Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
July 16, 2014    270 Elm Road, Bolinas



1.   Call to Order.


           7:30 p.m.


2.   Roll.


            Directors Amoroso, Comstock, and Siedman; director Smith attending by telephone and director Godino absent.  Director Siedman presiding.


3.   Manager’s Report.


-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.


Staff reported that a subset of the Working Group met on July 5th with Kim Bender, former BCPUD Board member and former Project Manager for the Firehouse & Clinic Building Project, to hear her thoughts and advice on fundraising for the bluff stabilization project.  Director Smith prepared a written summary of the meeting and a copy of his report is in the Board binders (Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown and Ralph Camiccia also attended the meeting).  The full Working Group will be meeting next week, likely to discuss the next steps for a community meeting to be hosted by the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District.


-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.


Lewie Likover sent a set of documents to Zach Rounds at the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) for his review and approval regarding the district’s plans to rehabilitate the old clarifier outside the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant (“WWTP”), install automatic controls for chlorine dosing and plant shut down when turbidity levels are high, and begin a coagulation pilot protocol.  The initial feedback was positive, but SWRCB requested additional detailed information, including a better plan of how the clarifier will look/operate after the rehabilitation.  In response to request from Board members, Lewie explained that the district’s consultant, Jonathan Van Bourg will be sending detailed drawings to the SWRCB later this week.  Lewie said that he also is taking samples from the Woodrat #1 reservoir at the request of the reservoir management consultant, Dr. Horne.  Finally, staff noted that the chlorine disinfection byproduct sample results for the second quarter of 2014 have been received and the district remains out of compliance; as such, notices will be sent to customers within the next week.


-- Update on BCPUD’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan.


As reported last meeting, the district’s engineers have asked for additional data and staff will be working on gathering the information over the next month so that the engineers can complete their valuations for the Capital Improvement Plan.


Staff reported that water consumption was lower for the Downtown area this past quarter as compared to the same quarter during in the last several years – in fact, consumption was down to post-rationing levels.  Overall, the district is averaging (year-to-date) about 75,000 gallons per day in water use (but that crept up in June to an average closer to 85,000 with a high of 114,000 gallons per day, which converts to approximately 128 gallons per day per household.  This is below the 150 gallons per day ration levels of 2009 and is more than a 25% reduction in overall consumption, which is in sharp contrast to the rest of the state – the news today is reporting that the state’s water consumption has actually increased over the last year and that the Bay Area overall has reduced its consumption by only by 1%.  As a result of the low consumption levels, the district is able to supply the town exclusively from its preferred water source, the Arroyo Hondo creek, and the two emergency reservoirs are full.


Staff reported that the SWRCB passed emergency water conservation regulations yesterday that go into effect August 1st and will apply state-wide.  The regulations prohibit certain outdoor water uses and require urban water agencies to implement mandatory outdoor water use restrictions, report monthly water production data, and provide estimates of the gallons/per/day/per/person usage in their districts to the SWRCB.  Enforcement of the new regulations will be primarily at the local level.  The final regulations prohibit the following outdoor water uses:

The Chair of SWRCB has explained that her agency is targeting “water waste” first rather than mandating percentage reductions and implementing prohibitions on outdoor use because it is easiest to enforce (and a large percentage of California’s water is used out-of-doors).   


The SWRCB also has proposed a new rule concerning “discharges” from drinking water systems and appears to apply to planned and unplanned discharges to waters of the United States (inland surface waters, enclosed bays and estuaries), such as dewatering and flushing for maintenance, disinfection, etc.  The new rule is about 70 pages long and requires all drinking water systems to enroll under the new rule, pay an annual permit fee, comply with certain monitoring and reporting requirements, notify the Regional board of any planned discharges, promulgate an eroision flood control plan, notify the Office of Emergency Services of any unplanned discharges, prepare and submit annual self-monitoring reports, and so on.  The new proposed rule already has generated a lot of comment and resistance from water agencies throughout the state.


Staff directed the Board’s attention to the 2014 water license reports submitted to the SWRCB for the district water sources.


Staff noted that the district’s risk management representative from ACWA/Joint Powers Insurance Authority will conduct a site visit of the district’s facilities tomorrow.


The Terrace Avenue Stair Rehabilitation project is complete and the stairs were opened to the public this past Monday.  The district received a lot of positive feedback and thanks from the community for this project.  Next, the staff will begin the project to fumigate and re-side the lab building at the sewer ponds.


Staff told the Board that numerous obstructions remain in the Zebra right-of-way and that Sue Verhalen has called to complain that she cannot access her property.  Staff inspected the location today and there has been very little progress made by either the property owner or his tenant(s) to remove these obstructions.  Staff has written the property owner four letters and has met with him twice at the property, to no avail.  Staff consulted with the County about the district’s possible remedies and is now prepared to file a complaint about the obstructions (which constitute a land use violation) with the County’s Code Enforcement office.  Staff recommends that the district reach out to the property owner one more time and let him know that Code Enforcement will be contacted if the obstructions are not removed immediately.  Staff said there is no desire to pursue this course of action, but the property owner is leaving the district no choice as the adjacent property owners need access to their property and the district needs access to its water lines.  There was no objection from the Board.


      On the wastewater side of operations, the flows into the system remain quite low, consistent with the low water use in the district.  There has been an issue with odor at the treatment ponds for the last two weeks or so due to an algae bloom in Pond 2 which has now been addressed.  The odor is much less noticeable now and the staff is grateful for the community’s understanding as the district worked to solve the problem. 


The SWRCB has issued a notice of an intent to adopt a general rule for “small domestic wastewater treatment system”.  The notice was recently published (in June), and comments are due on July 25th, which is only a 30-day comment period.  This is the first staff has heard of the proposed rule and inquired with the district’s wastewater consultant about it; the engineer explained that the SWRCB knows that there are dozens of outdated permits out there governing small wastewater operators, and this is the agency’s way of trying to update those old permits (i.e., on a comprehensive rule basis rather than amend each permit one-by-one).  There will be a hearing on the proposed rule on September 23rd at 9 a.m.  Staff noted that this rule – similar to the proposed water rule discussed earlier – is very lengthy and staff needs more time to analyze the potential implications for the district’s operations.


Finally, staff directed the Board’s attention to a Grand Jury Report issued June 10, 2014 concerning all of the sewer agencies in Marin County.  A response is requested from the BCPUD to certain of the Findings and Recommendations in the report and are due to the Grand Jury within 90 days of the issuance of the report, or September 14, 2014.  Staff plans to agendize a proposed response for Board review and action at the August 20th regular Board  meeting.


-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.


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


4.   Community Expression.


            Director Amoroso reported that Bolinas-Stinson Union School Board member Jennie Pfeiffer is advocating for the school to purchase the neighboring Weber land, which is currently for sale, as a means by which to have a safe place to move the school in the event of sea level rise and to ensure the land not get into “bad hands”.


            Bobbi Likover told the Board that trees are being planted in the Poplar right-of-way.  Director Siedman explained that the district has an ordinance (Ordinance 30) addressing how to file a complaint with the district about obstructions in the right-of-way.  Bobbi explained that the trees are in the Poplar right-of-way between Cedar and Dogwood and growing out into the road.  She noted that the BCPUD helped take down big trees in that same right-of-way about a block down at great expense and she would hate to see this happen again. 


5.   Coastal Permit and Use Permit; Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 9 Brighton Avenue, APN# 193-075-11 (A. Patton for K. Geminder).


Alethea Patton appeared on behalf of the property owner and explained that this is a project to add a loft level to an existing legal second unit; because it is taller and closer to the property line than the zoning setback rules allow, the County is requiring a coastal permit and a use permit.  She stated that there will be no increase in the number of bathrooms or bedrooms.  Staff noted that there is an existing expanded water use permit for this property that permits 2450 cubic feet per quarter of water use.


L. Comstock/V. Amoroso:         four in favor; director Godino absent       to reaffirm the terms of the existing conditional permit for this property.


6.         Coastal Permit and Use Permit; Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 555 Dogwood Road, APN# 192-042-37 (J. Lambert for A. Dar).


Arianne Dar explained that she plans to tear down the existing structure at the property and replace it with a new house plus a separate studio building.  She explained that the purpose of the project is to create a long-term rental property for local residents and she said the structures will not be used as vacation or weekend rentals. 


Phil Buchanan inquired whether a date has been set for the County Planning Commission to consider the coastal permit allocation and whether story poles will be erected at the site.  Arianne said that a hearing date has not yet been set and that story poles will be erected as soon as the application is deemed complete.  Phil said that he has received comments from various neighbors, all of which center on the idea of whether the project as proposed is an appropriate scale for the neighborhood given that the primary structure will be 25 feet tall.  He said there is a concern that the new structure will loom over the neighboring properties given the minimal 10-foot set back.  In addition, he noted that the structure will diminish the only westward view from his property.  He observed that the proposed studio structure is 200 square feet bigger than his own house and he is concerned it might be convereted into a second unit that will need its own parking, etc.  He requested that the owner accept a deed restriction committing that the studio will not be converted into a habitable unit.  Bobbi Likover expressed support for this suggestion.


Arianne Dar said that the County is requiring that she install a re-conditioned septic system in the back corner of the property, which is where she would have preferred to build the main house.  She explained that she decided to also build the studio building because she has heard from many in the community that there is not a sufficient amount of studio space available for artists or carpenters, so she is hoping to provide some.  Arianne said that she understands the concerns about the height of the main house, but it is within the allowable limit and that the building itself is quite narrow – only abour 12-feet wide – and the spaces inside are very small.  Director Siedman inquired whether she would be willing to record a deed restriction committing not to convert the studio into a habitable unit.  Arianne responded that as a board member of the Bolinas Community Land Trust, she could not support such a property restriction -- she intends to eventually leave the property as developed to the Land Trust so that it will always be used as community housing for local residents.  After a brief discussion, director Siedman directed staff to convey the comments expressed by the neighbors to the County Planning Department.


V. Amoroso/L. Comstock:         four in favor; director Godino absent                   to approve a conditional expanded water use permit with the usage capped at the community average plus 50%, consistent with BCPUD Resolution 627.


7.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 8 Horseshoe Hill Road (C. Borg).


Christine Borg explained that the leak was caused by a malfunction in a water heater located in the barn on their property.  The water heater must have been leaking for a while, but they did not know about it as no one has been living in the barn for some time.  Director Comstock expressed surprise that the leak was not noticed as the amount of water lost was significant – more than 40,000 gallons.  Christine said that she was unaware of it until a day when she walked past the barn and saw water.  Discussion ensued between the Board members about the appropriate amount of financial relief to award based on past similar cases.  Staff noted that at the most recent meeting, the Board awarded 50% relief to a customer whose landlord left a hose running in the back yard that was not noticed for some time.


V. Amoroso/L. Comstock          four in favor, director Godino absent       to approve a 50% reduction in the bill of the amount attributable to the leak based on the historical average water use at the property during the same quarter for the past three years.


8.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 305 Jute Road (S. Russum).


Sue Ann Russum told the Board that she hired plumbers to come check everything at her house.  A leak in a fixture under the house was located and repaired, but she then received a second large bill and the plumber came back out and ultimately located a leak in the washing machine under the house, which was then repaired immediately.  Director Comstock noted that the four-year water use history at the property indicates many quarters of high water consumption; he said that nearly 80,000 gallons of water were lost due to the two leaks in the most recent quarters, noting that this is an extraordinary amount of water.  Director Smith said that while the amount of water lost due to the leaks was high, it seems that Sue Ann was diligent in trying to find them and get them repaired as soon as possible.  On the other hand, he said that her typical usage is much higher than the Bolinas average, so it does not appear that she is making much effort to conserve water, which argues against much financial relief.  Sue Ann said that she did not realize her water usage was out of step with the community.  Discussion ensued among the Board members about the appropriate amount of financial relief to grant in this case and director Amoroso cautioned Sue Ann that if such a large water loss occurs at the property again, the Board will not be willing to grant financial relief again.


L. Comstock/V. Amoroso                      all in favor, director Godino absent                      to approve a 50% reduction in the bill of the amount attributable to the leak based on the historical average water use at the property during the same two quarters for the past three years.


9.   Relocation and Improvement of Trash and Recycle Bins on BCPUD Property at Entrance to Brighton Beach (R. Hart).


Janine Aroyan presented a preliminary drawing of a proposed relocation and improvement of the existing trash and recycle bins on BCPUD property at the entrance to Brighton Beach.  She explained that a more detailed plan is under development and that all work will be done on a volunteer basis.  Director Siedman suggested that Janine present the finalized design to the Board at the August meeting and the Board can then circulate it to nearby property owners for their review, with a vote on the project scheduled for the September meeting.  Director Smith inquired whether Remick Hart applied to Marin County Zero Waste for a grant to pay for the project and director Siedman affirmed that he did.


10. Bolinas Community Center:  Community Art at the Beach (StuArt).


StuArt told the Board that he would like to curate the art on the ramp down to Brighton Beach, working with Schehera and with Mike Shine, to make it beautiful for the community.  He said that the Board of Directors of the Bolinas Community Center has approved this conceptually and established a Beach Art Committee.  StuArt said he is trying to take a positive approach to addressing the issues down at the beach with the gang graffetti and tagging of rocks and other natural materials.  In response to questions from the Board, StuArt said he would like the community to take responsibility for its beach and change the culture there; he does not want the deputy sheriffs to have to get involved and also wants to avoid any confrontations.  Discussion ensued, and director Amoroso said that rather than “approve” StuArt’s proposal, he would prefer that the Board not object to it.  Director Comstock said that he supports StuArt’s work and agrees with director Amoroso that the Board should not object to it, but he has no interest in policing the art.  Director Smith said that he really likes StuArts approach:  it’s positive and could change the culture.  StuArt thanked the Board and stated that there will be a community meeting on this topic at the Bolinas Community Center on August 5th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.


11. C-SMART -- Collaboration: Sea-level Marin – Adaptation Response Team; Stakeholder Advisory Committee (to assist the County of Marin’s Community Development Agency in assessing impacts that sea level rise may bring to people, natural and built environment resources of Marin’s coastal area and identifying adaptation strategies).


Director Smith reported that he and director Amoroso attended a recent meeting on the County’s new effort to assess the impact of sea level rise.  He said that many Community Development Agency employees were present (Brian Crawford, Jack Liebster, etc.) and also representatives from Point Blue and the USGS.  There does not appear to be serious disagreement about the fact that Marin County will experience sea level rise, but there is uncertainty as to when it will happen.  The County has received grant funding to develop an action plan and incorporate any necessary amendments into the Local Coastal Plan.  He said it will be important for Bolinas to participate in the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and he suggested the BCPUD nominate someone.  Discussion ensued and staff was directed to place an article in the Hearsay News and inform the community about the committee and ask them to send in statements of interest to the BCPUD if they would like to serve; if applications are received, the Board will hold a special meeting on July 30th to consider the applicants and nominate a representative.


12. Redwood Empire Disposal Company’s Recycling Program.


Director Comstock reported that he met with three representatives from Redwood Empire about the company’s practice of mixing some of the garbage with the recycling; he is concerned because this practice reduces the amount of recyclables, the quality of the recyclables, and increases labor costs (for sorting the material at the company yard).  He said it also means that persons separating their garbage and recycling at their homes are wasting their time.  Director Comstock said the company has suggested that if the BCPUD can work with community members to place all of their cans (green, blue and gray) in areas accessible to the larger disposal trucks, the company can commit to not mixing the trash and recycling and will provide a letter to that effect.  (At present, the company uses its smaller trucks to pick up trash and recycling in areas of town where the larger trucks cannot maneuver.)  Discussion ensued among Board members about the pros and cons of this approach vs. visiting the company yard and confirming that sorting is happening as the company describes.  Director Comstock said he still intends to visit the company yard and will report back after that visit, at which time he hopes to have a list of the customers who the BCPUD would need to contact about the placement of their cans.


13. Resolution 629: Approving the 2014-15 District Budget.


V. Amoroso/L. Comstock          four in favor, director Godino absent       to approve Resolution 629.


14. Resolution 630: Replaces Resolution No. 621, Stating the Current Rates and Charges for District Services and Authorizing Placement of Charges on the Marin County Property Tax Bill Where Appropriate.


V. Amoroso/L. Comstock          four in favor, director Godino absent       to approve Resolution 630.


15. Water Supply Update.


Nothing to report.


16.  Volunteer Committee Reports.


-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.


-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Nothing to report.


-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.


-- Water Conservation Assistance Committee:  Nothing to report.


-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Amoroso reported that the current non-toxic protocol agreement has been extended by nine months while negotiations about a renewal of the agreement for a set term continue.


-- Land Stewardship Committee:  Director Siedman reported that the next meeting of the Committee will be August 1, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.


17.          Other Business


a.  Board Committee Reports


-- Finance: Minutes of the May 13, 2014 Finance Committee meeting.


V. Amoroso/L. Comstock             four in favor, director Godino absent       to approve the mintues of the May 13, 2014 Finance Committee meeting.


-- Legal:  Nothing to report.


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


-- Operations:  Nothing to report.


-- Park and Recreation:  Staff reported that the mandatory site walk took place earlier in the day for the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom project.  Five contractors attended and numerous questions were raised, which the district will answer via addendum. 


-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.


-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.


b. Minutes of the June 18, 2014 Regular Meeting.


Directors Smith and Amoroso offered clarifying revisions to the draft minutes of the June 18, 2014 regular Board meeting.


V. Amoroso/L. Comstock             four in favor, director Godino absent       to approve the minutes of the June 19, 2014 regular Board meeting, as amended.


c. Warrants


L. Comstock/V. Amoroso     four in favor, director Godino absent       to approve the warrant list.


d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 


       August 20, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.


18.  Adjournment.


10:17 p.m.