Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
April 20, 2011 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Bender, Siedman and Smith present;
director Kimball absent. Director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project: Approve
Revision to Scope of Work
Staff reported that a meeting was held at the Marin County Civic Center on
March 29, 2011 to discuss this project. In attendance were David Kimball
and Jennifer Blackman on behalf of the Bolinas Working Group, and Supervisor
Kinsey, Liza Crosse, Bob Beaumont and Tom Lai on behalf of the County of
Marin. The discussion focused on next steps in light of the prior month’s
meeting with Coastal Commission staff. The timing of the March 29th
meeting was interesting given the storm of March 19th which caused a eucalyptus
tree to fall across Mesa Road, blocking the road, taking down the power line
and isolating residents on the Bolinas Mesa for eleven hours. Given
the lack of through access on Terrace Avenue, the community had a glimpse
of the consequences of only one egress route out of town; thankfully, there
were no serious medical or other emergency calls during this time.
Supervisor Kinsey stated that the County Department of Public Works plans
to repair the slide at Terrace and Overlook, hopefully this summer; he said
that the planned repair is dependent on confirmation by the County’s outside
engineers of assumed geotechnical site conditions. David Kimball and
Jennifer Blackman expressed appreciation on behalf of the Bolinas community
at this news, but queried whether such a repair would have a sufficient life
expectancy given the erosion conditions in this area. David Kimball
stated that if a choice needed to be made between a repair at Terrace and
Overlook vs. a stabilization of the bluff below Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s
Overlook, the Fire Protection District favors the bluff stabilization because
alternative emergency access can be more easily developed at the top of Terrace
if Mesa Road is blocked. Discussion ensued concerning the pending report
due soon from SAGE about the geotechnical conditions of the bluff below Surfer’s
Overlook and the report to be generated by the County’s engineers concerning
the conditions below the Terrace slide at Overlook Road. The meeting
attendees agreed to reconvene to discuss both engineering reports when they
are available, likely sometime in May.
SAGE has proposed to slightly revise its scope of work for the final technical
report in light of the recent meeting with Coastal Commission staff.
Originally, it was envisioned that SAGE would conduct a detailed evaluation
of several stabilization alternatives and then identify a “preferred” alternative.
However, the Coastal Commission staff already signaled that the “preferred”
alternative is clear in this case – namely, a soil nail/sculpted concrete
design. As such, it no longer makes sense to devote resources to a
detailed discussion of other alternatives; rather, SAGE recommends that
it back off of some of the detail it might otherwise have included on alternatives
in favor of a deeper feasibility analysis of the soil nail/sculpted concrete
approach to bluff stabilization. The final report also will include
analysis of a “no action” alternative and will include a proposed “in-kind”
replacement of the upper retaining walls (at road level) to buy time if necessary
while a permit for the comprehensive stabilization project is processed.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith four in favor; director
Kimball absent to approve the proposed
revision to SAGE’s scope of work.
-- Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project:
Approve Acceptance of Loan Funding Agreement
Staff reported that late last week a courier delivered a package to the BCPUD
office, which turned out to be the long-awaited loan funding documents
for the district’s Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation project. The
Board’s Finance Committee met on April 19, 2011 to evaluate the documents
and identified the following key terms: (1) the interest rate on loan is
2.3035%; (2) annual debt servicing on the loan will be $22,878, which is
nearly the same amount the district just eliminated from its annual debt
load by prepaying certain of its loans; (3) in a surprising turn, the state
imposed a deadline of December 31, 2011 to complete the project, a deadline
that may be very difficult or impossible to meet if the County’s project
to repair Terrace Avenue at Overlook is underway this summer and fall; (4)
BCPUD must commit to funding any portion of project that comes in in excess
of loan amount -- the BCPUD can request a one-time increase in funding after
construction bids are received, but state will not guarantee the request
will be granted; and (5) BCPUD must establish a Reserve Fund with $22,878
deposited at outset of project.
The Finance Committee discussed the loan agreement at
length and ultimately concluded that it is not in BCPUD’s best interest to
accept the funding at this time. That is not to say that project should
not be done, but rather that the deadline for project completion, mediocre
interest rate, and concern over potential cost overruns taken together means
the BCPUD should fund it out of own reserves (which the district did not
have at time of its loan application as these reserves were established when
the district sold its Pine Gulch Creek property to the National Park Service
in 2009). After a brief discussion, the Board deferred a final decision
on this loan funding to the May meeting.
-- Update on Horseshoe Hill Road Water Main Extension Project
This project is currently underway and construction is anticipated to take
about three weeks. The portion of the project with the most visible
impact on residents, involving traffic control and lights at night, will
take approximately five days.
-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property).
Max Korten from Conservation Corps North Bay and staff had a planning consultation
meeting with a County planner on April 8, 2011. The consultation was
an extremely useful and worthwhile process. The County planner advised
that a permit from the County will not be required for this project and the
project is statutorily exempt under the California Environmental Quality
Act (“CEQA”). The County requested that the BCPUD provide a letter
from an appropriately credentialed biologist confirming that the project
will have no impact on habitat or species. Staff plans to work with
the biological consulting firm that previously evaluated the sewer pond property
in connection with the installation of the solar arrays. Staff, Fire
Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown and Max Korten met with the County’s Forester
who confirmed that the diameter of the trees to be removed should be taken
at 48 inches off the ground on the up-hill side of the tree – this is the
accepted approach for fire fuel reduction projects. The issue of whether
the trees to be removed will be limited to 6-inches in diameter (or less)
or 8 inches in diameter (or less) will be determined in the field – a meeting
to which interested persons from the community will be invited.
On the water side of operations, staff noted that water
consumption continues to creep upward from the same time last year;
however, consumption remains quite low by historic standards per the most
recent data presented in the Board binders.
Staff reminded the Board that the previous month the Board
considered a request for the removal of dangerous trees in the Evergreen
right of way near Larch Road. Staff and members of the Board’s Mesa
Septic, Flood Control and Roads Committee met in the field to assess the
site and a memo in the Board binders presents a recommended work plan.
The memo concurs that the requested tree removal should be done and directs
staff to obtain estimates for the work and then confer with neighbors about
how to pay for the work. PG&E should be approached to contribute
because power lines are threatened by the trees in question. Fire Chief
Tyrrell-Brown feels very strongly that the road width needs to be reestablished
at this location to permit the passage of fire engines and vehicles through
this critical access road. The memo further advocates the rebuilding
of the road itself (which is close to impassable) and installation of appropriate
drainage. Staff noted that the district may be able to secure
the delivery of ground asphalt from the planned resurfacing of Highway 1
around the lagoon; if so, this material would be very suitable to reestablish
Staff directed the Board’s attention to communications
from two customers concerning leaks that appear to have been caused by faulty
irrigation or other outdoor water features. Staff requested that the
Board determine if either of the customers is eligible for financial relief
pursuant to Resolution 553. After some discussion, the Board directed
staff to inform customer Rosenfeld that he is not eligible for financial
relief since the cause of the leak was a faulty irrigation control valve;
staff was further directed to inform customer Lalezari that he is potentially
eligible for leak relief since the leak at his property was not due to an
irrigation system failure, but rather a valve at an outdoor pond.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since
the previous Board meeting, including letters to customers regarding difficulty
accessing their meters and notices to customers that they are out of compliance
with the terms of their expanded water use permits. The Board also
reviewed three draft letters from staff to Mesa Park with invoices for payments
made on Mesa Park’s behalf by the BCPUD and gave comments to staff.
The Board reviewed documentation relating to the district’s
prepayment of certain outstanding debt for the purpose of reducing the burden
on the district’s customers to annually finance such debt. The Board
also reviewed a notice from the State Water Resources Control Board concerning
its intent to adopt statewide septic regulations; director Smith volunteered
to review the proposed regulations and report back to the Board.
Staff reported that a property owner in Bolinas offered
to donate property (located at the end of Maple Road on the east side of
the road) to the district; after a brief discussion, the Board instructed
staff to decline the offer.
On the wastewater side of operations, the district’s consultants are expected
to deliver their final report concerning the allegations made by neighboring
property owners that the district’s wastewater treatment plant was in violation
of its operational permit. In addition, spray season opened on April
15th ; fortunately, the district did not have to spray out of season this
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written
4. Community Expression.
Scott Finney expressed frustration with the County’s perceived lack of action
with regard to the deteriorating public roads in Bolinas (i.e., Wharf Road
(and the seawall), Olema-Bolinas Road, Terrace Avenue) and he urged the Board
to be more aggressive in demanding better services for the town’s tax dollars.
Director Smith assured Scott that the BCPUD Board and staff are and have
been working very hard to push several road improvement projects in town
and cultivate a productive relationship with the County. Scott disagreed
with this approach and said “we have to be annoying or they won’t do anything”.
Director Bender urged Scott to get more directly involved himself and to
urge fellow residents to get more directly involved in communicating with
the County on these topics – she noted that this direct community engagement
can be very effective with the County.
5. Request for Removal of Dangerous Trees in the Juniper
Road Right-of-Way between Elm and Ocean Parkway (P. Pratt).
The Board reviewed a letter submitted by Polla Pratt requesting the removal
of trees in the Juniper right-of-way near Ocean Parkway. After a brief
discussion, the Board directed staff to confirm whether the trees are in
the public right-of-way (or on private property) and to advise Polla that
an arborist report documenting the condition of the trees must be submitted.
6. Coastal Permit (CP11-11) and Tidelands Permit (TP11-1)
to legalize placement of riprap and install additional rip-rap in front of
seawall, APN# 193-142-15 (100 Brighton Avenue)
Director Siedman inquired whether anyone was present to discuss this permit
application; there was no one present so director Siedman instructed staff
that there is no district comment on this application.
7. Update on Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation
Project – Schedule Special Meeting of the BCPUD Board To Approve Notice
of Determination under CEQA and Approve Grant Amendment Documents.
Bob Cart noted that the public comment period for the Mesa Park Ballfield
Irrigation Project closes on April 21, 2011. He said that he previously
stated his concern to the BCPUD about the potential impact that the use of
the well to irrigate Mesa Park may have on the well that serves his property
(as well as the property of several neighbors). He acknowledged that
the BCPUD’s consulting hydrogeologist report states that if Mesa Park uses
no more than 15,000 gallons per day, there should be no impact on neighboring
wells. He further noted that Mesa Park has agreed to reduce and/or
stop its use of the well if there nonetheless is an impact on neighboring
wells. He requested that BCPUD be involved ensuring that the
water drawn from the well by Mesa Park will not exceed 15,000 gallons per
day and that Mesa Park will reduce/cease its use of the well in the event
of an impact on the neighboring wells.
Director Siedman suggested that the BCPUD impose these conditions via the
license agreement to be issued to Mesa Park for its use of the well.
Director Amoroso said that a meter can be installed at the well to monitor
daily draw. Discussion ensued about how to determine whether there
is a negative impact on either the quality or quantity of water at neighboring
wells from use of the Mesa Park well to irrigate the ballfields. The
Board directed staff to include an item on the May meeting agenda to discuss
the terms of the license agreement.
The Board then discussed possible dates for a special meeting to approve
the Notice of Determination under CEQA and agreed on April 27, 2011 at 11:00
8. Discuss Policy for BCPUD Board of Director’s Approval
of Legal Expenses.
Director Siedman stated that the Board has agreed to formulate a policy for
the approval of legal expenses. Director Amoroso suggested that the
new policy apply to all unbudgeted expenses requested or initiated by Board
members over a particular threshold amount. Discussion ensued as to
the appropriate threshold level with agreement reached on $300.00.
Staff requested that the policy exempt emergency expenditures and the Board
agreed. The Board directed staff to include an item on the May agenda
to approve a resolution setting forth the new policy.
9. Resolution 596: Awarding a Contract for the BCPUD
Office Building Accessibility Improvement Project to the Lowest Responsible
Staff reported that two bids were submitted and opened
on April 15, 2011 at noon for the BCPUD Office Building Accessibility Improvement
Project. One bid was submitted by Wildcat Engineering in Petaluma and
one bid was submitted by de Rutte Builders in Sebastapol. The lowest
bid was submitted by Wildcat Engineering; with all of the addenda alternates,
the total bid is $102,620. Staff recommended an award of contract to
Wildcat Engineering for the project, including all addenda alternates, subject
to staff checking the bidder’s references.
Director Smith suggested the use of linoleum instead of vinyl flooring in
the new bathroom. He further inquired whether the contractor would
be willing to use a local subcontractor for the office floor refinishing.
Staff agreed to ask the contractor.
K. Bender /D. Smith four in favor, director Kimball absent
to approve Resolution 596 and award a contractor for the
BCPUD Office Building Accessibility Improvement Project to Wildcat Engineering,
subject to a satisfactory check of references.
10. Resolution 597: Proposing An Election Be Held in its Jurisdiction
on November 8, 2011; 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
K. Bender/D. Smith four in favor, director
Kimball absent to approve Resolution
Scott Finney inquired whether the incumbents intend to run again for their
positions on the Board. Director Smith said he intends to run and director
Amoroso said he is “not making a commitment, but if I need to answer, I will
11. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso said
a significant meeting is scheduled for May 10th at the Bolinas School to
discuss the current status of the work planned for the Bolinas Lagoon restoration,
including plans for Gospel Flats and Kent Island.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Staff suggested that the
district request a planning consultation to discuss how to permit/implement
the Bolinas Downtown Parking Plan. Director Amoroso expressed strong
support for this suggestion.
-- Resource Recovery: The Board received a site inspection report for
the Resource Recovery Center.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Nothing further
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Nothing to report.
12. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Report on Draft Fiscal Year 2011-12 Budget; Approve Proposition
218 Notice to Customers re: Proposed Increases to Annual Water and Sewer
Staff reported that the proposed budget for Fiscal Year
2011-12 is $1,432,759, which is a 2% reduction in spending from the
current fiscal year; however, staff noted that a considerable portion of
last year’s budget was financed by reserves. Staff said the new budget
proposes increases to the annual water and sewer service charges for the
first time in three years to finance district operations as follows:
the proposed annual increase to the water charge is $136, bringing the annual
charge to $951 (a 16.7% increase) and the proposed annual increase to the
sewer charge is $102, bringing the annual charge to $952 (a 12% increase).
The Board reviewed a draft Proposition 218 notice explaining the proposed
increased charges and the reasons therefore. Director Bender suggested
a change in formatting to render the notice more visually readable.
Staff requested that any Board member wishing to suggest additional changes
to the notice submit any changes on or before April 25, 2011.
K. Bender/D. Smith four in favor, director
Kimball absent to approve the Proposition
218 Notice, subject to formatting revisions to render it more visually readable
and subject to any changes submitted by directors on or before April 25,
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Amoroso said that the topic of BCPUD
transferring ownership of the land currently leased to Mesa Park on Mesa
Road has been broached recently. In the past, there was opposition
to such a transfer because the school district appointed commissioners to
the Mesa Park board and it was thought that Stinson Beach residents therefore
might unduly influence these appointments. Now that the commissioners
are elected, this is no longer a concern. Director Amoroso said that
he previously opposed such a transfer due to concerns that Mesa Park might
not be financially viable. He said that times have since changed, and
as long as Mesa Park would agree not to encumber the property, he would be
willing to consider a land transfer. Director Bender asked whether
Mesa Park is interested in such a transfer and director Amoroso said he would
inquire at the next Mesa Park Board meeting.
-- Personnel: Director Siedman said that the district appears to have
successfully negotiated a new Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with district
staff and he requested that an item to approve the new MOU be included on
the Board’s May meeting agenda.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the March 16, 2011 Regular Meeting
Directors Amoroso and Smith offered certain clarifying corrections to the
K. Bender/D. Smith four in favor, director
Kimball absent to approve the minutes
of the March 16, 2011 regular meeting.
K. Bender/D. Smith four in favor, director
Kimball absent to approve the warrant
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
April 27, 2011 at 11: 00 – a Special Meeting of the Board
May 18, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. – a Regular Meeting of the Board