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Commission Meeting Minutes Thursday, July 5, 2018

For your consideration please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm.

Commission Meeting Minutes 7-5-18 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, July 5, 2018 at 2:00 PM 



Donald M. Elliott, Chairman

Mike Browning, Vice-Chairman

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

Clifford Adams, Commissioner

Steve Copeland, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner

Ben Turnipseed, Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Jimmy Junkin, Executive Director

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel HBS

Andrew Burroughs, Deputy Executive Director

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

John D. Donaghy, Director of Finance

Pam Crosby, Director of Procurement

Kirk Young, Superintendent

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

MEDIA PRESENT:               

Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News

Pamela Permar Shierling, The Islander

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

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


Chairman Elliott opened the public comment period.

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

Chairman Elliott requested a motion to add Item #2 GEMA Generator Project – Approval of BGJWSC Funds to the Approval Section of the July 5, 2018 agenda.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to add Item #2 GEMA Generator Project – Approval of BGJWSC Funds to the Approval Section of the July 5, 2018 agenda.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 


  1. Minutes from the June 21, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to approve the minutes from the June 21, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. GEMA Generator Project – Approval of BGJWSC Funds – P. Crosby

Pam Crosby presented the recommendation for approval of BGJWSC funding to be applied towards the GEMA Generator Project.  She advised this matter has been previously discussed by the Commission, and that this need was identified during the post Irma meetings in that more back-up generators and power capability are required during a storm event.  BGJWSC is in the pre-application pool through GEMA for this FEMA 404 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.  The plan is to purchase 10 generators, of which 7 will be fixed at locations and 3 will be portable generation units.  These 10 generators will be placed at 5 water stations, 2 at Academy Creek WWTP and 3 at lift stations.  Mrs. Crosby explained how the share works by providing that FEMA at the Federal level pays 75%, the State pays 10% and BGJWSC’s portion is the balance of 15%.  She added that this is a reimbursable grant meaning that BGJWSC pays the total cost upfront and then is reimbursed by FEMA and the State.  The total cost, including approximately a 10% contingency amount as advised by GEMA, is estimated at $1,471,039.15 and BGJWSC’s portion of that amount is $220,655.87.   Mrs. Crosby provided that the “Go Forth” notification was received in April for BGJWSC to provide a full application, and that the requested approval would be for authorization to take the next step in the process by completing the full application and for the Commission to secure the funding so that if approved those funds are in place to move forward.  She also confirmed that the notice to submit a full application does mean that BGJWSC is in line to receive the grant.  She also advised that staff has already done some of the background work, for example consulting with electrical engineers.  There was some additional discussion pertaining to the various requirements for the full application process.  Mrs. Crosby noted that the application process can take up to several months, and that the quicker the application is in place, the sooner it can be processed.  She added that the application will be approved prior to the bidding and purchase of the 10 generators, therefore there is no risk associated with purchasing the total amount out of BGJWSC funding and being reimbursed after. 

Commissioner Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that approval be granted to submit for full application and allocate funding for the HMGP generator project in the estimated amount of $1,471,039.15.  85% of this amount will be reimbursable to the JWSC with an estimated net expense of $220,655.87 for the JWSC share of 15%.  Motion carried 7-0-0.


  1. North Mainland Phase 1 – Change Order #2 – J. Junkin/P. Crosby

Mr. Junkin introduced the discussion regarding the North Mainland Phase 1 Change Order #2 in the amount of $159,447.00 to the Commission and advised that Pam Crosby would also be providing details for the discussion.  Mrs. Crosby presented the background and historical information regarding the Project, and explained the design/build decision and process including the Request For Proposal.  She advised that 19 firms did attend the pre-proposal meeting in 2017 for this Project.  Out of those, only 2 firms provided proposals.  Staff reached out to the non-participating firms to gather data on reasons why they did not make a proposal.  Some of the reasons given were the urgent timeframe required, the specific pumps required, the type of project for this phase, etc.  Mrs. Crosby advised that the evaluation committee was comprised of 3 staff members, 2 from Engineering and 1 from Operations.  A major concern was that one of the proposing firms did not incorporate the final addendum which was added due to a change in the technical requirements for the gallons per minute needed.  After discussing similarities between the proposing firms, the best value alternatives as proposed, along with other details, staff recommended awarding the contract to Constantine for this design/build project.  Mrs. Crosby provided that as the Project was at the 30% design stage, staff made some changes to the electrical specifications to meet requirements for the pump upgrades and controls, as well as some other additional changes.  She also noted that regarding the delay in timing of the Project, Hurricane Irma was a factor as well as the hurricane in Texas that affected the delivery of the pumps.  Another contributing factor to delays on the Project was the necessary movement/relocation of bypass pumps between lift stations.  Mrs. Crosby added that at the present time, everything is functional and desired capacity has been reached, with just a few punch list items to be completed.  There was some additional discussion pertaining to the Project timeline, date for final completion and liquidated damages as set forth in the contract.  Staff will continue to gather details and supporting information for consideration for approval of all or part of the change order as requested by the contractor.  The Commission did not deem a workshop to be necessary for further discussion on this matter.  Mr. Junkin advised that staff will review the details, meet with Constantine and come back to the Commission with a recommendation.

  1. SPLOST Project LS4003 Basin Award for Engineering Services – P. Crosby

Pam Crosby presented the details of the background, RFP, and proposals for the LS4003 Basin Project Engineering Services.  This matter was deferred from the previous Commission Meeting and held for further discussion at this meeting due to concerns about price, local preference, etc.  Mrs. Crosby noted that for this RFP there were a total of 7 proposals received, of which a 5 member evaluation team (2 members from Operations, 2 from Engineering, and 1 from Senior Staff) reviewed and scored.  For reasons such as information clarification, 4 of the proposing firms were interviewed.  Interviews were not a determining scored part of the evaluation, the purpose was only for clarification of proposals.  Price was not a part of the criteria for evaluation and determination of the selected proposal for recommendation.  This RFP for engineering services was not price based, it was qualifications based.  Mrs. Crosby addressed the matter of “local preference” and advised that there is nothing stated in the procurement standards requiring “local preference” as criteria.  She then provided a definition of “local preference” and summarized it as being applied when you have market conditions where there is still adequate competition if you apply “local preference.”  She also noted that only 3 of the potential firms attending the pre-proposal meeting would have been eligible to submit a qualified proposal.  During the process before the proposals were submitted, one of those firms did reach out and commented that they did not have the type of previous experience to meet the project requirements for submitting a proposal and asked for an exception, however an exception was not possible.  Also noted was the fact that firms considered “local” do not typically have the experience for projects involving pump stations.  Mrs. Crosby advised that in the future if there is a “local preference” that criteria should be included in the RFP, and it would also be necessary to clearly define what “local” means.  She added that a concern with using “local preference” is limiting future projects and negatively impacting ourselves in future bidding pool opportunities, especially with 3 other SPLOST phases to be bid out.  Also this criteria should be applied in the beginning of the process, otherwise firms may be put off and choose to not submit proposals in the future.  Commissioner Harvey noted that typically many organizations would have “local preference” as an unwritten rule that this would be considered, and a Board would like to give preference to a local agency or firm more so than a company from Texas, for example; and this is basically because they try to keep the workforce local in a sense, even though it may not be part of the actual contract.  He added that on this evaluation there was not much of a point spread, and that there were organizations other than the one staff selected which could have been chosen as well.  Commissioner Stephens commented that another concern was that there was a minimal point spread for such a large price difference.  Commissioner Harvey mentioned that with Constantine having done some recent work for JWSC there was a perception that they may have been given some preference in the evaluation.  Mrs. Crosby provided that 3 of the 4 firms interviewed had all done work for JWSC in the past 3 years, and that the reason for having a point scoring system was to get to a point where one firm has a score that is higher than the others.  Mr. Junkin added that the process was followed in the evaluation, and that based on discussions he had with Mrs. Crosby the price proposed by the selected firm can be negotiated.  Chairman Elliott inquired as to how open ended the RFP was as to the work requested, and Mrs. Crosby advised that it was made clear in the discussions at the pre-proposal meeting that if anyone had alternative suggestions to  please provide them.  Chairman Elliott then asked for clarification as to the alternatives provided and Andrew Burroughs gave a description of the various alternatives proposed and noted that what was offered by one was not necessarily any different than what was offered by anyone else.  Chairman Elliott confirmed that between the top 4 proposals they all offered the same approach, and Mr. Burroughs advised yes, with some small differences but basically all were offering the same.  Chairman Elliott then questioned if it was correct that based on the problem as it was defined and the solution as it was defined,  staff was willing to pay the selected firm approximately $82,000 more to do basically the same thing that everyone else was going to do.  Mr. Burroughs advised that after the scoring process was completed the prices were pulled, and it was determined that this price was reasonable not that one could have done it for cheaper.  Mrs. Crosby clarified that the prices was within the range that was estimated for the Project, and reiterated that the price can always be negotiated as stated in the RFP, which was placed as a qualifications based procurement, that qualifications would be evaluated and the most qualified firm would be selected, and then we would be subjected to a fair and reasonable price.  She then asked to clarify if the price was the problem, which could be negotiated.  Chairman Elliott added that price was not where he is at, but that when they are saying they are going to do essentially the same work that everybody else is going to do, at that point price becomes a consideration.  Commissioner Browning noted that there was no issue with the process as followed; the Board is hesitant to spend any more money than they have to, and where there is a small point spread on the scoring and the Board can save $50,000 to $100,000 or more, the Board is going to want to save that money and the staff is going to have to convince us that we need to spend more money.  He added there is not enough of a point spread on the scores to justify the amount of higher cost.  Commissioner Stephens noted that this is a very subjective process and while it is a score, this is not a score based off of something factual, it is something based off of peoples’ feelings of how the person is going to provide something.  He added that looking at the scores, if you look at Project Cost Considerations, which is not what they cost but how much they think they can save us, on a scale of 1 to 10 in the exact same category our 5 evaluators scored from a 2 to a 9, which is a big differential, one firm received over 4 times what another did. He then noted the different score ranges on the other areas and that when you get to the end result and the scores are very close together, cost has to become a consideration.  Commissioner Turnipseed commented on local preferences being a concern of his only in that you have someone you can deal with and work with, and where they are going to be located.  When we go through the rating, we probably should add another line item there and give points if they are more local than someone else.  Commissioner Turnipseed continued that when they broke out the prices, they had an item for construction supervision or construction administration and they did not break out how much on sight inspection they are going to have to any extent, which leaves it open, so you are not sure how much you are getting from them on sight inspection.  Mrs. Crosby did offer that she had some notes on the construction services from some of the firms.  Chairman Elliott commented that he has a problem with locality because people can have a storefront and still do their work somewhere else.  Communications today are often instantaneous. He added that Glynn County does not have firms that do this type work on a daily basis; and we need firms of which this is their “bread and butter” to do this work, and they need to offer innovative solutions to our problems.  Commissioner Browning questioned if all of the firms were capable of doing this work, and Mrs. Crosby advised that all of the engineering firms gave projects of similar experience, some were more recent than others, and some were more applicable to our situation; we had a few that may have done a pump station project, but that really didn’t have anything to do with our pump station projects.  Chairman Elliott requested for staff to come back to the Board on July 19th with a recommendation.  Charlie Dorminy, legal counsel for JWSC, advised that when this Project was bid, it was bid based on qualifications not price, and if the Board was going to use price as a consideration then the Project should be rebid, otherwise there is the possibility of a bid contest.  Mrs. Crosby read the following from the RFP, “There is no obligation on the part of the JWSC to award the contract to the lowest proposer.”  She noted that this language is included in every RFP, and it is open ended, so you can make choices on what you want to do.  Mrs. Crosby advised that if price will be used as a consideration, then the process needs to be redone and add a component where points are assigned based on the price.  Commissioner Turnipseed commented that the problem is that we already have the prices, so it is not really fair to anyone to go back through this again.  He questioned as to the use of the prices since they were included with the proposals, and commented as to being unsure as to how it was stated in the RFP.  Charlie Dorminy confirmed with Mrs. Crosby that the RFP said that JWSC could go back to the firm with the highest score and negotiate the price with them.   Commissioner Copeland inquired as to the timeframe of price negotiation and when that could happen.  Commissioner Stephens asked Mrs. Crosby what the RFP stated in terms of score methodology.  She read the following from the RFP, “This is a qualifications based procurement of professional engineering service whereby competitors’ qualifications will be evaluated and the most qualified firm will be selected subject to negotiation of a fair and reasonable compensation.”  She also read from the back section of the RFP, “The JWSC reserves the right to award the contract to the responsible proposers submitting responsive proposals with resulting contracts most advantageous and in the best interest of the JWSC, and we will be the sole judge of the proposals and the resulting contract in its decision shall be final.”  Commissioner Turnipseed asked to confirm what was said within the RFP about price, and Mrs. Crosby advised, “…subject to negotiation of a fair and reasonable compensation.”  She added that there has been no negotiation on the price, and noted that the prices were provided as a separate piece in a separate envelope that was only to be opened after the qualifying firm had been selected.  She reiterated that the selection and evaluation team did not see any of the prices prior to the scores being finalized.  Mr. Junkin provided that while price is negotiable and staff did follow the process as outlined subject to a reasonable price and negotiation, that his understanding from the RFP is that the highest scoring firm would be the first to go under price negotiation, and he does want to review the alternative as presented.  Mr. Junkin advised that staff will come back with a recommendation.


Mr. Junkin advised he had no further update. 


Chairman Elliott advised he had no further update.


Chairman Elliott requested a motion to adjourn and enter into Executive Session to discuss personnel issues.  No vote will be taken.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to adjourn to Executive Session.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Return to Regular Session.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to return to the Regular Session.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.