BIG BEND WATER AUTHORITY
1313 1st Ave SE, P O Box 670
Steinhatchee, FL 32359
BOARD MEETING MINUTES/PUBLIC WORKSHOP
February 4, 2021
BBWA Board Members present: Howard Hart (5:20), Wendell McKinnon, Stan Ridgeway, W.C. Mills, Michael Newman and Margaret Corbin
BBWA Board Members absent: Melvin Corbin III
BBWA Employees present: Mark Reblin, and Laura Valentine
Via teleconference: BBWA Engineer Mike Murphy and BBWA Attorney Mark Logan
I. Call to order: Vice Chairman McKinnon called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
II. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance: Board Member Newman gave the invocation, followed by Board Member Mills leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
III. Approval of Agenda. Board Member Mills made a motion to approve the agenda. Vice Chairman McKinnon seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
IV. Approval of December invoices: Board Member Ridgeway questioned who was the vendor Dave Symonds and what do we purchase from them. Office Manager Laura Valentine advised the said vendor is who we purchase peroxide from. Board Member Ridgeway stated that’s fine he didn’t recognize the vendor and made motion to approve. Board Member Mills seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
V. Approval of December financials: Board Member Mills made a motion to approve the December invoices. Board Member Corbin seconded the motion. Board Member Ridgeway questioned if the USDA account showing on the financials were looked into. Laura Valentine stated yes, the accountant did say that those are closed accounts (no longer being used). If you run the report that is not specified general fund only it will print all the accounts in the system. The vote was unanimous.
VI. Approval of January 7, board meeting minutes: Board Member Mills made a motion to approve the January 7 minutes. Board Member Ridgeway, seconded with discussion. Board Member Ridgeway question why the workshop wasn’t in the minutes stating that it was authorized to be held tonight. Vice Chairman McKinnon stated we discussed it and it was advertised in the paper and on the website. GM Reblin asked BBWA Attorney Mark Logan could we still have the workshop tonight if there wasn’t anything about the workshop in the prior minutes. Attorney Logan said there is no reason we cannot have the workshop because it was discussed at the prior meeting and was published, therefore it fine to have public workshop tonight. The minutes can be amended. Board Member Ridgeway asked Attorney Logan who can authorize a workshop? Attorney Logan stated that the board can authorize having a workshop. The minutes will be amended to reflect the discussion to have the public workshop. The vote was unanimous.
VII. Citizens Input: None
VIII. Mark Reblin
1. Water Facilities Plan: There was discussion of the growth of Steinhatchee and the need to expand and try to find grants to help. It was suggested to reach out to county grant writers to try and see what is out there for help. Chairman Hart stated he thinks we need to try and take care of the problems we have with the leaks and pipes, then we can continue to branch out. Board Member Ridgeway stated that in the water facilities plan now there are 4 projects that are proposed none of them will bring in revenue they will be paid for by grants alone. One of the projects is to increase water pressure for fire service from 500 gallons to about 1,500 gallons a minute in Jena, we provide the required 500 gallons now. The 1,500 gallons is being requested by one private company so they can put in a rv park he doesn’t think we/our customers should have to pay for this. Board Member Ridgeway stated he feels we need more information before looking at these 4 projects. There was a brief discussion, BBWA Engineer Murphy will bring back additional information and it will be discussed.
2. E-Pay: Office Manager Laura Valentine stated that currently we are paying $.35 per transaction and 3% (convenience fees) of the amount of bill each time someone pays their bill online through e-pay. The amount of people paying online has increased. Last year alone BBWA was charged approximately $4,500 in fees. Mrs. Valentine stated she researched how other facilities were handling this. Three out of four are charging a convenience fee to recoup this charge, we do charge a credit card fee when someone uses their card but not e-payments. A call has been made and our utilities software provider can set this up for us (to add a convenience fee). Board Member McKinnon stated he appreciates that the ladies in the office being on the ball and catching this. Board Member Mills made a motion to start charging a convenience fee. Board Member McKinnon seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
3. Notary: GM Reblin stated that currently we don’t have a notary in the office and would like to have both Laura Valentine and Vickie Webb to become a notary. Board Member Newman made a motion for both Valentine and Webb to become a notary. Board Member McKinnon seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
4. Truck: GM Reblin stated he got quotes on purchasing a truck, the best quote is $27,633 under state contract. There was discussion on purchasing a new truck to replace the dodge that is no longer operable. Board Member McKinnon made a motion to move forward with purchasing the dodge truck with the aluminum body which is roughly an additional $4,500. Board Member Ridgeway seconded the motion. Board Member Margaret Corbin stated this is for the truck and the aluminum bed. Yes, that is correct. The vote was unanimous. The old truck will be put up for bid. Attorney Logan stated they can authorize the GM to surplus it. Board Member Newman stated you could also put it on the government auction site as well. Board Member McKinnon stated he thought it should be advertised here since the community did purchase the vehicle. Board Member Mills suggested to take sealed bids. Board Member Corbin asked who would open the sealed bids, would it be done at a meeting? Attorney Logan, it does not have to be a sealed bid, it can be an open bid and if you don’t have any bids you can donate it to a non-profit or another government entity. Board Member Corbin asked could board members or their family bid, board decided there isn’t any reason they can’t. It was decided that GM will find out what its worth and he will call the board and advise. GM Reblin asked do we want to purchase the new truck out right or finance it? GM Reblin advised we should be able to get a good interest rate. Board Member Mills made a motion if we can get 0% interest then we finance it, if not buy it out right. Board Member McKinnon seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
5. Land Acquisition: GM Reblin advised he had emailed the landowners about the 3 acres (north of the sewer plant) and their last numbers were $7,500 an acre. GM Reblin asked BBWA Engineer Mike Murphy if we could get that money for land acquisition put into the funding? Murphy advised that how the rules are written you cannot, you can get loan money not grant money. Board Member McKinnon made a motion to get a bottom-line price on 5 acres. Board Member Mills seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
6. Miscellaneous: GM Reblin has determined that if we put the dump station here and do it in house it will run roughly $5,600. There was a brief discussion. Board Member Ridgeway asked was that price including the fence around it? GM stated no, that is not including putting a fence around it. Board Member Mills made a motion to move forward with the dump station, having it open during business hours and the fee will be $20 for a travel trailer and $40 for a motor home. Board Member McKinnon seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous. Board Member Newman asked GM Reblin when did he think it will be up and running? GM Reblin replied hopefully by May or at least by the summer.
1. Miscellaneous: None
X. Board Members’ Request: Board Member Newman asked GM Reblin if there is anything that could be done about the smell from the sewer plant. GM Reblin advised he is checking on getting something for it.
XI. Announcements: The next board meeting will be Thursday, March 4, 2021.
XII. Adjournment: Chairman Hart asked was everyone good to close and going into the public workshop. Everyone agreed to close meeting and move into workshop at 6:50.
There workshop was called to order immediately following the end of the February 4, 2021 monthly board meeting. There was a general discussion amongst the Board Members regarding how the authority may plan for longer term issues such as water and sewer expansion, water quality, extending water/sewer lines, funding and other related issues.
Adjournment: Chairman Hart asked the board was everyone good and were they ok to adjourn. Everyone agreed, meeting adjourned at 7:03 p.m.
Laura Valentine, Clerk Howard Hart, Chairman