Commission Meeting Minutes – Thursday, September 17, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 9-17-20 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, September 17, 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

LaDonnah Roberts, Deputy Exec. Director

Todd Kline, Director of Engineering

Pamela Crosby, Director of Procurement

Jay Sellers, Director of Administration

Frances Wilson, Senior Accountant

Charlie Dorminy, HBS Legal Counsel

Cindy Barnhart, T.S.I.

Janice Meridith, Exec. Commission Administrator 

MEDIA PRESENT:               

None                        

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

Chairman Turnipseed provided the invocation and Commissioner Stephens 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. 

COMMITTEE UPDATES

Facilities Committee Meeting Update – Chairman Turnipseed

Chairman Turnipseed reported that the Facilities Committee had met on the previous day, and approved six infrastructure dedications to be presented to the full Commission at this meeting.  The Committee also approved a contract award for the Pump Station 4021 Upgrade; a contract award for the Academy Creek Water Pollution Control Facility Rehab; and the Magnolia Park Subdivision Water System Improvements IGA with the City of Brunswick.   Discussion items included the WPCFs Flow Reports and the Project Update with 20 projects under construction with the total construction costs of over $40M of which $10M are complete.  Chairman Turnipseed commended the staff for being able to handle this load and keep these projects moving.

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 approved a number of items for recommendation to the full Commission for its consideration.  Those items included surplus equipment disposal, leak adjustments, the contract award for Pump Station 4021, as well as funding for the Magnolia Park Subdivision Water System Improvements.  Commissioner Duncan commented that the financial statements were presented at the meeting and everything is on track and going well.

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.  There was a list of areas in the Employee Handbook in need of review, of which the staff will work on updates in regards to social media and referencing the Safety Manual as the governing document within the Employee Handbook on safety.  He provided that the Safety Council has been meeting monthly.  There are 3 appointed members that are permanent to the council as well as one representative from each division who are members for two years.  Commissioner Elliott commented that the Safety Council was established some years ago and is still operating in the way that it used to, which is very good.  He noted that at the next Human Resources Committee meeting the Safety Council will come in and demonstrate how the Safety Council functions.   There will be some updates to the Employee Handbook of which the Human Resources Committee will review before presentation to the full Commission.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to adjust the items for Approval and move Leak Adjustments from Approval Item #5 to Approval Item #3 due to those present representing Island the Townhouse Association.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the August 20, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to approve the minutes from the August 20, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to being absent from the meeting.) 

  1. Minutes from the August 20, 2020 Executive Session

Commissioner Harvey made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to approve the minutes from the August 20, 2020 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens abstained due to being absent from the meeting.)

  1. Leak Adjustments – A. Burroughs

Island Townhouse Association – Mr. Burroughs commented that at the Finance Committee Meeting there was a good bit of discussion on this leak adjustment.  The leak was from a break in a galvanized line which involved a pretty extensive cost for the repair.  The discussion was mainly around awarding a credit for the contractor fees to be included in the leak adjustment, where the leak was located at, and whether or not this would be the best path forward.  At the Finance Committee Meeting consideration was given for this credit, however earlier this morning JWSC staff went to the area and GPS’d the location of the leak.  Mr. Burroughs presented a very detailed map including photos of the area where the leak was found and repaired.  He explained the details of where the current meter was set some years ago, where it would have been set today, and the plans for relocating the meter.  The final determination was not to include the contractor fee in the leak adjustment due to the location of the leak compared to the Glynn County ROW line if the meter was set in the correct spot.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Elliott to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the leak adjustment in the amount of $17,939.81 to the account of the Island Townhouse Association as presented. 

Commissioner Harvey commented that we have a large organization for a huge leak adjustment, and that he would like to see the same priority for aggressiveness in leak adjustments for small homes as well.  He added that it seems like the small homes are given issues about their adjustments, and they need to be given the same benefit of doubt too in order to try to make them whole as we do the larger customers like the Island Townhouse Association.

After more discussion pertaining to the specific details of the system in that area, the material of the pipes, the relocation of the meter with poly lines up to it, and the owners knowing that they will at some point have to address the galvanized lines on their private side of the meter, the vote was taken.

Motion carried 7-0-0. 

KB Brunswick Hotel, LLC – Mr. Burroughs advised that this leak was from a 4-inch water line that ran under a retention pond.  The leak was discovered to be under the pond and the repair was made to move the line outside of the pond.  They used about 11M gallons of water over the amount that they would typically use.  Mr. Burroughs said that following the Leak Adjustment Policy for half over the normal amount, this leak adjustment is for $76,350.03, and KB Brunswick Hotel, LLC will also owe the same amount on the other side.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cook to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the leak adjustment in the amount of $76,350.03 to the account of KB Brunswick Hotel, LLC as presented.

After additional discussion regarding to the monthly usages, the adjustment to include the late fees, this being a new customer who does not have a full year of monthly usages to average, and other details, the vote was taken.

Motion carried 7-0-0. 

  1. Easement and Infrastructure Dedications – T. Kline

Mr. Kline advised that this item included a group of 6 dedications with a few parcels and 1 infrastructure dedication as the result of private development at Coastal Club Apartments; and was presented to the Facilities Committee on the previous day and moved forward for approval.  The packet provided to the Commissioners contained all of the details and documents necessary for the dedications.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the documents supporting the acceptance of infrastructure for the properties described herein as public infrastructure for ownership, operation, and maintenance.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Surplus Equipment / Inventory – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs commented that there were 2 older vehicles that staff wished to declare as surplus.  One was a 1996 F350 (24 years old), and a 2006 Ford Ranger with over 200,000 miles on it.  Both vehicles have repeated maintenance issues associated with them.  These will be sold through GovDeals.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer 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 Pump Station 4021 – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that this item was presented to both the Facilities Committee and the Finance Committee on the previous day.  This pump station is located on Altama Avenue in front of Sonic.  This project was placed for bid in Spring 2020, and the bids came back with the low bid being around $800K.  Various changes were made to the scope of work with some items to be done in-house, as well as other items adjusted.  Southern Civil, LLC’s bid of $447,991.00 is the low bid and is over budget, thus will be coming out of uncommitted balances in the Capital Improvement Funds; however, there are upstream improvements that have been recently made that utilize this pump station (Coastal Club Apartments recently upgraded pump stations that pump to this one so there is more flow already getting to that).  Staff’s recommendation is to move forward.

Commissioner Stephens made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission award the contract for Pump Station 4021 Rehabilitation and Upgrades to Southern Civil, LLC in the amount of $447,991.00.

Chairman Turnipseed asked how much increase in flow this will provide, and how many REUs it will add.  Mr. Burroughs responded that this will increase the flow through this pump station to about 1800 gallons per minute, and this works out to about 2,000 REUs.

Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Contract Award Project 906 Academy Creek WPCF Rehab Project – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs advised that originally bids on this project were due on September 1st, however was backed up by 8 days due to conflict with other bids, which was a benefit.  Four (4) bids were received, with the low bid being from Ruby-Collins, Inc. out of Atlanta at $10,139,000.00 (Base & 4 selected alternates).  Mr. Burroughs stated that the bids were to include the construction of the rehab project plus 5 additive alternates, of which he provided details of each.  It was determined to go with 4 of the 5 alternates and not include the DAF building at this time.  This item was not presented to the Finance Committee on the previous day due to the bid being under budget.  Goodwyn Mills Cawood, engineering firm for the project, provided a certified bid tabulation for the project along with a recommendation letter.  Mr. Burroughs noted that representatives from Goodwyn Mills Cawood were present at this meeting, and he gave his thanks to them for all of the hard work they had put in on this project.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission award a contract for the Academy Creek WPCF Rehab Project – Project No. 906 to Ruby-Collins, Inc. in the amount of $10,139,000.00.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Funding of Magnolia Park S/D Water System Improvements – C. Dorminy

Mr. Dorminy stated that the City of Brunswick is constructing roadway and drainage improvements within Magnolia Park Subdivision.  The JWSC has existing water mains within the project area that are qualified for replacement and upgrade.  The JWSC entered into an IGA with the City of Brunswick to cost share for engineering services to design, bid, and manage construction.  The City of Brunswick has advertised for construction, received bids, and has negotiated pricing with their apparent low bidder resulting in a JWSC total contribution not to exceed $1.65M plus temporary road patching for a total of $1,781,261.00.

Mr. Dorminy stated that the JWSC and the City entered into an IGA for engineering services for the Magnolia Park Improvements in April 2018.  That IGA provided for a 50/50 split of engineering costs up to a total of $117,050.00.  Mr. Dorminy advised that the JWSC amount needs to be increased to account for additional construction phase engineering services to include $30,000 of anticipated costs pursuant to the attached Construction Phase Services Proposal dated August 13, 2020.

Mr. Dorminy additionally provided that staff has reviewed the bid and finds the pricing to be reasonable and acceptable.  Since the City of Brunswick is managing this project, an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) has been developed between the City of Brunswick and the JWSC, where the JWSC agrees to a maximum reimbursement amount of $1,781,261.00 for the water system upgrade (Division II).  Mr. Dorminy provided a copy of the IGA for the Commissioners’ review.  The IGA provides that the JWSC will bear any costs associated with enforcing its part of the Georgia Asphalt contract, including enforcing liquidated damages provisions for the water project timeline.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Brunswick for JWSC-requested water system improvements associated with the Magnolia Park Subdivision Project with a not to exceed contribution amount of $1,781,261.00.

Chairman Turnipseed asked if JWSC is listed as a part of the insured on the contractor’s and sub-contractor’s insurance.  Mr. Burroughs advised that confirmation had not been received yet, but staff is continuing to work towards that end.

Motion carried 7-0-0.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to further move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission approve the expenditure of $30,000 for additional construction phase engineering services in accordance with the Construction Phase Services Proposal dated August 13, 2020.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

DISCUSSION

Commissioner Stephens commented that he would like for the JWSC to look at the total process for maintaining deposits as a whole, everything from the Operating Agreement to the By-Laws, etc.; and for staff to come back with a recommendation as to when a deposit has to be made versus what it takes to establish a service versus when deposits are going to be refunded.  We need to look at the total thing to make sure that we are up to the times and the norms.  He noted that in his opinion when someone has an established account, really good credit and has been paying for years, and they open up something else across the street, that should not be counted as a new service and should not pay a deposit.  Even if a private resident with good credit does not have to pay a deposit to Georgia Power and does not have to pay a deposit to other companies, we should look at it and determine what scale we want as an organization to require deposits; and then when we are going to return them.  He added that he feels like JWSC is sitting on a lot of money that could be returned to customers that maybe should have never been collected.  We should look at it.  Commissioner Harvey commented that this is something that should go to the Finance Committee.  Mr. Burroughs responded yes.  Commissioner Stephens stated that he thinks staff should look at it first and make a recommendation to the Finance Committee and then the full Commission.  Chairman Turnipseed asked Mr. Burroughs if this could be done before the next Finance Committee Meeting, and Mr. Burroughs said yes, it would be put on the agenda as a discussion item.

Commissioner Harvey said that there has been flooding in the City all over and he knew there was some on St. Simons Island.  He added that JWSC has had issues in the past about water seeping into our system and making things go out of kilter, and asked if that had happened with the heavy rain on the day before.  Mr. Burroughs provided that 2 days prior the flow at 8:00 a.m. was 5.66 MGD and yesterday at 8:00 am the flow was 29 MGD, so there was a lot of water that got into our system and we have had pumps running at pump stations that are still running and have not shut off with all this water getting in.  There were a couple of manholes that overflowed, but all the pump stations are okay and have kept up thus far.  We pumped 6 times the amount of water yesterday that was pumped 2 days ago.  Mr. Burroughs commented he wanted to give a very heart-felt thanks to the wastewater plant staff and the collection system staff who have been working and rotating shifts for about the last 48 hours to keep everything running.  He added it’s not exactly like a hurricane response but it is equally as tiring when you are chasing this water all over the place.  Commissioner Harvey thanked Mr. Burroughs for that information, and said he was glad that the flooding water dissipated in the City of Brunswick and it must have gone where it was supposed to.  Mr. Burroughs commented that there was about 7 inches of rain the day before, and Commissioner Harvey said it was more like 8 to 10 inches.  Mr. Burroughs said that staff is looking at the areas where the pumps are still running, and are popping some manholes to see how the storm water is getting in there; in all likelihood we have a couple of manhole lids that have been knocked off over time and then you have a 24 inch opening that is pouring water into the system.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr.  Burroughs advised that the GRWA annual conference held on Jekyll Island has been cancelled for this year due to COVID and rescheduled for next year.  He stated that the lead and copper sample results have come back and it is determined that there is no lead or copper in the system.  A prospective tenant will be touring the CVS space next door tomorrow and we hope that goes well.  He noted a big thanks to Pam Crosby and her staff who have worked to get that space cleaned up and advertised.  The auditors have completed their fieldwork on the audit last Friday.  Mr. Burroughs thanked Mrs. Frances Wilson and Mrs. Roberts for their hard work on the audit.  The Grand Jury Appointment current date of selection is November 25th; there will be ads in the newspaper on October 1st and 8th, and the deadline date to submit application by is October 12th for this 4 year term.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

The Chairman stated that the first phase of the meter project was nearly complete with 250 new meters being installed.  He commented that if the new meters had already been in place the 2 customers with the leaks could have been warned.  The GEFA loan rate is very low now, and the meter project will qualify for a conservation rate.  Discussion will be held with GEFA as to if the loan size should be increased, or if it should be spaced out.

(Sound System Issues – Balance of video sound not audible, except for comment below.)

Commissioner Neal commented that he would like to see JWSC expand the sewer system into unserved areas.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

There was no Executive Session.

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m.