1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Comstock, Siedman and Smith present; director Godino absent. Director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project: Report on May 31, 2014 Neighborhood Meeting.
Staff reported that a neighborhood meeting was held on May 31, 2014 to discuss the future of Terrace Avenue and staff thanked Tish and Jim Brown for generously hosting the meeting at their home. Staff also thanked Supervisor Steve Kinsey for coming to Bolinas on a Saturday morning to be present for the meeting. Supervisor Kinsey and BCPUD Board President Jack Siedman chaired the meeting and spoke directly with affected stakeholders about the importance of the road and the decision facing the community about how to stabilize it and how to pay for the work to be done. They detailed the background of the work completed to date (i.e., geotechnical and geological investigations of the bluff, project design, and meetings with permitting authorities) and answered many questions from the attendees. Staff directed the Board’s attention to a follow-up letter that was sent out to all persons invited to the meeting, as well as a draft issue of the next Pipeline newsletter with a featured article about the meeting. The next step will be to assemble a core group of community members to lead the project fundraising and coordinate with the BCPUD; in addition, a Town Meeting will be held at the end of Summer or early Fall. Finally, staff noted that it was not possible for a private surveyor to complete the work needed to identify the mean high tide line at the project site before the May 31st meeting, so the County surveyor will complete the work at a later date.
-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to a set of documents prepared by consultant Jonathan Van Bourg, including a plan for re-use of the old clarifier, a proess control plan for a new chlorinator, new raw water turbidimeter and rainfall shutoffs, and a design, plan and protocols for a coagulant pilot at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant. These documents were prepared as part of the district’s chlorine disinfection byproduct reduction efforts and will be sent to the California Department of Public Health for review and input. In addition, the district’s profiling of its reservoirs is on-going and a site visit by the reservoir consultant is being arranged for later this summer.
-- Update on BCPUD’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan.
Staff had a telephone conference with the engineers working on the district’s asset valuation. The engineers recommend that the district simplify its approach and focus on identifying and quantifying near-term capital improvement projects first, then undertake the broader valuation of all district assets. The engineers requested more information from staff about certain of the assets on the list, especially the conditions at the various distribution pipeline sites (condition of service laterals, type of surface restoration, etc.), so staff will assemble the requested information and provide it to the engineers in order to minimize outside costs. Staff anticipates that the information will be provided to the engineers in July so that valuations can be submitted for Board review at the August meeting.
On the water side of operations, consumption on the back of the Mesa was very low during the most recent quarter. The community’s response to conservation continues to impress, particularly given the nice weather and recent large numbers of visitors in town. The town’s efforts are especially meaningful in light of the news this week that water consumption overall in the Bay Area has declined by only 1 – 5%. Overall, the Arroyo Hondo creek is flowing fairly well over the dam, but only because of the reduced consumption levels in recent months; creek levels would have dropped much more by now if consumption was not so far below average. The district’s emergency reservoirs are full right now.
The Board reviewed several documents prepared by staff, including a response to the California Department of Public Health’s Annual Inspection findings and the 2013 Consumer Confidence Report. Staff noted that the district’s annual water license reports also will be submitted this month as they are due on July 1st.
Staff reported that the project to upgrade the steps and railings between Terrace And Brighton is going well. The community has been very cooperative, supportive and appreciative of the project. Staff commended the extremely hard work of BCPUD shift operator Scotty Hanks and temporary employee Billy Cummings on this project. Staff’s goal is to have this project completed prior to the July 4th holiday.
The district’s water meter replacement program also is going well and staff has replaced dozens of meters on the Mesa.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last meeting, including notices to customers who have not yet paid their bills for the year, a notice from the County that the BCPUD will receive $9,869.40 in excess ERAF funds as a result of a recent audit, and a notice about a
County workshop on July 8th at 5:00 p.m. in San Rafael to evaluate strategies for more efficiently reviewing development projects in the unincorporated County areas.
With regard to the district’s claim submitted to PG&E for damaged equipment and lost revenue as a result of a power surge at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant, the district’s claim for damaged equipment and lost electricity sales has been paid, but PG&E is still working on the district’s claim for lost rebates.
On the sewer side of operations, the district is experiencing a problem with one of the pumps at the lift station. It was pulled out of service and it being analyzed by a local repair company. The district will start mowing the spray fields; the spray season has been deferred until the mowing is completed. Flows in the collection system continue to be low and it is clear that the repair of service laterals on Wharf has helped to reduce infiltratrion and inflow.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
The Board reviewed a report prepared by Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.
4. Public Hearing: Draft Fiscal Year 2014-15 District Budget.
President Siedman opened the public hearing on the district’s proposed 2014-15 fiscal year budget. Janine Aroyan commented on the budget line item for the removal of hazardous trees and suggested that the Board consider increasing the amount dedicated to this line item in the future as there is a significant need for such work in town. There was no other public comment and president Siedman closed the public hearing.
5. Community Expression.
Jennie Pfeiffer commented that the lower section of Laurel Road near Alder Road needs to be cleared for pedestrians. Staff noted that the homeowners agreed to keep this access clear when the Fire Department agreed to close the road years ago. The Board directed staff to send out a reminder letter to the affected homeowners.
Remick Hart told the Board that Supervisor Kinsey will attend the July 4th parade and will help judge the floats.
DJ O’Niell expressed concern about a rumored effort by a neighbor to “open” up Ocean Parkway on the cliff between Laurel and Juniper Road and the potential impact on bluff erosion. Director Siedman said that Ocean Parkway is a County Road and director Comstock said that environmental and other laws are highly protective of the bluff erosion zone.
Director Smith noted that there is a letter in the Board binders from Kathi Hart stating her disappointment that none of the Board members attended the recent meeting at the Community Center concerning graffiti on the beach walls. Director Smith said that he attends many community meetings and ultimately has to pick and choose which ones to go to as he cannot go to all of them. He said he is paying close attention to this issue and talking with lots of people about it; at this point, he said there appears to be as many opinions on the topic as people in the community. He said he is not ignoring the issue but it is unclear what the town wants to do at this point. Director Amoroso said that at the last BCPUD meeting he pointed out that a Sunday afternoon meeting might not get a lot of attendance and that he has to work on Sunday afternoons; he suggested that a petition may be a more effective means by which to gauge public opinion. Director Comstock said the Board spent a lot of time on this topic at the last meeting, but it is not ready to take action and the town is very divided. He said he respects the effort that the Harts have put into this issue and he agrees that the environmental concerns are real; but the issue is very complicated and many in town aren’t in favor of doing very much.
Remick Hart said that Kathi feels that there should be representatives from the BCPUD Board at all important community meetings. He said that he very much appreciates the time the directors put into their jobs, but he was very surprised that none of the directors (nor any BCPUD representative) attended the meeting. He noted that the BCPUD’s seawalls on the boatramp are impacted and the Board represents the community. Director Siedman acknowledged this but said that this is a divisive issue in town and there are strong feelings on both sides; he said he agrees with director Amoroso that a petition may be a good way to unify public opinion and the BCPUD Board may then be ready to take action. Overall, however, the lack of director attendance at the recent meeting at the Community Center does not mean that there is a lack of interest in this issue.
6. Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 145 Mesa Road (A. Gamez).
Director Siedman observed that the applicant is remodeling an existing home but not increasing square footage or footprint of the property. Director Smith noted the historic high water use at the property and said he was concerned about it. Alicia Gamez stated that she bought the property in September following a foreclosure and it was in very bad shape with leaking faucets; after she bought it, she had the water turned off until the leaks could be fixed. After a brief discussion, director Amoroso proposed that the Board approve an unconditional expanded water use permit. Director Smith said he had no objection, but urged Ms. Gamez to be aware of the ongoing drought and make all efforts to conserve water as much as possible.
V. Amoroso/L. Comstock four in favor; director Godino absent to approve an unconditional expanded water use permit.
7. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 108 Olema-Bolinas Road (C. Swain).
Director Smith noted that the water loss in this case was due to an unattended hose and in past similar cases the district has granted a 50% reduction in the amount of the bill attributable to the water loss; he recommended the same action in this case.
D. Smith/V. Amoroso four in favor; director Godino absent to reduce the bill by 50% of the amount due to the water loss based on the average of the prior three years of water use at this property during the same billing quarter.
8. Offer to Sell Sewer Connection to the BCPUD (L. Ferlinghetti).
Director Siedman said that Lorenzo Ferlinghetti is not present, but he sent an e-mail to the district proposing to sell back the sewer connection he purchased from Ed Pohlman because he doesn’t have a water meter and therefore cannot use the sewer connection downtown. Director Siedman said he recalls the Board discussing this very issue with him at the time and that he regrettably cannot support purchasing the sewer connection. Director Amoroso commented that Lorenzo can suspend the connection but will accrue back fees that will have to be paid before the connection can be used. Director Smith noted that the suspension policy applies to water meters and imposes a reconnection fee, which doesn’t seem applicable here. After a brief discussion, the Board agreed that the sewer connection may be suspended and back fees (but no reconnection fee) will accrue.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith four in favor; director Godino absent directing staff to inform Lorenzo that he may suspend the sewer connection, but back fees will accrue and must be paid before the connection may be used.
9. West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Update on Issues Under Discussion Concerning Renewal of Non-Toxic Protocol for West Marin (L. Goldblatt).
Liza Goldblatt reminded the Board that West Marin voted to annex itself into the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) nearly ten years ago. At that time, she and a colleague evaluated the products that district proposed to use to eradicate mosquitos and became very concerned about the potential harm to waterways. A community meeting was held at the BCPUD and it was quite eventful. Ultimately, a committee was established to negotiate with the M&VCD and a non-toxic protocol was signed which allows the M&VCD to use only products approved for organic farms to eradicate mosquitoes. Director Amoroso commented that the BCPUD placed an advisory measure on the ballot and more than 84% of the community approved the district’s effort to obtain a non-toxic protocol.
Liza said that there is a new Executive Director at the M&VCD and some new staff members and they want a new agreement for West Marin which would allow the use of Methoprene. Liza said that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council (“Council”) has expressed strong concern about this and said there are lots of studies that show Methoprene is harmful to acquatic life (there are no studies yet about the effect on humans). The M&VCD has agreed to a nine-month extension of the existing non-toxic agreement pending negotations and has proposed to hire neutral outside evalutors to facilitate the process. Liza noted that Methoprene is proposed for use in septic systems, however many people in Bolinas have their septic systems pumped annually and the wastewater is dumped at the BCPUD’s wastewater treatment site and ultimately discharged to land – the potential impact of methoprene to the BCPUD’s wastewater system is unknown. She said that the new chair of the M&VCD Board is questioning why that district has a different agreement for West Marin than the rest of its service area. Liza said it ultimately may be necessary for the various West Marin communities to convey their collective concerns and support for the non-toxic protocol so that the M&VCD understands that the communities are aligned on this and it isn’t just a small number of people on the Council raising objections.
Director Amoroso agreed that the impact of Methoprene for the BCPUD’s wastewater pond system needs to be fully understood before it can be allowed. Director Comstock commented that the non-toxic protocol is a very good agreement and he believes that the public in Bolinas will fully support renewing it on the same terms. Director Smith noted that there is an effective and permanent approach to mosquito reduction and control, which is the installation of screens on household septic vents that would render the use of methoprene in septic tanks completely unnecessary. Liza Goldblatt said that the community needs to educate the new Executive Director, staff and Board at the M&VCD about the broad community opposition to a toxic approach to mosquito control. Director Siedman said the BCPUD strongly supports the non-toxic protocol and will host a community meeting (to which the M&VCD personnel would be invited) if that would be helpful.
10. Presentation by the Bolinas Community Center re: Relocation/Improvement of Trash and Recycle Bins on BCPUD Property near Brighton Beach (R. Hart).
Remick Hart directed the Board’s attention to information in the binders concerning a proposed improvement of the trash and recycle bins located at the entrance to Brighton Beach. The purpose of the project is to increase the amount of garbage and recycling bin space and enhance the aesthetics of the site. Remick said he would like to acknowledge Janine Aroyan’s efforts to improve the entrance to the beach. Remick presented a proposed design for the project which was prepared by Roger Peacock and seeks to accommodate the owners of 98 and 100 Brighton, who would be the most directly impacted by the project. He noted that the Bolinas Community Center may increase the number of garbage/recycling pick ups (the garbage and recycling are taken by the BCC to the dumpsters at Mesa Park per an agreement with the garbage company), as well. After a brief discussion of the project, director Comstock suggested that perhaps Marin County’s Zero Waste grant program may have funds available to help finance the project; he noted that the deadline to submit an application is only ten days away. Remick said that he would be happy to submit a grant application if the Board authorizes him to do so and he asked for that approval. The Board directed staff to agendize the project itself for action at the next Board meeting and to provide notice to nearby property owners in advance of the meeting.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith four in favor; director Godino absent authorizing Remick Hart to submit an application to Zero Waste Marin on behalf of the BCPUD for grant funds for the trash and recycle bin improvement project.
11. Discussion of Redwood Empire Disposal Company’s Recycling Program.
Director Comstock said that he is concerned about the garbage company’s mixing of the recycling and garbage waste in some of their trucks because doing so makes it very difficult to recycle all of the recyclable material. He has contacted the garbage company and plans to tour the facility to witness the sorting process. Director Smith said the he would be willing to join the tour. Director Comstock stated that he wanted to know if the company is operating in violation of it’s contractual obligations to the district; he reviwed the contract and, as far as he can tell, although the company is required to offer curbside recycling, the contract does not expressly require the company to actually recycle the collected material. Director Comstock said this should be addressed when the contract is next renewed or extended. He also called the County, but the person he spoke with was indifferent about the company’s mixing of garbage and recycling and suggested that the district retain a consultant for advice during the contract negotiation process; director Comstock said that this was not a very satisfactory answer and that the County should be paying better attention to this issue. He noted that the County of Sonoma’s contract with Redwood Empire requires the company to use their “best efforts” to recycle. Finally, director Comstock called the Stinson Beach County Water District; this district just renewed its contract with Redwood Empire and is very happy with the company’s services, although they seem to be unaware of the mixing of garbage and recycling.
12. Appointment of Land Stewardship Committee.
Director Siedman said that the committee first addressed the district’s lease to Gospel Flat Farms and now is taking the next step of assessing all of the BCPUD lands (hence the change in the name of the committee). He requested that the Board formally appoint the following persons to the committee: Jody Angel, Janine Aroyan, Genie McNaughton, Jack Siedman, Vic Amoroso, John Glavis, Burr Heneman. Tish Brown, Mickey Murch and Ken Masterton. Director Siedman said the committee members agreed that if a member misses three meetings, he or she would then be removed from the committee as the committee work requires dedication and longevity.
V. Amoroso/L. Comstock four in favor; director Godino absent to approve the appointment of the Land Stewardship Committee.
13. Renewal of Limited Duration Employment Agreement between the BCPUD and L. Likover.
Staff requested that the Board approve the renewal of Lewie Likover’s employment agreement with the district so that he can continue his good work on the district’s chlorine disinfection byproduct reduction project.
L. Comstock/D. Smith four in favor; director Godino absent to approve renewal of the limited duration employment agreement between the BCPUD and Lewie Likover.
14. Water Supply Update.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to a report prepared by retired geologist Ralph Camiccia about the potential of a groundwater investigation near the district’s Woodrat Water Treatment plant. Ralph’s report recommends against such an investigation as the likelihood of success is very low. He bases this conclusion on the geologic makeup of the terrain (hard shale and soil rubble with no sand/gravel base), which is not suitable for groundwater movement, and the lack of a nearby active water supply (the reservoir is reliant on seasonal drainage only).
15. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Director Amoroso reported that Michael Rafferty is not interested in leading a renewed committee effort. Remick Hart said he would be willing to step up. After a brief discussion, director Amoroso and Remick Hart agreed to meet and discuss possible next steps.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- Water Conservation Assistance Committee: Nothing to report.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Nothing further to report.
-- Land Stewardship Committee: Review Mission Statement. Director Siedman referred to the mission statement presented in the Board binders and said the committee is working on a set of recommendations to bring to the Board. Director Amoroso noted that the district’s operations will take priority in the event of any conflict with the committee recommendations.
16. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Engagement Letter from Doran & Associates for FY 2013-14 Audit; Minutes of the April 15, 2014 Finance Committee meeting; Minutes of the May 13, 2014 Finance Committee meeting.
V. Amoroso/L. Comstock four in favor; director Godino absent to approve the engagement letter from Doran & Associates for the FY 2013-14 audit.
L. Comstock/V. Amoroso four in favor; director Godino absent to approve the minutes of the April 15, 2014 Finance Committee meeting.
Staff requested that approval of the the minutes of the May 13, 2014 Finance Committee be deferred to the July meeting; there was no objection
Director Comstock noted that staff prepared several helpful tables for the Finance Committee’s consideration during the budget process, including a schedule for the anticipated change in reserves for the upcoming fiscal year, as well as a schedule for anticipated change in debt level; in addition, staff prepared “mini-budgets” for each of the planned capital projects. The documents are available at the office if other Board members would like to review them.
Finally, staff presented the third quarter financial reports.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Staff reported that the district has received the executed amended contract for the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom project. The next step is to record the requested deed restriction, but staff recommends against doing so until it is certain the project will move forward. The state’s decision on the district’s request to waive the match requirement is still pending. The project will go out to bid on June 23rd, with a mandatory site walk scheduled for July 16th and bids due on July 30th.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the May 14, 2014 Regular Meeting.
Director Amoroso offered clarifying revisions to the draft minutes.
D. Smith/L. Comstock four in favor; director Godino absent to approve the minutes of the May 14, 2014 regular meeting, as amended.
L. Comstock/D. Smith four
in favor; director Godino absent to
approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
July 16, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.