Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
May 16, 2007     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7: 34 p.m.

2.    Roll

    Directors Amoroso, Kimball, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.  Director McClellan arrived at 7:39 p.m.

3.    Manager’s Report
    Staff reported that consumption is already outpacing the ability of the district to produce treated water;  there has been a distinct spike in demand during the last two weeks.  Staff stated that without a voluntary conservation effort by the Bolinas community, it is inevitable that the district will not be able to produce sufficient water to service all customers through the summer and fall.  A fifth filter at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant has become a necessity and staff will recommend purchasing one for the district during the FY 2008-09 budget cycle.  On a related note, staff reported that the contract with Siemens Water Technologies has been negotiated and a final version is in the Board books; staff requested and received approval from the Board to sign the contract on behalf of the district.

     Board members expressed concern about the status of water supply for the district.  Director Kimball suggested mailing a water conservation notice to all customers as soon as possible; she also suggested contacting real estate agents and asking them to advise their rental property tenants of the need to conserve;  finally, she suggested contacting the local landscapers to underscore the need for drought-tolerant landscaping and regular monitoring of irrigation equipment.  The Board agreed and staff was directed to monitor the community response to the BCPUD conservation notice.  Director McClellan stated that he has been approached by community members about obtaining relief from quarterly metered water charges when a leak has occurred at a property, particularly in light of the newly revised rates.  After some discussion, it was agreed that any such relief should only be granted, if at all, pursuant to written criteria and that the Board should agendize the topic for public discussion at the June meeting.

    Staff reported a request from the Firehouse & Clinic Project; during routine flushing of the new water line to the Project building, debris was observed in the line that will service the sprinkler system at the Firehouse.  It is not unusual to experience debris in the line when a new service is installed; this is why the line is flushed.  However, Project personnel are concerned that debris could still be present and potentially clog the  sprinkler system.  BCPUD staff re-flushed the line and no debris was present, but the Project personnel and company representatives from the sprinkler manufacturer are unwilling to take any chances and plan to install a strainer. The Project’s plumbing subcontractor estimates the cost to install the strainer at $3,000.  The Project has asked if the BCPUD will contribute financially to the installation cost.   The directors discussed the issue and concluded that the district should not financially participate;  the water supplied by the district meets all applicable legal requirements and, if a strainer is needed for typical water conditions, then the sprinkler company should incorporate this into its system design.

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff continues to ready the sprayfields for spray season.  Various valves have been replaced and staff is in discussions with contractors to mow the east side of the sewer pond property.  Staff currently plans to commence spraying in June; due to lack of rain during the spring months, the spray season will be shorter this year.

    Staff noted that state regulators will soon announce the opening of the public comment period on the regulations implementing SB 885, the statewide septic standards law.  The draft regulations unfortunately have been extremely controversial (and poorly received across the board) and the BCPUD plans to monitor the process closely.

    Staff attended the regular May meeting of the ACWA/JPIA Board of Directors in Sacramento earlier in the month.  ACWA/JPIA is doing well financially;  it was announced that the workers compensation rates for the next fiscal year are expected to be reduced, perhaps by as much as 28 percent.  In addition, the organization is fully funded in its other programs and is refunding portions of premium payments to member districts as/when it is in a position to do so.

    The filing period for election 2007 is fast approaching;  for the two seats that will be contested for the BCPUD Board of Directors, the filing period is July 16 – August 10th; however, if both  incumbents do not file for reelection, the filing period will be extended until August 15th for non incumbents only.  In addition, August 10th is the last day to submit ballot wording; August 20th is the last day to submit ballot arguments and August 27th is the last day to submit rebuttal arguments.  Staff will post these dates and information about the election process in the Hearsay News.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting.  Director Don Smith noted the on-going correspondence between the BCPUD and the County over the site visit to the Moritz property to inspect the BCPUD lands in light of Cela O’Connor’s report to the Board in February.  Director Smith and Director Kimball expressed frustration with the lack of progress on conducting the site visit and speculated that Mr. Moritz might not be aware of the full extent of BCPUD concerns about the management of his property and the impact of the grazing on BCPUD lands; they both advocated direct communication between the BCPUD and Mr. Moritz, rather than attempting to communicate with his attorney and/or ranch manager.

    The Board discussed the on-going presence of a large boat in the Juniper Road right-of-way.  Staff reported on a conversation with the boat owner, who said he does not intend to move the boat until September because the ground it too wet for a crane and the owner plans to be in Ohio for the summer.  Staff told the owner that the Board likely would not be satisfied with this approach because of safety concerns about the boat.  Board members agreed that that it was not acceptable for the boat to remain in the public right-of-way and instructed staff to write a letter to the owner providing 30 days for the boat to be removed, citing the safety concerns, or the BCPUD will take appropriate action to have the boat removed.

--  Certificate  of Appreciation:      Kate Currey (for her 20 years for service to the BCPUD)
                                        Mike Aitken (for his on-going dedication to the RRP)

    Staff presented former BCPUD employee Kate Currey with a certificate of appreciation from the district for her 20 years of service and to Resource Recovery Project Mike Aitken for his on-going dedication to the RRP; the Board and community members also thanked Kate and Mike for their respective contributions.

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

    Director Don Smith apprised the Board of concerns he and director McClellan developed regarding the septic system proposals being developed for Woodacre by the TBWC;  however, after some research and conversations with TBWC consultants, the BCPUD directors are now comfortable that the appropriate due diligence and public process will be performed so that Woodacre residents are not unwittingly roped into an expensive and technologically suspect proposal.  Director Amoroso observed that it is important for the BCPUD to monitor such community efforts as a project in Woodacre could become the model for projects elsewhere in West Marin, including Bolinas. 

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Staff reported on the “kick-off” meeting earlier that day with the district’s outside hydrologist, Rob Gailey, during which a comprehensive set of drainage goals for the district was articulated.  Over the next seven weeks, staff will meet weekly with Mr. Gailey to produce a written report for the Board of Directors identifying potential projects and all impediments (financial, technical or regulatory) to completing them.
4.    Community Expression

    Cela O’Connor said that she is very concerned about the Countywide Plan update process insofar as county staff have not included the Local Coastal Plan protections for coastal resources in the draft plan.  Cela said that the County’s attorneys evidently have some sort of concern about including the LCP protections in the draft Countywide Plan, but have not publicly stated the nature of the concerns or provided any explanation thereof.  Cela reported that the Environmental Action Committee intends to write a letter questioning the process in this regard.  Director Siedman suggested that the BCPUD write a letter to County Counsel asking him to explain the legal concerns and the other directors concurred; staff was directed to draft an appropriate letter.

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that the BCPUD has submitted its reservation request for the California Solar Initiative rebate and that the school district already has submitted such a request.  The utility, fire and school districts are working together to potentially issue Clean Renewable Energy Bonds to finance solar installations for all three districts.

-- Beach:  Staff reported that Liza Crosse, aide to Supervisor Kinsey, has inquired about the status of the Beach Committee report.  Director Amoroso noted that the County sheriff has been aggressively enforcing the weekend no camping ordinance; in addition, the tides have been high, which makes it hard to camp.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Appointment of Amelia Straton.   Director Amoroso said that Amelia Straton owns the house across from the boat club and has taken an interest in community issues; she also has regularly been attending the committee meetings and he recommended that she be appointed to the committee.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to appoint Amelia Straton to the Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso observed that there is a committee meeting scheduled for the first week of June.

-- Community Paths Group:  Director Smith reported that the BCPUD has finally received an encroachment permit from the County for the bike path installation after waiting for one year for the permit to issue.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Update on Local Coastal Permit Application to Implement the Parking Plan.    Director Amoroso reported that the committee recently met and resolved to finalize its coastal permit application by incorporating an explanation of the parking alternatives the committee explored in arriving at its final recommendations.  This approach was suggested by Coastal Commission staff and the committee hopes it will satisfy the County in lieu of spending thousands of dollars on parking studies in Bolinas. 

-- Resource Recovery: Receive April Financial Report.  The Board received the April financial report;  there was nothing further to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Director Smith reported that the  repair subcommittee is working on a concept of  physically shifting Terrace Avenue inland across from Surfer’s Overlook; the County is involved and this process is proceeding well.  The other subcommittee (formed to address alternatives to Terrace Avenue) is stalled entirely because there seems to be no energy behind working on an alternate route.  Director Smith plans to follow up with Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown to discuss her concerns about alternative access.  Several Board members expressed frustration that a committee formed to perform a specific task is essentially failing to do its task; one director suggested the BCPUD consider writing to specific homeowners advising them that their properties could be permanently isolated in a disaster if an alternate access route is not established. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball distributed a packet of materials; the data shows that there is a very low presence of West Nile Virus in California this year, with no human cases and no activity at all in Marin County.  The WMMCCC has drafted a new working agreement; however, the Council has hit a snag with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District because the Council decided to limit the use of a new product the M&VCD would like to use in West Marin.  Director Kimball reminded those present that there currently is an open seat on the M&VCD Board of Directors; it is possible that the seat will become a West Marin seat and director Kimball has asked Supervisor Kinsey to appoint someone from West Marin to the seat in an interim basis.

6.    Request for Approval/Empire Waste Management:  Sale of Company and Assignment of Franchise Agreement with the BCPUD for Solid Waste, Recycling and Green Waste Services in Bolinas to the North Bay Corporation.

    Staff reported that representatives from Empire Waste Management and North Bay Corporation requested to defer the agenda item until the June meeting.  Staff met earlier in the day with these representatives, who provided some documentation regarding the sale of the company for the BCPUD’s consideration.  The current Franchise Agreement began in April 2003 and runs through June 30, 2013 and provides that BCPUD’s consent to any proposed assignment of the agreement must be obtained.  The company representatives told staff that no change to garbage service operations is anticipated as a result of the sale of company and no lay-offs of personnel working in Bolinas is planned at this time.

7.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application:  Jenkins, 72 Crescente

    The Board examined the permit application materials and, after some discussion, decided that it would be necessary to review the proposed building plans before making a decision on the expanded water use application.  Staff was directed to request the applicant to submit a set of building plans for the Board’s review at the June meeting.

8.    Report from the BCPUD Board of Directors’ Finance Committee Regarding the Draft 2007-2008 Budget.

    Director Kimball presented an overview of the draft budget and noted that there is no increase to water, sewer or septic/drainage charges this year.  The budget is very conservative with regard to its forecast on quarterly metered water delivery charges; it allocates funds for the much-needed conversion and retrofit of filters at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.  The budget reflects certain requests by staff during the Memorandum of Understanding negotiation process and  also reflects the anticipated costs of a new bookkeeper for the district.  Director Amoroso further noted that the $113,000 cost of the conversion and retrofit of the WWTP initially will be paid from reserves, subject to a 5-year repayment commitment to be implemented during future budget cycles.  Staff stated that the draft budget will be sent to all district customers for review, along with a conservation notice (as suggested earlier by Director Kimball) requesting an immediate reduction in water consumption.

9.    BCPUD Response to Marin County Grand Jury Report – Retiree Health Care Costs:  I Think I’m Gonna Be Sick (Report Date: March 19, 2007).

B. Kimball//D Smith    all in favor    to approve the BCPUD’s response to the Marin County Grand Jury report.

10.    Update on BCPUD Progress on an Ordinance Regulating Water Wells within the Boundaries of the District:  Approval of Well Permitting Agreement between BCPUD and EHS.

Director Siedman summarized the content of the Well Permitting Agreement between BCPUD and EHS; the agreement envisions that the BCPUD will act as a “go between” between applicants, the community and the County – BCPUD will not serve as a permitting agency, but rather provide notice and an opportunity to be heard to applicants and their neighbors.  BCPUD then will report any findings to EHS for its consideration in connection with the permitting process.   Director Kimball emphasized the need for the well permitting process to be a public process, like the coastal permit process is, so that neighbors have the opportunity to raise concerns. 

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the well permitting agreement between BCPUD and EHS

Director McClellan clarified that he was voting to approve the agreement “with reluctance” as it signifies the end of “laissez faire” in Bolinas.

11.    Resolution 548:  Approving Award of Sole Source Contract for Installation of the BCPUD Bike Path to Jim Jacobsen.

Director Smith offered certain clarifying revisions to Resolution 548.  He also reported that Jim Jacobsen has experienced increased costs of doing business and that community volunteers may be necessary to ensure that the bike path can be installed without exceeding the grant funds available.

J. McClellan/V. Amoroso    all in favor    approving Resolution 548, as amended by director Smith.

12.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Receive Third Quarter Financial Report.  The Board received the third quarter financial report without comment.  Staff recommended that the district retain Sandra Reinhardt, a CPA from San Rafael, to assist the district in revising its chart of accounts and transitioning its bookkeeping.  Pursuant to Ms. Reinhardt’s written proposal, the costs of this engagement are not to exceed $3,000.   
V. Amoroso; B. Kimball    all in favor    approving retainer for Sandra Reinhardt for certain accounting functions per her written proposal, in an amount not to exceed $3,000.

-- Legal:   Director Siedman reported that he has received a call from a local resident who said the Pacific Legal Foundation is trying to pass laws and amend the state constitution so that agencies that enact limitations on water use will be more vulnerable to a “takings” claim.  However, since the BCPUD’s water moratorium was based on a factual assessment of the available water supply (confirmed by a court-appointed Special Master), the legality of that decision was legally upheld against such a claim.  Director Amoroso commented that the BCPUD should keep an eye on the tax sales of unimproved lots and staff was directed to position the district on the County tax sales list.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Director Smith expressed concern about the BCPUD’s proposed ditching project on the west side of Evergreen; past policy has been for neighborhood groups to pay for ditching, with the district supplying only culverts for intersections.  He is concerned about setting a precedent for BCPUD financing of ditching projects and recommended that the district articulate criteria for when projects will be performed at district expense.  For example, perhaps the district should pay for ditching projects on neighborhood access roads, but not the other roads on the Gridded Mesa.  Staff noted that fiscal constraints must be taken into account, as with the hazardous tree removal policy – the district contributes to the extent practicable, once a professional determination has been made that at tree poses a public hazard.  Staff was directed to agendize the item for further discussion at the June meeting.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that the Downtown Site Committee continues to meet and discuss the design of the downtown park; a topographical map of the hillside has been done and a survey of the boundary line has been completed.  The Committee intends to hire a geotechnical engineer to advise the committee on soil stability and Ray Moritz is going to advise the committee on the health/safety of the hillside trees.   Director Siedman said that there is strong neighborhood opposition to installing electricity for amplified music in the park.  Discussion is on-going about whether to rehabilitate or tear down the duplex on the back of the property. 

-- Personnel:   Staff reported that the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the BCPUD directors and staff will be finalized and ready for approval at the June meeting.

-- Sewer:   Director Amoroso stated that eucalyptus containment is becoming more urgent on the property; it will soon be necessary to get advice with regard to removal of saplings. 

b.    Minutes of the April 18, 2007 Regular Meeting

Director Smith indicated that he had some revisions to the April minutes in the Alternative Energy Committee section.  Director Amoroso suggested the Board vote to approve the minutes, subject to corrections to be submitted by Director Smith;  the corrections should  be circulated and, if there is no further revision warranted, the minutes can then be deemed approved.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the April 18, 2007 meeting minutes, subject to revisions to be offered by Director Smith.

c.  Warrants

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

d.    Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

June 20, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.

13.    Adjournment

10:40 pm.