BIG BEND WATER AUTHORITY
1313 1st Ave SE, P O Box 670
Steinhatchee, FL 32359
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
March 4, 2021
BBWA Board Members present: Howard Hart, Wendell McKinnon, Stan Ridgeway, Michael Newman and Margaret Corbin and W.C. Mills
BBWA Board Members absent: Melvin Corbin III
BBWA Employees present: Mark Reblin, Laura Valentine and Vickie Webb
Via teleconference: BBWA Engineer Mike Murphy and BBWA Attorney Mark Logan
I. Call to order: Chairman Hart called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
II. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance: Vice Chairman McKinnon gave the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
III. Approval of agenda: Chairman Hart asked for approval of the agenda. Board Member McKinnon made a motion for approval and Board Member Mills seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
IV. Approval of January invoices: Chairman Hart asked for approval of the January invoices. Board Member Mills made a motion for approval and Board Member McKinnon seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
V. Approval of January financials: Board Member McKinnon made a motion to approve the January invoices. Board Member Ridgeway stated that he would second but with a discussion. Board Member Ridgeway had a question about the amount of money in the Construction in Progress Hwy-358 extension on the financials. He asked if this was something that was in error and needed to be removed, GM Reblin stated that our CPA Robert Beauchamp was currently working on removing it. Chairman Hart asked if there was any more discussion, all those in favor say I. The vote was unanimous.
VI. Approval of February minutes: Chairman Hart asked for approval of the February minutes. Board Member Mills made a motion to approve and Board Member McKinnon seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
VII. Citizens Input: Chairman Hart asked if there was any citizens input, for them to come to the podium and discuss their concern with the board. Mr. Buff Wiley stepped up and wanted to discuss the requirement of water and/or sewer deposits for every account for customers that have been in good standing with more than one property. The current policy of BBWA requires a $50 deposit for water and a $50 deposit for sewer for every account that is opened. Mr. Wiley questioned as to why and voiced his opposition of this policy. He stated he has had an account for 25 plus years and has always been in good standing and questioned if this policy could be changed. Chairman Hart stated that this was a topic on the agenda and that this would give the board members time to think about it before they address it on the agenda. He thanked Mr. Wiley for his input.
VIII. Mark Reblin:
1. Consideration for the approval of Sewer Asset Management Plan: George Glover with Florida Rural Water made a presentation of his analysis of BBWA’s sewer system. This analysis is required by DEP now because BBWA is requesting funding/grants to help with the sewer expansion. The DEP wants this to determine the condition of the current system and the worthiness of paying the debt back. Mr. Glover stated that our system was one of the better systems in place that he has seen. Mr. Glover made a recommendation of BBWA having a subscription to Diamond Maps. This subscription will give BBWA and its users, access to a cloud-based program that has GPS locations of every meter, sewer can, manhole and/or valve within BBWA Sewer System. This will eliminate the need for “guessing” where something might be located. This monthly subscription also has access to built in features that help maintain operational efficiencies. The proposed fee with no contract and the ability to cancel at any time is $20.00 per month.
3. Discussion of Water Facility Plan (Mike Murphy): BBWA Engineer Mike Murphy explained the options and phases of his Water Facility Plan. Each option had a phase that was a plan to address the leaking pipes and low-pressure areas. After much discussion, and some confusion between the options and phases, the board wanted to approve Options 3 & 5 that included phases 1,2 and 3 with an approximate cost of $2 million dollars. This is for replacing 1300 water meters (1050 in Steinhatchee, 250 in Jena), replacing 5280ft of pipe on Riverside Drive and replacing 5000ft of pipe in Jena. Board Member Ridgeway made a motion to approve and Board Member McKinnon seconded the motion with the stipulation that BBWA Engineer Mike Murphy make a simpler and clearer outline to be presented at the next Board Meeting. BBWA Engineer Mike Murphy agreed to do so. There will be a public meeting concerning this plan at 6pm after the next month’s regular Board meeting.
4. Discussion of deposit requirements for existing water and sewer customers: Due to the time and Mr. Wiley waiting, Chairman Hart decided to address this ahead of its place on the agenda. The board decided to change the policy of BBWA as of April 1, 2021, to state that any existing residential customer in good standing will not have to pay a deposit on any additional water and/or sewer accounts as long as 1 is on file.
5. Discussion of changing distance of mandatory sewer hookup from existing line from 300ft to 500ft: Because of the lengthy discussion of the Water Facility Plan, the Board decided to table this until the next meeting.
6. Piddlers Point sewer service request: GM Reblin stated that Piddlers Point Campground wants to expand and have additional RV spaces that will require an additional sewer hookup. The distance from the existing sewer line to the proposed location is approximately 3200ft. GM Reblin stated that he would get the number of other customers that this extension would gain and bring back to the board.
7. Miscellaneous: None
IX. Mark Logan:
a. Miscellaneous: None
X. Board Members’ Request: Board Member Newman stated that he had a representative of a current BBWA contact him regarding the policy for high water bills. Board Member Newman asked if there was a current policy in place for customers that had an unusually high bill because of a break or something uncontrollable that caused a leak. Board Member Mills stated that his mother had a high bill and he paid it. Chairman Hart also stated that he too had a high bill because of line breaks and he paid his. That BBWA’s policy is that if the break/leak is on the customers side, the customer is responsible for the bill. Board Member Newman said that he would pass this information on to the representative.
XI. Announcements: The next board meeting/public workshop is Thursday, April 1, followed by a public meeting regarding the Water Facility Plan.
XII. Adjournment: Chairman Hart asked if there was anything else, if everyone is in favor for dismissal say I. The vote was unanimous. The meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m.
Laura Valentine, Clerk Howard Hart