1. Call to Order.
7: 33 p.m.
Directors Amoroso, Comstock, Godino, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.
Staff reported that the installation of this project is complete and the road was reopened at the end of January. The County’s Department of Public Works is wrapping up issues with neighboring property owners for restoration of certain areas of their property affected by the project. It is expected that there will be funds remaining (from the monies donated by the community) after the payment of all costs of the retaining wall replacement project to apply toward the next phase of the full bluff restoration.
-- Update on the Wharf Road Lift Station Pump Replacement Project.
Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers have completed 75% of the drawings and technical specifications for this project which are under review by staff; staff hopes to have the project out to bid within the next two weeks.
-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.
Staff anticipates that a report with a recommendation that the district proceed with coagulation of its raw water prior to filtration to reduce chlorine disinfection byproducts will be submitted for the Board’s consideration at the regular monthly meeting in March. The district’s Operations Plan for its water treatment plant also will be updated as part of a comprehensive submittal to the district’s regulators at the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”). The report also will include a budget of the anticipated costs to implement coagulation.
-- Update on BCPUD/BFPD Survey of Obstructions and Encroachments in the Public Rights-of-Way on the Bolinas Mesa.
Staff noted that a letter of support from a Big Mesa resident was sent to the district (evidently prompted by the article in the Pipeline newsletter) in favor of enforcing the removal of new obstructions and encroachments in the public rights-of-way.
With respect to water operations, staff reported that water consumption in the district was up somewhat significantly on the mid-Mesa for the quarter ending in January. Staff is aware of one major leak (water loss) at a property in this section of the Mesa which is one reason for the spike in consumption. Staff intends to investigate further as this was a relatively rainy quarter.
Staff reported that the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) enacted another emergency regulation recently that may have implications for the BCPUD because it pertains to the reporting and measurement of diversions from the district’s water sources. The generator serving the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant has been repaired and is back on-site; the temporary rental generator has been returned. Next Tuesday, staff has scheduled a training day for the new shift operators at the plant and the district’s risk management consultants from ACWA/JPIA will be on-site next Thursday.
A tentative schedule has been set to proceed next week with the removal of the hazardous trees along Olema-Bolinas Road and over the district’s sewer force main, subject to confirmation from the tree company late this week based on an assessment of the site conditions. Staff will notify the community via the Hearsay and via social media as there will be traffic delays when some of the work is in progress. The work is estimated to require two weeks to complete.
On the wastewater side of operations, staff focus is on the lift station pump replacement project which, as noted above, will be out to bid in the next few weeks. Staff also is working with Oswald Green Technologies on a master improvement plan for the wastewater treatment plant (i.e., sewer ponds); at present, the engineers are analyzing current energy demands at the plant in order to design the optimal pump station upgrade and other treatment efficiencies.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including notices sent out to customers who have exceeded the maximum quarterly amounts established on their expanded water use permits, and a letter from the district to Marin LAFCO with final comments on the Countywide Water Study.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
The Board received a drainage report from Lewie Likover.
4. Community Expression.
5. Request to Remove Hazardous Tree from 200 Block of the Nymph Right-of-Way near Cherry Road (S. Robertson).
Sally Robertson presented an estimate of $1500 to trim the hazardous limbs off of two trees in the 100 block of the Nymph right-of-way; she said that she is willing to contribute 25% of this cost and clarified that she is not asking for the trees to be removed entirely, but rather for the trees to be trimmed.
Discussion ensued among the Board members and, in response to questions, staff recommended the trees be removed rather than trimmed to eliminate the hazards and ensure the district is not asked in the future to participate in the trimming or removal of the trees. Director Godino asked if Sally received an estimate for removal of the trees and she said that she did -- $3,500. Sally emphasized that she does not wish to have the trees removed entirely due to privacy concerns and she promised never again to request any involvement from the BCPUD with regard to the trees if the Board approves the trimming request tonight. Director Godino said that the problem has arisen because PG&E sends crews in to remove branches that threaten the power lines, as occurred here, but this leaves the trees in an unbalanced or hazardous state. Sally agreed and said she tried to persuade PG&E to take responsibility for the trees but was unsuccessful. Director Siedman said the BCPUD is willing to participate in a project to remove the hazardous trees entirely, but since it is Sally’s choice to have them trimmed, if the BCPUD agrees to this, she must commit to no further requests for the BCPUD to contribute in any way toward these trees. Sally said that is acceptable to her.
D. Smith/V. Amoroso all in favor approving the removal of the hazardous limbs on the two trees in the Nymph right-of-way at a cost of $1,500, on the condition that Sally Robertson contributes 25% of the cost and agrees not to seek any further contribution from the BCPUD toward the trimming or removal of these trees.
6. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 41 Ocean Avenue, Bolinas (S. Ciani).
Suzanne Ciani was present to request financial relief from her most recent quarterly water bill as a result of a leak on her property. In response to questions from director Smith, she confirmed that the leak has been fixed and BCPUD staff said a meter reading shows usage has returned to pre-leak levels. Director Smith said that based on the documentation submitted, it seems this was a classic “blind leak” that the property owner acted responsibly to fix as soon as possible at significant expense, so he proposed full relief from the amount of the bill over the historic average for the same quarter.
D. Smith/V. Amoroso all in favor to forgive 100% of the amount of bill attributable to the water loss caused by the leak as determined by the historic average water use at the property during the same quarter for the prior three years.
7. Obstruction of Access to BCPUD Water Main off of Overlook Road near Terrace Avenue.
Staff reported that a meeting was held and agreement reached with the affected property owner about the district’s access to its water main as set forth in a proposed letter agreement; in brief, staff has confirmed that access is adequate (although not ideal) and the property owner has agreed not to hold the BCPUD responsible for any damage to a new structure located near the water main in the event it is necessary for the district to remove or demolish any part of it to repair or maintain the water main.
V. Amoroso/L. Comstock: all in favor to approve the proposed letter agreement.
8. Coastal Permit Application and Minor Design Review, APN# 193-020-55, 56, 57, Bolinas Fire Protection District, 100 Mesa Road Bolinas (AT&T Mobility).
Director Smith said that AT&T has two trios of antennae at the Firehouse. Previously, when AT&T asked to increase their power/frequency, the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) agreed, but on the condition that there are no increases in ground emissions of 10% or greater – AT&T agreed. Director Smith said that the current proposal is for three more antennae, so the BFPD is taking steps to have the resulting potential ground emissions measured. When the ground emissions were last measured, they were very low, less than the equivalent of holding a cell phone to the ear.
9. 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; Draft Minutes of the January 20, 2016 BCPUD Board Meeting Concerning the Report.
Ken Masterton and Janine Aroyan from the Land Stewardship Committee were present to seek clarification of the draft minutes of the January 20, 2015 regular Board meeting, a copy of which was provided to the committee by BCPUD staff, insofar as the minutes pertain to the committee’s report to the Board. Specifically, Ken and Janine stated that it was their understanding that the Board approved the committee’s recommendations at the January 20th meeting, in addition to receiving the committee’s report, but the draft minutes do not reflect that. Directors Amoroso, Godino and Smith all disagreed and said that while the report itself was accepted by the Board, the Board did not approve all of the recommendations – rather, the Board members resolved to evaluate each recommendation more thoroughly and then approve or disapprove them at that time. Director Siedman concurred, stating that the Board accepted the report and said it will await further input from the committee as to the recommendations.
Discussion ensued and Janine emphasized that the committee spent a lot of time and effort to study the section of BCPUD land outside the treatment area and set standards for its future use. The committee now would like to move forward and does not want its work/progress to be set back by any activities on the land that are inconsistent with the report’s recommendations. She said the Board is sending a “mixed message” but accepting the report but not the recommendations.
Director Comstock said that he feels the Board accepted the report as a planning document for this property. The report is good, a lot of work went into it, and many of the recommendations make sense. The Board accepted it as a planning document, which is no small thing, but did not take action or obligate the district on specific action items/expense. There are a lot of action items (i.e., recommendations); some of them are minor and not controversial, whereas others are much bigger in scope. He suggested that if the committee would like to propose moving forward on a specific recommendation, it should come to the Board with a request and a plan for how to pay for it. Director Godino concurred and encouraged the committee to prioritize its recommendations within the reality of the available resources to implement those recommendations.
Ken Masterton said he thinks the only controversial issue is the topic of leasing any more of the land. Director Smith said he is not prepared to say no new leases ever, but that any newly proposed leases perhaps should go to a community vote. Ken disagreed with this and the discussion continued for a few moments while different points of view were expressed. Director Comstock said that the Board has accepted the plan, which contains a recommendation not to lease any new lands, however a future Board could reject the plan and anyone can come and ask to lease new lands, there is nothing the current Board can do now – he said he feels the Board has done as much as it can do at this time.
10. Agreement for Bookkeeping Services – Robyn Dismuke, Maze & Associates.
V. Amoroso/L. Comstock all in favor to approve an agreement for bookkeeping services for the district to be provided by Robyn Dismuke of Maze & Associates.
11. Water Supply Update: Report from Consulting Hydro-geologist Rob Gailey.
Director Smith reported that he and director Comstock had a technical discussion with the district’s consulting hydrogeologist, Rob Gailey, which was exceedingly helpful. Director Smith said that the flow of water from the Spring Road area is a significant unknown in terms of contribution to the recharge of the groundwater supply to the well, which he had not previously fully appreciated and which complicates the flow dynamics. As a result, he recommends that the district conduct some monitoring of the marsh behind the hardware store (and perhaps other points along Wharf Road); the data from that monitoring effort will assist Rob in his hydrologic assessment of the groundwater supply. Director Smith emphasized that the monitoring effort is relatively simple and can be implemented by BCPUD staff at minimal cost. In addition, the district should contract out for a survey to confirm the elevation of the well relative to the mean high tide line, which is very crucial information.
Director Comstock agreed that it will not cost very much to do the monitoring or contract for a survey, but the underlying questions remains: how much is it worth for the district to spend on assessing what is likely a relatively small aquifer? Director Smith concurred that the data suggests it is a small aquifer that is vulnerable to seawater intrusion, but the district needs some sort of closure on this. Director Siedman said that even if the aquifer is not reliable on a long-term basis as a sufficient supplemental potable water supply source, it could be an emergency source if the district’s surface water sources are exhausted.
12. Volunteer Committee Reports.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso reported that the County is moving ahead with the so-called “ north end project” to eliminate the turn-off across from the Bolinas-Fairfax Road and return the existing road to the lagoon.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report – parking and traffic in downtown Bolinas has been at record levels as the warm and sunny weather has persisted in February.
-- Resource Recovery: Update re: Notice of Violation from the Marin County Environmental Health Services Department. Staff reported that a draft Storm Water Pollution Prevent Plan (“SWPPP”) has been submitted by the district’s consulting engineers and is under review by staff; when approved, it will be submitted to the County of Marin’s stormwater pollution prevention department.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Director Godino reported that Supervisor Kinsey facilitated another productive meeting between the Council and the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”)’s West Marin subcommittee. She said that the M&VCD really wants to have the option to use low-level quick-acting methoprene briquettes in septic tanks in West Marin. The M&VCD claims it is costing much more for the district to service West Marin than it receives from West Marin in revenues. However, director Godino noted that out of more than 5,000 properties in West Marin, only about 130 were on the list for “repeat visits”. Unfortunately, the M&VCD now believes it cannot have a separate, non-toxic agreement with West Marin because of a legal opinion to that effect prepared by its attorneys; as such, the Council will need to seek a legal opinion on the topic. The next meeting to be held will focus on methoprene. Director Godino said she has been researching the topic and it appears that whereas methoprene is not directly harmful to people, studies show that it is damaging to crustaceans and amphibians (at MUCH higher concentrations than those proposed for use in West Marin by the M&VCD).
-- Land Stewardship Committee: Nothing further to report.
13. Other Business.
a. Board Committee Reports.
-- Finance: Minutes of the February 9, 2016 committee meeting. This item was deferred to the February regular meeting of the Board.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing further to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Amoroso said he attended a recent Mesa Park board meeting and it seems that Mesa Park is planning to spend approximately $5200 to install some improvements to the irrigation well.
-- Personnel: Nothing further to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the January 20, 2016 regular Board meeting.
Board members offered various clarifications to the draft minutes of the January 20, 2016 regular meeting of the Board.
D. Smith/G. Godino all in favor to approve the draft minutes of the January 20, 2016 regular meeting of the Board, as amended.
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s):
March 16, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.