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Water-sewer commissioners get to work
The Joint Water and Sewer Commission discussed a new headquarters and created four committees following the swearing in of new board members Thursday.

The utility board has expanded to seven members with the addition of elected citizen representatives Sandy Dean and Ronnie Perry and grand jury appointed residents Tony Sammons, George Dupuy and Don Elliot. Also on the board are Glynn County Commissioner Dale Provenzano and City Commissioner James Brooks.

The new utility board went straight to work, naming Ronnie Perry chairman and Dale Provenzano vice chair and forming committees.

Already, the facilities and finance committees have something to discuss: the location of a new administrative headquarters.

Sammons, chair of the facilities committee, supports continuing plans to build at the purchased Gloucester Street property, while other members would prefer to explore other options.

"I think we should make a matrix of all the possibilities and the pros and cons of each," said Elliot.

The utility board voted to move forward with looking to conduct an operational audit on the facility. Per House Bill 1271, which reformed the utility board last spring and expanded it from five members, the utility must bring in an outside auditor.

"Have we ever had (an audit) done? Are we doing it right? Do we have enough people to do what we need to do?" Perry asked. "These are things we should figure out."

The utility board will also hear from city and county officials on the status of SPLOST IV and V projects, as Perry requested.

"We need to know what's out there and what's done and what is going to be done," Perry said. "What is their plan and how does it fit into ours?"

The utility will revisit the topics at its next meeting at 3 p.m. Feb. 7 on the third floor of 700 Gloucester St. in Brunswick.

Utility board members were present earlier in the day at the Brunswick Rotary Club meeting, where Dean Moss, retired general manager of the Beaufort, S.C., water and wastewater utility, was guest speaker.

Moss spoke to the Rotary Club years ago, before the formation of the local joint utility board, and was invited back to address the newly formed board and city and county commissioners about his experience.

"It's your job to figure out how it works and what's supposed to work," Moss said, addressing his remarks to utility board members.

Most importantly, providing clean water and safe wastewater while keeping customer satisfaction in mind is key to success.

"Learn the business," he said. "Study it. Take the time to learn it and then make your decisions."

Utility Board Committees

Facilities: Chair Tony Sammons, Sandy Dean, Don Elliot

Public Relations: Chair George Dupuy, James Brooks, Sandy Dean

Finance: Chair Don Elliot, Dale Provenzano, George Dupuy

Personnel: Chair James Brooks, Don Elliot, Dale Provenzano

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