The Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission’s facilities committee recommended working with a developer planning a 166-unit apartment complex next to the Glynn Place Mall to upgrade the sewer system in the commercial area.

Currently, the segment of the sewer system serving 195 and 255 Scranton Connector, where the developer plans to build the apartment complex, can’t support a development that size, said JWSC Engineering Director Todd Kline.

When part of the sewer system doesn’t have enough capacity to support new development and upgrading it is not one of the utility’s immediate priorities, developers can submit “unsolicited proposals” to pay for upgrades themselves.

The first step is for a developer to submit the proposal, which includes a general outline of what it will contribute to the sewer upgrades necessary to begin development.

What the developer gets in return varies between proposals, but most either pay for all the tap-in fees they will need for development in advance or get sewer tap-in credits equivalent to what they ultimately spend on sewer upgrades.

According to a draft of its proposal, Ambling Glynn One suggesting paying the total tap-in fee for the entire 166-unit complex up-front, which would go towards upgrading the system.

On Wednesday, the facilities committee recommended the full commission approve the proposal.

The full commission meets today. If it approves the proposal, Ambling Glynn One will need to get an engineering plan approved, Kline said, after which the utility would begin negotiating the full terms of the agreement and potentially sign a contract with the developer.

According to the draft proposal, the developer expects to begin construction by October 2020.

The committee deferred a similar proposal from West Point Plantation LLC, the developer of the 295-lot West Point Plantation subdivision on St. Simons Island.

Kline said the sewer system has enough capacity to support the second phase of the project, 14 lots, but not enough for the full build-out.

Committee members deferred the issue so utility staff members could make it clear to the developer that upgrades would have to come in phases. Performing the upgrades necessary to support 295 homes when 295 homes may not be built for years could cause “operational issues” for the utility, said committee member Bob Duncan.

In other business, the committee recommended the full commission:

• Accept an easement from Wynnever Fitness at its planned new location at Southport Parkway and Palisade Drive.

• Extend the completion date of its Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2016-funded north mainland sewer project from Jan. 9 to the end of February.

• Defer an agreement with the county regarding a sewer line that runs past the intersection of East Beach Causeway and Demere Road, where the county plans to build a roundabout.

Earlier in the day, the utility’s finance committee discussed the upcoming fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.

The next fiscal year begins on July 1, the utility must get its budget approved by both the Brunswick City and Glynn County commissions.

Burroughs said utility staff members are on track to have the budget before the finance committee in March and ready for submission to the city and county by mid-April. If all goes well, the full utility commission will approve the final budget in June.

When asked, Burroughs said the current budget does not include a water and sewer rate increase.

The finance committee also:

• Discussed health insurance policies for employees.

• Recommended the full commission authorize Chairman Ben Turnipseed, Vice Chairman Steve Copeland, Finance Director John Donaghy and Senior Financial Analyst Ladonna Roberts as signatories for large expenditures.

The full utility commission is scheduled to meet today at 2 p.m. in the JWSC’s main office, 1703 Gloucester St. in Brunswick.

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