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November 11, 2008 Regular Board Meeting

Posted on: November 11th, 2008

Call to Order – Chairman White called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Board members present were J. B. White, Mitch McEwen, Harvey Norris, Bob Harris and Wesley Keber; representing Carter & Sloope Engineering were Chad Sipe & Tom Sloope; staff members present were Marcie Seleb & Joyce Hosey.
Opening Prayer – Mr. McEwen opened the meeting with a prayer.
Approval of Minutes from Previous Meetings – Mr. Harris made a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes from the October 14, 2008 meeting and approve the same. This was seconded by Mr. McEwen and approved unanimously.
Sweetgrass Request for Added Time on Transmission Main – On October 30, Randy Simpkins of Sweetgrass Inc. requested an additional 60 days beyond the November 22nd deadline to complete the project. Ms. Seleb and project engineers have agreed that Sweetgrass is allowed twelve days for wet weather up to now. The contract with Sweetgrass allows $200 per day liquid damages. Construction interest is costing the Authority about $3,000 per month, or $100 per day. Currently 6,000 lf of pipe has been installed on the 22,000 lf project.
A motion was made by Mr. Keber to allow Sweetgrass the 12 days for wet weather, but to hold them to the current deadline with assessment of liquidated damages as per the contract. This was seconded by Mr. McEwen and approved unanimously. Sweet grass Inc.’s letter is attached and made a part of these minutes.
Water Conservation Landscaping Project – Ms. Seleb presented information that shows the current per capita residential water use in on the Authority’s system is only about 70% of the average in metropolitan Atlanta. She attributes this primarily to the existence of almost no residential turf irrigation in Butts County. Regulations that promote native plants and minimal landscape irrigation could result in both future water conservation and a maintenance of the traditional landscape that gives Butts County a sense of place.
Ms. Seleb told the Board that she has met with Butts County Community Development Director Deron King concerning the possibility of landscape water conservation regulations. She has also requested the assistance of the Watershed Center of the University of Georgia’s School of Ecology. Mr. King is exploring the possibility of establishing a citizen’s committee to develop regulations.
Board members agreed that it would be advantageous for Ms. Seleb to be involved in this project.
Manager’s Report

Construction Schedule

  • Towaliga River Crossing – The crew is working on the Towaliga River crossing on Kinard Mill Road and the project is turning out to be easier than anticipated. A photo of the job site is attached and made a part of these minutes.
  • Cooper Road – Cooper Road will be the next project and projected finish time is December 2008.
  • Fox Drive – Fox Drive will be next project the crew will be working on with a projected finish time of December 2008-January 2009.
  • Higgins Road – Depending on actual taps sales, Higgins Road will follow with a projected finish time February – April 2009.
  • Tap Letters for Tom Goddard Road and West Ball Road (part) – A motion was made by Mr. Norris to accept the water tap payments for extensions on Tom Goddard and West Ball Roads. This was seconded by Mr. Harris and approved unanimously.

Operation Statistics – Ms. Seleb went over the water and sewer statistics for the month of October 2008. Water billing was down for the month at $175,812, with an active customer base of 5,114. Sewer billing for the month was up for the month at $25,580 with an active customer base of 125.

Water use was down 7% for the first 10 months of calendar year 2008 versus 2007. Water billing is down 4% for the same period. This reversal is unprecedented in the Authority’s history and reflects the overall economy. 

The average daily water pumped to the Authority, Jackson and Jenkinsburg from the Burford and Stewart plants were 1.9 MGD, with maximum of 2.2 MGD. The rolling 12-month average loss of 12.4%. The total amount of water pumped in October 2008 per plant was: Burford – 52 MG; Stewart – 7 MG. The average wastewater sprayed at the Bucksnort Ranch LAS was .127/.550 MGD with a maximum 7-day effluent of .189/.550 MGD.

Illustrations are attached and made a part of these minutes.

Credit Card Payments to Begin Soon – The Board was advised that Official Payments, Inc. has revised its service agreement as per attorney Will White’s recommendations. Official Payments is a third-party company that processes credit card payments and telephone checks for government payments.

By January 2009, the Authority will be able to accept credit card payments on-line, by phone, and in the office; also, check payments by phone. This service will be at no cost to the Authority. The customer will incur a $2.00 fee per $100. This is in keeping with the Board’s directives that credit card users directly absorb the cost of credit services.

Copper Crime Resolved – Ms. Seleb advised the Board that in September, Willie Cash pled guilty to stealing copper and brass from the Distribution Shop on Brownlee Road. Mr. Cash will receive five years probation, 187 days in jail and $2,000 in restitution.

CAT Dozier Lease Up – Ms. Seleb advised the Board that the balloon payment of $33,400 is due in January 2009. A new lease unit is available for a lease / purchase at total cost of $68,787. Ms. Seleb recommended that the Authority pay off the existing unit, as it has low hours and is in excellent condition. Board members were in agreement.

New Web Site & Network Server – Ms. Seleb advised the Board that the Authority will be upgrading its computer system this month for a cost of approximately $10,000. Upgrades are as follows: replacing the network server to store more data, eliminate system stalls and improve backups; two new work stations; an updated web site to link credit card payments.

Holiday Events – Ms. Seleb invited the Board to the Authority’s upcoming holiday events. The staff will be having their annual Thanksgiving Luncheon on Thursday, November 20th at noon at the administrative office. The Burford Plant dedication & Christmas Luncheon will be on Thursday, December 18th, with the dedication to start at 11:00 a.m. with lunch to follow with the Burford family at Fresh Catch at noon.

Financial Report – Ms. Seleb went over the financial summary for Water & Sewer Operations and SPLOST through October 2008. Both Water and Sewer funds are just within the adopted budget. A copy of the financial summaries, as well as combined balance sheets and income statements are attached and made a part of these minutes.
Ms. Seleb requested permission to open an additional account with Georgia Fund 1 of the Georgia Treasury for Water Operations funds. Georgia Fund 1 paid 2.16% in October versus 1.16% in October by McIntosh State Bank. Board members agreed. 
Review Bills Paid – Board members reviewed check registers for the month of October 2008. A copy of the check registers is attached and made a part of these minutes.
Adjourn – A motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn meeting at 7:00 p.m. This was seconded by Mr. Norris and approved unanimously.