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Commission Meeting Minutes Thursday, October 3, 2019

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 10-3-19 with Attachments

To read the minutes, please open or download the pdf from the link above, or you may read more below.

Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 2:00 PM 



G. Ben Turnipseed, Chairman

Steve Copeland, Vice-Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner

Wayne Neal, Commissioner

Cornell L. Harvey, Commissioner                            

Bob Duncan, Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:                 

Andrew Burroughs, Interim Executive Director

Charles 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

MEDIA PRESENT:               

Taylor Cooper, The Brunswick News

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.


Chairman Turnipseed opened the public comment period.

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


There were no committee updates.


  1. Minutes from the September 19, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Elliott inquired if there was an update on the public comment made by Ms. Durrence at the September 19th Commission Meeting.  Mr. Burroughs and Mr. Dorminy confirmed that the issue has been resolved with the County, JWSC and Ms. Durrence, but there may still be an outstanding issue with Ms. Durrence and the developer that is being worked out.

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to approve the minutes from the September 19, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Minutes from the September 19, 2019 Executive Session #1

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to approve the minutes from the September 19, 2019 Executive Session #1.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Minutes from the September 19, 2019 Executive Session #2

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to approve the minutes from the September 19, 2019 Executive Session #2.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Surplus Inventory Items – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that as part of the ongoing efforts in streamlining the inventory processes, staff has identified items from both Academy Creek and the Water Distribution warehouse on Harrington that are no longer needed nor are the parts used any longer.  The items from Academy Creek are mostly electrical items for lift stations, and due to changes that have been made to specifications for the electrical panels and SCADA panels so those parts are no longer needed.  Mr. Burroughs added that the water distribution items are old inventory that came from the county are also no longer used.  This inventory will be placed for sale on GovDeals if declared as surplus.

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

  1. Dedications – T. Kline
  • Christian Renewal Water-Only Easement
  • Rita Street Water Main Extension

Mr. Kline presented the recommendation to accept two dedications to the Commissioners.  He noted that the one at Christian Renewal at Frederica Road is a small right of access easement.  The Rita Street dedication is where a new customer needed to extend the water line to serve their property and this is for infrastructure within the right of way only with no easement involved.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission approve the projects described above as public infrastructure for ownership, operation and maintenance.  Motion carried 7-0-0. 


  1. Meter RFI Update – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that 10 responses for the Meter RFI were received on Tuesday.  A variety of different technologies were provided for the staff to review.  He noted that not all of the information packets were strictly for metering purposes, and that some had provided information on a network as a service where JWSC would utilize their communications system to get the meter readings back.  Mr. Burroughs added that at least seven different meter manufacturers have provided options for JWSC to consider.  The staff’s goal is to review all of the information packets and reduce the scope in order to place a Request For Proposals prior to the end of November.  Mr. Burroughs noted that due to the holidays the proposals would be due back in early January so that a decision can be made during the first quarter of 2020 as to what will be done with the meters.

Commissioner Harvey asked what kind of information they are attempting to provide to us on the RFI, and Mr. Burroughs replied that JWSC asked the responders to provide what they would recommend for JWSC’s system as far as metering purposes from both the communications protocol and the type of meter.  Staff will then review all of the information to determine which types are the best fit and prepare a RFP of which all those manufacturers that responded to the RFI can make proposals.

Commissioner Elliott made a comment that he spoke with Mr. Burroughs on the Meter RFI before the meeting.  He commented that he found it intriguing that a company could provide backbone services through their network.  This caused him to think that staff should evaluate disconnecting the meter from the communications process, and that would apply to the SCADA system, meters or anything else, and look for backbone services to provide the communications aspect of these devices back to us in a timely fashion.  He added that it would cause us to understand the reliability of their network, then mentioned that AT&T has almost all the fiber in the county, and that maybe something that we want to look at to see if this is a better way to go.  Commissioner Elliott noted that it is important to keep the meters such as that they are as technologically current as we possibly can since that is our “cash register” which is why he doesn’t want to get locked into one set of meters that are being paid for over a long period of time.

Chairman Turnipseed requested that Mr. Burroughs make a presentation on the Meter RFIs to the Facilities Committee at the October 16th meeting. 


Mr. Burroughs advised that the Banking Services RFP and the Altama Avenue & Sea Palms CIPP Project Bid have been released and the responses are due back on November 5th.  He noted that multiple companies have indicated interest in submitting responses for these projects.  The Smoke Testing Project for the Brunswick area kickoff meeting will be held on Friday and the actual testing should begin soon thereafter and take about six weeks.  Mr. Burroughs advised that the advertisement for the Grand jury position ran in today’s newspaper and will run again on October 10th.  He added that the final day for applications to be submitted is October 14th.  As a final note he mentioned that at the next Commission meeting a couple of staff members will be recognized for awards they were presented with today at the Georgia Utilities Coordinating Council Annual Conference.

Chairman Turnipseed asked if the City of Brunswick was going to be involved in the kickoff for the Smoke Testing Project and Mr. Burroughs confirmed that the City Fire Department will be involved, and also Public Works if there are any storm drain issues found.  The chairman then asked how the citizens will notified of the areas we will be working in, and Mr. Burroughs replied that a map is placed on the website (social media) indicating where crews will be working each day and door hangers will also be placed by the contractor two days in advance at the residences in those neighborhoods to advise those residents that smoke testing will be occurring there on a particular date.  He added that the door hanger also advises of a contact number to call with any concerns, and that even though the smoke testing is harmless the advance notice gives those residents a chance to be elsewhere if they prefer during the testing.


Chairman Turnipseed advised that have met with USDA Rural Development for possible funding for extending the sewer system to the unserved areas of the County.  Due to the affordability that JWSC has as a Commission it is not eligible for any loan money from them, and he noted that this is due to having to be turned down by all private sources therefore JWSC will not be able to pursue USDA Rural Development loan and grant funds.  This was something that the U.S. Congressman thought JWSC could get some of those funds, and he added that certain areas of the County are eligible but the City limits itself and St. Simons is not eligible at all for funding, so the rest of the County is not eligible due to the amount of funds that are available to JWSC.  The Chairman commented that the Commission does still want to continue trying to extend the sewer system to serve all areas possible, and to also work with developers on some smaller systems in the remote areas to make the services available to everyone possible.  He added that staff had a meeting on the Academy Creek project and also met on SPLOST and those projects are moving along.

Commissioner Stephens inquired as to where the process is with returning the commercial deposits.  Mr. Burroughs advised that this was approved by JWSC but still needs to be passed through the City and County Commissions, and those requested ordinance changes are now under review by the City and County attorneys.


Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to enter into Executive Session to discuss Property with no vote to be taken.  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.

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 2:45 p.m.