October 24, 2018

Meeting Summary: Upper Oconee Council Meeting: October 24, 2018


To:                       Upper Oconee Regional Water Planning Council

From:                   Laura Hartt, Jacobs

Date:                    November 19, 2018

Subject:               Upper Oconee Council (UOC) Meeting 

This memorandum provides the meeting summary of the Upper Oconee Regional Water Planning Council Meeting held on October 24, 2018 at The Club at Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, Georgia. This memorandum provides a summary of the items discussed at the Council Meeting that was held from approximately 10 AM to 1:30 PM.

1) Welcome and Introductions

Council Chairman Melvin Davis called the meeting to order and welcomed the Council and other attendees. Chairman Davis asked all present to introduce themselves. The June 22, 2017 Council Meeting minutes and the October 24, 2018 Council Meeting draft agenda both were approved by motion, second, and then unanimous vote.

2) Council Membership/Leadership Discussion

Chairman Davis briefly discussed membership and leadership duties and then asked members present to review the handout provided by Georgia EPD for accuracy and to annotate it with suggestions for future UOC appointees. The Planning Contractor (PC) collected the list, which was subsequently forwarded to EPD for consideration.

3) Regional Water Plan Outreach

PC provided an overview of implementation Outreach tools and opportunities available to Council members. PC briefly reviewed the content of the UOC Fact Sheet and the UOC PowerPoint Presentation template, noting the latter could be shortened or otherwise tailored for different audiences. PC introduced UOC members to the new website format and offered to update UOC content upon request. Council members suggested uploading the PowerPoint to the website. PC then shared a handout of upcoming dates and venues for potential speaking engagements to generate support for UOC Plan implementation, leading to a discussion of other potential opportunities to include on the list (e.g., chambers of commerce, GA Planning Association, Georgia Municipal Association, Association of County Commissions of Georgia, and County Governments, newly elected officials, etc.). The list will be updated based on the Council member’s responses and redistributed to Council members.

4) Grant Opportunities and Assistance

EPD staff provided an overview of application criteria, deadlines, and examples of Clean Water Act Section 319(h) and Seed Grant funding. EPD noted that the 319(h) application deadline was approaching soon (October 31, 2018), while the Seed Grant application deadline was further out (December 14, 2018). PC provided examples of Seed Grant projects funded in the Middle Ocmulgee and Coosa-North Georgia water planning regions. EPD staff and PC then offered to assist UOC Members or others in the region in taking advantage of these funding opportunities to support suitable projects.

5) GEFA-Funded Projects in the Region

PC provided an overview of Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) state and federal funding criteria and deadlines. Guest speakers from the City of Madison and the Eatonton-Putnam Water and Sewer Authority (WSA) provided summaries of projects recently funded by GEFA within their respective jurisdictions. PC noted the City of Madison project addresses the Water Quality Management Practices WQ-7 Action Item within the UOC Regional Water Plan because it entails implementation of measures designed to minimize stormwater runoff. PC also noted the Eatonton- Putnam WSA project addresses the Wastewater Management Practices WW-5 Action Item within the plan because it entails sewer system maintenance and rehabilitation.

6) State Update

EPD staff provided an update on recent regulatory and permitting activities in the UOC region, including the status of the 2018 triennial review of Georgia’s water quality standards, implementation of the Electronic Reporting rule, and updates regarding wastewater, stormwater industrial and MS4 permits in the region.

7) Public Comment

Chairman Davis asked if there were any comments from members of the public or local officials. There were none.

8) Council Membership/Leadership Discussion (continued)

Chairman Davis reiterated the need for new candidates to be considered for UOC appointments and requested PC assistance in drafting a letter to County and City leaders within the UOC region to solicit appointment recommendations. PC agreed to work with EPD staff and the Chairman to draft the letter.

Both Chairman Davis and Vice-Chair Graham noted their intentions of continuing to serve in their Council leadership capacities until the next round of appointments to the Council are made. Once that has occurred, they would like to see the Council select new leadership.

9) Next Steps/Wrap Up/Adjourn

PC reviewed the outreach and grant opportunities discussed during the meeting, providing the appropriate contact for each action item. PC also indicated that a poll would be forthcoming to help identify topics, dates, venues, etc. for the next Council meeting. Chairman Davis indicated his preference to return to the same facility for the next meeting.

Copies of the Outreach materials were downloaded onto flash drives which were distributed to Council members upon request.

Chairman Davis adjourned the meeting at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Meeting Attendance

Council Members

  • Melvin Davis (Chairman)
  • Pat Graham (Vice-Chair)
  • Charles S. Armentrout
  • Stuart A. Cofer
  • Keith Hill (proxy for Linda S. Gantt)
  • Bill Ross

Georgia EPD Staff

  • Ania Truszczynski

Public Attendees

  • Bryce Jaeck (City of Madison)
  • Donna Van Haute (Eatonton-Putnam Water and Sewer Authority)
  • Harold West (Georgia Forestry Commission)
  • Marilyn Hall (Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities)
  • Jennifer Flowers (City of Gainesville)
  • Melba Cooper (Greater Apalachee River Community Group)
  • Jack Rice (Greater Apalachee River Community Group)
  • Jen Hilburn (Altamaha Riverkeeper)

Planning Contractors

  • Laura Hartt (Jacobs)
  • Joe Rozza (Jacobs)
  • Lee Smith (CDM Smith)

Related to: