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Commission Minutes – November 5, 2015

For your consideration, please review the minutes for the Commission Meeting from November 5 , 2015:


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


Donald M. Elliott, Chairman

Clifford Adams, Commissioner

Thomas Boland, Commissioner

Allen Booker, County Commissioner

Ronald Perry, Commissioner

John A. Cason, III, City Commissioner

David H. Ford, Commissioner


Todd Kline, Senior Engineer

Charles A. Dorminy, Legal Counsel

John D. Donaghy, Director of Administration

Chairman Elliott called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM.  Commissioner Perry provided the invocation, and Chairman Elliott let the pledge.

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Ford to add an item for approval the Assistant Executive Director position.  Motion approved 7-0-0.


Joe Thigpen, 1700 Demere Road, St Simons Island.   Mr. Thigpen discussed the matter of Mr. Steve Swan.  Mr. Thigpen stated that he is a friend of Mr. Swan and an acquaintance with the other gentleman that was involved with the email issue that occurred a little over a month ago. He stated he just wanted to let the Commission know the person he believes Mr. Swan to be.  He continued stating “I’ve met him about 5 years ago and he was wearing a Santa’s helper outfit and directing a benefit for children to be sure they received toys for Christmas that year.  Over the years I’ve gotten to know him and see him constantly and in the community.  He is very pro-community.  I have no malice with the other gentleman.  I am of the opinion that the punishment given to Mr. Swan is extensive enough.  I’ve seen him help people and go out of his way to see they were taken care of.  I’ve even seen Mr. Swan give people money out of his pocket who would have nothing and not expect anything in return.  When I see him he is usually doing business making sure people are taking care of their issues and problems.  Seeing his person and character in the community along with other people is the reason my wife and I moved here as we see people working together.  I hope that you will consider the fact that Steve is a good guy and he can do a really good job and is good at what he does.”

Julian Smith, 67 Maxwell Ave, St. Simons Island.   Mr. Smith stated he has only known Mr. Swan for over a year.  He continued stating “From what I know of him and what I have heard him say and what I know of his efforts to undo or correct the mistakes and the lack of maintenance that has gone on for years.  I think he has started off on the right foot.  I hope the 30 days suspension

will be the end of it.”

There being no additional citizens that wished to address the Commission, Chairman Elliott closed the Public Comment Period.


Communications & Customer Service Committee Commissioner Ford

There was nothing new to report at this time

Economic Development Committee – Commissioner Elliott

Commissioner Boland and Comm. Elliott met with the Millennium Developer and believe it is something JWSC should support.

Facilities Committee – Commissioner Perry

There was nothing new to report

Finance Committee – Commissioner Elliott

There was nothing new to report

Human Resources Committee – Commissioner Cason

Met today and discussed Assistant Executive Director, Longevity recognition, Financial Analyst, entry level position

Legislative Committee – Commissioner Boland

There is a legislative item on the agenda for approval


Minutes from the October 22, 2015 Regular

Commissioner Boland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Cason to approve the minutes from the October 22, 2015 Regular Meeting. Motion carried 7-0-0.

Minutes from the October 22, 2015 Executive Session Meeting.

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Boland to approve the minutes from the October 1, 2015 Executive Session.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Christmas Gift Cards – D. Elliott

Commissioner Elliott stated that in the past years the employees were given a Christmas gift card as an expression of thanks.  The Human Resources Committee recommends providing employees a gift card in the amount of $25 to Walmart.  It was discussed that the total would include the 5 temporary employees in the finance division, 5 Job Corp personnel for a total of 139 people.  The cost would be $3,500 for 140 gift cards.

Commissioner Ford made a motion seconded by Commissioner Boland to approve the JWSC provide employee gift cards in the amount of $25 to Walmart.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Safety Equipment Policy Document – J. Singletary

Commissioner Elliott asked to defer the Safety Equipment Policy Document until the next Commission Meeting.

Planning Process Policy – T. Kline / D. Elliott

Todd Kline discussed with the commissioner a new process in Planning and Construction and what is involved.  Part of the process is an analysis of the status of our system so we can determine the capacities.  The staff has addressed this issue will be reviewing the top ten (10) pump station and retrieve analysis and to develop the process that we obtain the information of operations, compile it, present it and have it ready for the public to look at, learn from and make decisions from.  Dana Read and Harry Patel explained the need for visual representation of maps and their lay outs.  The build out within LS2032 does not include lots that can be sub-divided.  An example was Stillwater Phase III is not in the final plat stage and has not been counted in the overall REU’s.   The second map shows all of the Lift Stations available within St Simons Island.  The maps will help in the future and determine capacity issues.  Mr. Kline explained that EPD requires plans to be submitted that will increase demand on a system or expand a system.  EPD now requires a schematic plan be submitted for approval which will include acknowledge capacity and now JWSC will be in line with their requirements.  There is a plan to prepare this mapping process for the mainland also.  The key to this process is maintaining current information.  The county will keep track of the lots that are committed of platted and JWSC has access to this information.  It was asked how are the additional houses are being compared to the lift station capacity?  It was explained that everything will be updated automatically and when a development comes through the review process it will be analyzed.  We strive for continual process improvements and ensure the JWSC system status information is always clearly conveyed to the applicants.  The maintenance of the current JWSC sewer system capacity status is critical and performed quarterly.  When a big development plan review comes through there is an additional amount of time is taken with all areas/departments.  Further study is needed for reservation capacity study.  It was questioned if there is a time limit for platted lots to build the sites and it was stated there is no sunset.  The question was asked as to what other areas or counties are doing in this situation and it was noted that Andy Burnham is looking into for JWSC as we do not charge for impact fees at this time.  JWSC has a responsibility to make sure the information is available and this is through Master Plan Workshops and posting current information.  Also the applicants have a responsibility to make sure they come in and talk with JWSC and see if there are any issues going forward in their projects.  It is necessary to be careful that the preliminary plat is not a reservation of capacity.

Commissioner Boland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Ford that JWSC acknowledge and endorse the revised Plan Review process with the knowledge that additional changes will come as the process is refined.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

There was additional discussion on the analytical process as being the most important position    with technology and data to support decisions.

Change in Legislation – C. Dorminy

Charlie updated the commissioners on drafting the new legislation for 2016.  The proposed legislation in 2015 was not passed.  The Legislation Committee updated the proposed legislation which includes approx. 10 items.  These items include:  as to provide for nonpartisan election in conjunction with the general primary; to provide for terms of elected members ; to provide for public access to annual budget; to provide for solicitation of donations; to provide for assistance to customers in financial hardship; to provide for assistance to low-income customers; to provide for separate accounting for certain donations and the expenditure of excess funds; to provide for notices and hearings prior to any increase in water or wastewater rates; to provide for eminent domain; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.  Section 2: JWSC shall have the same immunity as Glynn County.  Section 4: (d)(f) Terms of elections.  Section 4: (g) nonpartisan elections, (m) quorum of members.  Section 7: (13) Ordinances give JWSC power to enforce, (18) JWSC can solicit and accept donations to help residential customer facing hardship and low income residential customers into a separate interest baring account.  Section 7A: addressed to have hearings on mainland and one on St Simons Island and notices will be posted on website.  Section 8: addresses eminent domain.  It was later noted that the new legislation addresses Commissioners salary and will allow JWSC to set themselves.

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Boland to move the proposed legislation forward.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Assistant Executive Director Position – D. Elliott

The commissioners reviewed the updated Assistant Executive Director position.  There was no additional discussion.

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Boland to establish a position of Assistant Executive Director on the organization chart with the pay range below the Executive Director and above the Planning and Construction Engineer.  The Commissioners will participate in the selection process.  Motion carried 7-0-0.


Golden Shores Mobile K. Young

Kirk young updated the Commission on the Golden Shores Mobile lift station which does not meet standards.  There have been reoccurring issues with the private sewer system where JWSC has on occasion assisted.  It was noted that this mobile home area was notified that they will need to seek assistance outside of JWSC to maintain their lift station.  The Health Department, EPD and DNR can’t do anything about faulty maintenance until these conveyance systems fail and go on the ground.  Moving forward at some point it will need to be added to the sewer use ordinance with the proper language and will direct individuals of the need to maintain private systems.  They do have the right to bring their system up to standard.  Commissioner Elliott stressed the importance of possible permits to ensure the private systems are properly maintained and monitored as to what is being released into the system.  It was clearly explained that this is not a homeowner but it is a ‘for profit’ entity that is choosing to ignore maintenance to their system.  JWSC has been pro-active in helping our neighbors and offer assistance to homeowners but this is clearly different and there are others.    Mr. Young stated this is to inform the Commissioners and keep them updated.

Project Funding Status – D. Elliott

Chairman Elliott discussed with the Commissioners on the Operational Agreement to consider the use of debt service.   The current status of the SPLOST funding was discussed and the Capital Impact as was provided by Burton & Associates.  It was stated that this may impact exit 42 interest in development.   There was further discussion on how to fund the projects and the impact of the Master Plan.

Engineer Contract Costs – T. Kline

Chairman Elliott recommends deferring this issue until a later time.

SR 99 Update – T. Kline

Chairman Elliott recommends deferring this issue until a later time.




 Commissioner Ford made a motion seconded by Commissioner Boland to close the regular meeting and adjourn to Executive Session to discuss potential litigation.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

Back in Session

Commissioner Boland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Adams to approve the minutes from the October 22, 2015 Executive Session meeting.  Motion carried 7-0-0.

There being no additional business to bring before the Commission, Chairman Elliott adjourned the open meeting at 4:25 pm.  Chairman Elliott stated the Executive Session will be discussion on personnel issues only.  No action will be taken to warrant the return to open session.

Commissioner Cason made a motion seconded by Commissioner Perry to close the regular meeting and adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel issues.  Motion carried 7-0-0.




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Brunswick - Glynn Joint Water & Sewer Commission - 1703 Gloucester Street Brunswick, GA 31520 - 912-261-7100