Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
January 20, 2010     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

    7:33 p.m.

2.    Roll.

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

3.   Manager’s Report.

    Staff reported that the district has received several inches of rain in the recent storms.  Electrical power was knocked out downtown and on isolated sections of the Mesa, but the district’s generator kicked in and the sewerage lift station remained operational.  The Arroyo Hondo Creek is in good condition notwithstanding the storms, although several trees are starting to look a little dangerous.  The creek water has high turbidity levels so staff has turned off the plant (storage tanks are full).  At the sewer ponds, staff has determined that there is a drainage problem with water flowing through two culverts under Mesa Road from the pastures adjacent to the Firehouse and into the perimeter drainage ditch around the spray fields.  The perimeter ditch is not draining correctly; staff therefore plans to take corrective measures later this week.

Terrace Avenue has collapsed in a section near the intersection with Overlook Road and the County of Marin has closed the road indefinitely.  BCPUD and Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) representatives are scheduled to meet on January 21st with Supervisor Kinsey and Bob Beaumont of the Department of Public Works to move forward on an engineering study to design a stabilization project to secure Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  This is now a critical access point in light of the collapse at Overlook Road.  Meanwhile, the district continues to move forward with its engineering studies and funding applications for projects to relocate its water and sewer mains away from Surfer’s Overlook in the event a stabilization project is not implemented for any reason. 

    In operational news, staff reported that the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Valve Station Reconstruction project is nearly complete; at this point, the district is awaiting the formal start-up of the new valve station by the valve manufacturer’s representative (likely during the second week of February).  In addition, staff has designed a pilot aeration plant and will begin taking samples of aerated treated drinking water to evaluate whether aeration may result in reduced levels of chlorine disinfection byproducts in the district’s treated water.  The district is required to submit a written update to the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) by February 1, 2010 on its pilot aeration plant; in addition, the district is required to submit a cryptosporidium monitoring plan to the CDPH by March 1, 2010.

    Staff reported that the district’s water consumption remains at historically low levels.  The most recent billing information indicates that the downtown section of town consumed nearly 100,000 cubic feet (750,000 gallons) less this year than the prior year during the same quarterly billing period (i.e., just before the district’s imposed mandatory rationing on all customers due to the on-going drought conditions.      Staff also presented a draft of the next BPUD Pipeline newsletter, with a feature article on former director Jack McClellan, which he has reviewed and approved. 

    Staff ultimately elected not to submit a funding proposal to replace the upper dam on the Arroyo Hondo Creek.  After consulting with engineers about the likely costs and benefits of such a project, staff concluded that the costs outweigh the benefits, that other pending projects are much higher in priority, and that the district needs to closely manage its debt at a sustainable level. 

    Staff is working on the details of the project to extend the water main north on Horseshoe Hill Road to better serve customers in that area; staff currently plans to do this project in-house in the spring.  Staff also is closely monitoring the status of its infrastructure in the vicinity of Maple, Nymph, Pine, Oak, Rosewood and Queen Roads in light of the recent bluff erosion in those areas and is developing a phased plan to pull the water mains back from the bluff edge beginning this summer.

    The Board reviewed several letters sent by the district since the last meeting to customers currently in violation of the terms of their expanded water use permits.  In three instances, customers are in technical violation of their permits (because the district assesses average usage over a period of six months), but have dramatically reduced their consumption during the last billing quarter in response to violation notices.  Staff recommended that these customers be sent a letter noting the technical violation, but commending the recent significant reduction in consumption and deferring further enforcement at this time; the Board had no objection. 

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including recent documentation regarding staff safety training and a transmittal memorandum from the County Planning Department about an application for a coastal permit from Mesa Park to install the Downtown Park, which arrived too late to include on the meeting agenda.  The Board directed staff to contact the responsible planner and advise that the Board will include an item on its February agenda to consider this coastal permit application. 

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff presented a memorandum from the district’s engineers to relocate the sewer collection main away from Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  The engineers have proposed two alternatives: one project is estimated to cost approximately $188,000, but requires the district also to obtain easements across private property, and the other project is estimated to cost approximately $231,000 but is constructed entirely in the public rights-of-way (Hillside and Rafael Roads).  Staff recommends the second alternative due to the unknown easement costs and the more definitive nature of the project (because the collection main will be relocated further away from the potential slide area).  The Board directed staff to include an item on the February meeting agenda for a decision on this recommendation.  Staff agreed and noted that the 2010-2011 Clean Water State Revolving Fund Project Priority List is currently open; staff said the Board should also decide whether to submit this sewer main relocation project on the list for potential funding. 

-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of the BCPUD Building.

Staff reported that a structural engineer has reviewed the district’s building plans and has made recommendations that will be incorporated into the final construction plans.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

    The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover; staff reported that the next project planned for implementation is the clearing of vegetation from the Larch right-of-way between Overlook and Aspen and re-establishment of the drainage swale installed by AmeriCorps volunteers several years ago.  In response to a question from Director Amoroso, staff confirmed that the state’s Proposition 84 funding remains frozen at this time. 

4.    Community Expression.

    Director Siedman noted that the district has received correspondence from Leslie Dollard concerning a parcel of property she owns on Laurel Road which she believes previously had a house on it; she feels that she therefore may have a right to a water meter at that site.  Director Siedman noted that staff responded to two previous Public Records Act requests from Ms. Dollard on this topic.  Ms. Dollard said that she feels she has been given contradictory information.  She said that she discovered an old foundation on her property that has been buried by adjacent property owners and she also discovered a water line on the property.  She said district staff has apprised her of Resolution 207, which required all persons with property in Bolinas who believe they have a right to a water meter to apply to the district for said water mater prior to May 1, 1979; after that date, no further application would be received.  Ms. Dollard said that the former owner of the property stopped coming to Bolinas in the 1960’s and probably never knew about Resolution 207.  (Resolution 207 was extensively published, posted and made available widely throughout Bolinas and greater Marin County at the time.)  Director Siedman noted that staff researched whether an application was ever submitted for this property under Resolution 207 and apprised Ms. Dollard that no application was found. 

    Director Smith observed that if the owner of this property had an active meter at the time Resolution 207 was passed he or she would not have needed to submit an application under this resolution – so, if Ms. Dollard can present evidence that water bills and water service charges were paid for this property at the time Resolution 207 was passed, then Resolution 207 is not applicable.  However, if a meter has been abandoned and no bills or service charges were paid for the property, then reinstatement under Resolution 207 would be required.  Director Amoroso noted that if the applicable water service charge is not paid by the property owner, then the meter for that property is deemed abandoned; he told Ms. Dollard that if she has evidence that the water service charge was paid for this property at the time Resolution 207 was passed, the district will consider that evidence (which will be reflected on the tax bills for the property).  He and staff offered to meet with Ms. Dollard to further discuss the matter.

    The Board reviewed a letter submitted by Lynda Beigel concerning the deteriorating condition of Wharf Road.

    Director Amoroso said that he is very concerned about the situation in Haiti in light of the recent earthquake and said he would like the district to make a charitable contribution, if possible.  Director Siedman said that it is not clear the district can use customer funds for this purpose.  Staff agreed to contact County Counsel for guidance on whether such a contribution would constitute an impermissible gift of public funds. 

5.    Marcotte Coastal Permit (CP10-18) and Use Permit 10-13 (revised); APN # 192-192-29, 201 Elm Road (revised site plan to legalize location of detached accessory structure within 10-foot street side yard setback)

No comments were submitted in connection with this permit application.

6.    Freedomhowler Coastal Permit (CP 10-24) and Minor Design Review (DM 10-25), APN 192-081-13, 175 Dogwood Road (to legalize a greenhouse and three 1,500 gallon water tanks).

Staff noted that the property address for this permit application was misidentified on the County’s transmittal memorandum and should be 175 Poplar Road.

John Bryant observed that there seems to be a trend in the County lately to permit the legalization of structures that are under 200 square feet in dimension if the structure is deemed to be an agricultural building, whereas the County previously only allowed structures of 120 square feet or smaller.  However, while the County Planning Department approves such structures, the applicants do not seem to realize that their 200 square foot structure also must meet the County’s Building Codes, unlike smaller accessory structures, which becomes cost-prohibitive in most instances.  Projects then sit “in limbo” for years, which does not benefit the community.  John noted that sanitary facilities should be required for an agricultural enterprise structure.  Finally, in this particular case, the permit applicant’s name is not the same as the owner of the property.

Rick Hall concurred with John’ remarks; he noted that he lives next door to a lot for which the County approved the legalization of an agricultural structure, but the County essentially has left it to the neighbors to ensure that restrictions imposed on the project are followed.  Rick said this is unfair to the neighbors and should be changed.  John Bryant emphasized that the permit and building fees for projects to legalize purported “ag” structures are very expensive;  in most cases, the property owner would be better served by demolishing the illegal structure and building something new to meet code.  John said that the present approach does not work for the community or the applicant.

    The Board directed staff to convey the comments expressed to the County planner in charge of this permit application.

7.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN# 191-142-12, 130 Maple Road (Long)

Director Siedman noted that the permit application indicates that the project is to replace the siding on a house.  Director Kimball suggested that since no plumbing is involved, the Board should approve an unconditional expanded water use permit; Director Smith agreed.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve an unconditional expanded water use permit.

8.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN# 191-031-01, 295 Grove Road (J. Molyneux)

    Judy Molyneux stated that she is not seeking an expanded water use permit; rather, she has applied to the County for a building permit.  Staff explained that pursuant to Resolution 173, all projects requiring a building or use permit must be evaluated by the district for water use implications and an expanded water use permit must be applied for.  Director Kimball explained that the building project should be described in the expanded water use permit application form so that the Board can evaluate water use implications.  The Board deferred further action pending the submittal of a permit application form.

9.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 6 Terrace (Zeno)

    Staff reported that the customer has withdrawn his request for financial relief. 

10.   Request to Remove Hazardous Limbs from Tree at 25 Olema-Bolinas Road (Resource Recovery Project)

    Staff reported that the district authorized the removal of hazardous limbs from a eucalyptus tree at the Resource Recovery site on an emergency basis based on an assessment by Pacific Slope Company establishing the hazardous condition of the tree.  The matter before the Board is to retroactively approve the work performed on January 16th and authorize the completion of the work and payment therefore.  Mike Aitken confirmed that the tree at issue is hollow at its core and very dangerous; he noted that there are at least 6 -10 additional trees which appear to be in very poor condition.  Moreover, a cypress tree fell in the recent storms over the path leading down from the sewer pond property to the back of the Resource Recovery site and it should be removed.  After a brief discussion of the health of the trees and permit issues involved, director Siedman stated that as the owner of this property, the district has an obligation to responsibly manage its property and protect the public.  Staff recommended that an independent arborist report be obtained to assess the additional trees Mike mentioned which also appear to be hazardous; the Board concurred. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the emergency tree work performed on January 16th and to authorize the completion of the removal of hazardous limbs from a eucalyptus tree at the Resource Recovery Project site.

11.    Approve Request from Mesa Park and Resource Recovery Project to Contribute to the Cost of Installing PG&E Electrical Service at 25 Olema-Bolinas Road.   

    Director Siedman reported that an estimate of $7,000 has been provided by PG&E for the cost of installing electrical service to 25 Olema-Bolinas Road.  Mesa Park and the Resource Recovery Project request that the BCPUD, as owner of the subject property, financially contribute to the installation costs (such that each agency would pay $2,333).  The Board discussed the project and director Smith noted that he met with Mesa Park Board member Bryan Lee to evaluate using an existing tie-down pole to minimize installation costs.  In response to questions from director Amoroso, Resource Recovery Project site manager Mike Aitken said that the electrical service will benefit the entire property, including providing power for the Mesa Park irrigation well and the Resource Recovery Project site office.  Directors Smith and Kimball both stated that electricity is a basic service that the BCPUD, as owner of the property, properly should provide its tenant.  Director Amoroso expressed concern about contributing BCPUD funds to benefit independent entities such as Mesa Park and the Resource Recovery Project.  Director Siedman pointed out that both entities serve the public and provide important community services.  Director Amoroso said that he is concerned that if the district approves a financial contribution to the installation of electrical service that benefits Mesa Park (i.e., power to operate the irrigation well pump), then Mesa Park may request that the BCPUD fund additional aspects of its reclamation and irrigation project.

B. Kimball/K. Bender    three in favor, Siedman abstaining and Amoroso opposed        to contribute equally with Mesa Park and the Resource Recovery Project on the cost of installing electrical service to 25 Olema-Bolinas Road.

12.    Request from Friends of Marin Coast Open Space for the BCPUD to Review and Provide Comments to the County of Marin on the Whamond Agricultural Plan.

Director Siedman noted that the district received an e-mail from attorney David Zaltsman in the County Counsel’s office reiterating the County’s strong commitment to enforcing the terms of the Open Space Easement applicable to the Whamond property.  Burr Henemann urged the BCPUD nonetheless to comment on the proposed agricultural plan as it goes far beyond what is permitted under the Open Space Easement.  A short discussion ensued and the Board directed staff to submit a letter to Supervisor Kinsey in support of the County’s commitment to enforcing the Open Space Easement for the entirety of its terms, particularly in light of the precedent this matter has for other properties in the County subject to similar easements.  The Board also asked staff to request clarification as to the exact date on which the Open Space Easement is due to expire.

13.  Request from the Yellow Bike Program to Install Bicycle Racks on BCPUD Property.

    Anny Owen and Mark Butler explained that their group, now known as “Bolinas Community Bikes (BCB)”, would like to install bike racks in various locations in Bolinas as identified in the letter submitted to the Board.  Mark said there would be a maximum of six bikes located at four different sites.  BCB has received a grant to purchase the bike racks and it is partnering with the Bolinas School to repair existing bikes that otherwise would go to a landfill; all of the community bikes will be yellow to distinguish them.  The Board members noted that several of the sites identified by Anny and Mark in their letter are not BCPUD property; Mark acknowledged this, but said they want to seek BCPUD support for the program and then work to obtain permission from other property owners to install the racks.  After a brief discussion during which insurance requirements were discussed, it was agreed that Mark and Anny would obtain more information about Yellow Bike programs operating elsewhere in the country and come back to the Board to discuss next steps and specific locations for the proposed bike racks.

14.    Ordinance 38:  Repealing and Replacing BCPUD Resolution 152 (Water Meter Transfer Resolution).

    Staff reported that a Notice of Exemption under CEQA has been filed with the County and the ordinance was published in the Marin Independent Journal and Hearsay News, as well as posted at three places in town.  Director Amoroso said he received a call today from a community member inquiring how much the district has spent on legal fees in connection which this ordinance; staff reported that the district has spent approximately $6,800. 

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to waive the second reading of Ordinance 38.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Ordinance 38 upon the second reading.

15.    Ordinance 39:  Amending Ordinance 29 (Regulating the BCPUD’s Sewer System).

    Director Siedman clarified that Ordinance 39 amends BCPUD Ordinance 29 to comprehensively regulate the district’s sewer system.  Staff reported that Ordinance 29 also has been published in the Marin Independent Journal and Hearsay News and has been posted at three locations in town.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to waive the second reading of Ordinance 39.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Ordinance 39 upon the second reading.

16.  Approve BCPUD Sewer System Management Plan

    Staff presented the newest sections of the district’s Sewer System Management Plan.  Staff reminded the Board that pursuant to requirements of the State Water Resources Control Board, the plan is being developed in stages.  The Board approved the first sections of the district’s plan in April 2008.  At this time, the Board is approving the next several sections of the plan, which the district must do at a public meeting on or before February 2, 2010.  The Board offered comments on the proposed “FOG” (fats, oils and grease) program and requested that septic system owners also be notified of the importance of reducing or eliminating fats, oils and grease in their septic systems. 

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the BCPUD’s updated Sewer System Management Plan.

17.  Election of BCPUD Board Officers/Committee Assignments.

B. Kimball/K. Bender        all in favor    to retain Jack Siedman as the Board’s president and Vic Amoroso as the Board’s vice president.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the following new committee assignments: 

Kim Bender, Operations, Legal and Personnel;
Bobbi Kimball, Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads, alternate to Personnel Committee;  .    Jack Siedman, alternate to Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads
    Don Smith, Tomales Bay Watershed Council (alternate is Jennifer Blackman)

18.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that a security system has been installed at the solar arrays.

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

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Staff reported that the County planners have requested information about the district’s Downtown Parking & Traffic Plan for purposes of including it in the updated Local Coastal Plan. 

-- Resource Recovery:  The Board received the most recent inspection report of the Resource Recovery site from the County’s Environmental Health Services department.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Director Siedman stated that the community lost the top of Terrace Avenue as of yesterday; the County has closed the road at the intersection with Overlook Road such that the only access to certain properties is now via the bottom of Terrace Avenue (from downtown).  Last year, the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) reached an agreement with Supervisor Kinsey that the County and the two districts jointly would contribute $25,000 (for a total of $50,000) toward an engineering study for a project to stabilize Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  Coincidently, a meeting has been scheduled for January 21st between representatives of the two districts and Supervisor Kinsey to discuss the expenditure of these funds.  The district representatives are: Jack Siedman, Bill Pierce and Jennifer Blackman for the BCPUD and David Kimball, Anita Tyrrell-Brown and Ralph Camiccia for the BFPD.  The goals are a permanent stabilization project for this location to preserve access for homeowners and to eliminate the need for the BCPUD to relocate its water and sewer lines. 

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

19.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Accept FY 2008-09 Audit Report; Report from Finance Committee on Designated Funds and Status of Investments; Approve Budget Schedule for FY 2010-2011.

D. Smith/K. Bender    all in favor    to accept the FY 2008-2009 Audit Report.

Director Kimball presented a memorandum to the Board from the Finance Committee, which details the status of all of the district’s reserve funds.  In addition, the memo presents the Finance Committee’s recommendation that most of the funds received from the sale of the district’s Pine Gulch Creek property to the National Park Service should be set aside in a “special purposes” fund (with potential uses such as the relocation of the district’s facilities off of Terrace Avenue and an updated water source feasibility study), with the balance designated and prioritized for equipment purchases and capital improvement projects.  Director Kimball encouraged the other Board members to contribute their ideas and suggestions for potential projects or purchases.

Staff presented the draft budget schedule for FY 2010-2011.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball        all in favor    to approve the district’s budget schedule for FY 2010-2011

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  California Graywater Plumbing Code.   Director Kimball said she would like the district to send a letter to the County in support of the new state graywater plumbing code and noted that the Sierra Club is urging its members to write to their local counties to urge the counties’ adoption of the new code with no modifications (but for a waiver/reduction of permit fees for smaller installations).  The Board had no objection and director Kimball agreed to draft a letter for the Board’s consideration at the next regular meeting.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that Mesa Park has communicated with the County’s elections office regarding the process of electing (rather than appointing) the Mesa Park board members and an amendment to the joint powers agreement between the BCPUD and the school district establishing Mesa Park will be necessary.  Staff was directed to include an item on the February Board agenda for this purpose. 

-- Personnel:  Director Siedman noted that the district’s memorandum of understanding with its employees is not up for renegotiation this year as it extends through the FY 2010-2011 fiscal year.

-- Sewer:  Staff reported that the district met recently with Anita Tyrrell-Brown and a representative of the Conservation Corps North Bay (formerly known as the Marin Conservation Corps) about a potential grant opportunity to obtain funds for the purpose of a fire fuel reduction project on the district’s sewer pond property.

b. Minutes of the December 16, 2009 Regular Meeting; Minutes of the January 13, 2010 Special Meeting.

    With respect to the minutes of the December 16, 2009 regular meeting, director Amoroso asked director Siedman whether a caretaker cottage is planned for the Downtown Park.  Director Siedman said no.  Director Amoroso therefore requested a revision of the draft minutes to accurately reflect this point. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the December 16, 2009 regular meeting, as amended.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the January 13, 2010 special meeting.

c. Warrants

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    February 17, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

20.    Adjournment.

11:19 p.m.