The Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commissioners voted to approve an intergovernmental agreement with Glynn County that would allow them to have full control of the $15 million of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue that they were allotted.
The agreement still needs to be approved by the Glynn County Commission before it will take effect. County commission chairman Bill Brunson said it was not on their Thursday agenda because commissioners needed time to examine and vet it. He did say, however, that he was in favor of it in concept.
Executive director Jimmy Junkin said the extra flexibility the agreement would give the utility would allow him to begin searching for ways to fund a critical sewer project in the north mainland because he will be able to assure lenders they will be paid back with SPLOST funds.
Collection of the temporary one percent sales tax will take place over the next three and a half years, starting next month.
Work on the north mainland sewer system was described by Junkin as critical because nearly the entire system in that region is at or over capacity. It is holding up housing development in the area, which is a big market in Glynn.
Having the additional flexibility with management of SPLOST funds would also allow Junkin to expedite parts of the project, which is slated to take at least a year to complete. Expediting parts of the project now would allow the utility to provide some sewer capacity in the short term, although not enough to meet demand.
In other business, a presentation from CFO John Donaghy on alternate funding options was heard by the full commission. Donaghy explained an alternate rate structure that is becoming more and more common across the country. Instead of having two rates being added up in the bill, a fixed and a variable consumption-based rate, one rate would be charged that would allow for usage of 4,000 gallons a month. Any more than that and the variable rate would kick in.
Donaghy said the fixed rate could be kept low by cutting planning and construction administrative costs from the regular rate-payers’ bills. He said currently rate-payers are essentially subsidizing development, and cutting that portion of the bill and making developers pay those administrative fees would be an option.
The commission also approved a resolution for financing 10 auxiliary sewer pumps, the sale of surplus equipment and a contract for landscaping services.
The next meeting of the full Brunswick-Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 6 in their offices at 1703 Gloucester St. in Brunswick.