1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project.
Staff reported that the project is nearly complete and the new water line is in operation. The California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) local district office in Santa Rosa has signed off on its inspection of the project; only a short “punch list” and restoration paving remains to complete. To date, the district has received reimbursement for the engineering and permitting costs it has incurred on the project ($37,254.35). However, the district’s request for reimbursement of construction costs of approximately $308,600, which was submitted at the end of May, remains outstanding. The contractor has requested to complete the remaining work on the project after it is paid for work to-date and staff has agreed. Staff has confirmed that the CDPH district office approved reimbursement of the district’s claim for construction costs and the claim is now under review by the CDPH headquarters office in Sacramento; CDPH staff estimates that reimbursement will issue approximately 45 days from the claim submittal date, which would be July 11, 2013. Finally, staff reported that the project has incurred cost overruns of approximately $50,000 due to changes required to the project installation as a result of conditions in the field.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project
Sanders & Associates Geostructural Engineers (“SAGE”) has submitted its draft geotechnical investigation report based on the field work completed in April. Staff has forwarded it to the County of Marin (who has paid the district for its 50% share of the cost of the work) and the Bolinas Working Group for review. The Working Group is scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss the report and formulate comments.
-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade Project.
Staff noted that the Regional Water Quality Control Board (“RWQCB”) has urged the district to install its flow meters at the sewer ponds as soon as possible; staff therefore expressed concern about the additional time needed to revise the bid documents for the alternative approach with powder-coated steel panels inside a protective structure (as discussed at the May meeting) and recommended that the district put the project out to bid with the stainless steel panels only as soon as possible. Discussion ensued among the Board members; director Smith voiced strong opposition to foregoing the opportunity to bid the project with a less expensive alternative. After some discussion, the Board expressed support for director Smith and directed staff to continue with the alternative bid approach. Staff and director Smith agreed to meet with the Chief Operator to refine the details of the alternative approach as soon as possible.
Staff reported that the district experienced a large increase in consumption during the most recent quarter as compared to the same time last year; in fact, it was the largest jump up in consumption since 2007. As a result of the rise in consumption, the district has started to draw on its emergency back-up water from the Woodrat reservoirs, which likely will prompt customer complaints about water quality. The district also is experiencing unconventional draw-downs in the Arroyo Hondo creek; staff has notified the National Park Service about this as staff suspects that there may be illicit upstream diversions. Staff plans to issue community-wide conservation notices beginning next week.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to a draft 2012 Consumer Confidence Report which will be mailed out next week; staff asked the Board to submit any comments or suggested revisions to the report as soon as possible. Staff noted that the district currently is in violation of the maximum contaminant levels (“MCLs”) on haloacetic acids (HAA5s) right now due to an unusually high result from December during a storm event. Staff also directed the Board’s attention to a letter agreement between BCPUD and Inverness Public Utility District (“IPUD”) regarding the terms of a transfer of a Nano filtration unit to Bolinas, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow. The district will use this unit to conduct its own pilot study as to whether nano filtration after microfiltration will reduce chlorine disinfection byproducts below the applicable MCL. IPUD is very pleased with the operation of the unit and resulting water quality and has issued an RFP for the installation of new filters and new nano filtration units to retrofit its treatment plant.
Staff reported that a homeowner on Canyon Road recently requested that the BCPUD replace the culverts under Canyon at Terrace. However, this is outside the district’s drainage assessment area, the district has never accepted responsibility for Canyon Road, and staff can find no evidence that the culvert is the district’s responsibility. Staff reviewed available records at the County and could not find any indication that the district is responsible for the culverts. Staff inquired whether any of the Board members had any knowledge of the district installing the culverts in the past; no one had any such knowledge.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the most recent Board meeting, including information from the County’s Election Office about the November election (at which three BCPUD Board seats are up); a notice from the County’s Department of Finance regarding upcoming assessments; a call from the Association of California Water Agencies for nominations; and a request from U.C. Davis for financial support for its graduate program in Hydrologic Sciences.
On the wastewater side of operations, the flows into the collection system are low right now. The customer repairs of sewer laterals in Wharf Road are proceeding, with three remaining to complete. The district received a report of a “smell of sewage” on Terrace Avenue late last week. Staff investigated immediately and, although there was no spill of any kind, staff noticed low flows between two manholes on Terrace Avenue. Staff hydro-jetted the section of the main between the two manholes the following day and removed Fats, Oils and Grease (“FOG”) build up; unattended, this build up could have led to a blockage or even a spill.
Staff has been trying to mow the areas adjacent to the bike path on the sewer ponds, but encountered a wasp nest buried in the path near the goat farm; mowing activities will not be continued until the nest is eradicated. For now, the path is closed to bike and foot traffic with warning signs about the wasp nest.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
The Board reviewed a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover. Staff noted that a new culvert has been installed under Sycamore adjacent to Elm Road.
4. Community Expression.
Janine Aroyan expressed concern about the impact of the Gospel Flats’ dry farm on the sewer pond land above the Sun Pond. Janine presented photos of the site and noted that a former well-used footpath through the area has been lost. Ken Masterton said that the BCPUD has done a great job of managing the land, especially in the last ten years, but he supports Janine’s concerns and asked the BCPUD to make sure it is adequately monitoring the use of its public lands. After a brief discussion, the Board members agreed that an item should be included on the July agenda to discuss Janine’s concerns.
Director Kimball announced that she will not be running for re-election and asked staff to revise the election notice currently running in the Hearsay News accordingly.
5. Public Hearing: Draft Fiscal Year 2013-14 District Budget.
Staff reported that notices were mailed to all residents on May 24, 2013 to inform them about the public hearing on the district’s 2013-14 draft operating budget; notices also were published in the Hearsay News, The Point Reyes Light and the West Marin Citizen. No comments have been received to-date. Staff noted that the budget does not propose to increase any of the annual service charges. Rather, increased operating costs have been off-set by reductions in employee and benefits costs (a staff retirement plus recent changes to the employee health care plan) and capital projects are schedule to be paid from reserves. Staff further noted that beginning in August 2013, the Board will begin a five-year budget/planning process.
Director Siedman noted that there were no public comments on the draft fiscal year 2013-14 District budget.
6. Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 3 Marin Way (C. Gussis).
Roger Peacock was present on behalf of the homeowner. He explained that the current house is 830 square feet and the planned remodel project consists of shuffling the floor plan around. The house will remain a 2 bedroom house, but a bathroom will be added. Discussion ensued as to whether the Board should issue a conditional or an unconditional expanded water use permit. Ultimately, the Board found that the house is extremely small in size, the number of rooms is actually decreasing by one, and the footprint of the house is not changing. Based on these findings, director Bender moved that the Board grant an unconditional permit.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor to grant an unconditional expanded water use permit in light of the small size of the house, the fact that the number of rooms is decreasing, and because the footprint of the house is not changing.
7. Expanded Water Use Permit – 170 Ocean Parkway (J. Ladd).
Roger Peacock again appeared on behalf of the homeowner and explained that the project is limited to window replacement and siding repair; there is no foreseeable impact on water use.
V. Amoroso/K. Bender all in favor to approve an unconditional expanded water use permit.
8. Report on Chlorine Behavior and Byproduct Formation in BCPUD’s Water System (D. Smith and L. Likover).
Director Smith hypothesized that if the district could carefully control its chlorine detention time in the distribution system, it might be possible for the district to reliably produce water with chlorine disinfection byproduct levels (“DBPs”) under the applicable MCLs. To that end, he and Shift Operator Lewie Likover designed a controlled experiment to analyze the formation of DBPs in the district’s treated water; unfortunately, the news was bad -- half of the DBPs form in the district’s treated water within the first 6 hours (e.g., within the 6 hours after the initial chlorination of the water). The experiment further indicated the chlorine regularly used by the district is not reliable in its concentration. Two years of data were plotted to compare the levels of chlorine at the storage tanks and the levels of chlorine at the end of the distribution system; mysteriously, there was no correlation at all between the data. Flushing the distribution system did not improve anything in terms of the correlation of data. Director Smith said that the experiment and all other evidence indicate that the district must remove the organics in the water before chlorination as the best means by which to reduce DBPs below allowable limits. As such, Lewie conducted an experiment whereby he ran the district’s water through a nano filtration unit, and it reduced the DBPs to 1/7th of their prior level. Although this is an expensive solution, it is chemical-free and there may be ways to reduce costs in the future; for now, however, the next step is to run the four-month pilot study to evaluate the performance of the nano filtration unit on the district’s water over a representative set of time and differing water sources.
9. BCPUD Comment Letter on AB 145 (proposing to move California Drinking Water Program from the Department of Public Health to the State Water Resources Control Board).
Director Kimball reported that AB 145 passed the Assembly by a large majority vote and has been forwarded to the Senate; the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee has passed on it and the next hearing will be before the Health Committee. AB 145 proposes to move responsibility for the state’s Drinking Water Program from CDPH to the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”). One goal of the bill is to consolidate responsibility for funds dispersed by the federal EPA via the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (“SDWSRF”) and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (“CWSRF”) into one agency (the SWRCB already has responsibility for the CWSRF). Director Kimball said that her concerns about the bill are from a public health standpoint: does it make sense to remove responsibility for the Drinking Water Program from the CDPH? CDPH primarily is focused on public health, whereas the SWRCB has many pressing regulatory concerns. Director Kimball said she does not have an opinion about consolidating the funding programs; rather, she feels the district should submit a letter to the Senate Health Committee opposing the bill generally as currently drafted. She noted that all of the state’s county public health officers oppose the bill.
V. Amoroso/K. Bender all in favor approving a comment letter to the Senate Health Committee in opposition to AB 145.
10. Amendments to the BCPUD’s Accounting Controls Procedures and Policies Manual.
Staff explained that the proposed amendment is to page 8 of the manual which makes clear that the Chief Operator will review and approve the hours worked by operations staff on a daily basis and that the General Manager will review and approve all hours worked and all staff time off on a monthly basis. This is an amendment recommended by the district’s outside auditors.
K. Bender/D. Smith all in favor to approve the amendments to the BCPUD’s Accounting Controls Procedures and Policies Manual.
11. Continued Review of Expanded Water Use Permit Limits and Historical Actual Water Use.
Director Smith presented a one-page graph he created to depict the district’s overall water consumption. To create the graph, he reviewed the quarterly water use data of all customers for the last four years. He eliminated all quarters with anomalously high readings under the assumption that those readings were the result of leaks or other unusual conditions at the customer’s property. The bottom line is that very few of the district’s customers are using a lot of water and those specific users (mostly downtown businesses) account for approximately 25% of the district’s annual water sales. Director Smith said he was pleasantly surprised at how few high-end users there are in the district. He noted that this analysis was prompted by the Board’s concern about the disparities in the maximum quarterly limits of the various expanded water use permits (e.g., because the limits are based on historic water use, some limits are quite generous whereas others are much less so). Director Kimball asked if there were differences in consumption between expanded water use permit holders and other customers; in other words, are customers without water use limits using a lot more water than those with limits? Director Smith explained that his data was not broken down that finely. The Board agreed to continue this item to the next month’s agenda and asked staff to include information in the Board binders about the consumption rates of expanded water use permit holders as well as overall district customer consumption.
12. Call for Nominations – LAFCO Alternate Special District Member.
There was no motion to nominate a candidate for the LAFCO Alternate Special District Member.
13. Resolution 620: Approving Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Memorandum of Understanding re Compensation and Benefits between the BCPUD Board of Directors and BCPUD Employees.
Staff apologized for the fact that the agenda incorrectly identified this item as a resolution when only a vote of the Board is needed to approve the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”). Staff explained that the MOU includes a 3% pay increase for staff (to approximately match the Bay Area CPI increase), a $5 per month increase in cell phone reimbursement (e.g., from $30 to $35 per month per employee); and, a 3% increase in stand-by pay (e.g., from $50 to $51.50 per shift).
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to approve the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 MOU.
14. Update on Water Supply Augmentation Project.
The Board reviewed the latest analysis from consulting hydro-geologist Rob Gailey, and director Smith noted that the district will not learn much more about the aquifer for the irrigation well until the rains begin.
15. Volunteer Committee Reports.
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Community Path Update: Director Kimball reported that PG&E came and trimmed around the power poles adjacent to the bike path on Olema-Bolinas Road and that she had manually trimmed the native plant median strip per PG&E agreement in May. She said in light of the current need for water conservation, she has no plans to irrigate the path.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Director Kimball reported that the County’s Public Health officer has issued a notice about the first dead bird with West Nile Virus found in Marin (San Anselmo) in many years. She said a subcommittee of the Council will be meeting with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District before the end of the year to negotiate a new “non-toxic” protocol agreement and other efforts are on hold until this is accomplished.
16. Other Business.
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Nothing further to report.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Director Smith reported that samples were taken of the asphalt on Wharf, Olema-Bolinas and Horseshoe Hill Roads and the lab test results of the material were all below applicable contaminant limits. As such, the district has agreed to accept the grindings from the County when these roads are repaved this year. Director Smith noted that an open issue is how to control the disbursement of the materials. Director Bender suggested a sign at the storage site (Mesa Park parking lot) stating that the material is intended for improvement of the unpaved roads on the Big Mesa. Director Smith agreed, and said local contractors (who may be hired to haul and spread the material) also should be informed about the intended use of the material.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Nothing to report.
-- Personnel: Nothing further to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the May 15, 2013 Regular Meeting.
Directors Amoroso, Smith and Kimball offered clarifying corrections to the draft minutes.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve the minutes of the May 15, 2013 regular meeting, as amended.
K. Bender/V. Amoroso all in favor to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
July 24, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.