Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
March 17, 2010     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:31 p.m.

2.    Roll.

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

Director Siedman stated that the district has received a request to nominate Joan Finnegan to the office of the President of the ACWA/Joint Powers Insurance Authority (“JPIA”).  In order to make a timely nomination, it is necessary to pass a resolution at this meeting and he therefore requested a motion to add an item to the agenda as an urgency item.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to add an item to the agency on an urgency basis to nominate Joan Finnegan to the ACWA/JPIA Office of the President.

    Director Smith then noted that members of the public were present to speak to the Board of Directors and he directed deferral of the Manager’s Report until after the conclusion of Community Expression.

3.    Community Expression.

John Wick presented copies of The Humanure Handbook, by Joseph Jenkins, to the Board members.  Mr. Wick said that he believes Bolinas is uniquely positioned to participate in an important pilot “humanure” project.  As described by Mr. Jenkins in his book, this is a waste disposal process whereby all pathogens, pharmaceuticals and other waste byproducts are broken down and eliminated.  Mr. Wick has met with various County officials and private septic engineers to familiarize them with the humanure approach, which is really a complete alternative to traditional sewer or septic systems at far less expense.  Mr. Wick would like to stage a pilot project in Bolinas whereby waste is collected from various porta-potty sites in the community and composted at the sewer ponds.  Director Smith suggested that there may be other potential waste sources, such as the local ranch worker housing.  After a period of questioning from the Board, members told Mr. Wick that they are interested in his proposal and urged him to meet with staff and provide further details. 

3.    Manager’s Report.

    Staff reported that consumption continues to remain at the reduced levels experienced since the period of mandatory rationing early in 2009.  While the current rainy weather is no doubt quite effective at discouraging consumption, the community’s conservation efforts also have paid off. 

    The district received two recent letters from the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) requesting information about the district’s pilot aeration study to reduce chlorine disinfection byproducts, as well as announcing a new electronic annual report process.  Staff will respond as appropriate to these letters.

    In operational news, staff engaged a service technician to trouble-shoot some problems at the Woodrat Treatment Plant;  the technician identified problems with the control panel processors, which have been sent to the manufacturer for analysis.  The reconstruction of the pressure reducing valve station at Mesa Road is complete and the Board will be asked to accept the project later on the agenda.  As for the extension of the water main up Horseshoe Hill Road, staff is negotiating with the County’s Department of Public Works over the encroachment conditions for this project – alternative installation options include trenching along the side of the road, trenching in the ditch on the east side of the road, and directional boring.  Staff is assembling costs for the Board’s consideration, as well as the affected property owners.  

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff has submitted a funding proposal to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Project Priority List for the relocation of the sewer main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  At the lift station, the district’s second pump is scheduled to be reinstalled tomorrow by Pump Repair;  all of the repairs needed to the pump were covered under warranty at no cost to the district.  Staff plans to smoke-test the collection system this spring to determine whether any storm drains inadvertently have been plumbed into the sewer system – flows to the system seemed overly high during the recent stormy weather. 

    Terrace Avenue at Overlook Road continues to slump.  The County has stabilized its storm drain with a series of cables over the slumping area.  County representatives continue to indicate their belief that the road is reparable. 

Staff reminded the Board that it previously voted unanimously to authorize a loan to the Resource Recovery Project to pay for the removal of hazardous trees identified by a consulting arborist as posing immediate danger to customers and employees.  Per the district’s procurement policy, two estimates for the work have been obtained and the lowest will be selected.  Staff met with the County planning staff, who confirmed that emergency work of this nature can proceed for safety reasons.  The consulting arborist and tree removal contractors agree that all of the identified trees must be removed immediately to ensure the safety of the site.  As such, staff has determined that the project is exempt under CEQA as an emergency project; staff plans to file the necessary notice of exemption and proceed with the project immediately.  The Board affirmed its approval of the project and need to undertake the work as soon as possible.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including a letter of congratulations to Don Neubacher for his promotion to the position of Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and a letter to the County Community Development Agency concerning the new state graywater code.  Finally, staff reminded the Board members to timely complete their ethics training on-line and provide their completion certificates to the office.

-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of the BCPUD Building.

Staff plans to put the project out to bid at the end of April with a construction commencement date in July.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

    Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.  In addition, staff received a proposal from the owners of 35 Queen Road regarding potential road improvements;  the Board directed that the matter be agendized before any permit is issued to perform this work.

4.    Community Expression.

Cela O’Connor requested that the BCPUD write a letter of support for the revised Bolinas Beach Camping Ordinance which will be the subject of a March 25, 2010 Deputy Zoning Administrator (“DZA”) hearing.  The Board instructed staff to copy the DZA on the letter previously sent to the Board of Supervisors requesting the revised ordinance.  Director Kimball noted that both the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and the Bolinas Community Land Trust (“BCLT”) have submitted letters of support for the revised ordinance.

Director Amoroso raised the topic of the required setbacks for agricultural wells and questioned whether the setbacks unduly restrict legitimate agricultural/irrigation uses for those wells.  Discussion ensued about the need for property owners to improve their septic systems and all agreed that this should always take precedence over an irrigation well, which is not necessary to a property in the same manner that a septic system is.  Cela O’Connor noted that the County has been remiss in not requiring coastal permits for agricultural wells for decades; she reminded the Board that the Local Coastal Plan (“LCP”) is under revision at present and that if the Board feels that there should be any policy revisions concerning agricultural wells, it should be raised during the LCP update process.

5.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN # 192-121-32, Alder Road between Cedar Road and Dogwood Road, Bolinas (Hodge).

Staff presented Steve Hodge’s expanded water use permit application, which was submitted in connection with his revised coastal permit application.  Staff noted that Mr. Hodge currently has a conditional expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly water use limit of 3750 cubic feet.  The revised coastal permit application seeks only to legalize several existing accessory structures.

V. Amoroso/K. Bender:      all in favor     to reaffirm the terms of the existing conditional expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly water use limit of 3750 cubic feet.

6.  Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN# 193-074-02, 10 Newport Drive, Bolinas    (Werbach).

    Staff presented Adam Werbach’s expanded water use permit application; Mr. Werbach was unable to attend the meeting due to an illness in his family.  The Werbachs are remodeling two existing bathrooms and anticipate that water use at the property will decline due to the installation of low flow fixtures and fewer people living at the house.

K. Bender/V. Amoroso        all in favor    to grant an unconditional expanded water use permit.

7.      Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN # 193-081-05, 32 Wharf Road, Bolinas (Firehouse Community Park Agency, aka “Mesa Park” for the Downtown Community Park).
    Alethea Patton presented the expanded water use application on behalf of Mesa Park for the Downtown Community Park, which will include a public restroom with low flow toilets and a waterless urinal; she also presented information regarding the two other public restrooms in town – the Bolinas Community Center and the County bathrooms near the tennis courts.  The Downtown Community Park design proposes 20,000 gallons of rainwater catchment and storage, which is anticipated to supply most of the summer landscape irrigation needs.  Discussion ensued about water uses at some of the other “public” properties, including the BCLT housing and the laundry mat and whether the expanded water use permit for the Downtown Community Park should be conditional or unconditional; discussion further ensued about the appropriate limit to impose if a conditional water use permit is approved. 

    Director Kimball proposed that the Board approve an unconditional permit, subject to the condition that water use will be monitored quarterly to assess the data and impose an appropriate limit after one year of data is obtained (once the park is fully installed and operational).  Director Amoroso suggested that the Board impose a quarterly limit now, subject to revision if needed and noted that it will be a burden on the district to closely monitor and assess the water usage.  Director Smith supported director Kimball’s motion, but added that low flow fixtures should be required.  Director Bender also supported director Kimball’s motion.  Director Amoroso pointed out that water use at the park during the first year might be high as the plants are established, which might erroneously suggest an unreasonably high long-term use.  Alethea agreed that the first year likely would be the highest water use year to establish the park and that water use thereafter should decline.  Director Kimball therefore revised her motion to propose an unconditional permit, with water use to be reviewed after one year of park operations, and then again after the second year of park operations with the right to impose a quarterly limit on water use at that time, and conditioned upon the installation of low flow fixtures, waterless urinals and appropriately timed water faucets.

B. Kimball/K. Bender        four in favor, Siedman abstaining        to grant an unconditional expanded water use permit, subject to the requirement that water use will be reviewed by the district after one year of park operations, and then again after the second year of park operations with the right reserved by the district to impose a quarterly limit on water use at that time, and further conditioned upon the installation of low flow fixtures, waterless urinals and appropriately timed water faucets at the park.

8.    Bolinas Fire Protection District Coastal Permit (CP 10-33) and Use Permit (10-17), APN# 193-020-55, 100 Mesa Road, Bolinas  94924 (application for AT&T Mobility to continue operation of facility – no changes proposed to the facility).

Alethea Patton stated that recent articles published in scientific magazines suggest that electromagnetic radiation from cell towers may disrupt bees’ ability to navigate back to their hives and could be a causative factor in colony collapse disorder.  Others present lamented the location of the cell tower on the same property as a public park and medical services building.  Director Bender stated that the subject application renews an existing use and does not propose additional cell towers at the site; she further noted that if AT&T is not permitted to continue is operations, the community will have only one cell service provider.  In response to a question from director Kimball, Alethea said that she has lost 10 of her 12 bee hives this year and that entire bee populations near cell towers in India have been wiped out.  Judith Elliott commented that cell towers interfere with the natural life cycles of plants and that EMFs may be spread through water.  Director Siedman directed staff to include the public’s comments in a letter to the County planner processing this application.
9.      Review California Department of Food & Agriculture’s Response to BCPUD’s Comments on the Light Brown Apple Moth Eradication Program, Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report.

Director Siedman noted that the BCPUD previously wrote a letter of comment on the draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) concerning the Light Brown Apple Moth (“LBAM”) Eradication Program and that the district has received a response to its letter from the California Department of Food & Agriculture (“CDFA”).  Director Smith said that the district made eight essential points in its comment letter and that the CDFA responded to seven of them (the CDFA did not respond to the BCPUD’s comment that the LBAM program was a waste of state funds during a time of fiscal crisis).  The CDFA response is extremely technical and complicated; whether or not the responses are legitimate will need to be analyzed by qualified scientists.  Mary Beth Brangan said that a petition has been submitted to declassify the LBAM as not a harmful pest as it is identical to other leafrollers;  notably, the CDFA response in opposition to the petition was heavily criticized by the National Academy of Science.  She noted that citizens of the state of California continue to oppose and be outraged by the CDFA’s proposed eradication program and communities (including the County of Marin) are continuing to write letters opposing any kind of aerial or ground spraying against LBAM. 

Alethea Patton said that her nursery is licensed by the CDFA as an organic nursery and that she has been trained in how to inspect for the LBAM.  She said they are genetically almost identical to other leafrollers and therefore impossible to distinguish – in fact, suspected LBAM must be sent to a lab for a DNA test to determine whether they are LBAM or not. Alethea said she does not know how an eradication program would distinguish between LBAM and native moths.

Discussion ensued about how to express the community’s on-going opposition to the LBAM eradication program and how to coordinate with other potentially interested entities, such as other water districts and the National Park Service.  Mary Beth said that state Senator Flores has scheduled a hearing for the following Tuesday in Sacramento and she would love to be able to submit a letter from the BCPUD at this hearing.  Ultimately, staff was directed to write a letter to the CDFA, with courtesy copies to the Marin County Board of Supervisors, the National Park Service and the other Marin water districts (to request their support), stating that the EIR was too limited in scope and failed to analyze the impact of the eradication program on non-target species or insects (particularly bees) and requesting that the eradication program not proceed.  Mary Beth requested that the letter specifically oppose both aerial and ground application of pesticides and staff was instructed to include this point.

10.    Approve Memorandum of Understanding Between the County of Marin, the Bolinas Community Public Utility District and the Bolinas Fire Protection District Regarding a Geotechnical Assessment of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook in Bolinas.

    This matter was deferred to the April meeting.

11.    Approve Amendment to Amend Fire House Community Park Agency (aka Mesa Park) Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement to Require that All Candidates for the Elected Board Must Be Registered Voters Residing Within the Boundaries of the Mesa Park District.

Staff presented the amendment and one revision of clarification.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the amendment to the Fire House Community Park Agency Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement to require that all candidates for the Elected Board must be registered voters residing within the boundaries of the Mesa Park district.

12.    Approve Application for Proposition 84 Grant Funding (in Partnership with Conservation Corps North Bay) for the Fire Fuel Reduction Project at BCPUD Sewer Pond Property.

Staff briefly presented the districts application for Proposition 84 funding to employ the Conservation Corps North Bay to conduct a fire fuel reduction project on the BCPUD sewer pond property.  Director Smith noted that the district will be obligated to maintain the property once the project has been completed.

B. Kimball/K. Bender    all in favor     to approve the district’s Proposition 84 grant funding application.

13.  BCPUD Resolution 587:  Accepting Completion of the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Valve Station Reconstruction Project.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolution 587 accepting completion of the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Value Station Reconstruction Project.

13.a  BCPUD Resolution 588:    Concurring in Nomination of Joan C. Finnegan as President of the Association of California Water Agencies/Joint Powers Insurance Authority (“ACWA/JPIA”)

Director Siedman recused himself from participating in this agenda item. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    four in favor, Siedman abstaining        to approve Resolution 588 concurring in the nomination of Joan C. Finnegan as President of the ACWA/JPIA.
14.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso reported that the committee held a meeting recently.  A recommendation was made by the County’s stormwater office to improve drainage throughout the watershed, including Gospel Flats; however, the committee opposes this recommendation due to concerns regarding sediment settling.  The committee also has received $500,000 in funding to implement the Kent Island project (leaving $300,000 still needed, as well as permits).

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Discuss application for Coastal Permit to Implement the Voter-Approved Downtown Parking & Traffic Plan.   Staff reported that the County planners have recommended that the district apply for a coastal permit to implement the Bolinas parking plan, particularly since the LCP update process is taking so long.  Staff noted that there are some open issues still to be decided about the plan details;  as such, it would be useful to get feedback from the planners now as to what additional information will be needed to issue a coastal permit (especially in light of the County’s new fee structure, whereby applicants are assessed fees based on time spent by County staff on the application).  Discussion ensued as to whether the County should be the applicant, rather than the BCPUD, since the plan is to be implemented on County roads.  After further discussion, it was agreed that staff will follow up with the County planners as to who the proper applicant is and what information will be needed about the parking plan to complete a coastal permit application.

-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Nothing to report

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Nothing to report.

5.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance: Report on Draft FY 2010-11 Budget. Staff reported that the Finance Committee reviewed an initial draft of the budget at a meeting on March 9th and provided direction to staff to make revisions;  the next scheduled meeting of the Finance committee is April 13, 2010 and a draft budget will be presented to the Board at the April meeting. 

Staff noted that the district has used the same auditor for many years and best practices dictate that the district issue a request for proposal to solicit proposals from auditors to perform the district’s FY 2009-2010 audit.  The Board concurred.

-- Legal:  Discuss “Gift of Public Funds” doctrine.  The Board reviewed materials provided by the County Counsel’s office concerning the gift of public funds doctrine;  notably, district funds cannot be used outside of the community (such as a donation to Haitian relief) without running afoul of this doctrine.  However, the district may contribute funds toward non-district projects as long as those projects benefit the community and the district retains a sufficient degree of control over the continuation of the community benefit conferred by the funds. 

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  The committee is planning to meet in the near future to discuss the district’s drainage initiatives.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman provided an update of the Downtown Community Park’s efforts to obtain a coastal permit to install the park amenities.  He also noted that Mesa Park is in the process of gathering the requested information for the California Department of Park and Recreation to amend its grant to irrigate the playfields with water sourced from the irrigation well. 

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:   Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the January 20, 2010 Regular Meeting and the February 17, 2010 regular meeting.

Director Smith offered minor revisions to the minutes of the January meeting.

D. Smith/K. Bender        all in favor    to approve the minutes of the January 20, 2010 regular meeting, as amended.

Directors offered minor revisions to the minutes of the February meeting. 

K. Bender/B. Kimball        four in favor, Amoroso abstaining        to approve the minutes of the February 17, 2010 regular meeting.
c. Warrants

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

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    April 21, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

16.    Adjournment.

10:31 p.m.