Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
July 15, 2009     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

    7: 33 p.m.

2.    Roll.

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

3.    Manager’s Report.

Staff reported that the district experienced a break on the transmission line from the Arroyo Hondo Creek to the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant; the break was discovered late on a Friday, so staff shut down the line and switched the plant over to the reservoir for the weekend.  Production then fell and consumption climbed over the weekend due to hot weather.  The transmission line was repaired the following week and the district is back on creek water.  Consumption continues to be at historic low levels when compared to the most recent three years; as such, the district is better positioned as it heads into this late summer and fall.

    The Board reviewed the TTHM/HAA5 notice sent out to district customers on July 13th.  The California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) no longer issues letters of violation; rather, the district is required to send out public notices on its own initiative on a quarterly basis as long as the district’s treated water exceeds the maximum contaminant levels for TTHMs and/or HAA5s.   Staff is in discussions with CDPH about next steps and progress toward a “solution” for these exceedences.   Unfortunately, preliminary results at the Inverness PUD from that district’s GAC pilot study are not encouraging – the pilot plant is utilizing a high volume of GAC, which suggests such an approach would be very costly on a district-wide basis.  IPUD and the BCPUD are now researching a possible aeration solution based on success at the Solano Water District. In related news, the district’s Consumer Confidence Report for 2008 was mailed out to district customer during June 2009.

    Staff expects to receive engineering drawings and specifications very soon for the work needed at the district’s PRV station at the intersection of Olema-Bolinas and Mesa Roads.  Staff is planning to have this work performed prior to the installation of the County bike path in this location. 
Staff noted that shift operator Scotty Hanks recently passed his water treatment T-1 exam, so now certified and qualified to work independently on stand-by and weekends. 

    The Board reviewed correspondence recently received from FEMA, which appears to approve in full the district’s request for reimbursement funding for monies spend on restoration after the 2005-2006 winter storms.  The Board also reviewed a field report prepared by an outside technician concerning a service visit and operational training conducted for BCPUD staff at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff completed a repair of certain valves in the spray fields last week and removed invasive ice plant from the inner pond levies.  Additional mowing is planned for next week. 
    Staff presented a written quote of $8,800 to replace the second irrigation pump; no well head or shaft is needed, but the pump’s bells and impeller have deteriorated.  The pump manufacturer has advised that these pumps should be activated regularly during the non-spray season to reduce the potential for corrosion and deterioration.  The Board has no objection to the purchase of the irrigation pump. 

    Staff has confirmed that the State Water Resources Control Board’s recent notifications about annual permit fees to operate the district’s sewer system both apply to the district’s sewer system as the fees are assessed pursuant to two separate orders of the state board (one order pertains to the sewer system generally and the second order pertains specifically to the collections system component). 

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting, including letters of thanks from customers for the Board granting financial relief due to water leaks and thanks from the Bolinas Community Center for the district’s contribution of funds toward the Center’s installation of a waterless urinal and ADA-compliance toilet. 

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

The final building specifications are almost complete and ready to be put out to bid.

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

Nothing to report.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

The Board reviewed a written report submitted by Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.

4.   Community Expression.

Cela O’Connor provided copies of her recent submissions to the County Local Coastal Plan Update planners on the draft Natural Communities Issue Paper and reported that the Planning Commission has halted its practice of holding “straw votes” on an issue-by-issue basis during its review of draft Issue Papers.

5.   Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 45 Wharf Road (McDougall).

Eric McDougall was present to answer questions regarding his written expanded water use application.  Director Smith commended the applicant on the “superb” efforts  he was making to reduce water use and said this application could serve as a model for the district.  He noted, however, that the applicant may not always own this property and, due to nature of the project, (which adds plumbing features), he recommends approval of a conditional expanded water use permit.  Director Amoroso concurred.

J. McClellan/V. Amoroso        all in favor     to grant a conditional expanded water use permit based on the historic water use at the property or the community average, whichever is higher, plus 50% or 500 c ft., whichever is less.
6.   Advisory Ballot Measure for the November 3, 2009 Election re: Camping on Bolinas Beach.

Shall the Bolinas Community Public Utility District request a County Ordinance which prohibits camping on the Bolinas Beach full time and year round?

Director Siedman provided a brief summary of the background of this issue, including the County’s implementation of the current ordinance banning weekend camping, the prior vote of the BCPUD Board of Directors several years ago in support of banning camping year-round (a 3-2 vote), the Board’s appointment of a volunteer committee to study the camping problem (and beach issues more generally), given the close Board vote, the issuance of the committee’s report recommending a full-time ban on camping, and so forth.  He noted that Supervisor Kinsey has said that it is important for the County Supervisors to understand how the community feels about an extension of the existing weekend ban – hence, the advisory ballot measure.

    Cela O’Connor praised the careful work of the Beach Committee and its recommendation for a full-time ban.  She said it is very important to hold a community meeting to discuss the advisory ballot measure as many people are unaware of the very serious public health and safety issues at the beach;  she volunteered to organize a meeting to be held at the Bolinas Community Center.  Director McClellan agreed that a public meeting is necessary, particularly now that the Bolinas Beach has been touted in various publications as “the last unregulated campsite on the California coast.”  Bruce Bowser noted his niece sent him a newspaper from London describing Bolinas Beach as the only beach in the SF Bay Area where “dogs, beach fires and camping” are allowed.  He said that he has lived near the beach for 16 years and that things are better now, but largely due to the weekend ban on camping.  He agreed with the importance of a public meeting.  Director Kimball stated that the Board previously approved paying the costs of such a meeting, including the services of a meeting facilitator. 

J. McClellan/D. Smith        all in favor    to submit the proposed advisory measure language as set forth above to the County for inclusion on the November ballot.

    Director Smith observed that the deadline for submission of argument for and against advisory measures is August 17th and the deadline for rebuttal arguments is August 24th.   Staff was instructed to notify the former Beach Committee members of these deadlines and include an article in the Hearsay News to inform the community.   Director Smith said that each argument is allowed a maximum of five (5) signatures;  the County will be pick one argument “for” and one argument “against”, with a preference for arguments submitted by persons including Board members, or bona fide voter associations or citizen associations.  Director Amoroso said the measure should be submitted to the voters of the Fire Protection District, not just the voters of the BCPUD. 

    Director Smith said that he would like to write an argument against the measure and that he would like to be authorized to do so by the Board.  Discussion ensued as to whether this would be appropriate, given that the district was sponsoring the measure and the potential for it to appear as though the district is opposed to it.  Director McClellan said that the first amendment grants freedom of speech and director Smith cannot be prevented from submitting an argument;  however, it should be clear that he is not representing the BCPUD Board of Directors in his argument.  Director Smith said that he feels the Beach Committee should be designated to write the argument in favor of the measure and he would like to be designated to write the argument against it.  Director Kimball expressed concern that director Smith’s name on the argument against the measure will imply that the Board of Directors as a whole is against the measure.  Director Smith said that he does not need to identify himself as a member of the BCPUD Board in his submittal; he merely wants the Board to authorize a group “for” and a group “against” so that the arguments submitted rise to the top of the County’s priority list when selecting which arguments to include on the ballot.  After further discussion, the Board agreed to notify the community via articles in the Hearsay News of the upcoming ballot measure argument deadlines and to inform them that two community members, Don Smith (against) and Bruce Browser (in favor) have volunteered to coordinate argument submittals.

7.    Update on the County of Marin’s Plan and Schedule to Install a Bike Path on the East Side of Olema-Bolinas Road during July-August 2009.

    Director McClellan said that he would like to make a motion of support for the County bike path project and Director Smith seconded the motion.  Director Amoroso said that two-thirds of the community approved the project several years ago in an advisory vote; he inquired whether the project has changed since that approval.  Director Smith said that a community committee had designed the path approved by voters in 2002; subsequently, environmental review mandated certain changes to the path design (i.e., path location was adjusted due to the presence of wetlands and red-legged frogs and it is now 6-feet wide, rather than 8-feet wide), but it is fundamentally the same project as approved by the community in 2002.  Director Smith said it is essential for kids to have a safe route to bike to school and that the concept of such a path has been in the community plan since the 1970’s. 

    Staff presented a summary of the operational considerations involved in the path installation.  The district’s water main currently is located on the east side of Olema-Bolinas Road, just outside the paved road;  the district plans to install an upgraded water main in the future approximately three feet further east (i.e., in the five-foot separation between the edge of road pavement and the west edge of the bike path), if and when funding becomes available.  Unfortunately, PG&E recently proposed to relocate its power poles into this location – closer to the district’s existing water main, thereby preventing the district from being able to install its upgraded main in this location.  BCPUD objected to PG&E’s plans and a meeting was held at the project site on July 10th with senior Department of Public Works personnel, BCPUD personnel and Supervisor Kinsey;  the County ultimately proposed to move the edge of Olema-Bolinas Road approximately 12-18 inches to the west so that only one of PG&E’s poles will need to be relocated, thereby preserving the ability for the BCPUD to install is upgraded water main at a future date.  Director Amoroso said that if the BCPUD supports the bike path plan, it must be clear that it supports the plan as agreed on July 10th, which does not involve PG&E relocating its poles into the planned route of the BCPUD’s upgraded water main. 

J. McClellan/D. Smith        all in favor    to write a letter of support to the County for the installation of the bike path per the design adjustments agreed to on July 10, 2009.

8.    Resource Recovery Project:  Presentation of Site Plan.

    The Board reviewed a site plan submitted by Resource Recovery Project (“RRP”) Manager Mike Aitken for the RRP, which includes an expansion of the Murchs’ existing farming activities to the north side of the RRP driveway and the installation of a grove of fruit trees on the hillside above.  Mike said he would prefer to continue to oversee the farming activities near the site (rather than have the BCPUD do so) to ensure the site is well-maintained;  he noted that the RRP now has quarterly inspections by the County Environmental Health Services department and it is critical that the site is clean and well-tended.  Director Amoroso requested that any amendment to the Murchs’ farming lease be approved by BCPUD staff.  The Board then discussed the recent removal of several trees from the RRP site, which Mike explained was necessary as forest management (most of the trees were damaged or dead) to reduce fire risk and also to provide sufficient sunlight for the planned grove of fruit trees.  Barbara Kayfetz said that as a former disaster coordinator, she is concerned whether the removal of trees could create a “tunnel” of air that might actually worsen the fire risk; she made clear she does not object to the removal of eucalyptus or infected trees, but feels strongly that no action should be taken that might increase fire risk.  Mike Aitken explained that he plans to manage the new area exactly like the forest section in back of the RRP office;  Barbara reviewed a copy of the site plan and then stated her support for the plan.  She thanked Mike for all of his hard work on behalf of the RRP.

9.    Request from Bolinas Fire Protection District to Clear Encroaching Vegetation from the BCPUD Rights-of-Way on the Bolinas Gridded Mesa.

    Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown, volunteer Steve Marcotte and BFPD Board President Phil Binley requested the BCPUD’s assistance in removing encroaching vegetation from the public rights-of-way on the Bolinas Mesa to improve evacuation routes.  Fire danger is very high on the Bolinas Mesa due to three consecutive years of drought and accumulated overgrowth of vegetation.  The public roads on the Bolinas Mesa have narrowed over time and the BFPD has identified priority routes for vegetation removal, including Poplar, Alder, Evergreen and Ocean Parkway South.  Anita emphasized that this vegetation clearing is critical to evacuation and cannot be deferred.  The BFPD requested the BCPUD, as the public entity with authority to enforce the public easements over the roads, engage in regular mowing of the vegetation encroaching into the rights-of-way in the interest of public safety.  Director Kimball said that she has been involved with the Disaster Council and would like to see the two districts (i.e., BFPD and BCPUD) work together on this problem; she inquired about the best next steps the districts can take.  Director Smith suggested that the districts hire Don Murch with his brush hog and other machinery to clear priority evacuation and egress routes.  Anita said that ideally the roads would be cleared sufficiently to allow a fire engine to pass a vehicle on these roads, which means that a minimum of 16-feet of width.  Discussion ensued during which BCPUD Board Directors expressed their support for coordinating and financing this important public safety project.  Director Amoroso said it will be important for the BCPUD to inform the community about the project;  staff indicated that the district can do so via the monthly customer newsletter, as well as the Hearsay News. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to appoint the BCPUD Board Mesa, Septic & Roads Committee (i.e., Directors Smith and McClellan) to work with representatives from the BFPD to prioritize roads for vegetation clearing and obtain cost estimates for the work.

10. Bolinas Fire Protection District Coastal Permit (CP-09-40), Use Permit (09-27), and Design Review  (09-72), 100 Mesa Drive, Bolinas 94924 (Crown Castle telecommunication tower upgrade)

    Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown explained that the Fire Protection District has a long-standing lease with Crown Castle, who requested on April 19th to modify their antennas.  The Fire Protection District then discussed the matter during three separate Board meetings, obtained EMF reports and studied the issues presented by the request.  The district concluded that, in a “worst case” scenario, there would be less than a 1% increase in EMF output as a result of the proposed antenna modification.  The district therefore approved the Crown Castle request at its June meeting.  Director Kimball asked whether there was an increase in water usage anticipated as a result of the modification and Director Amoroso asked whether there will be any new structures at the property site – in both cases, Chief Tyrrell-Brown said no.  Director Siedman inquired whether there were any comments to convey to the County on this application;  there were none.

11.    Request from the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District (“BSUSD”) for the BCPUD to Consider A Rent Reduction for the Bolinas Childrens’ Center.

Arianne Dar, President of the BSUSD Board of Trustees, was present to speak on behalf of the request, which she said was motivated by a request received by the BSUSD to reduce the rent for the Stinson Beach preschool.  The school currently charges the Stinson Beach Preschool $500 per month in rent;  the preschool has requested a 50% rent reduction.  The Board discussed the cost to the district of utilities for the Bolinas Childrens’ Center leased space and the importance of not gifting public funds;  specifically, the Board agreed it was important that the cost of utilities for the preschool must be covered by the amount of rent charged.  . 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor        to reduce the rent charged to the Bolinas Childrens’ Center to an amount that is $1 more per month than the cost to the BCPUD of operating the space.

12.    Request from the Pesticide Free Zone, Inc. for the BCPUD to Participate in Demand for an Open Investigation by the County of Marin into Breaches of the Integrated Pest Management Ordinance.

Director Smith said he researched the background events leading to the request from the Pesticide Free Zone and spoke with its director.  He learned that in 1999, the County passed an Integrated Pest Management (“IPM”) Ordinance prohibiting the County from using any ingredient classified by the federal EPA as a possible carcinogen.  A ten-person commission was appointed (consisting of 5 citizens and five County representatives), including Stacy Carlson as chair, to administer the ordinance.  Mr. Carlson delegated this administrative task and, according to the Pesticide Free Zone, the designee “dropped the ball”.  It has been difficult for the public to obtain information about the County’s use of pesticides and/or compliance with the IPM Ordinance. Ultimately, two Public Records Act requests were filed and revealed that the County has violated its own ordinance 269 times since its enactment.  Director Smith said he is very disturbed by these developments and favors the district weighing in with a letter. Director Kimball agreed and suggested that the district send a letter to County Board of Supervisors President Hal Brown requesting that the County undertake a thorough investigation and that a new IPM coordinator be appointed as soon as possible.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to send a letter to Board of Supervisors President Hal Brown requesting an investigation of the IPM Ordinance violations and confirmation that an impartial and committed County representative is overseeing administration of the ordinance.

13.    Ordinance 36: Rescinding BCPUD Resolution 152 and Adopting New Rules and Regulations Regarding Transfers of Water Meters.

Director McClellan is in the process of reviewing the draft ordinance, but preliminarily objects to the inclusion of a provision requiring an engineer’s report in connection with a water meter transfer application as unnecessary.  He said that the ordinance must clearly state that any water meter transfer applicant also must obtain an expanded water use permit in accordance with Resolution 173.  Director Kimball concurred and said she appreciates the included reference to the Bolinas Community Plan in the draft ordinance.  Director Amoroso said that he needs to be convinced that revising the existing resolution (152) will benefit the community or the BCPUD, or both, as he is not sure there is good reason to change it.  Director Smith stated that he generally does not believe the district should restrict someone’s freedom without a good reason and that he cannot think of a good reason why the district should restrict water meter transfers that otherwise meet all legal requirements and do not increase the customers’ water usage.   Director Amoroso said that he does not believe the district has ever objected to a water meter transfer for which there is a good reason – he feels there should be a demonstrated reason why a customer wants to move their meter.  After further discussion during which directors offered several suggested revisions to the draft ordinance, staff was directed to redraft the ordinance and circulate it for additional Board review.

14.    2009-10 Budget Adoption: Resolution No. 580 Approving Budget; Resolution No. 581 Stating Current Rates and Charges and Authorizing Placement of Charges on Marin County Property Tax Bill.

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor    to approve Resolution 580.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolution 581.

15.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Planning Group:  Director Kimball noted that the next Planning Commission workshop scheduled to discuss the update of the Local Coastal Plan will be on July 27, 2009 in Point Reyes Station.

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

-- Resource Recovery:   The Board reviewed a letter from RRP Manager Mike Aitken to Supervisor Steve Kinsey dated July 8, 2009 requesting payment of certain County fees charged in connection with recent permits issued to the RRP.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  The Board requested that staff contact the County road crew to advise them about the deteriorating condition of Terrace Avenue at Overlook. 

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the West Nile Virus Task Force will next meet on August 17th in a public meeting at the Civic Center.  The West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council met the previous Monday but did not have a quorum.  The council is working with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District to educate the public about the no spray list and the new notification process.  Director Kimball emphasized that West Marin is protected by virtue of the current Working Agreement.  In related news, due to a recently-filed lawsuit the federal EPA has agreed to evaluate the impact of pesticide uses in the Bay Area and temporarily suspend their use;  the council intends to send a letter in support of the EPA’s action.  The council also plans to contact organic farmers in West Marin to solicit their comment on the Local Coastal Plan Update section on agriculture and pesticide use. 

16.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Approve Engagement Letter for Bunker & Company – FY 2008-09 Audit

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball        all in favor    to approve the engagement letter with Bunker & Company.
-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Amendment of Road Grading Policy for the Bolinas Gridded Mesa Rights-of-Way.   Director Smith offered a potential amendment to Ordinance 30 for road grading specifications.  Director McClellan suggested that the item be postponed for a month as Kent Khtikian would like to be present for the discussion; there was no objection

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:   Director Siedman reported that the Mesa Park Board plans to send a letter to the BCPUD and the BSUSD proposing to declare its facilities “complete” and transition to a publicly-elected Board.   Mesa Park also is preparing a letter to the State of California requesting to amend its reclamation grant proposal to use well water from the well installed on the sewer pond property, rather than wastewater from Pond 3. 

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:   Director Amoroso stated that he favors proceeding with understory management in the eucalyptus grove.

b. Minutes of the June 17, 2009 Regular Meeting

Directors Amoroso, Kimball and Smith offered amendments  to the minutes.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the minutes, as amended.

c. Warrants

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

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    August 19, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

17.  Adjournment.

11:24 p.m.