Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
May 21, 2008     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.     Call to Order

    7:32 p.m.

2.     Roll

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

3.     Manager’s Report
Staff reported that the district has begun to receive calls from customers complaining about the taste and odor of the district’s drinking water.  The taste and odor problems are due to the fact that the district is running one of its four filters (i.e., 25% percent of its water) at the Woodrat Treatment Plant on water from the Woodrat #1 reservoir as part of the GAC pilot project.  Staff has written an article for the Hearsay News explaining the situation and suggesting that customers seeking to eliminate the taste and odor problem at their tap can purchase an appropriate home filter at a relatively low cost.

The GAC pilot project is well-underway; the lab test results look very good for TOC removal, but the chlorine disinfection byproduct potential tests are not encouraging.  BCPUD staff is in discussions with staff from the Inverness Public Utility District (“IPUD), the district’s engineer and the California Department of Public Health about possible refinements to the lab testing protocol. 

Overall, water consumption in the district is showing a modest increase over the same period last year.  It is virtually certain that the district will need to call for voluntary conservation this summer as there has been no rain since February and creek flows already are low.  Unfortunately, the district continues to experience periodic leaks on its aging distribution system; there was a big leak on Birch at Mesa Road last week, which was complicated by the existence of underground phone lines in the area and a general mess of patched-together pipe at this location. 

District staff and the Bolinas Fire Protection District staff are conducting a survey of the Bolinas Mesa to identify and prioritize the removal of significant encroachments in the public rights-of-way.  These encroachments pose significant operational problems for both districts, as well as a threat to public health and safety.  BCPUD staff recently removed vegetative encroachments on Cedar between Alder and Elm and on Larch between Ivy and Kale.  Although vegetative encroachment is probably the biggest problem in most of the rights-of-way, BCPUD and BFPD anticipate the need to require homeowners to remove trees, fences, storage containers and other non-vegetative encroachments from the public rights-of-way where such encroachments impair the BCPUD’s ability to access its water lines and/or the BFPD’s emergency vehicle access to areas of the Mesa.

    Staff noted that various regulatory report deadlines are coming up:  the 2007 Annual Report was submitted prior to the deadline of April 30th (a copy is in the Board binders); staff is updating the district’s Operations Plan and Emergency Response Plan; the district is scheduled to report to the California Department of Public Health on the status of the GAC pilot program by May 30, 2008; the 2007 Consumer Confidence Report is due on June 30th; a federally-mandated sampling program pursuant to the Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule is due on July 1st; and the tri-annual reports on the district’s water licenses are due at the State Water Resources Control Board by July 1st, as well.  Finally, staff has submitted a Project Completion and Certification Report to FEMA to close out the two disaster-related projects that were completed last Fall.
Staff has submitted Statements of Intent to the California Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program for proposals to construct a new dam on the Arroyo Hondo Creek and to relocate the water main under Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  With regard to the deteriorating bluff below Surfer’s Overlook, staff commented that during a recent trip to an ACWA/JPIA conference in Monterey, it is quite noticeable that the eroding bluffs in the Devil’s Slide area just south of Pacifica are being reinforced with gunnite; the result is not unattractive and is no doubt quite effective at halting further erosion.  Perhaps this is a solution worth investigating for Surfer’s Overlook?

On the wastewater side of operations, staff is preparing for spray season.  The district’s aerators have now been repaired, but the district continues to experience on-going issues with the electrical control panels, which likely needs to be upgraded.  Staff also plans to do additional mowing to improve the viability of the spray fields east of the primary ponds.  As for the collection system downtown, staff met recently with a representative from a slip-lining company; after reviewing the video tape of the Wharf Road sewer main and inspecting other aspects of the downtown collection system, the company representative recommended patch-repairing the Wharf Road sewer line and focusing the district’s efforts on a rehabilitation of the wetwell at the lift station, which is badly deteriorated (much more so than the sewer main under Wharf Road).  Staff plans to meet with representatives from different companies to obtain other opinions.

    Staff has located several camping sites at the district’s sewer pond property with cook stoves being used; staff posted no-camping notices and gave the campers 48 hours to leave the premises.
    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received by the district since the most recent Board meeting, including but not limited to a notice from the Regional Water Quality Control Board notifying the district of new two-hour reporting rules applicable to sewer spills and unauthorized discharges. 

-- Update on the Tomales Bay Watershed Council’s Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan.

Staff reported that the State Water Resources Control Board has announced its decisions with regard to the Proposition 50 funding applications it received in January; unfortunately, the Tomales Bay Watershed Council’s application was not recommended for funding.  As such, the BCPUD will not be receiving any grant funds for either its proposed disinfection byproduct water treatment improvement project or its proposed drainage study.  Notably, approximately 90% of the funds available ($50 million) were approved exclusively for projects in Southern California. 

-- Approve Concept Proposal for Proposition 84 Funding (Water Quality Improvement Study and Implementation for Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance (“ASBS”)).

Staff distributed a handout to the Board members detailing the terms of a concept proposal prepared by staff and representatives of the County of Marin and the Point Reyes National Seashore for a project proposal under Proposition 84 to improve water quality at Duxbury Reef.  The project proposal is quite similar to the once submitted by the Tomales Bay Watershed Council under Proposition 50, but more extensive in terms of implementation projects.  Proposition 84 is focused exclusively on projects that improve water quality entering Areas of Special Biological Significance, such as Duxbury Reef, so staff is hopeful that the concept proposal will be well received.  It will be submitted to the state via a web-based application process on May 22, 2008.

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

Staff reported that since no further comments have been made by the Board to the draft plans prepared by designer Steve Matson, staff will now request that Steve finalize the plans for submittal to the County’s building department.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

    The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.

4.   Community Expression

Ralph Camiccia informed the Board that the draft “locally preferred plan” has been finalized and is out for public review.  Ralph said it is a good report prepared by a Working Group (which included several Bolinas representatives) that focuses on the human influence on the lagoon.  In particular, the report examines the Pine Gulch Creek Delta and the accelerated rate at which the delta is moving into the lagoon; restoring Kent Island is also on the table.  Ralph urged the Board to review and comment on the report; a public meeting has been scheduled for Stinson Beach on June 11th and comments on the plan are due on June 22, 2008

Director Amoroso said it was his understanding that only public property in the Pine Gulch Creek delta will be affected if the report recommendations are followed whereas the consent of private property in the area (i.e., Warren Weber, the Bolinas School, the nursery, Don Murch) will be necessary before anything would happen on private land. 

Director Siedman directed staff to include an item on the June agenda for the Board to discuss and comment on the report.

5.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 308 Larch Road (Sanders).

Sarah Sanders was present and requested relief from a recent water bill which was much larger than usual ($125.00 rather than the usual $30-40) due to a leak in the bathroom shower.  She presented receipts and other information about the prompt repair of the leak once it was discovered. 

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to reduce bill Sarah Saunders’ bill to $40.

6.    Application for Expanded Water Use Permit – 350 Ocean Parkway, Bolinas (Carlin).

Jon Carlin explained that he is in the process of legalizing an existing garage and second-unit that were red-tagged several years ago (the garage and second-unit were built in 1996-97); he
thought he had resolved all issues with the County years ago, but evidently that is not the case and he is working with the County now to conclude the legalization process.  The Board concurred that the expanded water use permit should be conditional given the extent of the building project and engaged in discussion about the appropriate basis upon which to calculate a maximum quarterly amount to be set in the permit – current consumption, or consumption back in 1996-97, before the construction occurred?  After some discussion, director Kimball proposed that the Board grant a conditional expanded water use permit, using the water system average consumption level plus 50% (which is what is done when the district does not have representative usage information).  Director McClellan said that per BCPUD Resolution 173, the permit should allow the system average plus 50%, or plus 500 cubic feet, whichever is less.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        all in favor        to grant Jon Carlin a conditional expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly allowance of the system average of 2500 cubic feet, plus either 50% or 500 cubic feet, whichever is less.

7.      Application for Expanded Water Use Permit – 345 Walnut Road, Bolinas (Blackman/Eichhorst).

    Jennifer Blackman explained that she is enclosing an existing upper roof deck (190 sq feet) which is leaking into the bathroom below during rainy weather and adding a staircase (94 square feet) to access the enclosed space from the first floor.  She requested an unconditional expanded water use permit and noted that her household average daily water consumption, at less than 100 gallons per day, is very low for full-time family of four with a garden.  In fact, it is anticipated that water consumption at the property will decline because a water catchment system will also be installed to collect and store rainwater for landscape irrigation.

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

8.    Request from the Bolinas Fire Protection District for Expansion of Fire Hydrant System at Poplar Road between Grove and Kale.

After reviewing a letter submitted by Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown requesting the expansion of the fire hydrant system at Poplar Road between Grove and Kale, the Board authorized staff to work with Anita to work together to determine the best location for the new hydrant. 

9.    Issuance of Notice to Proceed to SPG Solar (discussion and possible action item).

Director Smith explained that the solar projects are running up against deadline problems because the district does not yet have the coastal permits to proceed with the projects, yet the deadline for the solar arrays to be up and running at both sites (to preserve the district’s favorable state rebate level) is November 21, 2008.  The contractor previously has said it needs six months to complete the installations; the contractor can probably work more quickly than that, but needs to get going.  Director Smith proposed that the BCPUD issue a limited notice to proceed to the solar contract to begin the work necessary to complete the system design and obtain the building permits for the projects, subject to a cap of five (5) percent of the project cost, or $36,060.  Director Smith recommended that the district wait to issue even this limited notice to proceed until the County staff reports on the coastal permits are issued; assuming the reports recommend approval of the district’s coastal permit applications, the limited notice to proceed could be issued. 

Director McClellan moved to approval director Smith’s proposal and director Kimball seconded the motion.  Director Amoroso expressed concern about the proposal given that the district already has spend approximately $18,500, plus staff and director time.  He noted that even if the coastal permits are issued, they could be appealed to the Coastal Commission, which would take considerable time to resolve.  Director Smith agreed that it was possible the projects could collapse completely; if so, the district will lose the $36,060, as well as the other money that has been spent.  He noted it was also possible that the contractor will not be able to complete the installations by October 15th, which is the time limit tentatively set by the County for the district to complete all field work.  If that happens, the district will have to wait until summer 2009 to complete the installation, will drop to next rebate level and will lose about $36,000 as a result.  Director Siedman said it was clear that there are risks in proceeding as director Smith recommends, but they are worth taking; director Amoroso said that the risks would not be worth taking but for the fact that this is a very important green energy project. 

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to delegate the authority to director Smith and staff to issue a limited Notice to Proceed to SPG Solar, Inc., based on a positive staff report from the County concerning the district’s coastal permit applications, to proceed with design and building permit work, subject to a cap of 5 percent of the project cost, or $36,060.

Director Smith advised the Board that the term of the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds the district plans to sell to finance the solar projects has been reduced by the United States Treasury from 17 year to 15 years.  (It seems that as interest rates go up, the term of the CREBs goes down, because of a specific ratio required by law.)  Director Smith wants the Board to be aware of this as it will affect the finances of the project if the term remains at 15 years by the time the district is ready to sell its bonds. 

10.    Resolution 562:  Amending Resolution No. 548 and Approving the Award of a Sole-Source Contract for the Installation of the BCPUD Bike Path to Brent Harris Construction.

Director Smith explained that the resolution is necessary because Jim Jacobsen, the expert path installer the district previously identified to install the bike path, now works for Brent Harris Construction, so the contract needs to be revised to reflect that Brent Harris Construction is the other party; Jim Jacobsen will remain the responsible supervisor and he cannot be replaced during the term of the contract.  Director Smith has applied for an additional $19,000 in grant funding to buy sufficient gravel (the biggest single expense) to properly construct the project and the additional amount to be paid under the contract will also be reflected in the revised agreement.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to adopt resolution 562.

11.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing further to report.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Director Amoroso reported that two persons from the Regenerative Design Institute wish to apply to serve on the committee; director Siedman directed staff to agendize their applications for decision at the June Board meeting.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Nothing further to report.
-- Community Paths Group:  Nothing further to report.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Nothing to report.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the Council submitted an article which has been published by both West Marin newspapers;  director Kimball also summarized the recent customized 2007 service report of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District and said she was impressed by the comparatively low number of treatments conducted in Bolinas (all of which were consistent with the West Marin agreement).  The treatment areas were primarily on publicly-owned property:  the lagoon, roadside ditches and the district’s sewer pond property.

12.  Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance: Receive Third Quarter Financial Report; report from Finance Committee on Second Draft of FY 2008-09 Budget.  Staff presented the third quarter financial report, which contained some inadvertent errors due to a classification problem with certain accounts; a revised report will be presented at the June meeting.

    Director Kimball reported that the Finance Committee met again on May 15th to discuss the fiscal year 2008-09 draft budget; no changes were made at that meeting, so the service charge increases set forth in the district’s Proposition 218 notice remain the same.  One budgetary item is under review at this time – the proposed slip line of the Wharf Road sewer main as it may be preferable to prioritize other system repairs ahead of this (i.e., the rehabilitation of the lift station wet well).  The committee also reviewed the district’s outstanding debt and best practices for amounts the district should have in reserve.  The Committee is comfortable with the district’s current financial status at this time.

-- Legal:   Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reminded those present that the Mesa Park parcel tax proposal will be on the June 3rd ballot.

-- Personnel:  Staff reported that the district is in the final stages of the selection process for a new, full-time shift operator. 

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b.  Minutes of the April 16, 2008 Regular Meeting.

    Directors Amoroso and Smith requested small revisions to the minutes

B.K./D.S.        all in favor    to approve the minutes, as amended.

c.  Warrants

V.A/B.K.        all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s).

        June 18, 2008 (public hearing on the budget)

13.     Adjournment