1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Comstock, Godino, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.
As of today, the County’s project to repair the road-level retaining walls at Surfer’s Overlook is very close to completion. The paving of the project area is scheduled for this week but it may be necessary to defer the paving until next week depending on weather conditions. The County’s senior engineer anticipates that the road will be reopened to vehicular traffic by February 5th at the latest.
-- Update on the Wharf Road Lift Station Pump Replacement Project: Agreement with Brelje & Race for Consulting Engineering Services.
BCPUD solicited two engineering proposals and selected the lowest cost proposal which was submitted by Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers at a “not to exceed” price of $25,000. A Notice of Exemption under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) for the project installation was filed on January 13th. The engineers have completed the preliminary pump and piping layout and it was reviewed by staff earlier today. The tentative schedule is to finalize the engineering plans and specifications by the end of January and go out to bid with the project in early February. Director Amoroso inquired about the status of the temporary bypass pump as he heard it was malfunctioning and whether this elevates the project to an “emergency” status. Staff acknowledged that the pump had broken down but subsequently was repaired and is functioning properly at this time.
-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to the most recent chlorine disinfection byproduct (“DBP”) notification mailed out to customers about levels of total trihalomethanes (“TTHMs”) detected just barely above the maximum contaminant level (“MCL”) in the district’s drinking water. The district has been in communication with the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) about the status of efforts to reduce DBPs and that correspondence also is in the Board binders. Most recently, the district has received the results from the pilot tests run to evaluate the efficacy of coagulation prior to filtration on cold water from the Arroyo Hondo Creek and from the Woodrat 1 reservoir. For water from the Arroyo Hondo Creek, coagulation prior to filtration reduced TTHMs by 59%, haloacetic acids (“HAA5s”) by 80% and total organic carbons (“TOCs”) by 85%. For water from the Woodrat 1 reservoir, coagulation prior to filtration reduced TTHMs by 54%, HAA5s by 78% and TOCs by 50%. In addition, the chlorine demand was 50% less for Arroyo Hondo Creek water and 63% less for Woodrat 1 water to keep a comparable residual in the water system. The pilot included testing for alum and no carry-over of the coagulant was detected in the finished water. These results are very encouraging and staff is working on a recommendation to the Board to apply to the SWRCB and formally request permission to add coagulation prior to filtration as part of the treatment process; the recommendation will include the estimated costs and the associated changes necessary at the treatment plant and in the district’s operation plan.
-- Update on BCPUD/BFPD Survey of Obstructions and Encroachments in the Public Rights-of-Way on the Bolinas Mesa.
No update at this time.
Staff reported that water consumption in the district was up slightly during the most recently completed quarter (Oct/Nov/Dec) for the downtown area of town. As for water operations, it has been a very busy month for the BCPUD staff due to two major leaks on the water distribution system. One leak occurred on December 30th on the east side of Olema-Bolinas Road across from the Bolinas School and staff was able to repair it that day and restore water service to customers within a few hours. The other leak occurred on the east side of the Dogwood right-of-way near Mesa Road and was caused by a contractor’s heavy equipment sliding into the drainage ditch, which was located on top of our water main, and cracking the water main in several places. In order to complete the repair, staff had to shut off water at each water service because it was not possible to maintain positive pressure in the main due to the extent of the breakage, which is one of the worst the district ever experienced. Staff worked well past midnight to ensure water service would be restored to customers as soon as possible. Discussion ensued among the Board members about pursuing a claim againt the contractor for damage to the district’s infrastructure and the Board ultimately directed staff to itemize the cost to the district in labor and materials and present it to the contractor with a request for reimbursement.
In addition to the leaks on the distribution system, staff also has been addressing equipment malfunctions. The district’s back-up emergency generator at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant broke down and staff arranged for a temporary rental generator while the district’s was disconnected and transported for repair. Staff evaluated whether to replace the generator rather than repair, but the cost of a replacement is more than three times the cost of the repair, so staff made the decision to go with a repair at this time, and include a replacement generator on the district’s capital improvement schedule. One of the sump pumps at the plant also failed and the distributor has informed the district that the parts to repair that pump are no longer available, so staff is researching options for a replacement at a likely cost of about $1,500.
Staff also has been engaged in maintenance work at the plant and fine-tuning filters and chlorine dosing as the district switches back and forth between sources/rain events. The Arroyo Hondo Creek water is extremely turbid right now, so the plant is running on its reservoir water source at present. Staff is constructing a protective structure over the inverters for the photovoltaic arrays and that project is nearly complete. With regard to the distribution system, staff is planning for the replacement of the water main in the Cedar right-of-way between Elm and Alder, and between Alder and Poplar. Staff is working with the district’s engineers at Brelje & Race to prepare specifications for this project that will then serve as a “master” set of specifications for the many other water main replacement projects identified on the district’s capital improvement plan. Of course, for each project the engineers will need to prepare site-specific drawings and identify the specific materials needed, but having a master set of specifications should be very helpful.
On January 7, 2016, staff submitted a grant application to CalFire for $100,000 in funds to continue the fire fuel reduction work the district started in 2011 with Conservation Corps North Bay in the eucalyptus grove on the BCPUD’s sewer pond property. If the grant is awarded, staff proposes to do the work this summer between August 16th – October 16th; based on previous biological assessments of this property, the district knows this is the best window to do the work with no impact on threatened or endangered species. The district proposes to target approximately 10 acres of invasive brush and the large stand of eucalyptus trees to the south of the steep path heading up the property from the Resource Recovery Project. Some of the work may be coordinated with the district’s planned project to remove hazardous eucalyptus trees adjacent to Olema-Bolinas Road and over the force main (item 8, below).
On the wastewater side of operations, there is a lot going on with staff focused on the lift station pump replacement. The replacement pumps finally were delivered on January 7, 2016. As previously noted, engineers were selected and were on site last week to inspect the lift station and dry-fit the pumps. An important component of preparing the specifications for the installation will be sequencing the project to minimize any time when the temporary bypass pump cannot be used and a pumper truck will be necessary; as such, a bypass manifold will be installed as part of the project. Given the tight space constraints in the drywell, the engineers (with staff input) are optimizing the location of the pumps and piping to allow maximum room for staff to work on the pumps as necessary. Flows into the collection system have been creeping upward during the wet weather and staff suspects some sort of tie-in of gutters and/or sump pump, which is not allowed as the district’s sewer collection system is not a combined sewer/stormwater system. Staff will investigate for the possible souce as the additional flows into the system significantly impact district operations.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including a letter from ACWA/JPIA regarding the recent training on confined space entry and defensive driving held in Bolinas at the Firehouse Public meeting Room and a copy of the executed amendment to the district’s franchise agreement with Redwood Empire Disposal Company.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
The Board received a drainage report from Lewie Likover.
In response to a question from director Comstock, staff reported that the district has received approximately 17 inches of rain so far this year (i.e., as of July 1, 2015).
4. Community Expression.
Staff stated that community member Jennie Pfeiffer had asked to raise the topic of hosting an appreciation event for Supervisor Steve Kinsey. Director Smith said it will be very important to have a coastal representative on the Board of Supervisors after Supervisor Kinsey steps down; he said no one from the coast has filed papers to run, so everyone should consider who might be a good candidate to encourage to run. Director Godino suggested that Bolinas host a “Meet the Candidates” night, perhaps sponsored by the Bolinas Community Center.
Brittany Cole-Bush introduced herself as a new community member and young entrepreneur; she is a land steward and agrarian specializing in grazing operations with sheep and/or goats for vegetation management. She has worked for many public agencies and is here tonight to raise awareness of her role as a modern urban shepardess. She is in the development stage of her business and wants to make sure it is a feasible, viable and wanted service here in the area.
5. Coastal Permit Application (Project ID: 015-0399), APN# 192-141-15, 370 Overlook Road,
Bolinas; Expanded Water Use Permit Application (S. Bruce).
The project involves a 400 square foot addition to the main house, and 80 square foot addition to an ancillary building, and a new 725 square foot building to be used as a second unit. Director Smith inquired whether a prior project was completed on this property and Simon Bruce confirmed that a new 5-bedroom septic system was installed. Director Siedman said it seems a conditional permit is appropriate given the increase in the number of bedrooms and potential impact on water use. Staff said the average quarterly usage over the past four quarters was 1,250 cubic feet.
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor approving a conditional expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly limit equal to the annual average usage plus 50%, or 1,875 cubic feet.
6. BCPUD Land Stewardship Committee Report to the Board of Directors Concerning Past and Present Uses with Recommendations for the Future re: BCPUD Sewer Pond Property Outside of the Treatment Area.
Director Siedman said that he is a member of the Land Stewardship Committee and he observed that many of the committee members are in attendance at the meeting . He said that the committee met many times over an extended period of time and completed a lot of work. Director Siedman particularly commended Genie McNaughton for leading the effort on the committee’s report and said the report is now formally presented to the Board for acceptance.
Discussion ensued and Board members Amoroso and Smith offered specific suggestions for correction of some of the factual details recited in the report concerning the date of the BCPUD’s purchase of the sewer pond property, the amount of acerage under lease, and the permitted uses of the pedestrian/bike path, among other things. Director Godino inquired whether the adjacent Reusch property is maintained as a preserve and/or whether there is a management plan in place for that property; committee member Tish Brown said the property is mowed on an annual basis and, while the property is no longer under an open space easement agreement, no one wishes to see it developed. Director Godino noted that one of the committee recommendations is that the BCPUD not grant any more leases on the property and she is not sure she agrees with this; she also expressed concern about other recommendations in the report that would require financial expenditures by the BCPUD. Director Comstock said the report and its recommendations are very helpful, but there are limits on what the BCPUD can commit to financially. Committee member Janine Aroyan said the committee understands this and that the committee does not wish to impose a financial burden on the district. Committee members Masterton and Angel expressed strong support for the recommendation to halt any more leasing of this property.
Director Siedman suggested that the Board accept the report. Director Godino asked if the Board accepts the report, is it also accepting the report recommendation? She said that she does not wish to be obstructive, but she is not prepared to accept all of the recommendations yet or to commit to the financial obligations the recommendations entail. Director Comstock suggested that the Board clarify that it is accepting the report but that it is not necessarily commiting to implement the recommendations or the financial expenditures identified therein. Discussion ensued with some members of the committee urging the Board to accept the report with the recommendations as drafted; ultimately, director Siedman suggested the Board accept the report and await input from the committee as to what it would like the BCPUD to do next with regard to specific recommendations. Directors Comstock and Godino agreed as long as it is clear the Board is not committing the district to any specific action at this time.
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to accept the committee report, subject to corrections, and await further input from the committee as to the recommendations contained in the report.
7. Water Supply Update: Report from Consulting Hydro-geologist Rob Gailey.
Director Amoroso said the report identifies at least $100,000 more in investigative work the district could undertake to evaluate the groundwater supply to its irrigation well, but he is unclear on whether the district should expend such a sum if the probability of a significant amount of water is not high. Director Smith said the district should press for more information and he offered to meet with Rob Gailey for a technical discussion; he noted that the Board had requested an estimate from Rob as to the likely sustainable groundwater supply to the well and that Rob had agreed to provide one, but the report does not provide the promised estimate. Director Comstock expressed disappointment that the report does not include this information and agreed with director Smith that the district should press for some kind of estimate, with whatever qualifications or caveats Rob feels he needs to specify to do so. He said the Board needs to know how much water the district responsibly can pump (or allow to be pumped) from this well without inducing seawater intrusion and whether this well can produce a sustainable potable water supply. Director Comstock noted that Mr. Gailey previously has expressed the opinion that there likely is not a lot of water supplying the well, so director Comstock is reluctant to spend more money to confirm this, but he wants to ensure that the current level of pumping is appropriate and sustainable. Discussion ensued about potential additional information to collect; director Smith suggested the district survey the well elevation to understand specificially where it is (and its water level) relative to sea level. After further discussion, director Siedman suggested that the district continue its current monitoring of the well to build the data set and also explore the possibility of grant funding to pay for the kind of additional monitoring identified in Rob’s report. Director Comstock suggested that the Board also delegate the Operations Committee (directors Comstock and Smith) to meet with Rob. Director Smith concurred and said he sees three potential topics for such a meeting: (1) how can an estimate of the sustainable pumping rate for this well be “teased out” of the available data?; (2) how can the district improve its monitoring for potential indicators of seawater intrusiuon at a reasonable cost?; and, (3) are there opportunities for grant funding for any of the recommendations contained in the report? Directors Comstock and Smith agreed to meet with Rob Gailey and report back at the next Board meeting.
8. Removal of Hazardous Trees from BCPUD Property Adjacent to Olema-Bolinas Road (south of Mesa Road) and Over the Sewer Force Main (BCPUD staff).
Staff requested the Board’s approval to proceed with the removal of specified hazardous trees from BCPUD property; the trees have been marked and staff is soliciting bids for the work. There are five trees along the Olema-Bolinas Road marked for removal and approximately 27 smaller trees growing over the BCPUD’s sewer force main. All of the trees at issue are eucalyptus. Depending on the bids received, the district may move forward with the project in two stages (i.e, remove the trees adjacent to the road first) due to the need for traffic control during that portion of the project. Staff is in discussions with the Bolinas Fire Protection District and the County Department of Public Works for assistance with the traffic control. Director Smith said that he was called by a community member who expressed concern about the removal of the trees; director Smith explained to the concerned community member that the BCPUD has a responsibility to remove hazardous trees and will not remove more trees than necessary to fulfill its responsibilities. Director Comstock said it will be important to plan for the cost of this project as it moves forward. The Board suggested that staff apprise the community about the project via the Hearsay News as soon as it is scheduled.
V. Amoroso/G. Godino all in favor to approve the removal of hazardous trees from the BCPUD property adjacent to Olema-Bolinas Road and over the sewer force main.
9. Marin Local Agency Formation Commission: BCPUD Comments on Countywide Water Service Study (Municipal Service Review – Final Report, January 2016).
Staff attended the Marin LAFCO public hearing on its Countywide Water Service Study on January 14, 2016 -- Marin LAFCO’s final report was issued the week before the public hearing and is over 400 pages long, with a new executive summary and a proposed resolution with “determinations”. Staff spoke briefly during the hearing to reiterate the BCPUD’s continuing concerns with the report (i.e., the assertion that water use/intensity of use is increasing in Bolinas and the recommendation that the BCPUD increase its water treatment capacity) and requested that LAFCO extend the time to receive written comments on the final report until the continuation hearing date (February 11, 2016). Marin LAFCO granted the request and staff will prepare written comments on behalf of the district for submission before the deadline.
10. Election of BCPUD Board Officers/Committee Assignments.
Directors Siedman and Amoroso expressed their willingness to continue to serve as the Board’s president and vice president, respectively, and the directors also reviewed the current membership of the Board’s committees.
L. Comstock/ G. Godino all in favor to reelect the Board’s officers and reappoint the Board’s committees as presently constituted.
11. Approve Budget Schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget.
G. Godino/L. Comstock all in favor to approve the budget schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget.
12. Proposal to Convert Part-Time Temporary Utility Worker Position to Full-Time Shift Operator Position.
Staff presented a proposal to convert the part-time temporary utility work position currently held by Stew Oakander to a full-time shift operator position. Among other things, in light of foreseeable retirements, staff recommends that the district ensure it is prepared to fulfill its obligations to the community with a sufficient number of qualified and certified operators. The budgetary and other impacts/benefits of the conversion of this position are detailed in staff’s proposal. Director Comstock said he hopes the additional personnel will enable staff to install some of the district’s smaller identified capital improvement projects.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith all in favor to convert the existing part-time temporary utility worker position to a full-time shift operator position.
13. Volunteer Committee Reports.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Director Siedman noted that there will be a meeting about the Bolinas Lagoon “North End” project at the Firehouse on January 30th.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Update re: Notice of Violation from the Marin County Environmental Health Services Department. The County’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention department has required that the Resource Recovery Project update its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and submit a copy to the County. With the concurrence of the other member agencies, the district has engaged Wildscape Engineering to prepare this document at a cost not-to-exceed $6,700. In addition, and again with the concurrence of the other member agencies, the district will engage WRA environmental consultants to conduct the work necessary to receive after-the-fact permits from the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Army Corps of Engineers for the work done to improve the drainage at the site.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Director Godino reported that Supervisor Steve Kinsey facilitated a meeting recently at the Civic Center with the entire West Marin subcommittee of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”), Manager Phil Smith, Liza Goldblatt and director Godino. It was a cordial and respectful meeting and Supervisor Kinsey did a terrific job as facilitator. Director Godino said it seems clear that the M&VCD very much wants to use methoprene briquettes to control mosquitoes in West Marin and seems convinced it is safe and that concerns otherwise in West Marin are misplaced. Director Comstock asked why the M&VCD is not satisfied with OMRI-approved products; director Godino said the M&VCD support those products, but want another option since Agnique is discontinued and the other OMRI-approved products are not designed for use in septic tanks. She said the subcommittee members are very concerned about their legal obligation to do mosquito and vector control as effectively as possible and follow best practices; they feel their “customer” is the public health. Discussion ensued and the Board members discussed the possibility of Bolinas removing itself from the M&VCD if the non-toxic protocol agreement is not renewed as-is. Director Godino said that three more meetings have been scheduled to negotiate the agreement renewal and she underscored again Supervisor Kinsey’s helpful role. Finally, she noted that at present West Marin is not represented on the full M&VCD Board.
-- Land Stewardship Committee: Receive Report from the Land Stewardship Committee. Nothing further to report.
14. Other Business.
a. Board Committee Reports.
-- Finance: Staff reported that efforts to hire a new bookkeeper continue and staff hopes to have a recommendation for the Board’s consideration at the next regular meeting.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Director Smith commented that in light of the recent leak on Dogwood where it was revealed that a drainage ditch was installed over the district’s water main, he would like the staff survey of the Big Mesa to include a specific identification of all locations where drainage ditches are inappropriately close to water mains.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Amoroso reported that he attended the most recent meeting of the Mesa Park Board and they are planning to improve the irrigation well to prevent the on-going siltation problem.
-- Personnel: Nothing further to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the December 16, 2015 regular Board meeting.
Director Amoroso offered a correction to typographical error in the draft minutes.
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor to approve the minutes of the December 16, 2015 regular meeting, as corrected.
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s):
February 17, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.