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Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, January 18, 2024

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, January 18, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Minutes 1-18-24J

To read the minutes, please open or download the pdf from the link above, or you may see more below.

Brunswick-Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES 

PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Charles Cook, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Lance Sabbe, Commissioner

Chad Strickland, Commissioner

Clayton Watson, Commissioner

Dave Ford, Commissioner 

ALSO PRESENT:                  

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

Charles A. Dorminy, HBS Legal Counsel

LaDonnah Roberts, Deputy Executive Director

David Owens, Director of Finance

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

Frances Wilson, Accounting Manager

Janice Meridith, Executive Commission Administrator 

MEDIA PRESENT:               

Pam Shierling, The Islander 

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

Commissioner Watson provided the invocation and Commissioner Strickland led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Chairman Turnipseed opened the public comment period.

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

COMMISSIONERS’ SWEARING-IN CEREMONY – The Honorable Judge Debra Godwin Duncan

G. Ben Turnipseed, Sr., Commissioner 2024-2027 (Grand Jury Appointed 3rd Term)

David Ford, Commissioner 2024-2025 (Grand Jury Appointed-Remainder of Term)

Lance Sabbe, Commissioner 2024-2025 (City of Brunswick Appointed) 

RECEPTION 

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to reappoint Chairman Turnipseed as Chairman for 2024.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Strickland to appoint Commissioner Watson as Vice-Chairman for 2024. Motion carried 7-0-0. 

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

Chairman Turnipseed announced the following appointments for the 2024 Committees: 

Facilities Committee

Committee Chairman: Chairman Turnipseed

Members: Commissioner Cook, Commissioner Ford, Andrew Burroughs

Finance Committee –

Committee Chairman: Commissioner Watson

Members: Commissioner Cook, Commissioner Sabbe, Andrew Burroughs

Communications Committee –

Committee Chairman: Commissioner Cook

Members: Commissioner Watson, Commissioner Sabbe, Andrew Burroughs

Economic Development Committee –

Committee Chairman: Commissioner Sabbe

Members: Commissioner Neal, Commissioner Watson, Andrew Burroughs

Human Resources Committee –

Committee Chairman: Commissioner Cook

Members: Commissioner Watson, Commissioner Sabbe, Andrew Burroughs

Legislative Committee –

Committee Chairman: Commissioner Neal

Members:  Commissioner Watson, Commissioner Sabbe, Charlie Dorminy, Andrew Burroughs

Emergency Preparedness Committee –

Committee Chairman:  Commissioner Strickland

Members: Commissioner Ford, Commissioner Sabbe, Andrew Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed stated that the Facilities and Finance Committees will meet regularly once per month.  The other committees will meet on an as-needed basis.  

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the December 21, 2023 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Cook made a motion seconded by Commissioner Watson to approve the minutes from the December 21, 2023 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Dunbar Creek Influent Control Modification – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs informed the Commissioners that JWSC’s Dunbar Creek Water Pollution Control Facility has two wet wells that contain four influent pumps and one jockey pump to pump the influent from the collection system into the plant treatment processes. On December 17, 2023, during a high flow event caused from excessive rainfall, one of the influent pumps failed and caused a backup in the collection system. This led to a sanitary sewer overflow in the Glynn Haven neighborhood exceeding 100,000 gallons.  The current influent pumping station is not monitored on the plant’s SCADA system. As a result, no alarms notified staff of any issues with the influent pumps until the overflow status had already begun. Staff requested a quote from the Utility’s SCADA integrator Electric Machine Control (EMC) to make the necessary modifications to include the influent pumping station on SCADA. EMC has successfully provided SCADA integration support for the Academy Creek rehab project, the Dunbar Creek rehab project, and the overall lift station SCADA upgrade project.  By implementing a program like Academy Creek’s at Dunbar Creek costs can be reduced for improvements and standardize for the operations staff. EMC has provided a not-to-exceed quote of $40,000 to provide engineering support, materials, installation, and start-up services for the improvements.

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Watson that the Brunswick-Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission enter into a contract with a not-to-exceed budget of $40,000 with Electric Machine Control for improvements and control modifications for the Dunbar Creek WPCF.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. GMEBS Pension Plan IRS Addendum – D. Owens

Mr. Owens provided that JWSC previously adopted the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System (GMEBS) Defined Benefit Retirement Plan, which is comprised of the Basic Plan Document, Adoption Agreement, and General Addendum. The Plan is considered a “qualified plan” under the Internal Revenue Code, which is important to ensure the tax-exempt status of the trust fund. To protect the Plan’s tax-qualified status, GMEBS filed draft restated Plan documents, updated to include recent amendments and comply with changes in federal tax law, with the IRS on June 29, 2022.  On August 31, 2023, the IRS issued a favorable opinion letter for the restated Plan documents. The IRS opinion letter provides assurance to employers providing retirement benefits for their employees through the GMEBS Plan that GMEBS is maintaining a qualified pension benefit program that allows employees to accrue benefits tax-free until retirement benefits are distributed to them.

Commissioner Sabbe made a motion seconded by Commissioner Watson that the Brunswick-Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve that the Commission Chairman be authorized to execute the necessary forms to enable this filing and maintain the status of our Defined Benefit Retirement Plan as a Qualified Plan.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

DISCUSSION

  1. Financial Statements December 31, 2023 – F. Wilson

Mrs. Wilson presented the financial statement for the month ending December 31, 2023.  She reviewed the Balance Sheet noting the Current Assets and Current Liabilities and briefed the Commissioners on the Combined Revenue Statement.  The various Operating Revenues accounts were noted, and details on the Summary of Revenues and Summary of Expenses were highlighted.  Mrs. Wilson briefly reviewed line items on the Cash Balances and the Project Report, as well as providing an update on Investments.  The financial statements are normally presented in the Finance Committee meeting however it was desired to give a brief update for the full Commission. 

  1. Capital Project Report – T. Kline / A. Burroughs

Mr. Kline and Mr. Burroughs presented an abbreviated update on the December Monthly Project Report for Capital Projects.  The report includes projects in the engineering phase and those in construction.  The Commissioners were provided with a packet containing: the Capital Project Photographs and the Capital Project Report Spreadsheet.  This report normally includes the Capital Project Gantt Chart of project timelines and the Earned Value Analysis Report and is usually presented to the Facilities Committee at their monthly meetings.  Mr. Kline and Mr. Burroughs briefly presented the update by highlighting details for each project along with excellent project photographs. 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

COMMISSIONERS’ DISCUSSION

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Chairman Turnipseed commented that the group had a good retreat and planning meeting the day before. All commissioners were reminded that they are welcome to attend any and all committee meetings. The Chairman also welcomed Commissioners Sabbe and Ford to the JWSC.

EXECUTIVE SESSION- Personnel

Commissioner Strickland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Watson to enter Executive Session to discuss Personnel.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

Return to Regular Session. 

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

APPROVAL cont.

  1. Amendment to Executive Director’s Retirement Plan – C. Dorminy

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Watson to defer item number four, the Executive Director’s Retirement Plan, until the next meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

ADJOURN

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed requested a motion to adjourn the meeting.

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

The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 3:56 p.m.

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