Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
January 19, 2011     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

7:32 p.m.

2.    Roll.

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

3.    Manager’s Report.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project

Staff reported that the district’s geotechnical engineers have prepared a draft technical memorandum summarizing the results of the November 30th site visit to evaluate the bluff below Surfer’s Overlook.  The Bolinas Working Group reviewed the memorandum and has provided comments to the engineers.  A final version of the memo is expected soon and will be forwarded to and discussed with representatives of the County of Marin on January 25, 2011.  The objectives of that meeting are to agree upon a comprehensive approach to preserve the road, access to property and district utilities and to obtain a meeting with staff at the Coastal Commission to discuss a potential project to stabilize the bluff.

-- Update on Horseshoe Hill Road Water Main Extension Project

Staff said that an agreement with the property owners at 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road is close to final; both property owners want to be named as additional insureds on the contractor’s insurance policy, so staff is endeavoring to secure the agreement of the contractor on this point.  Staff also is in the process of notifying property owners along Gospel Flats about the upcoming installation of pressure reducing valves on their water service lines, which are required as a result of this project.  Finally, the contractor has proposed some modifications to the project installation which will require County approval; the proposal does not increase the cost of the project, but rather will result in a modest cost reduction.   

-- Update on the Project to Improve the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)
    Accessibility of the BCPUD Building.
The Project will be rebid prior to the next regular Board meeting.

Staff reported that work had been ongoing this week to repair and rebuild the ClaValve at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.  At this point it appears the district may need to install a smaller diameter bypass for periods of reduced creek flows, similar to the bypass installed in connection with the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Valve Reconstruction Project.  As for water supply, despite a relatively dry January thus far, the district continues to experience healthy creek flows and both reservoirs are spilling.  Data from the most recent billing period shows that water consumption is up slightly over this same period last year in the downtown area.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including a bulletin from the Association of California Water Agencies (“ACWA”) reporting that Governor Brown’s proposed FY 2011-2012 budget thankfully does not propose to take property taxes away from water and wastewater districts and a letter from ACWA/JPIA scheduling training for the operations staff for the following month on safe shoring and trenching practices.  The Board discussed a letter from the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District concerning its “Drink Local Water” campaign and concluded that it would be prudent to wait until after the district resolves its ongoing chlorine disinfection byproduct exceedance problem.

    On the wastewater side of operations, the district received a response from the Regional Water Quality Control Board to the district’s letter of response to the “cease and desist” letter submitted by the Whamonds; this response indicates that the district’s letter and proposed new reporting forms were received, reviewed and deemed to be appropriate. 

    In operational news, the district regrettably experienced a small sewer spill on Sunday, January 16th at approximately 8:20 a.m. at 51 Wharf Road (i.e., the district’s lift station).  Dennis Dierks was nearby when the spill occurred and observed wastewater coming up out of the ground inside the district’s lift station (where most of the spill was contained), with a portion flowing over the sidewalk, down the adjacent gutter and into the closest storm drain.  Dennis immediately shut down the pumps to stop the spill and called Chief Operator Bill Pierce, who arrived on the scene within minutes and by 9:00 a.m. the General Manager was notified.  The General Manager proceeded to timely report the spill to CalEMA, the County of Marin’s Environmental Health Services Department (“EHS”), the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the State Water Resources Control Board.  Communication since the initial reporting was primary with the EHS with regard to testing protocol and the posting of public notices about the spill.  An outside contractor was called in to pump out the lift station wetwell and nearby manholes and transport the wastewater to the sewer ponds until the cause of the spill could be identified and repaired.  The district identified the cause of the spill on January 18th to be a small hole in the 6-inch diameter force main pipe in Wharf Road just outside of the lift station; within 24 hours, the pipe was repaired and the sewer lift station was returned to normal operating status. 

Staff praised operators Bill Piece, Dennis Dierks and Lewie Likover for their outstanding work and dedication on the day of the spill under very stressful conditions during a holiday weekend. 

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

    The Board reviewed a written report prepared by Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover. 

4.    Community Expression.


5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 - 415 Evergreen Road (Bruce).

    Simon Bruce explained that he had a broken water pipe in his yard that caused a blind leak he was unaware of until receiving his water bill for the quarter.  He speculated that the pipe may have broken when heavy equipment was in the yard to install a new septic system.  As soon as he knew he had a leak, the water service to the property was shut off and a plumber was called in to repair the broken pipe.  Director Smith commented that in past cases involving blind leaks where a repair was immediately accomplished, the Board has granted full financial relief to the customer for the amount by which the bill exceeded average usage over the prior three years during the same billing quarter.  Director Kimball concurred.  

D. Smith/V. Amoroso        all in favor        to reduce the quarterly water bill by the full amount attributable to the leak by determining the amount by which the bill exceeds average historical usage during the prior three years during the same billing quarter.

In response to questions from the Board, staff reported that the bill for this quarter has not yet been paid, so staff will reissue a bill for the reduced amount.

6.    Bolinas Fire Protection District Design Review (DR 11-20), 100 Mesa Drive, Bolinas  94924 (addition of three panel antennas to existing monopole).

    No one was present to speak about this design review application.  Director Smith said he thought there was an agreement in place between the Fire Protection District and the cell phone company not to increase emissions from the tower, but that issue presumably is for the Fire Protection District to address.  Jennie Pfeiffer noted that the topic is on the Fire Protection District Board’s agenda for its upcoming meeting.  Director Siedman said that since no one was present to speak to the application, the BCPUD will defer to the hearing to be held at the Fire Protection District and instructed staff to apprise the County of Marin that the matter was on our agenda, but no public comment was received.

7.    Adopt Findings for Approval of Variance of Expanded Water Use Permit 90-18, 52 Wharf Road, Bolinas (K. Goosherst).

Director Siedman said this agenda item was carried over from the December meeting in order for the Board to formally adopt findings and approve a variance to the expanded water use permit for 52 Wharf Road.  Director Siedman noted that there is a draft set of findings in the Board books.  Director Kimball moved to approve the draft findings and grant the customer’s request for a variance of their expanded water use permit by increasing the maximum quarterly usage from 3,100 cubic feet per quarter to 5,000 cubic feet per quarter and director Smith seconded the motion.  Director Smith then suggested that the first “whereas” of the findings be revised to specifically reference BCPUD Resolution 272, which governs requests for variances.  There was no objection.  Director Kimball commented that the findings appropriately note that the property is a multi-use building, which is an important factor in the Board’s decision to approve the variance request. 

B. Kimball/D. Smith        all in favor    to adopt formal findings, as amended, and approve a variance of expanded water use permit 90-18 to allow an increase in the quarterly metered water usage from 3,100 cubic feet to 5,000 cubic feet.

8.    Discuss Revisions to BCPUD Resolution 553 re: the Criteria for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bills.

Director Kimball said she would like to present two potential revisions to Resolution 553 for the Board’s consideration.  She noted that when the Board adopted Resolution 553, the Board included a provision that no financial relief shall be granted for water losses caused by faulty landscape irrigation systems.  In light of the recent failure of a water storage tank at a customer’s property that caused a loss of more than 650,000 gallons of water, director Kimball proposes to add the failure of a water storage tank to the category of circumstances under which no financial relief will be granted.  Second, director Kimball proposed that no relief should be granted in cases where the customer ignored requests from the district to provide access to their meter.  Director Amoroso suggested that rather than simply stating “water storage tank failures” are not eligible for relief, the language should be something more board, such as “external water containers subject to mechanical failure.”  After additional discussion of that issue and district options where a customer’s meter is not accessible, the Board agreed to continue the matter to the February meeting with an action item on the agenda to amend Resolution 533 and adopt revised procedures for requiring customers to provide access to their meters. 

9.    Review Solicitation Letter for Community Support for the Olema-Bolinas Road Community Path Improvement Project (B. Kimball).

Director Kimball explained that she prepared a solicitation letter to the community to let them know about the project, which is to plant the median strip between Olema-Bolinas Road and the bike path to improve the safety and aesthetics of the path, and apprise folks of how they can help.  Many residents already have volunteered to help and the County road crew will be contributing four days of time to prepare the median strip for planting.  The work is currently scheduled to begin the week of February 28th.  The Board reviewed the draft letter, which is signed by director Kimball on behalf of the BCPUD; discussion ensued about the extent of the BCPUD’s involvement in the project.  Director Kimball agreed to revise the letter to remove “on behalf of the BCPUD” and instead simply identify herself as the Volunteer Project Coordinator.  As amended, there was no objection to mailing the letter to the community. 

10.   Approve BCPUD Letter of Withdrawal from the Proposition 84-Funded Project to Enhance Water Quality at the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance.

Staff recommended that the BCPUD withdraw from the Proposition 84 grant; unfortunately, the state has not been able or willing to make revisions to the grant agreement requested by the County of Marin as the official grantee.  The County therefore has no choice but to impose certain conditions on the BCPUD as a requirement of its involvement as a partner on the project that the BCPUD cannot afford to perform.  As such, staff prepared a letter of withdrawal that is in the Board binders and requested that the Board approve the letter.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith        all in favor        to approve the BCPUD letter of withdrawal from the Proposition 84-funded project to enhance water quality as the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance.

Director Smith noted that the BCPUD originally was asked to join the Tomales Bay Watershed Council approximately five years ago when the Council felt it would be helpful to its Proposition 50 grant application for an integrated coastal watershed management plan to have the BCPUD on the Council.  BCPUD agreed to join the Council and has participated as an active member since that time; director Smith is the BCPUD’s designated director to attend the Council’s meetings.  At this point in time, however, director Smith questions whether it is still beneficial for the BCPUD to be a member of the Council.  With the passage of time, the Council’s focus understandably has returned to the Tomales Bay watershed and there is no clear reason for the BCPUD to continue to participate.  Director Smith proposed the BCPUD withdraw as a member of the Council.  After a brief discussion, director Siedman stated that director Smith’s proposal will be included as an agenda item for action at the February meeting.

11.    Adopt Guidelines for Public Requests for BCPUD Letters of Support and/or Opposition.

Director Kimball said that this item was continued from the prior meeting for the guidelines to be revised as the Board discussed.  Director Kimball therefore revised the guidelines consistent with the board discussion at the December meeting.  Discussion of the guidelines focused on the requirement for the public to provide prior notice of their request of a letter; director Amoroso noted that there may be circumstances under which such prior notice simply is not possible but the BCPUD may still wish to issue a letter of support or opposition.  The Board then agreed to insert “whenever possible” to section 5 of the guidelines. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the proposed guidelines for public requests for BCPUD letters of support and/or opposition, as revised.

12.  Review and Discuss Draft Investment Policy for the District.

Staff presented a draft investment policy for the Board’s consideration; the draft is modeled on a policy enacted by the Inverness Public Utility District.  In response to questions from the Board, staff said the Finance Committee is working on refinements to the policy and staff will confer with other neighboring districts to determine whether they have investment policies and, if so, how these districts invest their funds. 

13.    Approve Budget Schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal Year 2011-12 Budget

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the budget schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal Year 2011-12 Budget.

14.    Approve Revisions to Quarterly Capital Projects Report – Sewer Pond Evaluation Project.

Staff presented a quarter capital project report form for the Board’s review; the form was developed by staff and the district’s bookkeeper to better track the district’s capital projects and expenditures.  The Finance Committee reviewed and approved the report form at its meeting earlier in the month and this form will now be included as a regular part of the district’s financial reporting.  Staff said that each time the budget for a particular capital project needs to change, staff will bring it to the Board for approval. 

To that end, staff directed the Board’s attention to the capital project titled “sewer pond evaluation project”.  This project was initiated in response to a letter received by the district in September 2010 from an adjacent property owner claiming that the district was in violation of its operating permit and reporting obligations pertaining to its sewer system.  At that time, the Board directed staff to retain legal counsel and outside professional consultants for advice; the project report form therefore reflects that project and the amount spent/authorized to date.  Staff said that the Board originally approved an expenditure of $9,000 for professional consultants to evaluate district operations; the consultants have proposed a revised scope of work and requested an additional $5,000 in approved funds.  Staff said if the Board approves this request, the report form will then be revised to reflect the newly approved expenditure amount.  Director Smith said that he is opposed to the revised scope of work and increased budget on the grounds that it may be unnecessary; he proposed instead that the consultant complete the original scope of work for the approved budget and present it to the regulators – if the regulators decide that more work is needed, the Board can approve the additional work at that time.  The other members of the Board concurred.

15.    Election of BCPUD Board Officers/Committee Assignments.

The Board reviewed the current list of Board officers and committee assignments.  The Board discussed the following changes:

-    Director Smith will be added as the alternate member of the Board’s Finance Committee.
-   Director Kimball will be added as the alternate member of the Board’s Legal Committee.
-   The Board will consider an agenda item to withdraw from the Tomales Bay Watershed Council at the February meeting.
-   Other than the above revisions, all other officer positions and committee memberships will remain as is.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to retain the Board’s current officers and to approve the above-listed committee assignments.

16.  Election for Local Agency Formation Commission (“LAFCO”) Alternate Special District Member.

Director Kimball recommended that the district rank the nominees for the alternate special district member to LAFCO as follows:  Murray, Reilly and Meigs   

B. Kimball/D. Smith        all in favor    to rank the LAFCO nominees as follows:  Murray, Reilly and Meigs, and timely submit the district’s election ballot to LAFCO.

17.   Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Nothing to report.

18.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  First Quarter Financial Report.  The Board received the first quarter financial report.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Director Siedman said director Smith initiated potential revisions of Ordinance 30 on behalf of the committee; at this point, he is now passing on his work to director Siedman for further refinement. 

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Amoroso reported that he attended the most recent meeting of the Mesa Park Board of Directors; Geoff Guepel has been elected President, Charles Whitefield is Vice President, Andy Blake is Treasurer and Jane Mickelson is Secretary.  Director Amoroso said he raised the topic at the meeting of monies due to the BCPUD by Mesa Park, including but not limited to past-due annual water and sewer charges for the Downtown Park property.

Staff reported that Peter Banning, the Executive Director of LAFCO, called recently to request that the BCPUD amend its scope of services with LAFCO to include park and recreation services via its joint powers agreement with the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District.  Director Siedman agreed to follow-up with staff on this topic. 

-- Personnel:  Director Siedman reported that the Personnel Committee met to review the current Memorandum of Understanding with district staff regarding compensation and benefits on January 7, 2011.  The Committee will present a proposal to staff before the end of the month and request a response from staff prior to February 8, 2011, which is the next Finance Committee meeting. 

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report

b. Minutes of the December 15, 2010 Regular Meeting

Director Kimball offered a correction to page 5 of the minutes. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the December 15, 2010 regular meeting.

c. Warrants

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

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 
    February 16, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

19.  Adjournment.

10:30 p.m.