Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
March 21, 2007     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:32 p.m.

2.    Roll

    Directors Amoroso, Kimball, and Smith present; directors McClellan and Siedman absent.  Director Amoroso presiding.

3.    Manager’s Report

    Staff reported that negotiations continue with Siemens Water Technologies regarding the terms of the contract for the conversion and retrofit of the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant; staff expects to receive a revised contract later this week.  The actual work may need to be postponed until after Labor Day if water supply conditions stay as they are without any late Spring rains because it will be difficult to produce sufficient treated water to meet demand with two filters off-line during a period of low flows.  At present, the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant is running very well as a result of several weeks of repair and maintenance by the staff.

    Staff advised the Board that certain operational equipment is in need of immediate replacement at a cost to the district of approximately$5,500; in response to questions from the Board, staff stated that the equipment currently in use is more than 25 years old and not worth the money it would take to repair.  The Board had no objection to replacing the equipment.
    Staff directed the Board’s attention to recent correspondence received from FEMA (with revised disaster assistance amounts and new permit conditions), as well as to correspondence sent to the California Department of Health Services to certify the district’s compliance with the state’s chlorine disinfection byproduct notification rules.

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff is preparing to replace a number of the valves in the sprayfields prior to the commencement of spray season in order to better regulate the flow of water between fields, thereby enabling the fields to dry out more completely.  Staff also recently cleared the asphalt paths around the perimeter of the sprayfields to improve accessibility.  In addition, staff is in preliminary conversations with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District about a collaborative mowing project to reduce grasses and reeds on the east side of the sewer pond property.

Staff reminded the Board that the ACWA/JPIA Spring Conference is coming up in early May; the Board requested that  staff attend the conference and report back to the Board. 

Staff followed up on Cela O’Connor’s concerns about the fence installation on BCPUD and NPS property near Woodrat 1; staff spoke with Bill Niman, who assured staff that the fence construction was explicitly approved by NPS and essentially replaced exactly what was there previously.  Staff also spoke with Don Neubacher, Park Superintendent, who confirmed that the Park Service carefully evaluated Cela’s concerns, but concluded that the fence is acceptable as constructed.

Staff also followed up on the Board’s request to alert the owner of the boat presently in the Juniper right-of- way just south of Alder that the boat must be moved out of the right-of-way as soon as possible.  The boat owner agreed to do so and informed staff that he is making arrangements for a crane to be brought in to move the boat out of the right-of-way and onto his property (which borders former Lightfoot property) no later than the end of the month.

Finally, staff noted that CalTrans plans to re-open Highway One between Mill Valley and Stinson Beach on March 28th and that the West Marin Stage is implementing a new service schedule effective April 1st. 
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover, who is on vacation.   Matt Lewis inquired about the status of a potential re-engineering of the Todd Drainage Plan; director Amoroso responded that Lewie is working with local geohydrologist Rob Gailey on specific issues relating to the plan.  Matt requested that the Dogwood and Evergreen culverts be replaced prior to any replacement of the Cedar culverts; director Smith said that the BCPUD is seeking Rob’s advice on these culvert replacements, as well.  Director Smith then asked staff who is paying for the proposed ditching along Evergreen Road between Mesa and Poplar Roads, as described in the drainage manager report.  Staff said that Lewie will be requested to follow-up with director Smith.  Director Smith said he wants to be sure that the district is consistently applying any and all policies with regard to payment for ditching work and culvert installation/replacement.

4.    Community Expression

Jennie Pfeiffer said that she is very concerned about the recent raids in Marin by INS officials; she said that many people in our community are very afraid and even keeping their kids home from school out of fear for their safety.  Lyndon Comstock noted that the Marin County Board of Supervisors has been asked to pass a resolution expressing opposition to the raids;  Jennie asked if the BCPUD would be willing to write a letter of support to the Board of Supervisors for such a resolution.  After further discussion, it was agreed that Jennie will confirm whether such a resolution is pending before the County Supervisors and, if so, will inform BCPUD staff so that a letter of support can be drafted.
Matt Lewis requested that the standing agenda item relating to an update on the Tomales Bay Watershed Council progress on the Integrated Coastal Watershed Management plan be moved up to an earlier point on the agenda and staff agreed to do so for all future updates.

5.    Public Hearing:  Proposed Increases to the BCPUD’s Quarterly Metered Water Delivery Charges.

Director Kimball stated that all of the district’s customers have been sent a public notice regarding the BCPUD’s proposal to increase its quarterly metered water delivery charges in accord with the notifications requirements of Proposition 218.  The proposal is based on an extensive analysis by the Board and staff of the district’s water rates compared to other districts in Marin;  this analysis demonstrated that the district’s rates for the highest water users are substantially lower than the rates charged for such usage by the other districts in Marin.  As a result, BCPUD customers who use the least amount of water effectively are subsidizing the heaviest water users; the Board determined that it was appropriate to add additional “tiers” of rates at the highest consumption levels in order to fairly charge customers for their actual water use and to encourage conservation. 

Lyndon Comstock said the proposed increases are a good idea that have been discussed at multiple meetings:  He said that the people who are putting extra burden on the community’s water delivery system should pay for that burden and that the new rates will provide an excellent conservation incentive.

Janine Aroyan provided some materials from the Marin Municipal Water District about that district’s “leak adjustment policy” and encouraged the BCPUD to consider such a policy.  She also pointed out that the new rates will have a big economic impact on properties with gardens and on local nurseries. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to adopt the proposed increases to BCPUD’s quarterly metered water delivery charges as set forth in the Proposition 218 notice to customers.
6.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy: Director Kimball reported that she successfully has recruited Willard McDonald to serve on the committee and that a meeting will be scheduled soon. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to appoint Willard McDonald to the BCPUD’s Alternative Energy Committee.

Director Smith reported that he is working on developing an appropriate structure for the BCPUD to finance the installation of solar energy panels at its various operational locations in Bolinas.  At present, it seems that it will be cost-effective to negotiate jointly with the Bolinas Stinson Union School District and the Bolinas Firehouse & Clinic Project.  In principle, the financing company will actually own the solar infrastructure, install it on district property and then charge the district for the electricity produced. 
-- Beach: Nothing to report. Director Kimball stated that she understands that the community meeting to discuss the Final Report will be scheduled for a date in April;  staff was asked to confirm. 

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Director Amoroso said that the next meeting of the committee is scheduled for March 28th. 

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso attended the most recent BALTAC meeting and reported that not much is happening; at this particular meeting, there was discussion whether to use herbicides to control pampas grass in the Stinson area – evidently the grasses are destabilizing on the slopes above the lagoon. 

--    Community Paths Group:  Acceptance of responsibilities involving bicycle/pedestrian path  across BCPUD land and adjoining County right-of-way; Approve path safety and maintenance plan checklist requested by ACWA/JPIA.  Director Smith reported that the County Deputy Zone Administrator has scheduled a hearing on the BCPUD’s coastal permit application to install the bike path for March 29th at the Civic Center.  He noted that the County has agreed to allow the BCPUD to use gravel and fines for the path surface in the County right-of-way (the County typically requires asphalt) as long as the BCPUD acknowledges that if an accessibility issue arises, the BCPUD (not the County) has the responsibility to deal with it.  Director Smith noted that the district already has accepted this responsibility for the portion of the path on district lands, so the County request in this regard it not really anything new. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to accept the responsibility for accessibility issues arising from the path construction out of gravel and fines, rather than asphalt, in the County right-of-way.

Director Smith further noted that the grant terms provide that the district will not receive payment until the bike path is completely installed; however, contractors typically require 10 percent upfront, progress payments during construction, and the final 10 percent when County’s final inspection is complete.  He proposed that the BCPUD pay these costs out of reserves on the understanding that the amounts will be repaid out of the grant when it is received.  There was no objection from the Board to this proposal.

Director Smith stated that he plans to talk with RRP Manager Mike Aitken about the amount of brush that will be removed from the property during the path construction.  Finally, he noted that staff has prepared an inspection and maintenance checklist as requested by ACWA/JPIA.  The Board directed staff to submit the checklist to ACWA/JPIA as drafted and delegated authority to staff and director Smith to make any revisions to the checklist requested by ACWA/JPIA.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Nothing to report.  The Board directed staff to contact the Committee chairperson and request that the committee resume its meetings.

-- Resource Recovery: Receive February Financial Report; Receive January Minutes.

    The Board directed staff to include an item on the April agenda to discuss a commendation for Mike Aitken for his excellent management of the Resource Recovery Project.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Nothing to report.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the Task Force is scheduled to meet in April; recent statistics from the state about the detection of West Nile Virus are included in the Board binders—the numbers are low, but occurring earlier than usual due to the warm weather.  The Coordinating Council has been meeting bimonthly; the Council met in January with Jim Wanderschied and Joanne Towl from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) to discuss an extension of the current agreement for West Marin, which expires in April and the M&VCD verbally agreed to extend the agreement while negotiations are underway.  At a follow-up meeting on March 19th, the Council discussed the M&VCD’s request to use additional mosquito control products and various members have agreed to conduct research and report back.  Director Kimball has called the Marin County Agriculture Department to inquire whether the use of the requested products could impact organic farms.

7.    Request to Amend the Minutes of the June, November and December 2006 Meetings of the BCPUD Board of Directors (Simac)

Director Smith noted that there is a memo from staff analyzing Mr. Simac’s request to amend past meeting minutes and recommending specific action; director Smith indicated that he reviewed the memo and concurs that the staff recommendations are reasonable and appropriate.  Director Amoroso noted that Mr. Simac seems to have two general concerns:  the accuracy of the minutes and the accuracy of what was said at the meetings; he noted that the Board cannot weigh in on the latter, but is willing to make the changes requested to ensure that the minutes accurately reflect what was said (whether or not what was said was, in fact, accurate).  Mr. Simac agreed.  Staff read three proposed changes recommended in the memo provided by the Board.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the three changes to past minutes as read by staff.

8.    Update on BCPUD Progress on an Ordinance Regulating Water Wells within the Boundaries of the District.

Staff presented a proposed draft notice to be mailed to property owners within 300 feet of a proposed well site.  Stephen Simac noted that director McClellan previously has stated that the BCPUD supports the installation of irrigation wells; director Amoroso said that the BCPUD previously did not appreciate the potential impact of such wells on neighboring properties if setbacks are not properly enforced, particularly in light of the presence of hundreds of on-site wastewater systems.  Accordingly, director Amoroso explained that the BCPUD is now responding to community concerns about the lack of notification of pending well permit applications and is working to implement a process which will ensure that all potentially affected property owners receive notice and an opportunity to be heard with regard to any pending well permit in the district. 

    Lyndon Comstock expressed support for the BCPUD’s efforts to ensure that a public notification and comment process is implemented within the district.  Discussion then ensued over whether the BCPUD or the County properly should undertake the burden and expense of providing neighbor notice and whether the notice should be sent to all property owners within 300 feet of a proposed well site (as is done in connection with the County building permit process), or some lesser distance.   Director Smith observed that two recent notices from the County in the Board binders indicate that the County intends to enforce a 100 setback from property line requirement for water wells on the Bolinas Mesa, which renders the need for neighbor notification moot – if the property owner applying for a well permit must maintain a 100 foot setback from his/her own property lines, then the well installation will not negatively impact a neighbor’s property, at least insofar as on-site wasterwater systems are concerned.  Staff was directed to confirm the County enforcement of the 100 foot property line setback for wells on the Bolinas Gridded Mesa.

9.    LAFCO Election for Special District Members.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor        to vote in favor of Dennis Rodini, Dave Mitchell, Kenneth Marks, in that order, for the LAFCO Special District Representative.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to vote in favor of Kenneth A. Marks as the LAFCO Special District Representative - Alternate Member.

10.    Resolution 545:  Establishing a Year-Round Meeting Start Time of 7:30 P.M. for all Regular Monthly Meetings of the BCPUD Board of Directors.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve Resolution 545 and establish a year-round meeting start time of 7:30 p.m. for all regular meetings of the BCPUD Board of Directors.

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

Director Smith reported that the most recent TBWC meeting consisted primarily of a brainstorming session on projects the TBWC would like to submit for consideration in the planning process.   Staff reported that there have been no Technical Advisory Committee (“TAC”) meetings since the last regular meeting of the BCPUD Board, but the consultants are hard at work preparing drafts of the various chapters of the ICWMP and circulating them for comment.  Thus far, the report assessing the condition of the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance (“ASBS”) is of most interest to Bolinas;  staff has reviewed the draft report carefully and submitted detailed comments.  A meeting has been scheduled for March 30th between BCPUD staff, County Stormwater Pollution Prevention staff and NPS staff to discuss a possible collaborative project proposal for the Duxbury Reef ASBS. 

12.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Report on Status of 2007-08 Draft Budget.  The Finance Committee met on March 13th and reviewed preliminary drafts of the budget.  The Committee also discussed preliminary plans to revise the district’s chart of accounts and potentially move out of the County financial system effective July 1, 2007.  The district plans to hire a new bookkeeper and a CPA to assist with this transition process and to ensure that the BCPUD financial process are in full compliance with new GASB rules and regulations.

-- Legal:  Staff has identified a law firm to provide the district with advise on public contracting and public rights-of-way issues and requested authority from the Board to retain the law firm.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to authorize staff to execute a client retainer agreement.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing to report.

-- Personnel:  Staff reported that Kate Currey retired from the district effective March 8, 2007 and that a retirement dinner has been scheduled at the Blue Heron on March 29th. 

-- Sewer:   Nothing to report.
b.    Minutes of the February 28, 2007 Regular Meeting

Director Amoroso stated that he has not yet reviewed the minutes of the February meeting.  Director Smith requested one revision to item 8.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the minutes as amended by director Smith, with leave to further amend by director Amoroso, if necessary.

c.  Warrants

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

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

    April 18, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.

13.    Adjournment
10:22 p.m.