Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
August 19, 2009     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

    7:34 p.m.

2.    Roll.

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

3.    Manager’s Report.

    Staff continues to work on finalizing the specifications and plans for the Mesa Road pressure reducing valve station reconstruction project.  Staff expects to receive final engineering drawings to review within the week.  The project is on a fast track due to the anticipated installation of the County bike path on Olema-Bolinas Road; however, that project remains on hold pending resolution of concerns of adjacent property owners.

    Staff would also like to begin work on planning the extension of the Horseshoe Hill Road water main per the request of property owners at 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road.  The district’s engineers have provided a “not to exceed” estimate of $17,000 to complete the engineering for the project and the responsible property owner has agreed to pay this cost.  The goal is to install the project this Fall before the winter rains, if possible.  Staff requested Board approval to proceed with the project; there was no objection.

    Staff met with rancher Bill Niman this week to discuss a joint fencing project on the south side of the Woodrat #2 reservoir.  Bill is required per the terms of his lease with the National Park Service to install cattle crossings so that his cattle can move from pasture to pasture without accessing the drainage ways, which drain to Duxbury Reef.  To do this, Bill will install large culverts within the drainways for cattle to walk over and install fencing to direct them on the proper course.  This project has implications for the fencing on the south side of the district’s Woodrat #2 reservoir; the fencing is in very bad condition and likely will not hold up with the cattle regularly in the area.  Bill has proposed to share the costs of replacing this section of fence on a 50-50 basis with the district.  On a related note, staff has inspected the entirety of the fencing around the Woodrat #2 reservoir and recommends replacement of the fence section along Mesa Road, as well.  Staff recommends proceeding with these fence replacements at the same time, to take advantage of better pricing.  Staff estimates the fencing cost at $10 per linear foot.  

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve a 50-50 cost-share arrangement with Bill Niman to install new fencing on the south end of the Woodrat #2 reservoir.

    Staff is preparing a letter to the California Department of Public Health, which requested a timeline from the BCPUD for its resolution of the chlorine disinfection byproduct exceedences in the district’s drinking water.  Staff intends to state that the district will research and investigate the aeration method used with success by the Solano Water District; the Inverness Public Utility District is pursuing this option, as well, having concluded that using a GAC unit to reduce the exceedences is not practicable in light of the ongoing operations and maintenance costs.

    The district plans to engage an outside contractor to clean the solar arrays at the Woodrat Treatment Plant site, subject to the implementation of safety measures recommended by the district’s solar consultant.  Staff is in the process of generally updating the district’s safety policies and procedures; Lewie Likover has been designated as the district’s Safety Officer.

    The district obtained several quotes for a new utility truck and has approved the lowest quote; the new truck should be available within the next two weeks. 

    On the wastewater side of operations, mowing is completed in the spray fields and the removal of invasive ice plant is completed in the inner pond area.  All spray fields are now fully operational and rotating spraying between all fields has reduced ponding significantly.  A second new irrigation pump has been ordered per Board approval last month and is scheduled to be delivered and installed within the next week or so.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the previous Board meeting.  Two expanded water use permit violation notices have been issued to district customers who have exceeded the terms of their permits; the customers have been contacted and identified possible leaks or over-irrigation as the likely cause of the excessive water use.  Staff will continue to monitor the situation.

    Operations staff participated at the end of July with operators from the Stinson Beach County Water District in an ACWA/JPIA field ergonomics training.  Staff reported positively on the training and ACWA/JPIA sent a complimentary letter about the staff participation.

    Staff is working with the National Park Service on the terms of a new Right-of-Way permit to replace the existing Special Use permit, which allows the district to locate and operate certain of its existing facilities within the boundaries of the Point Reyes National Seashore.  Staff also is working with a surveyor to provide a legal description of the existing groin at Bolinas Beach to the State Lands Commission, which is the last step in finalizing the extension of the district’s lease. 

    Staff reminded the Board of the discussion at the prior meeting about a potential rent reduction for the Bolinas Childrens’ Center.  Based on an analysis of the utility costs for operating the Center (which is paid by the district), staff recommends a rent reduction of $80 at this time.  Discussion ensued about the means by which utility costs (primarily propane) at the Center could be reduced; director Smith offered to assist in an energy audit.  The Board had no objection to the $80 rent reduction effective September 1, 2009 and directed staff to report back when further information was available about utility cost reduction.

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to documents in the binder relating to the close of the district’s sale of its Pine Gulch Creek property to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Point Reyes National Seashore.  The property sale funds have been received and deposited into a fully-FDIC insured account with Bank of Marin.  In addition, a payment from the sales proceeds to the adjacent property owner has been made per the terms of an existing agreement between the district and the property owner.  Staff noted that later in the agenda is an item for the Board to formally authorize the banking relationship with the Bank of Marin and establish a process to make decisions regarding any expenditures of these funds.

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

    The district has pulled the permit previously approved by the County of Marin for the remodel of the district’s offices to comply with the accessibility requirements of the ADA; it was necessary to pull the permit before it expired even though the district is not yet ready to proceed.  The construction drawings have been finalized and are available for review.  Staff is pursuing a possible funding source for this project via the Community Development Block Grant program; applications for grant funds are due in December.  Staff recommended putting the project out to bid to obtain prices for the project and then applying for a block grant; if the grant is approved, construction can take place next summer.  The Board had no objection.

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

    Staff recommended deleting this item from the Board’s agenda for the time being as there has been no news on the availability of Proposition 84 funds for many months due to the on-going state budget crisis.  The Board had not objection.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

    Nothing to report this month.

4.     Community Expression.

    Jennie Pfieffer complimented the district on the vegetation removal work completed at the sewer pond property. 

    Mary Beth Brangan requested that the Board submit a letter of comment on the draft Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) prepared by the California Department of Food & Agriculture on the Light Brown Apple Moth eradication program.  Mary Beth said that the Department is still pushing to conduct aerial spraying in rural areas and use other objectionable eradication methods.  She noted the Department has commenced a $3 million ad campaign in support of the draft EIR.  Mary Beth offered to assist with the preparation of a letter of comment.  Director Kimball noted that the draft EIR is approximately 1500 pages and that it would be overwhelming for district staff to review the document; she said she has received draft “talking points” concerning the draft EIR and volunteered to use these points, as well as input from Marin Organic and/or the Environmental Action Committee to prepare a draft letter for the Board’s consideration at the September meeting. 

    Director Kimball reported that a resident contacted her with concerns about obstructions in the right-of-way along Olema-Bolinas Road across from the lumber yard which make it difficult for walkers and bikers to use the pathway next to the road.  Staff agreed to look into the matter.

5.     Whitehead Coastal Permit (CP 10-6), Assessor’s Parcel 190-041-32, 271 Poplar Road, Bolinas (revision of design of previously-approved project).

Pam Whitehead was present and explained that she has applied for a permit to enclose a previously approved unenclosed porch on two sides of her new house (for which she already was granted a coastal permit); she is also seeking to permit several accessory structures that presently are on the property as storage containers.  Discussion ensued during which Board members asked about the apparent second floor of the house; Pam explained that she previously had designed vaulted ceilings for the house but decided that was energy inefficient and therefore lowered the main ceiling and added an attic storage space with six feet of clearance.  Director Smith commented that the proposed redesign increases the conditioned space of the house by less than 15% of the total square footage, which seemed relatively insignificant.  There are no proposed plumbing changes.  The Board revisited the terms of the existing expanded water use permit currently applicable to the property and discussion ensued about imposing a deed restriction requirement whereby expanded water use permit holders would be required to record a document against their title to the property about the applicable water use restrictions.  The Board ultimately agreed that no such restriction previously has been imposed on customers and therefore such a change should be made as a matter of policy applicable to all permit-holders and not on an ad hoc basis; Board members agreed such a change in policy may be advisable to ensure that subsequent property owners are aware of water use restrictions. 

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to reaffirm the terms of the existing expanded water use permit and advise the County that there was no comment on the coastal permit application. 

6.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 370 Overlook Road  (J. Angel).

    Jody Angel was present and explained that during the winter she discovered a “large body of water in my yard that wasn’t supposed to be there” so she contacted a plumber immediately; the plumber discovered and repaired a crack in the line running underground from the water meter to the house.  She submitted data about her historic water use, which shows a clear increase in water usage during the quarter in which the leak was discovered and repaired.  Director Smith noted that in past cases of “blind leaks” such as the one Jody described, the Board has granted financial relief by forgiving the amount of the bill that corresponds to the amount attributable to the leak, based on historic usage.  In response to a question from director McClellan, Jody confirmed that the leak was not on an irrigation system.

D. Smith/J. McClellan    all in favor    to approve financial relief in an amount equal to the difference between the historical water use at the property during the same billing quarter and the amount used during the quarter in which the leak occurred.

7.     November 3, 2009 Election:  Update on Advisory Measure re: Camping on Bolinas Beach; Schedule Community Meeting to Discuss Advisory Measure re: Camping on Bolinas Beach.

    Staff provided a brief background of the district’s efforts to work with the County’s Elections Office to place the beach camping advisory measure on the ballot for a vote by all registered voters in the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) (which has 146 more voters than the BCPUD); unfortunately, for legal reasons the BFPD cannot place the measure on the ballot, so the advisory measure will be on the ballot for decision by registered voters residing within the BCPUD only.  Director Smith proposed that the district send out a mailing to the 146 registered voters in the BFPD who are not in the BCPUD boundaries and ask those voters to “vote” via this mailing. 

    Cela O’Connor stated that she feels the ballot measure should be withdrawn since it cannot be voted on by all registered voters within the BFPD.  She said that she worked with Bruce Bowser to develop the argument in favor of the ballot measure, only to be told by the Registrar of Voters that she cannot sign the argument because she is not a resident of the BCPUD.  She told the Board that it should have proceeded with its 3-2 vote years ago in favor of a camping ban at Bolinas Beach and not wasted so much time with a Beach Committee and, now, an advisory measure.  Cela said the Board has an obligation to deal responsibly with all of the human feces at the beach; she said she knows such feces are there because she cleans the beach with rubber gloves.  She urged the Board to take immediate action to request the County to ban camping full-time at Bolinas Beach immediately.

    Discussion turned back to director Smith’s suggestion of a mail-in type of ballot for BFPD registered voters who reside outside the boundaries of the BCPUD.  Director Amoroso suggested that the BCPUD cover the “hard” costs of the mailing on the condition that volunteers help by providing the labor to stuff envelopes, etc.  Director Smith offered to help prepare such a mailing (i.e., ballot language and return envelope), collect the proper mailing labels from the County and develop a procedure for the voters to return their ballots to the district.  He emphasized that the primary purpose of this mailing would be to provide a forum for these residents to voice their opinion and for the district to obtain additional information.  Further discussion ensued about the details of the proposed mailing and next steps after the election; staff was directed to prepare a draft ballot for approval during the September meeting.

D. Smith/J McClellan    all in favor    to approve the BCPUD issuing a mail-in ballot with return envelope to all registered voters residing in the BFPD but outside the boundaries of the BCPUD.

    The Board then discussed the topic of a community meeting to debate the beach camping measure.  Director Smith said it was clear at this point that the Beach Committee does not wish to sponsor such a meeting; the BCPUD has asked the committee to schedule such a meeting several times and the committee has declined to do so.  Jody Angel said that an impartial person or entity should run the meeting since there are strong views on each side and director Kimball noted that BCPUD has offered several times in the past to pay for a trained facilitator to run the meeting.  After further discussion, director McClellan said he thinks the district should dispense with the idea of a meeting on this topic.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    three in favor; D. Smith against    to abandon efforts to hold a community meeting to discuss the advisory measure to ban camping on Bolinas Beach.

8.    Fire House Community Park Agency (aka “Mesa Park”):  Completion of Facilities.

    The Board briefly discussed this agenda item and resolved to defer it to the September meeting agenda when director Siedman will be present.  Director Amoroso further noted that both the district and the school are behind schedule on appointing their representative commissioners to the Mesa Park board; he suggested that both districts extend the terms of the commissioners currently appointed until November 2010 or until an election for Mesa Park can take place.

9.    BCPUD Letter in Opposition to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Suspension of 2009 Subventions to California Counties for Williamson Act Properties.

    Director Kimball said she requested this item on the agenda because of urgent communications she has received from MALT on this topic; however, she would like to do more research into the issue before approving a letter.  Director Kimball said she would prepare a letter to present for the Board’s consideration at the September meeting. 

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

    This matter was deferred to a future meeting.

11.    Resolution 582:  Adopting a Corporate Resolution Certificate Authorizing the Bolinas Community Public Utility District to Conduct Banking Activities with the Bank of Marin.

B.Kimball/J.McClellan        all in favor    to pass Resolution 582 adopting a corporate resolution certificate authorizing the district to conduct banking activities with the Bank of Marin.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve repaying the district’s General Fund the amount of $74,000 from the Bank of Marin account.

    Staff recommended that the Finance Committee meet and prepare a set of recommendations to the full Board for consideration with regard to the investment and/or expenditure of the district’s funds; there was no objection from the Board.

12.    Resolution 583:  Cites Board of Directors’ Choices for Determining Fiscal Year 2009-10 Appropriations Limits.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to pass Resolution 583 citing the Board’s choices for determination of FY 2009-10 appropriations limits.

13.     Resolution 584:  States District’s Appropriations Limits for Fiscal Year 2009-10.

D. Smith/B. Kimball        all in favor    to pass Resolution 584 stating the district’s appropriations limits for FY 2009-10.

14.  Association of California Water Agencies (“ACWA”):  Region 1 Election for the 2010-2011 Term:  Official Ballot re: Officers and Board Members;  California Caucus Nomination Form for National Water Resources Association (“NWRA”) Positions.

    Director Kimball requested to defer the ACWA election item to the September meeting as she would like more time to research the nominees; there was no objection.  The Board did not have any nominations for the NWRA positions. 

15.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that he has analyzed the first six months of output and the district is ahead of its projections at this point in time.

-- Bolinas Planning Group:  Director Smith said that he has been following the housing element of the Local Coastal Plan update and speaking with Bolinas Community Land Trust representatives about possible recommendations to present. 

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

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Director Amoroso said he requested to add this committee back to the agenda because he feels the BCPUD should submit the parking plan to County planners for consideration in the LCP update process.  Staff was directed to contact committee chair Leo Kostelnik to schedule a meeting to consider director Amoroso’s request. 

-- Resource Recovery:  Staff reported that the company usually hired to grind green waste at the RRP site has been sold and the new owners may no longer be willing to conduct operations in Bolinas;  the RRP will be investigating other options. 

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Staff was directed to follow-up again with the County to inquire about the status of the County’s commitment to “match” $25,000 in local funds to be provided by the BCPUD and the BFPD to pay for a preliminary engineering analysis to stabilize Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the West Nile Task Force had its second meeting of the year the prior Monday.  On a national level, in 2008 at this point in time there were 150 human cases of West Nile Virus in 28 states; this year to date there have been 58 cases in 14 states.  In California, last year at this point in time there were 54 human cases and this year there are eight cases; there has been no activity in Marin at all.  The task force will not be meeting again until June 2010.  Director Kimball also is working to assist the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District in its efforts to resolve the “no spray” list logistics and concerns.  The West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council is next scheduled to meet in November. 

16.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Nothing to report.

    Director Smith requested to make a belated comment on the November 2009 election item, above; he noted that the BCPUD will have a contested election for the Board of Directors and that a Candidates’ Night should be scheduled.  Staff was directed to agendize this matter for discussion at the September meeting and “poll” the candidates about their availability for an evening event in October.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Discussion of funding for vegetation clearing and road grading for public safety on the Bolinas Mesa per Bolinas Fire Protection District request; Amendment of road-grading policy for Bolinas Mesa dirt roads.  Director Smith reported on a meeting held by the joint BCPUD/BFPD committee the prior week to discuss the vegetation clearing project, which has nothing to do with the surface of the roads but rather is focused solely on clearing back encroaching vegetation.  The committee recommends that BCPUD staff hire an appropriate contractor to perform this work.  Director Smith said that improving the condition of the road surface itself is a separate topic.  After further discussion, staff was directed to separately agendize the road surface grading policy for the September meeting and to ensure that agendas are sent to both Andy Blake and Kent Khtikian.

-- Operations:  Director Smith has developed a new design for a gate across the Brighton Road beach ramp and has obtained a quote for the fabrication of the gate as designed.  He noted that the existing gate needs to be removed (and its anchor poles excavated) to finalize the specifications for the new gate.  Staff was directed to identify a contractor to perform the gate and post removal. 

-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing to report.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:   Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the July 15, 2009 Regular Meeting; Minutes of the August 3, 2009 Special Meeting.

    The Board offered technical corrections to the minutes of the July 15, 2009 regular meeting. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball     all in favor    to approve the July 15, 2009 regular meeting minutes, as corrected.

    The Board deferred approval of the August 3, 2009 special meeting minutes to the September meeting.

c. Warrants

J. McClellan/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 
    September 16, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

17.  Adjournment.

11:05 p.m.