Finance Committee Minutes – Wednesday, September 16, 2020

For your consideration, please read the minutes from the Finance Committee Meeting held on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room.

Finance Committee Minutes 9-16-20 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 & Sewer Commission

1703 Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520

Commission Meeting Room

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 3:00 PM 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MINUTES

MEMBERS PRESENT:         

Bob Duncan, Committee Chairman

Donald Elliott, Commissioner

Tripp Stephens, Commissioner

Andrew Burroughs, Executive Director

ALSO PRESENT:                  

Ben Turnipseed, Commission Chairman

Charles Cook, Commissioner

LaDonnah Roberts, Deputy Executive Director

Pam Crosby, Director of Procurement

Frances Wilson, Senior Accountant

Janice Meridith, Executive Commission Administrator 

MEDIA PRESENT:               

None

Committee Chairman Duncan called the meeting to order at 3:00 PM.

 PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Chairman Duncan opened the public Comment Period.

Michael Savino, Savino Plumbing – Mr. Savino expressed his appreciation for the Commission working with the customers and helping them out in the “right way” and for looking at the human side of issues.

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

APPROVAL

  1. Minutes from the August 19, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to approve the minutes from the August 19, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting.  Motion carried 3-0-0.

2. Minutes from the August 19, 2020 Executive Session

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to approve the minutes from the August 19, 2020 Executive Session.  Motion carried 3-0-0. 

  1. Surplus Equipment / Inventory – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs noted that JWSC has two (2) aged trucks which are no longer of use to the organization.  The first is a F350 bucket truck with repeated hydraulic issues and the second truck is a Ford Ranger with over 200,000 miles on it.  Staff is requesting to declare these trucks as surplus and be disposed of in a manner most beneficial to the JWSC.  They will be placed on GovDeals for sale.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to move that the Finance Committee recommend that the full Commission approve the above listed items as surplus to be disposed of in a manner most beneficial to the JWSC.  Motion carried 3-0-0.

  1. Leak Adjustments – L. Roberts / A. Burroughs

Island Townhouse Association

Mrs. Roberts stated that according to the Glynn County Ordinances JWSC does have the opportunity to offer a leak adjustment to our customers who have experienced a physical leak in their system.  We establish a base line of what their average bill is by looking at the previous 12 months of the customer’s billing.  The customer is responsible for one-half (1/2) of the excess above the average normal usage.  She added that any leak adjustment totaling over $2,000 is required to be approved by the Commission.  Staff determined that the leak adjustment for the Island Townhouse Association would be in the amount of $16,160.19.

Mr. Burroughs stated that the County Ordinances allow for a two (2) month leak adjustment.  This was an extended leak.  The existing set-up for the Island Townhouses has their meter across the road, a private service line underneath the road at the new roundabout being built by Glynn County.  They had to do ground penetrating radar and quite a lot of work including parking lot repair and repaired the water main leak which was adjacent to a storm drain.  Mr. Burroughs said that Island Townhouse Association requested that JWSC look at their cost associated with this leak issue.  If a four (4) month leak adjustment was done (which is how long it took for this leak to be repaired), the adjustment would have been larger and the late fees would be higher.  According to the plumbing contractor, the repair cost was out of the normal repair bills seen for a leak adjustment.  Mr. Burroughs stated that his recommendation is to give a leak adjustment in the amount of $31,939.81; there will still be a balance remaining on their bill in the $17,000 range, and will require a payment arrangement to move forward and get that back due amount paid down.

Commissioner Stephens asked what the value of the lost water for those four (4) months; is it the $16, 159 or is that amount for two (2) months?  Mr. Burroughs replied that the $16,159 is for half of the usage charges for four (4) months that was above their normal bill.  Due to the nature and size of the leak, the length of time to locate it, and the time to repair this particularly extensive leak, a four (4) month rather than a two (2) month adjustment is recommended.  Commissioner Elliott explained that Demere Road is there; the meter is on the west side of Demere; the apartment complex is on the east side of Demere Road; the owner had no way of knowing it was on Demere; and this is the location where the East Beach Roundabout is being constructed.  Commissioner Elliott went to the location to see why this was such a big leak.  It appeared that the movement of the construction had probably fractured the water line, so the owner had no idea that he had a leak for some time, and to repair the road, the parking lot and all which costed $14,000, also he had to find the leak to begin with.  He noted the amount of the adjustment was good.  Commissioner Stephens asked if the leak was under the public road, and Commissioner Elliott replied yes.  Commissioner Duncan mentioned that this seemed like a legacy issue from when it was first put in thirty (30) plus years ago across from the public right of way which is the portion that became a private entity.  Chairman Turnipseed asked if the meter will be moved, and Mr. Burroughs replied yes, it will be moved across the road.  Commissioner Stephens commented as to whether the leak was under the parking lot or under the road and the two being different, and he asked if a map was available.  Commissioner Elliott added that the parking lot and the road seemed to butt up against each other.  Mr. Savino, the plumbing contractor, said that the leak was essentially on the edge of the road area, but it is difficult to say exactly where the road begins and the parking lot ends.  Ground penetrating radar was used to locate, and what was found was that the water main was drilled through the storm drain.  Mr. Savino noted that the vibrations from moving construction equipment likely caused this.

Commissioner Stephens said that his vote would be to approve the leak adjustment and table the contractor fees until a better understanding was reached.  He also commented that it sets a precedence that every time someone has a leak to approve the contractor’s fee to repair it.  The concern was if the leak was on private property or not, which should only take a couple of days to confirm.  Commissioner Stephens expressed that he would like more information to fully understand the scope before approving the $14,000 and setting a precedence.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Finance Committee recommend approval of the leak adjustment in the amount of $31,939.81 to the account of the Island Townhouse Association, and to forward this item to the full Commission. 

Commissioner Elliott requested a map for the full Commission Meeting to show the details of the location of the leak.  Commissioner Stephens commented that he definitely was for the first half of the leak adjustment and wasn’t saying he was against the second half, but he just wanted more information regarding the location of the leak before he approved the second half.

 Motion carried 2-1-0.  (Commissioner Duncan and Commissioner Elliott voted yes, in favor.  Commissioner Stephens voted no, against.)

KB Brunswick Hotel, LLC

Mr. Burroughs advised that this hotel had a 4-inch water main located under a retention pond and had failed.  The water main was re-piped around the retention pond once the leak was discovered.  A sizeable amount of water was lost, even though it was only leaking for two (2) months.  Mr. Burroughs noted that to be consistent with the previous leak adjustment, this adjustment would be to also include their contractor’s fee.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Duncan to move that the Finance Committee recommend approval of the leak adjustment in the amount of $76,350.03 to the account of KB Brunswick Hotel, LLC, and to forward this item to the full Commission.

Mr. Burroughs advised that the amount in this motion does not include the contractor charges.  Commissioner Elliott questioned why JWSC would pay for the contractor on this one, and Mr. Burroughs replied that it would be to stay consistent with the last adjustment.  Commissioner Elliott asked if this was all on private property, and Mr. Burroughs answered it is.  Commissioner Elliott commented that the first adjustment had a private and public issue, and the leak was not under the owner’s control.  Commissioner Stephens added that this was why he wanted more information to see the details of where the physical leak was located on the first adjustment.  Commissioner Duncan commented that this leak was clearly on private property and not like the last one where the pipe broke on public property, and the meter was across the public right of way which he could understand that being a contributing factor; and that was a legacy issue where it was installed at least thirty (30) years ago.  He added that this second adjustment is completely on private property.  Commissioner Duncan restated the motion as it was read and seconded.

Motion carried 3-0-0.

Commissioner Elliott requested that the meeting minutes reflect that the Commission recognizes the unusual nature of the first leak adjustment, and why four (4) months was allowed and also consideration of the contractor’s bill.  A map will be presented at the Commission meeting for confirmation of the actual location of the leak and associated issues.

  1. Contract Award Pump Station 4021 – A. Burroughs

Mr. Burroughs stated that this item was presented earlier in the Facilities Committee meeting.  The original bids all came in significantly over budget.  Staff reviewed the project and removed several items from the scope of work for the contractor; and those items will be completed by in-house staff.  The project was placed for bid again with the reduced scope of which Mr. Burroughs explained the details.  The low bid was received from Southern Civil, LLC in the amount of $447,991.00 which is $209,546.75 above approved remaining project funding.  Much of the extra expense is due to the necessity to pour a new valve vault.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to move that the Finance Committee recommend awarding the contract for Pump Station 4021 Rehabilitation and Upgrades to Southern Civil, LLC in the amount of $447,991.00.  Motion carried 3-0-0. 

  1. Funding of Magnolia Park Subdivision Water System Improvements – A. Burroughs

Mr.  Burroughs provided that this is a joint project with JWSC and the City of Brunswick (COB).  The COB is doing a SPLOST Project for storm drain and road repair in Magnolia Park.  JWSC has old water lines in the subdivision that are in need of replacement.  The JWSC design was to place the water lines in the shoulder, not in the roadway.  The COB does not intend to move forward with the full project, however JWSC desires to move forward with all phases of their portion of the project.  In order to do this, JWSC will have to make some road cuts in places where the water lines need to cross the roadway.  Staff is requesting additional funds to accommodate these extra costs, in addition to costs for the construction phase engineering services in accordance with the Construction Phase Services Proposal dated August 13, 2020.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission Finance Committee forward to the full Commission the Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Brunswick for JWSC-requested water system improvements associated with Magnolia Park S/D project with a not to exceed contribution amount of $1,781,261.00 with a recommendation for approval.

Chairman Turnipseed asked if JWSC was a part of the insured on the contractor’s and the subcontractor’s insurance certificates.  This detail will be confirmed with the City of Brunswick who owns the contract with the contractor.

Motion carried 3-0-0.

Commissioner Elliott made a motion seconded by Commissioner Stephens to further move that the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission Finance Committee forward to the full Commission a recommendation for approval of 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 3-0-0.

DISCUSSION

  1. Financial Statements Month End August 31, 2020 – L. Roberts

Mrs. Roberts commented that she had received Commissioner’s questions about the financial statements and provided the answers prior to presenting the August 30, 2020 financial statements.  The questions included one regarding the health insurance activity since JWSC has gone to a self-funded plan.  Mrs. Roberts commented that it had been a short term thus far with the self-funded plan.  She noted that the bank account had been created for the funding; JWSC is required to transfer a minimum of $28,000 each transfer; and the health insurance expenditures for July were $147,000 and for August were $54,000.  After responding to all of the questions, Mrs. Roberts continued on to briefly provide highlights of the financial statements for the month ending August 31, 2020.  During her review of the current financial statements, Mrs. Roberts provided that JWSC is still seeing the effects of COVID on customer accounts, and those customers affected by COVID-19 will at this time continue to be offered payment arrangements for their past due amounts on their accounts.

Commissioner Stephens asked about the current status of the general outstanding accounts.  Mrs. Roberts stated that those balances are tracked daily at this time.  He asked if customers are still applying for payment arrangements, and Mr. Roberts replied yes and directed the Commissioners where to find those outstanding balances on the financial statements.  Commissioner Stephens commented that he would like to see a brief monthly e-mail with the information.

Commissioner Stephens asked where JWSC was at on commercial deposit refunds.  Mrs. Roberts advised that an electronic form had been placed on the JWSC website and anyone who requested that only has to fill out the form which then automatically goes to a customer service mailbox for processing.  Mr. Burroughs added that a commercial account has to have five (5) years of successive payments without being late to receive a deposit refund.

Committee Chairman Duncan asked if there were any other items to discuss.

There being no further business, Chairman Duncan adjourned the meeting at 3:41 p.m.