Commission Meeting Minutes Thursday, March 5, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 3-5-20 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, March 5, 2020 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES

PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Bob Duncan, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Charles Cook, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner                          

 ALSO PRESENT:                 

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel HBS

Pam Crosby, Director of Procurement

 John Donaghy, Director of Finance

 Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

LaDonnah Roberts, Senior Financial Analyst

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.

Chairman Turnipseed provided the invocation and Commissioner Stephens led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Chairman Turnipseed opened the public comment period.

Greg Wilkes – Sewer Rates – Mr. Greg Wilkes came to speak about sewer rates.  He built several homes in Creekside Oaks which originally had septic tanks, were later abandoned and then put on the JWSC sewer system with grinder pumps.  (Sewer only customer.)  He came to a Commission Meeting on September 15, 2011 and asked why the sewer bills were so high, was told someone would get back with him, and no one did.  Mr. Wilkes has homes in other areas and the bills for those homes to have water and sewer services are about $40 to $60 per month.  He recently came to JWSC offices and spoke with Jay Sellers.  Mr. Wilkes said this situation has costed him a lot of money during these years.  He noted that JWSC is billing for sewer only services at a national average which is much higher than the local Glynn County average.  In addition to the higher sewer service costs he also has to maintain his own grinder pump, which only lasts about 5 years with a replacement cost of around $2,000.  Mr. Wilkes commented that JWSC has spoken about cutting off sewer only and he is asking that if this goes through, for the Board of Commissioners ensure that they are not using the national average on an inflated sewer bill, which would be too high for Glynn County.  He is asking the Board to take this into consideration.

The Chairman thanked Mr. Wilkes for speaking, apologized that no one ever got back with him, but that they would be speaking with him again.  Commissioner Elliott inquired about meeting on this subject and about the rate.   Mr. Burroughs advised it would be a flat rate, but what JWSC is planning as a part of the budget and the Rate Resolution is to adjust the sewer flat rate volume to the average volume used by a residential customer, which would cause the flat rate volume to go down from 7,000 gallons to 4,000 gallons.  This will drop those sewer costs by a good amount. Mr. Burroughs also advised that they had worked out an agreement with Mr. Wilkes in that before anyone’s sewer is shut off they would receive a letter asking them to come into the lobby to sign up for a payment plan.  He added that there are only a few customers who are on those sewer only situations, who have never paid their bill and are on a grinder system.  Commissioner Stephens asked what the current average sewer only bill was.  Mr. Burroughs estimated between $65 and $70 per month.  With this change, those sewer only bills should go down to about $40 to $50 per month.

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

 SWEARING IN OF NEW COMMISSIONER

Charles Cook / The Honorable Debra Godwin Duncan

In order to swear Charles Cook in for his seat as JWSC Commissioner, Judge Debra Godwin Duncan requested him to raise his right hand and state his name.  Then she read the full Oath to him, after which he agreed to faithfully discharge his duties as Commissioner and to support and defend the Local Act enabling the BGJWSC as well as the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions.  Judge Debra Godwin Duncan and Commissioner Charles Cook then signed the official copies of the Oath of Commissioner of the BGJWSC.

 COMMITTEE UPDATES

Human Resources Committee Meeting Update – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Elliott provided that the Human Resources Committee had met earlier on that same day.  He highlighted the five items that were on the agenda:  Onsite wellness checks for approval to bring to the full Commission this afternoon, an update on the open enrollment for the new Health Insurance Plan, self-funded Health Insurance proposal (for which there will be a workshop on), a briefing on the Tobacco and Body Mass Index changes that the Committee recommended to be started after a year, and a discussion on potential Pension Plan changes which are to be completed by April 22, 2020 (this will also be an item for the full Commission workshop.)

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the February 20, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to approve the minutes from the February 20, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Cook abstained due to not being at the meeting.) 

  1. Onsite Wellness Checks – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that the Onsite Wellness Checks were discussed earlier that morning in the Human Resources Committee Meeting and approved to be moved forward to the full Commission.  This program entails Southeast Georgia Health System performing onsite health screenings for JWSC staff members.  The health screenings include a basic biometric analysis, a full blood panel, height/weight BMI, blood pressure and diabetes screening.  The cost will be $45 per employee, for an estimated total of $7,290.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve the attached wellness agreement with Southeast Georgia Health System for a not-to-exceed amount of $7,290.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to connection with SGHS.)

  1. MOU with City of Brunswick – Magnolia Park

Mr. Burroughs recommended deferring this item until the next Facilities Meeting, due to the documents and agreement not being ready to execute.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to defer this item until the next Facilities Committee Meeting before it comes back to the full Commission.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

DISCUSSION

  1. Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Update – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided an update on the preparations for the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.  The budget preview is on schedule and expected to be ready for the Commissioners’ review during the following week.  The FY 2021 Budget will be presented at the March Finance Committee Meeting.  The preliminary reviews with the Division Superintendents on their individual budgets have been completed.   Staff has finalized the Capital Budget request, and is going through the process of compiling master training requests to be included with the budget.  At this time, staff does not find a reason to adjust the rates for water and/or sewer services.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Burroughs welcomed the new Commissioner Charles Cook.  The requested Ordinance revisions are to be on the County Commission’s agenda that same night.  Mr. Burroughs provided highlights of the GAWP Utility Executive Forum he attended.   The American Water Infrastructure Act requires all utilities with over 3,300 customers to perform a Risk Assessment and Emergency Response Plan.  JWSC’s plan is due December 31st, for which Mr. Sellers and his staff had already compiled the vast majority of before this Act came about.  Mr. Burroughs also advised that the Chamber of Commerce Community Update Breakfast will be held on March 20th at 8:00 a.m. at Epworth, and he invited the Commissioners to join him there.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Chairman Turnipseed welcomed the new Commissioner Charles Cook to the Board and also formally appointed him to be a member of the Facilities Committee, as well as inviting him to attend any other Committee meetings he was interested in. 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to adjourn into Executive Session to discuss Property and Litigation.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Return to Regular Session.

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

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan 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 3:10 p.m.