Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
February 15, 2012     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.   Call to Order.

    7:30 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:  Report on Meeting with Supervisor Steve Kinsey

        Staff reported that a meeting occurred on February 3, 2012 between BCPUD staff, David Kimball and Phil Buchanan from the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”), and Steve Kinsey, Bob Beaumont, Ernest Klock and Liza Crosse from the County of Marin, to discuss the stabilization of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  The meeting was very congenial and productive; the participants discussed SAGE’s proposed next scope of geotechnical work (primarily sub-surface exploration) and agreed to move forward on a continued 50-50 cost-share basis for this next step.  The participants also discussed the need to fundraise among private stakeholders eventually for the construction phase of this project.  There are two potential projects needed:  an interim project to repair the road-level retaining walls (the cost of which ranges in estimate from $250,000 to $500,000) and a permanent project to stabilize the entire bluff (which is estimated to cost $3 – 4 million).  Discussion ensued among the directors as to how to pay for these projects in light of the enormous community benefit they both will provide and how to best explain the need for both projects to the community.

Staff noted that February 3rd also was the date of the County-sponsored celebration of the repair of Terrace Avenue at Overlook Road.  This was a wonderful community event which began with Mike Aitken escorting Steve Kinsey in his vintage Packard to the celebration site.  There were many employees of the Department of Public Works in attendance, as well as representatives of the BCPUD, the BFPD and Mesa Park and lots of community members.  In addition, representatives from the contractor and engineering firm also were present.  Supervisor Kinsey announced that the County would be donating an additional $10,000 to Mesa Park to pay for the installation of an irrigation system on the soccer field, which Mesa Park generously had donated as a disposal site for the project excavation.  Letters of appreciation to the County were submitted by the BFPD – an eloquent letter written by Phil Buchanan – and the BCPUD, copies of which are in the board binders.

--    Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project.

     Staff reported that the district has submitted the required Fiscal Services and Deposit Account Control Agreement, the Deposit Maintenance Account Agreement, the Initial Budget and Expenditure Summary and the district’s first claim for reimbursement for the $35,000 in engineering fees incurred for this project.  The next step is to prepare the bid documents for the project and arrange for the closure of the road with the County to construct the project this summer.

 -- Update on the Wharf Road Service Saddle Replacement Project: Approve Project Bid Documents

    Staff reported that the bid documents are nearly ready;  the engineers have made some final revisions to the plans to install some additional valves on the Wharf Road water main and to disconnect some old piping from the original downtown water system.  The Board had no objection to the draft bid documents but requested that staff be sure to coordinate with the County to obtain the asphalt grindings from the Wharf Road paving project if at all possible.

    Director Bender arrived at 7:50 p.m.
-- Update on Video Inspection of Sewer Laterals on Wharf, Park and Portions of Terrace Avenues

Staff advised the Board that letters have been sent to all property owners affected by the upcoming Wharf and Terrace projects to advise them that the district will be video-inspecting their sewer lines.  This video-inspection is taking place to ensure that homeowners will have sufficient time to make any indicated repairs in advance of the County paving projects. The field staff will be keeping careful records and taking the opportunity to improve the district’s data on the collection system. 

-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property):  Approve Letter of Thanks from the BCPUD to the Conservation Corps North Bay

    Staff presented a draft letter of appreciation to the Conservation Corps North Bay:  there was no objection from the Board and staff was asked to send the letter.
    -- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade Project: Approve Agreement for Electrical Engineering Services with David M. Thomas & Associates.

    Staff explained that the agreement covers all work that has been done for the district by David M. Thomas & Associates since June 1, 2010 and through the present in connection with the electrical upgrade of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station.  The contemplated work includes the replacement of the control panels for the irrigation pumps and for the aerators, as well as the installation of flow meters and as-needed rewiring.  The engineering services include the design and specifications for the project, as well as construction management and inspection services for a total potential cost to the district of $30,000.

On the water side of operations, staff noted that consumption edged up a bit in the mid Mesa compared to the same time last year, probably due to the relatively dry weather.  The district has received only about 14 inches of rain to date at district offices (270 Elm Road) and only about 18 inches at the Woodrat Treatment Plant.  Fortunately, the flows are still quite good in the Arroyo Hondo creek due to last year’s extended rainy season and both of the district’s emergency reservoirs are spilling.

    Staff reported that Lewie Likover has been tasked with evaluating the district’s compliance with the state’s chlorine disinfection byproducts standards and that director Smith has provided invaluable assistance.  Director Smith commented that he and Lewie are trying to model the chemistry of the water and develop operational protocols with chlorine administration to reduce the likelihood of compliance problems.

On the wastewater side of operations, the district conducted load bank testing done on the generator at the downtown lift station which revealed a problem with the generator’s radiator, so the radiator has been repaired and reinstalled.  Otherwise, staff is preparing the district’s disposal fields for spray season.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.

4.    Community Expression.

The Board reviewed a letter from Leslie Dollard seeking to examine customers records of the district dating back to the 1960’s as she believes an undeveloped parcel of land she purchased was formerly on the water system.  Director Smith noted that there appears to be evidence of a foundation and a septic system at the property, but the prior owner may have abandoned the property in the 1940’s or 1950’s, long before the moratorium went into effect in 1971, and failed to preserve his or her water rights thereafter.  After a brief discussion, director Smith agreed to contact Ms. Dollard and invite her to examine records prior to 1971. 

Matt Lewis noted that the Board will be considering his request to amend the minutes of the November 2011 meeting later on the agenda; however, he said that he has another comment.  Matt stated that he regularly reads the district’s minutes and agendas and, in his opinion, the amount of effort the BCPUD has expended on the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom project has not been sufficiently disclosed to the public.  Director Siedman said that he does not believe that to be the case.  Matt said that he believes inappropriate action has been taken by the district in violation of the Brown Act to provide money to Mesa Park.  He held up a copy of a newspaper which he said contains the district’s negative declaration of environmental impact for the project which does not explain why the well was drilled on district property to irrigate the ballfields.  Director Siedman said that the district does not violate the Brown Act and directors Amoroso and Smith both said they never discuss the Mesa Park project with other directors outside of the BCPUD Board meetings.  Matt Lewis said that director Smith wrote the district’s negative declaration, which director Smith denied.  Director Siedman said that Mesa Park has repaid the BCPUD for all funds advanced for the ballfield irrigation project.  After a brief further discussion, Matt left the meeting room.

5.     Expanded Water Use Permit Application- 324 Ocean Parkway, APN # 191-081-13 & 20 (legalize remodel and addition built by previous owner) (R. Johnson).  

Alethea Patton appeared on behalf of the property owner and explained that the prior owners of the property were red-tagged by the County for an illegal addition and she was hired at the time to help them through the permitting process (back in 2005).  They successfully resolved the building permit process, but were unable to obtain clearance from the Environmental Health Services department because only mounded septic systems were allowed at the time.  The property was sold to the current owner and the County’s septic regulations then changed to allow drip irrigation septic systems, one of which was approved for this property and installed last year.  Alethea continues to help the current property owner legalize the house and obtain all necessary permits.

Director Amoroso noted that the additional living space added to the house seems to be 438 square feet, yet an addition of only 10% of the original house size is supposed to be allowed under the Gridded Mesa Plan.  Alethea stated that the prior owners received a coastal exclusion and a geotechnical consultant submitted a report stating that the house did not pose an erosion threat.  Director Kimball observed that there have been at least two large water leaks at the property, and Alethea confirmed that there had been a plumbing problem that has since been resolved.  Director Amoroso said that if the property improvement (i.e., the house addition) was completed in 2005, then the district should base the quantity of water allowed under any expanded water use permit on the water use at this property in 2005.  Director Smith agreed, as did director Kimball.

B. Kimball/K. Bender        all in favor        to approve a conditional expanded water use permit with the maximum quarterly water use to be determined by staff based on the actual water use at the property during the year in which the remodel was completed. 

6.    Request to Amend the Minutes of the November 16, 2011 Regular Meeting of the BCPUD Board of Directors. (M. Lewis)

Staff noted that a transcript of the section of the minutes that Matt Lewis is asking to amend was included in the Board books.  Stacey Henderson asked the Board if it would consider adding the transcript as an addendum to the November 16, 2011 minutes of the regular meeting.  Director Bender objected to adding such transcripts as a matter of policy because the very purpose of the minutes of any meeting is to summarize the proceedings.  Director Amoroso said that he agreed, but since the transcript already has been prepared (which he noted that staff should not take the time to do in the future other than at Board direction), perhaps it would be acceptable to include it as an addendum.  Director Smith stated that he has read the minutes of the November 2011 meeting and the transcript and he does not find anything inaccurate about the district’s minutes; as such, he objected to including the meeting transcript as an addendum.  Director Siedman agreed.  Stacey noted that the Board has appended transcripts of meeting minutes in the past.  Director Amoroso suggested that if Matt would like to explain in writing what is not accurate in the district’s November 2011 meeting minutes, the Board can consider a specific request.  Director Siedman added that Matt should offer specific revisions to the minutes for the Board’s consideration.  Staff was directed to apprise Matt of the Board’s discussion.

7.    Update on Planned Improvements within the Juniper Right-of-Way near Ocean Parkway and Relocation of Fire Hydrant.

Staff reported that the project as approved by the Board at the January meeting has been revised due to a decision by Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown that the hydrant should be located at the corner of Elm and Juniper in light of the bluff erosion at Ocean Parkway and the need for BFPD engine access to the hydrant.  As a result, it is no longer necessary to remove the acacia trees on the west side of Juniper near Ocean Parkway.  Director Smith inquired whether the trees are hazardous and staff agreed to advise the nearby homeowner who would like to see the trees removed that the Board will consider an arborist report as to the condition of the trees. 

8.    Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project:  Approve Revised Project Budget; Approve Revised License for Use of Irrigation Well.

    Director Siedman stated that BCPUD staff has recommended that the Board’s Parks and Recreation Committee (directors Siedman and Amoroso) meet with representatives of the Mesa Park Board to discuss and review the revised budget for the project before it is approved and submitted.  After a brief discussion, it was agreed that such a meeting will be scheduled and the Board deferred action on the revised project budget.

Discussion turned to the revised license agreement.  Director Amoroso commented that Mesa Park has concerns about the provision in the agreement which allows the district to reduce the amount of water Mesa Park may use if doing so is necessary for the district to augment its water supply.  Director Smith said that the license agreement also should contain a provision allowing the district to install monitoring devices in the well and conduct chemical monitoring as needed to evaluate the ground water supply during upcoming years.  Director Amoroso added that the district also may want to install nearby monitoring wells.  After a further brief discussion, it was agreed that this topic also would be discussed at the upcoming meeting between the BCPUD’s Parks and Recreation committee and representatives of the Mesa Park Board.

9.      Water Supply Augmentation Project:  Authorize Study of Potential Water Supply Sources.

Director Siedman commented that under the moratorium the district has pursued an aggressive water conservation program and also has explored additional sources of water, where possible.  This agenda item relates to the latter effort as the district now wishes to examine whether groundwater sourced from or near the irrigation well installed at the Resource Recover Center could be used to augment the district’s water supply.  Director Amoroso cautioned that the effort could be expensive and he wants to ensure the district proceeds carefully; he noted the district earmarked $50,000 in 2010 for this study at his request.  He suggested the district may want to observe how the existing irrigation well performs over time before spending additional funds on a study.  He also noted that nearby private wells are required to have reverse osmosis treatment systems which, if required for district water, would be very costly.  In sum, director Amoroso stated that in addition to knowing about the quantity of groundwater it is important for the district to understand the potential costs involved and whether the district can afford them.  Director Bender said she would like to revisit a question she raised a couple of years ago – to wit, whether the district could help install water catchment systems for every home in Bolinas to augment each property’s water supply so that the district does not need to spend the money on a big study. 

Stacey Henderson said that having a second safe water supply would be very helpful for a sustainable community.  She said she feels guilty that Mesa Park would irrigate ballfields when people are hoping for water meters and said the district should do whatever it needs to do to establish groundwater into a community water supply.  Director Amoroso said that the district may need to prioritize any resulting groundwater as a backup emergency water supply given the poor quality of the district’s reservoir water, which does not meet state standards for chlorine disinfection byproducts.  Director Siedman added that the district’s need to ration water in 2009 demonstrates that the existing surface water supply and the districts reservoirs are not adequate to meet existing need during especially dry years.  Stacey said she is in favor of the study going forward, but questioned whether the district is obligated to put the matter before voters per the terms of Resolution 173.  Director Smith said that he would like to discuss the length of a potential monitoring period to evaluate the groundwater supply as he feels it will be important to determine how the aquifer performs during a multi-year drought given that climate change models predict more dramatic fluctuations in rainfall for this area.  After further discussion, the Board directed staff to invite consulting hydro-geologist Rob Gailey to appear at an upcoming special meeting of the Board to provide guidance on how the district should move forward.

10.    Approve BCPUD’s Annual Report to the Regional Water Quality Control Board of Sewer System Overflows for Calendar Year 2011.

K. Bender/V. Amoroso         all in favor    to approve the BCPUD’s Annual Report to the Regional Water Quality Control Board of Sewer System Overflows for Calendar Year 2011.

11.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso said that a lot of changes are happening with this committee whereby the County is trying to separate the committee into an advisory committee and a technical committee.  No one seems to know why these changes are happening;  at this point, there are more questions than answers. 

-- Community Path Update:  Director Kimball reported that the path is in “maintenance mode” right now.

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

-- Resource Recovery:  Directors Siedman and Smith attended the most recent Resource Recovery committee meeting to discuss and clarify the role of the district in the project.  The discussion also included comments on how the project might increase its product sales to enhance its financial viability.  For example, it may be possible for after-hours BCPUD staff to assist with compost delivery.  At present, the project is successful due to the heroic efforts of Mike Aitken and the committee needs to plan for the future of the site once Mike decides to retire. 

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Nothing to report.

12.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Update on Draft Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Budget.  Director Kimball reported that the Finance Committee had its first budget meeting on February 7, 2012.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that the Downtown Park Site Committee met on Sunday at the park and the newly installed stone work is gorgeous.

-- Personnel:  Director Siedman reported that the Personnel Committee met with a staff representative concerning the current Memorandum of Understanding and negotiations are underway concerning wages for fiscal year 2012-13.  Director Kimball added that she and director Siedman met recently to map out a plan to analyze the district’s health care benefits for staff and whether there are opportunities for cost savings.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the January 18, 2012 Regular Meeting

    Staff indicated that the minutes of the January 18, 2012 meeting are not ready for Board approval and requested deferral of this item until the March 2012 regular meeting.

c. Warrants

D. Smith/K. Bender        all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

        March 21, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

13.  Adjournment.
    9:53 p.m.