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Commission Meeting Minutes Thursday, January 16, 2020

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

Commission Meeting Minutes 1-16-20 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, January 16, 2020 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES

 PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Bob Duncan, Vice-Chairman

Steve Copeland, Commissioner

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner                            

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel HBS

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

Pam Crosby, Director of Procurement

 John Donaghy, Director of Finance

LaDonnah Roberts, Senior Financial Analyst

Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

Catina Tindall, First Coast Benefits Solutions 

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator 

MEDIA PRESENT:               

Pamela Permar-Shierling, The Islander

Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News

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

Commissioner Neal provided the invocation and Commissioner Copeland 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. 

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Commissioner Stephens nominated Chairman Turnipseed to serve as Chairman for the year 2020.

No additional nominations were received.  The nomination carried 6-0-1.  (Chairman Turnipseed did not vote.) 

Commissioner Stephens nominated Commissioner Duncan to serve as Vice-Chairman for the year 2020.

No additional nominations were received.  The nomination carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Duncan did not vote.) 

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Facilities Committee

Chairman Turnipseed advised that the Facilities Committee had met the previous day.  At that meeting it was discussed that there are five projects that are awarded or under construction at the present time.  Six projects are being bid at this time.  Chairman Turnipseed noted that reports indicated that all three treatment plants were operating well within permits.  A presentation was given on the Asset Management Program that is being implemented. During the past year, JWSC has televised 128,000 feet of sewer lines and completed the rehab of 26 manholes out of the proposed 48 to be rehabbed.

Finance Committee

Commissioner Copeland advised that the Finance Committee had a joint meeting with the Human Resources Committee on the previous day, which was the second meeting with these two committees together.  He then deferred to Commissioner Elliott to provide the report.

Human Resources

Commissioner Elliott provided that the Finance and Human Resources Committees did meet together, and during the first portion of the meeting Mr. Stephen Bull of McGriff Insurance discussed options for defined contribution plans for new employees and any of the current employees who may select to join the new plan.  Commissioner Elliott commented that JWSC would be working with Mr. Bull as a consultant to work up some plan designs that will be discussed more in 2020.  He added that Catina Tindall also presented the staff recommended health plan to be offered to employees for 2020, which should be up for approval at this meeting. 

Chairman Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to add the Health Insurance Renewal to the agenda as Approval item #2.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Chairman Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to defer Approval item #6, the Memorandum of Understanding with the County for East Beach/Demere Roundabout until the next meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Chairman Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to defer Approval item #3, the Unsolicited Proposal Application to upgrade PS2038 – West Point Plantation, LLC until the staff has reviewed and made a new presentation to the Commissioners.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Chairman Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to accept the agenda as amended.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the December 19, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to approve the minutes from the December 19, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Health Insurance Renewal – C. Tindall

Catina Tindall from First Coast Benefits Solutions presented the health plans to be considered for approval, and discussed the changes from the previous plans.  She noted that the recommendation from the meeting on the previous day was to renew the three plans with small modifications of changing the emergency room costs to go towards the deductible instead of a co-pay and implementing a health reimbursement account on half of the deductible for each employee or family.  She added that discussions will continue and quotes will be obtained on self-funded options.  She also asked the Commissioners to select a date for further discussion on lowering the deductibles for non-tobacco users (Note: Clarified NON-tobacco users), B.M.I.’s, and onsite wellness, and the hardship parameters previously discussed.  Ms. Tindall advised that she had contacted the Southeast Georgia Health System, and will start working right away to develop a plan to offer some solutions to the Commission.  In addition, she will request the costs of what the rates would be to change the plan start dates to July 1 (to coincide with the fiscal year).  While working on the self-funded option, she will also work on the fully-funded to see what it would look like to get that additional rate guarantee.  It was requested that the group begin working on a conceptual plan before the claims data is available, rather than waiting for that data.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move to approve the Health Plan as it was presented yesterday and today.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Unsolicited Proposal Application to Upgrade PS4044 – Ambling Glynn One, LLC – T. Kline

Mr. Kline displayed the location GIS information for PS4044 on the monitors for the Commissioners’ viewing and understanding the pump station needs.  He noted that this was only the first step of the Unsolicited Proposal process which is the application step.  Mr. Kline advised that Basin 4044 is over capacity and the design capacity is not sufficient to support development. Chairman Turnipseed advised that the Facilities Committee was given this recommendation by the staff.  Ambling Glynn One, LLC desires to develop within the area that is served by PS4044, and has approached JWSC to propose upgrading the pump station through an agreement made via an Unsolicited Proposal as a tool to apply an equivalency of Capital Fees directly towards the upgrade. As there is currently no funded project to improve the capacity or condition of PS4044, staff recommends the Commission approve this Unsolicited Proposal application to move forward with evaluating the feasibility of the improvements proposed by Ambling.  Chairman Turnipseed commented that this proposal was presented to the Facilities Committee on the previous day and was approved to be moved forward to the full Commission for consideration.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion to move to accept this Unsolicited Proposal Application.

Commissioner Stephens requested to amend the motion to add upon payment of Unsolicited Proposal fee of $5,000.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Harvey.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Upon being asked, Mr. Kline confirmed that the developer would be responsible for any demolition, and parts, pumps, etc. with possible future use will be kept by JWSC.

  1. Sewer Easement Dedication – Wynnever Fitness – T. Kline

Chairman Turnipseed provided that the Commissioners had a drawing in their packet showing that the easement was just where the sewer tap is and where the meter connection is.  He noted that the Facilities Committee had approved this on the previous day to be submitted to the full Commission for final approval.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick-Glynn Joint Water & Sewer Commission accept and execute the above described dedication based on the information provided to us today.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Change Order Request #1 – North Mainland SPLOST CIPP Project – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed stated that this is a SPLOST Project where JWSC has a sewer line on Whitlock Avenue and the contractor is IPR, LLC.  The contractor is requesting an extension date to February 28, 2020.  Mr. Burroughs added that substantial completion would be January 29, and final completion would be February 28.  The Chairman advised that this extension is not creating a problem for the overall project since bids have not been taken on all of the components of the full project.  He added that this contractor has been delayed due to working with DOT trying to get the approval to place the line under Community Road and railroad at that location.  The Chairman commented that on the day before the Facilities Committee had approved this Change Order to be submitted to the full Commission for final approval.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve Change Order #1 as a project time extension with an adjusted final project completion date of February 28, 2020. 

Commissioner Harvey questioned if there were any additional Change Orders anticipated, and if this 50 days extension factored in everything necessary.  Mr. Burroughs responded that the 50 days was a number provided by the contractor, and that when they submitted the Change Order they had four sections of pipe less the line and a few manholes.  They will actually finish the third or the fourth section today, so there should not be a problem meeting the timeline.  Mr. Burroughs added that as far as another Change Order, in all likely hood there will be another, but that would be a deductive Change Order to balance the contract out at the end.

Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Banking & Merchant Services – Authorized Signatories – L. Roberts

Mrs. Roberts recalled for the Commissioners that staff has been in the procurement phase for Banking and Merchant Services since the fall.  She added that at the last meeting in December it was approved to move forward with BB&T for the Banking and Merchant Services.  Ms. Roberts noted that we are now at the point where we need to authorize signatories for those transactions, and you will see that we are proposing that the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Director, Director of Finance and Senior Financial Analyst be authorized in those roles.  She commented that there are Financial Policies in place that state for any transaction over $5,000.00 will require two signatures, but other than that we are going with only single signatories on a daily activities.

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the JWSC approve that the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Director, Director of Finance and Senior Financial Analyst be authorized as signatories for banking and merchant services and to execute the necessary documents to establish banking and merchant services agreements with BB&T.   Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Investment Accounts – Authorized Signatories – L. Roberts

Mrs. Roberts also presented the recommendation to the Commission for the Investment Accounts, but in this particular case we are adding to our internal controls that two authorized signatories are necessary for those investment transactions.  She noted that staff is recommending again that the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Director, Director of Finance and Senior Financial Analyst be authorized in those roles.

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the JWSC approve the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Director, Director of Finance and Senior Financial Analyst be authorized as signatories for the investment accounts with two signatures being required for all investment transactions.  And that they be authorized to execute the necessary documents to establish Investment Management/Custody Fee Agreements with Synovus Trust Company, N.A.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Mrs. Roberts then asked to take the opportunity to thank Mrs. Crosby and her team for their guidance and assistance through this process.  She provided that with their help we are now targeting an implementation completion date of the end of this month being January 31st rather than March 31st.  We are well ahead of our schedule as noted in the RFP, and we certainly appreciate Mrs. Crosby and her team’s assistance. 

DISCUSSION

There were no items for discussion.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Burroughs updated the Commission that pre-approval was received from FEMA for the purchase of 5 portable generators and 67 additional transfer switches.  Previously approval for 22 transfer switches had been received which now bring the total to 5 generators and 89 transfer switches.  JWSC does have to pay for those items up front, but FEMA reimburses JWSC for 85% of that.  The transfer switches will be out for bid in the near future.  Mr. Burroughs provided that bids were received for the Academy Creek Warehouse Roof, which will be provided to the Commission at the next meeting.  Bids are due back on Magnolia Park Water Improvements and also the Meter RFP before the end of the month.  The Magnolia Park bids may be presented at the next meeting, however the Meter RFP responses will not be presented due to the length of time required for evaluation.  Mr. Burroughs noted that PS4021 Upgrade was advertised on Tuesday, and the SPLOST Phase III North Mainland as well as the SPLOST PS4003 Rehabilitation advertised prior to the end of the month. Those should be received sometime in late February or early March.  He added that the GEFA Loan approval is on the County’s agenda later in the evening, and he will be attending that meeting in the case of any questions.  Mr. Burroughs then advised that the SPLOST Oversight Committee meeting is the following Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Commissioner Stephens asked Mr. Burroughs for the status of the Deposit Returns.  Mr. Burroughs advised that those are being processed within the City limits, but not yet in the County since the County has not approved the Ordinance changes yet.  He noted we are going through those and checking the history on them now as the accounts do require five years of good payments.  Commissioner Stephens then asked where are we with getting the County to approve, and Mr. Burroughs replied that from his understanding the Ordinance changes approval should be on the next County agenda in early February. Commissioner Stephens then asked if we have a policy, or how does the deposit requirement work for businesses with multiple locations in the County.  Does each location have to pay a deposit?  Mr. Burroughs noted that at this time they do, it is within the Ordinance, however the language can be reviewed and proposed for amendment.   

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Chairman Turnipseed commented that he wanted to commend the staff, particularly Mrs. Crosby.  She has spearheaded all of the projects that have been bid and awarded.  The FEMA application for transfer switches and generators is also being spearheaded by Mrs. Crosby.  He added that she has been very busy this year, and will be very busy next year, and expressed appreciation for the work she has done.  Chairman Turnipseed then commented that there was an article on the Customer Assistance Program in the newspaper, which Jay Sellers had done a good job with, and he asked what the status of that program is.  Mr. Sellers responded that we have been very aggressive in getting the word out regarding the Customer Assistance Program.  We have not had the response that we anticipated, and would like to see not only more of the round-up donations, but a lot more of the fixed amount donations.  He commented that there is $900K debt by those accounts with a past due balance of $100 cannot be covered with only rounding up, and fixed donations would be much more beneficial and aggressive.  Mr. Sellers added that with the one time donations the response was not what it was hoped for, and he hoped that there are more donations received in the upcoming year to help eliminate customer debt.  This program is noted on the customer bills that are sent out each month.  Mr. Burroughs provided that we do have people who have applied and went through the program and are receiving their credits now.  It is a ten week financial literacy program that the Community Action Authority goes through with them and about seven people have gone through that program at this time.  There are more that have applied and will be going through the next set of sessions for them.  Mr. Burroughs also provided that for customers who have paid for six months on their payment plans, their late fees are waived, and late fees have now been waived for over fifty customers.  Commissioner Duncan commented that this is a good program and it will take some time to generate the amounts needed and a good program to donate to.  Commissioner Neal commented that the work JWSC has done over the past year as a whole has improved and their reputation in the community has greatly increased so significantly, and this may aid in bringing in contributions to help.  He added that he wanted to commend the staff from top to bottom on the job that they are doing and the perception that it is receiving in the community.  Chairman Turnipseed added that we have a really good staff and they really put forth effort, and they don’t mind getting in the ditches when it’s cold or when it’s hot.  Commissioner Neal added that with customer service being paramount, the culture has changed at JWSC and people are recognizing it and appreciate it.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Chairman requested a motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss Property and Litigation with no vote to be taken.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to enter into Executive Session to discuss Property and Litigation 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 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Neal was not yet in the room for the vote.)

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Neal was not yet in the room for the vote.)

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

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