Commission Meeting Minutes Thursday, September 19, 2019

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Commission Meeting held on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Commission Meeting Minutes 9-19-19 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 19, 2019 at 10:00 AM 

COMMISSION MINUTES

PRESENT:                             

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 10:00 AM.

Commissioner Neal provided the invocation and Commissioner Duncan led the Pledge of Allegiance.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Chairman Turnipseed opened the public comment period.

Kimberly Durrence – Ms. Durrence spoke to the Commission to request some clarification regarding a home she owns on 125 Tiffany Lane on St. Simons Island which she had built about 17 years prior.  The home is on a private road with private water and sewer services.  She noted that her original intent was that anyone else building homes on Tiffany Lane and tying into the private water and sewer services would work with her to obtain the use of those services.  She provided that one additional home had been built and that owner did properly obtain use of the private water and sewer services.  Palmetto Group bought three lots across from her property and she has been trying to work with them on the use of the private water and sewer services.  Ms. Durrence provided some background information regarding this issue of which the Commission would also need to research in order to assist or provide clarity for her.  Chairman Turnipseed advised that Mr. Burroughs would contact her for further research on the matter.

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

EXECUTIVE SESSION #1 – Personnel

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss Personnel with no vote to be taken after.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Return to Regular Session

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to return to Regular Session.  Motion carried 6-0-1. (Commissioner Neal was not present in the room for the vote.)  

 COMMITTEE UPDATES

Facilities Committee – Chairman Turnipseed provided that the Facilities Committee had met on the previous day and several of the items on today’s agenda were discussed at that meeting and approved to be moved forward to the full Commission.  He also noted that the flows at all three of the plants were reported on and the plants are operating well within permit.

 Finance Committee – Commissioner Copeland provided that the Finance Committee had also met on the previous day.  He commented that some of the items discussed were also on today’s agenda and were approved by the Finance Committee to be moved forward to the full Commission.  Commissioner Copeland also advised that the financial situation of the Commission is in good standing.

Human Resources Committee – Commissioner Elliott reported that members of the Human Resources Committee had held telephone interviews with some of the candidates for the position of Executive Director.  He advised that the finalist list had been selected and announced, and that the details of the final interviews and process will be provided.

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the August 22, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the August 22, 2019 Regular Commission Meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

2. Minutes from the August 22, 2019 Executive Session

Commissioner Stephens requested that the word “Georgia” be added in front of “Supreme Court” on the document.

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to approve the minutes from the August 22, 2019 Executive Session with one revision “Georgia” added in front of Supreme Court for clarification.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. FY 2020 Structural Manhole Rehabilitation Project Contract Award – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed advised that bids had been received from three contractors and the Facilities Committee had approved this item to be moved to the full Commission for consideration.  Staff recommended the contract be awarded to Bio-Nomic Services, Inc. in the amount of $216,171.00.  He further noted that this contract was for rehabbing 55 manholes during this Fiscal Year.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the BGJWSC enter into a contract with Bio-Nomic Services, Inc., in the amount of $216,171.00 for the Fiscal Year 2020 Structural Manhole Rehabilitation Project.

Commissioner Harvey inquired as to the total number of manholes in the system and if the rehabilitation would continue moving forward.  Mr. Burroughs advised that there are over 8,000 manholes in the JWSC system of which several hundred have been inspected and over 200 have been rehabbed during the past three years.  He also noted that these 55 are deemed in the worst need of attention.  Chairman Turnipseed asked Mr. Burroughs to also provide information about those on Whitlock Street.  Mr. Burroughs advised that there are also 90 additional manholes as part of the SPLOST North Mainland Project that will be rehabbed, which if all approved would equal about 150 manholes rehabbed during this year.  Commissioner Copeland added that Mr. Burroughs had advised the Finance Committee on the previous day that this represents a significant reduction in the expected cost of rehab rather than doing a few at the time.  Commissioner Neal asked if once the manholes are rehabbed if this reduces the infiltration and what was the payback.  Mr. Burroughs responded that this is a twofold payback in that these manholes are being rehabbed to prevent them from caving in since many are old brick manholes of which the mortar has dissolved causing the bricks to fall out, therefore structural integrity is gained and I&I is eliminated in the system due to a monolithic coating across the entire manhole surface and any existing steps within the manhole are removed and there are no potential water entry points whatsoever once the manholes are rehabbed.

Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. Demere Tower Lease Termination Agreement – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that there are cellular antennas on top of many of JWSC’s water tanks and all but one of those antennas are under a management agreement with Suez.  Suez manages the cellular providers into one contract.  Verizon has an antenna that is on the Demere Tank on SSI, and they are making improvements to that antenna, and Verizon is now willing to come into the same contract with the other providers.  Mr. Burroughs provided that the existing agreement with Verizon for the tower rental will be terminated and the funds paid to JWSC in advance will be returned to Verizon.  Verizon will then pay their fees to Suez and be added to that contract.  There is no loss of revenue with this procedure.  Chairman Turnipseed commented that this item was approved by the Facilities and Finance Committees on the previous day.

Commissioner Copeland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Neal to move that the JWSC approve the termination of the Lease Agreement with Verizon Wireless and authorize the Chairman, Interim Executive Director and Director of Finance to execute the necessary documents.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

  1. GEFA Loan Approval – A. Burroughs

Chairman Turnipseed commended the staff in all of their efforts in the preparations of the documents and procedures necessary in obtaining the GEFA Loan Approval which took about a year to submit all the paperwork and get the approval.  He added that this was for a $15M loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority at an interest rate of 2.38% which is a blended rate.  Chairman Turnipseed noted that $10M of the loan would be used for the upgrades to the Academy Creek Plant and Dunbar Plant and $5M was for rehabilitation of the sewer systems on St. Simons Island an in Brunswick.  The Chairman further noted that after the two motions are made and passed at this meeting, the loan approval request will have to be passed by the City of Brunswick and Glynn County Commissions.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be authorized to execute the appropriate loan documents to execute GEFA Loan CW2019008.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Chairman, Executive Director, Director of Finance, and Senior Financial Analyst be authorized to sign for draws on GEFA Loan CW2019008.

Chairman Turnipseed clarified the second motion in that the loan money being borrowed from GEFA and funds probably will not be drawn on until construction has actually started.  The funds would be pulled in monthly draws and two signatures will be required for each draw request and the interest does not accrue until the draws are made.  Commissioner Harvey asked what the term of the loan was, and Mr. Burroughs replied that there would be monthly payments for 30 years for the total amount drawn down on the loan. Chairman Turnipseed added that GEFA will also approve a 10% increase in the loan amount in the case it exceeds the total amount.

One vote was taken to include both motions.  Motions carried 7-0-0.

Commissioner Stephens was excused from the meeting at 10:49 a.m.

  1. Hillpointe Residential, LLC / Coastal Club Apartments Comprehensive Agreement – C. Dorminy

Charlie Dorminy presented a memo to the Commission relating to the Hillpointe Residential, LLC Comprehensive Agreement.  He specifically noted that there was one revision to the Comprehensive Agreement drafted after the memo was generated.  Mr. Dorminy explained that this was related to the Developer agreeing to manage the Project himself instead of having the option of having the JWSC manage it.  He provided that this is for a 240 unit apartment complex which will require upgrades to the wastewater system at Lift Station 4056, 4059 and the forcemain along Old Cypress Mill Road; and added that the Developer will construct the Project and dedicate the same to JWSC and the JWSC will reimburse the Developer by applying an equivalent amount of credit towards tap fees that would otherwise be due from the Developer as a result from the approval and development of the Project.  Mr. Dorminy commented that this Agreement is very similar to many of the other agreements JWSC has entered into with one difference being that the Developer shall ensure that the Project is substantially complete within two years of the Utility’s selection of the contractor.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to move that the Commission authorize the Chairman and Interim Executive Director to enter into an Agreement with Hillpointe Residential, LLC, Coastal Club Apartments for this Comprehensive Agreement as presented.

Chairman Turnipseed inquired if Hillpointe will be doing the design and everything and JWSC will be reviewing the plans.  Mr. Burroughs confirmed that was correct; JWSC will review all the plans; will have inspection services present at the Project the entire time as well; and they will be managing the Project and performing all of the work.  Chairman Turnipseed stated that it is his understanding that the site is already being cleared, and Mr. Burroughs confirmed they have.

Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent for the vote.)

  1. Supplementary Transfer of Funds to R&R Reserve – J. Donaghy

Chairman Turnipseed advised that at the Finance Committee on the previous day, staff recommended that $1M be transferred from the operating funds that were generated in the Fiscal Year 2019 to the Repair & Replacement Reserve.  Staff believes that there are adequate funds available to meet cash flow requirements.

Commissioner Duncan made a motion seconded by Commissioner Copeland to move that one million dollars ($1,000,000) from the operating funds generated in Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2019 be transferred to the Repair and Replacement Reserve.

Commissioner Neal asked how much money would now be in the R&R, and Mr. Burroughs advised that uncommitted funds once this is transferred over would be just over $5M.  Chairman Turnipseed inquired with Mr. Donaghy that he feels very confident with this transfer, and Mr. Donaghy confirmed he does.

Motion carried 6-0-1.  (Commissioner Stephens was absent for the vote.)

DISCUSSION

  1. FEMA/GEMA Transfer Switch Application RSA – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that this was discussed with the Facilities and Finance Committees on the previous day.  He recalled for all of the Commissioners that JWSC has had two applications in with FEMA for disaster mitigation funds.  One was to get transfer switches placed in at all the lift stations and the second was to purchase some permanent generators for some of our sites.  He referred to the agreement as provided which is for the first 22 transfer switches to be installed.  He added that essentially JWSC will front the money in the amount of $58,762.00 of which FEMA will reimburse JWSC 75% of that and GEMA will reimburse 10% of the total amount.  This will leave JWSC paying only 15% which is estimated at $8,800.  The funds will come from the R&R Reserve, but has already been budgeted for in the FEMA Mitigation Project.  Mr. Burroughs added that this money for the 22 transfer switches comes from different FEMA funding and is separate from other FEMA Mitigation Applications JWSC has in place which may take longer for processing and approval.  Chairman Turnipseed inquired as to the total amount that was applied for from FEMA, and Mr. Burroughs responded $3,100,000.00 of which this is the first step.  Chairman Turnipseed asked if JWSC can begin requiring developers to install manual transfer switches in the lift stations built.

  1. Hurricane Dorian Update – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that JWSC was mostly unaffected by Hurricane Dorian.  There were a few staff members on hand in the event that a response was needed.  He noted that this time, immediately preceding expected impacts from the event staff went through and manually pumped down the sewer system on St. Simons Island.  The systems were not shut off, but were manually pumped down to provide as much available capacity as possible.  He commented that the staff was very efficient in this pump-down with 65 pump station on the island, and the entire system there was pumped down in 4.5 hours.  Mr. Burroughs provided that this was a great exercise for the staff in that a couple of problems were discovered that staff was unaware of prior.  He noted these were minor issues that were corrected.  Staff also pumped down some of the sewer in the south end of the city where the areas are lower. Mr. Burroughs commented that all in all, it was a good response and things were well coordinated through the E.O.C. with good communications between JWSC and the partner agencies throughout the region.  Chairman Turnipseed commented that he felt the staff did a great job.  Commissioner Neal complimented the E.O.C. and the coordinated response.

  1. Uniform Services RFP Update – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs provided that earlier in the year an RFP was placed for uniform services with two responsive proposers at that time which were Cintas and Unifirst.  Cintas is the current provider for JWSC’s services.  There is a variety of options that staff is looking at for the uniform services to include types of uniforms, laundering, etc.  High visibility is a very important option for consideration. 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S UPDATE

Mr. Burroughs advised that the next design review meeting with the County staff in the next week with the attempts to streamline some of those operations.  Software changes that the County is making to help facilitate faster reviews will be discussed.  Mr. Burroughs and Mr. Kline will be attending those meetings.  Mr. Burroughs noted that the Sea palms and Altama CIPP Project will be placed for bid during the next week.  Soon thereafter the Ridgewood Water Production Facility and Pump Station 4021 upgrades will be bid.  Mr. Burroughs provided that the Banking RFP will be placed for proposals on October 1st for banking services.  A public meeting for the SPLOST North Mainland Project will be held prior to any lining work taking place on B&W Grade Road and Whitlock Avenue due to possible traffic flow changes and noise during the event and JWSC would like to give the public the opportunity to ask questions and learn about how they will be impacted during the process.  That meeting is expected to be held on the following Thursday.  Mr. Burroughs also provided that a Bond Advisor to be present for the October Finance Committee Meeting.

Commissioner Harvey asked Mr. Burroughs for an update on the “L” Street Project.  Mr. Burroughs provided that AGL should have their issues taken care of by the end of the week and JWSC’s contractor should be able to continue work the following week.  Some sections of the waterlines will have to be replaced due to being damaged while AGL was doing their installation.  The contractor still expects to be finished within the original contract time.

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Chairman Turnipseed advised that JWSC is now working with the City of Brunswick on the Magnolia Park Project and it should be ready to be bid very soon.

EXECUTIVE SESSION #2 – Property & Litigation

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Harvey to enter into Executive Session to discuss Property and Litigation with no vote to be taken.  Motion carried 6-0-1. (Commissioner Stephens was absent for the vote.)

Return to Regular Session.

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to return to Regular Session.  Motion carried 6-0-1. (Commissioner Stephens was absent for the vote.)

Commissioner Neal made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to adjourn the meeting.  Motion carried 6-0-1. (Commissioner Stephens was absent for the vote.)

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Turnipseed adjourned the meeting at 11:15 a.m.