Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
February 20, 2008     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.     Call to Order

    7:30 p.m.

2.     Roll

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

3.     Manager’s Report

Staff reported on the district’s progress in addressing the problem of chlorine disinfection byproducts in the district’s treated water supply.  The BCPUD has collaborated with the Inverness Public Utility District (“IPUD”) on a joint grant proposal for monies to pay for new treatment technology for both districts, and the agencies have jointly retained SPH Associates to prepare a feasibility study, which has been submitted to the state.  The BCPUD is now underway with the installation of a GAC filter unit in preparation for a pilot study to examine the efficacy of GAC in reducing chlorine disinfection byproduct levels.

The BCPUD also is facing an April 1st deadline to comply with Phase 2 of the federal and state chlorine disinfection byproduct rules.  This phase of the rules requires the district to prepare a Standard Monitoring Plan and propose two new sites on the distribution system from which the district will take additional quarterly samples to be lab-tested for TTHMs and HAA5s.  A site visit is scheduled with California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) staff on March 21st to review and approve the selected monitoring sites.

The recent rains are certainly welcome and stream flows in the Arroyo Hondo look good.  The most recent quarterly billing results indicate that consumption this year is about the same as it was last year.  Backflow prevention device testing is going on this month under the capable stewardship of contractor Kenny Stevens.

    On the wastewater side of operation, recent large spills in east Marin and changes in state regulations suggest that there likely will be an increased need for enhanced sewer system monitoring and planning.  Staff is preparing a draft sewer system management plan that will be presented to the Board at an upcoming meeting.  In addition, “no spill” certifications are being filed with the state electronically on a monthly basis; the staff recently inspected the lateral connections to the sewer main under Wharf Road, and staff plans to obtain estimates for slip-lining this section of the sewer main – the need for this project is clear based on the observable movement of the County seawall.  In response to questions from the Board, staff confirmed that there has been no response from the County to the BCPUD’s letter of October 20th about the deteriorating condition of the County seawall; staff was directed to write a follow-up letter requesting a response prior to the March Board meeting.

Staff reported that MV Transportation, the outside company with which the County contracts to run the West Marin Stagecoach Service, called to advise the district that it will be bringing two more busses on-line for the coastal routes and would like to park 2-3 of them at Mesa Park.  Staff was instructed to call MV Transportation and request that a written proposal for the parking of the busses be sent to the Mesa Park Board of Directors.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the most recent Board meeting, including but not limited to notices of upcoming conferences that BCPUD staff plans to attend and a copy of the BCPUD’s letter to the County Environmental Health Services Department about its proposed revisions to the septic regulations.

-- Update on the TBWC Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan – Grant Funding Application Status: Approve Continued Engagement of SPH Associates Consulting Engineers for Pilot GAC Study.

Staff directed the Board’s attention to a letter agreement in the Board binders for the continued engagement of SPH Associates Consulting Engineers to advise the BCPUD and IPUD on the next step in their processes of addressing the TTHM/HAA5 problem.  Specifically, each district will conduct a pilot study to confirm whether a GAC contactor unit will work to fix the districts’ water quality violations.  This study will be conducted pursuant to an agreed-upon protocol to be prepared by SPH Associates (and approved by CDPH).  The pilot study will require staff oversight and consultation with SPH Associates during the 6-8 month study period.  The proposed cost of the continued engagement is $17,085, which will be shared 50-50 by the two districts.  The Board had no objection to the terms of the continued engagement.  After further discussion, the Board also approved an additional $1,160.81 payment to SPH Associates to cover unexpected costs arising under the initial engagement.

-- Update on the ADA Accessibility of BCPUD Building.

Staff reported that the County’s Disability Access Manager has approved the district’s conceptual plans to remodel the office building to improve its accessibility for persons with disabilities.  Staff requested Board approval to authorize designer Steve Matson to prepare a set of permit drawings to submit to the building department and there was no objection.  Discussion ensued as to whether the project should be done all at once, or in phases (i.e., the outside work first, followed by the inside work sometime later), but no final decision on this topic was reached.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover presented his drainage report in writing and orally.  During the most recent month, Lewie has been busy providing advice to residents on specific drainage projects, clearing existing culverts and responding to resident complaints.  Staff continues to work on a planned presentation to the Marin Projects Coordination Group regarding proposed work in the Alder swale.

4.   Community Expression

Jennie Pfeiffer requested that the BCPUD not use abbreviations or acronyms in its agenda and she inquired whether the cars recently parked on Mesa Road (across from 80 Mesa Road) are legally parked as they seem to present a hazard.  Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown responded that the area is not posted as no parking and when she raised this issue with the County sheriff, the deputy determined that the cars are not within 6 feet of the centerline, so it seems to be a legal parking area.  Charles Winstead inquired whether the 6 foot from center line rule is applicable to the BCPUD rights-of-way as he is frustrated by persons parking in the road in front of his driveway; Anita said that the rule is not applicable to the BCPUD rights-of-way. 
Director Smith said that Eleanor Lyman has requested that the BCPUD write a letter in opposition to the state’s proposed eradication program for the Light Brown Apple Moth. 

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to add an item to the agenda following item 11 as an urgency item to take action on Eleanor Lyman’s request.   

    Director Amoroso requested that the film permit discussion be moved up on the agenda to follow item 6 given that Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown was in the audience; there was no objection.

5.       PG&E Response to BCPUD/BFPD Request for Improved Communication and Logistical Coordination During Storm Events (Confirmed Attendance by PG&E Representatives)

Marie Gaynor Murphy, George Schauer and Ryan Marrufo were present on behalf of PG&E.  Ms. Gaynor explained that she is the company’s governmental relations representative, Mr. Schauer is in charge of crews and overall coordination of PG&E response during storm events and other outages, and Mr. Marrufo is the BCPUD’s newly assigned account representative. 

Mr. Schauer discussed the company’s response to the January 4, 2008 storm event in California.  He explained that the company started preparatory meetings well in advance of the storm because of the forecasts for high winds and heavy rains throughout California.  PG&E began contacting mutual aid providers (i.e., other utilities) in other states and in Southern California for possible assistance; outside contractors were also notified.  As the storm drew near, company employees were meeting every two hours to assess priorities, assign resources and bring employees in to the company response centers.  During the initial 24 hours of the storm, PG&E activated contractors in California, Oregon and Washington; after the first day, contractors were arriving from further out in the country, including the mid-West. 

In response to questions from the Board and public, the discussion turned to the lack of effective communication between the BCPUD, the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and PG&E.  It is hoped that by assigning the districts a specific account representative, those communication issues will be resolved.  As for crew deployment once sent to Bolinas, Mr. Schauer said that the local crews know to check in with the BFPD when they get to town; during the most recent storm, however, out-of-state crews were responding.  Director Siedman noted that when the Olema substation was staffed, a local PG&E employee known as “Woody” was the local point of contact; he knew the area intimately and was able to direct crew responses efficiently and effectively.  The community has noticed a distinct drop-off of effective response by PG&E during power outages since the closure of the substation.  Mr. Schauer commented that PG&E has frequently drawn on the expertise of retired or former employees when responding to outages in specific communities and said that he would look into reinstituting a locally-assigned PG&E employee in West Marin and follow up on this with the district. 

6.    Resolution 556 :  Authorizing Installment Sale Financing of Clean Renewable Energy Project and Approving Related Documents and Actions.

Director Smith explained that the Board has two resolutions in its binder: Resolution 556 and Resolution 557, because the district as two solar projects (one at the water treatment site and one at the wastewater treatment site) that need approval.  The resolutions are nearly identical and differ primarily on the amount of money authorized for each bond sale.  He noted that the documents anticipate that the bonds will be sold at a discount to the eventual purchaser because the bond placement firm is finding that the CREBs tax credit alone is not quite sufficient to entice investors to purchase the bonds; the discount is capped at 7%, but the district is hoping for an eventual discount of approximately 4%.  Fees will be paid to the bond placement firm (Brandis & Tallman) and bond counsel (Jones, Hall) and are capped at 5%.  Once the discount and fees are deducted from the CREBs proceeds, the remaining amount will be used to build the solar system.  Director Smith directed the Board’s attention to a spreadsheet in the binders which depicts the projects’ expected cash flow and expenditures over the next 17 years (the term of the CREBs), taking into account the bond repayment schedule, the state rebate infusion for the first five years of the project, expected electricity sales to PG&E and contingencies (such as possible equipment replacement after the 10 and/or 25 year warranty periods expire).  Director Smith requested that the Board approve the resolutions and that staff finalize the documentation with him to close the bond sale, ideally by the end of March.  Nikki Tallman and Rick Brandis from the bond placement firm also were present to answer questions. 

In response to questions, director Smith explained that the BCPUD will not issue a Notice to Proceed to its contractor to commence the solar projects until it has the bond proceeds in the bank and the required coastal permits for each project have been issued by the County of Marin.  The contractor has apprised the BCPUD that it needs six months to complete the installation and the BCPUD must have the solar systems up and running no later than November 2008.  Accordingly the BCPUD must complete the bond sale and obtain the coastal permits by no later than May 2008.  Nikki Tallman confirmed that the CREBs are on schedule to close on approximately March 24th.  She also confirmed that once the installment sale agreement is signed, the district is obligated to repay the bond holder the entire principle amount, irrespective of whether the project is completed or not. 

Director Amoroso inquired as to what would happen if the projects are not completed in November, as required by the state to remain eligible for the rebate.  Director Smith said that the district would either have to re-apply for the rebate (at a lower rate) or apply for an extension.  Charles Winstead inquired about the discount rate and the fees to the bond placement firm and attorneys; director Smith confirmed that the discount and fee percentages apply to the principal CREBs amount, so the district actually will receive 88-92% of the bond proceeds, after the discount and fees are paid.  Charles inquired whether the bond placement firm has sufficient incentive to drive the best deal possible for Bolinas and keep the discount to a minimum.  Rick Brandis explained that only one CREB issue has come to market in California – Palo Alto – so it is the only benchmark; the discount rate for that issuance was 5.3% and he is hoping to beat that pricing for the BCPUD.  He explained that his firm’s incentive to drive a deal for the BCPUD is to do the best job possible so that his firm will be selected by other issuers -- there is approximately $40 million of CREBs allocated in Marin County alone.  CREBs are a select product that aren’t really attractive to individuals, but rather to institutional investors.  The prior evening, Sebastapol approved a $2 million CREBs financing for a solar installation project; Rick is hoping for a discount on that project in the 4% range.  Charles asked how Bolinas compares to Sebastapol in terms of credit; Rick said that Bolinas is smaller, but has the ability to generate revenue.  Sebastapol is putting up a large property as collateral and making a revenue pledge.

Director Kimball inquired whether proceeding with the CREBs sale will impose any limitations on the district with regard to obtaining other forms of financing.  Director Smith said that this additional debt could affect the interest rate at which the BCPUD could borrow under other programs.  Director Smith also noted that to meet the parity rules applicable in light of the BCPUD’s existing debt, the bond attorneys have proposed that BCPUD begins its bond repayments in June of 2008, which is well before the state rebate will arrive; accordingly, he inquired whether there was any objection to floating the initial payment from district reserves (to be repaid when the state rebate is paid).  There was no objection.

In response to additional questions, director Smith said that the solar panels are warranted to provide 80% of their maximum output at 25 years and that a 3% inflator was used to estimate future electricity costs.  As to the weather data used to calculate the solar power update, director Smith explained that he collected data from existing solar systems in Bolinas that have been in operation for several years and then compared that data to a San Francisco study that was conducted at 15 sites around the city; the Bolinas systems compared well to the average SF site, so that data was used. 

Charles Winstead noted that taken together, the discount and fees amount to $70,000 of the BCPUD’s funds at risk if the project does not proceed after the bonds are sold; as such, he said the BCPUD should wait until it receives the coastal permits (to eliminate any uncertainty there) before proceeding with the bond sale.  Staff noted that the language in the resolutions has been revised to state that the district “may” proceed with the bond sale, rather than “shall” in light of these and other continued uncertainties.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolutions 556 and 557.

6(a).    Discuss Film Permit Process

Anita Tyrrell-Brown confirmed that the BFPD was not notified in advance of the “Warwolves” filming last month; indeed, even if the film crew had applied for permits, the BFPD likely would not have known about it as the County’s Department of Public Works (which processes film permits) did not have a local point of contact.  The BFPD is now the local point of contact for County encroachment permits, so that issue has been addressed.  The local church gave permission to the film crew to film on its private property.  Anita noted that the Tomales Bay Village Association actually issues permits for filming in that area – the County sends applicants to the Tomales Bay Village Association before it will issue an encroachment permit.  Anita said that she is reluctant to put such a process in place in Bolinas; in 18 years, she has never seen something like the Warwolves situation despite the fact that photo shoots occur all the time in Bolinas.  She said that the church should have notified neighbors, in advance, in writing, about the upcoming filming so that they could have prepared for the impact. 

Director Amoroso agreed that it was not clear that Bolinas needs to have a separate film permitting process, but that certain conditions should be regularly imposed by the County for film permits in Bolinas.  Specifically, if the location is downtown, a maximum of 10 legal parking spots should be utilized by the film crew – any additional vehicles should be parked at Mesa Park and access to downtown should never be blocked.  In addition, a reasonable start time such as 8:00 a.m. should be imposed. 

    After further discussion, the Board directed staff to work with BFPD staff to compose a letter to the County specifying the conditions that should be imposed on film permits issued for Bolinas locations.  Director Kimball requested that written notification should be provided to neighbors within a 500 foot radius of the location, with a phone number to call for additional information.

7.    Proposal by Redwood Empire Disposal to Offer an Annual Bulky Waste Cleanup Service to Bolinas Customers.

Staff explained that Redwood Empire Disposal is proposing to conduct an annual bulky waste clean up service in Bolinas that will replace the coupon program at the Novato landfill; the company will pick up 3 yards of curbside bulky waste once a year at no additional charge to customers.  The company would like the BCPUD to agree to specific language to amend the franchise agreement.  The Board had no objection and directed staff to finalize the contract amendment with Redwood Empire Disposal.

8.    Review Draft BCPUD Sewer System Management Plan.

Staff noted that the County’s Environmental Health Department sent a letter to the BCPUD notifying the district of specific notification procedures applicable to sewer spills.  Staff requested that the Board defer review of the BCPUD’s proposed sewer system management plan until the March or April meeting; the due date is May 2nd with the state. 

9.    Discuss Film Permit Process in Marin County.

This item was moved to item 6(a).

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

The Board reviewed a request from Judith Elliott for financial relief from her quarterly metered water bill due to a toilet leak, which was fixed at her property.  Director Amoroso expressed disappointment that Judith was not present to address the Board, but director Smith noted her request cites health issues – Director Amoroso indicated he was satisfied with that reason, but that he feels persons requesting financial relief from the district generally should be present to respond to Board questions.  Based on the facts presented in her written request and past precedent, director Smith suggested that the Board forgive one-half of the amount of the bill over the historical use for this period, or $50.

D. Smith/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to reduce Judith Elliott’s water bill by $50.

11.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 190 Horseshoe Hill Road (C. McDaniel).

Director Siedman recused himself from consideration of this item due to a professional relationship.  After a brief discussion, the Board determined it requires more information to make a decision on this request and directed staff to contact Mr. McDaniel and request that he attend the next meeting of the Board to respond to questions. 

11(a).    Request for BCPUD Letter Opposing the State’s Proposed Light Brown Apple Moth Eradication Program.

Staff noted that the state Department of Agriculture’s website indicates the spraying program is not scheduled to begin until June and that several environmental organizations (including the Natural Resources Defense Council) appear to support the program.  After further discussion, the Board determined that the request for BCPUD to oppose this program is not an “urgency” item, more research is needed, and the item should be agendized for discussion and action at the regularly scheduled March meeting of the Board. 

12.  Resolution 558:  Granting Director McClellan Permission to be Absent.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve Resolution 558.

13.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith inquired about the status of the committee; there has been only one meeting since Willard McDonald and Tom Williard were appointed.  Director Kimball noted that all activity has been occurring at the Board level recently due to the solar project but suggested the committee stay in place to meet when needed. 

-- Beach:  Director Amoroso commented that this committee should be deleted from the regular agenda due to the committee’s lengthy period of inactivity and director Siedman concurred, noting that the Board can resurrect the committee if the need arises.  There was no objection.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Request for Appointment: Charles Winstead.
Director Amoroso moved to appoint Charles to the committee and director Kimball seconded the motion.  Director Smith said he would like to hear from Charles as to why he is interested in serving on the committee.  Charles said that when he moved to Bolinas he read the Community Plan and thinks it is a “fantastic document” that addressed important issues.  He believes the work of the committee is important and should get done; he would like to be involved and have a voice in the process.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to appoint Charles Winstead to the Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee.

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

-- Community Paths Group: Director Smith reported that the County has approved the design for the path entry onto Mesa and Olema-Bolinas Roads, the encroachment permit is in place and the coastal permit as been extended, so the next step is to finalize a contract with Jim Jacobsen for the installation, which will be scheduled for the spring when the ground dries out.
-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Director Siedman inquired whether this committee should come off the agenda, but director Amoroso said it should not given that action may be needed this summer. 

-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Director Siedman noted that the County’s “patch job” at top of Terrace is not working; staff said that DPW will be out soon to repave.  Director Smith said the County is still waiting to hear from property owner across from Surfer’s Overlook before proceeding on the road at that location. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball said that both entities will be meeting in April; in the meantime, a group attended the most recent meeting of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District Board of Directors and thanked them for approving the extension of the agreement with West Marin for an additional year.

14.  Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Receive Second Quarter Financial Report; Approve 2008-09 Budget Proposal and Schedule.  Staff presented the second quarter financial report and noted that most of the expense overruns are due to unexpected costs associated with the solar project (such as certain legal and permitting fees) that will be capitalized eventually when the project goes forward. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball        all in favor    to approve the FY 2008-09 Budget Proposal and Schedule.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations: Nothing to report.

 -- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that Mesa Park will go for a parcel tax on the June ballot.  With regard to the design of downtown park, two designs have been sent to the landscape architect for conceptual work.  It is likely that there will be no improvements on the hillside.  Mesa Park is hoping to interest the County in jointly maintaining bathrooms at the park.  Director Kimball commented that it will be important for Mesa Park to get the word out as to why the parcel tax is needed well in advance of the June vote;  director Siedman agreed, particularly in light of the fact that so many residents now vote by absentee ballot.

-- Personnel: Update on Hiring Process.  Staff reported that the process is underway; a job announcement is running in the local papers and is posted around town and the first series of interviews are scheduled for the following week.

-- Sewer:   Director Amoroso said he would like the committee to discuss the possibility of clearing in the understory of the eucalyptus grove to reduce fire risk for the community.

b.  Minutes of the January 16, 2008 Regular Meeting

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    three in favor (Kimball abstaining)    to approve the January 16, 2008 meeting minutes.

c.  Warrants

D. Smith/B. Kimball        all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

    March 19, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.

15.     Adjournment

11:49 p.m.