CALLED COUNCIL MEETING
February 27, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer.
Mayor Rozier stated that Councilman Tyler had requested this meeting to discuss several issues regarding the lift station, water permits, drainage, and waste water treatment so he asked him to report on these matters.
Councilman Tyler advised council that over the weekend the main discharge valve at the lift station malfunctioned which resulted in approximately 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of waste making its way to the waterways. Councilman Tyler stated that the EPD had been contacted about the problem and he and Ernest Grizzard had met with them at the site. EPD stressed the importance of the City taking the necessary steps to make sure this problem was handled in a timely manner as future spills could result in fines. Councilman Tyler reported that he had advised the EPD that the problem would be taken care of within 60 to 90 days and even though he felt sure we could get an extension on this timetable he encouraged council to proceed with steps to handle the problem right away. Council was advised that with the by-pass system currently out of service, we were using some portions of the lift station; however, with the instability of this system, he was concerned that it could go down at any time. Councilman Tyler stated that a second Flythe pump had been ordered for the temporary by-pass system and the cost for the equipment rental would increase. Ernest Grizzard stated that he should have the parts to fix the by-pass system by the middle of next week.
Councilman Tyler stated that he had also met with Chris Stovall with Thomas & Hutton Engineering at the site who advised him that replacement of the lift station would be the best option for the City due to the age of the current wet well system and the poor condition of the equipment. Mr. Stovall pointed out that the Smith & Loveless system that was being used was not the best choice for a lift station. Although there were other brands of submersible systems that could be considered, Councilman Tyler pointed out that the Flythe system was the only company with a local sales representative. Councilman Tyler reported that based on his conversations with Mr. Stovall, he wanted to propose to council that we go ahead and proceed with obtaining bids on the lift station replacement option rather than pursuing bids on making repairs to the existing system. Councilman Tyler stated that if the City purchased the equipment directly from the manufacturer, we could save money on the sales tax and could probably get a better price than the contractor since we were a government agency. Councilman Tyler advised council that if we purchased the equipment ourselves, we would only need to get bids on the labor costs to install the system. Also, since it takes about 6 to 8 weeks to get the equipment, the City could save some time by going ahead and ordering it now rather than having to wait on bids for both equipment and labor. Ernest Grizzard stated that the estimate he had been quoted for the Flythe pump and the other equipment needed to install the submersible system was $18,500. Councilman Johnson asked about the longevity of the pump since it would be submersed in septic water. Mr. Stovall stated that by using stainless steel chains, guide rails, discharge piping and access hatches, the system should last 20 to 25 years and the City should not experience any maintenance issues for at least 7 to 10 years. Mr. Stovall advised council that the wet well itself was in good condition.
Mayor Rozier asked if the odor of a submersible system was less than the system we currently used. Mr. Stovall stated that since it is below ground, he was sure that it would not be any worse, but he did feel there should be some improvement. Councilman Myrick asked if the scrubber on the current system would be an adequate size for a new system. Mr. Stovall stated that if it was in working order, it could be used on the new system. Ernest Grizzard reported that he has trouble getting some of the parts to keep it running, but with the correct parts it does work. Ernest Grizzard stated that the salesman has promised to come by and get with him on obtaining the parts needed to make the repairs, but still has not shown up. Both Mr. Stovall and Councilman Johnson offered to assist in making contact with the company to get the parts needed to keep the equipment up and running. Councilman Myrick asked if there was any other system that would work better than the scrubber and Mr. Stovall advised him that another option would be bio-filters, however, these were very costly—probably two to three times more expensive than the scrubber system. Mr. Stovall stated that chemical treatment is another alternative, but the chemicals were also very expensive. Councilman Johnson pointed out that we had previously used a chemical treatment system, but the costs related to this system had increased so much that we decided to change to the scrubber.
Council discussed the possibility of using the existing wet well as part of a by-pass system if installation of a new system is approved. Mr. Stovall stated that about the only thing that would be needed would be a set of guide rails for installing the pump into the wet well. Council agreed that this would probably be a wise move so we would have complete backup capacity in the future.
Councilman Myrick asked Mr. Stovall if the scope of work that was used in the bid obtained from Aqua-South would be sufficient to use in bidding the job. Mr. Stovall pointed out that the only difference he could see would be that the check valves should be on the outside of the wet well. Councilman Myrick asked if he could provide council with a written scope of work to be used to bid the job and Mr. Stovall advised him that he could submit one right away. Councilman Myrick stated that he would also like to see an engineering firm involved in reviewing the bids and overseeing the project and other council members agreed that the project should be handled in this manner.
Council then addressed the proposal from Councilman Tyler to go with the replacement system rather than repairing the existing lift station. Based on the recommendation from Thomas & Hutton, council agreed that replacing the system would be the best thing at this time and also felt that by the City ordering the equipment we could expedite the replacement process. Mr. Stovall stated that he could prepare a scope of work specifically for the labor related to the installation of the Flythe system at the same rate of pay outlined in the consulting agreement currently being considered by council. He also stated that Thomas & Hutton would be willing to oversee the project at these same rates of pay. Mr. Stovall advised council that it would be a good idea to obtain a performance bond as part of the contract to make sure the contractor finished the work. Attorney Gerard asked how many draws we should expect to issue a contractor if we purchase the equipment ourselves. Mr. Stovall stated that there would probably only be two and, in that case, a performance bond may not be necessary because we would only be paying them for work performed. After the discussion, Councilman Tyler made a motion to replace the lift station with the Flythe Submersible System. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler then made a motion to proceed with ordering the Flythe Submersible System. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to amend the budget to include payment of the cost of the above-mentioned equipment from the Water & Sewer Renewal & Extension Fund. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed the proposed consulting agreement presented by Thomas & Hutton. Attorney Gerard pointed out that the scope of the work in this agreement covered long-term water and sewer planning and council should consider approving a different scope of work outlining Thomas & Hutton’s specific responsibilities related to the work at the lift station. Mr. Stovall stated he would have something for council’s review at the March 6th council meeting. Mr. Stovall stated that he felt that we should be able to re-bid the replacement of the lift station and have the bids available for council’s review at the March 20th meeting. Councilman Johnson asked Mr. Stovall if there were other contractors that may be available to bid the project and he stated that he knew of at least one other company that did this type work and would see that they received a bid form. Mr. Stovall stated that Thomas & Hutton’s review of the bids would also include checking the contractors’ previous work history and this would be one of the things taken into consideration when they made a proposal to the council regarding which bid to accept. Mr. Stovall reported that it would take approximately 2 to 3 weeks to install the equipment once it arrives. Councilman Johnson pointed out that he wanted to make sure we did not rush through the bidding process since we would have some time before the equipment arrived.
Mr. Stovall advised council that the applications for the water permits for the upper and lower aquifer had been submitted to EPD. He pointed out that an increase in our existing permit is very unlikely and a permit for the Miocene would probably not be granted unless the City dug a test well. Mr. Stovall stated that the cost of a well for the lower aquifer would be very costly and there was also a good possibility that the water would be of poor quality and would require some treatment before it could be used as drinking water. Council was advised that it could cost several hundred thousand dollars for just the well. Councilman Johnson asked for Mr. Stovall’s honest opinion on whether or not the City’s option to tie onto Savannah’s system would be the most cost effective way to obtain additional water at this time. Mr. Stovall stated that, in his opinion, we should certainly pursue this option in the event the other methods were not affordable. Mr. Stovall pointed out that prospective developers were going to need to know that we had a real source of water before they made their decisions regarding property development.
Mr. Stovall also stated that he felt there was some room for negotiation with the City of Savannah and he would be willing to intercede on the City’s behalf. Mayor Rozier stated that if Bloomingdale was able to annex the area to Hwy 204, we could tie onto Savannah’s system without having to go through the City of Pooler and this water would be coming from a well rather than through the I & D plant. Councilman Johnson stated that since the Morgan property is nearer to Pooler and we know it is the most likely area to develop in the near future, he would be concerned about not making our connection at Pooler. Councilman Johnson asked if Mr. Stovall had any data regarding the quality of the water from the I & D plant. Mr. Stovall stated that in past studies by his firm, they determined that this surface water was not the best quality of water for the industry that had requested the survey. Councilman Wedincamp asked how long it would take to get the water run from Hwy 204 to Bloomingdale. Mayor Rozier pointed out that the length of time would not be an issue; however, the cost factor would be the main problem. Attorney Gerard advised council that the City of Savannah has approved Bloomingdale’s request to allow for the one-year option on the water contract that would not obligate Bloomingdale to anything at this time. The contract would merely allow Bloomingdale to continue seeking other options to the water situation for one year and if at that time we had found another water source, the contract would expire. If, however, Bloomingdale wanted to secure water from the City of Savannah, they would execute another contract that would allow our use of up to 100,000 gallons of their permit with the understanding Bloomingdale would tie onto Pooler’s line within one year. If we did not tie onto Pooler’s line within the one-year period, we would lose the 100,000 gallons. Mayor Rozier stated that he wanted to put a hold on signing the contract on the one-year option until he has had an opportunity to go to Atlanta and talk with the Governor about our water needs. No additional discussion was held concerning the water permits or agreements.
Councilman Tyler requested council approved the proposed consulting agreement presented by Thomas & Hutton. Mr. Stovall stated that a waste load allocation request must be submitted to EPD to see if a point-source discharge will be allowed and if allowed, to what degree treatment is required before any of the options available to the City can be pursued. In addition, contact needs to be made with property owners of potential sites to determine the feasibility of the proposal. Attorney Gerard stated that he had reviewed the revisions that were made to the original agreement and found them to be in order. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the consulting agreement with Councilman Wedincamp seconding the motion. Councilman Johnson asked exactly what was council being asked to approve. Mr. Stovall advised him that the consulting agreement that was proposed would allow the expense, with council’s approval, of up to a maximum of $2,000 in general water consulting fees and a maximum of $4,000 in long-term sewer planning expenses. Based on this explanation, Councilman Johnson agreed to support the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Tyler advised council that although Councilman Wedincamp was chairman of the committee overseeing the City’s drainage, he was over that committee at one time and wanted to bring council up to date on the matter. Councilman Tyler pointed out that he had met with the county over a year ago regarding the engineering work related to the drainage for the southern portion of the Conaway Canal and as of this date, they have not provided the City with any information about what needs to be done. Councilman Tyler stated that he had asked Mr. Stovall to make contact with the county to see if they had made any progress toward preparing the plans. Mr. Stovall stated that based on his conversation with the county engineering department it does not appear that any engineering work has yet been done. Councilman Tyler pointed out that he was concerned that there was no drainage work being done in Bloomingdale although the City had funds available for the work. Councilman Tyler stated that even though the county has agreed to do the work for free, he feels we should consider hiring our own engineering firm to prepare the plans so we can start work on the drainage. Mr. Stovall stated that he would get with his co-workers about bringing some preliminary information back to council at the March 20th meeting regarding costs related to their company doing the work for this project.
Being no further business, Councilman Myrick made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:35pm. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor and Council members Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Tyler and Wedincamp were present.