Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
March 20, 2013     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.

3.   Manager’s Report.

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

The district received the amended loan paperwork from the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) on March 1, 2013, which consists of the loan amendment and an Amended and Restated Fiscal Services and Deposit Account Control Agreement.  Both documents have been executed by the district and returned to the CDPH; at this point, the district is awaiting confirmation that the documents have been executed by CDPH as the accompanying paperwork prominently states that no loan funds will be disbursed unless and until the Amended and Restated Fiscal Services and Deposit Account Control Agreement has been executed by CDPH. 

In anticipation that the documents will be fully executed soon, staff held a preconstruction site meeting with the contractor, engineers, labor compliance specialist, County Department of Public Works (“DPW”) personnel and others on March 6th to discuss the project.  The contractor is ready to start work an estimates that the project will requires 4 – 6 weeks.  The tentative start date is April 8, 2013.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project
The Second Amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding between the BCPUD, the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and the County has been executed by the BCPUD and the BFPD and sent on to County for approval by the Board of Supervisors.  The next phase of this project, which consists of drilling several borings at Surfer’s Overlook to confirm soil conditions, is scheduled for April 16-17, 2013.

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

The district’s civil engineer has completed the final drawings for the replacement of the pressure relief line under the new concrete slab for the control panels.  At directors Smith’s request, staff has forwarded an inquiry to the electrical engineer asking whether the district can specify less expensive material for the panel construction (i.e., not stainless steel), and enclose the panels in a structure to protect them from the elements.   Staff is concerned this alternative would pose operational difficulties and also may not achieve its purpose – the BFPD is seeing rust on some of the electrical equipment it has stored in an outbuilding (the outbuilding itself cost more than $20,000 to construct).  Also at director Smith’s request, staff has asked the engineer to include current monitoring of the irrigation pumps via three-phase ammeters.  Both of these issues will be discussed with the engineer in conference call next week.  Staff hopes to have the project out to bid in the next month or two, with bids due in June so that the panels can be constructed over the summer and installed in the Fall (after spray season).

-- Proposal to Rehabilitate the Wet Well at the Sewer System Lift Station.

Staff previously reported that the interior concrete surfaces of the wet well at the sewer system lift station are partially corroded and the (non-structural) metal components are severely corroded.  Staff therefore recommended repairing and rehabilitating the wetwell to extend its usable life.  West Yost Consulting Engineers has submitted a proposal to provide engineering design for the repair and coating, to prepare construction documents, to provide an engineer’s estimate, and to conduct a structural inspection for a total estimated fee of $19,500.  Staff reminded the Board that a prior engineering proposal submitted for this work was over $27,000.  Staff recommended that the district first negotiate with West Yost for a fee reduction as staff believes approximately $2,500 of the work proposed is not necessary; then, if agreement is reached on the price for the work, staff recommends the district accept West Yost’s proposal.  The Board had no objection.

Staff directed the Board’s attention to the most recent water consumption data.  Consumption was quite low on the back of the Mesa during the most recent quarter; however, consumption overall continues to increase.  Two weekends ago, lots of people were in town and consumption went way up; as such, staff turned up production at the water treatment plant and then observed an immediate drop in flow at the Arroyo Hondo creek.  A drop like that is quite unusual at this time of year and indicates that the creek did not re-charge this winter to the same extent it usually does.  Although the district’s emergency water supplies (i.e., its reservoirs) are full, staff is concerned about potential water shortages later in the year.  Staff plans to issue conservation notices next month if significant rains do not occur between now and then.

    The district has received a draft report from consultant Jonathan Van Borg on the district’s options to reduce chlorine disinfection byproducts in its treated drinking water.  Mr. Van Borg is a retired water industry professional who has been advising the Inverness Public Utility District (“IPUD”) on this topic and graciously agreed to assist the district, as well.  Thus far, Mr. Van Borg has analyzed the district’s water chemistry, visited the Woodrat water treatment plant, interviewed staff, and prepared a draft report.  Staff will review and comment on the report as soon as possible.  At Mr. Van Borg’s recommendation, IPUD has been running a pilot project with a nano-filtration unit to reduce chlorine disinfection byproducts and the district hopes to run a similar project if certain tests on the district’s water (currently underway) confirm that nano-filtration is a promising option. 

    Staff noted that it is “report season”.  Staff currently is working on preparing the district’s annual reports to the California Department of Public Health and the Department of Water Resources, as well as its water license reports and its Consumer Confidence Report.

    Staff reported that the district received a proposal from an outside inspector for an inspection of the district’s water storage tanks:  the cost will be $1500 – 1800, depending on the amount of time needed.  Several years ago the district hired this inspector, Dennis Gaya of Gaya Consulting, to inspect the tanks and he was very thorough and professional.  Staff recommended that the district hire Mr. Gaya again, along with a diver to inspect the inside of the tanks, in order to identify any needed rehabilitation or repairs.  The Board had no objection.

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff reminded the Board that approximately ten customers on the lagoon side of Wharf Road were notified by the district that they need to repair their sewer laterals.  Chief Operator Bill Pierce is working hard to help these customers identify qualified contractors to complete the repairs.  Bill and the potential contractors re-inspected each of the identified laterals more thoroughly and concluded that several of the laterals are in better shape than previously thought; as a result, it has been determined that five (not ten) of the laterals are in need of immediate repair.  In addition, another three laterals in a separate section of Wharf Road need repair and the customers have been notified and are hiring contractors to do the work.  The inspections of the sewer laterals were prompted by notification from the County that it intends to pave Wharf Road this summer.  Ernest Klock, a senior engineer with the County’s Department of Public Works, contacted the district to ask for a public meeting to discuss and answer questions about the paving project, as well as the requested installation of speedhumps on Wharf Road between the museum and the end of the road.  After some discussion, the Board directed staff to invite Mr. Klock to attend the April regular Board meeting to make a presentation and to hold that meeting at the Firehouse Public Meeting room to accommodate public attendance.

Staff reported that flows into sewer collection system very low right now – less than 20,000 gallons per day.  The disposal sprayfields are drying out quickly as a result of the dry weather.  Spray season starts officially on April 15th.   At the lift station, staff is experiencing problems with the check valve on one of the force main pumps and is planning to conduct a repair tomorrow.

Staff directed the Board’s attention to additional materials in the binder, including a notice from the County about the upcoming election on November 5, 2013 (three of the five BPCUD Board seats are up for election) and a notice from ACWA/Joint Powers Insurance Authority that the Board of Directors meeting this year is in Sacramento on May 6th from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Staff plans to attend on behalf of the district. 

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

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

4.    Community Expression.
Director Bender announced that she is not planning to run for re-election to the Board;  she said that it has been a pleasure to serve the district and her decision not to run for re-election was a difficult one.  Director Siedman stated that he is planning to run for re-election and director Kimball said that she is undecided. 

5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 305 Jute (S. Russum).

Ms. Russum was not present to discuss her request.  After a brief discussion during which several questions were raised about the leak and its presumed repair, the Board continued the matter until next month.  Staff said Ms. Russum would be contacted and requested to attend the meeting and answer the Board’s questions.

6.    Mesa Park Presentation of Match Documents for the Grant Amendment Application re: the Mesa Park Ballfield and Public Restroom Project.

Bryan Lee was present on behalf of the Mesa Park Board; he submitted detailed documentation to substantiate Mesa Park’s “match” of funds for the California Parks and Recreation grant needed to install the Mesa Park Ballfield and Public Restroom Project.  In particular, Bryan emphasized that the documents show that, among other things, Mesa Park can demonstrate $144,000 in matching funds as a result of its payment for the sewer lift station at the Firehouse and Clinic on Mesa Road.  In response to questions from director Amoroso, Bryan explained that the documents were found by Oliver & Company after a diligent search of the company records pertaining to the Firehouse and Clinic construction project and director Bender explained that Mesa Park was “credited” with raising this amount as part of the joint fundraising done to build the new Firehouse and Clinic.  Discussion ensued about next steps, including finalizing the grant amendment request with the state, applying for any necessary permits with the County and hiring a project manager.  Director Siedman noted that the project will receive an additional $13,000 in block grant funding from the County toward the project. 

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    approving the match documentation and directing staff to work with Bryan Lee to finalize the documentation and submit it to the state.

7.    Election for LAFCO Special District Member.

Director Smith recommended that the district rank its ballot for LAFCO Special District Member as follows:  #1 - Craig Murray, #2 - Lew Kious, and #3 - Richard Snyder.  Director Kimball concurred that Mr. Murray should be the #1 selection.

V. Amoroso/B.Kimball        all in favor    to rank the district’s ballot for LAFCO Special District Member as follows:  Murray, Kious, Snyder.

8.    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 the water level rise at the well site essentially has stopped since the rains ceased.  Rob states that variations now observed in the water level are largely tidally induced fluctuations.

9.  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:  In response to a question from Jennie Pfeiffer, director Amoroso explained that the district is waiting to move forward with a potential parking plan for downtown Bolinas until the County’s Local Coastal Plan Update process is concluded.

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Nothing to report.

10.       Other Business

a.    Board Committee Reports

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

    Staff reported that the Finance Committee met a second time on March 5, 2013 to review the draft budget; there is revenue shortfall of about $80,000 at this point in time, so the committee is making decisions about planned projects that may need to be cut back.  In addition, based on the Board’s input at the February monthly meeting, the Finance Committee is evaluating a potential increase of tiered water rates at the lowest level (tiers 1 and 2).  The two lowest tiers are $1.00 per hundred cubic feet (up to 1500 cubic feet per quarter) and $1.50 per hundred cubic feet (from 1600 – 2100 cubic feet).   If these rates were each to be raised by $1.00, and if all customers are assumed to use at least 2100 cubic feet of water per quarter (which is not the case in fact), then the district annual revenues would increase by approximately $49,000.  However, district customers do not all use at least 2100 cubic feet of water per quarter;  as such, based on water consumption data from the 2012 calendar year, staff projects that if the district were to raise rates at the lowest tiers as described, the annual revenue increase would be closer to $23,000.   The Finance Committee asked staff to evaluate the water rates in effect at the two neighboring districts (Stinson Beach County Water District and Inverness Public Utility District) and to determine how long it has been since the district increased the water rates at the two lowest tiers.  Staff is working on the first request; as for the district’s rates at the two lowest tiers, they have been in effect since at least 1979 (whereas the higher tiers have been increased in recent years to encourage conservation). 

Discussion ensued about the propriety of raising the water rates only on the two lowest tiers as that may be perceived as “punishing” the district’s lowest water users.   On the other hand, those rates have been in effect without change for more than 30 years.  Jennie Pfeiffer commented that people in town feel good about themselves as low water users with low water bills and she said a doubling of her water bill would be quite startling.   Director Amoroso was skeptical about the need for an increase in rates; he suggested that if the Board nonetheless is inclined to approve an increase, it should consider an across-the-board percentage increase in water rates, rather than  increasing only the two lowest tiers.  Director Kimball said she would not be opposed to that approach and director Bender concurred.  

Director Smith said he would like to see the district use the proceeds from the sale of the Pine Gulch Creek property to the National Park Service toward more capital projects rather than having $500,000 of those funds set aside as an “endowment”.  Discussion ensued and director Kimball  noted that the Board made the decision about how to allocate the funds after much deliberation at its meetings; staff is updating the accounting spreadsheet for the expenditure of these funds and she recommended the Board discuss the matter at the April meeting. 

    Staff requested that the Board vote on whether to approve the draft minutes of the March 5, 2103 Finance Committee meeting.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso        all in favor    to approve the minutes of the March 5, 2013 meeting of the Finance Committee.

Finally, staff presented the second quarter financial reports, which have been carefully reviewed with the district’s outside bookkeeper.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing to report.

-- Personnel:  Staff submitted a request to negotiate certain terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Board and staff concerning wages and benefits.  The Personnel Committee has evaluated the request and will respond soon.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b.    Minutes of the February 20, 2013 Regular Meeting.

Directors Kimball, Amoroso and Smith offered clarifying revisions to the draft minutes.

K. Bender/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the February 20, 2013 regular Board meeting, as amended.

c.    Warrants

D. Smith/K. Bender    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d.    Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

April 17, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

11.  Adjournment.

    9:45 p.m.