March 2021

Board Meeting: March 29, 2021 ~9:00 A.M.

PERSONS PRESENT:  Gary Winchester, Eric Wilmarth, Lisa Woodruff, Harry Johnston, Nancy Martin, Barry Mansell, Tom Heard, David Kubala, Dwayne Fowler, Tom Roach, Wesley Banks, Joey Buice, Corey Ghorley, Clint Blackwell, Beth Jones, Mike Venters, Ryan Sarks, Gaye Blackwell, Jennifer Arp, Eric Wright, Garry Hensley, Greg Long, Leo Baker, Melanie Stephens, Mark Cochran, and Rodney Satterfield.

Member Doug Dabbs was not present.

Gary Winchester, Chair, called the meeting to order.

1.   AN INVOCATION WAS GIVEN BY ERIC WILMARTH, FOLLOWED BY THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

2.   COREY GHORLEY REQUESTED APPROVAL FOR AN INCREASE OF THE HAZEN & SAWYER ENGINEERING CONTRACT FOR DESIGN SERVICES ON THE FITZGERALD CREEK WPCP UPGRADE TO 11.75 MGD IN THE AMOUNT OF $354,800.00.  Mr. Ghorley noted that this increase reflects changes in the original scope of work up to the 60% design phase.  Mr. Ghorley noted an original approved contract amount of $1,562,840.00, and a revised contract amount of $1,917,640.00.

MOTION BY BARRY MANSELL AND SECOND BY LISA WOODRUFF TO APPROVE THE INCREASE FOR THE HAZEN & SAWYER ENGINEERING CONTRACT FOR DESIGN SERVICES ON THE FITZGERALD CREEK WPCP UPGRADE TO 11.75 MGD IN THE AMOUNT OF $354,800.00.  All members present voted for the motion.

3.  COREY GHORLEY REQUESTED APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSAL FROM HAZEN & SAWYER ENGINEERING IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,597,600.00 FOR CONSTRUCTION SERVICES ON THE FITZGERALD CREEK WPCP UPGRADE TO 11.75 MGD.

MOTION BY ERIC WILMARTH AND SECOND BY LISA WOODRUFF TO APPROVE THE PROPOSAL FROM HAZEN & SAWYER ENGINEERING IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,597,600.00 FOR CONSTRUCTION SERVICES ON THE FITZGERALD CREEK WPCP UPGRADE TO 11.75 MGD.  All members present voted for the motion.

4.   COREY GHORLEY REQUESTED APPROVAL OF THE LOW BID RECEIVED FROM CROWDER CONSTRUCTION FOR CONSTRUCTION SERVICES ON THE FITZGERALD CREEK WPCP UPGRADE TO 11.75 MGD IN THE AMOUNT OF $40,643,000.00.  Mr. Ghorley noted this scope of work is listed as Item #6 on the Authority’s current CIP under Construction Expansion/Upgrade, with an approved construction budget of $42,600,000.00.

MOTION BY NANCY MARTIN AND SECOND BY ERIC WILMARTH TO APPROVE THE LOW BID RECEIVED FROM CROWDER CONSTRUCTION FOR CONSTRUCTION SERVICES ON THE FITZGERALD CREEK WPCP UPGRADE TO 11.75 MGD IN THE AMOUNT OF $40,643,000.00.  All members present voted for the motion.

5.   COREY GHORLEY REQUESTED APPROVAL OF A CONSTRUCTION BUDGET IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,671,973.00 FOR THE PLATE SETTLER REPLACEMENT AT THE ETOWAH RIVER WATER TREATMENT PLANT/PHASE 1.  Mr. Ghorley noted that this scope of work is listed as Item #4 on the Authority’s current CIP under Asset Replacement, with a total original estimated cost of $1,600,000.00.

MOTION BY LISA WOODRUFF AND SECOND BY ERIC WILMARTH TO APPROVE A CONSTRUCTION BUDGET IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,671,973.00 FOR THE PLATE SETTLER REPLACEMENT AT THE ETOWAH RIVER WATER TREATMENT PLANT/PHASE 1.  All members present voted for the motion.

6.   GAYE BLACKWELL PRESENTED A REQUEST FROM JC PENDREY, JR. FOR CONSIDERATION OF BILLING ON BEHALF OF AUTHORITY CUSTOMER SUSAN GILBERT.  Mrs. Blackwell referenced correspondence received from Mr. Pendrey in which Mr. Pendrey noted that he is writing on behalf of his disabled daughter who received a very high water bill and needs help in resolving the issue.  Mr. Pendrey noted that Susan Gilbert called the water department the day the bill was received, but since it was on a Saturday, the office was closed.  Mr. Pendrey stated that Susan called several times the following week before being able to contact someone in the office in an attempt to understand the high charge of $401.80.  The normal bill is around $50.00, which has always been paid promptly.  Mr. Pendrey stated that the water department told Susan to perform a water color test and to call a plumber to inspect the pipes and plumbing for a leak. Mr. Pendrey noted the water color test did not indicate that water leaked from a toilet, and the plumber inspected the pipes and toilets, but did not find any leaks.  The plumber has stated on his bill that there is no leak.

Mr. Pendrey stated in his correspondence that Susan visited the water department with this information and requested help and consideration to reduce the bill and help explain the high bill, but no explanation was offered.

Mr. Pendrey further noted that upon reporting the test and inspections results to the water department, Susan was told that no adjustment could be made and that the water would be cut off if payment was not made immediately.  The bill was paid in full.  Mr. Pendrey noted that another bill was then received with a $40.18 penalty and a notice that the water would be disconnected if the penalty was not paid.

Mr. Pendrey stated in his correspondence that Susan is disabled for an injury received while on duty with the Milledgeville, Georgia Police Department.  She was struck by lightning while on a call.  Since the injury in 1995, she lives with chronic pain and has received treatments by many doctors, including Shepherd Spinal Center, without relief from the pain.

Mr. Pendrey noted that Susan has lived in Woodstock for approximately 25 years, in the current location for approximately 10 years, and has paid her bills, including her water bill on time which the records will verify.  Mr. Pendrey noted that Susan conserves all utility usage because of her limited income.

Mr. Pendrey noted that since no leak has been found and Susan cannot determine any unusual usage of water, Susan is requesting that an adjustment be made to the bill and the late charge.

In his correspondence, Mr. Pendrey noted that he was trying to determine the reason and cause for the high bill in order to be proactive and to prevent it from occurring again.  Mr. Pendrey posed the following questions:

1)   Is it possible that an error was made in reading the water meter?  Has an error ever been made in reading a water meter?

2)   Is it possible that an error was made in entering the data into the billing system?  Has an error ever been made in data entry into the billing system?

3)   Is it possible that a software glitch occurred in preparing the bill?  Has a software error ever occurred before?

Gaye Blackwell noted that, in response to Mr. Pendrey’s letter, standard protocol was followed and the meter reading taken by Bermex on 12/22/20 was verified by a CCWSA meter technician on 12/28/20.  At that time, the meter showed an additional 3000 gallons of consumption in the six days from Bermex’s original reading on 12/22/20.

Mrs. Blackwell further noted that, per the customer’s request, the meter was tested for accuracy on 1/19/21.  The meter tested accurate.

Mrs. Blackwell noted that Susan Gilbert paid the full billed amount of $401.80 on 2/2/21.  The after due date penalty of $40.18 resulting from the large billed amount was credited on 2/11/21.

Mrs. Blackwell noted that the Authority offers extended payment arrangements to all CCWSA customers if they are unable to pay a large billed amount in full, and noted that no leak adjustment could be given for this account based upon the Authority’s current leak adjustment policy.

Mrs. Blackwell stated that Susan Gilbert has now paid the March billed amount twice on 3/10/21.  This resulted in a credit balance of $113.61 to Ms. Gilbert’s account.  Mrs. Blackwell noted that she has reached out to Ms. Gilbert to determine if Ms. Gilbert would like a refund of her overpayment.  Ms. Gilbert declined the refund and requested that the credit balance be applied to the next bill.

Staff recommends adhering to the current policy in place.

MOTION BY ERIC WILMARTH AND SECOND BY BARRY MANSELL TO ADHERE TO EXISTING POLICY AS IT IS CURRENTLY WRITTEN.  All members present voted for the motion.

Gaye Blackwell noted that she would contact Ms. Gilbert with regard to the Board’s decision.

7.   MIKE VENTERS REFERENCED CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED FROM SCOTT KING OF ERTH PRODUCTS, LLC.  In this correspondence, Mr. King noted that pursuant to Section 4.3 of ERTH Products’ contract with CCWSA, ERTH Products is proposing a new annual price of $88.25 per ton for the recycling of CCWSA’s bio-solids for the period 7/1/21 – 6/30/22.

Mr. King further noted in his correspondence that ERTH Products seeks this price adjustment due to the continuing increases in the bio-solid disposal/recycling market.  Mr. King noted that these market changes, along with the corresponding increases in cost associated with beneficial reuse composting (regulatory, freight/fuel & raw materials), make the increase necessary to be able to continue to service CCWSA.

Mike Venters noted that the Authority currently pays $75.00 per ton to ERTH Products for this service, and noted that he recommends approval of this request.

MOTION BY NANCY MARTIN AND SECOND BY BARRY MANSELL TO APPROVE THE PRICE ADJUSTMENT OF $88.25 PER TON TO ERTH PRODUCTS FOR THE RECYCLING OF CCWSA’S BIO-SOLIDS FOR THE PERIOD 7/1/21 – 6/30/22.  All members present voted for the motion.

8.   DWAYNE FOWLER PRESENTED A REQUEST FROM JEFF SMITH OF RIDGE PLANNING & ENGINEERING FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A LIFT STATION AND FORCE MAIN FOR A PROJECT LOCATED AT 327 ARNOLD MILL ROAD IN WOODSTOCK (SITE PLAN ATTACHED).  Mr. Fowler noted that the parcels included are 15N17 054, 15N17 055, and 15N17 060.

Mr. Fowler noted this project would consist of approximately 127 units, and noted that this is the first reading of this issue.

9.   GARY WINCHESTER REVIEWED THE FOLLOW-UP ITEMS FROM THE 2/22/21 BOARD MEETING:

1)   DWAYNE FOWLER REFERENCED CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED FROM JERRY JOHNSON OF PERSPECTIVE ENGINEERING.  In this correspondence, Mr. Johnson requested installation of a lift station and force main to serve 54 single family lots on approximately 35.1 acres located to the north of Elwin Ragsdale Way north of the intersection of McCollum Lane (MAPS ATTACHED).  In this correspondence, Mr. Johnson noted that his firm has researched connecting to possible gravity sewer.  However, his firm has determined that, based upon topography, it is not possible.

Mr. Fowler noted that staff recommends approval of this request.

MOTION BY ERIC WILMARTH AND SECOND BY LISA WOODRUFF TO APPROVE THE REQUEST OF JERRY JOHNSON OF PERSPECTIVE ENGINEERING FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A LIFT STATION AND FORCE MAIN AT ELWIN RAGSDALE WAY.  All members present voted for the motion.

2)   DWAYNE FOWLER REFERENCED CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED FROM PARKS HUFF OF SAMS, LARKIN & HUFF, LLP ON BEHALF OF TRATON HOMES FOR INSTALLATION OF A LIFT STATION AT THE INTERSECTION OF LOWER UNION HILL ROAD AND THOMAS ROAD.  In this correspondence, Mr. Huff noted that Traton Homes desires the installation of a lift station as opposed to installation of sewer outfall (GIS IMAGE & PLANS FOR PROPOSED OUTFALL ATTACHED).

In this correspondence, Mr. Huff noted that the GIS image provides a visual of the route the outfall would follow.  The outfall would require significant work in sensitive areas that are close to a creek, in steep topography, and are heavily treed.  The disturbed area is 2.2 acres.  Mr. Huff noted that the route has two stream crossings, six sections that require steel casings, and depths up to 28 feet.  The estimate to construct the sewer outfall is approximately $713,000.00 for the installation, $170,000.00 for easement acquisition, $125,000.00 for rock blasting, $181,000.00 for road repair and traffic management, $60,000.00 for contingency, resulting in a total estimate of $1.25 million.

By comparison, the lift station can be installed with no effect on adjacent property owners.  Mr. Huff noted that Traton Homes understands the concerns of CCWSA for accepting a new lift station.  Therefore, Traton Homes would like to resolve any concerns with the design of the lift station and would be agreeable to contributing $100,000.00 for any long term maintenance issues.

Mr. Fowler noted that the engineers for this project are currently researching the ability to value engineer this project and make gravity available to this property.  Therefore, Traton Homes requests to table this issue until next month’s meeting.

MOTION BY BARRY MANSELL AND SECOND BY LISA WOODRUFF TO TABLE THIS ISSUE UNTIL NEXT MONTH’S MEETING.  All members present voted for the motion.

10.    MOTION BY LISA WOODRUFF AND SECOND BY BARRY MANSELL TO APPROVE THE 2/22/21 BOARD MEETING MINUTES AS PRESENTED.  All members present voted for the motion.

11.    BETH JONES PRESENTED THE FINANCE REPORT.  Mrs. Jones noted that total operating revenues are approximately $1,025,115.00 below budget projections for the period ending 1/31/21.  Mrs. Jones noted that total operating expenses are approximately $778,886.00 below budget projections for the same period.  Mrs. Jones reported year-to-date net income of $2,767,276.00 for the period ending 1/31/21.

12.    CLINT BLACKWELL PRESENTED THE WATER TREATMENT OPERATIONS REPORT.  Mr. Blackwell reported an average daily treatment of 15.543 MGD for the month of February 2021 at the Etowah River Water Treatment Facility.  Mr. Blackwell reported that the Hollis Q. Lathem Reservoir is currently at full pool at 1189.3 ft.  Mr. Blackwell reported a cumulative rainfall total of 60.30” for the past twelve months.

13.    MIKE VENTERS PRESENTED THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT OPERATIONS REPORT.  Mr. Venters reported an average daily treatment of 2.8 MGD at the Rose Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, as well as a total reuse monthly flow of 1.7 MG.  Mr. Venters reported an average daily treatment of 5.0 MGD at the Fitzgerald Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, and an average daily treatment of 0.285 MGD at the Riverbend Wastewater Treatment Facility.

14.    JENNIFER ARP PRESENTED THE ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT.  Mrs. Arp noted that one spill occurred at Gregory Lane during this reporting period.  Mrs. Arp noted that approximately 13,200 gallons were spilled due to rags in the line.  Mrs. Arp noted that Authority crews jetted the line to correct the problem.  Mrs. Arp further noted that this spill would be monitored for a period of one year.

15.    JENNIFER ARP NOTED THAT THE AUTHORITY’S EDUCATION PROGRAM HAS RECEIVED THE PROGRAM OF EXCELLENCE IN WATER AWARD FROM THE GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF WATER PROFESSIONALS.

16.    DWAYNE FOWLER PRESENTED THE CONSTRUCTION REPORT.  MR. FOWLER NOTED THAT THE NEW CONSTRUCTION COMPLEX IS APPROXIMATELY 95% COMPLETE.

17.    MR. FOWLER NOTED THAT TREES HAVE BEEN PLANTED ON SECTIONS OF THE AUTHORITY’S 600 ACRE PROPERTY.

18.    MR. FOWLER NOTED THAT REPAIRS HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED ON VARIOUS CREEK CROSSINGS DUE TO RECENT STORM DAMAGE.

19.    TOM HEARD PRESENTED THE GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT.  MR. HEARD NOTED THAT THE AUTHORITY HAS BEEN NOTIFIED OF THE FOLLOWING AWARDS FROM THE GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF WATER PROFESSIONALS:  

·         Etowah River Water Treatment Facility – Drinking Water Facility Platinum Award

·         Riverbend Wastewater Treatment Plant – Wastewater Facility Gold Award

·         Fitzgerald Creek Water Pollution Control Facility – Wastewater Facility Platinum Award

·         Rose Creek Water Pollution Control Facility – Wastewater Facility Platinum Award

·         Riverbend Wastewater Treatment Plant – Plant of the Year Award

20.    MR. HEARD NOTED THAT A DRONE VIDEO PRESENTATION OF THE AUTHORITY’S NEW CONSTRUCTION COMPLEX AS WELL AS THE FITZGERALD CREEK FACILITY WOULD BE PRESENTED TO THE BOARD SOMETIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

MOTION BY BARRY MANSELL AND SECOND BY LISA WOODRUFF TO ADJOURN.  All members present voted for the motion.

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