Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
April 21, 2010     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.

    Staff requested that the Board add an urgent item to the meeting agenda to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between the BCPUD, the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and the County of Marin concerning a geotechnical evaluation of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  The County of Marin unexpectedly was able to approve the MOU today and, if the BCPUD Board is able to approve the MOU this evening, the BFPD can do so next Monday at its regularly scheduled meeting.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        all in favor    to add agenda item 9a to approve the MOU between the County of Marin, the BCPUD and the BFPD.

3.    Manager’s Report.

    Staff reported that consumption in the district remains below average, even when compared to this same time last year, when mandatory rationing was in effect.  An extended rainy season such as the district has experienced this year has a tremendous impact on consumption as customers defer outdoor landscape irrigation.  The Arroyo Hondo Creek is flowing well, although staff did find a freshly killed deer on the creek access road, the apparent victim of a mountain lion.  Staff also discovered a dead deer on the Woodrat #1 dam, which likely similarly was killed by a mountain lion and dragged to the dam site by coyotes.

    The operations staff continues to experience problems with one of the air compressors at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.  Despite numerous repair attempts, the compressor continues to leak oil and is not working properly.  In addition, the microprocessors on the filter control panels have been damaged, evidently by surges in power coming into the plant.  The district’s technician has recommended the installation of a device that is essentially a specialized surge protector; staff is pursuing this solution.  The aeration pilot plant which the district is running to try and reduce the levels of chlorine disinfection byproducts in treated water is up and running; the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) has approved the district’s proposed plan and the district will be reporting quarterly on its progress to the CDPH.

    As for pending projects, staff is developing a fire hydrant replacement plan and a distribution pipeline replacement plan per the request of the Board’s Finance Committee.  Staff also is finalizing the details of the Horseshoe Hill water main extension project.  A Notice of Completion has been recorded for the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Valve Station reconstruction project and a Notice of Exemption was filed for the hazardous tree removal project at the Resource Recovery Project site; that project subsequently was completed.  The replacement of the Brighton Beach gate will soon be underway; Rich Peterson provided the lowest bid to remove the gate and the new gate will be fabricated and installed.

    Staff will attend the annual ACWA/JPIA conference in Monterey from May 3rd – May 4th.

    On the wastewater side of operations, spray season opened on April 15th; however, the district has no immediate plans to spray given the ongoing rainy conditions.  The second pump has been reinstalled at the lift station (it was repaired under warranty, but the district incurred costs on removing and reinstalling the pump).  It is now operating well, so the district has full redundancy back in the system.

    The district experienced a small spill from the sewer collection system last month on Terrace Avenue; on March 25, 2010, less than 125 gallons spilled as a result of a blockage in a manhole.  The spill was reported to the district by an observant community member within minutes and it was fully redressed and cleaned up within 45 minutes.  Staff reported the spill within two hours to the Office of Emergency Services, Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Water Resources Control Board and the County’s Environmental Health Services department.  Staff has scheduled a full staff meeting to evaluate the district’s spill response on May 10th.  Staff also is working on the final sections of the district’s Sewer System Management Plan; the deadline to complete these sections is August 2, 2010 and drafts will be presented to the Board for its review at the regularly scheduled June and July meetings.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including a letter from the Bolinas Rod & Boat Club to Bob Beaumont at the County’s Department of Public Works and an e-mail from Liza Crosse, aide to Supervisor Steve Kinsey, concerning the County’s approval of the full-time camping ban at Bolinas Beach.  The first reading of the new ordinance occurred on April 20th and the second reading is scheduled for May 4th; director Kimball will attend to represent the district as staff will be out of town at the ACWA/JPIA conference. 

-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of the BCPUD Building.
The district’s structural engineer has reviewed the construction drawings and a final set of construction documents is being prepared.  Staff hopes to have the project out to bid in late May or early June.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.

    Director Amoroso inquired about the status of the County bike path and the anticipated schedule for its completion.  Staff reported that per discussions with the County road crew, the sidewalk in front of the school is planned for installation next week and the crew continues to research appropriate plantings for the median strip between the road and the path (likely some sort of low grasses).  Unfortunately, the crew has not found a product to colorize the asphalt; moreover, there are no plans to repave Olema-Bolinas Road, despite its deplorable condition.

    Director Amoroso expressed concern about the lack of progress on planting the median and the difficulty with coloring the asphalt; he said the path as installed to-date is not what the community approved.  Director Smith said that the County crew identified a slurry product to color the path, but they have learned that over time it sheds sand and lots of loose sand can be dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians.  He said that the plantings will provide a nice aesthetic barrier between the road and path and that the path itself will look better, even if not colored, as it grays out over time. 

4.    Community Expression.


5.    Right-of-Way Permit Application:  Add 4 inches of road base to existing gravel road and install 10 foot by 10 foot asphalt apron at intersection with Cherry Road - 35 Queen Road (Meese)

    Director Siedman summarized the project proposal to resurface Queen Road with gravel road base and install an asphalt apron at the intersection with Cherry Road; he inquired whether the neighbors have been contacted.  Richard Meese, the project proponent, was present and said that he has contacted all affected neighbors and there is no opposition to the project.  Director Kimball noted that the Drainage Project Manager has reviewed the project and approves of it. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the right-of-way permit application.

6.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 140 Juniper (Stein).

    The Steins were present and explained that their daughter inadvertently left a water line on when leaving their home several weeks ago; the resulting water loss flooded the yard.  The daughter was distracted by her small children when leaving the property and she did not realize that she did not close the valve to the water line all the way and left the hose running.  The Steins were unaware of what had happened until the local cleaning company called to say they could not access the house due to standing water in the front yard.  Staff commented that the water loss occurred during the present quarter and there is no data yet available as to the amount of water lost.  Director Kimball said that in all prior instances when customers have requested financial relief on a water bill where a hose had been left running (unbeknownst to the homeowner at the time), the Board approved a reduction of 50% of the water loss attributable to the leak.  Director Amoroso said the Board could apply that same reasoning here, and ratify the express amount of financial relief at the next meeting.
    Director Smith said he was not sure this was “excusable neglect” as required by BCPUD Resolution 553.  He noted that the daughter knew what to do insofar as shutting off the water when leaving the property, but simply did not do so properly. 

V. Amoroso/K. Bender        four in favor, Smith opposed        to reduce the water bill by an amount equal to 50% of the water loss attributable to the leak. 

    Staff was directed to report to the Board on the details of the financial relief at the May meeting.

7.      Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 42 Wharf Road (Setrakian).

    This item was deferred until such time as the customers present more information about the water loss.

8.   Certificates of Compliance Applications:  Application 10-0071 -- a portion of 193-133-37 (1.51 acres - a portion of old 193-131-05), 1 Spring Avenue, Bolinas; Application 10-0072 – a portion of 193-133-37 (0.56 acres - old 193-131-06), 5 Spring Road, Bolinas; Application 10-0073 – a portion of 193-133-37 (1.57 acres - old 193-131-07), 40 Spring Road, Bolinas; and, Application 10-0074 – a portion of 193-133-37 (2.49 acres -- old 193-131-08 and -09), 50 Marin Way, Bolinas (Whamond)

Director Kimball observed that the applicant has submitted four certificate of compliance applications, each one evidently asking the County to determine that separate parcels were created many years ago, yet the applicable zoning laws specify a 10 acre minimum lot size.  Director Smith said the applicant apparently contends that the smaller parcels were created before the zoning laws mandated a 10 acre minimum lot size and therefore should be considered separate lots.  Director Kimball noted that this is an issue for determination by the County as the BCPUD does not have the authority with regard to land use matters; however, she noted that there is no demonstrated water source at the property and this should be noted in comments to the County.  Director Amoroso said that if the parcels in question were consolidated for purposes of the open space easement, the applicant may not have a right to “re” split the lots. 

    Burr Heneman noted that complicated legal issues are involved in these certificates of compliance applications; he noted further that extensive clearing is occurring on the property, ostensibly as fire protection, and that the County should be resolute in enforcing the open space easement protections.  A neighboring property owner said that he did not understand the certificate of compliance applications, which appear to raise complicated legal issues, but that the neighbors prefer to see the land maintained as open space; he noted that there are trails across the property that have been used by the public for decades and likely constitute public easements at this point.  Burr Heneman said the current clearing of the property combined with the certificate of compliance applications suggest the property owner plans to develop the property or market it as developable property.  Rudi Ferris expressed additional concern about the vegetation clearing underway at this property; he said that native vegetation (live oak) is being cut and hillsides are being cleared, but eucalyptus and dead wood are left on the property and this poses a significant fire danger.  Rudi noted that the property owner has submitted an agricultural plan for the property, but the County has not approved it, so the clearing work seems to be going on with no approved purpose. 

    Director Siedman directed staff to send a letter to the County relating the comments expressed during the meeting.

9.   Resolution 589: Removing Former Director Jack McClellan as a Signatory on Behalf of the District with the Bank of Marin and Authorizing Director Kimberly Bender as a Signatory on Behalf of the District with the Bank of Marin.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball     all in favor    to approve Resolution 589.

9a.    Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Marin, the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District

Director Siedman summarized the background pertaining to the Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Marin, the BCPUD and the BFPD concerning geotechnical services to assess conditions at Surfer’s Overlook on Terrace Avenue.  The execution of this memorandum is a necessary step to the County’s release of funds and the memorandum has been approved by the “working group” of Bolinas representatives from both BCPUD and BFPD.

B. Kimball/K. Bender    all in favor    to approve the Memorandum of Understanding.

10.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  JLB talking with planners

-- Resource Recovery:  Staff reported that the hazardous tree removal project has been completed.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Nothing further to report.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council will meet in early May and that the West Nile Virus Task Force will meet in June.

11.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Draft FY 2010-2011 Budget; Discuss Process for Allocating Excess Funds.

Staff presented the draft FY 2010-2011 operating budget for the district.  Staff noted that the Finance Committee is recommending that the district not increase any of its annual charges this year, but rather use a portion of the proceeds of the district’s sale of its Pine Gulch Creek property to the National Park Service to fund the revenue shortfall posed by increasing operational costs and several planned distribution system and other improvement projects.  Director Kimball clarified that some of the projects will be paid for via the district’s reserve funds (which have been steadily built up for this purpose) and additional work will be funded from the property sale proceeds; she noted further that the issue of how the district will invest the bulk of the property sale proceeds and overall approach to the expenditure of these funds (and how to authorize the expenditure of the funds) remains to be decided by the full Board.

    Director Bender said that she favors the establishment of predictable increases in annual charges for customers rather than a year-by-year decision-making process; she said this approach is more consistent for customers and allows the district to conduct long-range planning.  Discussion ensued on this topic, with several directors expressing interest in this approach.  Director Smith noted that any shortfall in revenue could still be funded via reserves rather than additional annual service charge increases.

    The Board discussed the process by which it will decide on the district’s investment strategy and controls/restrictions on the expenditure of reserve funds.  After some discussion, the Board decided to hold a special meeting to discuss only these issues.  Board members agreed to forward their thoughts and suggestions to staff beforehand; a date for the special meeting will be decided upon at the Board’s regular monthly meeting in May.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that he met with staff, Ralph Camiccia and consulting hydro-geologist Rob Gailey to discuss the work needed to update the environmental work applicable to the Mesa Park irrigation project (due to the change in water source to the irrigation well, rather than reclaimed water from the district’s sewer ponds), which is required in connection with Mesa Park’s request to amend its grant from the state.  Rob Gailey has been retained by Mesa Park to analyze any foreseeable impact on nearby wells and produce a written report for submission to the California Department of Parks and Recreation.  On a separate topic, director Siedman further reported that the bidding period for the water meter currently for sale by Mesa Park has been extended to May 15, 2010.  Mesa Park also has completed its Local Coastal Permit application for the development of the Downtown Park. 

-- Personnel:  Approve BCPUD’s Updated Illness & Injury Prevention Program.  Staff presented the district’s updated Illness & Injury Prevention Program, which is based on state law and on model documents provided by the district’s insurance authority, ACWA/JPIA.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the district’s updated Illness & Injury Prevention Program.

Director Kimball thanked Safety Coordinator Lewie Likover for his contributions to the updated program.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the March 17, 2010 Regular Meeting

Director Amoroso offered a revision to item 14 in the draft minutes.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the minutes of the March 17, 2010 regular meeting.

c. Warrants

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

May 19, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

12.  Adjournment.

    9:27 p.m.