Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
July 19, 2006     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    8:00 p.m.

2.    Roll

    Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan and Smith present; Director Siedman absent.  Vice President Amoroso presiding.

3.    Manager’s Report

Staff updated the Board on recent district operations.  Fortunately, the district experienced no problems as a result of the extended power outage earlier in the week;  all back-up systems were activated and operated smoothly.  On the water side of operations, staff has noted an increase in water consumption that is beginning to outpace the treatment plant’s ability to produce water;  if this trend continues, staff will post conservation notices urging customers to cut back on water usage until the production levels can be restored.  The pipeline replacement project on Fern Road between Elm and Ocean Parkway is underway;  in addition, the staff has installed a new line on Nymph Road to service two homes on Oak Road.  On the wastewater side, staff has repaired a significant leak in the spray fields which was discovered after the recent mowing.  The motors in one of the district’s two irrigation pumps at the sewer ponds has burned out and will need to be replaced;  staff plans to have both pumps pulled and examined for any addition repair or replacement work needed.  Staff has initiated a log of wastewater operations to track repairs and other maintenance activities at the ponds.  Finally, outside labor has been hired to remove non-native vegetation in the interior pond area.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last meeting.  Most significantly, the district’s 2005 Consumer Confidence Report was mailed out to all customers on June 30 2006.  Staff noted that the California Department of Health Services will be conducting a site visit to the district on August 30, 2006.   The district also has submitted an application for disaster assistance to FEMA for a small additional project to repair cracks in the Arroyo Honda access road which developed as a result of the spring 2006 storms; staff had a “kick-off” meeting with FEMA on July 18th.  In light of the fact that the district’s previous disaster assistance application pertaining to the damage caused by the New Year’s Eve storms is still under FEMA review, staff has initiated contact with California’s OES to try and advance the process. 

The Board reviewed a draft Agreement of Permissive Use between the BCPUD and Scott Schmidt on Overlook Road, which staff prepared at the direction of the Marin County Recorder’s Office.  This document sets forth the BCPUD’s agreement to permit Dr. Schmidt to locate one of two 5,000 gallon water tanks partially within a BCPUD easement on his property in order to accommodate neighbor concerns about the previously-selected location of the tanks (and a nearby garage).  The BCPUD’s agreement to grant this permissive use is revocable at any time, for any reason.  Directors inquired whether the nearby neighbors were aware of the agreement;  staff responded that Dr. Schmidt has assured staff that he has been in discussions with all concerned neighbors about the location of the water tanks.  After further discussion, staff agreed to contact Dr. Schmidt to re-confirm that neighbors are aware of and have no further objection to the proposed location of the water tanks.

Staff presented a recommendation to approve a request by Dogwood residents Rachel Gertrude and Ward Young to remove three hazardous cypress tress in front of their home;  the trees are at least partially located in the BCPUD right-of-way and partially on Rachel and Ward’s property,  Rachel has submitted an assessment by arborist Ray Moritz that the trees are hazardous and need to be removed and there is no opposition to the removal of the trees by any of the nearby neighbors – in fact, two of the closest neighbors have agreed to share in the cost of the removal of the trees.  Rachel has obtained two bids:  one is $6500-6800 and the other is $4,000.  In light of the fact that the trees are partially in the right-of-way, Rachel and Ward are asking the BCPUD to participate in ¼ of the cost of the tree removal.  Staff recommends approval of the request.   After some discussion, the Board agreed to participate in ¼ of the lowest of the two bids, recommending that Rachel and Ward obtain a third bid and subject to noticing the hazardous tree removal on the next Board agenda.

     -- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

The Board received the Drainage Project Manager’s report;  due to another commitment that evening, Lewie Likover was unable to attend the meeting.   Director Smith commended Lewie’s on-going drainage work in the community;  Director Kimball noted that the report suggests possible neighborhood work days on drainage projects and she urged that any such efforts be widely publicized to ensure the maximum participation possible.

4.    Community Expression

David Kimball reported that Kidson’s lawsuit against the County (in which he, via his limited liability company, challenges the County’s denial of his request to re-zone his property) is scheduled for a court trial on July 26, 2006.  He also noted that the County has sent Mr. Kidson a formal letter notifying him that his trail development activities on the bluff property were in violation of the Coastal Act.  Mr. Kidson, through his attorneys, has denied any violation.

Janine Aroyan gave a status update on the Bolinas Beach Garden Restoration Project:  clean-up of the site is underway and she is working to solicit more funds to complete both the garden restoration and garbage clean-up projects. 

Director Amoroso noted that the gate to Brighton Beach is badly deteriorated;  staff agreed to meet and agree upon a recommendation to either repair or replace the gate.

Cela O’Connor reported that she plans to attend an upcoming BALTAC meeting in August and present documentation of the deleterious effect on the beach and crustaceans of the persistent re-armoring of the Seadrift revetment.  Director Smith commented that the constant re-armoring of rock that has sunk down into the beach is pushing the beach out toward Bolinas and the mouth of the lagoon, and contributing to the sedimentation of the lagoon.

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.

-- Beach:   Magi Barror reported that the Committee had what may be its final meeting the prior evening and agreed upon the content of the Committee’s final report and recommendation to the Board.  The report is in the process of being transcribed by the Committee secretary and will be sent to the BCPUD in advance of the August regular meeting.  Magi requested that an item be included on the August agenda for the Board’s receipt of the Committee’s final report.  He emphasized that the Committee remains extremely concerned about the current disrespect shown to the beach and the recommendations for action therefore will be unusually vehement.  Magi emphasized that considerable community discussion of the Committee’s final report and recommendations should be facilitated following release of the report.   Directors thanked Magi for his work and directed staff to post the Beach Committee final report and recommendations on the BCPUD website following the Board’s receipt of the document at the August meeting. 

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:   Nothing to report.

-- Community Paths Group:  Staff reported that the district currently is in the process of applying for the necessary encroachment and coastal development permit from the County for the installation of the bike path. 

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Staff reported that the committee plans to schedule a meeting with Coastal Commission staff to discuss any concerns about the County’s implementation of the proposed downtown Bolinas parking plan.

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Committee:  Director Kimball reported that the Committee’s final project, to complete the review of documents at the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) as requested via a Public Records Act process, is scheduled for July 24, 2006.  She noted that a new “council” has been formed as a successor entity to the committee;  the primary purpose of the council will be to coordinate efforts in West Marin to educate the community, assist in a non-pesticide approach to mosquito control, and monitor the M&VCD activities.  Director Kimball emphasized that the council has a good relationship with the M&VCD right now;  Liza Goldblatt and Natalie Gates are the council co-chairs.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force:  Director Kimball stated that the WNV statistics are very low, and continue to be much lower than last year, with one human infection and one horse infection.  There has been no WNV activity at all in Marin to date. 

-- Resource Recovery:  Minutes of June meeting; June Financial Report:  The Board received the June financial report in a new format.

6.   Approve Agreement between the Firehouse & Clinic Project and the BCPUD regarding Project Connection to BCPUD Sewer System.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the Agreement between the Firehouse & Clinic Project and the BCPUD regarding the Project Connection to the BCPUD sewer system.

7.    Update:  Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee Activities; Appoint BALTAC representative.

Ralph Camiccia reported that the fate of the lagoon is at a “critical juncture”.  The  Phil Williams report has been issued and approved with some reservation by the BALTAC committee;  the report will next come before the Board of Supervisors.  Ralph noted that the report touches on the Seadrift revetment; however, Seadrift essentially has a “permit for eternity”, despite the fact that many feel that the existence and re-armoring of the wall affects the lagoon.  Ralph noted that Supervisor Kinsey has called a meeting of the Executive Committee to discuss where to go from here and he urged all concerned to write letters to Supervisor Kinsey, the Board of Supervisors, and the Open Space District to express viewpoints on the Williams report.  In response to questions from Director Amoroso, Ralph clarified that he would like the BCPUD to write a letter to encourage Supervisor Kinsey to keep the work going on the lagoon assessment; he said unfortunately, many environmental groups do not want anything to be done in the lagoon.  Director Amoroso noted that the BCPUD in the past has supported a gradualist, incremental approach, with the goal of opening up the channel. 

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to write a letter supporting an incremental interventionist approach to the lagoon, including opening the channel.

With regard to the appointment of a BALTAC representative, Director Amoroso said that he has been serving as the BCPUD representative to BALTAC, but he would like to see an alternate appointed in the event he is unable to attend a meeting.  After some discussion, Ralph Camiccia stated that he would be happy to report on BALTAC proceedings to the BCPUD when Director Amoroso is unable to attend, but that he cannot be the BCPUD representative because he was appointed to the BALTAC in a different capacity.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to reappoint Director Amoroso to serve as the BCPUD representative to BALTAC.

8.   Update on Request that BCPUD Adopt a Resolution Banning the Use of Pesticides on Public Property.

Director Smith stated that after some thought, he would like to suggest that BCPUD amend its road ordinance to ban the use of pesticides in BCPUD rights-of-way;  he feels that this will have more impact than a resolution because an ordinance has the force of law. 

Eleanor Lyman provided copies of a sample resolution that she created based on a resolution adopted by the Stinson Beach Water District.  She urged the Board to consider adoption of a resolution as well as an ordinance and further urged that the Board initiate an educational campaign to alert the community to the dangers posed by the use of pesticides on private property.  Director Kimball pointed out that the BCPUD cannot enforce a ban on pesticides on private property as that is beyond the jurisdiction of the district.  Eleanor acknowledged this, but said she feels the statement of local position on this issue is important. 
    After some discussion, it was agreed that further research is necessary to determine the appropriate format for a BCPUD statement of policy on the subject of pesticide use on public and/or private lands.  Director McClellan agreed to work with Director Smith to fashion a proposed amendment to the roads ordinance.

9.   Approve Moritz Proposed Fencing Route on BCPUD Property at Pine Gulch Creek.

The Board received a fencing and staking map prepared by Director Smith which summarized the most recent site visit to the BCPUD property on Pine Gulch Creek to discuss the fence location with Ranch Manager Bobby Heffelfinger.  Director Smith noted that the placement of virtually each and every stake was carefully negotiated;  in general, the proposed fence location is acceptable – it is well beyond 30 feet from the top of creek bank in every instance and more than 100 feet from the top of creek bank in some locations.  He noted that the creek and associated riparian zone will be protected as a result of the fence installation and he feels positive about the outcome.  He said it will require diligent monitoring to ensure the fence is constructed as  agreed, that fence is not breached by cattle, and that the planned pasture management is properly conducted.  In closing, he noted that BCPUD has requested that the County designate the district as the official “fence monitor” as the County has acknowledged that it does not have the staff to conduct regular monitoring.

Director Kimball stated that in an ideal world, as Cela O’Connor as argued, the BCPUD should hold out for a minimum 100 foot setback from the top of creek bank for the fence location; however, that is not possible and it is imperative that the fence is installed as soon as possible, so that the cattle are out of the creek.  She noted that the proposed agreement on fence location had been reached without a lot of acrimony and that the most vulnerable part of the property is well-protected, which is a significant victory for the BCPUD.  She stated her intention to work very hard to sell the BCPUD property to the National Park Service to ensure its ultimate and perpetual protection.

Staff reported suggestions received from the National Park Service that the southern-most end of the fence should be extended further into the shaded tree area and up the hill in order to foreclose any possibility that cattle will find a way around the end of the fence and down to the creek below.  This is important because the cattle likely will favor this particular area of the property due to the amount of shady space provided there.  Staff also relayed separate comments from a rancher recommending the construction a “loafing shed” for the cattle in the pasture area so that they will have an alternative to seeking shady tree areas near the creek.

Cela O’Connor expressed concern about cattle loafing under the Alder trees near the creek, where the proposed fence location is closest to the creek.  She also questioned the property owners’ commitment to maintenance and monitoring of the fence, based on the present condition of existing fences.  She urged the Board to insist upon the full  100 foot Stream Conservation Area setback for the fence location.

Director Smith assured Cela that the BCPUD would press hard to obtain the inspection and monitoring role to ensure the integrity of the fence and protection of the creek.  Director Kimball stated that she has spoken at length with Gordon Bennett of the Sierra Club and he agrees that installing the fence as soon as possible is more important than insisting on the full 100 foot setback.   She recommended that the BCPUD adopt the proposal for the fence location, subject to it continuing further uphill on the southern end per the NPS comment, to be constructed at the property-owners’ expense.  She further recommended that the BCPUD suggest the construction of a loafing shed to the property owner and seek appointment by the County to monitor the fence.  Director Amoroso said that he would prefer to seek the full benefit of the 100 foot SCA setback.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    three in favor, Director Amoroso opposed    to approve Director Kimball’s recommendations.

Staff was instructed to notify the property owner and ranch manager of the Board’s decision and to contact the County to pursue the necessary monitoring rights, as well as access rights to the property to conduct such monitoring. 

10.    Terrace Avenue:  Discussion of Appointment of Committee to Develop Alternative Access Road.

Director Smith reported that the County continues to hope that FEMA money will be available to repair Terrace Avenue and that County staff are conducting the necessary geotechnical engineering in the event FEMA funds are forthcoming.  The County DPW road crew also has been evaluating the cracks on Terrace at Surfer’s Overlook.  Director Smith noted that Terrace Road ultimately is “doomed” due to the inevitable and inexorable bluff erosion beneath it.  Accordingly, he said that the community needs to start looking at alternatives;  however, Director Smith said he feels it is premature to appoint a committee at this point until it is known whether the County repair will be done. 

Director Kimball said she believes it is not too early to start a community process for the consideration of alternate routes.  She observed that there are maps of Bolinas at the museum with alternate routes suggested; the committee might also consider tonnage limits, revising traffic patterns to declare Terrace a one-way street, and many other options as part of  its evaluation process.  She is concerned about the safety implications of doing nothing at this point and stated that BCPUD and Bolinas Fire Protection District representative both need to be in the committee.

J. McClellan/B.Kimball   three in favor, Director Smith opposed        to appoint a committee to develop alternatives access roads to Terrace Avenue.

Staff was instructed to notify the community of the pending committee appointment via the Hearsay and direct mailing to residents most directly affected by a possible loss of Terrace Avenue (including Marin Way, Rafael Way, Hillside, etc.), and to contact Anita Tyrrell-Brown to seek her membership on the committee..

11. 2006-07 Budget Adoption:  Resolution No. 533 approving budget; Resolution No.534 stating current rates and charges and authorizing placement of charges on Marin County property tax bill.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolution 533.

J. McClellan/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve Resolution 534.

12. 2006-07 District/Employees Memorandum of Understanding.

    This item was deferred for consideration until the next regular meeting of the Board.

13.    Response to May 26, 2006 Marin County Grand Jury Report:  Agendizing Responses to Grand Jury Reports;  Resolution 535 Requiring that BCPUD responses to Grand Jury Reports be Placed on the Regular Meeting Agenda of the BCPUD Board of Directors.

The Board reviewed Resolution 535 and suggested certain minor revisions.

B. Kimball/J. McClellan    all in favor    to adopt Resolution 535, as revised per the discussion.

14.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Nothing to report.

-- Legal:  Staff requested authority to retain legal counsel for advice on routine public agency matters, as necessary;  the Board had no objection.  Director Amoroso reported that he has received an opinion from the Fair Political Practices Commission that there is no ethical problem or conflict of interest issue raised by the fact that family friends have established an educational fund for his children to which members of the community can contribute in memory of his wife.  Director Amoroso emphasized that he has taken steps to ensure that he will not be notified of who has made contributions to the fund, even though this is not required by law. 

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing to report.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:  Director Amoroso and Director Smith agreed to evaluate whether it is time to conduct further eucalyptus management on the sewer pond property.

b.    Minutes of June 21, 2006 Regular Meeting

B. Kimball/D. Smith        three in favor, Amoroso abstaining     to approve the minutes of the June 21, 2006 regular meeting.

c.    Warrants

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d.    Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

August 16, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.

15.    Adjournment

10:54 p.m.