Call to Order – Chairman White called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Board members present were J. B. White, Harry Marett, Eddie Ford, Eddie Roberts, Curtis Taylor, Ken Rivers and Bill Jones. Staff members present were Alyssa Hopson, general manager, and Amber Eason, clerk to the board.
Approval of Minutes from March 21, 2023 Meeting – Mr. Roberts made a motion to dispense with the reading of, and to adopt the minutes from the March 21, 2023 meeting, with the necessary corrections being made. This was seconded by Mr. Taylor and approved unanimously.
Harvey Norris’ Recognition of Service- Ms. Hopson presented Mr. Norris with a plaque and thanked him for 23 years of service on the Authority’s Board of Directors. Mr. Norris exited the meeting at 5:37 pm.
Lamar County Sewer Service update- Ms. Hopson presented a letter from the Authority’s attorney, Will White on his opinion regarding providing sewer service to a property located outside of Butts County. Mr. White’s major concerns were:
• The policies of the Board would have to be amended or a resolution would have to be
adopted explicitly stating why a particular project outside the County warrants Butts County’s limited capacity.
• An amendment to the Board’s policies on sewer capacity would permanently weaken the Board’s ability to keep up with sewer demand. Even a one-time exception by resolution would weaken the Board’s legal argument regarding denying future applicants (especially those within the County, or at least partially within the County).
• There are issues regarding who will pay for the construction of the new sewer facilities needed to service a project outside the County, whether easements will be needed outside the County, who will set the standards for the construction, on what criteria the Authority will accept the sewer facilities, and what authority the Board will have over the “customer” going forward. At the very least, these issues will need to be resolved via a development agreement.
• There will almost definitely need to be an intergovernmental agreement with the County in which the property lies.
• Finally, there is real evidence of booming demand for industrial and commercial properties in Butts County. The ethical and fiduciary responsibility of the Board as a whole, and each Board member individually, is first to ensure that the citizens of Butts County are served. As a result, before any precedent for serving properties outside the County are set, I would strongly advise that the Authority ensure that the infrastructure, improvements, and capacity are in place to protect sewer capacity for Butts County projects.
After much discussion, the current risks outweigh the practical ability to service a property wholly outside of Butts County. Mr. Marett recommended the Authority’s current policy to service a property only if at least-sixty percent of the land and project is within Butts County remains in effect. Chairman White stated the question of possibly providing sewer service in the future when more capacity becomes available. Six board members were in favor, with one opposing. A copy of the letter is attached and part of these minutes.
Retirement Plan Update- Ms. Hopson noted that employees who had previously withdrawn from their AIG Valic retirement account, declined to purchase past years of service when ACCG GebCorp amended the plan in 2015. The buy back allowed employees to add to their years, not lose any.
River Park Development- Ms. Hopson reported that RINDT Engineering provided a cost estimate for a fire booster station totaling $819,735. A meeting is scheduled in the upcoming weeks between all interested parties to discuss logistics.
Water Meter Supplier Meeting- Ms. Hopson reported that Assistant Superintendent Travis Clay, Meter Reader Karsten Gotel, and herself are meeting with Master Meter on April 20, 2023. They will meet with several other vendors before making a decision on water meters for the upcoming meter change-out project.
Water Plant Operator Position- Ms. Hopson reported that Water Plant Operator, Morris Smith is planning to retire in December of this year. Resulting in four operators to operate two water plants. The authority is in desperate need of operators. She asked that all board members to please send referrals.
Financial Audit- Ms. Hopson reported that she contacted Rae Johnston at Haisten and Johnston to see if they would reconsider completing the Authority’s financial audit at a higher pay rate compared to previous years. Ms. Johnston stated that she is no longer independent and the audit has to be done be an independent auditor. Mr. Roberts made a motion to accept Mauldin & Jenkins proposal at $74,700 that was submitted at the March 21st meeting. This was seconded by Mr. Taylor and approved unanimously. A copy of the proposal is attached and made part of these minutes.
Operations Statistics – Ms. Hopson went over the water production, water loss and customer statistics for March. The average daily finished water pumped to the Authority, Jackson and Jenkinsburg from Burford and Stewart plant was 2.22 million gallons per day, with a maximum of 2.64 million gallons per day. The rolling twelve-month average loss of 10% with the current monthly average at 23%. The total amount of finished water pumped in March by each plant was: Burford 65 million gallons and Stewart 4 million gallons.
Water billing for March was $259,680 up 4% from the previous month, up 10% over a rolling 12-month total, and up 0% the same month for the previous year. Sewer billing for March was $53,183 up 10% from the previous month, up 13% over a rolling 12-month total, and up 1% from the previous year.
Total water accounts numbered 6,892 at the end of March with 5,633 of those being active customers. There were 5 new connections sold. There were 263 total sewer accounts at the end of March, with 207 of the being active customers.
Financial Report – Ms. Hopson reviewed the financial summary for Water & Sewer Operations and Capital Recovery Fees for March 2023 and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) through March 31, 2023.
Water Operations income for March was $259,371 with expenses of $289,241. Water capital recovery fee revenue for Fiscal Year 2023 thus far was $64,031 with $0 in expenses.
Sewer Operations income for March was $53,687 with expenses of $70,676. Sewer Capital Recovery Fee revenue for Fiscal Year 2023 thus far was $52,486 with $0 in expenses.
For the 2019-24 SPLOST, $2,886,170 has been collected. A SPLOST payment of $96,218.85 was received on April 5, 2023. Overages in the 2019-24 SPLOST are being covered by temporary transfers from the Water Operations fund.
Total cash on hand at the end of March was $13,549,727. Copies of the March 2023 financial summaries, the consolidated fund balance sheet and the consolidated fund income statement are attached and made a part of these minutes.
Adjourn – A motion was made by Mr. Ford to adjourn the meeting at 6:58 p.m. This was seconded by Mr. Marett and approved unanimously.