Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
August 17, 2005     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order    8:00 p.m.

2.  Roll

Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman, and Smith present.
Director Siedman presiding

3.  Manager’s Report

    a.    Letter dated August 8, 2005 from the California Department of Health Services

BCPUD received a letter dated August 8, 2005 from the California Department of Health Services (“DHS”) notifying BCPUD of a disinfection byproduct maximum contaminant level violation due to the water system exceeding the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids (based on the calculated annual running average for the past 4 quarters) as established by federal law for drinking water.  Staff advised the Board of the public notification process applicable to this type of violation and reported that notices would be sent to all BCPUD customers and published in the newspaper on or before September 6, 2005.  Staff currently is working with DHS a to evaluate water treatment processes and is researching options to correct the problem;  staff anticipates identifying a solution within the next year. 

    b.    Letter dated August 4, 2005 from the California Coastal Commission

BCPUD received a letter dated August 4, 2005 from the California Coastal Commission in response to BCPUD’s request for all public records pertaining to compliance with Coastal Development Permit A-1-MAR-87-235, applicable to the Seadrift revetment; the letter states that responsive documents have been located and are available for inspection/copying.  Staff was directed to make arrangements to inspect and copy relevant documents.  Director Kimball volunteered to accompany and assist staff with this task.

    c.    Letter dated July 25, 2005 from the California State Lands Commission

BCPUD received a letter dated July 25, 2005 (received on August 15, 2005) from the California State Lands Commission requesting certain additional information in connection with BCPUD’s application for continued use and maintenance of the groin and seawall on Brighton Beach.  BCPUD was notified in June 2005 that it is required to obtain a “new lease from the Commission for the use of this land”.  Staff reported that a request has been made for a copy of the existing lease and original application which is pending from the State Lands Commission; staff will then submit a written response to the July 25th letter. 

    d.    Letter dated August 5, 2005 from California Department of Health Services re: Prop 50 Pre-Application

Staff reported that BCPUD submitted two pre-applications to DHS for Prop 50 funding: one for $300,000 under the 4a.5 program for an additional treatment unit to reduce TTHM’s in BCPUD drinking water pursuant to the 4a.5 program, and one for $137,500 under the 4a.1 program for a fifth filter at the treatment plant to boost the system’s water production capacity.  BCPUD received a letter dated August 5, 2005 from DHS stating that BCPUD is eligible for funding under the 4a.1 program and the proposed project has been ranked on the Draft Project Priority List (47th out of a total of 145 eligible projects).  Staff reported that BCPUD’s 4a.5 program  pre-application remains pending.

e.    Sewer update

Kate Currey updated the Board regarding her on-going evaluation of the pump at the lift station that is currently out of service.  She is waiting for written bids from the pump repair service and from the pump manufacturer in order to determine whether to recommend repair or replacement of the nonfunctional pump.  Kate expects to receive the bids in the next week.

    f.    Roof Vent Screening Program

A volunteer committee has been formed and is in process of developing a program to assist Bolinas septic system owners with the screening of their roof vents and sealing of their septic tank lids in order to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites.  The committee is gathering information about the recently publicized Muir Beach program in light of that community’s success and staff has created a database to track Bolinas’ progress in this regard.  Director Kimball reported on the details of the Muir Beach program:  the Community Services District hired 2 college-age men (who were therefore covered under the District’s liability and workers’ compensation insurance policies) who are mountain climbers to use rope systems to access homeowners’ roofs and screen roof vents; the District will seek voluntary $25 reimbursements from homeowners to cover the costs of the program.  The workers averaged 16 houses per day and all roof vents in Muir Beach have now been screened;  the District expects to receive the $25 reimbursement from a significant majority of the homeowners.

4.  Community Expression

BCPUD received a courtesy copy of a letter to Supervisor Steve Kinsey dated August 8, 2005 from the Environmental Action Committee (“EAC”) in which the EAC laments the County’s allowance of certain research and testing activities “that are preludes to development” by a new property owner (Jeremy Kidson) in the Bolinas Bluff Erosion zone.  The letter cites the Bolinas Community Plan and its prohibition on any residential development or substantial construction near the bluffs and articulates the EAC’s expectation that the land remain designated as permanent Open Space “with no legal loophole leading to any type of development.”

BCPUD also received a Notice of Decision from the County Community Development Agency concerning a Certificate of Compliance application by Jeremy Kidson.  The Notice indicates that the County has determined that the parcels purchased by Mr. Kidson were originally subdivided in conformance with applicable sub-division requirements and legally created in its present size and configuration as a remainder “Park” parcel.  The Notice states that the property is located entirely within the designated bluff erosion zone and is governed by Open Area zoning.

David Kimball reported that a path has been cut on the Kidson property almost to the beach.  Staff noted that numerous local residents have called or stopped in the BCPUD offices to complain about the clearing activity; the complaints are motivated by strong concern that the clearing activity will accelerate erosion in the sensitive bluff erosion zone and should have been subject to a coastal permit.  Clark Permar observed that photos taken of the path fail to show the magnitude of the clearing that has been done.  Shannon Kilkenny reported that she has called the county enforcement officer, Debbie Poiani, on several occasions and that Debbie evidently has called Mr. Kidson to warn him not to engage in any “significant” alteration of the topography.  

5.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:     

Nothing to report.

-- Beach:  

David Kimball reported that the most recent Committee meetings were available in the Board meeting binders and that no meeting was scheduled for August 2005.

-- Community Paths:

Director Smith reported that funds have been received and that it is possible the downtown path can be constructed this Fall;  if so, a community meeting will be held in September to explain the hard packed dirt path design.  Don noted that the budget for the path project is $40,000 and inquired whether the project must be put out to bid.  Director Siedman advised him to contact the granting agency—the bid requirement may be waived in certain circumstances.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  

Director Amoroso reported that an advisory measure has been placed on the November ballot to determine whether the community supports the parking plan developed by the Committee, which will be officially presented to the BCPUD Board at the September meeting.  Director Amoroso noted that arguments for and against the plan are due at the Elections Office on August 22nd and that notices have been running in the Hearsay about the upcoming deadline.  He also noted that the plan has been posted at the Post Office and Library and copies are also available at the BCPUD offices. 

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Committee:  Request for BCPUD to participate in potential legal action; reimbursement of printing and postage expenses

BCPUD received a letter dated August 5, 2005 from the M&VC District responding to three separate letters from BCPUD:  (1) the District denied BCPUD’s request to include BCPUD properties on the District’s “no spray” list as the list is applicable to private property owners only; (2) the District denied BCPUD’s request to add an item to its August 10th agenda relating to a one-year trial period for the West Marin Mosquito Control Committee protocol; and (3) the District stated that the moratorium on the use of pesticides in West Marin was lifted effective July 13, 2005 in light of the upswing of WNV activity in the North Bay.

Director Kimball reported that the BCPUD also received a letter from the M&VCD dated July 26, 2003 responding to the BCPUD’s recent Public Records Act request and indicating that the requested documents are available for review at the District office.

    Director Amoroso said that the BCPUD should advise the M&VC District that any spraying on or near the sewer pond property needs BCPUD’s prior consent. Director Siedman suggested the BCPUD write a letter stating it is BCPUD’s understanding that its properties are not on the “no spray” list because that land is our responsibility and in light of the delicate ecological sensitivity of the area, the M&VC District should not spray there.
    Barry Smith stated that he was at the August 10th M&VC District meeting and that the West Marin Mosquito Control Committee protocol will be on the District’s October agenda.  He also noted that the M&VC District’s attorney, Richard Shanahan, advised the District at this meeting that it is not compelled to treat all areas within District boundaries in the same manner, but noted that treating differently might create political problems.  The M&VC District’s General Manager, Jim Wanderscheid,  has suggested another meeting with the Committee and Steve Kinsey; Steve Kinsey has confirmed his willingness to have another such meeting.  Finally, Barry said that Jim Wanderscheid has proposed an approach whereby the M&VC District will agree to limit its initial abatement activities on private land to biological treatments, with notice to the property owner and applicable local government of the need to engage in preventative treatments within the next 7-10 days;  if, when the District checks the situation in 7-10 days the problem is not adequately abated, then the District will use the means necessary to eliminate the problem.  Barry noted that the Committee’s first choice is to have a cooperative partnership with the District.
    Barry said he had requested the agenda item to discuss a possible contribution by the BCPUD toward legal fees likely to be incurred by the West Marin Mosquito Control Committee.  The Committee has engaged an environmental law attorney to review the CEQA document to possible challenge the annexation election; as an alternative, the Committee is also exploring “detachment” from the M&VC District.  Barry feels that it would be most effective to coordinate with other agencies in West Marin to contribute to the foreseeable legal costs, and Inverness Public Utility District already has stated that it is willing to do so.  Barry requested that BCPUD also participate.

Director Siedman urged the West Marin Mosquito Control Committee to continue its efforts to reach accommodation with the M&VC District and said the suggestion of potential litigation was unfortunate.  Director Amoroso noted that many West Marin organizations and communities were interested in the mosquito control issue and supportive of the Committee’s protocol;  he noted that the outcome of the vote on the November advisory measure would indicate the Bolinas community views—if the community supports the Committee’s work, Director Amoroso said he is willing for the BCPUD to contribute some money to a legal fund.

Stacey Henderson suggested that the Committee consider using the Department of Health Services mediation services available to the public in disputes with the M&VC District;  it is cost-free and does not preclude later legal action.

Director Amoroso noted that the Committee is seeking legal advice, not contemplating legal action:  specifically, should the election be challenged (based on the CEQA document) or should West Marin detach from the M&VC District in the event a mutually acceptable approach cannot be agreed upon? 

Jennie Pfeiffer said she also attended the August 10th M&VC District meeting and that the M&VC District attorney clearly stated that there is no “mandate” for the M&VC District to spray and that the M&VC District does not face liability if it does not spray and someone becomes ill.  Also, the attorney said that if the M&VC District does spray, it can be held responsible if someone becomes ill from the pesticides.  Jennie said she thinks this analysis persuaded some on the M&VC District board to alter their thinking with regard to the Committee protocol.

Director Smith said that chemical pesticides considered to be on the safer side must be weighed against risk of WNV.  He said he agreed that the BCPUD should support efforts to get legal advice; while he, too, will be influenced by the results of the November advisory ballot measure, BCPUD had a role in the West Marin annexation by supporting it, so BCPUD has an obligation now.

Director Kimball reiterated that the Committee’s preference is to work out an approach with the M&VC District and she stated that she is very pleased that Steve Kinsey is  willing to help with that effort.  With respect to Barry’s request for BCPUD to contribute to legal fees, she noted that while it is not appropriate for BCPUD to shoulder all of the costs, a contribution along with other West Marin agencies and organizations is the proposed approach.

After some discussion regarding the specific amount to contribute and the potential use of the funds, Barry Smith said the funds may also be used to seek an injunction if necessary to protect public health, as well as to explore the potential for detachment from the M&VC District. 

Smith/.Amoroso     all in favor   BCPUD will contribute, proportional to the population of West Marin and subject to a cap of $1500, toward a fund for the West Marin Mosquito Control Committee to use to obtain legal advice. 

Barry thanked the Board for its support.  He also stated that in preparation for the August 10th M&VC District board meeting the Committee had assembled a packet of information that was sent to all of the M&VC District Board members by the Committee as it did not trust the District staff to timely or properly distribute the materials;  Barry requested reimbursement for the associated costs in the amount of $242.31.

McClellan/Kimball   all in favor   to reimburse Barry Smith $242.31 for copying and mailing costs associated with the Committee mailing to the M&VC District Board.

-- Resource Recovery:

Jennie Pfeiffer reported that the project was doing very well and thanked the BCPUD for ts on-going support.  She said the project is seeking a grinder; they are expensive and the therefore the project is exploring possible grant funding.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force: 

Director Kimball reported that she attended the most recent WNV Task Force meeting and its is clear the there is not much WNV activity in Marin, although there is activity in the Central part of California.  The number of reported cases of WNV are much lower this year than last year.  However, lots of spraying is occurring—most recently in the Sacramento area.  As of the prior Monday, August 15th, 24 human cases of WNV had been reported in the Sacramento area, 10 of which were detected from blood donations;  the people infected were asymptomatic. In Marin to date this year, three of the dead birds that have been located tested positive for WNV--in Novato, San Rafael, and Corte Madera.  

6.  Resolution 523, Citing Board of Directors’ Choices for Determining 2005-06 Appropriations Limit   

J. McClellan/V. Amoroso    all in favor  to adopt  Resoluation 523.

7.    Resolution 524, Stating District’s Appropriations Limit for Fiscal 2005-06

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to adopt Resolution 524.

8.  Mesa Park: Approval of letter to California Department of Parks & Recreation, Office of Grants & Local Services

Mark Butler explained that he was requesting the letter prepared by BCPUD staff on behalf of the Mesa Park Skateboard Project as a formality required by the Department of Parks and Recreation to release the 70% of the grant funds needed for the construction phase of the project.  Mark has worked with BCPUD staff to draft the letter, which has been approved conceptually by the Department of Parks & Recreation Project Officer, Dave Smith.  In response to questions from Director Amoroso, Mark explained that the funds would be released to BCPUD and Mesa Park and that the funds requested should cover the project, with the exception of the final phase of paving the parking area and entrance—but those aspects of the project would be paid for out of the final $26,000 disbursement of grants funds not addressed by this letter.  Mark said that he will be obligated to provide the Department of Parks and Recreation with a complete accounting of the project expenditures in order to obtain the final disbursement of grant funds.  Mark said that the community needs to match $57,000 in labor and other grants; the Skateboard project has $10,000 from other grants and fundraising.  In response to specific questions from Director Amoroso, Mark said that as far as he knows, the Skateboard project should not pose any financial liability to the BCPUD.  Director Amoroso said that the greatest potential problem area seemed to be in the volunteer labor category; after a lengthy discussion, Mark stated that he did not foresee any problem meeting the volunteer labor requirement.

D. Smith/J. McClellan   all in favor   to authorize BCPUD staff to send the letter to the California Department of Parks & Recreation.

Director Siedman noted that most of those present in the audience were there for Item 10 on the agenda, so he would advance Item 10 as the next item for discussion

10.    Whitehead New SFD Coastal Permit Application, CP 06-3, 271 Poplar Road, Bolinas

Director Siedman observed that Pam Whitehead has submitted plans to construct a 3,250 square foot house on her property on Poplar Road and that the water meter she purchased several years ago has already been approved for transfer.  Director Kimball asked if anyone was present on behalf of the applicant; no one responded.

Nancy Hayes said that she and her husband are the adjacent property owners;  she has written a letter to the county about the project and has spoken with the planner.  She has asked that story poles be erected, that the setbacks be marked and that limitations be put on the amount of concrete to be poured.  Nancy is concerned that a garage will be added to the property in the future.  Meg Simonds, another nearby property owner, also expressed concerns about the height and size of the home as grossly out of scale with the neighborhood;  she said she has also written a letter to the county.  Jennie Pfeiffer noted that the property included a seasonal wetlands and that the amount of concrete proposed for parking and driveways does not make sense.  She also expressed the view that the house is out of scale to the neighborhood and that the applicant does not appear to care as she reputedly will not live in the house.  Nicole Young, a neighbor directly across Locust Road from the proposed project, expressed similar concerns.

Director McClellan inquired whether Ms. Whitehead had applied for an expanded water use permit;  staff responded that she has not yet done so, but will be instructed in writing to do so in connection with the comments to be submitted by BCPUD on the coastal permit application.  Director McClellan suggested that BCPUD alert the county to the fact that the size of the proposed project raises potential conflicts with the expanded water use permit limitations because the amount of presumed water for septic purposes far exceeds the amount of water that will be permitted pursuant to the expanded water use resolution.

Director Kimball expressed concern about the drainage implications of the amount of proposed concrete; between the foundation footprint and all of the driveway and parking area, a lot of water will be displaced to the perimeter of the property and potentially affect neighboring property and road conditions.

Director Siedman summarized the concerns expressed as follows:  (1) the scale of the proposed house (square footage and height) is way out of scale for the neighborhood; (2) the seasonal wetlands nature of the property means that the proposed footprint/parking spaces and driveways will displace a considerable amount of groundwater, with potential negative impacts on neighbors and roads; (3) the amount of water to used, as indicated by the size of the house and septic system, is likely in excess of what the applicant will be granted under an expanded water use permit; and (4) the neighbors would like to see story poles erected and setbacks marked.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith  all in favor  to authorize staff to send a letter to the county planner expressing the community concerns.

9.  Discussion regarding potential BCPUD letter to Mosquito & Vector Control District and   Marin County Open Space District regarding salt marsh mosquitoes

Director Siedman noted that he regularly plays soccer at Mesa Park and has never seen a mosquito outbreak as currently exists in the area and down at Gospel Flats.  He said that the BCPUD has been asked by Jeff Commons to write the M&VC District and the county’s Open Space District to urge them to abate the outbreak using means consistent with the West Marin Mosquito Control Committee protocol;  these are salt marsh mosquitoes breeding in the tidal mudflats adjacent to the Bolinas Lagoon.  Director Amoroso agreed that it is an excellent opportunity to urge relief consistent with the protocol.  Director Kimball stated that she has received numerous phone calls about the problem and that she has spoken with Mark Riesenfeld, the Interim General Manager of the Open Space District;  Mark confirmed that this is a good opportunity to use the least invasive means possible to control the outbreak and that he will be supportive.  Director Kimball noted that the timing is critical because of the high tide on Thursday, August 18th;  accordingly the biological treatment must occur on either the following Sunday or Monday. 

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to authorize staff to send a letter to the Open Space and M&VC Districts endorsing the use of natural biological treatments to redress the salt marsh mosquito outbreak near the Bolinas Lagoon.

11.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  No report. 

    Director Kimball indicated that she would make a formal request at the next Board meeting for BCPUD to contribute money towards a retirement party for outgoing General Manager, Phil Buchanan.  The party will be at the Bolinas Community Center and open to the community.

-- Legal:   No report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:

    Director Amoroso queried whether action was needed at this point from this Board Committee;  Director Smith observed that the volunteer committee appears to have disbanded in light of the resignations of all of the volunteer committee members.  Directors Smith and McClellan, with Director Kimball as alternate, constitute the Board Committee.   Director Kimball reiterated her position that staff should evaluate the most recent volunteer committee drainage proposal and put together cost estimates;  she noted that a paid part-time project manager likely would be needed.

        Rob Gailey, a part-time Larch Road resident, said that he has been informally involved with the volunteer drainage committee and that he is a professional hydro-geologist.  Rob said he would be happy to help in any way that he could; he noted that there were many challenging technical and human facets to any eventual drainage plan.

-- Operations:  No report.

-- Park and Recreation: 

Director Siedman reported that a Department of Parks and Recreations representative came out to Bolinas to discuss the reclamation project and was very optimistic about obtaining grant monies for the project.  A final decision is expected in October.

-- Personnel:   No report.

-- Sewer:    No report.

b.    Minutes of July 20, 2005 Meeting  

Director Smith recommended changing the word “sewerage” to “sewage” in Item 3 of the minutes. 

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan     all in favor     to approve the July 20, 2005 minutes, with Directors Smith’s recommended change.

c.    Warrants

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

d.    Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

September 21, 2005

Director Siedman noted that all incumbents and Stacey Henderson have filed to run for the Board of Directors.  Staff was requested to include an item on the September agenda for the scheduling of Candidate’s Night. 

12.  Adjournment

11:02 p.m.