Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, May 21, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 5-21-20 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, May 21, 2020 at 2:00 PM 

COMMISSION MINUTES

 PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Bob Duncan, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Charles Cook, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner                                    

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

LaDonnah Roberts, Deputy Exec. Director

John Donaghy, Director of Finance                                               

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

Catina Tindall, First Coast Benefits Solutions, Inc.                     

MEDIA PRESENT:               

Pamela Permar-Shierling, The Islander 

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

Chairman Turnipseed provided the invocation and Commissioner Elliott 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. 

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move Agenda Approval Item #10 to Discussion, add Self-Funded Health Insurance as Approval Item #1, and move all other items down accordingly.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Facilities Committee Meeting Update – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed reported that the Facilities Committee had met on the previous day and approved a contract award for the Water and Sewer Master Plan Update; Change Order No. 1 for the Engineering for the SPLOST North Mainland Phase III; several infrastructure and easement dedications and deeds; approved the execution of a GEFA loan which was originally for $15M but has been revised to include $750K of Forgiveness which is in turn a Grant; and approved the Joint Funding Agreement with the US Geological Survey for the modeling of the saltwater plume and the sampling.  The Committee discussed the Coastal Club Revised Comprehensive Agreement which will be discussed in this meeting.  The report on the plant flows at the Water Pollution Control Plants indicated that the Academy Creek Plant is well within permit operating at 51% of its capacity; the Dunbar Creek Plant is well within its permit operating at 73% of its capacity; and the Southport Plant is operating at 28% of its capacity and well within permit.  We need to acknowledge the hard work that our operators do at all three of these plants, and one day be able to invite the public to go out and see what these plants look like; they are well run plants and we need to be proud of them.  The Project Report was reviewed with several projects ongoing.  The State Route 99 Water Main Project is complete now; the Ridgewood Water Production Facility is ahead of schedule; some of the North Mainland pump stations will be rebid; the CIPP work on the North Mainland is finished; and we are taking bids on Pump Station 4003 modifications on June 3rd.  Also, the Magnolia Water Line Improvements Project will be rebid; the “L” Street Water Improvements has entered phase 2 and 3; Pump Station 4021 bids came in over budget and staff will be modifying the plans and rebidding that project; the Sea Palms CIPP Project (which is modifying and repairing some of the sewer lines) has started and should take about 3 months to complete; there is an RFP out for Engineering Services for providing water and sewer services to the Arco Area; the Brockington Sewer Rehab Project is complete; and Water Distribution staff has started replacing some galvanized water lines throughout our System.  The Chairman finally noted that the Approval for the Water and Sewer Master Plan Update is necessary due to new population projections by both the City and the County, and they have completed Comprehensive Plans that we need to incorporate into our Master Plan.

Finance Committee Meeting Update – Commissioner Duncan

Commissioner Duncan reported that the Finance Committee had also met on the previous day.  He noted that the Committee recommended approval of a number of items for funding and for approval by this Board including: the Engineering Services for the Water and Sewer Master Plan Update; the GEFA Loan; a leak adjustment was approved; and also the appointment of our Auditor for JWSC.  The discussion items focused on the Timing of Capital Fee Payments which remains a discussion in progress and involves changing the timing, for example, a developer that may do 10 or 20 lots might have the option of not paying the Capital Fee upfront but the ultimate builder or lot owner would pay that; again the specific process has not been determined but directionally that is where we are going.  Finally the Financial Statement was presented and we are very close to budget and our forecast indicates that we will land very close to budget on year end.

Human Resources Committee Update – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Elliott reported that the Human Resources Committee had met on the previous day to discuss self-insurance of our health care.  The presentation by the staff was outstanding.  This has been discussed since the start of this year in January.  We have been working to find out what we could do to help improve our control over how much JWSC spends in insurance dollars.  Again the presentations were outstanding.  Everyone did a lot of hard work in looking at this issue and it will be the next item that we discuss for approval.

APPROVAL

  1. Self- Funded Health Insurance – A. Burroughs

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve moving to a self-funded health insurance program with United Healthcare to begin August 1, 2020 as presented.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to conflict of interest.)

  1. Minutes from the April 16, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the April 16, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Minutes from the April 16, 2020 Executive Session

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to approve the minutes from the April 16, 2020 Executive Session.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to absence from that meeting.) 

  1. Contract Award – Engineering Services for Water & Wastewater Master Plan Update – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that the RFP for Engineering Services for the Water and Wastewater Master Plan Update went out on April 10, 2020.  The proposals were received on May 5, 2020.  Interviews were held with all five of the firms who had submitted proposals.  Four Waters Engineering received the highest score of the five firms.  Four Waters did the last Master Plan for JWSC and will use the data from the recently released Comprehensive Plans for the City and the County to update JWSC’s Master Plan accordingly.  Two additional items that will be received as a part of this Master Plan will be a Cash Flow Model for Capital Projects and a Project Database that will allow JWSC to update the project costs and timing as they occur so that the Master Plan does not remain static.  Staff recommended awarding the contract to Four Waters Engineering.  Mr. Burroughs also advised that this Project will require a budget adjustment up to $247,500 to award the contract and it is recommended to pull the funds from the uncommitted R&R balance of $2.4M.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve increasing the budget amount for Project 2024 and awarding a contract for the Water and Wastewater Master Plan Update to Four Waters Engineering in the amount of $247,500.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Change Order #1 – SPLOST NM Ph III Rehab – Engineering – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided a brief description on the original purpose and design for Phase III of the SPLOST North Mainland Project which was to increase pumping capacity at two downstream pump stations as well as install a force main down Harry Driggers Blvd. and Canal Rd.  The original design plans had the force main turning down Old Jesup Rd. going underneath the Altamaha Canal and then underneath the railroad before discharging into the downstream pump station.  After re-examining staff determined that they can utilize existing gravity structures downstream of the currently terminated force main point on Ogden, however in order to get the required easements and re-design, there was a requested change order from the engineer.  Mr. Burroughs added that also involved in this change order is a design and construction administration on a 12-inch water main extension down Canal Rd. that will be funded separately from the SPLOST Project, but constructed at the same time of the SPLOST Project; so the engineering for that is $36,000 that will not be paid with SPLOST funds.  The $44,800 for the force main re-design will come from the SPLOST North Mainland Project funds.  The total combined change order amount requested is $80,800.

Commissioner Duncan commented to reinforce the Commissioners’ understanding that the net of this is that while we are doing the design change and the engineering design costs increase, our overall project cost will go down specifically as related to this change.  Mr. Burroughs responded yes, and that this change will eliminate the need to go under the Altamaha Canal and the railroad crossing.  With those 2 changes we expect to save at least $200,000 with this change.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve Change Order No. 1 to North Mainland Phase III Engineering contract in the amount of $80,800.

Commissioner Stephens commented that he thought that previously they had established the precedence that if a total project budget is “X” and there are changes within it that do not change the total project value, that the change order did not have to come before the Commission.  Mr. Burroughs provided that the agreement, any Capital Funds that are agreed to with change orders have to be approved by the Commission per current practices, but the policies can be changed to do that.  Commissioner Stephens and Mr. Burroughs both recalled that it had been discussed, but Mr. Burroughs added that he was not sure there was ever an official policy change.  Commissioner Stephens explained his theory using an example of a project change being made which did not cause the total project funding to increase, and added we are not approving any additional funding, we are only approving how the funding within the funding is set.   Commissioner Duncan commented that he thought that would be a good process to go forward with.  Commissioner Elliott added that would allow the Executive Director to approve the changes. Commissioner Harvey commented that it might be good to do that, but it needs to come before the Commission for discussion at least so they would be aware and informed of the changes.  Chairman Turnipseed added that changes at least need to come before the Committees.  Commissioner Elliott commented that this is a fairly significant change in the way they are doing this.  Commissioner Duncan added that the alignment is different, remarkably different.  He said it is beneficial to do this, but the scope differential is a material value in my view.  Commissioner Duncan said he does not disagree with what Commissioner Stephens is offering, and that it is a good practice to do that which provides a flexibility to the Executive Director to continue to move projects along; on the other hand it is beneficial that the Commissioners know about such changes at least at the Committee level.

Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Infrastructure and Easement Dedications and Deeds – T. Kline
  • PS 4010 – 2706 Gordon Street/Perry Park – Quit Claim Deed
  • PS 4134 – Golden Isles Parkway/Woodland Cove – Ltd. Warranty Deed
  • PS 4122 – 534 Freedom Trail/Lexington Place Phase II – Ltd. Warranty Deed
  • Menendez Force Main Extension @ 210 & 212 Menendez Ln., SSI – Dedication
  • Clover Corner/Satilla Family Dentistry @ 48 Candler Dr. – Dedication
  • Silver Bluff Brewing Company @ 1325 Newcastle St. – Dedication

Mr. Kline advised that the list of dedications was reviewed by the Facilities Committee on the previous day.  The acceptance and dedication of infrastructure is a fairly routine action in the process of either private development activities where they are extending water and sewer to a development the portion within the Right of Way is dedicated to the JWSC at the completion of the project.  He added that there were a few pump station dedications included in the package as well.  Mr. Kline provided attachments and exhibits for each of the proposed dedications in the package for the Commissioners to review.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the documents supporting the acceptance of infrastructure for: 1) Pump Station 4010; 2) Pump Station 4134; 3) Pump Station 4122; 4) Menendez Force Main Extension; 5) Clover Corner; and, 6) Silver Bluff Brewing Company as public infrastructure for ownership, operation, and maintenance.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. GEFA Loan Approval – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs briefly recalled to the Commissioners that back in September of 2019 the Commission had approved a GEFA Loan in the amount of $15M, which then required JWSC to obtain City and County approval for Environmental Services Agreement.  Staff reached back out to GEFA as that process was moving along and GEFA is allowing JWSC to move forward with the loan without City and County sign-off.  He added that during that process JWSC was awarded a $750K Principal Forgiveness.  This was presented to the Finance and Facilities Committees on the previous day.  The loan will be at 2.8% interest for 30 years.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Chairman and Executive Director be authorized to execute and attest to the appropriate loan documents to execute GEFA Loan CW2019008 and to be so reflected on the attached schedule “F”; also that the Commission approve the Chairman, Executive Director, Deputy Director and Director of Finance be authorized to sign for draws on GEFA Loan CW2019008.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. USGS Joint Funding Agreement – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that for the past 7 years JWSC has contracted with the USGS to do groundwater and testing on the saltwater intrusion into the Upper Floridian Aquifer.  This request is to extend that agreement, which is a 50/50 agreement with the USGS at $60,000 each to continue the groundwater monitoring and modeling of that plume.

Commissioner Cook made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission enter into a Joint Funding Agreement with the USGS in the amount of $60,000 for the continuation of groundwater monitoring in the Upper Floridian Aquifer.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Leak Adjustment – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs gave a brief explanation of the background for the request of a leak adjustment for the residence of Mr. Bob Brown.  He recalled that the Ordinance requires any leak adjustment over the amount of $2,000 to be approved by the Commission.  This was presented to the Finance Committee on the previous day.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the leak adjustment in the amount of $2,137.81 to the account of Mr. Bob Brown as presented.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Appointment of Auditor – J. Donaghy

Mr. Donaghy provided that the JWSC is required to have an annual financial audit.  Under an RFP that was issued, the firm of Mauldin & Jenkins was selected for a three year term for the audit beginning in June 30, 2018, and 2019 including this third option year ending June 30, 2020. The cost for each of those three years was a flat cost of $19,900.  Mr. Donaghy provided a copy of the original engagement letter, timeline of performing the audit and scope of audit services for the Commissioners.  This was reviewed by the Finance Committee on the previous day with a request that a representative from Mauldin & Jenkins attend the meeting in July to address any questions or concerns the Commissioners may have regarding the upcoming audit.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the JWSC engage the accounting firm of Mauldin & Jenkins to perform the financial audit of the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 at a cost of $19,900.00.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

DISCUSSION

  1. Coastal Club Revised Comprehensive Agreement – C. Dorminy

Mr. Dorminy presented to the Commissioners that this proposed Comprehensive Agreement Amendment would change the timing of the Project completions and allow for Certificates of Occupancy to be released at the completion of the first phase of the Project.  After consideration of what the Commission has requested JWSC has been negotiating with Coastal Club concerning the deadlines on when those Projects would be completed as well as potential penalties if the Projects are not completed on time.  He added that the most recent discussions would be to have Projects One and Two completed prior to have the Certificates of Occupancy released and for Project Three to have a specific timeline, however that has not been agreed to by both parties as of yet.  Mr. Burroughs provided that JWSC will be in close communication with the Developers and their Representatives.  The first 2 phases should be completed rather quickly, with 99% of the engineering having been done already.  There was further discussion between the Commission regarding the timeline and need for Certificates of Occupancy, as well as other details involved.  Mr. Burroughs noted that Jonathan Roberts was present and requested to speak with the Commission. Jonathan Roberts, the engineer for the Project advised that they would at least like to get the pumps and pipes on order to facilitate the timeline, it would be a huge benefit to make sure this is operational by August 1st.  He commented that the challenge is that the current Agreement proposes to go through JWSC’s Procurement and the new Agreement proposed for the procurement to be done by the Developer.  Mr. Roberts commented that if they could at least get the Commission’s permission to proceed with those 2 critical components then there should be no problem meeting the timeline and also give ample time to work out the details of the engineering.  Charlie Dorminy advised that with there being three Projects according to the estimated values, Projects One and Two do not have to be bid since each is under $100,000.  Project Three does need to be bid due to being estimated at over $100,000.  The Chairman suggested it should be no problem and that staff consider if it is agreed for the Developer to make the pre-purchase.  Mr. Burroughs said that staff would be fine with that.  Jonathan Roberts also requested if it would be permissible for some of the initial force main work to begin.  Commissioner Duncan commented that JWSC does want to be pro-business and pro-development with new residential properties.  He commented about a suggested workshop with the representative of the Developer and JWSC to work through everything together for everyone to do what is best for the end user who are the residents.  Commissioner Neal asked about the force main, and Mr. Burroughs said there were a couple of details to be completed and that force main work should be able to begin.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Burroughs reported that the SPLOST 4003 Rehab job bids were out and expected back on June 2nd.  The results should be ready for approval by the Commission at the June Meeting.  Also the bids are out for the Arco Project Engineering Proposals and are due in on June 16.  The annual Town Hall Meetings typically scheduled for the Tuesday and Wednesday of the second week of June, however with the moved Primary date, it was necessary to relocate the Tuesday Meeting.  There will be a Town Hall Meeting on June 10th at Room 108 in the Casino on St. Simons Island.  The second Town Hall Meeting will be held on June 11th at the JWSC Headquarters.  Social distancing will be prudent.  Rafael Fonseca in the Water Meter Reading Division has retired and will be recognized in June at the Commission Meeting.  Mr. Burroughs announced that Ladonnah Roberts has officially been named as the new Deputy Executive Director and will be responsible for Finance, Administration and Purchasing.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

The Chairman noted that the Commission Meetings have become shorter with all the Committees’ work, and in addition to the Covid Virus going around, he proposed that the Commission only meet on the second meetings in the months of June and July.  Commissioner Duncan seconded that suggestion and all seven Commissioners agreed.  The Chairman thanked all the Commissioners for their work with the Committees and noted his pleasure at the self-funded insurance moving forward as well as other projects.

Commissioner Neal thanked the staff for all of their hard work in preparing and working on the GEFA Loan.

EXECUTIVE SESSION – There was no Executive Session 

Chairman Turnipseed requested a motion to adjourn the Commission Meeting. 

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to adjourn the Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 2:45 p.m.