Call to Order – Vice-chairman Harvey Norris called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Other members present were Eddie Roberts and Eddie Ford; also present was Marcie Seleb, general manager and Joyce Hosey, clerk to the Board.
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 February 11, 2014 meeting. This was seconded by Mr. Ford and approved unanimously.
Complaint about “Cash Only” Policy – Fred & April Jones – Mr. & Mrs. Jones had asked to be placed on the agenda, but did not come to the meeting. The Jones had been on a “cash only” status for nearly two years, but had recently complained that they were never informed of this. They also questioned whether the “cash only” policy was uniformly applied.
A letter had been sent to the couple in May 2012 informing them of the “cash only” status. They had paid by cash or credit/debit card since that time, but recently they had attempted to pay via check and became upset when they were told by office staff that a check couldn’t be accepted.
Ms. Seleb explained that the “cash only” policy is applied uniformly whenever a customer has written two checks that are returned for insufficient funds. Ms. Seleb went on to say that Mrs. Jones had rightly complained that the Authority’s operational policies are not published on its web site. She suggested that it would be a good idea to post both board policies and the Butts County water and sewer ordinances. Board members directed Ms. Seleb to post these documents.
Environmental Services Agreement for Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) Tank Project – Board members reviewed an Environmental Services Agreement with Butts County for the West Butts tank project. Ms. Seleb reminded the Board that local authorities are required by GEFA to enter into an Environmental Services Agreement with their county governments that will back loans with full faith and credit of the local taxing authority. As with the automated meter project carried out in 2013, the Authority and Butts County are entering into a parallel agreement where an amount equal to the entire loan debt will be maintained in a restricted fund.
A motion was made by Mr. Ford to adopt a resolution to enter into the agreement and to authorize Chairman White to execute the document. This was seconded by Mr. Roberts and approved unanimously.
A copy of the signed Environmental Services Agreement is attached and made a part of these minutes.
Select Engineer for Water Tank Design Modification & Rebid – Ms. Seleb reviewed engineering proposals for the West Butts tank re-bid. New proposals had been received from Turnipseed Engineering and Stevenson & Palmer. The cost of continuing the project with Woodward and Curran was also considered. The lowest cost was $18,000 from Stevenson and Palmer. This included a complete redesign, bidding and construction review services. A motion was by Mr. Ford to enter into an agreement with Stevenson & Palmer for the work. This was seconded by Mr. Roberts and approved unanimously.
A copy of the signed Stevenson & Palmer agreement is attached and made a part of these minutes.
Consider Proposal from Rindt-McDuff to Bid Hwy. 16 East Sewer – Ms. Seleb told the Board that Rindt-McDuff Associates had offered to revise plans, bid, and perform construction services for the Hwy. 16 lift station adjacent gravity sewer line for $2,372.50. A motion was made by Mr. Ford to accept the proposal from Rindt-McDuff. This was seconded by Mr. Roberts and approved unanimously.
A copy of the signed agreement between Rindt-McDuff and the Authority is attached and made a part of these minutes.
Consider Refinance of GEFA Loans with Revenue Bonds – Ms. Seleb asked the Board to consider refinancing approximately $4.0 million GEFA debt with revenue bonds. This possibility had first been considered in August 2013.
She explained that refinancing the two GEFA loans, currently at 3.9%, with bonds at a projected rate of 2.1%, would save a total of $330,000 in interest, with $300,000 of that amount in the first two years. The loans would be paid off within the same time period as originally financed.
Kidwell and Company is offering its services as financial advisor in the matter with a 1.5% fee to be paid only if the bond project is successful. All costs of the bond issuance, estimated at roughly $125,000, would be rolled into the bonds.
A motion was made by Mr. Roberts to sign the financial service agreement with Kidwell and Company and to commence the process to obtain a bond rating and refinance the GEFA loans with revenue bonds. This was seconded Mr. Ford and approved unanimously.
A copy of the signed financial services agreement is attached and made a part of these minutes.
Operation’s Overview for the Month – Ms. Seleb advised the Board the system water demand has returned back to normal after the cold weather and customer line breaks experienced in January and February.
Ice Storm – Ms. Seleb expressed appreciation to Marlon Moore and Darnell Walker who worked 28 straight hours to keep the water plant operating during the ice storm of February 12th and 13th. She also thanked Terrance Webb for doing distribution and collection system checks on icy roads and Morris Smith, who worked 4 hours overtime to allow other operators to rest.
Ms. Seleb advised the Board that she is working on the possibility of obtaining federal emergency funds to cover the cost of overtime during the storm, which is estimated to be approximately $2,000.
Hwy. 16 Sewer – The only remaining work for the sewer bond mediation project on the west side of I-75 is inspection of pipe linings. Weather has been too wet for inspection equipment to access the site.
Great American Travel Center – The Authority is waiting on material deliveries to start the bore of Hwy. 16 to extend water to the Great American Travel Center.
Nathan Thaxton Road Extension – The materials for the Nathan Thaxton Road extension has been bid. The Authority must obtain an easement from one property owner on Nathan Thaxton Road near GA Hwy. 36. He had asked for ten free taps in exchange for the easement. Board members said they would not consider this arrangement and advised Ms. Seleb to begin work on other sections of the Nathan Thaxton/Brownlee/East Ball project where easements are not needed.
Annual Water Audit for CY 2013 – Ms. Seleb advised the Board members that the Authority’s annual water audit for CY 2013 shows an infrastructure leakage score of .48, the lowest score in the three years that the audit has required. Any score less than 1.0 is considered to be “World Class.” The water audit validity score is 80 out of 100, which was judged to be very good in any real world application.
A copy of the 2013 water audit is attached and made a part of these minutes.
Requests for Donations – Ms. Seleb advised the Board that she has had several new requests for donations from charitable groups. After discussion, board members agreed that no new charitable donations should be made until a set amount for donations can be established in the fiscal year 2015 budget.
Operations Statistics – Due to high demand during very cold weather, this was the highest February billing in the Authority’s history. Water billing for February 2014 was $236,942, up 7% from the month of January 2014 and up 23% from February 2013. Sewer billing for February 2014 was $52,225, down 13% from January 2014 and up 8% from February 2013.
The total water customer base was5,322 with active water customers numbering 4,799. There was one regular water tap sold during the month. The total sewer customer base was 133, with active sewer customers numbering 131.
The average daily finished water pumped in February 2014 to the Authority, Jackson and Jenkinsburg from the Burford and Stewart plants was 2.3 million gallons per day, with a maximum of 2.9 million gallons per day. The rolling twelve month average loss was 13.8% with the current month average loss of -3.0%. The total amount of finished water pumped in February by plant was: Burford – 60 million gallons and Stewart – 5 million gallons.
The average wastewater influent at the Bucksnort Ranch Land Application System was 308,000 gallons per day with an average daily effluent of 244,000 gallons per day and the maximum 7-day effluent was 329,000 gallons per day.
Joint Government Meeting – March 20th– Ms. Seleb advised the Board members of the joint government meeting on March 20th at Hunter’s Restaurant at 6:30p.m. Mr. Norris, Mr. Roberts and Mr. Ford said that they would be there to represent the Authority.
Industry Appreciation Breakfast – April 11th– Ms. Seleb advised the Board members that the Industrial Development Authority is sponsoring an industry appreciation breakfast at Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation on April 11th at 7:30a.m.
Gold Awards -Ms. Seleb told the Board that all three plants will receive the Gold Award from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals in recognition of complete and consistent compliance with water quality permits requirements for 2013.
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 February 2014. Water operations income was $259,978, and expenses were $167,780. Sewer operations income for February 2014 was $52,483, and expenses were $24,565.
The Authority continues to use 2007-12 SPLOST to pay the monthly debt on the Bucksnort Ranch expansion loan. As of March 10, 2014, $360,958 remained in 2007-12 SPLOST funds for this purpose.
New 2013-19 SPLOST funds of $47,187 were received in February and are anticipated to accrue monthly until March when the next Butts County bond payment is due. Overall, $384,627 has been received in SPLOST, $21,912 in SPLOST-TATV, and $117 in interest for a combined balance of $406,656 through March 10, 2014.
Total cash on hand through the end of February 28, 2014 was $6,569,506. This is $339,504 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 February 2014.
Adjourn – A motion was made by Mr. Ford to adjourn meeting at 6:45 p.m. This was seconded by Mr. Roberts and approved unanimously.