Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
February 18, 2007     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 that public notices will be published in both the Hearsay News and the Point Reyes Light to apprise the community of the upcoming March 21st public hearing on the BCPUD’s proposal to increase its quarterly metered water rates.  The district has received one customer inquiry about the Proposition 218 notice that was mailed to all customers about the proposed rate increase and staff provided advice.  The district has received another quarterly notice from the California Department of Health Services about the chlorine disinfection byproduct exceedances (TTHMs and HAA5s) and the BCPUD will issue another round of notices to customers in early March. 

    Staff noted that there were an unusual amount of leaks on the water distribution system downtown during the month of February: one by St. Aiden’s Church, one at the fire hydrant near Smiley’s and one in front of Judith Elliot’s house on Wharf.  Once again, the district’s new leak detection equipment was employed, worked well and saved the district considerable staff time and expense.

    On the wastewater side of operations, the sewer ponds are in good shape and the staff will be working to prepare the property for spray season during most of March and early April; in particular, staff will be replacing several of the valves that regulate the flow between spray fields to better manage against any standing water.  Staff also is assessing whether a project to disc the spray fields should be scheduled to further increase soil absorption there.  In addition, staff has been working to improve the visibility from the driveway leaving the lab building at the sewer ponds by limbing trees along Mesa Road in that location.  Staff is further soliciting bids for removing the trees along Mesa Road and installing a fence along the northern border of the sprayfields.

    The Mesa Park Board has approached BCPUD staff about the possibility of conducting a well monitoring project on the eastern side of the sewer pond property to determine whether it may be possible to obtain sufficient high quality groundwater to reclaim via the proposed reclamation project at Mesa Park, rather than take the water from Pond 3 of the wastewater facility.  Staff met with Andy Blake, Rob Gailey and Ralph Camiccia to discuss the feasibility of the project in light of the known geologic conditions at the site and the Regional Water Quality Control Board has approved an exploratory project that Mesa Park hopes to commence in the latter half of March.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the most recent Board meeting.  Staff noted that the Marin County Transit District will be voting on March 5th about potential route and timetable changes; interested community members should attend this meeting.

    Staff alerted the Board to the fact that a relatively large boat recently has been “parked” in the Juniper right-of-way immediately south of Alder Road; several inquiries and/or complaints have been received at the office about this boat.  Upon inquiry with the County, staff was told that only properties with an “established primary use” (i.e., a house) legally are permitted to have “accessory uses” such as vehicle or boat storage.  Staff expressed concern about potential liability issues posed by the boat’s presence in the right-of-way, particularly since it seems rather precariously “parked” and likely will attract youth to the site.  The Board directed staff to contact the County Sheriff and ask that the boat be removed from the public right-of-way.

    Finally, staff reported that Stephen Simac brought in several letters earlier in the day requesting, among other things, that the BCPUD Board revise two letters it sent the County about his project, as well as certain passages of the June, November and December 2006 meeting minutes.  The Board confirmed that staff should now (1) send a letter correcting any factual inaccuracies in the BCPUD’s letters to the County and (2) include an item on the March 2007 BCPUD agenda to consider Mr. Simac’s request to amend the previously-approved minutes.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

The Board received the Drainage Manager’s written report; Lewie Likover was not able to attend the meeting.

4.    Community Expression

    Cela O’Connor submitted a letter and photographs of the fence installed in late 2006 by Michael Moritz on the BCPUD property along Pine Gulch Creek.  Cela’s letter chronicles numerous problems with the fence and her observations of cattle grazing and erosion problems; she recommends that the BCPUD consult with an expert to determine if overgrazing is occurring on the property.  Cela said she has alerted County Planner Johanna Patri to the situation and Johanna confirmed that no grazing should be occurring on the property at this time of year.  Director Siedman suggested that directors Smith and Kimball, who previously worked with Mr. Moritz’s representatives about the fence location, visit the property again –perhaps also with a NPS representative--and make recommendations.  Directors Kimball and Smith agreed, but asked staff to contact the County and arrange access via Horseshoe Hill Road.

    Cela also raised concerns about the fence that has been installed by Niman Ranch on the park lands out by Commonweal and adjacent to the BCPUD reservoir.  Cela stated that she was raising this issue on behalf of Jan Teixiara, who was unable to attend the meeting but who says that hogwire has been installed on the top of the fence.  This is considered “exclusionary fencing” which can entrap deer (Cela submitted a photo of a fawn fatally entangled in a similar fence) and other wildlife.  Jan has contacted the Fish & Game Department as well as the National Park Service to complain; she was told that the top wire of the fence should be smooth and no more than 48 inches high.  Cela further stated that the Niman Ranch lease with the Park Service contains specific requirements for fences on the property. 

    Director Siedman said this is troublesome because the BCPUD financially contributed to the fence installation along the Woodrat Reservoir; director Kimball inquired whether the new fencing is the same as the fence it replaced and staff agreed to find out.  Director Amoroso suggested staff contact Bill Niman to discuss the matter and the concerns expressed; staff agreed to do so.

    Director Siedman reported that a community meeting was held the previous evening at the Bolinas Community Center to solicit town input about the design of Burnt Park; the meeting was very well attended and many design suggestions were received.  The committee now plans to summarize the suggestions and take ideas back to the community for further input.

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Proposed New Membership of the Committee.  Director Kimball suggested that director Smith take her seat on this committee as he has been actively investigating solar and other alternative energy possibilities for the BCPUD and she feels he would be an appropriate director representative on the committee.  After further discussion, during which director Smith indicated he is willing to serve on the committee, director Siedman suggested that perhaps he himself should step down so that directors Kimball (with her financial expertise) and Smith (with his alternative energy expertise) can both serve.  Director Kimball agreed to continue to serve and said that she would like to contact both Tom Williard and Williard McDonald to request that they join the committee as community members. 

-- Beach:  Staff reported that the current Bolinas Beach ordinance is scheduled to be extended for an additional year per recent confirmation from Liza Crosse, aide to Supervisor Kinsey.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Director Amoroso reported that the committee will resume its regular meeting schedule in March.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso said he plans to attend the March 2, 2007 BALTAC Executive Committee meeting and will report back.  Cela O’Connor noted that the meeting has been postponed twice, which seems curious in light of the rush last Fall to publish the alternatives to dredging. 

-- Community Paths Group:  Update on status of County Permits.  Director Smith recounted the lengthy process he has been engaged in to secure the necessary coastal permit from the County to commence installation of the BCPUD bike path.  A hearing is scheduled to occur before a County Deputy Zoning Administrator on March 29, 2007, after which it is hoped the permit will be issued. 

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Director Amoroso reported that the committee hopes to schedule a meeting for late March to resume efforts to secure the necessary coastal permit to implement the downtown parking plan.

-- Resource Recovery: Receive January Financial Report.  The Board received the January financial report without comment.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Update on Committee progress.  Director Smith submitted notes summarizing a meeting recently held at the BCPUD offices between himself, Ralph Camiccia, James Danse, Supervisor Kinsey, County Counsel Patrick Faulkner and Bob Beaumont, Chief Assistant Director of Public Works concerning Terrace Avenue.  County Counsel has concluded that the County does, in fact, have an obligation to provide access to properties to which it historically has provided access; hence, the County has an obligation to provide alternative access to Terrace Avenue if it should fail in the future.  Unfortunately, however, the County is currently more than $200 million behind on road projects it needs to complete.  The County feels it is more cost effective at this point to maintain Terrace Avenue at Overlook Road by continuing to patch it as necessary; evidently the slide at Overlook Road is not as bad as previously feared.  At director Smith’s urging, the County also agreed to analyze the possibility of moving Terrace Avenue over to the north at Surfer’s Overlook to extend the life of the road at that location and to evaluate the possibility of armoring the cliff side/extending the wooden seawall below.  Supervisor Kinsey proposed that the community develop a protocol in the event of an emergency if both Terrace and Mesa roads should become impassable; the County Traffic Engineer will contact Fire Chief Anita Brown to discuss such a protocol. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the Task Force has not yet met in 2007, but the first WNV- positive horse has been found in Sonoma County.  The new Council met in January with Jim Wanderschied from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito Control District, who expressed support for extending the current West Marin agreement.  The Council is scheduled to meet again on March 19th .

6.    Request for letter of support from BCPUD to the County of Marin for increased seating at the Blue Heron restaurant (Spangler)

    Bud and Gwen Spangler are seeking a letter from the BCPUD supporting an increase in the amount of seating permitted by the County at their restaurant, the Blue Heron.  Discussion ensued about the history behind the County’s imposition of a 12-seat limit at the restaurant, which was determined by the amount of available parking in the area.  Gwen indicated that they are seeking an increase to 40 seats, including the outside patio, and pointed out that there are no real parking problems downtown in the evening, which is when the Blue Heron is open.  After further discussion, it was agreed that the request will be taken to the Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee for review and comment. 

7.    Update on BCPUD progress on an Ordinance Regulating Water Wells within the Boundaries of the District.

    Staff updated the Board on recent communications between the County and the BCPUD on the issue of water wells in the district; in brief, the BCPUD has identified all parcels potentially affected by pending water well permits on the Big Mesa and requested that the County provide notice to those property owners about the pending permits and the implication of such wells for their properties – primarily for present or future on-site wastewater systems.  The County Environmental Health Department agrees such notice is appropriate, but has indicated it does not have the resources available to provide such notice.  After further discussion, staff was directed to go back to the County with a sample notice and urge the Environmental Health and Planning departments to work together to provide the notice (as Planning currently does with building permits).

8.    Resolution 542:  Approving the Conversion of Filters and Retrofit of Control Panels at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.

    Director Smith reported that he has reviewed the conversion and retrofit proposal, consulted with the Siemans Water Technologies engineers, and the proposal has been revised to meet all of his concerns, including but not limited to those about the performance specifications and filtrate quality, as well as a revised commitment regarding installation and ownership of intellectual property.  Accordingly, director Smith recommends approval of the resolution. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor     to approve Resolution 542 and authorize the conversion of filters and retrofit of control panels at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.

9.    Resolution 543:  Concurring in Nomination to the Office of Vice President of the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority (“ACWA/JPIA”).

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolution 543 and concur in the nomination of Joan Finnegan to the Office of Vice President of the ACWA/JPIA.

10.    Resolution 544:  Granting Director McClellan Permission to be Absent from the District

B. Kimball/D. Smith     all in favor    to approve Resolution 544 and grant director McClellan permission to be absent from the district.

11.    Update on Tomales Bay Watershed Council progress on an Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan.

    Director Smith reported briefly on the most recent meeting of the Tomales Bay Watershed Council, which he attended on behalf of director McClellan, who is out of the country.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the process by which the Council’s Technical Advisory Committee (“TAC”) will rank the projects that have been submitted for implementation funding in connection with the ICWMP.  Staff reported that the status of implementation funding continues to be quite uncertain.  The TAC has wrestled with how to select projects with the best chance of receiving funding in the ICWMP and formed a “Projects Subcommittee” for this purpose.  The Committee met on February 15th and it was told by project consultants that up to $30 million in implementation funding might be available for ICWMP projects, with priority being given to projects involving “impaired waters of ASBS” regions and/or “water supply reliability”.  Given the number of ICWMPs currently in progress in California, the TBWC consultants anticipate that $3-5 million at most may be awarded to the TBWC’s ICWMP projects.  Staff presented a spreadsheet with all of the projects that have been submitted and said the Projects Subcommittee feels there is significant opportunity for project proponents to collaborate and integrate many of these projects (which enhances their likelihood of funding), but more information about the projects is needed.  Accordingly, the Projects Committee has recommended that the TAC conduct a day-long meeting of all project proponents in early April to obtain more information about each of the projects and their integration potential.

    Staff also updated the Board on the field assessment of Duxbury Reef and three other ASBS areas (Point Reyes Headlands, Bird Rock and Double Point) within the integrated watershed; a draft report of the assessment has been completed by the TBWC consultants and is under review by the TAC.  Brannon Ketchum from the Park Service has proposed that the Park Service, County and BCPUD meet to discuss the report and determine whether the three entities can jointly propose an integrated ASBS project, particularly given the priority the State has identified for funding of ASBS projects.  Staff noted the draft report indicates that the results of the County’s water quality sampling of Alder Creek and the reef waters in April 2006 reveal that the waters meet the applicable Ocean Plan detection limits and other monitoring requirements with the exception of one sample from the concrete culvert at Agate Beach that for unknown reasons exceeded the requirements for nickel.  The draft report identifies potential pollutant sources for the reef as sediment from bluff erosion; visitor access to the reef; stormwater runoff; cattle grazing; vessel discharges and oil spills; and failing septic systems, if any.  The report states that there are significant data gaps concerning (1) how much human impacts affect nearshore biology as compared to natural processes; (2) water quality data from intermittent and perennial streams (3) the actual influence of cattle/horses on intermittent streams (4) the impact of failing septic systems (currently completely unknown); and (5) the impact of transient population camping on streams and beaches.  The report contains a number of recommendations to potentially improve conditions in the Alder Creek watershed including: (a) removing certain “armoring” that has occurred along Alder Creek; (b) education and outreach to the public about human impacts such as tidepooling, littering and pets; (c) social trail maintenance; (d) improving long-term vehicle storage and educating owners to ensure proper pollution prevention techniques employed; (e) retrofitting the Agate Beach parking lot to replace asphalt and install a bioretention area; (f) modify the BCPUD drainage project permit system where culverts are in the vicinity of stream channels; (g) fence cattle out of streams on public lands.  Finally, the report emphasizes the need for relevant agencies and entities to work together to implement these recommendations and underscores the importance of the BCPUD as a key “resource” for the local community.

    Staff stated that the report contains certain inaccuracies and assumptions that warrant comment from the BCPUD and suggested corrections; the Board directed staff to draft up comments to circulate to the Board for review.

12.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Second Quarter Financial Report:  The Board received the second quarter financial report which indicates that the district generally is on budget for the year.  In addition, the budget process for 2007-08 soon will be underway and staff has submitted a request to negotiate the Memorandum of Understanding regarding compensation and benefits.  Staff also presented a proposed budget schedule. The Board referred the MOU request to the Personnel Committee and approved the budget 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 Mark Butler opened the Mesa Skatepark on February 17th.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b.  Minutes of the January 17, 2007 Regular Meeting.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    3 in favor; director Amoroso abstaining    to approve the minutes of the January 17, 2007 meeting.

c.  Warrants

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

    March 21. 2007 at 7:30 p.m.

Director Amoroso suggested that the Board consider a year-round start time of 7:30 p.m. for Board meetings; director Siedman directed staff to include the proposal on the March agenda. 

13.    Adjournment

    10:26 p.m.