Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
January 18, 2012     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.   Call to Order.

    7: 32 p.m.

2.   Roll.

    Directors Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.

3.   Manager’s Report.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project

Staff reported that the County’s Department of Public Works is reviewing the most recent proposal from Sanders & Associates Geotechnical Engineers (“SAGE”) for a second phase of geotechnical  investigation work to be done to complete the assessment of subsurface conditions at Surfer’s Overlook.  The BCPUD, the Bolinas Fire Protection District and the County hope to meet again to discuss the project and next steps by the end of the month.

Staff directed the Board’s attention to a report in the binders forwarded from the County Department of Public Works confirming that there had been no contamination at the Mesa Park soccer field as a result of the use of the field as a spoils disposal site during the Terrace Avenue Slide Repair Project. 

--    Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project

Per the requirements of the loan agreement, staff is working on selecting a fiscal agent to administer the district’s loan repayments following completion of the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project.  Unfortunately, the district’s regular outside bank, the Bank of Marin, is not able to provide these services, so staff is gathering information about the services provided by three other banks. 

--    Update on the Wharf Road Service Saddle Replacement Project

The district’s outside engineers have completed the initial plans and specifications for this project and staff have reviewed the plans, walked the project site, and submitted comments back to the engineers.  In connection with this project, the district also needs to video-inspect the condition of the sewer laterals in the section of the road to be paved by the County this summer and a letter to affected customers will be mailed next week.  Director Amoroso offered comments on the draft letter.  Finally, staff reported that the district’s engineers considered director Smith’s suggestion of extension piping for the water service laterals located in the vicinity of the County’s seawall under Wharf Road, but concluded that such piping will double the cost of affected service replacements, so staff recommends against the piping.  There was no objection from the Board.

-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property)
Staff reported that the fire fuel reduction project officially was completed on January 12,
2012.  The Conservation Corps North Bay interviewed Chief Operator Bill Pierce and published an article about the project in its newsletter; a copy of the newsletter and accompanying photos are in the Board binders.

-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade Project

The district’s outside electrical engineer is putting the finishing touches on the plans and specifications for this project and has provided the names of three qualified firms specializing in the construction of the control panels needed for this project for the district to include on the list of potential bidders for the project.

On the water side of operations, staff reported that consumption downtown during the quarter ending December 31, 2011 was down again as compared to this time the previous year.  Staff noted that overall consumption for 2011 is the lowest on record for the past six years;  the only “downside” for the district is that water sales for the year were just under $100,000 as compared to $122,000 in 2010.

Taken together, the low rate of consumption in 2011 and the extended rainy season last spring meant that the district was never required to use its emergency stored water supply (i.e., reservoir water) during 2011.  Consumption also was quite steady during 2011 so that the district’s operators did not have to cope with big spikes in consumption or major swings in chlorine.  Staff is investigating whether these facts were instrumental in the district being in compliance with the maximum contaminant levels of chlorine disinfection byproducts during most of 2011.  Lewie Likover has been tasked with evaluating data and exploring whether operational changes could permanently resolve this problem.  Staff also is evaluating whether a pre-filtration settling basin might be beneficial when the district is using reservoir water to let the organics settle out more before treatment. 

Staff reported that  Joanna Haigood and Wayne Campbell at 410 Yucca Road experienced an  unexplained spike in water use at this property over the summer, resulting in a high bill.  Although the situation does not technically meet the criteria for financial relief due to the unknown reasons for the water loss, staff agreed to present the matter to the Board to inquire if the Board is willing to consider some relief.  After a brief discussion, the Board agreed to consider the situation as an agendized item at a future meeting.

Staff reminded the Board that the Schmidts at 160 Overlook are no longer willing to provide access to the Lowe meter so the district needs to relocate the Lowe meter from the back of the property to an appropriate location on Terrace Avenue.  Now that the slide repair is nearly complete, staff is planning for this project and will send a letter to the Lowes to provide them time to connect their water service to the new meter location.

On the wastewater side of operations, the district is preparing the spray fields for the rainy season;  rainfall has been quite a bit below normal this year thus far.  Staff reported that the Bolinas Museum is planning to run a photo exhibit about the district’s wastewater treatment facility, including some materials from Peter Warshall, who designed the ponds.  Staff will provide more information as it becomes available.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting of the Board, including a request from the Marin County Grand Jury for financial information about the district and a Public Records Act request for compensation information pertaining to the district’s Board members and employees.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.

4.   Community Expression.

Director Siedman noted that there was a request from Matt Lewis in the Board books seeking to amend the minutes of the November 16, 2011 regular meeting.  Director Siedman suggested that the request be agendized for the February meeting; there was no objection. 

Bob Ekedahl commented that he has lived in Bolinas for 40 years and he is very impressed with all that the district is doing on behalf of the community.

5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 410 Ocean Parkway (Benson).
Director Siedman noted that the Bensons submitted a letter dated January 5, 2012 concerning the bill they received for $1200 and asked if they were present to address the Board.  Mrs. Benson said that the family has owned their house in Bolinas since the 1930’s but it needs a huge amount of work and no one has been actively living there for more than 10 years;  she said the historical records will show no water use at all during that time period and she explained that they always turn off the water at the meter if they ever visit the home.  The Bensons believe that someone turned on the water at the meter, resulting in the high water use.  Mr. Benson since has placed a padlock on the meter to prevent that from happening again.  Director Amoroso said the district should forgive the water bill as this seems to be a case of water theft.  After a brief discussion, the other Board members concurred.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor        to forgive the entire amount of the bill attributable to the water loss, based on the historical three-year average consumption at the property for the same quarter.

6.    Second Notice of Non-Compliance – Expanded Water Use Permit #31, 77 Crescente (C. Post).

Chip Post appeared before the Board and explained that he has a plan to reduce water consumption at his property that he believes will be effective.  He explained that he planted fescue grass in the yard last summer and used more water than usual.  He plans to install water storage tanks and a cistern at the property as soon as possible for landscape watering and believes this will enable him to comply with his permit limit on water use.  After a brief discussion, the Board agreed to continue the matter for another quarter and directed staff to monitor consumption at the property on a monthly basis.

7.    Request for Letter from BCPUD in Support of the County of Marin’s Tentative Notice of Violation re: the Dedication of APN 188-170-44 (entirety of Schipper Lane) for Roadway Purposes and Not a Separate Legal Lot of Record.  (B.G. Bates).

Staff reported that the district’s answering service received a message from Mr. Chiorean, the owner of APN 188-170-44, in which Mr. Chiorean stated that he does not wish the Board to discuss this item in his absence.  Director Siedman noted this message for the record. 

B.G. Bates, a nearby property owner, explained that in 1966 APN 188-170-44 was dedicated as a roadway.  Ownership of the parcel changed hands over the years and the parcel was put up for sale on EBay in 2011, which is where Mr. Chiorean acquired the property.  B.G. explained that she uses this parcel, which is known as Schipper Lane, every day to access her property and it is her only means of access; it is also a means of access for several other property owners in the area.  She said that Mr. Chiorean has put up “no trespassing” and “keep off the grass” signs and is trying to develop the parcel to whatever extent he can.  She noted that the BCPUD has an easement across Schipper Lane and requested that the BCPUD submit a letter in support of the County’s tentative notice of violation, which essentially finds that the parcel is a roadway and not a separate legal lot of record.  President Siedman explained that the district generally conveys public comment on matters pending before the County rather than take a position on the issue itself.  After a brief discussion, the Board directed staff to submit a letter to the County conveying the public comment in support of the tentative notice of violation and noting the BCPUD’s easement on the subject property.

8.    Approve Removal of Acacia Trees on the West Side of the Juniper Right-of-Way near Ocean Parkway (BCPUD Staff Request in Connection with Relocation of Fire Hydrant).

Staff reported that the fire hydrant located on Juniper Road near Ocean Parkway needs to be relocated due to the eroding bluff near Ocean Parkway.  Staff currently plans to relocate the hydrant on the west side of Juniper Road, which will require the removal of a cluster of acacia trees.  Pacific Slope Tree Company estimates the tree removal will require approximately one day of work by a full crew, or approximately $3,000.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the removal of the acacia trees at BCPUD expense in connection with the fire hydrant relocation project.

9.    Accept Offer of Sale or Donation of Real Property, APN 190-231-08 (near Nymph and Elm Roads) (D. Houghton).

Staff reported that Delores Houghton would like to sell or donate a parcel of undeveloped property to the district.  She inquired whether the district would pay for the land and staff told her no, but that the Board may be willing to approve a donation.  The Board discussed the matter and asked that staff inspect the property to ensure that it was in an acceptable condition (i.e., undeveloped land with no improvements).

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to accept the donation of real property, subject to staff inspection to ensure the property is undeveloped and has no improvements.

10.    Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project:  Approve Deed Restriction on BCPUD Lands; Approve Letter Requesting Amendment of Grant Contract and Revised Project Budget; Approve License for Use of Irrigation Well.

Director Siedman noted that the state is requiring as a condition of the grant funding that the BCPUD approve a deed restriction on the Mesa Park property to ensure it will remain dedicated to the recreational uses to be funded – i.e., improved ballfields and public restrooms.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor        to approve deed restriction on Mesa Park property.

Director Siedman reported that he was advised by Bryan Lee that the Mesa Park Board has approved a revised budget for the project, which is in the Board binders.  Discussion ensued concerning whether Mesa Park itself would be providing construction management services, whether documentation has been submitted regarding the $55,000 in-field restoration work performed by Magiorra & Ghilotti, and whether the sewer lift station at the Firehouse & Clinic building can count as “match” under the grant since there are multiple users.  Staff was directed to confirm these details.

K. Bender/B. Kimball        all in favor        to approve the revised budget, subject to staff  confirmation of budget details and granting staff discretion to make budget adjustments based on eligibility of proposed matching funds.

Director Siedman noted that the Board also needs to approve the license agreement for Mesa Park’s use of the irrigation well.  Directors Smith and Kimball offered small clarifying revisions concerning the average daily use of water allowed under the license and Director Amoroso requested that staff send a copy of the approved license to Bob Cart.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor        to approve the license agreement for use of the irrigation well.

11.  BCPUD Comments on Draft Local Coastal Plan Update re: Shoreline Protection Structures.

Director Smith explained that he has concerns about some of the proposed provisions in the draft Local Coastal Plan update document concerning shoreline protection structures.  For example, the Planning staff is proposing a 20-year permit limit on such structures notwithstanding the fact that they are designed for a 100-year lifespan, which does not make sense.  Director Amoroso noted that such a limited permit life may discourage private citizens from investing in such projects and that concept should be reflected in the district’s comments.  Cela O’Connor speculated that the Planning staff may have structures such as the Seadrift Revetment in mind given the amount of maintenance needed for that structure.  Discussion ensued about the soil-nail and sculpted shotcrete wall that is envisioned to stabilize Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook which is quite different than the Seadrift revetment; director Smith said the permit life span should be decided on a case-by-case basis, depending on the type of shoreline protection structure and should be commensurate with the engineered life of the structure.  Staff was directed to send a letter to the Planning Commission reflecting the Board’s comments.

12.    Approve Budget Schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal Year 2012-13 Budget.

B. Kimball/K. Bender        all in favor        to approve the budget schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal Year 2012-13 Budget

13.  Election of BCPUD Board Officers/Committee Assignments.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the existing slate of Board officers and committee assignments.

14.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso reported that the committee will next meet on February 3, 2012. 

-- Community Path Update:  Director Kimball stated that she included a written financial report on the path and copies are in the Board binders.

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- Resource Recovery:   Director Siedman reported that he and director Smith are planning to attend the upcoming Resource Recovery committee meeting to discuss the project’s role as an enterprise of the BCPUD and define operational responsibilities given the BCPUD’s oversight role and ownership of the property site. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:   Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council had a “meet and greet” meeting earlier today with the new Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District General Manager Phil Smith, who is pleased to work with the council and honor the non-toxic protocol in West Marin.

15.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Nothing to report.

-- Legal:   Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Nothing to report.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman noted that the district received an e-mail from Bryan Lee with Mesa Park inquiring whether the district will consider a reduced water rate for the Downtown Park given the public facilities to be provided.  Discussion ensued about the anticipated reduction in restroom use at the Bolinas Community Center once the Downtown Park bathrooms are open and about the planned cleaning and maintenance of those bathrooms.  Director Siedman agreed to inquire with the County about the financial support it is giving to other public restrooms in unincorporated Marin, including those in Point Reyes Station.

-- Personnel:  Director Siedman stated that he and director Kimball are evaluating the district’s employee health care plan and potential options for cost reductions.  Staff reported that staff would like to negotiate wages for fiscal year 2012-13 per the district/staff Memorandum of Understanding. 

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the December 21, 2011 Regular Meeting

B. Kimball/D. Smith     all in favor    to approve the minutes of the December 21, 2011.Regular Meeting

c. Warrants

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    February 15, 2012

16.  Adjournment.

10:37 p.m.