Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
February 20, 2013     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.  Call to Order.

7:32 p.m.

2.   Roll.

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

3.   Manager’s Report.

--    Update on the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project.

    Staff reported the California Department of Public Health sent an e-mail today confirming that the district’s loan amendment request (for additional funding and an extension of time to complete the project) has been approved and the paperwork should be forthcoming with the next day or so.  A pre-construction site meeting is planned for March 6th as staff hopes to begin the project in mid to late March.  In addition, the district has cleared the easement between Rafael and Park Avenues to ensure efficient access to the water main in that location.  Staff noted that the adjacent neighbors were very cooperative.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project:  Request from Sanders & Associates Geostructural Engineering, Inc. (“SAGE”) for Additional Funds; Amendment to Second MOU

    The Board reviewed a draft Amendment to the existing Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between the County of Marin, the Bolinas Fire Protection District and the BCPUD concerning the further geotechnical evaluation of the bluff at Surfer’s Overlook.  The project engineers, SAGE, have requested an additional $3,228.45 in funds due to cost increases since its proposal for the work was submitted and approved.  Staff discussed the request with County personnel and there is no objection to splitting the cost increase on a 50-50 basis.  Staff requested Board approval of the Amendment as the geotechnical work is scheduled to take place in April.

K. Bender/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the Amendment to the Second MOU Between the County of Marin, the Bolinas Fire Protection District and the BCPUD.

-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade Project.

    The civil engineering plans for the replacement of the pressure relief piping are completed to a design level of 75-90% and have been forwarded to the district’s electrical engineer.  Staff will review the plans next week with the Chief Operator returns from vacation.

    The Board reviewed the latest consumption data within the district; staff noted that consumption was up slightly for the most recent quarter ending in January (for the mid Mesa).  Staff also noted that it has been quite dry since December.  Although the district’s creek water source and emergency reservoirs are in good shape right now due to the early rains, conditions could change quickly if the district does not receive additional rain this Spring.
The district experienced a significant leak on the booster pump water line (i.e., the line between the booster pump station and Commonweal) during the first week of February.  Piazza Construction completed an emergency repair of the leak, but a few days later the pipe burst in another location nearby.  Piazza again repaired the leak and staff believes that the entire section of problematic piping has now been removed, replaced and properly welded.

    The Board reviewed a recent notice mailed out by the district to all customers to inform them that the district’s drinking water exceeded the maximum contaminant level (“MCL”) for haleoacetic acids (HAA5s), which is a chlorine disinfection byproduct.  The levels exceeded the MCL in December when water was sampled after a storm event; storm events result in elevated levels of organics in the raw water.  The district continues to work on identifying a solution to this problem.  Staff and director Smith are working on chlorine management options and the district recently engaged a consultant to advise it on the potential for nano-filtration to remove the chlorine disinfection byproducts.

    Staff has determined that the water storage tanks need to be inspected (inside and outside) as part of the district’s on-going maintenance efforts and hopes to present a proposal from an outside vendor soon for the Board’s consideration.  On a separate topic, staff reported that the annual inspection of the backflow protection devices in the district is underway.
    On the wastewater side of operations, flows are very low into the ponds right now.  Staff reported that the district sent out letters to numerous homeowners on the lagoon side of Wharf Road to inform them that their sewer laterals are compromised (in bad condition) and in need of replacement so that seawater does not intrude into the collection system.  The deadline to complete the needed repairs is April 1st due to the County’s plan to pave Wharf Road this summer.  The district is trying to assist as much as possible, but the customers ultimately are responsible for the condition of their laterals. 

    PG&E replaced the power pole on Wharf Road outside the lift station on February 3, 2013.  The work went well, but required the power to be shut off, which in the usual course would trip the district’s alarm system.  In this case, the alarm tripped, but the auto-dialer inexplicably called 911 rather than the district’s answering service.  Sheriff’s deputies responded and staff eventually determined the problem was with the phone line.  AT&T was very responsive and repaired the phone line immediately. 

The district’s bi-annual composting toilet inspections were completed in February.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting, including two Public Record Act requests and responses and an update from the County of Marin on the status of the water quality monitoring program and compliance plan for the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance. 

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

The Board reviewed a written report submitted by Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.

4.    Community Expression.
Director Siedman noted that there is a communication in the Board’s binders from a community member upset about people not cleaning up after their dogs in the public roads.  After a brief discussion, the Board directed staff to acknowledge the letter and suggest that the correspondent submit an article to the Hearsay to educate people about the problem. 

5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 377 Ocean Parkway, Bolinas  (C. Wilmans).

Ms. Wilmans was present to discuss her request for financial relief; she explained that she received a large bill and then discovered a leak within her home.  She repaired the leak but subsequently discovered, upon her receipt of a second large bill, that there was a leak in the water line to the house – in fact, this probably was the main leak responsible for the water loss as the leak inside the house was relatively small.  The leak on the water line was repaired immediately, as well.  Discussion ensued between the Board members about whether the main leak was repaired sufficiently, given that an examination of the water meter would have revealed the continuing water loss. 

V. Amoroso/D. Smith        all in favor    to forgive the full amount of the bill attributable to the leak, based on the historical average water use for the same quarter during the last three years.

6.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 185 Iris Road, Bolinas  (C. Weare).

Chris Weare appeared by phone to discuss his request for financial relief.  He explained that he recently purchased the home, which is an older house with a setback of only about five feet from the back fence.  The leak occurred in the water line to the house which is located in this narrow setback area.  BCPUD staff discovered the leak while reading the meter because the setback area was flooded; the water was shut off and a repair was completed immediately.  Director Siedman noted the leak likely would have been found sooner if the house was occupied full-time.  Director Bender questioned whether part-time homeowners should be treated differently; this was a blind leak until the water surfaced and the Board typically forgives the entire amount of the bill attributable to the leak in such cases.

K. Bender/V. Amoroso        all in favor    to forgive the full amount of the bill attributable to the leak, based on the historical average water use for the same quarter during the last three years.

7.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 190 Horseshoe Hill Road (M. Marin).

Alethea Patton was present on behalf of homeowner Mindy Marin.  She explained that this application is for an internal remodel which does not involve the addition of any bathrooms or bedrooms that would implicate water use.  Director Smith noted that the application states that two outbuildings are to be legalized and Alethea explained that the previous owner of the property had a second unit and a pool house on the property; she said the kitchen in the second unit is to be removed, which should reduce water usage. 

V. Amoroso/D. Smith        all in favor    to grant an unconditional expanded water use permit,

8.    Public Hearing: Complaint of Obstruction Within Zebra Right-of-Way pursuant to Ordinance 30 (S. Verhalen).

Sue Verhalen explained that she owns a home on Ocean Parkway which is no longer accessible via Ocean Parkway due to bluff erosion.  She reminded the Board that some years ago the district cleared a 10-foot wide section of the Zebra right-of-way below her property as her new access.  She recently discovered that this cleared section of right-of-way has been obstructed by heavy sculptures and other materials such that she cannot use the right-of-way to access her property.  Ms. Verhalen said she knows she is responsible for improvements to the right-of-way, but requests the district’s assistance in dealing with the obstructions.  Staff reported that the responsible neighbor telephoned the district to say he would remove the obstructions as soon as possible.  Director Smith noted that the responsible neighbor also has obstructed the district’s access to its water line in the Zebra right-of-way, and that also should be addressed.  After a brief discussion, director Siedman suggested the district send the neighbor a letter requiring that he remove the obstructions in the section of the Zebra right-of-way needed by Ms. Verhalen to access her property within the next two weeks, and also requiring that the neighbor agree to a timeline for removing the obstructions over the district’s water line.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to directing staff to send a letter to the neighboring property owner requiring removal of the obstructions in the Zebra right-of-way which are preventing Ms. Verhalen’s access to her property and also requesting the property owner to contact staff to agree upon a timeline for removal of the obstructing materials on top of the district’s water line in the Zebra right-of-way.

9.    Bolinas Fire Protection District Coastal Permit 13-10 and Design Review 13-42, 100 Mesa Road, Bolinas (to add a 40-inch tall and 24-inch deep microwave antenna to existing telecommunication tower).

Director Smith said that he and Bolinas Fire Protection District Board Member David Kimball have been working with Crown Castle for years on this project; they have concluded that the proposed microwave dish does not pose a ground radiation problem -- rather, it is the cell antennae that pose such problems.  The microwave signal is needed to communicate cell phone traffic with Stinson Beach eventually.  Director Siedman noted that there was no one present from the community to comment on this permit application.

10.    Report from the Pool in Bolinas Committee:  Results of Pool Survey.

John Bryant was present on behalf of the Pool in Bolinas Committee.  He said that he was asked by Mesa Park to report to the BCPUD Board on the results of the pool survey.  The Committee received 400 responses to the 1500 surveys that were mailed out; 82% of respondents said they would use a pool and 200 families ($65/month) and/or individuals ($45/month) said they would sign up as members.  Based on the resulting fees expected, the Committee believes it could offer lap swimming in the morning from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m., classes from 10:00 am until noon, kids’ swim in the afternoon, and more classes in the evening.  John said that the next step is for the Committee to raise money to hire someone to locate grant funds for the construction of the pool.  Discussion ensued and John explained that the Committee is basing is pricing and services approach on the City of Windsor’s public pool.  He noted that the on-going cost, once the pool facilities are built, will be staffing.  Director Amoroso inquired about water use.  John said that the Committee does not have exact numbers yet.  He noted that the pool facilities will be served by at BCPUD meter, but due to use restrictions that will be imposed when the meter is installed, the Committee is exploring supplemental sources of water, such as captured rainwater and greywater. 

11.    Request for BCPUD to Serve as Fiscal Sponsor (Thermopile Project).

John Wick, John Hulls and Gabrielle Pecora were present on behalf of the Thermopile Project.  John Wick explained that his organization is interested in stopping global warming and presently is working with UC Berkeley on a carbon sequestration project involving the application of compost to agricultural lands.  Recent use of phylochip technology has verified that it is possible to safely compost human waste.  The resulting compost is highly efficient at sequestering carbon.  The Thermopile Project would like to begin a pilot project in Bolinas to collect and compost human waste; this will require approximately 20 homeowners to volunteer to retrofit their bathrooms with an Ultra Low Flush (“ULF”) toilet (to be paid for with grant funds) and for the BCPUD to allow the composting of the resulting slurry to occur at its sewer pond property (collection would be project-run by licensed personnel and grant-funded).  The Thermopile Project recently met with County of Marin Environmental Health Services personnel and Regional Water Quality Control Board regulators, who are supportive of the pilot project concept.  Discussion ensued, with the Board expressing strong support for the pilot project.  John Wick said the next step would be to meet with the BCPUD staff to discuss the project logistics and confirm that the pilot project will not impact current district operations. 

12.    Update on Water Supply Augmentation Project.

The Board reviewed a brief report submitted by Rob Gailey, the district’s consulting hydro-geologist, which notes that more data is needed given the lack of rainfall in January.  Director Siedman noted his rain gauge measured one-inch of rain in all of January and one-half inch of rain thus far in February.

13.  Volunteer Committee Reports.

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- Community Path Update:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Resource Recovery:  reports in binders; inspection report is fine

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball said that the Council has not met since December.  However, Councilmember Margaret Graham, who also is on the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M/S M&VCD”) board, reports that all organic farms now are eligible to be on the “no spray” list, which is a huge leap forward.  Director Kimball noted that the County does not have a list of all of the organic farms in Marin, so the M/S M&VCD is working to find a way to notify all organic farmers of this important development. 

14.       Other Business.

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Report on Draft Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget; Minutes of the February 5, 2013 Meeting of the Finance Committee; Quarterly Financial Report.

Staff presented a summary of the draft FY 2103-14 budget, which proposes not to raise annual service charges but rather pay for some needed capital purchases and improvements with reserve funds.  Discussion ensued, with Board members expressing support for considering some revisions to the tiered water rates at the two lowest levels.  The Finance Committee was tasked with further evaluation of this topic.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball        both in favor    to approve the Minutes of the February 5, 2013 Finance Committee meeting.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Amoroso expressed concern about Mesa Park’s inability to locate documentation to support its claimed match for the grant amendment request to the California Department of Parks and Recreation for the Mesa Park Ballfield and Public Restroom Project.  Discussion ensued about the difficulty of locating documents given the number of agencies and personnel involved.

-- Personnel:  Staff noted the staff will present proposed revisions to the MOU for negotiation early next month.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the January 16, 2013 Regular Meeting.

    Director Kimball offered certain clarifying changes to the minutes on page 4.

D. Smith/B. Kimball        four in favor, Bender abstaining        to approve the minutes of the January 16, 2013 regular meeting, as amended.
c. Warrants

K. Bender/B. Kimball        all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    March 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

15.  Adjournment.

    10:27 p.m.