Bolinas Community Public Utility
A Regular Meeting
Of The Board Of Directors
February 20, 2008 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
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
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
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
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to approve
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:
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
-- 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
-- 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.
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.