Commission.  Mr. Davis offered that as soon as it is completed the electronic version can be e-mailed to the Commissioners in the future.  Chairman Elliott requested Mr. Donaghy to ensure this happens next year.

Chairman Elliott noted there was a motion and a second on the floor, asked if there was any further discussion and then requested a vote be taken.

Motion Carried 7-0-0.

  1. Approval of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Adjustments – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy presented the recommendation to approve the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Adjustments to the Commission.  He noted there were three groups of amendments being requested by staff:  revise revenues, reallocate personnel costs, and operating costs.  It was requested to revise revenues due to the budget having been prepared budgeting revenues based on the rate computations historically used by the JWSC; the adoption of a new method of rate computation resulted in a variance between the budgeted revenue line item and the recorded revenue line item; and the budget amendments make a correction for this difference.  Mr. Donaghy also provided that due to staff realignments having made between divisions, reallocation of personnel costs between divisions as well as the associated operating costs were both necessary to be revised within the budget.  He added mention that the amendments requested reallocate costs between divisions with no increase or decrease to the budget as adopted.

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission amend the June 30, 2019 Fiscal Year Budget per the attached summary.  Motion Carried 7-0-0.

  1. Approval of Establishment of Investment Management Accounts – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy recalled for the Commissioners that earlier in the year, investment accounts were established with BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services and Sterling Capital for funds held in the Operating Reserve and for customer deposits held.  He further advised that based on the amount of funds held in the Capital Reserve, Repair and Replacement Reserve and Capital Improvement Fee Reserves and the timing of the need to utilize those funds, the opportunity to increase investment earnings is possible.  Mr. Donaghy noted that the current projected monthly investments earnings on these accounts is approximately $10,650, but they could be increased to approximately $17,900 per month by transferring funds from bank held deposits to investments.  After some questions and further discussion a motion was made.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to move that the JWSC authorize the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Director and Director of Finance be authorized to execute the necessary documents to establish Investment Management/Custody Fee Agreements with BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services for investment of funds held for customer deposits and in the Operating Reserve of the JWSC.  Motion Carried 7-0-0.

  1. Worker’s Compensation Insurance Annual Renewal – Jeffrey Singletary, T.S.I. / Jarret Bridges, Turner and Associates

Jarret Bridges of Turner and Associates presented the recommendation to renew the Worker’s Compensation Insurance with Zenith for 2019 at a cost of $250,932.00.  He provided that quotes were requested from 16 insurance companies, and that 6 of those companies did provide quotes.  Mr. Bridges added that the 2019 renewal cost quoted by Zenith is a reduction from the previous year by $32,975, or an 11.61% decrease in worker’s compensation expense for the JWSC.  He also provided that Zenith is very involved with JWSC; they are on JWSC premises at least 4 to 5 times per year with Jeffrey Singletary working with JWSC staff identifying risks and issues exposures and making recommendations; and, in January of each year providing defensive driver training free of charge to JWSC which also aids with cost of automobile liability insurance.  Jeffrey Singletary added that out of the approximate 20 insurance companies he normally deals with, Zenith has proven to have the best customer service out of all those companies.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Browning to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve to award and execute a Worker’s Compensation renewal to Zenith for 2019 at a cost of $250,932.00.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Glynn Oaks Infrastructure/Easement Dedication – T. Kline

Todd Kline presented the recommendation to accept the infrastructure at Glynn Oaks as public infrastructure.  He provided that Glynn Oaks is a single-family home development with the entry lot located at 1317 Demere Road, south of Skylane and north of Mallory on St. Simons Island consisting of 10 lots and developed by Lance Toland of 1317 Demere, LLC.  Mr. Kline advised that the Owner of Record recognizes and accepts responsibility for correcting all system defects that may occur or be found during the operation of the system for a period of two years from the written date of acceptance.  He added that the subject water and sewer systems are constructed in accordance with applicable JWSC Standards and Development Procedures; the record drawings have been submitted and all inspections have been completed; and, the work has been deemed compliant by JWSC operational superintendents and the project inspector.  Mr. Kline provided that JWSC did not fund this in any manner, it was all private development and now the owner wishes to turn it over to JWSC for ownership, operation and maintenance.  When asked, he noted that no pump station is included with this dedication.  The easement documents along with the required plats and legal descriptions have been prepared, executed, submitted and approved as to form by the BGJWSC Attorney.

Commissioner Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission accept the on-site water system and on-site sewer system along with associated easements within Glynn Oaks development as public infrastructure for ownership, operation and maintenance.  Motion carried 7-0-0.


  1. Wastewater Treatment Plant Flows Update – M. Ryals

Mark Ryals presented the Wastewater Treatment Plant Flows Update for the month ending November 30, 2018 to the Commission.  He first provided commentary regarding the flows from Pinova.  Mr. Ryals reviewed and discussed the various influent and effluent flows and levels for Academy Creek, Dunbar, and Southport Wastewater Treatment Plants.  The Commissioners asked a variety of questions of which Mr. Ryals responded to and gave additional explanations for clarification, as well as discussion regarding sludge and options for disposal.

 2. LS4003 Engineering RFP Selection Criteria – J. Junkin

Mr. Junkin presented the LS4003 Engineering RFP selection criteria update to the Commission.  He advised that staff had taken the Commissioners’ comments regarding the selection criteria from the previous Commission Meeting discussion for issuing an addendum to the RFP.  He specifically noted the changes for the addendum as follows: the 15 points for local consideration was changed to 5 points; local consideration of 60 miles range was changed to 100 miles; the fees were weighted at the same 20 points;  recently completed projects were weighted at 30 points; general experience of the firm weighted at 10 points; collective experience of the firm weighted at 20 points; and, project approach, cost considerations and timeline weighted at 15 points, for a cumulative total of 100 pts.  The final proposals are due in January 2019.

  1. Studies to Review Growth Projections for Glynn County and Locations for Future Sewer Treatment Plants – North Mainland Sewer Plant – C. Harvey

Commissioner Harvey advised he requested to place this discussion item on the agenda to continue discussion from a previous meeting regarding the needs for a new North Mainland Sewer Plant in the future.  He said he felt that as JWSC moves forward in the future, and with the projected growth in Glynn County such as Tradewinds that perhaps it should be looked at as even a possibility of another treatment plant being needed in the north end of Glynn County, especially with the long trunk lines in the system.  Commissioner Harvey specifically noted concern of long trunk lines transporting waste all the way from north Glynn County down to Academy Creek.  He also mentioned the building up of Liberty Harbor, which will contribute to Academy Creek too.  Additionally he indicated concern of only one treatment plant handling the needs of the mainland, with the exception of Southport, when considering the future.

Commissioner Turnipseed said that he agreed with Commissioner Harvey.  He noted that staff needs to advise how much capacity is available coming around on the eastside, and then how much capacity is available coming around the west side.  Commissioner Turnipseed added that a wasteload allocation up through the Altamaha River has already been done, and that an RFP should be put out regarding a feasibility study and site options for future discussions.  A study should be able to be done for around $50,000.  Commissioner Turnipseed noted that it may be some years out, but this may be something the Commission should be moving toward or at least look into, to be sure that customers’ dollars are being used in the best way possible.

Commissioner Browning commented that he agrees with using the customers’ dollars in the best way possible, but to that point talking about spending $50,000 on a study today may be a bit premature.  He then suggested that with Academy Creek operating at around 50%, rated at 13.5 MGD capacity on permit, currently putting through 7 MGD, Liberty Harbor not growing any faster than it has been, and when you look at the capacity available at Academy Creek even though you do have distance, the City may not grow more than it already has, and it could be many years before there is enough population growth in the area to require an additional 6 to 7 million gallons of capacity.  Commissioner Browning noted concern of how to best utilize Academy Creek WWTP, and that this needs to be discussed prior to spending money on studies.  He mentioned that he felt it was not wise to spend money on doing a study in an area that does not need a new WWTP based on the current population growth forecast models.  Commissioner Browning added that SPLOST money is being spent to increase capacity and get that to Academy Creek, which has helped Tradewinds due to opening up capacity.  Commissioner Browning suggested having Pam Thompson from Glynn County come to JWSC and discuss the population growth forecast with the Commission.

Commissioner Harvey added that what he was discussing was to have staff study the population forecasting to see where we are, talk about it, and decide where we need to go in the future.

Commissioner Stephens added that he believes the Commission needs to make informed decisions not only about capacity, but also what is the cheapest way to do that?  Is it refurbishing existing pipes to the existing plant to get the capacity we have, or is it to have another plant somewhere else.  He added that prefers not to use the nomenclature of “North Mainland” when talking about a new plant.

Commissioner Copeland added that it is not just population growth that is driving this, but there are other things to be considered such as appropriate use of our existing capacity, technological concerns, environmental concerns, odor control, length of a run, etc.  He added that if we have a plant up in that north mainland area, the population growth may not be expected in that are, but we could find that we stimulate growth in that area by opening up capacity in that area.  A full life-cycle analysis should be done to consider all of these issues to make sure that the money we are talking about spending now is being best utilized.

Commissioner Harvey asked Mr. Junkin how much information we can compile now.  Mr. Junkin responded that we can look at what are the necessary things we have to do today; what changes we will have to make when the environmental or permitting issues occur at Academy Creek; we can put together some kind of broad based estimates of what the new plant and infrastructure to support that plant would be; and, we can look at some of the economics there.  He added that an analysis of a projected O&M cost under the various scenarios that you might have could be done. Commissioner Harvey asked Mr. Junkin if this could all be done in two months, and Mr. Junkin replied he could not absolutely say that without more information and numbers still to be refined.

Commissioner Browning commented to Mr. Junkin that, in his opinion you have to calculate what we are going to continue to have to spend at Academy Creek.  We have got to know that we are not going to shut Academy Creek down.  We have to continue to operate the plant, keep it going, and have to make improvements to it including mechanical upgrades and electrical upgrades. Commissioner Browning continued that you have to be sure that you understand that if you build a new plant, you are not going to incur any savings at Academy Creek.

Commissioner Turnipseed commented that we are not saying do away with Academy Creek; we have already authorized and are applying for GEFA loans for $10M, and we have the $1.5M from the last meeting, so we have $11.5M for immediate improvements to Academy Creek.  He added that this will get the plant in good shape.

Commissioner Browning agreed that will help a lot at Academy Creek, but again, we have the liability of operating that plant for decades.  The City and all the mainland right now that is tied onto it, not counting the Southport area, depends on that plant.  Commissioner Browning noted that he thinks an assessment from staff should be received first along with presentations on growth, and see where we want to go with it.

Commissioner Stephens commented that a third party engineering firm should be outsourced to come in and do a study, same as we had a firm come in and do a rate study for us.  It is a big enough picture for somebody to come in, dedicate the resources, look at it, and then if no one wants to do that, just vote it down and not do it.  He continued that we should put it to a vote at some point in the not so distant future to see if there is an appetite on the Commission to have a third party engineering firm come in and do a reasonable assessment, not a 2 year study, but “napkin math” to give us some guidance on whether it is a better financial option or not.

Commissioner Browning agreed that there is a load of information that we can get and we should hear it and see where we are today.  He then asked how many customer accounts there are now and was provided with an estimate 30,000 sewer accounts.  If you have 4 plants serving those customers, you are only talking about an average of 7,500 customers served by each plant.  Commissioner Harvey noted there should be some growth by then and more customers than that would be served, including those who are currently on septic systems.

Chairman Elliott indicated that before anything, he would like to see JWSC gather all of the free information that is available such as population projections and take advantage of those free resources first.

Mr. Junkin advised if the Commission would allow him, he will contact Pam Thompson at Glynn County about gathering the data and presenting an overview for the Commission.  Chairman Elliott also asked for information to be gathered on the potential population growth in Camden County due to the Spaceport.  Commissioner Turnipseed also asked for Mr. Junkin to talk about any conversations he may have had with potential developers too.  Commissioner Stephens finally noted that it was also important to understand what the costs are for a feasibility study.  Chairman Elliott noted that another thing the Commission would need to look at during the next year was if an update to the Master Plan should be done as AWWA recommends looking at the Master Plan every 5 years, and that feasibility study may be a part of that Master Plan.

  1. Social Media Standards of Practice – J. Junkin/C. Dorminy

Mr. Junkin advised that based on the discussion from the previous Commission Meeting, the draft of the Social Media SOP was revised.  He reviewed and explained those revisions as addressed and made to the draft. 

  1. November 2018 Month End Financial Statement – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy presented the discussion on the November 2018 Month End Financial Statement.  First he reviewed the Balance Sheet and noted the accounts receivable, cash and cash equivalents accounts and noted the revenues are running ahead of budget and the expenditures are running behind the YTD budget.  He provided the details as to these balances and explained why it appears there is excess cash in reserve.  After Mr. Donaghy responded to and discussed the Commissioners’ questions with them, he further commented on and explained various sections of the Combined Revenue Statement, Supplemental Schedule of Cash Balances, Project Report, and the Overtime Report.


Mr. Junkin reminded that on January 22 there is the Open Forum on the Rise of Sea Level.  Beginning with the calendar for 2019 staff begin new initiatives from Strategic Business Plan, setting up a set of core values, good discussions and engagement with all employees.  


Chairman Elliott expressed his deep appreciation to Commissioner Clifford Adams for his efforts and time as a Commissioner.  After 4 years as a Commissioner, this was Commissioner Adams last regularly scheduled Commission Meeting.

Commissioner Adams thanked everyone and wished Bob Duncan well as a Commissioner.


There was no Executive Session

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:06 p.m.

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