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Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, May 17, 2018

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 2:00 pm.

Commission Meeting Minutes 5-17-18 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, May 17, 2018 at 3:30 PM 



Donald M. Elliott, Chairman

Mike Browning, Vice-Chairman

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

Clifford Adams, Commissioner

Steve Copeland, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissione

G. Ben Turnipseed, Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Jimmy Junkin, Executive Director

Joe Emmanuel, Legal Counsel HBS

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

John D. Donaghy, Director of Finance

Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

Mark Ryals, Superintendent 

MEDIA PRESENT:               

Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News

Pamela Permar Shierling, The Islander

Chairman Elliott called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM.

Chairman Elliott provided the invocation and also led the pledge.


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 May 3, 2018 Special Called Rate Workshop

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to approve the minutes from the May 3, 2018 Special Called Rate Workshop.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Harvey was not present at the Special Called Rate Workshop, therefore he abstained from the vote.) 

  1. Minutes from the May 3, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the May 3, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.  

  1. Academy Creek Oxygen System Safety Upgrades – J. Junkin

Mr. Junkin presented the recommendation for the engineering design for Academy Creek WWTP Oxygen System Safety Upgrades.  He advised that the system needs to be rehabilitated due to the condition of the equipment, controls, instrumentation, and the nature of the safety protection device (Lower Explosive Limit Safety System). Mr. Junkin noted that JWSC staff solicited a proposal from Hussey Gay Bell to develop a design and bid package to rehabilitate the oxygen supply system and related safety system. Upon completion and review of the bid package, JWSC will then solicit bids for construction.  Commissioner Turnipseed asked about the scope of services and if Hussey Gay Bell would be evaluating the pipe to determine what piping needs to be replaced.  Mr. Junkin advised that yes, they would be.  Commissioner Turnipseed also noted that the documents need to cover enough additional work items (units) so that in the case the contractor runs into additional work, there is not a major change order requested.  Chairman Elliott inquired what the current technology for pipes for oxygen systems is.  Mr. Junkin replied that the new pipe material is stainless steel.  He added that the current pipes are made of carbon steel which is in bad shape in certain areas.  After some additional discussion, Chairman Elliott questioned if a life cycle cost analysis would be included with a mean time between failures of various components so that future planning can be done for replacements and their costs, and Mr. Junkin advised this was not typically provided.  Chairman Elliott asked if the engineering firm had the capability to provide this, and Mr. Junkin advised that they could.  Commissioner Browning questioned if staff would be involved with the bid package and specifications since they were knowledgeable about the current equipment and system in place, and Mr. Junkin advised staff had already met with and discussed the equipment and systems in detail with HGB prior to submitting their final proposal.  Commissioner Turnipseed inquired as to the timeframe for the plans and specifications to be completed, and it was advised to be approximately 60 days.

Commissioner Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission enter into a contract with Hussey Gay Bell for an amount not-to-exceed $45,330.00 for Engineering Services for the Rehabilitation of the Academy Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant Oxygen System.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Auditing Services Contract Award – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy presented the recommendation for the contract award for Auditing Services.  He provided that Mauldin & Jenkins, LLP has done the annual financial audits for the past three fiscal years, and that historically the auditor is changed every three years.  The Request For Proposal was issued by JWSC on March 30, 2018 and five auditing firms submitted proposals.  Those firms were: Bates, Carter & Company, LLP; Cherry Bekaert, LLP; Clifton, Lipford, Hardison & Parker, LLP; Hansen CPA; and Mauldin & Jenkins, LLP.  Mr. Donaghy advised that staff evaluated all five proposals, and noted that the evaluation scoring matrix was provided for the Commissioners review.  The criteria for evaluating the proposals included the ability to provide service & project approach, references and relevancy of experience, implementation and timeline, and cost and pricing flexibility.  Mr. Donaghy mentioned that Mauldin & Jenkins did have the highest overall evaluation score and also the lowest cost proposal, however since they have done JWSC’s financial audits for the past three years, staff did not recommend that they be awarded the contract.  Staff recommended that Bates, Carter & Company, LLP be awarded the contract for the next three years of auditing services.  With further discussion, it was clarified that JWSC has been satisfied with Mauldin & Jenkins’ previous services; the auditing firms with water and sewer utility experience are more familiar with the Innoprise System; and that this contract is for a three year period.  When questioned, Mr. Donaghy also advised that regarding the three year rotation of auditors JWSC has been following historical practices, and he also noted that there is no legal requirement for JWSC to do so.  It was again noted by the Commission that Mauldin & Jenkins had the highest overall score and was the lowest cost, and Mr. Donaghy added that they are already very familiar with JWSC since they have been the auditors for a total of six years (not consecutively). In response to questioning, Mr. Donaghy also provided that JWSC has been well satisfied with Mauldin & Jenkins and they have also completed their audits on time.  Chairman Elliott advised that this is the Commission’s audit not the staff’s audit, it is important to go with a firm that JWSC has confidence in, he did not see a problem with using the same auditor for another three years, and there was a significant cost difference.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to move to award the three year contract to Mauldin & Jenkins, LLP in the amount of $59,700.00.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. USGS Saltwater Intrusion Study Funding – J. Junkin

Mr. Junkin presented the USGS Saltwater Intrusion Study Funding recommendation to the Commission.

He provided a memo with some background history on the salt plume in the Upper Floridian Aquifer where our water is drawn from and noted that this salt plume started to appear back in the late 1950’s.  Analysis done in the 1980’s showed that there was a substantial growth in the magnitude of the salt plume. He added that during the last 18 years, the local industries which are the biggest users have made significant changes to reduce the volumes and recycle in order to create less of an impact, and JWSC has also had to cease to pull from two of the wells in Brunswick due to salt content in the water.  Mr. Junkin advised that in 2014 USGS was contracted to commence an ongoing study and do a model of the salt plume and the way it reacts to the draws.  He added that the model has been completed and JWSC does wish for them to continue their work to provide the data to “ground-truth” the model they have created and to keep tabs on the conditions of that salt plume.  JWSC has made efforts since last fall to try to get the stakeholders who were involved in the original WRMAC group to respond and help fund the study.  Mr. Junkin noted that back in the fall of 2017 staff was approved to put $50,000 towards the $129,000 cost (as matched by USGS) and solicit the remaining funding from those stakeholders, who did not respond with commitments.  He continued that it is time that JWSC has to either provide all the funds or allow USGS to move elsewhere and discontinue the study here.  Mr. Junkin also advised that he believes it is critical to keep an eye on our source of water as this is the source of water for all of JWSC’s residential needs and the industrial needs in our community, and that if the aquifer were to take a nosedive in terms of quality the costs of water, as it impacts not only our customers but also local industry, would be a substantial hit to our community as a whole. He provided that JWSC should take the lead and carry the burden, and he recommended that staff be allowed to pay the matching amount in full and again contact the other stakeholders for assistance.  Chairman Elliott commented that JWSC staff has spent a great amount of time during the past two years trying to get WRMAC going again and trying to get those stakeholders to help with the funding, and that he does not want the staff to spend any more time trying to work with the other stakeholders. He suggested that the Commission should make a decision to either pay for the funding for the plume study, or decide that the study is not needed and continue on without it.  After some additional discussion a motion was made.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission enter into a contract with the USGS for the continued study of the salt plume located in the Brunswick area of the Upper Floridian Aquifer and provide the matching funds of $129,000.00 while staff continues to reach out to other WRMAC stakeholders for funding support of matching funds.  Motion carried 6-0-1. (Chairman Elliott abstained due to agreeing with first half of the motion, but disagreeing with second half.)


  1. Waste Water Treatment Plant Flows Update – M. Ryals

Mark Ryals presented the monthly report on the waste water treatment plant flows update for Academy Creek, Dunbar Creek, and South Port for April 2018.  He explained the spreadsheets and charts as provided for each WWTP.  Mr. Ryals discussed the BOD and TSS influent and effluent levels for each of the three plants.  He noted details such as various capacities, processing, I&I and plant usage.

  1. April 2018 Month End Financial Statements – J. Donaghy

John Donaghy presented the April 2018 Month End Financial Statements to the Commissioners. He first discussed the balance sheet.  He provided that current assets have increased slightly, and added that the  bond sinking fund has gone up significantly from June 30, 2017 to April 30, 2018, with the interest payment being due on June 1 of this year.  Accounts receivable have gone down from $3.1M on June 30, 2017 to $2.47M as of April 30, 2018.  Mr. Donaghy then noted that the restricted cash accounts have decreased, trustee funds held went from $4.7M on June 30, 2017 to $122K as of April 30, 2018 as a result of the bond refunding where approximately $3.8M of debt service reserve was freed up and used to pay down some of the debt.  Much of that is expected to be recovered by November of 2018.  Mr. Donaghy then noted that construction in progress has gone up by $6.5M due to CIP efforts this year.  Overall, total assets have increased and total liabilities have decreased over the past ten months. Following the balance sheet, he discussed the supplemental schedule of cash balances, the combined revenue statement for the first ten months of the current fiscal year and the overtime report.  Mr. Donaghy also explained the details of the cost and price per K-gal report, of which Chairman Elliott requested to be provided on an Excel spreadsheet each month and for it to include REU details.


Mr. Junkin advised that staff is continuing work with the EPD.   A meeting was held with County officials on the Rate Structure revisions in the Operating Agreement and there is also a meeting scheduled with the City to discuss the same.  He noted that a Pre-Bid meeting was held regarding the engineering phase of the Brunswick SPLOST project for LS4003 modifications for capacity improvements and that the proposal submissions were due on May 30.  Mr. Junkin also mentioned that work is continuing on the strategic business plan. 


Chairman Elliott discussed the upcoming public hearings.  He gave the background as to what has happened in previous years. The Executive Director will do the briefing, and the Commissioners should be there to hear what the public has to say, even though most of the public does not attend these public meetings to discuss rates. Chairman Elliott advised he does plan to attend, and encouraged the other Commissioners to attend also.  Raftelis will be there to assist if necessary.  At the June 7 Commission meeting Chairman Elliott would like to have the draft of the briefing so the Commissioners will be able to review and make any suggestions for revisions.


There was no executive session.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:26 p.m.

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