Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
May 18, 2011 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project
The district expects to receive a final technical report from Sanders &
Associates Geostructural Engineers (“SAGE”) during the last week of May for
comment and review by the Bolinas Working Group. Among other things,
SAGE is developing construction cost estimates for the preferred design (soil
nails and sculpted concrete) for a full height bluff protection structure.
SAGE also is developing a “maintenance option” which will focus on a potential
“repair” of the road retaining walls; it looks like this might need to be
quite a significant effort because of the very poor condition of the walls.
The County of Marin is continuing with its plans to repair the slide on Terrace
Avenue at Overlook Road. Staff received an e-mail from the County’s
engineer indicating that the County’s geotechnical engineers will be on-site
again on May 20th to conduct further test borings and evaluation of the slide
conditions. It is anticipated that both the County’s evaluation of
the slide at Overlook and the SAGE technical report will be completed at
about the same time, the end of May, and it is anticipated at the County
and Working Group representatives will then meet to discuss next steps.
-- Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project:
See Item 12, below
Staff reported that the Board’s Finance Committee met
again on May 10th to re-visit its previous recommendation to decline state
loan funding for the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project in light
of the fact that the state has now agreed to extend the project completion
deadline from December 31, 2011 to December 31, 2012 and also has agreed
to provide the district additional time to execute the loan documents.
Although the funding terms are not ideal, the project is necessary and it
is not easy to obtain funding for pipeline replacement. The Finance
Committee feels that because the district qualifies for loan funding for
this project, the district likely should accept it and save the district’s
reserves for projects for which the district cannot obtain loan or grant
funding. Moreover, with the additional year to complete the project,
the district can install it after the County completes its repair of the
slide at Overlook, which should reduce the cost of the project as it should
not be necessary to observe the same stringent encroachment permit conditions
as there will be access for Terrace homeowners via Overlook Road.
-- Update on Horseshoe Hill Road Water Main Extension Project: See Item 11,
This project is essentially complete; however, the district
is conferring with the contractor concerning a requested change order and
additional payment. As such, staff stated that item 11 will be deferred
until the June meeting. Staff noted that all of the homeowners served
by the new water main seem to be very pleased with their new water service.
-- Update on the BCPUD Office Building Accessibility Improvement Project
Staff is in the process of moving out of the office building
and the improvement project is tentatively scheduled to begin on May 31st
– a preconstruction site meeting will take place on May 19th and a schedule
will be agreed upon at that time. A portable office will be delivered
on May 25th at an anticipated cost for delivery, return and rental of $2,736.06.
Staff referred the Board to the contract documents for the office rental
in the Board books; the Board had no objection to the arrangement.
Phone, electric and computer technicians will be on-site on May 26th to transfer
over utilities and equipment. The staff’s goal is to have the district
completely moved over to the mobile unit with all systems up and running
by close of business on May 27th.
-- Update on Evergreen Road Improvement Project
Staff recently met with two interested tree removal companies
on-site about the project, which involves eucalyptus removal, brush removal
and re-establishment of the road (Evergreen near the Larch intersection),
to request bids on the tree removal portion of the project. Before
the tree removal work can happen, encroaching vegetation in the Evergreen
right-of-way will need to be mowed back and two non-working cars removed
from the project area. The district must also meet with the neighboring
property owners who have requested this project to determine their financial
contribution to the work.
-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property)
The district is in the process of retaining environmental
consultants to survey the project site for any biological impacts and/or
cultural resources issues and will report further at the June meeting.
Staff reported that water consumption in the district continues is creep
up from its historical post-rationing lows. Staff commented that this
is not a problem right now given the current water supply due to the lengthy
rainy season, but it is a sign that the effects of the rationing period is
Staff directed the Board’s attention to an invitation from the California
Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) for the district to apply for funding
to slipline the overflow pipe at the Woodrat #1 reservoir. A statement
of Intent is due June 3, 2011. Staff expressed concern about taking
on additional debt in light of the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project
and noted that this project, which does need to be done, can be paid for
from district reserves. After a brief discussion, the Board agreed
and directed staff to decline the funding invitation.
The Board reviewed a proposal from Mountainview Services for a potential
upgrade of the filter capacity at the Woodrat Treatment Plant (“WTP”).
Staff noted that the district has long considered the potential purchase
and installation of a fifth filter at the WTP which is estimated to cost
$120,000 – 150,000. Mountainview Services proposal is that the district
either purchase a refurbished fifth filter for $68,000 or consider adding
three membranes to each of the four existing 6-membrane filters at a cost
of $9,800 per filter. Staff recommends the latter option as it is less
costly and can be done on a phased basis whereby the district can expand
one filter and then evaluate the results in terms of increased production.
After a brief discussion, the Board referred the recommendation to the Operations
The Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) has notified the district that
upgrades are needed to the fuel convault tank used by the BFPD, BCPUD and
the Stinson Beach water and fire districts. BFPD proposes to share
the cost of the upgrade equally. The estimated cost of the upgrade
work is $18,565, so BCPUD’s share would be $4,641.25. The Board had
Staff is evaluating whether to recommend the purchase of a tractor mower
for vegetation management purposes; this mower would be used by staff to
maintain the sewer pond disposal fields, the water reservoir lands and both
treatment plant sites. Staff is compiling annual mowing costs – the
district currently engages outside contractors to perform major mowing work
– and these costs exceed $5,000 annually. If the district owned its
own mowers, staff would be able to perform more mowing; at present, the district
contracts for only the mowing that is absolutely necessary. Staff has
quotes ranging from $24,000 - $40,000 for a 10-foot wide mower. Staff
plans to conduct more research and report back to the Board with a recommendation.
Staff is planning a small repair project off of Elm at Rosewood where the
road is falling away over the very deep drainage culvert and ditch.
This is beginning to pose a hazard for residents using Rosewood Road.
The County says that this intersection is not their responsibility and has
declined to participate in the repair.
Staff noted that it will soon be time for the district’s FY 2010-11 audit
and the district will be receiving a proposal from Doran & Associates
for the work. The district was very satisfied with the FY 2009-10 audit
performed by Doran & Associates and staff recommends staying with Doran
& Associates. Staff said there will be a one-time addition this
year to the regular audit scope of work for the program-specific audit report
required by the Marin Transportation Authority for the $19,000 in additional
grant funds awarded for the BCPUD bike path project.
The Board reviewed a notice of a May 26th meeting hosted by FEMA at the Marin
County Civic Center concerning a Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project/Open
Pacific Coast Study. Staff said the district’s chief operator will
attend the meeting and invited interested Board members also to participate.
Staff attended the ACWA/JPIA Board of Directors meeting on May 9th in Sacramento.
The meeting focused on a financial report on the JPIA. The long-term
CEO of the JPIA will be retiring this year, but a successor has not been
named. All of the JPIA programs in which the district participates
(liability, property and workers comp) were reported to be in good financial
On the sewer side of operations, staff reported that the
Regional Water Quality Control Board for the San Francisco Bay Region has
requested an inspection of district’s compliance with the 2006 State Water
Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) order concerning sanitary sewer overflow
reporting and response. The inspection has been scheduled for June
Spray season is underway and going well. Staff today
inspected all manholes on the collection system and identified high flow
from one home; upon investigation, it was determined that the homeowner had
a toilet leak. Staff plans to hydro-jet “hot spots” in the collection
system within the next few days.
Staff is working with an outside electrical engineer to
design and specify the replacement of the control panels for the irrigation
pumps and the aerators at the wastewater treatment plant; in addition, the
engineer will specify flow meters and other electrical upgrades needed at
the plant. The engineer’s preliminary drawings are expected within
the next two weeks.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since
the last regular Board meeting, including a letter of authorization from
the National Park Service allowing the district’s continued use of park property
on which the former treatment plan is located.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written
report in which he identifies projects to complete during the current fiscal
year with the available budget remaining, as well as projects planned for
the upcoming fiscal year.
4. Community Expression.
5. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill
pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 8 Horseshoe Hill Road (Borg).
John Borg explained that he had a toilet leak in the rental
unit at his property; upon notification from BCPUD that their water use was
unusually high, he discovered the leaky toilet and repaired it. Director
Smith said the district has allowed a maximum of 25% relief for toilet leaks
because homeowners should be able to identify when such leaks are in progress.
In this case, the tenant should have brought it to the owner’s attention.
K. Bender/V. Amoroso all in favor
to reduce the quarterly water bill by 25% of the amount
attributable to the leak, as measured by the historical average use during
the same billing quarter.
6. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill
pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 250 Kale Road (Lalezari).
Martin Butt was present on behalf of the property owner;
Martin is a landscaper and he installed a water feature at the property with
a re-circulating waterfall. A valve in the system jammed open and water
ran for quite a while before it was noticed and repaired. Martin said
he has installed dozens of these systems and he has never seen a valve jam
like this. He also noted that the property owner has invested in a
catchment system for landscaping water; director Smith noted that there has
been a significant reduction in summer water consumption at the property
since that catchment system was installed. Director Smith asked why
the water feature was on BCPUD water instead of the catchment water at the
time of the leak. Martin said that the owner was trying to maximize
water storage for the summer at that time, but the system since has been
switched back to the catchment to avoid any possibility of repeating the
Director Kimball noted that in March 2011 the Board passed an amendment to
Resolution 553 which makes clear that the district will not grant financial
relief for leaks due to the failure of any device that automatically turns
on or off the flow of water, with the exception of household appliances.
Director Amoroso stated this request for relief predates the effective date
of that amendment. Director Smith noted that when presented with a
similar leak relief request in the past (due to the failure of a float in
a water storage tank, which is the event that prompted the Board to amend
Resolution 553), the Board granted 25% relief; he suggested the same in this
case, taking into consideration the homeowner’s installation of a water catchment
system for summer landscaping which has otherwise significantly reduced water
consumption at the property. Director Kimball did not object, but noted
for the record that this is the last time the Board will grant any financial
relief for leaks due to the failure of these unattended devices.
V. Amoroso/K. Bender all in favor
to reduce the quarterly water bill by 25% of the amount
attributable to the leak, as measured by the historical average use during
the same billing quarter.
7. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill
pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 125 Olema-Bolinas Road (Bolinas School).
The Board considered a letter from Sara Bettini at the
Bolinas-Stinson Union School District requesting relief for a leak caused
by a public faucet that was left on over a weekend by people using the school
fields; the school also believes the high water usage may also have been
caused by a “sticky” faucet handle at one of the drinking fountains.
The school has replaced the handle on the drinking fountain and the faucet
on the public restroom sink. Director Smith suggested the district
grant full relief under these circumstances. Director Kimball agreed,
but said the district should encourage the school to install fixtures with
automatic shut-off valves. Jennie Pfeiffer told the Board that the
school has received modernization funds to improve its facilities and will
be remodeling the bathrooms.
V. Amoroso/K. Bender all in favor
to grant full relief from the quarterly water bill for
the amount attributable to the leak, as measured by the historical average
usage during the same billing quarter and to request that the school district
install automatic shut-off valves on the fixtures in the bathrooms.
8. Request for Discretionary Relief from Payment
of Annual Service Charges from Mesa Park pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 595
(Downtown Park Property).
The Board reviewed a letter from Mesa Park commissioner
Bryan Lee requesting waiver of half of the annual water and sewer service
fees for the Downtown Park property for FY 2008-09 and FY 2009-10 pursuant
to Resolution 595. Director Amoroso said that he is willing to vote
in favor of this request now that the district has established a policy applicable
to all tax-exempt properties in the form of Resolution 595.
B. Kimball/D. Smith four in favor; Siedman abstaining
to grant full discretionary relief from the payment of
annual service charges for Mesa Park for fiscal years 2008-09 and 2009-10,
as requested, pursuant to Resolution 595.
9. Update on Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation Project; Discuss
Terms of License Agreement.
This item was deferred to a future Board meeting.
10. Resolution 599: Establishing Policy for BCPUD
Board of Directors’ Approval of Non-Emergency, Unbudgeted District Expenditures.
This item also was deferred to a future Board meeting.
11. Resolution 600: Accepting Completion of the Horseshoe Hill
Road Water Main Extension Project.
Staff requested deferral of this item pending the district’s efforts to resolve
a billing dispute with the contractor.
12. Resolution 601: Authorizing the General Manager to Sign Funding
Agreement, Amendments and Certifications for Funding Under the Safe Drinking
Water State Revolving Fund for the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project
and to Sign the Contractor’s Release Form and to Sign the Certification of
Project Completion; Dedicating Revenues From the Water Enterprise Fund as
the Source of Revenue to Repay said Loan; and, Authorizing Brelje & Race
Consulting Engineers to Approve Claims for Reimbursement and Execute Budget
& Expenditure Summary.
Staff explained that the resolution is required by the CDPH as part of the
loan funding documentation for the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project.
Director Kimball moved to approve the resolution as written so that the Board
could discuss it and Director Bender seconded the motion.
Director Smith said that he is not convinced that the
district needs to do this project. The County appears to be committed
to fixing the top of Terrace Avenue and the district is pursuing the stabilization
project; as such, the relocation of the water line may be premature at best
and perhaps even unnecessary. He asked whether the loan paperwork binds
the district to perform the project. Director Kimball said there is
no prepayment penalty, so the district should be able to simply return the
funds if it does not proceed with the project. She said that the Finance
Committee previously recommended against accepting the funding due to the
project completion requirement of December 31, 2011, but that deadline has
been extended and the County has committed to repairing the top of Terrace,
both of which are significant considerations. Director Kimball reminded
the Board that the SAGE progress report on Surfer’s Overlook states that
the road at this location likely will fail within one to three years; hence,
she feels very strongly that the water line must be moved in order to ensure
that the district can provide water service to its customers. She noted
that the district’s Chief Operator concurs.
Director Smith stated that if the County ultimately concludes that it cannot
fix the top of Terrace, it will have no choice but to stabilize Surfer’s
Overlook in order to guarantee access to property owners, which would make
the water line relocation unnecessary. Director Amoroso agreed that
if the County is not going to repair the top of Terrace, it would affect
his opinion on whether to relocate the water main. Director Smith said
that the “timing is terrible” for the district to make a decision to take
on this debt; the district has the reserve funds and can spend them if necessary
to move the water line. Director Kimball disagreed – she said the district
does not have sufficient money in its water reserve fund to pay for the water
line relocation, but it does have reserves from the sale of the Pine Gulch
Creek property. She said that she does not believe it is responsible
to spend district savings when loan interest financing is available.
Discussion ensued about the deadline of June 17th to accept
the loan funding. Director Siedman noted that the paperwork also requires
the submission of additional documents 60 days after the signing of the funding
agreement. He suggested that if the district decided during that time
frame not to proceed with the loan, it could simply fail to turn in the additional
required paperwork, which likely would cancel the loan. The Board agreed
that staff should not submit the loan funding documents until the last possible
date in order to provide the maximum time possible to evaluate whether to
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor
to approve Resolution 601
13. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso reported
that a public meeting about the lagoon restoration was held on May 10th but
major parts of the restoration plan were not discussed. He said all
of the work on Kent Island will proceed, but not the removal of the mature
trees. As well, significant repairs to Highway 1 will be made after
Labor Day, starting at the “Y” and going south about 2 miles, to deal with
the degraded culverts and add two feet to the width of the road in some locations
to provide more space on the other side of the fog line on both sides of
the road. However, any work involving the Pine Gulch Delta is delayed
and nothing is planned to open up the channel into the lagoon.
-- Community Path Update: Director Kimball reported that the newly
planted median adjacent to the bike path was well maintained during her recent
vacation by Janine Aroyan and Walter Hoffman. The spring rains have
helped and donations have been coming in in response to the inserts placed
in with BCPUD quarterly metered water statements. In June, director
Kimball plans to provide a full accounting of all money raised and spent
on the project and a volunteer/donor celebration is planned for the end of
that month. Director Kimball met with the art teachers and 6th grade
class at the Bolinas School to decide how to “decorate” the bicycle stencils
that will be painted onto the path; the kids decided to have a contest for
the best concept. Jennie Pfeiffer thanked director Kimball for all
of her hard work on this community project.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Staff has requested a
planning consultation with County staff to discuss how to implement the voter-approved
downtown parking and traffic plan.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Nothing further
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball reported that the Coordinating Council met on May 9th and
planned educational activities. The Task Force is scheduled to meet
on June 20th. She noted that both of these entities meet only twice
per year now and it will be interesting to see how the County’s new public
health officer decides to manage the Task Force. Director Kimball noted
that the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District’s General Manager
is retiring this year and a search committee is looking for his replacement.
14. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Report on Draft Fiscal Year 2011-12 Budget. Staff
reported that Proposition 218 notice about the proposed FY 2011-12 budget
has been mailed out to all property owners and a public hearing on the proposed
budget will be held on June 15, 2011.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Update on Proposed Statewide
Septic Regulations. Director Smith reported that the state once again
is trying to issue statewide septic regulations; the most recent attempt
failed spectacularly amid tremendous public outcry against the then-proposed
regulations. This time the state is starting slowly – at present, an
EIR is being conducted on the idea of issuing regulations without saying
much about what the regulations will be, other than it will be a tiered approach.
Thus far, it seems that the highest tier of systems wherein corrective action
is needed will be those systems near a surface water body where pathogens
or nitrates are detected. Director Smith said that the state should
be required to prove that the pathogens and/or nitrates are from human sources
and not, for example, geese or seals before it can require any corrective
action by septic system owners.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: The Board reviewed letters from the BCPUD to
Mesa Park documenting amounts due to the BCPUD. Patricia Hickey is
Mesa Park’s new treasurer.
-- Personnel: Approve Memorandum of Understanding re: Compensation
and Benefits Between the BCPUD Board of Directors and BCPUD Employees.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve the Memorandum of Understanding.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the April 20, 2011 Regular Meeting; Minutes of the April 27,
2011 Special Meeting
Clarifying corrections were offered by directors Amoroso and Bender to the
draft April 20th meeting minutes.
K. Bender/V. Amoroso three in favor,
directors Kimball and Smith abstaining.
Consideration of the April 27, 2011 minutes of the Board’s
special meeting was deferred.
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso four in favor, director Smith abstaining
to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
June 15, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bolinas Fire Protection
District’s Public Meeting Room, 100 Mesa Road, Bolinas.