Call to Order – Chairman White called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Board members present were J. B. White, Harvey Norris, Eddie Roberts, Jr. & Eddie Ford; also present were staff members, Marcie Seleb, general manager and Joyce Hosey, clerk to the Board, and Michelle Cole of Michelle Cole and Associates.
Opening Prayer – Mr. Norris opened the meeting with a prayer.
Approval of Minutes from Previous Meetings – Mr. Roberts made a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes from the December 10, 2013 meeting. This was seconded by Mr. Norris and approved unanimously.
Review Health Insurance Options for 2014 – Board members reviewed pricing and options for the new health insurance year. Coventry Health Insurance of Georgia offered the lowest cost coverage as compared to Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and United Health Care. Ms. Seleb recommended Coventry’s Gold High Performance Plan with a $500 deductible. This plan is compliant with the Affordable Health Care Act and is 5.4% higher in cost than the current non-compliant plan. Michelle Cole explained differences in the new coverage which include higher out of pocket costs, a lower co-pay for office visits, individual family pricing based upon age, and new pediatric dental and vision coverage. Ms. Cole reported that, although a 5% price increase had been anticipated, she had been able to negotiate no increase from Lincoln for dental and long term care insurance. A motion was made by Mr. Ford to continue the Authority’s dental and long term care insurance with Lincoln and with health insurance from Coventry under the new recommended health plan. This was seconded by Mr. Norris and approved unanimously. Copies of price and plans comparisons are attached and made a part of these minutes.
Consider Agreement for Retirement Cost Calculation with Butts County – Ms. Seleb advised the Board of the methodology developed by GEBCorp for splitting annual defined benefits with Butts County. Essentially, the methodology will involve calculating costs attributable to the Authority’s employees with the balance being assigned to Butts County. A copy of this methodology is attached and made a part of these minutes.
A motion was made by Mr. Roberts to accept the methodology as presented and to direct Chairman White to sign this agreement. This was seconded by Mr. Ford and approved unanimously.
Distribution & LAS Projects – Ms. Seleb updated Board on several operations projects that are being carried out in lieu of construction during the extremely wet and cold winter.
Several dozen manual meters sized 3/4″-2″ are being changed over to the automatic meter reading system. During inclement weather, crew members are breaking down registers and plastic parts from the thousands of manual meters changed out in 2013. The meters will bring a better price at metal recyclers if only brass parts are sold.
Seven new water services were sold in December, a surprising upswing in number.
The sludge lagoons at the Burford water plant have been cleaned out using track excavator and bull dozier.
Hay sales have been swift from the stock produced at the Bucksnort Ranch land application system (LAS) in 2013. This is due to less hay produced in the region over the very wet summer.
Polybutylene service line breaks continue to require replacement.
The wild hog trap at the Bucksnort LAS facility has been moderately successful with employee hog hunting also producing results.
Highway 16 Sewer Mitigation Project – Only pipe liner installation remains to be done and is scheduled for this week.
Big Freeze – Ms. Seleb advised the Board of the impact of the very low temperatures experienced during the first week of January.
There were no major issues found on the system. Several large customers had leaks which increased high service pumping, particularly the Georgia Diagnostic Prison and Monroe County.
The water distribution system is still running five to six hundred thousand gallons per day over normal.
There have been numerous frozen pipes and leaks on the customer’s side of meters.
Upcoming Distribution Work – Ms. Seleb updated the Board of the upcoming distribution work.
The West Butts elevated tank design will be reviewed with Turnipseed Engineers this week to seek their input on ways to reduce costs for the project.
Draft plans for the balance of the Nathan Thaxton Road water extension have been received and are being reviewed.
Staff is waiting to receive plans from Great American Travel Center engineer to bid the Hwy. 16 water main bore and get a Georgia Department of Transportation permit for the bore.
A new GPS unit has been purchased and meter reader Karsten Gotel will begin in earnest on geo-coding of hydrants/valves/all meters using time freed up by the automated meter reading system.
Administrative Update – Ms. Seleb advised the Board of several administrative projects.
Effective January 1, 2014, the Authority switched from the Association of County Commissioners(ACCG) to Associated Insurance Group for workman’s compensation insurance at considerable savings. The brokerage of J. Smith Lanier had priced the coverage at $27,279. The ACCG premium had risen to $39,394.
Three surplus pickup trucks were sold on the GovDeals.com auction in December. These included a 2002 Dodge (sold at $1,120), a 1994 Ford 150 (sold at $1,121) and a 1997 Ford (sold at $1,451).
It appears that a payroll software update resulted in exclusion of employee 457 plan deferred compensation deductions from Medicare & Social Security withholding in September 2012 – October 2013. The total amount due is estimated at less than $2,000. Also, when one employee requested zero tax deductions for part of 2012 and 2013, payroll staff mistakenly zeroed Medicare and Social Security as well federal and state taxes. The amount due for this withholding is estimated at $5,000. All of these deductions will be paid retroactively this month.
Operations Overview – The Board heard operations statistics for December 2013. Water billing for December 2013 was $209,234, nearly equal to the previous month, down 1.1% for the calendar year, and up 10% from December 2012. Sewer billing for December 2013 was $46,236, up 23% from December 2012. For both water and sewer, this was the largest December billing ever.
The total water customer base was 5,328 with active water customers numbering 4,792. There were four regular taps, one construction tap and two meter fees sold in the month of December 2013. The total sewer customer base was 134, with active sewer customers numbering 131.
The average daily finished water pumped in December 2013 to the Authority, Jackson and Jenkinsburg from the Burford and Stewart plants was 2.2. million gallons per day, with a maximum of 2.5 million gallons per day. The rolling 12-month average loss was 16.4% with the current monthly average loss at 14.0%. The total amount of finished water pumped in December by plant was: Burford – 62 million gallons and Stewart – 6 million gallons.
The average wastewater influent at the Bucksnort Ranch Land Application System was 283,000 gallons per day with an average daily effluent of 297,000 gallons per day and a maximum 7-day effluent of 329,000 gallons per day.
Financial Report – Ms. Seleb went over the financial summaries for Water & Sewer Operations, Capital Recovery Fees and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for December 2013. Water operations income was $244,767, and expenses were $165,162. Sewer operations income for December 2013 was $3,447,83, and expenses were $3,043,528.
The Authority continues to use 2007-12 SPLOST to pay the monthly debt on the Bucksnort Ranch expansion loan. As of January 13, 2014, $404,335 remained in 2007-12 SPLOST funds for this purpose.
New 2013-19 SPLOST funds were received in December and January and are anticipated to accrue monthly until March 2014 when the next Butts County bond payment is due. There have been reports that the SPLOST-TATV will be discontinued. Overall, $337,421 has been received in SPLOST, $21,912 in SPLOST-TATV, and $54 in interest for a combined balance of $359,387 as of January 10, 2014.
Total cash on hand through the end of December 2013 was $6,584,841. This is $414,839 over the June 30, 2013 balance. Copies of financial summaries, combined fund balance sheets, and combined fund income statements are attached and made a part of these minutes.
Review Bills Paid – Board members reviewed check registers and credit card statements for the month of December 2013. Copies of check registers and credit card statements are attached and made a part of these minutes.
Adjourn – A motion was made by Mr. Norris to adjourn meeting at 6:40 p.m. This was seconded by Mr. Ford and approved unanimously.