Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, May 3, 2018

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Commission Meeting Minutes 5-3-18 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 3, 2018 at 2:00 PM                                                 

COMMISSION MINUTES 

PRESENT:                             

Donald M. Elliott, Chairman

Mike Browning, Vice-Chairman

Clifford Adams, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

Steve Copeland, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissione

G. Ben Turnipseed, Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Jimmy Junkin, Executive Director

Charlie Dorminy, Legal Counsel HBS

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

Pam Crosby, Director of Procurement

John D. Donaghy, Director of Finance

Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator

Kirk Young, Superintendent

Mark Ryals, Superintendent

Donnie Bankston, Superintendent 

ABSENT:                               

Andrew Burroughs, Deputy Executive Director                         

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

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

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

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 the approval for the Mansfield Street Change Order #7 as Approval Item #5 on the agenda.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to add item #5 Mansfield Street Project to the list of Approvals.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the April 19, 2018 Special Called Budget Workshop

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to approve the minutes from the April 19, 2018 Special Called Budget Workshop.  Motion carried 7-0-0.  

  1. Minutes from the April 19, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to approve the minutes from the April 19, 2018 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Tentative Rate Structure Approval – J. Junkin

Two motions were made due to the City and County tentative approval on the Revisions to the Operating Agreement to allow the proposed change in the Rate Structure.

Chairman Elliott read the first motion as prepared:  I make a motion the BGJWSC adopt a three (3) percent increase in the revenues projected for the FY2019 year.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland that the BGJWSC adopt a three (3) percent increase in the revenues projected for the FY2019.  Motion carried 6-1-0. (Chairman Elliott, Vice-Chairman Browning, Commissioner Harvey, Commissioner Copeland, Commissioner Turnipseed, and Commissioner Stephens voted YES.  Commissioner Adams voted NO.) 

Chairman Elliott read the second motion as prepared:  I make a motion the BGJWSC adopt the proposed new rate structure as presented in the BGJWSC Rate Structure Workshop on May 3, 2018 by staff and the Raftelis Financial Consultants contingent on the City Commission and the County Commission agreeing to modify the Operating Agreement in a manner to facilitate the use of this rate structure; otherwise adopting the current rate structure.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams (as read by Chairman Elliott).  Motion carried 4-3-0.  (Chairman Elliott, Vice-Chairman Browning, Commissioner Adams and Commissioner Copeland voted YES.  Commissioner Harvey, Commissioner Turnipseed and Commissioner Stephens voted NO.)

Chairman Elliott then noted that JWSC would contact the County and the City and notify them of the two Rate Structures that we have and if they change the Operating Agreement then we will go forward with the new Rate Structure.  If they do not choose to agree to modify the Operating Agreement by the time that we have to do the Rate Resolution then we will use the current Rate Structure and that will be increased so that we have a 3% increase in our revenue as we carried the first motion.

  1. Bergen Woods Unsolicited Proposal – C. Dorminy

Charlie Dorminy presented the Commission with an unsolicited proposal.  He advised that the Dwight Development Group is seeking approval for development of a 252 unit apartment complex which includes 9 different buildings called Bergen Woods at 5970 Golden Isles Parkway in Brunswick. Preliminary plat has been filed along with the rezoning request that is awaiting approval from the County.  He noted that JWSC states there is insufficient sewer capacity to serve the proposed development without additional improvements to the sewer infrastructure.  Lift stations 4105 and 4107 are existing pump stations located in the north portion of Glynn County.  Mr. Dorminy continued noting that the JWSC Master Plan contemplates the installation of additional 15 horsepower triplex pumps and a forcemain upgrade to increase capacity within those basins.  He added the entire project is projected as of 2016 to cost in excess of $1,500,000.00.  However the installation of pumps and additional lift station upgrades are roughly estimated to be around $200,000.00.  Mr. Dorminy provided that the estimated Capital Improvement Fees that would be due from Bergen Woods is estimated to be approximately $220,000.00.  He also noted that it has not yet been confirmed whether the pump stations could be, or should be, upgraded without the forcemain being upgraded simultaneously. It has also not yet been determined whether the JWSC could or should fund the forcemain project ahead of the planned capital improvement schedule.  He added that making these determinations will take further evaluation by the JWSC finance staff, the JWSC Planning and Construction staff and the JWSC Systems Pumping and Maintenance staff.   Mr. Dorminy continued that the Utility has an Unsolicited Proposal Policy through which private entities may submit proposals the Utility is not currently pursuing and to provide a mechanism through the System may be improved with minimal concurrent cost to the Utility. The Developer submitted an unsolicited proposal pursuant to the Policy to help address capacity shortages to support the Project.  Mr. Dorminy then provided an overview of the Proposal and noted that this Project is in its infancy much more so than any of the other projects we have evaluated. He continued that the Developer proposes to fund and contract for necessary improvements to the sewer infrastructure in order to provide the capacity for the Development.  The Developer will work with JWSC to determine the upgrades and repairs necessary to provide sewer capacity for the Development following approval of this Unsolicited Proposal. He added that the Utility and Developer desire to investigate further the prospect of improving the infrastructure in these basins on a timeline that would be sooner than as proposed in the 2016 Master Plan and on the current 5 year Capital Improvement Plan.  Mr. Dorminy provided that if JWSC staff determines that the proposed Project is feasible and reasonable, the JWSC and Developer will propose to enter into a Comprehensive Agreement wherein the Developer will pay for, or perhaps construct, the Project, or portions thereof, and dedicate, if the same is necessary, the same to the Utility.  In exchange, the Utility will either reimburse the Developer through applying an equivalent amount of credit toward future Capital Improvement Fees that would otherwise be due upon the development of the Property, or simply allow the Developer to pay for the Project or a portion thereof. He added that as previously mentioned the proposal is in its infancy and whether it moves forward will be dependent on the JWSC staff evaluations and the extent of the Developer’s ability to contribute.  Mr. Dorminy noted that the motion does not bind the JWSC to move forward with any project but only directs the JWSC staff study the proposal’s reasonableness and feasibility.  He added that the Developer is submitting a fee in accordance with the Unsolicited Proposal policy that will assist in off-setting the staff time it will take to evaluate the Proposal. If the Proposal is deemed reasonable and feasible, the JWSC attorney will work with the Developer to structure a mutually agreeable Comprehensive Agreement that will subsequently be presented to the JWSC for approval or rejection. Mr. Dorminy clarified that the approval of the Unsolicited Proposal will allow JWSC staff to move this Project above other Projects so that staff will start working on this Project to determine its feasibility other than working on other Projects.  He added that as currently on the Capital Improvement Plan it is all one Project to improve the pump stations and the forcemain; it may in fact be that we can upgrade the pump stations without doing the forcemain, but that is going to take staff time through all 3 of those departments to study.  Commissioner Browning inquired that if the feasibility study was done and it was found that the forcemain has to be upgraded, and it would not be by us, based on our 5 Year Plan, any time soon; are they indicating that they would be willing to upgrade the forcemain also?  Mr. Dorminy responded that would depend on what the pricing is, but that is why the JWSC Finance staff is also going to be involved to determine, if the forcemain is required at the same time as the pumps, whether we even have the money to do that Project yet. Chairman Elliott asked if it was possible that this could go to a 70%/30%.  Mr. Dorminy advised it could, if the forcemain upgrade is needed as well, for example, if it is going to be a $2M Project, the Developer has already said that he is willing to put in the $200,000.00 that his tap fee would already be; it may in fact be that he would foot the other bill and go into a 70/30 agreement, or he may not want to do that if that is what it takes, and that is where we have to determine if we have the finances to go forward with the Project or not.  Chairman Elliott confirmed that this does not lock JWSC in to paying for it.  Mr. Dorminy confirmed that it does not.  Chairman Elliott asked if they were going to Master Meter, and Mr. Dorminy said yes. Commissioner Adams asked if Planning & Construction’s staff time would be paid, and Mr. Dorminy confirmed that was paid with a $5,000 check that was included with the Unsolicited Proposal. Commissioner Copeland asked how the cost that was $1.5M anticipated upgrade cost go to $200,000.00.  Mr. Dorminy replied that the $1.5M included the forcemain and that the majority of that cost is the forcemain. Commissioner Copeland asked if based on what we know about the growth and the capacity we face now, are we sure that we still need that upgrade to those 2 lift stations 4105 and 4107 and an upgrade to that size of a 15 horsepower pump?  Mr. Dorminy responded that was part of what was going to be studied.  He added that it is believed that just the pump upgrades will enable JWSC to have the capacity for this Project, but it will have to be evaluated if JWSC should go ahead and do the forcemain project at the same time.

Commissioner Browning made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to move that the JWSC approve the unsolicited proposal submitted by the Dwight Development Group subject to receipt of the unsolicited Proposal Waiver and associated fee.  I further move that the JWSC staff evaluate the propriety, feasibility, and reasonableness of promoting the priority of this Project, or a portion thereof.  Further, I move that, if the staff recommends moving forward, the JWSC attorney negotiate the Comprehensive Agreement for subsequent review and approval or rejection by the JWSC.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Mansfield Street Change Order #7 – T. Kline

Todd Kline presented Change Order #7 for the Mansfield Street Project to the Commission.  He provided that the Project is a cooperative effort between the City of Brunswick and the JWSC, and that the contract is between the City of Brunswick and contractor, J.H. Stone.  Through an existing MOU between JWSC and the City of Brunswick, JWSC reimburses the City for the water and sewer portions as well as a vital portion of the paving.  Mr. Kline referenced a proposed change order that J.H. Stone presented to the City of Brunswick, which had notations of the items that were validated as being additional work required for water and sewer infrastructure installation and are being recommended for payment by JWSC in the amount of $50,163.65. He also noted that all JWSC portions of this Project are essentially complete, except minor punchlist items, and with the actual amount of one contract line item being far less than originally anticipated. He added that this leaves a current surplus of approximately $204,750.00, and that even with the approval of Change Order #7, it is expected the Project will complete within the budget of JWSC Board approved funds.  There was some additional questions and discussion regarding this item.

Commissioner Turnipseed made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to authorize the Executive Director to approve reimbursement to the City of Brunswick for Change Order #7 (Exhibit A), as revised by JWSC staff and presented.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

DISCUSSION

  1. Arrears and Cutoff Procedures Update – J. Sellers

Jay Sellers presented the Arrears and Cutoff Procedures Update to the Commission.  He provided that an entire cycle of cutoffs has been completed, and is the first done like this since 2008.   He noted that overall the process was a success, with the assistance of 16 staff members from other divisions and 5 meter service technicians.  From this point, only the 5 staff members in the meter division will continue to manage the future cutoffs of delinquent accounts.  He provided that during the month of April, 2,040 work orders were issued for service disconnection, followed up with 1,344 turn-on requests.  Due to these efforts, the balance on all arrears went down 31%.  There was a 40% reduction in the number of accounts that owed $100 or more. There are just over 3,000 accounts that have a past due balance of under $100, but those will not be at the risk of being disconnected until their balance reaches $100.  At the beginning of April there were 500 payment plans, which increased to 1,304 by May 1 because of the cut-off process.  Mr. Sellers noted that of the total present arrears of $2.5M, $1.1M will be collected through these payment plans.  The plans will continue to be offered, and is still an effective process.  He added that there is a gap between the number of accounts still in arrears and those that are on payment plans. He noted that there are 794 that are exempt from cutoff because of a pending adjustment, because they are a government agency, education facility or a critical need facility.  Mr. Sellers advised of being aware that some customers are saving up to get on a payment plan too, but for the rest of the gap however, research is going to be ongoing to determine if there are locks cut or accounts with vacant houses or business locations that simply need to be closed.  Since the preparation of this report on Tuesday, he has also researched the payment plans by district, and out of the 1,304 payment plans, St. Simons Island makes up 7% of the total, North Mainland also has 7%, South Mainland has 2%, and the City District has 84%.  Of the 1,100 in the City District, more than half are within the City limits (568).  Mr. Sellers noted that the focus of the business office now is to manage accounts, maximize cash flow seeking the payment of 100% of the current charges unless a payment plan has been established, and limiting extreme arrears like this in the future using the delinquent account cutoff program, helping us to reduce the risk of bad debt.  He added that once the administrator of the Customer Assistance Program has been chosen and the program is funded, we will forward the list of existing payment plans to them hoping we can have some of these satisfied early.  Very few are in the 48 month bracket, we do have some in the 24 month bracket, and the majority are in the 6 and 12 month brackets.  He noted that Meter Services is going to get back to upgrading registers to the type that send out a daily leak alert helping those customers who have a leak get it repaired quicker and that should nearby reduce the shock that occurs when the bill comes out.  This has contributed to high balances in the past.

  1. R & R Capital Projects Update – T. Kline

Capital Projects – Construction in Progress

Project #232 – Construction 90% complete on Phase II with about 3 connections left. Ga. Pacific has come back with an agreement to allow an extra 20 ft. for construction.  Seaboard easement in progress.

Project #421 – Change order #7 approved.  Approaching completion quickly with punchlist items being completed.

Project #503 – Awaiting submission of revised Record Drawings.

Project #701 – Awaiting submission of project close out documents.  Preliminary Record Drawings reviewed and forwarded to EOR.

Project #702 – Contractor mobilized and working at PS 4028, PS 4048, PS 4005, PS 4006, and PS 4110.  Final completion of all improvements expected May 2018.

Capital Projects – Engineering/Design in Progress

Project #501 – Project scope re-evaluation in progress.

Project #602 – Final engineering design complete.  Glynn County to proceed with bidding Project out.

Project #702 – Phase 2 – Bloodhound is done doing the CCTV inspection, results to be reviewed to determine feasibility for CIPP lining. Preliminary engineering in progress.  Phase 3 – Coordination with Glynn County required to finalize route on Canal Road.

Project #703 –Engineering options under review by JWSC staff; rather than decommission the pump station and do gravity main to plant, are looking at rehabbing the pump station.

Project #704 – Pre-engineering in progress; route discussions with Glynn County.

Project #705 – Proposed construction by JWSC WD Division.

Project #804 – Have provided information to EMC, the engineer who is about 6 months out from providing the engineering work. MOU with City of Brunswick in progress, JWSC to share 50% in Engineering Design cost.

Project #805 – EMC Engineering Services has been awarded the Engineering Design Contract.  Design delivery date approximately 45-60 days.

Mr. Kline also presented an additional package to the Commission regarding the current status of the Planning & Construction Division.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Junkin received notice from EPD Sewer Operations Survey to start on May 14 and is a 7 day inspection process to be done on sewer lines, lift stations, manholes, and overall inspection of collection conveyance system. JWSC will receive a report on their findings.  Mitigation grants were submitted for 10 backup generators have been approved to move forward to next stage of review for GEMA to fund these; not final, but to next stage.  Pipe Act is in the senate, with Kristen Gillibrand’s support.  Mr. Junkin is working with Representative Carter’s office to see if JWSC would qualify for eligibility on any of these funds.  Phase 1 of N. Mainland SPLOST Project, in final stages, working out cost differences. Received proposal from Hussey Gay Bell regarding oxygen system that feeds the aeration basins at Academy Creek. Strategic planning is in process by Andrew Burroughs and staff regarding the 10 attributes of effectively managed utilities.  Staff is looking at core issues for an internal review of where we are at.  Mr. Burroughs has put out a document to staff with the KPIs from some of the other water and sewer utilities in the country with AWWA noted to see where JWSC fits in at.  Chairman Elliott asked if this program is an AWWA product and Mr. Junkin advised yes.  Chairman Elliott inquired if since JWSC is a member of that organization, if it might be possible to have a representative from the organization that monitors or runs this program to come in and give the Commission a briefing on it. Mr. Junkin advised he would check.  

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Chairman Elliott opened conversation about changing the date for the next Commission Meeting due to the GRWA Conference on Jekyll Island that 3 Commissioners and JWSC staff are attending.  It was agreed to keep agenda at minimum and have meeting started at 3:30 pm on Thursday, May 17.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

No executive session.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:34 p.m.