Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
January 18, 2006     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:30 p.m.

2.    Roll

Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman and Smith present; Director Siedman presiding.

3.    Manager’s Report

Staff reported that the BCPUD’s systems performed well during the severe New Year’s Eve weekend storms, with no interruption of services to the district’s customers.  While monitoring the district’s systems over the holiday weekend, BCPUD staff worked with Disaster Council and Fire Protection District volunteers to help distribute sand bags and assist with flood control efforts downtown.   The storm did cause damage to the Arroyo Honda watershed that will require a significant expenditure of time and resources to remediate;  the damage consists primarily of landslides, destroyed or damaged culverts, undermining of the access road and siltation of the upper dam.  Staff has filed the requisite storm damage assessment with the County Office of Emergency Services to document the status of the Arroyo Honda watershed, as well as the damage to local roads, including Terrace and Wharf, and significant bluff erosion.  Following the storm, the district temporarily drew its water supply from the Woodrat reservoir until staff was able to complete sufficient clean-up in the watershed to reestablish the lower dam. 

The water distribution system experienced a break in the waterline at the end of Oak Road on December 26th .  Staff abandoned the line up to the top of Oak Road and, with the approval of affected customers, plans to reestablish service for the two customers at the end of Oak Road via the hydrant on Nymph Road.  

Staff met recently with the district managers of North Marin Municipal Water District and the Inverness Public Utility District in connection with the grant recently awarded to the Tomales Bay Watershed Council to prepare an Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan.  The planning grant envisions significant participation by West Marin water and utility districts to assess existing water supply and operations demands; identify mutually agreeable solutions to address issues such as lack of storage capacity, impacts of water withdrawal, water supply reliability, water quality, water delivery, and flood control; implement municipal stormwater management strategies; and engage in septic system education and outreach. Staff will continue to regularly update the Board during the Plan development process, which is anticipated to take place over the next 18 months.

Staff met recently with property owners at the end of Brighton Road to discuss reestablishing the vegetation located in the BCPUD easement which was burned in the fire that occurred there last summer.   Staff apprised the Board of the property owners’ garden design plans, including the installation of a fence at the top of the slope, and conveyed the owners’ request that BCPUD pay for the planned garden “hardscaping” (e.g., installation of rock wall terraces).  After some discussion, the Board concluded it had no objection to the construction of the fence, but that the district could not pay for the requested hardscaping.   The Board agreed that the district could donate erosion control cloth and/or up to $200 toward the purchase of ground cover to be planted on the slope and staff was directed to convey this offer to the property owners.

Tom Ridder of Empire Waste Management contacted the BCPUD the prior week regarding the company’s requested rate increase.  Mr. Ridder stated that the company’s community liaison, Sadonna Cody, resigned from her employment;  accordingly, the company needs more time to assemble the financial information requested by the Board.  Mr. Ridder indicated that he will inform the BCPUD as soon as Ms. Cody’s replacement is on board and the financial information is ready for distribution. 

BCPUD received revised building plans from Pam Whitehead for her proposed single family residence at 271 Poplar Avenue.  The Board directed staff to request an extension of time in which to respond to the revised plans from February 3, 2006 to February 17, 2006 in order to allow time for the matter to be considered at the February 15, 2006 regular meeting.  If the extension is not granted for any reason, the Board agreed to convene a Special Meeting on February 1, 2006 to consider the revised building plans.

Staff updated the Board on correspondence sent and correspondence received by the district since the last regular meeting of the Board.

-    Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likeover reported that he has met with more than 30 Bolinas residents since the last Board meeting and assisted them with their drainage-related concerns, including but not limited to locating and cleaning out culverts.  Lewie currently is developing a culvert management program.  He reported that Overlook Road residents are particularly interested in drainage and this is an area he plans to focus on in the Spring.  Staff intend to schedule a meeting with County Department of Public Work personnel to discuss the installation of culverts at the proper levels along Overlook Road to facilitate drainage.  Lewie also met with former volunteer committee member Andy Blake, who produced an annotated drainage map (now hanging in the BCPUD offices) and highlighted areas of concern to discuss with the County Surveyor.  Director Smith is attempting to schedule a meeting with the County Surveyor for the purpose of  reaching agreement upon the extent and cost of the survey work to be done for the BCPUD on the Big Mesa;  this survey work is a necessary part of the implementation of the Todd drainage plan. 

Lewie reported that he has been measuring peak stream flows on Alder Creek; he has confirmed that a significant amount of the flow into lower Alder comes from areas of the Mesa other than Larch right-of-way.  Lewie is working with local resident Rob Gailey, who is a professional hydrologist, to map water flows and quantities.  Lewie believes on the basis of the information gathered to date that some of the water now reaching the Alder Creek can be diverted earlier on the Mesa to other watersheds (such as the north side of Poplar Avenue) and lessen the impact on the lower Alder Creek.  Finally, Lewie reported that he has met with numerous bluff zone residents who are concerned about the Todd Plan recommendation that surface water be directed toward the bluffs;  this particular recommendation is not advisable and should be reexamined because it may well exacerbate existing erosion.

4.    Community Expression

Matt Lewis commented that the damage Bolinas experienced from the recent storms should serve as a reminder to all residents about the need to undertake drainage work.  For example, he noted that the drainage ditches around the BCPUD sewer pond property should be recut and the flow on the south side toward Marin Way should be assessed.  Matt suggested that the work throughout Bolinas that should be done is likely beyond the current financial ability of the BCPUD;  he urged that a ballot measure be considered to raise additional funds. 

Director Amoroso offered a correction to the current issue of the Pipeline, which states that the West Marin Mosquito Control Committee (“WMMCC”) placed Measure E on the November 2005 ballot.  Director Amoroso said that the BCPUD, not the WMMCC, placed the measure on the ballot.

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.  Director Kimball observed that the committee should regroup;  she suggested that Director Smith and Bolinas resident Tom Williard should be invited to participate in committee meetings and contribute their expertise.

-- Beach:  Nothing to report.

-- Community Paths Group:  Nothing to report

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Update on plans for February 7, 2006 Community Meeting.      Director Amoroso said that the committee has planned a meeting to be held at the Bolinas Community Center as a further outreach effort to the community to explain the plan and answer questions before the committee undertakes plan implementation.

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Committee:   Nothing to report.  Director Siedman noted that the Board has received a letter from Stacey Henderson inquiring about the status of the committee under the Brown Act.  Specifically, her letter notes that if the committee is a BCPUD committee, then its meetings should be held within—and not outside of--the district;  alternatively, if the committee has become a West Marin committee, it should be officially separated from the BCPUD.  After some discussion, the Board directed staff to prepare a response to Stacey confirming that the BCPUD’s ultimate intention is that the committee become a West Marin committee, apart from the BCPUD;  the committee has changed its name and is reaching out to other West Marin districts and entities to expand participation. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force:   Director Kiimball reported that the next meeting of the Task Force will take place in March;  she also plans to attend the national West Nile Virus conference in San Francisco and will report on that proceeding. 

-- Resource Recovery:  Financial report for December 2005.  The Board received the December 2005 financial report.  Staff reported that the Resource Recovery Project (“RRP “) soon will have fully repaid its debt to the BCPUD for the purchase of the tractor, which reduce its month expenses by $1,500.  In addition, Supervisor Kinsey has agreed that the County will reimburse the RRP for the most recent grind conducted at the site, which cost $5,850.  Finally, RRP has applied for a grant of $250,000 to purchase its own tub grinder which, if obtained, will further reduce operating expenses.
6.   Request from Bolinas Fire Protection District to relocate the above-ground fuel tank to the BCPUD corporation yard on Elm Road.

Fire Chief Anita Tyrell-Brown stated that subsequent to her submittal of a written request to the BCPUD to relocate the above-ground fuel tank to the BCPUD corporation yard, she has had further discussions with BCPUD staff and would like to amend her request to locate the tank to the sewer pond property, inside the fence near the irrigation pumps.  She explained that her ultimate intent is to obtain County approval to leave the tank at the Fire District site;  it is a triple containment tank that is suitable for locating inside a building and the County’s objection to its current location, in Anita’s opinion, is unreasonable.  However, the Fire District site currently is not accessible by the school bus in any event while the construction is underway.  Accordingly, the Fire District would like to move the tank, at least temporarily, to the sewer pond site. Anita emphasized that the Fire District will be responsible for all costs associated with the relocation of the tank, including maintenance of the road on BCPUD property to the tank relocation site.

Director Amoroso expressed concern as to whether the berms that form the sewage treatment ponds are engineered to withstand the increased, heavy vehicular traffic that would occur if the tank is relocated near the irrigation pumps; he also noted that the Regional Water Quality Control Board would need to be informed about the proposed tank relocation. On the other hand, Director Amoroso said that he prefers the sewer pond site to the corporation yard site because it will minimize the impact on residential neighborhoods. Director Smith suggested that any impact to the berms could be monitored by Fire District and BCPUD staff over time.  Discussion ensued during which the Directors expressed a general willingness to work with the Fire District to temporarily relocate the tank, but they urged Anita to seek permission from the County to permanently locate the tank back at the Firehouse.  Directors expressed support for another possible lot line adjustment, if such would be necessary to obtain County permission to locate the tank at the Firehouse.  Anita thanked the Board and agreed to work further with BCPUD staff to finalize a specific proposal for the tank relocation, including details as to whether the relocation is temporary or permanent, and details regarding the Fire District’s financial commitment to the tank relocation.

7.    Appointment of a BCPUD representative -- Moritz Stream Conservation Area       Management Plan implementation

Director Siedman noted that the Board received a letter from Cela O’Connor urging the Board to appoint the General Manager to serve as the BCPUD representative and further noted that Bolinas resident Tony Lewis also expressed an interest in serving as the representative.  Tony confirmed his interest in the position and emphasized the environmental significance of the Pine Gulch Creek watershed.  Director Kimball said that she was contacted by the Environmental Action Committee (“EAC”) to urge the BCPUD to include the National Park Service in the Stream Conservation Area Management Plan implementation process; the EAC strongly supports protecting the Pine Gulch Creek from the deleterious impacts of cattle grazing.  Doug Gallagher expressed concern about the potential impacts on the creek to farmers downstream from the cattle grazing on the Moritz property.  Cela O’Connor stated that the Local Coastal Plan specified a 100 foot setback for cattle grazing from any creeks and urged the Board to push for such a set back in this instance.  After further discussion, Director Siedman asked for a motion.

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor    to appoint the General Manager to serve as the BCPUD representative, with assistance from Director Kimball and to consult as needed with the National Park Service.

8.    261 Larch Road – County Environmental Health Services Department

Director Siedman observed that the Board received a letter from Debbi Beckman, who lives at 261 Larch Road.  Director McClellan stated that he had placed this item on the Board agenda because he believes Ms. Beckman was not well-served by the County’s Environmental Health Services Department in connection with the recent upgrade to her septic system and he wants to raise the issue with the Department Head, Phil Smith.  Director Siedman said he received a call from Ms. Beckman stating that she does not want this item on the agenda or for her name to be used in connection with any BCPUD communication to the County.  After further discussion, during which various directors emphasized Ms. Beckman’s desire not to be involved, the Board resolved not to pursue the matter.

9.   Status of County Inspection/Enforcement – Kidson property

Staff reported on recent conversations with County Senior Code Enforcement Officer Debbie Poiani regarding the status of the path constructed on the Kidson property and its virtual destruction during the recent storms.   Ms. Poiani referred the matter to the Coastal Commission for an opinion and the Coastal Commission staff has determined that a coastal permit should have been obtained for the path construction;  accordingly, Ms. Poiani has informed Mr. Kidson that he must either remove the rock, rebar, wood and gravel that he installed, or seek a coastal permit.  Ms. Poiani advised BCPUD staff that she also has inquired about the status of the drainage plan and biological assessment that Mr. Kidson had promised to do and requested an update.  In addition, County Department of Public Works engineer Dave Mickelson visited the Kidson property the prior week to inspect numerous slides reported by Bolinas residents on and near the path.  Mr. Mickelson consulted with John Wooley, a former county engineer who is very familiar with the bluff site.  Mr. Mickelson concluded that because the entire hillside is known to be geologically unstable and because of the severity of the recent storms, it is unlikely that path alone was the sole cause of the slides.  Ms. Poiani has apprised Mr. Kidson of Mr. Mickelson’s visit and instructed him to commence immediate erosion control measures. 

Following discussion of the report, the Board directed staff to request copies of all correspondence sent by the County to Mr. Kidson in connection with Ms. Poiani’s enforcement activities and to thank Ms. Poiani for the determination that a coastal permit was required for the path construction.

10.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:   Quarterly Financial Report.  The Board received the quarterly financial report.  Staff reported that a draft 2006-2007 budget and schedule will be distributed at the February meeting.  Director Kimball requested and received Board approval to be reimbursed the $250 registration fee she incurred for the upcoming national West Nile Virus conference.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Noting to report.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that the Mesa Park Board is working with wastewater specialist Bonnie Jones to amend the RWQCB permit to reduce anticipated operating expenses of the wastewater reclamation project.

-- Personnel:  Staff reported the resignation of Administrative Assistant Julie Beach effective January 10, 2006.  The Board referred the new hire process to the Personnel Committee

-- Sewer:    Director Smith reported that he and Andy Blake recently traveled to the East Bay to observe an alternative (pilot) water reclamation project that is potentially much less expensive than the project currently planned for the Mesa Park site.  Bonnie Jones is analyzing the system and developing a recommendation for the Mesa Park Board.

b.    Minutes of December 21, 2005 Regular Meeting.

Director Kimball offered minor corrections to the December minutes.

D. Smith/J. McClellan    all in favor    to approve the December 21, 2005, as amended per Director Kimball’s suggestions.

c.    Warrants

B. Kimball / V. Amoroso    all in favor   to approve the warrant list.

d.    Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

Potential Special Meeting on February 1, 2006 to consider revised Whitehead building plans.  Next Regular Meeting will be February 15, 2006.


    11:07  p.m.