Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
May 20, 2009     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:31 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Manager’s Report.

Water consumption continues to be far below normal district-wide as compared to the same time last year.  While the May rains undoubtedly are helping to reduce consumption (primarily by discouraging landscape irrigation), staff believes that the district also is witnessing potentially long-lasting changes in behavior begun during the mandatory rationing period.  Staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide specific consumption comparison numbers at the June meeting.

    The operations staff has been working on intermittent problems with the filters at the Woodrat Treatment Plant;  the filters occasionally are not passing their airhold tests, but the problems do not appear to be a repeat of the membrane failure experienced last year.   The staff also has rebuilt the district’s GAC pilot plant and hopes to soon resume the pilot project to reduce chlorine disinfection byproducts in the district’s drinking water.   Staff also is following up on a recent article presenting the results of an aeration pilot plant in the Central Valley which has been very successful at reducing chlorine disinfection byproducts.  The district’s engineers are working on the plans and specifications to improve the PRV vault and associated piping at the intersection of Olema-Bolinas and Mesa Roads; staff plans to implement this project prior to the installation of the County bike path this summer.

    National Public Radio is planning to air a story on the district’s mandatory water rationing experience next week;  the district will be notified of the date and time of broadcast in advance and will make every effort to inform the community promptly. 

    Staff regretfully informed the Board that the state’s “Project List” for the Obama Administration’s economic stimulus project funding was released recently and none of the district’s projects were selected for funding.  It appears that the criteria for eligibility were heightened when the state received proposals for approximately $2.6 billion worth of projects – only $160 million in stimulus funding is available.  The state website now states that all projects selected for funding already must already have cleared environmental review – so, the “readiness to proceed” criteria was materially changed from the state’s previous requirement that a project must be capable of completing environmental review by September 2009.

    On the wastewater side of operations, a new irrigation pump (#2) has been installed at the sewer ponds.  Subsequent to the installation, it was discovered that some rain water had entered the oil tank and was causing the new pump to trip;  the installer made the necessary adjustments per the advice and direction of the pump manufacturer and the pump now is running appropriately.  Unfortunately, the other irrigation pump (#1) has been pulled and inspected and found to be worn out;  this is very surprising because the pump was relatively recently installed (in 2001).  Staff is investigating possible reasons for the accelerated deterioration and will have a report at the June meeting.  The district received an engineering proposal for the work to be done to rehabilitate the wetwell, but the proposed scope of work is more than staff requested, so staff will request a revised proposal.

    Staff is developing a vegetation management plan for the understory of the eucalyptus grove on the sewer pond property.  The goal is to manage the understory, reduce fire fuel sources and eliminate non-natives;  no trees greater than 6 inches in diameter are likely to be removed.

     Staff directed the Board’s attention to a proposal from the district’s engineers to design an alternative route for the sewer system collection main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  The engineers propose to develop two or three alternatives for the district’s consideration at a cost not to exceed $9,000.  The Board requested that staff authorize the work to proceed.

    Staff attended the ACWA/JPIA conference in Sacramento on May 18th and 19th;  the conference was very informative.  Staff will be developing some new internal policies and taking advantage of some of ACWA/JPIA’s safety training materials.  Staff reminded the Board members of the requirement to update their AB 1234 (ethics) and sexual harassment prevention training. 
    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last meeting, including but not limited to an e-mail from the National Park Service confirming that the NPS purchase of the district’s Pine Gulch Creek property is proceeding and an email from the State Water Resources Control Board about the availability of on-line information pertaining to sewer spills.  The Board also reviewed a request from the Marin County Fire Department to host a “Toxic Away Day” at the Mesa Park parking lot on September 26, 2009 – the Board had no objection and director Siedman indicated that he would present the request to the Mesa Park Board of Directors. 

-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of the BCPUD Building.

Staff met with designer Steve Matson and consulting contractor Roger Peacock to evaluate the revisions needed to the plans for the remodel of the district office building to render it accessible to persons with disabilities.  Steve next will prepare construction documents for the public bid process.

-- Update on the BCPUD’s Application  for Proposition 84 Grant Funds for Projects to Enhance the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance(“ASBS”)

The Board reviewed an e-mail exchange between Marin County Stormwater Program Engineer Terri Fashing and State Water Quality Control Board staff member Reuben Mora confirming that the Proposition 84 funds remain unavailable at this time due to the state budget crisis.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.

4.    Community Expression.


5.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 520 Aspen Road (Nisbet & Sheils).

Mary Nisbet and Tim Sheils presented their proposal to rebuild their home, which burned down in a fire last January, on a nearby lot.  The house will remain a one bedroom home, but the total square footage will be somewhat larger.  The house will have two bathrooms and a sprinkler system;  the appliances will all be new, water efficient appliances and they plan to install a rainwater catchment system for landscape irrigation. 

D. Smith/V. Amoroso        all in favor    to grant a conditional expanded water use permit based on the historic water use at the prior home, plus 50%. 

6.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 230 Fern Road, (Wood).

Alethea Patton was present on behalf of the applicant.  Alethea explained that the application was submitted in connection with the applicant’s efforts to legalize a  Japanese tea house structure that was erected on the property without permits; there will be no plumbing or electrical work in the structure.  The Board debated whether the project necessitated a conditional or an unconditional expanded water use permit;  Alethea noted that in the past, when an accessory structure did not include any plumbing fixtures or otherwise implicate water use, the Board has issued an unconditional permit.  Alethea further noted that the teahouse is a garden structure that is open to the elements and not capable of habitation.  Director Amoroso expressed concern that a future owner might convert it to habitable space and perhaps a deed restriction should be required.  After further discussion, the Board deferred the matter to the June meeting, when the applicant could be present.

7.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application --  60 Oak Road (Cunha).

Jonathan and Christine Cunha explained that they are building an addition on to an existing deck and remodeling the inside of their home.  The project involves an addition of 486 square feet of space;  all appliances will be upgraded to water-efficient appliances and a catchment has been installed for rainwater. 

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to grant a conditional expanded water use permit based on the historic water use at the home, plus 50%.

8.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 115 Grove Road  (Landman).

Staff explained that the Landmans could not be present; the project involves only interior repairs to the home to fix damage caused by a broken water pipe in the kitchen;  no living space will be added.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to grant an unconditional expanded water use permit.

9.    Expanded Water Use Permit - Notice of Non-Compliance -  77 Crescente (Post).

Staff presented the notice of non-compliance and stated that the water usage declined in the most recent quarter, so the customer most likely will be back in compliance at the end of the next quarter.  Director Amoroso noted that the maximum quarterly water usage allowed (1500 cubic feet) is quite low, even lower than the mandated ration amount implemented earlier in the year, and that perhaps it should be adjusted.  Director Siedman said that the Board cannot take such action with out a request from the customer.  The Board directed staff to monitor the usage over the next quarter and, if the customer is not in compliance, advise the customer that he has the right to come in and request an adjustment.

10.    Invitation for the BCPUD to Participate in the West Marin Community Conversation Task Force.

Director Smith commented that the West Marin Community Conversation Task Force appears to have developed as a result of the oyster controversy and is now expanding into a more general discussion of the relationship between the West Marin community and the Point Reyes National Seashore.  Director Smith said that the group seems to be focused on reviving the West Marin Citizens Council.  Director Amoroso agreed to attend the upcoming Task Force meeting and report back to the Board

11.    Marin County Local Coastal Plan (“LCP”) Update process:  BCPUD Comments on the Marin County Community Development Agency’s Draft Issue Summary Paper for Public Facilities and Services. 

Staff reported that the BCPUD submitted a second letter regarding the Public Facilities and Services Issue Paper to express the district’s strong objection to a proposed five-foot separation from groundwater requirement for septic systems in the coastal zone. 

12.    Advisory Ballot Measure for the November 3, 2009 Election re: Camping on Bolinas Beach
Staff recommended that the agenda item be deferred as director Kimball, who previously volunteered to draft the advisory ballot measure for the Board’s consideration, is out of town.  Director Amoroso expressed concern about going forward with a ballot measure at this time;  if the measure fails or the vote is close, the County then will be extremely reluctant to enact a full-time ban at any time in the future when it may well be needed.  Director Smith stated that he feels the weekend ban is serving its purpose of deterring actual living on the beach.  Director Amoroso said that if the district goes forward with the ballot measure, it should outreach to the public to be sure that folks are paying attention to beach conditions over the summer.  He also stated that a public meeting should be held to discuss the topic;  director Smith agreed.   The Board then deferred further discussion of the item to the June meeting.

13.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that one of the invertors at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant site went down on Saturday morning;  he was out of town and SPG did not call the district until Monday morning.  It seems a fuse blew (causing the investor to shut down) and needs replacement;  the invertor technician will be on site within the next few days to evaluate the cause of the blown fuse.  Director Smith noted that the district loses approximately $140 per day in lost electrical sales to PG&E when an invertor is down;  a new fuse has been installed and the invertor is back on line.

-- Bolinas Planning Group:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.

-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: The Board requested staff to follow-up with Supervisor Kinsey’s office about the status of County funding for the engineering study to stabilize Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Siedman noted that an article in the Board binders reports that the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District has reinstated its “no spray” list.

14.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Report from the BCPUD Board of Director’s Finance Committee Regarding the Draft 2009-2010 Budget.  Staff reported that the office has received one written protest to the district’s proposed sewer charge and proposed water rate increases;  in addition, a customer has called to complain that the water rate increase may disproportionately affect lower income households with lots of people living at a property.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:   Director Smith stated that the Committee is waiting for director McClellan to return to town in order to assess a recent complaint about the speedbumps on Poplar Road. 

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that the Downtown Park committee met the prior evening and refined the plan; it has been necessary to make certain design changes to reduce costs and develop an annual budget for operating the park.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the April 22, 2009 Regular Meeting

Director Amoroso stated that with respect to the April 22, 2009 agenda item concerning the Bolinas Community Center request for funds to pay for a waterless urinal and new ADA water closet, the motion provided that the approval is contingent upon the Center keeping the bathrooms open to the public and he would like the minutes to reflect this.  Staff was directed to verify this by listening to the meeting tape.

D. Smith/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the April 22, 2009 meeting, as amended, subject to verification by staff per the meeting tape.

c.  Warrants

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

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

June 17, 2009.  Note:  this meeting will include a public hearing on the district’s 2009-2010 operating budget.

15.  Adjournment.
9:03 p.m.