Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
May 18, 2011     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

    7:33 p.m.

2.    Roll.

    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, below

    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 wearing off. 

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 Committee.

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 no objection.

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 condition.

    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 9, 2011.

    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 leak. 
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 proceed.

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 to report.

-- 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.
c. Warrants

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.

15.  Adjournment.

9:50 p.m.