Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
May 17, 2006     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.    Call to Order

    8:00 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Manager’s Report

Staff reported that another quarterly notice regarding chlorine disinfection byproduct exceedance in the BCPUD water will be mailed to customers on May 18, 2006;  although the TTHM levels in the water remains fairly constant, the district experienced a spike in HAA5 levels in the most recently reported results, probably attributable to the organics in the surface water from the winter storms.  Customers also received a Proposition 218 mailing from the BCPUD on May 4, 2006, notifying them of potential increases in services charges for water, sewer and septic/drainage to be levied in connection with the district’s adoption of its FY 2006-2007 budget;  a public hearing will be held on the proposed budget during the Board’s regular meeting on June 21, 2006.

Staff reported that the BCPUD received the final Working Agreement from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (”M&VCD”), executed by General Manager Jim Wanderscheid.  With some ceremony, BCPUD Board President Jack Siedman executed the agreement on behalf of the BCPUD.    The Board also approved a letter of thanks to the M&VCD prepared by staff to express the BCPUD’s appreciation for the M&VCD’s contribution toward the recent ditching project at the sewer pond property.

Staff noted that an amended disaster assistance “List of Projects” has been sent to the California Office of Emergency Services (“OES”) for the contemplated repairs to the Arroyo Honda road and upper reservoir, necessitated by the New Year’s eve storms.  The OES has advised staff that it may be as long as 13 weeks from receipt of the BCPUD’s early April disaster assistance application until BCPUD is notified whether it will receive emergency funds because the district’s application is deemed to be a “large project” (e.g., over $57,500).

With respect to current operations, staff reported that the district is on external feed from the Arroyo Honda watershed as of May 1, 2006 and that the repair to the broken valve from the Arroyo Honda into the treatment plant went well.  Field staff performed a leak repair on Alder Road this week, again using the recently purchased leak detection equipment with great success.  Staff currently is planning a pipeline replacement project on Fern Road between Ocean Parkway and Alder, which staff hopes to commence in June.  Homeowners will be notified in advance and requested to remove obstructions in the right of way.   On the sewer side of operations, staff is preparing the spray fields for spray season by removing brush, mowing fields and replacing sprinkler heads;  in addition, staff is conducting debris clean-up subsequent to the ditching project with the M&VCD.  In general, the spray fields are drying out quickly due to the recent extended sunny and windy weather. 

    Staff reported on the recent ACWA/JPIA Spring conference on May 8th-9th  in Monterey, which was very interesting and informative.  It was announced that the member agencies’ workers compensation rates are scheduled to decrease by ten percent for the next fiscal year.      Finally, staff updated the Board on correspondence sent and correspondence received by the district since the last regular meeting of the Board.

      -- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

    Lewie Likover updated the Board with regard to his recent meetings with various individuals and neighborhood groups who are planning drainage projects during the summer dry season and his goals for the next month.   Lewie also provided assistance to technicians from Marin County’s Stormwater Management Program with regard to a mapping and stormwater assessment they are performing pursuant to a mandate from the State Water Quality Control Board;  the County is seeking an exception from the “no discharge” rules applicable to Areas of Special Biological Significance, such as Duxbury Reef.    Lewie also is in the process of further researching possible surveyors for the fire hydrant elevation project and recently purchased a laser lever with grade capability – he plans to use it to determine elevations, to shoot the culverts on Overlook, to determine elevations in the Larch right-of-way and shoot culverts on Aspen.

4.    Community Expression

Director Amoroso noted that a meeting regarding the Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee was upcoming and requested that the BCPUD include on its regular agenda an item to report on the activities of this committee.  Director Amoroso said that the study on “what if we do nothing?” has been completed and Phil Williams Engineering concluded that the lagoon likely would not be closed off, but there would be a significant rebalancing of ecological system.  Director Amoroso feels that BCPUD should do something at some point – including but not limited to raising the need to study “what if we open the Seadrift Lagoon?” 

Cela O’Connor thanked the Board for its anticipated action later in the evening to pass Resolution 531 and accept the Offers to Dedicate on Brighton Beach.

Director Kimball reported that she has been contacted by several townspeople inquiring about the water pouring across Terrace Avenue near Surfer’s Overlook;  several people have commented that “it looks toxic” because it is a rusty color.  Director Kimball said district staff has confirmed that this is not a leak but rather a long-standing spring in the vicinity. 

Alethea Patton commented that, after the success of AmeriCorps, BCPUD may want to consider a “summer job program” for the youth in town.

Staff reported a call from Ben Stone, who lives at the corner of Overlook and Terrace Avenues, inquiring about next steps for the situation on Terrace Avenue. 

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Beach:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Andy Blake reported that the Committee had a preliminary meeting and has scheduled a follow-up meeting to occur after Chair Meg Simonds obtains extra copies of the Bolinas Community Plan and the Bolinas Gridded Mesa Plan for all committee members.

-- Community Paths Group:  Don Smith said that there are unresolved issues about the proposed contract with Jim Jacobson and whether the BCPUD can sole-source with his firm to install the bike path, rather than open the project to competitive bidding.  In addition, staff is investigating whether prevailing wage rules apply to the project, which could affect the project budget.   Director Siedman noted that the County Counsel’s office may be able to provide assistance.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Director Amoroso reported that the Committee met on May 15th with the County’s new traffic engineer, Amanuel Haile, and Lt. Scott Anderson from the County Sheriff’s office.  Mr. Haile is very supportive of the proposed plan and pledged his assistance as necessary with the permit process.

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Committee:  Director Kimball noted that in light of Director Siedman’s execution of the Working Agreement earlier in the evening, the BCPUD now has a signed agreement with the M&VCD.  She said the Committee has one piece of unfinished business: namely, the outstanding Public Records Act request.  She reported that Jim Wanderscheid has been apprised that the BCPUD will be sending an amended request and that Committee members we will go examine M&VCD records;  as soon as that process is completed, the Committee will be dissolved.  The West Marin Mosquito Control Council had its first meeting on May 8th and has scheduled it next meeting for July 10th. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force:  Director Kimball reported that the Task Force met on May 15th;  thus far, there are 19 reported positive dead birds in the state and one county has reported positive mosquito pools.  It is early in the season and preventative action is very important.  The Marin Independent Journal recently offered space on its editorial page for an article on preventative measures and Director Kimball authored an article that was printed on May 16th.   Director Kimball noted that the majority of the discussion at the May 15th Task Force meeting was whether the task force should merge with the Avian Influenza Task Force;  it was decided to defer any merger until 2007, to clarify the need to comply with the Brown Act.

-- Resource Recovery:  The Board received the Resource Recovery April financial report.

6.    Mohn/Gade Expanded Water Use Permit – 550 Overlook Drive, Bolinas  APN: 192-061-10.

Director Siedman noted that Alethea Patton of Peacock Designs has submitted an expanded water use permit application on behalf of Anna Mohn Gade, as well as a request for a waiver from the County of its requirement for a drip irrigation system.  Director Amoroso said that since the proposed new residence is a larger structure, any permit granted should be a conditional permit based on average household usage in the district’s system, or average household usage plus 50%.   After some discussion of the matter, Alethea noted that the applicant would be perfectly happy with a conditional permit granting average household usage.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith        all in favor    to conditionally approve the Mohn/Gade expanded water use permit application, with a restriction on usage of the current system average.

Director Smith expressed a concern that as residents engage in building projects,  water usage tends to increase over time and the “current system average” may creep up;  if so, the district will  face a water supply problem.  He suggested that the Board consider freezing the system average at current rates.  Director Amoroso said that he would like to review the history of water usage in the district over time before agreeing to a freeze on the current system average.  Director Kimball said that she is very interested in conducting a study to determine the factors driving water usage and whether it is, in fact, increasing.  After some discussion, it was agreed that staff will gather the necessary data for the Board’s evaluation. 

Director Siedman observed that Alethea also is seeking support from the BCPUD for her client’s request for a waiver from the County’s drip irrigation system requirement for the proposed landscaping at the new residence.  Alethea pointed out that the proposed planting is all native vegetation that is extremely drought tolerant;  a drip irrigation system therefore is not necessary and may even encourage increased water usage.  She noted that the BCPUD previously supported Robert Ekedahl’s request for a similar waiver from the County drip irrigation requirement.  Director Amoroso noted that a subsequent homeowner might remove the native landscaping and seek to plant less drought resistant plants;  staff noted that the conditional permit will place a firm limit on water usage in that event.

D. Smith/B. Kimball        all in favor    to write to the County in support of the Mohn/Gade request for a waiver from the drip irrigation system requirement and note that water usage at the property site will be closely monitored for compliance with the terms of the conditional expanded water use permit.

7.    Firehouse & Clinic Project:  PG&E Transformer #0243 Upgrade and Mesa Park Easement;  Memorandum of Understanding with BCPUD regarding Connection to Sewer System.

Kim Bender explained that there is an existing transformer on the rear of the property which currently serves only the Mesa Park pump house.  The Firehouse & Clinic Project will benefit by paying PG&E to upgrade the transformer, but it will be necessary to grant PG&E an access easement of 3 feet in width from Mesa Road to the transformer for servicing purposes.  Mesa Park does not object to the easement; since BCPUD is the title holder to the property, Kim is seeking BCPUD’s consent to approve the easement. 

D. Smith/J. McClellan        four in favor, one abstention (Siedman)    to grant the requested easement to PG&E.

    With regard to the Memorandum of Understanding between the BCPUD and the Firehouse & Clinic Project, staff provided an update of a meeting with Kim Bender and stated that a draft MOU should be available for the Board’s review at the next regular meeting.
8.    Presentation of Proposed Ranch Management Plan -- Moritz Stream Conservation Area Stewardship Plan - 875 (formerly 5675) Horseshoe Hill Road (A.P. No. 189-090-03) (former Vierra Ranch).

Cela O’Connor submitted a letter encouraging the BCPUD Board to prohibit grazing altogether within the entirety of the 100 foot Stream Conservation Area (“SCA”).  Cela said that a 30 foot “buffer zone” within which grazing is prohibited is insufficient and will not allow for the maximum recovery of riparian vegetation or  restoration of endangered species.  She observed that this “is not a hardship case; it is a hobby farm.”   Cela urged the BCPUD to utilize its rights as the underlying property owner and protector of the fishery to insist upon the protections of the full 100 foot SCA. 

Bobby Heffelfinger responded that the matter already has been decided by the County and that the Moritz family is consulting with BCPUD as a courtesy.  He noted that a site visit had been conducted with BCPUD, the County creek naturalist, and the National Park Service hydrologist and that the Moritz have fashioned a fencing plan to meet the specifications of all concerned.  Director Kimball agreed that the site visit had been productive, but noted that it was held on the understanding that the Moritz’ intended to use moveable electrical fencing; now, however, the proposal has been changed to propose permanent fencing.  She said that she would like to see stakes for the proposed fence line before consenting to the new approach.  She also noted that the National Park Service actively is looking for funding to purchase the BCPUD property and that the placement of the fence could be significant.  Finally, she said that BCPUD should conduct regular monitoring of any fence that is installed, as long as BCPUD remains the owner of the underlying property. 

In response to questions from members of the public regarding the potential eastward movement of Pine Gulch Creek, Bobby Heffelfinger said that he plans to include moveable electrical fencing within the permanent boundary fencing to ensure that the cattle stay out of the riparian zone.  He also noted that in some places, the fence will be 60-70 feet from the top of the creek bank (due to the economies of scale of building the fence in as straight a line as possible).   With regard to Director Kimball’s request to inspect stakes for the proposed fence line, Bobby said that he was not in a position to grant permission for such an inspection; he also said he thought that agreement generally had been reached at the March 15th site visit as to where the fence will be.  Director Kimball said that was true, when the understanding was that the Moritz’s intended to use moveable, electrical fencing—now, however, as she noted previously, the plan has been changed to permanent fencing and she feels the BCPUD Board should see exactly where it is proposed to go.

Cela O’Connor again urged the Board to consider that a fence set at 30 feet from the top of creekbank will do nothing to protect the remaining 70 feet of the SCA.  She said that the BCPUD must do whatever it can to protect the fishery and it should not listen to MALT or others who accept the 30 foot buffer zone.  Director Smith agreed that he would like to see the fence at 100 feet from the creekbank, but that the Board of Supervisors made a decision to permit grazing up to 30 feet from the top of creekbank (so long as other conditions regarding runoff, etc, are met) and it is his understanding that the BCPUD cannot change this.  Cela said that decision was made before coho salmon were listed.

    Director Siedman told Bobby Heffelfinger that the Board has requested that he erect “story poles” for the proposed fence line for the BCPUD’s inspection.  Directors Kimball and Smith were delegated to conduct the inspection and the matter will be placed on the Board’s next monthly agenda.  He emphasized that the BCPUD will not approve the fencing proposal until it has inspected and approved of the proposed fence line. Staff was instructed to write a letter to Moritz attorney Doug Ferguson, apprising him of the BCPUD’s requests in these regards.   Bobby responded that he believes the Mortiz family has done what the County required—namely, to consult with the BCPUD.  The consultation has occurred;  Michael Moritz and Doug Ferguson need to make the next decisions.  Don Smith asked what the purpose of any consultation is if there is not “give and take”.   Staff reminded the Board the County planner has placed a hold on the final inspection pending BCPUD approval of the SCASP process. 

9.    Bolinas Community Land Trust Request for Sewer Discharge Permit.

    Gail Reitano, Executive Director of the Bolinas Community Land Trust (“BCLT”) requested that the Board issue a discharge permit to the BCLT to allow the BCLT to discharge treated groundwater into the district’s sewer system to facilitate (and lower costs relating to) the on-going clean-up of the former garage site.  She reminded the Board that the BCPUD previously issued such a permit to the former owner of the garage in 2000; water is pumped out of the ground, treated via a carbon filtration process to remove all hydrocarbons and other contaminants, and then discharged into the sewer system.  Staff confirmed that a Groundwater Discharge Permit was issued on January 31, 2000 as part of the coastal permit process for the garage rehabilitation;  Ben Wells ran the project (a portable groundwater remediation system) and BCPUD assessed a fee of 3 cents per gallon discharged.  Gail said that the BCLT anticipates discharging approximately 60,000 gallons (at a rate of 1,500 per day) of remediated water pursuant to a clean-up plan that has been approved by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.  Discussion ensued regarding the extent of the groundwater clean-up process and need for verifiable lab testing; the reasons for discharging into the sewer system rather than the storm drains; past precedent for assessing fees for similar permits; the need to obtain RWQCB approval for the discharge; and the current capacity of the sewer system to accept the volume of anticipated discharge.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith        4 in favor (J. McClellan opposed)        to grant the requested discharge permit to the BCLT subject to the following four conditions:  that the RWQCB approve the discharge into the BCPUD sewer system; that the system have the demonstrated capacity to accept the anticipated volume of remediated groundwater; that BCPUD staff  impose the appropriate lab testing requirements; and that a fee of $3 per 100 gallons discharged be assessed to the BCLT.

10.  BCPUD Road Maintenance and Improvements Projects:  Permit Requirements; Contractor Performance; Appropriate Materials, Speed Bumps and related issues.

Director Smith explained that the Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads Committee recently met with BCPUD staff to discuss the need to better inform the community about the BCPUD requirements applicable to drainage, road maintenance and improvement projects.  In particular, it is very important for community members to provide at least 48 hours notice to BCPUD of any roadwork, even the simple filling of potholes, so that staff can mark water valves and keep them accessible; as well as 48 hours notice to the Underground Service Alert (which is required by law) in the event and digging or ditching work is contemplated .  Director Smith also said there appears to be a need for BCPUD to set policy with regard to the installation of speed bumps on the BCPUD rights of way:  the Fire Department is opposed to speed bumps because they impair emergency vehicle access and response times, but some neighborhoods want to install speed bumps.

Director Smith said that as a result of the meeting with BCPUD staff,  the Committee essentially has 4 recommendations and would like to solicit comment and feedback from the community on them as follows:  (1) update the Bolinas Traffic Plan to reflect actual conditions and the public health and safety needs to maintain certain access roads; (2)  educate the public via the BPUD Pipeline, the Hearsay News and other means regarding the existing requirements set forth in BCPUD Ordinance No. 30 applicable to work in the BCPUD rights of way; (3) formulate policy regarding the financial responsibility for road maintenance; and (4) clarify how much of the actual rights of way need to be kept clear of obstructions and encroachments (most BCPUD rights of way on the Gridded Mesa are 40 feet wide, although some are 60 feet).   Director Amoroso commented that the Traffic Plan was formulated via a committee process and intended to be part of the Bolinas Community Plan, so it is not necessarily a simple process to amend it.  Discussion ensued among directors and members of the audience about the present extent of encroachments and obstructions in the BCPUD rights of way on the Gridded Mesa, which all present seem to agree is extensive, and the advisability (or lack thereof) of speed bumps—several people expressed the view that the potholes are sufficient to slow traffic.  Others commented that neighborhoods often consciously decide not to improve the rights of way in their area because they do not want the increased traffic which always seems to come when roads are improved.  After much discussion, President Siedman directed that the Committee consider possible amendments to the Roads Ordinance and instructed staff to include a specific item to this effect for discussion on next month’s regular Board agenda.

11.    West Poplar Road Maintenance Group:  Road Maintenance/Repair/Improvement Permit Application (affects Poplar Road, Yucca Road, Ocean Parkway South, and Kale Road).

President Siedman recused himself as a director from discussion on this item and moved to the audience.  Vice-President Amoroso presided over the discussion.

    Andy Blake said that he has submitted a written proposal to grade and crown the roads from Alder at Kale, from Kale to Poplar, from Poplar to Yucca, and down one block from Yucca to Ocean Parkway South; to install ditches on each side of these roads; and to install multiple culverts.  He noted that Jack Siedman at a prior meeting requested that he survey affected homeowners to determine the extent of neighborhood support for the project.  Andy therefore sent out 23 postcards to neighborhood property owners and received 11 responses; only one property owner opposed the project.  Of the 12 who did not respond, Andy successfully contacted five of them who support the project; the views of the rest are unknown.  Andy feels he has neighborhood support for all of the project with the exception of Kale Road.  In response to a question from director Smith, Andy said he does not currently have sufficient funds contributed from property owners to do the project because of the emergency pothole-repair work required as a result of the extensive winter rains.  He is hoping that the Park Service will contribute to the work;  for example, it would be helpful if the Park Service would remove the spoils that will be left after the project is completed.

Jack Siedman stated that he wished to speak to the Kale Road portion of Andy’s application because he has spoken with several residents of Kale Road who do not wish to see Kale Road crowned with ditches on both sides;  rather, they prefer that the road be slanted to the west with a ditch on the west side of the road only.   These residents are concerned that unless the entire right of way (40 feet) is utilized (currently not possible due to fences and other obstructions), folks might drive into ditches when garbage trucks or other large vehicles approach from the other direction. 

Andy responded that he did not propose a slanted road because, in his opinion, this design does not work well.  He noted that most of the Poplar Road Group maintenance money is spent on maintaining the steep section of Kale and that water currently runs across the road in heavy weather, further accelerating deterioration of the road.  However, Andy said that due to the lack of funds for the project at present, he agrees that a realistic approach is to follow Jack’s suggestion:  in other words, improve the pitch of the road and the condition of the existing ditch on Kale, and then proceed with the Poplar and Yucca portions of the proposed project, which have complete neighborhood support.  Andy reminded the Board that his proposal also includes a request for BCPUD contribution of three culverts:  one at the intersection of Poplar and Ivy, one at the intersection of Poplar and Locust, and one at the intersection of Yucca and Ocean Parkway South.

B. Kimball/ D. Smith         4 in favor (Siedman abstaining)    to approve revised road maintenance and improvement permit application, subject to the approval of the BCPUD Drainage Project Manager and the Board’s Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads Committee.

12.    Resolution 531:  Accepts Offers to Dedicate Public Recreational Easements

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to accept Offers to Dedicate Public Recreational Easements on Brighton Beach.

13.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Staff recommended consideration of a possible summer hire to assist the field staff with upcoming pipeline replacement and other projects. 

-- Legal:  Authorize Legal Committee to retain legal counsel for advice as to Marin County’s responsibility to repair or reroute Terrace Ave.

Director Siedman stated that the County is refusing to fix Terrace Avenue at Overlook, where the road is rapidly deteriorating as a result of the New Year’s Eve storms.  Can the County so refuse?  Does or does not the County have an obligation to fix or reroute the road?  Director Siedman said that County personnel have said they will not fix the road because such a repair would cost millions of dollars and would not be worthwhile given all of the other problems on more widely traveled County roads.  Director Siedman said this is not acceptable:  if the road goes, the community needs an alternative route off the Mesa.  Director Smith agreed and said he has been in discussions with Bob Beaumont of the County’s Department of Public Works; thus far, however, those discussions have not been encouraging.  After further discussion, the Board directed the Legal Committee to locate and retain an attorney to advise the BCPUD on the County’s legal responsibility to repair or reroute Terrace Avenue.

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

-- Operations:    Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Acceptance of Redesign of Sewage Lift Station:

Director Siedman explained that the Firehouse & Clinic Project has decided to proceed with a re-design of the sewer lift station per a proposal by B&W Plumbing which will save the Project a considerable amount of money.  The Mesa Park Board has approved the proposed re-design;  the Project now seeks BCPUD approval as the property owner of the site.  Kim Bender confirmed that B&W Plumbing has full responsibility for the re-design;  the re-design is similar to the project done on the Little Mesa years ago when certain of the BCPUD sewer lines were pulled back from the bluff zone and Bob Wall, owner of B&W Plumbing, has reviewed the proposed re-design with BCPUD field staff. 

    Andy Blake stated that he voted “no” on the re-design as a member of the Mesa Park Board;  he feels the Firehouse & Clinic Project has “taken over” the sewer lift station project and it is not clear too him that the re-design will meet everyone’s needs.  He questioned why HydroScience has not been contacted for an opinion as to whether B&W Plumbing’s proposal is appropriate.  He accused Kim Bender for failing to supply him with requested information.  Kim responded that she has provided him with all of the available documentation.

-- Personnel:  Staff reported that a proposed Memorandum of Understanding for 2006-07 has been presented to the staff.

-- Sewer:   Nothing to report.
b.  Minutes of April 19, 2006 Regular Meeting

D. Smith/B. Kimball    three in favor (Directors Amoroso and McClellan abstaining)     to approve the minutes.

c.  Warrants

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

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

June 21, 2006 (public hearing on budget)

14.   Adjournment

11:51 p.m.