Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Special  Meeting  Of  The BCPUD Board  Of  Directors and the Board of Directors of the Bolinas Fire Protection District
March 4, 2009     100 Mesa Road (Firehouse Public Meeting Room), Bolinas

1.  Call to Order

7:32 p.m.
2.  Roll

Directors Amoroso, Kimball, Siedman and Smith present; director McClellan absent.  Director Siedman presiding jointly with Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) Board of Directors’ President Phil Binley

3.  Letter to Steve Kinsey re: BCPUD and Bolinas Fire Protection District Participation in        Planning and Financing of Engineered Solution for Terrace Avenue; Discuss Related Issues

Staff from both districts presented an overview of the background events leading to this meeting and request from Supervisor Kinsey for a letter of commitment from the districts to participate financially with the County of Marin in planning and financing an engineered solution to stabilize Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  In brief, the bluff at this location is eroding and threatening the integrity of BCPUD facilities (both water and wastewater lines) under Terrace Avenue, as well as the road itself.  Terrace Avenue is a vital thoroughfare for more than 62% of the community to travel back and forth to downtown, for the coastal visiting public and as an emergency access road.   Following the New Year’s eve storms of 2005-06, the BCPUD re- initiated a dialog with the County about the need to maintain Terrace Avenue and in March of 2006 requested a specific timetable for the County’s plans to repair Terrace Avenue.  The BCPUD also appointed a committee to evaluate options and work with the County; the BCPUD’s position is that Terrace Avenue is a County road and the County has a duty to maintain it.  Supervisor Kinsey visited Bolinas in the fall of 2006 and urged the committee to work with the County’s Department of Public Works (“DPW”) to plan a feasible project.  After  months during which the County initially denied a responsibility to keep the road open, the County Counsel in March 2007 acknowledged that the County does have a responsibility to provide access to property owners.   It therefore was a considerable surprise when DPW issued a memorandum on September 1, 2008 recommending that the County take “no measures to attempt to maintain, reinforce or replace the seawall” below Surfer’s Overlook.  DPW consistently has alleged that it does not have sufficient funds to pay for a project to save Terrace Avenue. 

In reaction to the DPW memo, both the BCPUD and the BFPD Boards of Directors passed resolutions in October 2008 reaffirming the vital importance of Terrace Avenue and requesting that the County of Marin take immediate action to preserve and protect this County-maintained road.  The districts also issued a joint letter to the Bolinas community alerting residents to the precarious status of Terrace Avenue, describing the road’s importance to the entire community, and requesting that residents write to Supervisor Kinsey to urge action.  Soon thereafter, Supervisor Kinsey convened a meeting of staff from both districts and DPW to re-establish a partnership approach to solving this problem. Most recently, Supervisor Kinsey requested a specific financial commitment from the special districts in Bolinas toward an engineered solution to save Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.

Director Don Smith recommended the districts approve the requested joint contribution of $25,000; he said he feels the community will be very well served by obtaining engineering advice and it seems prudent to move forward incrementally at this point.  Director Amoroso agreed; he said it is important to have the engineering completed for a potential project, particularly as there may be economic stimulus funds available to pay for the actual project.  Discussion ensued among both district Board members about specific provisions of the draft letter to the Supervisor Kinsey and concerns about future cost responsibility.  Several Board members expressed frustration with the County for shifting costs to the districts for work that is the County’s responsibility.  Other Board members acknowledged the same frustration, but said that the districts have direct interests at stake – i.e., to save the BCPUD utility lines and to preserve emergency access for BFPD – and, as a practical matter, it is necessary to participate in order to ensure something is done.  Discussion then focused on the terms of the draft letter to Supervisor Kinsey and several revisions were offered and agreed upon to, among other things, make clear this is a one-time financial commitment of funds that does not obligate either district to continued contributions and to emphasize the sense of urgency in the community to move forward with the work necessary to identify an engineered solution to save Terrace Avenue. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the letter to Supervisor Steve Kinsey, subject to the revisions agreed upon.

4.  Community Expression


  5.    Adjournment

    8:50 p.m.