Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, October 15, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 10-15-20 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, October 15, 2020 at 2:00 PM

 COMMISSION MINUTES

PRESENT:                             

G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Bob Duncan, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Charles Cook, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner 

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

Charlie Dorminy, HBS Legal Counsel

LaDonnah Roberts, Deputy Exec. Director

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

Cindy Barnhart, T.S.I.

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator 

MEDIA PRESENT:               

None

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

Commissioner Neal provided the invocation and Commissioner Duncan 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. 

EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION – C. Harvey / M. Ryals / C. Barnhart

Tina Renee Ruppe – Water Operator Class 3

Commissioner Harvey congratulated Tina Renee Ruppe on her accomplishment of earning her Water Operator Class 3 license.  He stated that JWSC only expects nothing but the best, and that she is one of the best.  He added that she will be held to that high level of standard.  Commissioner Harvey then read the certificate aloud, and presented it to Ms. Ruppe.  He commented that her supervisor, Mark Ryals is one of the best, and Mr. Ryals expects the best out of his employees.  Mr. Ryals said that Ms. Ruppe came to his division a few years ago, and that she was very diligent about working for the treatment plant.  Mr. Ryals expressed his appreciation for Ms. Ruppe’s dedication to JWSC, and for all of her hard work.  Mrs. Barnhart recalled all of Ms. Ruppe’s efforts and diligence to become a staff member of the Treatment Plant when she was applying for employment with JWSC, and congratulated her on her accomplishment in obtaining licensure as well.

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Facilities Committee Meeting Update – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed reported that the Facilities Committee had met on the previous day, and recommended awarding the contract for rehabbing 73 manholes to BioNomics.  The Plant Flows Reports for all three wastewater treatment plants were presented, and details such as the high rainfall amounts in the month of September, especially at the Academy Creek Plant, were discussed.  Chairman Turnipseed also mentioned that the Project Report was presented and complimented the photos for each project that were provided to the Committee.  He noted that there are 27 projects in progress at this time with $29M of the budgeted amounts still to be applied to these projects.  One item, Coastal Club Apartments Unsolicited Proposal Award was deferred until the next meeting.

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 endorsed a number of items for recommendation to the full Commission for its approval.  Commissioner Duncan commented that on the financial audit, it sometimes appears to be extra work and then when JWSC does so well, the efforts seem to not be such a big deal.  However, the financial audit and preparations are a big deal.  The utility is held accountable by all the citizens of Glynn County and the City, not just the rate payers who pay directly to the utility for services, but also the tax payers due to JWSC enjoying the use of and being stewards of some of the SPLOST money.  So, in that regard, JWSC is accountable to everyone in Glynn County.  For that reason, it is particularly important that we perform very well, and our financial audit simply underscores the great job that our team is doing, everyone from the crews up to the Executive Director.

Human Resources Committee Meeting Update – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Elliott reported that the Human Resources Committee had met earlier that same morning at 10:30 am and reviewed changes submitted by the staff for the Employee Handbook.  Those changes are being presented at this meeting for approval by the full Commission, and he added that this is item #5 on the approval list.  The discussion included suggested changes to the Code of Conduct and the Travel Policy.  Staff will provide a draft of the changes discussed and will provide that draft at the next HR meeting.  Commissioner Elliott also advised that there will be a mock Safety Council meeting presented at the next HR meeting and all Commissioners will be invited to attend.  He further commented that the Safety Council is one of the bright things in his opinion that this Commission started that is run by the staff and not upper management, so the employees are making safety considerations for the organization which are then reviewed by management.  It is a very good process that we have.

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the September 17, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to approve the minutes from the October 15, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

Commissioner Duncan requested to address item #7 on the agenda, Coastal Club Apartments Unsolicited Proposal Award, which had been deferred by the Facilities Committee until the next Facilities Meeting.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to move to change the agenda to defer the Coastal Club Apartments Unsolicited Proposal Award until the next scheduled Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.  

  1. FY2019-2020 Financial Audit Presentation/Approval – L. Roberts

Mrs. Roberts recalled that at the Finance Committee Meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Trey Scott with Mauldin & Jenkins presented the FY2020 Financial Audit Report to the committee.  A few of the key points that Mr. Scott made in his presentation were:  There were no findings or management points; no auditors’ adjustments were necessary; the management point that was in last year’s audit was addressed and he did make note of that; JWSC had a very strong financial year with a net position change of about $12.5M (specifically due to a $6M adjustment to JWSC’s capital assets, JWSC paid down $3M of long term debt and converted some cash into investments); and JWSC is in a very strong financial position.  Mr. Scott was also very complimentary about the section titled Management’s Discussion and Analysis which is prepared by and provided to the auditors by JWSC staff.  Mrs. Roberts quoted Mr. Scott’s compliment, “The MD&A from JWSC is one of the more comprehensive MD&A’s that he has seen.”

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission accept the audited financial report for the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2020 and authorize its release to the public and reporting agencies.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Surplus Inventory – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs presented a list of manhole riser rings and frames which are no longer of use to the JWSC.  These old legacy parts are the wrong size and have other issues which deem them of no use to the mission of JWSC.  Staff is requesting to declare these items as surplus and dispose of them in a beneficial manner, including reaching out to contractors in case they can use them and/or placing the items on GovDeals.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve the above listed items as surplus to be disposed of in a manner most beneficial to the JWSC.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Contract Award – FY2021 Manhole Rehabilitation List – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that an Invitation for Bid was placed in August for the list of seventy-three (73) manholes to be rehabilitated for FY2021.  Also included in the scope for bid was an alternate for three (3) lift station wet-wells that require rehabilitation.  Staff has elected to take only the base bid price of $242,035.00 as provided by BioNomics, and to forgo the wet-well rehabilitation at this time.  The project funding will come from the SP&M annual budget.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the contract award for Fiscal Year 2021 Structural Manhole Rehabilitation to Bio-Nomic Services, Inc., in the amount of $242,035.00.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Human Resources SOP / Employee Handbook Revisions – A. Burroughs
  • Section 2.4 – Harassment; Workplace Violence

Mr. Burroughs stated that in September this HR policy was reviewed and Mrs. Barnhart from Teamwork Services brought forth a policy which suggested adjustment based off the Federal Standards.  Those adjustments were applied to the JWSC policy.  Mr. Burroughs reviewed the suggested changes which included: the protection of federal classes updated to meet the new standards; the inclusion of discrimination and sexual harassment as part of this policy; inclusion of language about consensual romantic relationships between employees and how to handle those; retaliation and whistle blower protection; and a point was added at the end regarding alternative legal remedies. These changes were approved earlier that same morning by the Human Resources Committee to be forwarded to the full Commission.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the edits to Section 2.4 of the Human Resources Standards of Practice as presented.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  • Section 4.12 – Safety

Mr. Burroughs advised that there was one change suggested to this policy which was that the Safety Manual maintained by the Safety Council will be the reference document.  The statement was added, “All protocols will be followed as outlined in the Safety Manual,” and it also noted that once annually the Safety Council will review all protocols and make any necessary edits at that time, or more frequently if needed.

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the edits to Section 4.12 of the Human Resources Standards of Practice as presented.  Motion carried 7-0-0.  

   6.  Leak Adjustments – A. Burroughs

  • Westminster Club Apartments

Mr. Burroughs provided that at the Finance Committee Meeting there was a lot of discussion about the Ordinances that JWSC put in place the previous year and whether these leak adjustments applied.  The new ordinances state that if you have what is deemed as an unusually high water usage, which is defined as usage that is at least two (2) times the customer’s average monthly usage for the previous twelve (12) months, then you are eligible for a leak adjustment.  The old policy referred to four (4) times the average monthly usage, and it was changed to two (2) times the monthly usage.  Mr. Burroughs stated that upon review the Westminster Club Apartments did not incur twice their normal monthly usage and is not eligible for a leak adjustment.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission NOT approve the leak adjustment for the Westminster Club Apartments presented.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  • McDonald’s, St. Simons Island

Mr. Burroughs advised that this leak adjustment does fall within the Ordinance requirements, and is eligible for leak adjustment.  Staff is requesting a leak adjustment to the account of McDonald’s on SSI in the amount of $2,802.72.

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the leak adjustment in the amount of $2,802.72 to the account of McDonald’s located on St. Simons Island as presented.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

Commissioner Stephens suggested that prior to next year’s Rate Resolution, this policy should be closely reviewed.

DISCUSSION

There were no items for discussion.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Burroughs stated that the contract for the Academy Creek Rehab have been agreed to and a pre-construction meeting will be held in the very near future.  Work will begin very soon.  The SPLOST Phase 3 Projects to install the new force main down Harry Driggers Blvd. and Canal as well as the two (2) associated pump station upgrades, two (2) water tanks that are on the list to be painted this year, and the Lift Station SCADA Project are all going to possibly be advertised prior to the next meeting.  Mr. Burroughs recognized Mrs. Roberts and particularly Mrs. Frances Wilson in our Finance Department for their hard work and efforts on the financial audit.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

The Chairman stated that we are busy trying to improve our System, and that is what we are here for.  He also wanted to commend the staff as Mr. Burroughs said.  We want to keep the projects going and keep moving full throttle ahead and meet the needs of all the citizens of Glynn County.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Chairman provided that an Executive Session was needed to discuss Property and Personnel.

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to enter into Executive Session to discuss Property and Personnel.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Return to Regular Session.

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

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 3:09 p.m.