Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
March 19, 2008     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 the district received another notice of violation from the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) relating to the exceedances of haloacetic acids (a chlorine disinfection byproduct) in the district’s drinking water; staff noted that the exceedance level is very small and that the district’s water did not exceed the applicable maximum contaminant level for total trihalomethanes.  Staff will be issuing a customer notice about this latest exceedance in April; staff noted the CDPH no longer requires the notices to be published in a newspaper of general circulation, which will save the district hundreds of dollars. 

    The district continues to work diligently to identify a treatment solution to address the chlorine disinfection byproduct problem.  Under the guidance of its engineers, staff has installed a pilot GAC unit at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant, which is now up and running; this is the first step in the process confirmation needed to verify whether GAC contactors will sufficiently reduce organics in the district’s raw water prior to disinfection.  The GAC unit will be closely monitored by staff over the next few months pursuant to a monitoring protocol currently under development by the district’s engineers (to be submitted to CDPH for approval) which will entail significantly greater lab testing expenses.  Staff thanked operators Bill Pierce, Lewie Likover and Seth Kline for their creative and thoughtful work on the pilot project.  

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to a draft “Standard Monitoring Plan” in the Board binders relating to Stage 2 of the federal and state disinfection byproduct rule.  The final version of the plan will be developed by staff in consultation with CDPH and submitted to CDPH no later than April 1, 2008.  The Stage 2 phrase of the rule requires the district to prepare this plan and then commence additional monitoring (at two new sites) for chlorine disinfection byproducts in 2009.  Staff noted that the mapping requirements for the plan are quite detailed and said that designer Steve Matson has provided invaluable assistance to the district in this regard.
    The district filed its annual report for     2007 with the Department of Water Resources;  the consumption results for the year reveal the response to the district’s request for conservation last fall -- August, September and October consumption levels were down significantly as compared to the prior year.  Staff is currently at work on the CDPH Annual Report for 2007, which is due on April 30, 2008, as well as the district’s 2007 Consumer Confidence Report, which will be distributed to customers by no later than June 30, 2008.

    The district experienced two significant water main leaks in the last month:  one on Ivy Road off of Larch and a second on Tulip Road between Larch and Poplar. 

    The Board reviewed a draft version of the Spring 2008 Pipeline newsletter and requested that staff include information in the Summer issue relating to the advantages and disadvantages of bottled vs. tap water, as well as information relating to pharmaceuticals in drinking water.  The Board also reviewed a letter from staff to state legislators in opposition to the potential tax grab of special district water and wastewater funds to pay for a County parolee supervision program.

On the wastewater side of operations, the district is preparing for spray season, which will begin on April 15th.  Both of the primary pond aerators are under repair and staff hopes to have them back on line by the end of March.  Staff is working on the first phase of the district’s Sewer System Management Plan, which will be presented to the Board for approval at the April regular meeting. 

    Staff attended the 2008 Funding Fair hosted by various state regulatory agencies in Anderson, California on March 12th; staff reported that it was a very productive meeting with lots of useful information.   

-- Update on the Tomales Bay Watershed Council’s Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan

Nothing to report; the district continues to await a response from the State Water Resources Control Board to the Council’s Proposition 50 grant applications.

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

Staff is working with designer Steve Matson to prepare the building permit drawings and other information required for the ADA compliance remodel.  Staff is also researching potential funding sources for the construction work via the Community Block Grant Program.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

    There is no drainage report this month; due to staff absences, Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover has been working full-time on water and wastewater projects.

4.   Community Expression

    Eleanor Lyman reported that resident Linda Weyrick is upset about drainage work in her neighborhood; the Board agreed that any complaints should be made directly to the district by the complainant, rather than relayed through others.  Director Kimball encouraged anyone concerned about drainage to contact Lewie Likover. 

5.   Request for BCPUD to Oppose the State of California’s Light Brown Apple Moth Eradication Program (E. Lyman).

    Director Siedman acknowledged a large amount of background information on this agenda item in the Board binder; Eleanor Lyman acknowledged providing it and said that she and Janine Aroyan, whose brother lives in Santa Cruz – an area that was sprayed recently in connection with the Light Brown Apple Moth (“LBAM”) eradication program – were present to request the BCPUD’s opposition to the LBAM eradication program.  Director Amoroso stated that he was in favor of opposing the program and does not think there is any opposition to doing so on the Board.  Director Kimball noted that Eleanor submitted a copy of a resolution adopted by San Anselmo, which addresses the issues succinctly and appropriately; she recommended the BCPUD essentially adopt the same resolution (modified as appropriate).

    Director Smith expressed strong criticism of the California Department of Food & Agriculture (“CDFA”)’s approach on the LBAM program.  He noted that while the use of a pheromone to control the moth is preferential to using an insecticide, the exemption being utilized by the CDFA for the pheromone could be used to support an insecticide eradication program.  He stated that the CDFA has significantly biased the information it has released in favor of pressing for the eradication program, without sufficient scientific review or follow-up. 

    Janine Aroyan commented that the owner of the company that produces the pheromone in question (“Check-Mate”) strongly pushed for the eradication program; this business owner also owns an almond farm in Southern California and has contributed over $150,000 to the current governor.  She noted that the California Certified Organic Farmers (“CCOF”) originally did not take a stance against the pheromone program because they use pheromones on occasion; however, once CCOF realized the extent of the inert ingredients in Check-Mate, they publicly opposed the eradication program.  Lastly, Janine said that her brother reported that hundreds of people in Santa Cruz fell ill after the spraying that occurred there – far more people than reported because the press only reported the number of people that actually sought medical treatment for their illness. 

    Director Kimball moved that the Board approve a resolution modeled on the San Anselmo document, but modified to reflect BCPUD specifics.  Director Smith seconded the motion.  Janine noted that the directions for Check-Mate specifically say the product is not appropriate for use over or near waterways; however, the company reportedly has taken the position that it is easier to pay the applicable fines for doing so rather than incur the expense of avoiding such waterways.  Director Siedman suggested the BCPUD resolution contain an additional provision relating to the BCPUD’s role as a protector of surface waterways and water quality. 

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to adopt the San Anselmo resolution in opposition to the LBAM eradication program, with appropriate revisions to reflect BCPUD’s concern about the protection of surface waterways and water quality.

    The Board directed staff to prepare the resolution for President Siedman’s signature the following morning so that the resolution could be sent immediately to the CDFA, elected representatives, other Marin water districts, and the press. 

6.    Vietor Single-Family Residence Addition – Coastal Permit and Variance; 270 Laurel Road, Bolinas (APN: 191-011-33).

    Director Siedman recused himself from participation in this agenda item.  There were no comments from the public; staff commented that the applicants are working diligently to address the district’s previously-stated concerns relating to drainage and encroachments in the Laurel Road right-of-way.

7.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 11 Brighton Avenue (Hill).

Director Siedman recused himself from participation in this agenda item; director Amoroso presided over the discussion.  Staff reported that the applicant’s bill was $1,451 and the water loss was 127,908 gallons; in contrast, the prior highest bill for this customer was $32.  Staff said that Mr. Hill responded immediately when the leak was discovered and had it repaired within a day.

Mr. Hill explained that the leak was caused by a cracked pipe leading to a hose bib, approximately 2 feet below ground.  Because he still had water pressure at the house, he was completely unaware of the problem.  Drainage in the area (on Brighton Avenue) is so efficient that there was no ponding or other evidence of this leak at all.  As soon as BCPUD alerted him to the high bill, he hired a plumber and repaired the cracked pipe.  In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Hill stated that he does not have an irrigation system on the property and the leak occurred during the winter months.  

Director Kimball referred to the criteria set forth in Resolution 553 and said that Mr. Hill’s request for financial relief appears to meet all of the criteria set forth.  She said this was a blind leak comparable to the leak at the Skinner property for which the Board granted full relief.  Director Smith noted that the amount of water lost due to the Skinner leak was miniscule in comparison to the 127,908 gallons at issue here; on the other hand, it was a blind leak that was impossible to have identified earlier, so he agreed that full relief was appropriate under Resolution 553 notwithstanding the amount of water lost.  Director Smith moved that the Board forgive the entire excess amount of the bill above the average of preceding quarters during which he has owned the house, with the proviso that the water meter be monitored carefully by Mr. Hill and that no further financial relief be granted for this property under any circumstances for the next year.  Director Amoroso suggested that the Board defer financial relief until the next billing period to ensure the leak was repaired.  Director Kimball said she thought that approach would complicate the process unnecessarily and she seconded director Smith’s motion.
D. Smith/B. Kimball    three in favor (J. Siedman recused)    to approve Mr. Hill’s request for financial relief and forgive the entire excess amount of the bill above the average of preceding quarters during which Mr. Hill has owned the property, with the proviso that that the water meter be monitored carefully by Mr. Hill and that no further financial relief be granted for this property under any circumstances for the next year.

8.    Marin County Department of Public Works’ Response to BCPUD Letters regarding the Wharf Road Seawall.

Director Siedman said that the Board previously wrote to the County’s Department of Public Works (“DPW”) because the seawall under Wharf Road appears to be moving into the lagoon and the district is concerned about the implications for the water and wastewater lines which are located under the road.  Director Siedman referred to the DPW’s response which says, in essence, that it will cost too much for the County to fix the seawall, so the BCPUD should consider alternatives to protect and/or relocate its utility lines.  Director Siedman noted the County previously has taken the position that their responsibility for Wharf Road is to ensure property owners’ access to their property via the surface of the road, not the integrity of land (or any utilities) under the road.  Director Siedman suggested that the BCPUD obtain a legal opinion as to the County’s responsibility for the maintenance of the seawall in light of, among other things, the district’s utility easements; he suggested the County may well have a legal obligation to maintain the seawall and road in such a manner as to not interfere with the district’s easement rights.
Director Amoroso said that staff has recommended slip-lining the sewer line under Wharf Road; staff confirmed this and said the district is talking with contactors to get estimates for the work for budget planning purposes.  Director Kimball noted that the district previously moved the water main at Terrace and Overlook when the bluff in that area began to slip; she inquired whether there is a similar contingency plan in the event of a slippage of Wharf Road.  Staff said that the area containment of any spill potential was the primary contingency plan – hence, the slip-lining recommendation; options to relocate the lines are very limited under the circumstances.  Discussion ensued about appropriate next steps and potential scenarios if the seawall were to fail.  The Board concurred that the district needs to obtain legal advice to determine next steps at this juncture and directed staff to do so.

9.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that the district is consulting with biologists for assistance in addressing the environmental issues raised by County planners in connection with the coastal permit process.  Both of the proposed solar sites (the district’s sewer ponds and Woodrat 1 reservoir) are considered by the County to be “wetlands” under the Local Coastal Plan and a 100 foot “buffer zone” around any such wetlands must be maintained; unlike the Clean Water Act, the Coastal Act does not have a clear exemption for utility facilities.  Director Smith expressed strong concern that this interpretation of the Local Coastal Plan requirements could halt the district’s solar project.  He said that the district has been extremely careful to locate the arrays in the least environmentally sensitive area possible – in both cases, the arrays are proposed to be installed on earthen berms that were constructed years ago by the district and which are well outside of any “wetlands”.  The Board urged director Smith to contact Supervisor Kinsey’s office and seek his assistance; director Smith agreed to do so.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Request for Appointment: Megan Matson. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to appoint Megan Matson to the Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- Community Paths Group:  Staff reported that a draft contract for the path installation is under development and should be ready soon.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Nothing to report

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Director Smith reported that the County applied more asphalt on Terrace Avenue at Overlook and that the new curbing appears to be carrying stormwater drainage down Terrace in a better manner.  Director Kimball noted that Ocean Parkway at Juniper is also moving (with pavement cracks appearing, as has been the case at Terrace and Overlook), but at a slower rate; she speculated that the vehicle traffic on Terrace may be contributing to the problem. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the West Nile Virus Task Force will meet at the end of April and that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council will meet on March 31st.  Director Kimball said she has received a 109-page service call report for West Marin from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District; she plans to excerpt the Bolinas calls and provide a report at the next Board meeting.

10.  Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  First Draft of FY 2008-09 Budget.  Staff reported that the Finance Committee had its first meeting On March 11th to review a preliminary draft budget.  It seems likely that the district will be seeking increases to the annual water and sewer charges this year for capital infrastructure improvement projects (such as slip-lining the Wharf Road sewer main) and to cover increased operating costs (such as the 25% increase imposed by Kaiser for employee health care benefits). 

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing to report.
-- Personnel:  Update on Hiring Process.  Staff reported that applicant interviews are continuing and that staff hopes to recommend a candidate early next month.

-- Sewer:  Director Amoroso said that he will defer any further discussion of the topic of clearing the understory in the eucalyptus grove at the sewer ponds (which he proposed for fire safety reasons) until fellow committee member Smith has more time available.
b.    Minutes of the February 20, 2008 Regular Meeting

Directors Smith and Amoroso offered minor corrections.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the minutes, as corrected.

c.  Warrants

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

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

    April 16, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.

11.     Adjournment

    9:44 p.m.