Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
April 17, 2013      270 Elm Road, Bolinas

 Location: Firehouse Public Meeting Room, 100 Mesa Road, Bolinas
1.   Call to Order.
            7:35 p.m.
2.   Roll.
            Directors Kimball, Siedman and Smith present; director Amoroso absent, Bender appearing via Skype.  Director Siedman presiding.
3.   Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project.
      The project started as scheduled on April 8, 2013.  The contractor began work at the intersection of Park and Brighton (where a cluster of valves will be upgraded) and is proceeding up-hill with the water main replacement.  Unfortunately, the contractor ran into an immediate problem when it was discovered that there is some sort of drainage infrastructure under Park Avenue on the south side of the road (i.e., the exact route planned for the water main).  Brent Beazor from Brelje & Race Engineering came out immediately and engineered a solution for a re-routing of the water main and the project resumed; however, this did result in extra work for the contractor for which the district will be invoiced.  Since then, the work as been proceeding well and the contractor is installing approximately 150 feet of new pipe per day.  Today, the contractor is installing a vault for the new pressure reducing valve across from the Kraukauer’s driveway.  Looking forward, Bill Pierce is recommending that we replace a section of the existing asbestos/concrete water main in the Rafael/Park easement to eliminate a “dogleg” that was installed years ago to route the main around a large pine tree.  This will result in a change order under the current contract, but staff recommends proceeding as the work is beyond our capabilities and the contractor has the necessary equipment already on-site.  The estimated cost is $8,000.  The Board had no objection.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project
      Sander & Associates Geostructural Engineers (“SAGE”) and its subcontractor Pitcher Drilling were on site in Bolinas yesterday and today for the next phase of geotechnical assessment of the bluff.  The first part of the day yesterday was devoted to the two beach borings; both were accomplished (one boring to about 45 feet and the other to about 25 feet).  Today was devoted to the road level boring on Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook; the goal is to drill 90 feet in depth and do continuous sampling.  BCPUD staff is providing traffic control.  The next step is for SAGE to prepare a report on the results of its work.
-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade Project.
      Staff is working on the bid documents for this project.  Per director Smith’s request, staff had a conference with the district’s electrical engineer about the option of using less expensive materials (i.e., not stainless steel) for the control panels and housing them in a building to protect them from the elements.   The engineer does not recommend using a lesser grade material for the panels; he said it would be a “false sense of economy” because any building constructed to house the panels would need to be heated and ventilated in order to protect them; in addition, the structure would need to be maintained over time.  The engineer stated that it is a better investment for the district to specify stainless steel for the panel construction as they then will last for decades.  On a related note, staff also conferred with the engineer about monitoring equipment to detect potential pump failure and he is investigating options.
On the water side of operations, consumption is down in the downtown area of the district this year compared to the same time last year – in fact, records show this is the second lowest level of consumption for this section of town in many years.   Staff is watching consumption carefully right now; as was reported last month, although the district’s emergency reservoirs are full, levels are relatively low in the Arroyo Hondo creek. Staff will need to carefully manage the district’s water supply until next rainy season.
Staff held another meeting with Jonathan Van Borg, the district’s consultant on chlorine disinfection byproducts (“DBPs”), last Friday, April 12th to discuss his draft report.  The report will be submitted to the Board for review and acceptance at the May meeting.  Staff is waiting for test results on the district’s water;  samples of filtered reservoir water were taken to Inverness and run through the Inverness Public Utility District (“IPUD”)’s rented nanofiltration unit and then taken to a lab for testing.  The test results should provide a good indicator of whether nanofiltration is a viable solution for the district to address its chlorine DBP problems. 
On a related note, several staff members are scheduled to attend a workshop on chlorine DBPs hosted by the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) in Santa Rosa on May 1st. 
The Board reviewed the district’s annual report to the Department of Water Resources, a copy of which is included in the Board binders.
On the wastewater side of operations, the district’s sewer customers notified of the need to repair their sewer laterals following the most recent video inspection of the system are beginning their repairs.  With regard to the laterals on the lagoon-side of Wharf Road, a re-inspection revealed that several of the laterals are in better shape than previously believed and those customers have been notified as such.   Flows into the sewer system right now are quite low; the staff is preparing for spray season and the access paths on the property have been mowed.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
There is no drainage report this month;  Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover will provide a report next month that covers two months.
4.    Community Expression.
Director Amoroso arrived at 7:50 p.m.
Janine Aroyan thanked the Board for the recent removal of hazardous eucalyptus trees on the BCPUD’s property on Overlook Road.  She expressed on-going concern, however, for the rate of speed at which motorists are driving on Overlook Road, particularly in this area where kids are riding their bikes over to the sewer pond paths before and after school.  She said additional signage may help alert motorists to slow and use caution.  The Board noted that the County’s traffic representative is present in the audience for the next item and suggested Janine speak with him about her concerns.
5.    Presentation by the Marin County Department of Public Works re: Speed Hump Installation on Wharf Road and the Planned Paving Schedule for Bolinas in 2013 (Wharf, Olema-Bolinas and Horseshoe Hill Roads).
Bob Goralka from the Marin County Department of Public Works Traffic Division was present to discuss the requested installation of speedhumps on Wharf Road (between the museum and the beach) and the planned paving projects in Bolinas this summer.  With respect to the paving projects, Mr. Goralka noted that the County plans the following projects: (1) resurface Terrace Avenue after the water main relocation project is complete; (2) repave Olema-Bolinas Road from Brighton to Highway 1; (3) repave Horseshoe Hill Road from Olema-Bolinas Road to Highway 1; and (4) repave Wharf Road from Brighton to the end.  With regard to Wharf Road, Bob said that the repaving will occur this summer from Brighton to the museum; however the section from the museum to the beach will require additional permitting as the County intends to repair the seawall under this section of Wharf Road before the repaving.  As such, that repair work and the repaving of that section of Wharf Road may occur later in the year or, perhaps, in 2014 depending on when the permits are issued.
Mr. Goralka solicited comments from the audience about the proposed speedhumps on Wharf Road.  He said the County did a speed survey on this section of road recently (during a weekday) and vehicles were not exceeding 20 mph; he also noted that this section of road does not have a higher accident rate.  Discussion ensued; residents of Wharf Road related witnessing many incidents of speeding, near misses (i.e., narrowly avoided accidents) and noted that many pedestrians walk in the street as there are no sidewalks here.  The support for the speedhumps is virtually unanimous among property owners on this section of Wharf Road and there has been no opposition stated.  Director Kimball observed that the County installed speed humps on Terrace Avenue years ago to slow traffic, and they work remarkably well.  Residents urged the County to proceed with the installation of the speedhumps when Wharf Road is paved.
6.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 305 Jute Road (S. Russum).
Staff directed the Board’s attention to materials in the binders and said that a major reason the bill was so high for this customer during a particular quarter was because staff was unable to access the meter (which has been fenced in) the prior quarter; as such, the water usage was estimated and then, when the meter ultimately was read during the quarter in question, the actual amount used was much higher.   Due to the district’s tiered water rates, the resulting high meter read for the quarter in question resulted in a large bill.  In past cases similar to this, staff has averaged the customer’s usage over two quarters before finalizing the billing, but this inadvertently was not done here.  Staff recommended that a letter go out explaining this to the customer and re-issuing the bill with the amounts averaged.   There is no evidence at this time that there was a water loss due to a leak.  There was no objection from the Board.
7.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 49 Terrace Avenue (K. Flanagan).
An intruder broke into the property owner’s home and left a bath faucet running; it was immediately turned off when the break-in was discovered, but the faucet had been running for many hours, resulting in a significant water loss.  Director Smith said this was a clear case for full relief as the circumstances were completely outside of the property owner’s control.
D. Smith/V. Amoroso                all in favor         to grant full financial relief and reissue the bill in an amount based on the historic average use at the property for the past three years during the same quarter.
8.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 451 Yucca Road (C. Bea). 
Staff reported that the customer’s meter was read after the reported leak and approximately 400 cubic feet of water was lost.  Director Smith noted that this was not enough water to qualify for relief under the district’s resolution.  After a brief discussion, staff was directed to inform the customer that the water loss does not appear at this time to qualify for relief; however, when the final bill is received if more water than this appears to have been lost, the customer can return to the Board to request relief.
9.   Coastal Permit Application (Project ID: 2013-0094), APN 193-092-21, 28 Crescente Avenue; Expanded Water Use Permit Application (G. Green).
After a brief discussion of the remodel project, director Kimball suggested that the Board approve a conditional expanded water use permit based on the district customers’ average quarterly usage (2260 cubic feet) as there is no representative historic water use at this property.   Director Smith then moved to approve a conditional expanded water use permit at the customers’ average quarterly usage, plus 50% and director Bender seconded.  Director Amoroso then moved to reconsider that motion based on director Kimball’s original suggestion and director Kimball seconded.
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso             all in favor         to approve an expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly allowance of 2,260 cubic feet, which is the district customers’ quarterly average use.
Director Smith said that the Board should do its best to be consistent when approving expanded water use permit applications and suggested the Board undertake a review of all outstanding permits.  Director Kimball concurred; she noted that the permit limits vary considerably.  Director Amoroso said that while BCPUD Resolution 172 provides the guidance in this area, it could be very helpful if the Board were to develop a policy to implement the resolution in this regard.   Staff was directed to include an item on the May agenda to discuss this topic.  Director Smith asked staff to provide a list of all permit holders and their quarterly limits, and to include also information about each of these customers’ actual water usage.
10. Coastal Permit Application (Project ID: 2013-0126); APN 193-172-08, 105 Terrace Avenue (G. Shoup).
There was no comment on this application.  The Board requested that staff meet with the customer to ensure the bluff erosion at this property does not threaten the district’s water lines.
11. Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN 190-081-38, 395 Yucca Road (E. McCrea).
Director Smith noted that the property owners are adding a new bathroom as part of the remodel.  Director Kimball recommended a conditional expanded water use permit based on the district customers’ average quarterly usage (2260 cubic feet) as there is no representative historic water use at this property.
B. Kimball/K. Bender                all in favor         to approve an expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly allowance of 2,260 cubic feet, which is the district customers’ quarterly average use.
12. Review Balance of Proceeds from District’s Sale of its Pine Gulch Creek Property to the National Park Service; Discuss Possible Revisions.
Director Kimball presented an updated accounting of the district’s expenditure of funds to date from the proceeds of its sale of the Pine Gulch Creek property to the National Park Service.  She noted that the Finance Committee recommendations for expenditures during the upcoming fiscal year are indicated in red, and are for capital improvements to the district water distribution system (the replacement of the water main on Cedar Road), the sewer lab building (re-siding the building and fumigating the entire structure), and water treatment (the nano-filtration pilot study).   Director Amoroso suggested that the Board consider allocating the $128,000 remaining under the “capital expenditures” column to the district’s water and sewer reserve funds.  Staff suggested that the $19,000 in accrued interest could be allocated to the “community benefit” column.   The Board directed staff to include an item on the May agenda to approve these revisions to the spreadsheet.
Director Bender said that she understands that this item is on the agenda at the request of director Smith, who would like to reconsider the allocation of $500,000 of these funds to an “endowment” as he believes that money should be spent on needed improvements to the district’s facilities.  Director Smith said that he is frustrated by the very low interest the district is earning on its investment of these funds (less than 0.2%) and he feels the money either should be reinvested in long-term treasury bonds (with a higher rate of return) or spent on projects that the district otherwise has to borrow money to undertake (like the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project) at a cost of over 2.0% interest.  He noted that the district has a long list of projects it could undertake on behalf of its customers and he feels the district should do so while it has the funds.  Director Smith said he was concerned about the steady increases in the district’s annual water service charge, and he feels the district should expend the funds it has in savings before asking customers to pay higher service charges.  Director Amoroso said that borrowing money at relatively low interest rates still makes sense because the rates eventually will go back up and that it is prudent for the district to have fund equivalent to at least half it’s annual operating budget in reserve.  Discussion continued and the Board eventually directed staff to prepare a “five year project list” with estimated costs for the Board to consider; staff also was directed to research additional investment opportunities for the district’s funds. 
13. Update on Water Supply Augmentation Project.
The Board reviewed the most recent data downloaded from the pressure transducer at the Resource Recovery irrigation well.  Director Smith noted that the district’s hydro-geologist has offered to prepare a brief report on the data collection to date and present that report at an upcoming meeting.  Director Bender expressed concern that the district does not yet have enough meaningful data to analyze due to the low rainfall this year.  Directors Kimball and Siedman concurred.  Staff was directed to let the hydro-geologist know the Board prefers to wait for the receipt of more data before a report is prepared.
14.  BCPUD Resolution 619:  Proposing An Election Be Held in its Jurisdiction on November 5, 2013; Requesting The Board Of Supervisors To Consolidate With Any Other Election Conducted On Said Date; And Requesting Election Services By The County Registrar of Voters.
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball             all in favor         to approve BCPUD Resolution 619.
15.  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:  Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report. 
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Nothing to report.
16.          Other Business.
a.  Board Committee Reports
-- Finance:   Report on Draft Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget; Finance Committee Recommendation to Raise Quarterly Billing Rates; Draft Proposition 218 Mailing to All Customers; Finance Committee Recommendation to Consider Transferring Funds to the Local Agency Investment Fund (“LAIF”); Minutes of the April 9, 2013 Meeting of the Finance Committee.
Staff presented an overview of the draft fiscal year 2013-14 budget.  First, staff noted that although the Finance Committee discussed and is prepared to recommend raising the district’s quarterly metered water rates, staff has re-assessed the district’s budgetary needs for the upcoming fiscal year and recommends against a raise in metered water rates at this time.   Instead, staff suggested that the district undertake an assessment of the district’s budgetary needs for the next five years (rather than just the upcoming fiscal year) and develop a revenue strategy to meet those needs; this strategy may include revenue generation and/or cost reductions.  As director Smith has noted, the district’s annual service charge has increased steadily in recent years and staff would like to take the next year to work with the Board to prioritize the district’s needs and, among other things, identify whether district business can be accomplished more cost-effectively.  Although construction and materials costs for utility districts increase at a rate far in excess of the cost of living, the district may be able to identify ways to reduce or creatively finance some of those costs.  In addition, pending personnel changes may also affect the district’s bottom line.  The timing for such an endeavor seems good as the Board also is grappling with the use of its funds from the sale of the Pine Gulch Creek property.   Discussion ensued and the directors expressed support for taking the next year to focus on a longer-term look at the district’s objectives and use of/need for financial resources.
Staff reported that the Finance Committee recommends that the district consider transferring its funds from the sale of the Pine Gulch Creek property out of its current investment, the CDARS program with Bank of Marin, and into the Local Agency Investment Fund or “LAIF”.  The LAIF is administered by the State Treasurer and allows local agencies and special districts to participate in a major portfolio which invests hundreds of millions of dollars under the expertise of the State’s Treasurer’s investment staff at no additional cost to taxpayers.  Unlike the CDARs program in which the BCPUD currently has approximately $750,000 invested, the LAIF is completely liquid.  In addition, the LAIF is earning just under 0.3% interest, whereas the BCPUD’s investments in the CDARs program are earning only 0.1% interest.  The Board agreed that the district should further explore this alternative investment fund.
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso                all in favor         to approve the minutes of the April 9, 2013 Finance Committee meeting.
-- Legal:  Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Nothing to report.
-- Operations:  Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing to report.
-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.
-- Sewer:   Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the March 20, 2013 Regular Meeting.
D. Smith/B. Kimball             all in favor         to approve the minutes of the March 20, 2013 regular meeting.
c. Warrants
B. Kimball/K. Bender           all in favor         to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 
May 15, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
17.  Adjournment.
            9:57 p.m.