MINUTES

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

 

GLYNN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

CITY OF BRUNSWICK COMMISSION

JOINT WATER & SEWER COMMISSION

BRUNSWICK & GLYNN COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

 

BRUNSWICK-GOLDEN ISLES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CONFERENCE ROOM

1505 RICHMOND STREET, SECOND FLOOR

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2016 AT 2:00 PM

 

PRESENT:                     Richard Strickland, Chairman, District 3

Michael Browning, Vice Chairman, District 1

Dale Provenzano, Commissioner, District 2

Bill Brunson, Commissioner, District 4

Allen Booker, Commissioner, District 5, and JWSC Commissioner

Mark Stambaugh, Commissioner, At Large Post 1

Bob Coleman, Commissioner, At Large Post 2

                                    Tom Boland, Chairman and Acting Director, JWSC

                                    Robert Bowen, JWSC Commissioner

                                    Donald Elliott, JWSC Commissioner

                                    Ronnie Perry, JWSC Commissioner

                                    Cornell Harvey, Mayor

                                    Julie Martin, City Commissioner

                                    Johnnie Cason, City Commissioner and JWSC Commissioner

                                    Cedric King, Chairman, Development Authority

                                    Wayne Johnson, Development Authority Member

                                    Bruce Dixon, Development Authority Member

                                    Missy Neu, Development Authority Member

 

1.         Discussion of water and sewer issues

 

                        Tom Boland and Don Elliot, JWSC commissioners, presented the following:

 

The Joint Water and Sewer Commission (JWSC) is responsible for the management and maintenance of three waste water treatment plants, 10 elevated water towers, 14 ground storage tanks, over 3,700 fire hydrants, 8,000 manholes, 157 sewer lift stations, several hundred miles of water lines and force main sewer lines. Many of the systems are 40 to 60 years old and in constant need of repair.

There are 20,000 residential customers and 10,000 commercial customers. Each Residential Equivalent Unit (REU) equals 300 gallons per day maximum use. The JWSC is funded by the rate payers and some projects will be funded by the SPLOST 2016 if approved by the voters.

In 2009 a Master Plan was adopted, but the plan was not implemented or financed. The Band-Aid approach to system repairs and limited contractors bidding on projects has changed since then. More contractors are now participating in the bidding process and the JWSC commissioners have made other improvements such as the institution of new employee compensation and evaluation policies. The JWSC has reduced overtime, added new positions to increase inspections, and now demands excellence.

 

The water and sewer infrastructure has not kept up with development growth. Many of the sewer basins are overcapacity.

 

Mr. Boland listed the following lift stations as being over capacity:

North Mainland

LS 4039

LS 4110

LS 4048

LS 4021

LS 4005

Brunswick

LS 4001

LS 4002

LS 4003

South Mainland

LS 3114

St Simons

LS 2022

LS 2011/2012

LS 2042

LS 2003 / 2019

LS 2001 / 2002

LS 2023 / 2029

 

He said a short-term fix to increase capacity is to install external pumps on some of the lift stations listed above. Funding will be provided by the JWSC’s operating reserves. The JWSC plans to begin with Lift Station 2032, which will increase capacity on St. Simons.

With capacity increased, the JWSC will have to decide who is allowed to tap onto the sewer.  

The north mainland lift stations will be addressed similarly depending on engineering calculations and the condition of sewer lines.

For midterm solutions, he provided other ways to increase capacity such as 70/30 splits with developers, which would expand the infrastructure while allowing developers to recover a portion of their costs. Other alternatives were construction loans and cash flow projects until long term debt can be obtained. He said this new debt will need to be apportioned between current customers and new customers.

He said the current customers should be responsible for paying the debt required to repair and restore systems, but new customers should be required to pay the debt incurred to expand the system to accommodate them.

 

The long term solution is to complete the master plan, which is estimated to cost $106,000,000 over the next five years. He doubted this could be accomplished within that timeframe. He said the main way to fund the master plan is through user fees. Capital tap fees would generate $14,350,000 over the next five years. The SPLOST 2016 would provide $15,000,000 in revenue, if approved by the voters in November. Capital Improvement fees are the mechanism by which water and sewer utilities generate capital to grow the various systems required to support development.

In January 2008 the tap fees for water were $625. Sewer tap fees in the city were $625 and $1,200 in the county. In December 2010, the tap fees were reduced by half. During FY14, the JWSC had only collected $455,000 in tap fees. FY15 only collected $403,600 in tap fees. Then, in June 2015 the tap fees were returned to the 2008 amount. This resulted in the collection of $1,200,000 in tap fees. The current rates are as follows: water tap fees/$1,150 and sewer tap fees/$2,400 for a total of $3,550.

 

Mr. Boland reported the JWSC recently submitted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a financial advisor to determine the best way to finance the needed upgrades. An RFP was also submitted for a basin study, which will begin with Basin 4039.

He briefly mentioned the JWSC may soon request changes to the Operational Agreement between the JWSC, the city, and the county.

 

      The JWSC plans to install a 14” force main sewer line along Frederica Road and Palmetto Street to lift station 2032. Currently this portion has only an 8” line, which has contributed to the current capacity problems. This project should be complete by July 2017.

     

      Regarding the capacity issues, Mr. Elliott said the auxiliary pumps should be installed within 90 days, which will ease problems on LS2032. He felt this would solve 80% of the problems that caused the JWSC to stop allowing sewer connections on St. Simons Island.

 

Finally, Mr. Boland introduced Jimmy Junkin, the JWSC’s new director.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

                                                                                    ____________________________

Richard Strickland, Chairman

                                                                                    Board of Commissioners

                                                                                    Glynn County , Georgia

Attest:

 

_____________________________

Cindee S. Overstreet, Clerk