Town of Glen St. Mary 

Florida's Outstanding Rural Community of the Year-2004

January 19, 2021 - Workshop

The Town of Glen St. Mary held a workshop on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 6:00 P.M. at the Town Hall with Council Member McCullough, Councilman Oca, Council Member Padgett, Council Member Reneau, and Councilman Rhynehardt present.  Mayor Rhynehardt presided over the workshop. 


The purpose of the workshop was to discuss water and sewer issues with Council.


Mr. Mike Griffis was present to represent the City of Macclenny for discussions of the Town needing to purchase more sewer capacity.  The Town entered into an agreement with the City of Macclenny several years back when we purchased the initial 25,000 gallons per day with an option to increase to 50,000 gallons per day within three years.  The Town will need to enter into a new agreement, but Mr. Griffis believes we can build off of the previous one.  He came over and talked with Mayor Rhynehardt and Clerk Loadholtz recently.  The Town is close to reaching our capacity.  Mr. Phil Rhoden has disclosed that he owns property near the Town and doesn’t want to present any conflict of interest, so he has left Mr. Griffis to handle any negotiations.  The City Commissioners want to help.  They will have to look at the usage rate.  We will pay based on the current rates.  The City of Macclenny may be able to allow us to buy more as we need it.  They would like to have the option that if we aren’t using the capacity in a given time, that they can take it back to use it.  Our usage has a small impact for Macclenny.  He told Council that the City would work on a proposal and then come back to the Town.  We will not be using it without receiving a grant.  Mr. Griffis thinks we can craft it to be purchased “as we go”, but will have a City of Macclenny meeting on February 9th.  He updated Council with the meter at Wildcat Drive stating it should be changed out in the next week or so. 


Mr. Phil Bishop, the Engineer hired to oversee the County fire and rescue station being built just North of the Town limits was present along with County Fire Chief, Mr. Trevor Nelson to discuss their need to connect to the Town’s water and sewer lines.  Mr. Nelson gave an overview of what the fire station will include onsite.  It is estimated they would use 750 gallons per day, not including fire protection for firefighting.  They plan to average 10,000 gallons per month, but would be subject to the number of calls received.  They have used between 3,000 and 19,000 gallons per month in the past.  They are proposing a 6” wet water tap and split to two meters.  A 1” meter would service the building and a 6” meter would give the capacity for fires and fill the trucks.  This would allow for tracking for sanitary water that is going back to the sewer plant and should minimize the sewer usage.  They are hoping to move forward as quickly as possible.  Mayor Rhynehardt told Council that the Town has not charged the fire station for usage in the past and the Town residents were not charged the extra taxes in return, but that in the past few years the residents have been assessed fire protection taxes so we are looking to see if the County pays for the other stations in the County.  They pay for water and sewer at their headquarters now, but have never paid for the water used to fill the firetrucks.  Water plant operator, Matt Torgerson told Council the “Estimated Residential Users” is how we calculate capacity fees.  We have never charged them in the past.  The City of Macclenny’s policy is that ANY facility within the City of Macclenny pays as a use associated with building.  Council then asked if the County’s contractors will be doing the connections for the wet tap and fore main connection.  The County does not have the expertise and is needing to get all the help they can get.  They have filled fire trucks with water and taken them down to the worksite to test the water lines.  The Town’s water and sewer service lines are located on the other side of the roadway from their fire station.  They are proposing a 6” open trench across George Taber Boulevard and have the County repave the road.  Mr. Nelson told Council the bid was too high so the County is in charge of the sitework and they are working on it along and along.  He is hoping to get the paving done with another project.  He hopes to have the Town come in and give a temporary tap for a 1” water line.  Matt told them they should only need a 2” tap for sewer.  The City of Macclenny doesn’t charge for the fire hydrant usage, but get a report of what they use each month.  The Town gets the same type of report.  Attorney Bense asked what the next point of action is.  Mayor Rhynehardt would like to have something for next month’s meeting.  Matt will need to contact Skinner to see about tapping the line and they would charge a fee to bore the line.  There will be bore fees and the cost of parts.  Mr. Nelson asked to have the capacity fee waived for the temporary line.  Their construction time frame is up until June.  They need to get the road under the road no later than the date of completion.  Matt was volunteered to run the lines to the building.  He believes he has the 1” water line on hand.  He will need to have all the parts before starting. 


Council then turned their attention to the backflows in Town.  We have found that they should be certified every two years.  Matt has spoken with someone who would charge $40 each to certify the ones in Town.  They are also supposed to be replaced every two years.  We have found seven businesses that do not have backflows, but need to have them.  Repairs are supposed to be done by someone certified, but Matt isn’t certified.  The last two he flipped the seals, the others he rebuilt.  Is the Town going to turn the backflows over to the businesses or are we going to be responsible for them?  Councilman Oca told Council in his experience, the customer has been responsible and if they don’t maintain them, and have them certified, their water is shut off.  The Town will need an ordinance to put it in place.  Our Ordinance does not address the backflows.  Any commercial building or anyone with an underground sprinkler system.  Attorney Bense has not done the research to see if municipalities are allowed to regulate them further.  Mayor Rhynehardt has looked at courses to be certified and it would cost around $3,500 to have the backflows certified.  If Council decided to have Matt get certified, it is two separate courses and you have to pass the certification class before the repair course.  The Environmental Protection Agency is in charge of the Department of Environmental Protection, which we could be in trouble for not keeping u with it.  There are seven commercial properties that don’t have them.  These were done through the engineer during grants.  Attorney Bense asked when the DEP regulations came in.  Matt told Council some customers have installed them and we have installed some and not charged the customer.  They cost $425 each for a ¾” commercial backflow.  It costs $100 in parts to install each one.  Matt told Council they could do one or two each week.  Council Member McCullough asked where they were going to get the money from.  Matt told Council the locations that were missing backflows.  Council looked to find how we can get in compliance.  It will cost the Town about $3,500 to pay the initial $40 each for the 50 or so backflows to be certified. By law, Matt isn’t certified.  It will cost about $5,000 to send Matt to school for the courses and he would need to be recertified every two years.  There is a course offered in March in Gainesville.  It will cost between $2,000 and $2,500 to send Matt to school for the certification course.  The other guy is located in Middleburg and the Florida Rural Water Association gave us his contact information.  The Town is looking at $5,000 to install the seven missing backflows and certify all of them.  We have about fifteen repair kits left.  Matt told Council that some are simple and some are not.  Councilman Oca felt that we could benefit from it in the long run if we can do it ourself.  Council was curious if we could put a separate fee for that.  The Town Ordinance would need to be changed.  Councilman Oca told Council he will pull some numbers of what Clay county is charged from companies that do their inspections.  Council member Padgett asked if the backflows are on the customer’s side or the Town’s side when they leak.  Matt told Council they are on the customer’s side.  Mayor Rhynehardt stated he felt the customers should be responsible for them.  Attorney Bense told Council the ordinance would need to state that we can go on the property to repair them if we have Matt go to school and get certified.  Matt told Council the guy from Middleburg only does backflows.  Council member Reneau suggested having Matt sign a contract that if he left, he would repay the Town.  Mayor Rhynehardt asked if the backflow needs repair and needs the seal replaced.  It would depend on the ordinance.  Attorney Bense told Council they could force the customer’s hand through the Ordinance to say that we are going to repair it.  You could charge Matt’s rate or fee and the cost of parts, possibly a service fee.  It would depend on what the Council wants to do.  Mayor Rhynehardt has not looked at the dates for the repair class.  The Town will have to pay for the class and getting the backflows up to par first.  Council member McCullough feels the customers would call us otherwise they would have to call a plumber and wait for them to come and make the repairs. She also agreed with Council member Reneau that they would need a no compete clause if Matt was sent to class and then leaves, the Town will be right back to square one.  This will be further discussed at next month’s meeting after looking at the classes and how long they are good for as well as how often they have to be done.  Matt suggested also looking at how JEA has theirs set up as he thinks they have it set up that they can have them certified to come out for the customer.  Our biggest priority is the seven that are not installed right now.  Each backflow costs about $550 and two hours of Matt’s time.  Council tossed around how the customers be billed.  We are looking at $3,850 and pay time to get this done.  Matt told Council winter is the best time to get this done.  Council member Padgett told Council they were hooked up under grant projects and no one paid anything.  Mayor Rhynehardt asked if the Town is doing this, where are we going to get the money.  Council member McCullough suggested possibly splitting the cost with customers.  Matt suggested selling a block the Town owns to get some money.  Council member McCullough then asked why we have them.  Council member Padgett stated they have always been there and she has been told that you never want to get rid of property because you may have a need for it in the future and will have to pay dearly for it.  She feels that when the RV park comes in that more growth and revenue is going to come.  She told Council we have been here before when things were tight financially.  She asked how much commercial accounts are paying for water and sewer.  Mayor Rhynehardt replied that they pay about $75 per month with very little usage. Several are paying about $80 with little usage versus a 4,000 gallon residential home.  Commercial users are charged $73.00 before any water or sewer is used. 


The workshop was closed at 7:23 P.M.

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