Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
January 21, 2009     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:33 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Report on January 7, 2009 Closed Session of the BCPUD Board of Directors.

A closed session of the Board was held on January 7th to confer with legal counsel regarding potential litigation; at this time, the Board has taken no action.

4.    Manager’s Report.

Director Kimball said she would like to raise a procedural question about agenda item 12, which includes a discussion of a draft water rationing ordinance; based on her discussions of earlier in the day with the district’s Chief Operator, director Kimball is concerned that this item may need urgent action.  Staff confirmed that although staff had hoped it would be possible to defer implementing mandatory rationing until the February Board meeting (which is why it was listed on the January agenda as a discussion item only), current data indicates the district should not wait to do so.  Staff recommended that the Board schedule a special meeting in the near future to pass a mandatory rationing measure.  Director Siedman said the Board will act on this recommendation during item 12.

    Staff reported that the district’s current low water supply is extremely serious. Based on a staff report prepared by the district’s Chief Operator, staff recommends that the Board enact a mandatory conservation program as soon as possible, including rationing of water.  Although water consumption was lower in the most recent quarter (ending in December) than at the same time last year, consumption began to creep up alarming during January, which has been unusually dry and warm.  At present, consumption is outpacing the district’s ability to supply water.  Staff directed the Board’s attention to a document in the binders which identifies the district’s highest water users;  specifically, the document lists those customers (by account number only) using more than 4000 cubic feet of water per quarter.  Originally, staff had contemplated recommending a water conservation program for the district to focus on reducing the consumption of these highest users only – however, the supply situation has become so challenging that staff now believes that only a mandatory rationing program will suffice to get the district through the year. 

    In other operational news, staff noted that three non-compliance notices were issued last month to customers in violation of the terms of their expanded water use permits.  The district’s generator at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant, which had been damaged due to rat infestation, has been repaired and is now operational; unfortunately, this was an unbudgeted expenditure. 

    Staff attended a meeting co-hosted by the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) and the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) last week in Santa Rosa to preview the anticipated economic stimulus bill currently pending in Congress and its impact on water and wastewater projects.  Attendance was quite high from agency representatives throughout the North Bay.  SWRCB and CDPH told attendees that hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to be designated for California projects in the stimulus bill; SWRCB and CDPH intend to disburse the federal monies via their existing loan programs.  As such, the money will not come to local agencies in the form of grants, but rather in the form of low interest loans.  Although the loans are expect to have very low interest rates, for small agencies this was not welcome news as many cannot absorb significant increases to their long term debt levels.  SWRCB and CDPH emphasized that federal authorities view the stimulus bill as a job stimulus program, top priority will be given to projects that can get underway immediately (i.e. those that are “shovel ready”), or within 60 days of funding. 

    The district’s insurance representative from ACWA/JPIA conducted a site visit on January 9, 2009 to inspect the district’s solar arrays and recreational bike path; this visit went well and the district’s representative was highly complimentary of the new facilities.

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to several items in the meeting binders, including but not limited to an update on the status of the National Park Service’s acquisition of the district’s Pine Gulch Creek property and a request from a group affiliated with RDI/Commonweal to initiate a garden project at the back of the BCPUD property at 270 Elm Road.  The group envisions this as  a volunteer effort to showcase water catchment and sustainable gardening practices.  Staff will include the request on the Board’s February meeting agenda.

    Director McClellan inquired about a rumor he had heard that the County was stepping up its enforcement activities in Bolinas.  Staff reported placing a call to the Environmental Health Service department to inquire about the rumor;  EHS staff said that discussions were underway between the various departments within the Community Development Agency (EHS, Planning and Building) to more tightly coordinate their activities -- historically, these departments have worked quite independently from each other and did not cross-refer enforcement activities.  Director McClellan said that there could be negative repercussions from this in that local residents typically can work with EHS to resolve septic issues, for example, but local willingness to work with EHS may evaporate if EHS suddenly starts reporting suspected building and zoning violations to the Building and Planning Departments. 

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

Staff reported that the district’s building permit to remodel its interior and exterior office space to comply with disability access requirements has been approved;  $1,865.11 in permit fees are remaining to be paid and the permit will be valid until August 21, 2009.

-- Update on the BCPUD’s Application  for Proposition 84 Grant Funds (in partnership with the County of Marin and the National Park Service)  for Projects to Enhance the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance(“ASBS”)

The district’s application for Proposition 84 grant funds, which it submitted in partnership with the County of Marin and National Park Service) for water quality improvement projects for Duxbury Reef has been recommended for funding by SWRCB staff.  At present, the SWRCB is scheduled to meet on January 20, 2009 to evaluate the staff funding recommendations.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Nothing to report.

5.    Community Expression.

    Jennie Pfeiffer inquired whether one of the district’s building tenants may be using rat poison; an extremely bad odor emanating from under the bathroom near the Hearsay offices appears to be from a dead rat.  Director McClellan said any use of rat poison should be prohibited and district tenants should  be instructed not to use rat poison.  Director Siedman said the district has an obligation to provide a rodent-free premises to its tenants;  if necessary, appropriate personnel should be retained to eliminate any rat problem. 

6.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 30 Terrace Avenue (Rippe).

    Bob Rippe told the Board that he experienced a  water leak in one of the toilets his family does not generally use;  he did not realize they had a leak until he received the quarterly water bill.  Once the leak was identified, the toilet valve was turned off immediately.  In response to questions from the Board, Bob said that the toilet is a 1927 toilet that is not a low flow model;  he said the landlord does not want to replace the toilet, so a plumber has been hired to located the necessary parts to fix the toilet.  Director Kimball noted that the Board has evaluated several prior requests for financial relief due to toilet leaks;  in most cases, the district has granted a reduction of 25% over the historic average use.  Director Smith said that district has granted a reduction of 50% over the historical average use in a hardship situation. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to reduce the quarterly water bill by 25% of the amount by which the cubic foot usage exceeds the historical average for the same billing period.

7.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 415 Yucca Road (Elliott).

    Judith Elliott acknowledged that she was appealing to the Board a second time for financial relief;  discussion ensued about historic high water usage at the property and uncertainty as to whether a leak actually exists.  The Board determined that the matter should be continued until staff can investigate and report back to the Board.

8.    Coastal Permit and Second Unit Amnesty Permit (SA 09-24); Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 230 Alder Drive (Johnson).

    Dale Johnson explained that she is trying to legalize a second unit on her property;  she was advised to apply for a permit under the second unit amnesty program by County representatives who had come to her property to investigate a complaint.  Discussion ensued between Board members about the expanded water use permit language in paragraph 6 of Resolution 173 in light of the current water supply shortage.  Director Amoroso said he does not want to delay the applicant’s permit application, but he would like staff to review its files to ensure that the Board is proceeding in accordance with past practice on second unit applications. 
J. McClellan/B. Kimball    four in favor, Amoroso opposed    to grant a conditional expanded water use permit based on the historical quarterly water usage at the property, plus 50% or 500 cubic feet per quarter, whichever is less.

9.   Approve Revised Lease Agreement for Agricultural Use of BCPUD Sewer Pond Property.

    Director Siedman said that the Board has a revised lease agreement before it, with changes highlighted to allow certain additional agricultural activities and a second herd of goats for clearing brush.  In response to a question from director Amoroso, Alethea Patton (on behalf of the lessees) confirmed that no district water will be used in connection with the agricultural activities. 

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the revises lease agreement.

10.    Report on Local Coastal Plan Update Process:  Approve BCPUD comments.  (Note: A Community Meeting on the Local Coastal Plan Update Process is Scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on January 28, 2009 at the Bolinas Firehouse & Clinic Building.)

    David Kimball presented an “issues list” prepared by a subgroup of the district’s Bolinas Planning Group and requested the Board’s approval for the list to be presented on behalf of the BCPUD at the upcoming community meeting on the Local Coastal Plan update process. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the Bolinas Planning Group issue list.

11.    Update on Use of Asphalt/Concrete Grindings.

    Staff reported that the district has not yet received definitive results or analysis from the lab testing performed on the asphalt/concrete grindings.  Director Amoroso said that the pile of materials now appears to be properly tarped; staff confirmed that district staff purchased tarps and covered the material at district expense because Mesa Park was not able to do so. Director Amoroso said the district should bill Mesa Park for its time and expenses;  director Smith disagreed because he feels the material ultimately will be a significant benefit to the BCPUD rights-of-way.  Director Siedman said the Mesa Park was approached by Andy Blake in his capacity as the leader of a local road group to temporarily store the asphalt/concrete grindings at its parking lot;  this was never a Mesa Park project.  Director Siedman said that the BCPUD then determined the material should be covered, but Mesa Park is not responsible for that.  Director Amoroso said that any expenditure of district funds to cover the materials therefore should come out of the road budget. 

12.  Resolution 573:  Declaring Prolonged Drought Condition in the Bolinas Community Public Utility District; Discuss Draft Water Rationing Ordinance.

    Staff presented an overview of Resolution 573.  In brief, the district’s emergency water supply is at historically low levels -- the reservoirs are only 38% full, whereas they typically are 100% full at this time of year – and the flow in the district’s primary source, the Arroyo Hondo Creek, is at late-summer like levels.  In addition, consumption rose during January, which has been unusually dry and warm; as a result, to meet demand, the district has started to draw on its emergency water supply.  The district’s Chief Operator has determined that at present rates of consumption, the district’s emergency water supply will be gone by the end of April.  To avoid such a situation, it will be necessary to ration water to ensure that the district’s overall consumption does not exceed 92,000 gallons per day, which is the amount of water that the district presently can draw from the Arroyo Hondo Creek;  it is critical that the district preserve its emergency water supply as long as possible to use during the summer and fall months.  The Chief Operator has calculated that it is necessary to limit each service connection to 164 gallons per day and recommends that the Board adopt a mandatory conservation resolution as soon as possible. 

    Discussion ensued about accommodations for downtown businesses; potential prohibition of all landscape irrigation; strategies to require reduced usage by the district’s highest consuming customers; and so forth.  Chief Operator Bill Pierce emphasized that it is important to act quickly:  “we are basically out of water right now”, he said, “we’re trying to figure out how to make the water we have last through December.”  He emphasized that overall district water consumption must be reduced immediately and a per-service-connection limit is the “value neutral” means by which to do so in that it does not discriminate between types of use.  Further discussion ensued about the means by which the district will enforce the mandatory rationing program;  staff recommended a written warning system whereby customers using in excess of the ration amount will receive two written warnings prior to the discontinuation of water service.  The Board ultimately resolved to schedule a special meeting on January 28, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. at the Firehouse & Clinic Building to enact a mandatory rationing resolution;  staff was directed to revise the resolution to make some accommodations for downtown businesses, public institutions and multi-use facilities and to create an exemption process whereby individual customers can appeal to the Board for a specific accommodation in compelling circumstances.

13.  Resolution 574:  Granting Director McClellan Permission to be Absent.

    Director McClellan requested permission to be absent from the district from February 1, 2009 through June 1, 2009.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    four in favor, McClellan abstaining    to pass Resolution 574 (which shall be renumbered resolution 573) granting Director McClellan permission to be absent from the district.

14.     Resolution 575:  Approving the Appointment of Director Kimball as the BCPUD’s       ACWA/JPIA Director Representative.

    Director McClellan recommended that director Kimball replace him as the BCPUD’s ACWA/JPIA Director representative;  he feels that another director should be designated to fulfill this responsibility on behalf of the district due to his regular absences from the district.

V.Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor    to pass Resolution 575 (which shall be renumbered Resolution 574) and appoint director Kimball to serve as the BCPUD’s ACWA/JPIA Director representative.

15.  Election of BCPUD Board Officers/Committee Assignments.

J. McClellan/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the current Board Officer/Committee assignments, subject to the revision that director Kimball will replace director McClellan as the ACWA/JPIA director representative.

16.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy: Director Siedman said that the reduced lighting at the location of the sewer pond solar arrays is now satisfactory to the nearby neighbors.  Director Smith reported that the district should soon be receiving its state rebate funds as all of the required paperwork has been timely submitted to PG&E. 

 -- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Nothing further to report.

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

-- Community Paths Group: Director McClellan said that the path is in good shape and seems to have been improved from the recent light rains.  Director Smith agreed, but said it will need additional work over time;  he suspects the district eventually will surface the entire length of the path.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Nothing to report.

-- Resource Recovery: Staff reported that Redwood Disposal has resumed green waste drop-off to the Resource Recovery Project;  evidently the company had ceased local drop-off due to the amount of garbage in the green waste containers.  Director Amoroso commented that he places his green waste container outside the night before the morning pick-up and people often deposit garbage in it during the night.   Redwood Disposal has agreed to provide a dumpster at the Resource Recovery Project so that staff there can remove and dispose of garbage in the green waste.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Staff reported that there has been no response from Supervisor Kinsey to the district’s letter of December 10, 2008 regarding Terrace Avenue.  The Board requested staff to follow-up with Lisa Crosse and report back at the next meeting.

 -- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council has successfully negotiated a five-year extension of its agreement with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control district; a signing ceremony to execute the extension was conducted at the district’s offices in Cotati. 
17.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  FY 2009-2010 Budget Schedule; FY 2007-2008 Audit Report

        The Board reviewed a draft schedule for the fiscal year 2009-2010 budgeting process;  director Kimball requested that the proposed Finance Committee meeting date in May be adjusted to May 7th due to her travel schedule;  there was no objection.

         The Board also reviewed draft financial statements prepared by the district’s new bookkeeper;  directors provided comments on the reporting format and directed staff to work with the bookkeeper to revise the statements.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Report on Draft Statewide Septic Regulations.

    Director Smith reported that he, director McClellan and staff attended a meeting with Armando Alegria at the County’s Environmental Health Services Department to discuss the proposed statewide septic regulations and potential comments on the regulations (which are due February 9, 2009).  The County and BCPUD are in agreement about the regulations in many respects;  in particular, both agencies strongly feel that the regulations should be revised to allow more discretion for local agencies to accommodate specific site issues.  As presently drafted, there is very little flexibility and the “one size fits all” approach is misguided in light of the diversity of soil and site conditions throughout the state.  Directors Smith and McClellan, working with staff, will prepare written comments on the regulations on behalf of the district and submit them to the state prior to the comment deadline.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that Mesa Park’s Downtown Park committee will present its proposed design of the part to the town on Sunday, February 8th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Bolinas Community Center.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:   Staff reported that a recommendation is under development for eucalyptus removal at the sewer pond property.

b. Minutes of the December 17, 2008 Regular Meeting.

    Director Kimball offered several technical corrections to the draft December minutes. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor        to approve the December 17, 2008 regular meeting minutes as amended.

c.  Warrants

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

        A special meeting of the Board will be held next Wednesday, January 28, 2009 beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Firehouse & Clinic Building to discuss a mandatory rationing resolution.  The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Board will be on February 18, 2009 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the BCPUD offices.

18.  Adjournment.
    11:10 p.m.