November 08, 2019

Meeting Summary: Coosa-North Georgia Council November 8, 2018

Meeting Summary

Coosa-North Georgia Water Planning Council Meeting

Welcome and Introductions/Approve Agenda
Brooke – introductions
Brooke – entertain motion to approve last meeting summary; Berg – motion; Frank Riley – second; All voted in favor to approve.

Appalachian Regional Port
Wesley Barrell – Georgia Ports Authority
Presentation on the Appalachia Regional Port in Murray County. 

  • Shared video connecting Savannah operations to Murray County operations.
  • Described logistics and components of the port.
  • Mega Rail in Savannah – Connecting CSX and Norfolk Southern
  • Future growth planned for Murray Co. facility.
  • Brooke – Hall County Port?
    • Barrell - Gainesville/Hall County port still in design phase
  • Berg - Future expansions?
    • Barrell - Raise/extend bridge on Savannah River to serve larger vessels

Outreach Activities
Brooke – overview of council outreach activities

  • GMRC meeting in Forsyth County on August 30, 2018
    • Reviewed contents of the plan to increase awareness.
  • Planning to attend NWGRC meeting in Calhoun on Jan 17 2019.
  • New EPD permits mentioning the CNG Plan. Local permit holders have contacted Brooke.

Seed Grants
Brook provided a seed grant update. Opportunity in December for additional funding. 
Christine provided overview of seed grant application process. 

  • Purpose – Implementing RWPs
  • Deadline for application 12/14/18
  • Need letter of endorsement from council chair.
  • Can contact 319 grants manager at EPD for assistance in developing grant ideas.
  • Covered qualifying in-kind matches for the grants.
  • Seed grant website –

Brooke – alt nutrient management strategies study – led by Partnership

  • Help navigate NPDES/stormwater permits
  • Develop nutrient trading guidance document
    • Step by step for obtaining a trading permit
    • Specific for Georgia
  • Partnership moving to advance this seed grant idea.
  • Christine – Councils can request grants smaller than $75k. EPD tries to award as many small grants as possible.
    • Seed Grants originally intended for other 10 councils, Metro District not included.
  • Brooke – typically one grant per council.
  • Christine reviewed the Seed Grant Fund and Match Calculator from EPD website.
  • Brooke – Asked for motion to write letter for guidance doc seed grant
    • Lamar Paris – Motion
    • Mike Berg – Second
    • Council unanimously approved.

CNG Website Updates
Brian Skeens provided council website overview.

  • Revisions to top tiles to give more information more conveniently.
  • Plan to revise and roll out website before the next council meeting.
  • Provide county-specific information.
  • Merge Partnership info and guidance documents.
  • Add an “accomplishments” page.
  • Berg – should the council websites all be the same?
    • Christine - no, allowing the councils to create or emphasize particular content. Each website will follow the same visual format.
  • Mike Hackett - Analytics for web traffic
    • Brian - Can ask GTA or EPD for that data
  • General discussion followed regarding website format, type of information, etc.

Upcoming Education Topics Survey
Brian Skeens asked for input regarding future topics. A survey will be conducted to get more ideas. Will send an electronic survey with a list of topics and the opportunity to write-in future topics.

  • Berg – suggested topics
    • Water System interconnectivity
    • ACF Stakeholders

Expedition: Bigfoot!
David and Malinda Bakara shared a presentation about the American sasquatch and their small business, Expedition: Bigfoot. 

Utility Climate Resiliency Study
Danny Johnson discussed the Metro Water District Climate Utility Study.

  • Significant drought about every 5 years in Georgia.
  • Intend plan to be adaptive. Don’t know what trends are most likely.
  • Used Delta Method to model 100-year historical weather data and modify it based on climate model projections.
  • Sensitivity of water quality to climate futures
  • Preemptive and Adaptive Strategies in the Metro District Plan.
  • Green infrastructure can potentially curb future risks.
  • Drought management plans and incentivizing green infrastructure
  • Brooke: potential 2020 seed grant idea – comparative model drought study. Potentially replicate the Metro study for Coosa-North GA region.

Drought Planning Workshop
Brian Skeens led a workshop about drought planning.

  • Drought rules in GA passed in 2015.
  • EPD Director determines whether we are in a drought or not.
  • Three levels of drought
    • 1 – conservation awareness campaign
    • 2 – some watering restrictions and choose 4 response strategies to implement. Certain
      outdoor activities are banned.
    • 3 – All outdoor watering is banned. Implement all drought response strategies.
  • Drought response strategies – exemptions for professionals and businesses.
  • Current drought rule (passed in 2015)
  • Resources available for drought planning
  • Water Supply, Demand Management, Communication and Partnerships
  • Hogansville, GA Case Study – 12 mile pipeline from neighboring utility. Relates to CNG interconnectivity study and GIS mapping initiatives.
  • Brooke Etowah WSA Drought Response Initiatives
  • Berg – Hear about agriculture for next drought discussion at council meeting.
    • Get an update on poultry.
  • Greg Bowman – Have residential drought discussion as well. Talk through BMPs for homeowners.

Comments from Non-Council Members, Visitors, or the General Public
No public comments.

Next Steps and Wrap Up
Brooke Anderson led a discussion about the plan for future council meetings, frequency, etc. Requested feedback from council members.

  • Frequency? Location? Times?
  • Partnership member (Denise Wood) – Thinks we should keep council meeting coinciding with Partnership meeting at Tellus/Booth Museum.
  • Berg – Meeting frequency depends on the Council’s scope of work. Twice a year seems fine unless the Council is working on a project that requires more frequent  feedback.
  • Brooke – Location – How much does location matter? 
    • Partnership Member – How much coordination to set up meeting times, locations, etc? Are we using RSVPs? How much communication?
    • Skeens – may need to get back to personal phone calls to council members in advance of meetings.
  • Lamar Paris – How to engage water providers? Council members could invite others.
    • Brooke/Lamar – Suggested door prizes or something to motivate folks to attend.

Council Members Present
1. Brooke Anderson
2. Donald Anderson
3. Jerry Barnes
4. Mike Berg
5. Lamar Paris
6. Greg Bowman
7. Keith Coffey
8. Mike Hackett for Jamie Doss
9. Haynes Johnson
10. Larry Lykins
11. Tom O’Bryant
Elected Officials 
1.  N/A
Partnering & Other State Agencies 
1. Nicole Wein/Black & Veatch
GA Environmental Protection Division
1. Christine Voudy, EPD Council Lead
Jacobs Engineering
1. Brian Skeens
2. Craig Hensley

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