Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
September 10, 2008     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

7:31 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Manager’s Report

    Staff requested that the Board make an urgency exception pursuant to California Government Code Section 54954.2(b)(2) to add approval of Resolution 569 to the agenda based on a finding that (1) the district needs to take immediate action to undertake security measures to protect its solar arrays and (2) the need for action arose subsequent to the posting of the agenda for tonight’s meeting.  Two attempts have been made in Bolinas (one just two days prior) to steal ground-mounted solar arrays; the need for district action is therefore urgent. 

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to add approval of Resolution 569 to the agenda as Item 10(b) based on the Board’s findings that immediate action is necessary and the need for such action arose subsequent to the posting of the meeting agenda.

    Staff reported that water consumption for the “back of the Mesa” increased over the same time last year, but not as significantly as the district experienced last month with the increase in consumption then on middle of the Mesa.  The recent foggy and cool weather is helping.  Historically, the district sees consumption drop after Labor Day, so staff is cautiously optimistic that the current raw water supply will be sufficient to supply the district until the rains starts.  Woodrat Reservoir #2 reservoir is significantly depleted, however;  two of the four filters at the treatment plant are running on reservoir water, so the community likely will notice taste and odor problems.  Director Amoroso requested that staff follow-up with the customers from the middle of the mesa with high consumption in the last quarter to request them to conserve.

Staff reported that the district is resuming efforts to run a pilot project to reduce the chlorine disinfection byproducts in the treated water.  Unfortunately, the BCPUD did not receive funding from its Proposition 50 application, so staff is developing a smaller scale pilot project with reduced monitoring costs; operations staff will be conferencing with representatives from Siemens Water Technologies to discuss possible enhanced (alum) coagulation, as well.

    The district has interviewed Brejle & Race Consulting Civil Engineers to advise the district on a variety of pending projects, including but not limited to the water main extension for Horseshoe Hill Road, which is an item later on the meeting agenda.  Staff anticipates receiving a proposal from Brejle & Race soon, based on the interview and discussion of pending projects.  Brejle & Race works with numerous small districts in coastal communities, among other areas and understands the BCPUD’s need for efficient engineering solutions.  Staff anticipates the need for engineering advice with respect to the potential relocation of the water and sewer mains away from Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook, the development of the next phase of the district’s Sewer System Management Plan, and several other projects. 

    Staff reported that representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Assistance office will be conducting a site visit later in the month to assess the projects it has funded.

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to a response sent by the district to the National Park Service regarding the NPS’ offer to purchase the BCPUD’s Pine Gulch Creek property.  The NPS has now sent a proposed warranty deed and escrow instructions; staff requested that the Legal Committee review these documents and advise staff as to next steps.  Directors Siedman and MCClellan agreed to do so.

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff reported that the installation of the solar arrays at the sewer pond site is proceeding on schedule.  The district is spraying seven days a week at present in the spray fields to ensure that the treatment ponds will be fully emptied prior to the onset of the winter rains.  Spray season was deferred to some extent this year so that staff could take advantage of the dry spring weather to perform vegetation management work and restore capacity.  Finally, per the Board’s authorization at the August meeting, a new pump has been ordered for the downtown lift station, and installation is expected to occur in early December.

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

Staff reported that building plans have been submitted to the County Planning and Building Departments for the remodel of the district’s office building and parking area to meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Comments have been issued by the Department of Public Works which the district will respond to via its designer, Steve Matson, and likely a revised set of plans will be submitted.

-- Update on the Full Proposal for Proposition 84 Grant Funds for Projects to Enhance the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance(“ASBS”):  Approve BCPUD Letter of Support
    Working with the County of Marin and the National Park Service, the BCPUD today submitted a full proposal for Proposition 84 grant funds for a suite of projects designed to improve water quality at Duxbury Reef.  The County intends to make improvements to the Agate Beach parking lot and conduct public outreach about stormwater management; the National Park Service intends to implement certain rangeland improvements at the major drainways to Duxbury Reef; and the BCPUD intends to complete a stormwater network analysis (including an updated topographical map and the development of a surface water flow model) and implement Low Impact Development stormwater treatment projects on the Big Mesa.  If the grant application is successful, the BCPUD will receive $570,000 in grant funds for this work.  Staff noted that director Kimball was  instrumental in securing a letter of support for the BCPUD’s application from Assembly Member Jared Huffman.  Staff requested that the Board ratify the letter of support submitted by the BCPUD in connection with the grant application.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the district’s letter of support submitted in connection with the Full Proposal for Proposition 84 grant funds.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover is on vacation.

4.    Community Expression

    Director Amoroso inquired about the possibility of removing the district’s vehicle gate at the end of the Brighton Avenue ramp to the beach because it is in very poor condition due to rust and deterioration.  Chief Operator Bill Pierce said that the staff regularly inspects and maintains the gate to the extent practicable and that it should not be removed until a replacement is available to install.

    Director Amoroso noted that the BCPUD has still not received any response from the County about the revisions it requested to the County’s film permitting process for projects in Bolinas.  Director Amoroso requested staff to aggressively pursue a response, including raising the issue with Supervisor Kinsey’s office, if necessary.

    Cela O’Connor reported that she attended many of the BCPUD’s Beach Committee meetings; although the committee recommended that the current ban on weekend camping at the beach be extended to a 24/7 ban, no action has been taken.  Cela therefore has submitted letters to Steve Kinsey, the Environmental Health Services department and to the Bolinas Rod & Boat Club about the need to keep the beach clean and to post private property as “no camping” for public health reasons.  Cela has urged all private beach owners to post their land as “no camping”.  As such, rather than attempting to go through the onerous process of amending the current “no camping” ordinance for the public lands, private property owners can effectuate the same result by posting their land – enforcement will be facilitated as sheriffs can move any campers off of private property.  Cela stated that her objective is to ensure the beaches are clean for the kids.

5.    Mesa Park:  Appointment  to Mesa Park Board to Fulfill Unexpired Term of Robert Mowry.

    Staff reported that no applications have been received.  Director Siedman directed staff to continue publicity efforts and the matter was deferred to the October meeting.

6.    Application for Expanded Water Use Permit (amended) – 345 Walnut Road, Bolinas (Blackman/Eichhorst).

    Jennifer Blackman submitted an amendment to her prior expanded water use permit application because a bathroom will be added to the interior space. 

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor  to approve a conditional expanded water use permit with a maximum quarterly water use of the district average plus 50%, or 3750 cubic feet.

7.    BCPUD Pedestrian/Bicycle Bike Pathway:  Letter from Brent Harris Construction; Discuss and Approve Further Work to Upgrade the Pathway.

    Director Smith reminded the Board that at the prior meeting, the Board had decided to hold back 15% of the amount due to Brent Harris Construction because it found that the path did not meet contract specifications with regard to its surface or the grading of the switchbacks.  Mr. Harris submitted a rebuttal letter, arguing that the path gravel mix had been specified by the BCPUD, so it was not fair to hold his company responsible for path degradation, particularly when the horses have churned it up.

Director Smith acknowledged it was true that the BCPUD specified the path mix to be used, but only because the contractor was unable to provide an alternative specification; the district had hoped for better guidance from the contractor in this regard.  Director Smith said that the path surface likely will need to be addressed in the Spring, after the winter rains and the district can better assess next steps.  On the other hand, the switchback grades are far off the specification and need to be re-graded.  In his rebuttal letter, Brent Harris acknowledged the switchback problem and proposed to re-grade the switchbacks to specification in early October.  Director Smith said that this seems to be an appropriate resolution; Director McClellan agreed, but said that no further money should be paid until the switchbacks are corrected.  Staff was directed to write a letter to Mr. Harris to convey the Board’s decision.

8.    Approve Lease Agreement for Agricultural Use of BCPUD Property.

The Board reviewed a draft lease agreement for agricultural use of the BCPUD sewer pond property.  A community group would like to lease the land to raise dairy goats.  The draft lease proposes a three-year rental term (with a renewal option) with use restricted to dairy goats and the installation of appropriate fencing and sheds to contain the goats, which will be installed at the lessees’ expense.  Appropriate insurance will be maintained by the lessees and the BCPUD shall have the right to terminate the lease if required to do so by regulators or the ACWA/JPIA, if the proposed use poses unacceptable operational difficulties for the BCPUD, or if the proposed use created a nuisance or a public health or safety risk.

Director Amoroso inquired as to the lessees’ anticipated water source; Kanoa Bartlome said that there are existing catchment ponds on site installed by the prior lessee, Jimmy Friedrich, which will be used.  They also will install catchment basins to capture shed runoff; if necessary, the lessees will bring water to the site.  Cela O’Connor noted the goats also can be used for vegetation management on the BCPUD’s sewer pond property, particularly with regard to the removal of non-native vegetation.  After further discussion, the Board directed staff to make certain revisions consistent with the discussion, to meet again with the lessees to resolve other open points and to defer the matter for a final decision until the October meeting.

9.    Approve Agreement with Property Owners for Installation of BCPUD Water Main to 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road.

    Staff noted that the property owners were not yet in attendance; the item therefore was deferred in favor of the next agenda item. 

10.    Approve Form of Letter to Bolinas Property Owners Who Would Be Directly Affected By Relocation of BCPUD Utilities in the Event of a Failure of Terrace Avenue; Discuss Additional Methods of Notification to the Bolinas Community About the Status of Terrace Avenue.

    Director Siedman also deferred this item until later in the agenda because attendees are expected for this topic, as well. 

10(b).      Resolution 569:  Declares an Emergency Exists and Authorizes the Installation of
Security Measures to Protect the BCPUD’s Photovoltaic Generation System.

        Director Smith stated that he supports the resolution, but would like to research the options available to the district before a final decision is made on specific security measures; he said he is leaving town on vacation and would like to be part of the process when he is back.  Director McClellan inquired as to what has been done thus far: Chief Operator Pierce reported that lights are being keep on at night to deter activity; staff is performing daily inspections to ensure no tampering has been done to the arrays; and the Sheriff and National Park Service have agreed to include the array sites on their regular patrols.  Director Kimball said she supports the resolution and would like to preserve as much flexibility as possible for the district to pursue short-term and long-term solutions.  Discussion ensued about referring further discussion of this topic to the Operations Committee.  Director Kimball offered three revisions to the proposed resolution to preserve flexibility going forward and moved to approve the resolution.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve Resolution 569, as amended.

9.    Approve Agreement with Property Owners for Installation of BCPUD Water Main to 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road.

    Director Siedman recused himself from participating in this agenda item; vice-president Amoroso therefore assumed the gavel.  Staff reported that four years ago the Board approved a water meter installation request at 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road, conditioned upon the property owners’ agreement to pay all costs of the project since water currently was being delivered to the property, albeit at a different location.  Staff presented a draft “agreement of intent” as the full costs of the project are not yet known.  Staff recommended that the BCPUD assume responsibility for the initial 400 feet of water main installation along Horseshoe Hill Road because staff has determined that there are independent public health and safety reasons to relocate the services at the Borg property and at the Catholic Church to the new main.  The draft agreement states that the BCPUD shall install the new main and that the property owners will be financially responsible for all costs of installing it, other than the initial 400 feet.  Staff has met with civil engineers to discuss the project and the district is expecting a written proposal from them next week.  Staff feels engineering is necessary due to the elevations involved and new state requirements applicable to water main size and pressure requirements. 

    A lengthy discussion ensued about the history of the Board’s prior approval of the water meter installations, the current location of the property owners’ service line (which current originates at the corner of Olema-Bolinas and Horseshoe Hill Road), the details of the proposed new water main project, applicable state standards, possible implications for upstream customers if the district were to increase pressure on the new main, and more.  Ultimately, director McClellan said that he has no problem with the project, but that the property owners need to understand that they must absorb all costs (direct and indirect) of this project and that the details need to be ironed out before an agreement can be finalized.  Director Kimball agreed and said that all costs, including engineering costs and any collateral work (such as installing pressure regulators for upstream customers), need to be specifically identified and included in the agreement.  The matter therefore was deferred for further discussion and decision to the October meeting.

10.    Approve Form of Letter to Bolinas Property Owners Who Would Be Directly Affected By Relocation of BCPUD Utilities in the Event of a Failure of Terrace Avenue; Discuss Additional Methods of Notification to the Bolinas Community About the Status of Terrace Avenue.

Jack Siedman explained that the BCPUD has been in discussions with the County of Marin for the past couple of years regarding the slippage of Terrace Avenue, particularly at Surfers Overlook and that the County has now taken the position that they do not have an obligation to keep Terrace open in both directions.  Recently, via emails, the County has stated that their legal obligation is to keep Terrace open only in one direction to provide emergency access.  Don Smith feels that the BCPUD should do our own legal research to determine if the County is required to maintain Terrace as a through street.  Jack had heard that the original plan on Terrace showed it as a one-way street.  Vic noted that it wasn’t on the original plan, however at a later date it was designated as a one-way street and that officially on the books it is a one-way street.

    Herman Berlandt said he believes Terrace Avenue should be a one-way road heading downtown from the Big Mesa.

    Ralph Camiccia said that Terrace Avenue is a critical access/egress road for the community, particularly in the event Mesa Road is impassable in an emergency.  Ken Masterton commended the Board for tackling this issue.  Ken has been a member of the BCPUD’s Terrace Avenue committee; he noted that the County built the seawall and then tried to pretend that it did not.  He said that DPW Deputy Director Bob Beaumont personally told him that it was a “mistake” that the County ever built the seawall and that the County does not want to “compound that mistake” by repairing it now.  Ken argued that the County is abdicating its responsibility and must be called on it; he said that Bolinas must appeal to Supervisor Kinsey to ensure that the road is preserved.  Discussion ensued about appropriate next steps and how to best achieve the objective of persuading the County to repair the seawall as soon as possible.  Director McClellan said that the County needs to get a “firestorm” of protest from Bolinas residents; every person in the district will have to pay to relocate BCPUD infrastructure if the road fails at Surfers Overlook.  He suggested staff seek outside legal advice about the district’s options.  Rudi Ferris expressed anger that the County is spending funds on repaving Terrace Avenue, which was unnecessary, rather than focusing available funds on a repair of the seawall.  Rudi said the cost of re-locating the BCPUD’s facilities may be as expensive as fixing the seawall and bluff to save Surfer’s Overlook.

    Others present said they do not believe the community at large appreciates the magnitude of the impact a loss of Terrace Avenue will have on the town.  Rudi Ferris reminded the Board that there is no alternative road to Terrace Avenue that could be achieved without the exercise of eminent domain at an enormous cost to the town; when combined with the cost of re-routing district facilities, it makes sense to do all thing possible to save Terrace Avenue.  Ken Masterton suggested that the Board approve a resolution affirming the importance of Terrace Avenue and demanding County action; he said the Fire District should pass such a resolution, as well.  Anna Gade supported the idea of a letter to the community to inform everyone of the importance of Terrace Avenue; as taxpayers, Bolinas residents should put pressure on its County supervisor to act. 

    After further discussion, the Board directed staff to prepare a resolution affirming the importance of Terrace Avenue for the next Board meeting, to prepare a letter to the community for the Board’s approval, and to pursue legal advice about the options available to force the County to preserve Terrace Avenue.  Ralph Camiccia promised to present the idea of a similar resolution to the Fire District Board at the next meeting later this month.

11.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Cela O’Connor said the committee would like Mickey Murch to join.  Director Siedman said he needs to write a letter asking to be appointed. 

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso said he attended the most recent meeting and brought all of the BCPUD’s letters and he is satisfied that the BCPUD has raised the issues that have needed to be raised (i.e., the “two channel” solution, etc.) for the record.  Ralph Camiccia said there will still be ample opportunity to comment on the restoration project.  Ralph said that the “two channel” solution was subject to constant opposition from the Sierra Club and it was not possible to overcome that opposition at the Working Group. 

-- Community Paths Group:  Nothing further to report.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Vic Amoroso suggested that this committee item be removed from the agenda as the committee has been inactive; there was no opposition.

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Nothing further to report.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Nothing to report.

12.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Staff reported that the fieldwork for the district’s annual audit will take place on September 24, 2008. 

-- Legal:  Director Siedman confirmed that the district will resurrect contact with its outside attorneys for advice on the Terrace Avenue situation.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Director McClellan reported that the Tomales Bay Watershed Council is seeking to raise funds via individual contributions, although no specific amount is requested.  He suggested the Board consider a $500 contribution.  Director Kimball requested that staff contact the Council to inquire as to how much others are contributing. 

-- Operations:  The Committee agreed to meet with staff the following morning at 10:00 a.m. to discuss security options for the BCPUD’s solar arrays.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that the downtown site committee continues to work on the design for the downtown park.  Director Amoroso said that the time might be right to push for a recreation center at Mesa Park.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the August 20, 2008 Regular Meeting

    Director Smith offered one revision to the August minutes – to delete the work  “immediately” from the last sentence of the second paragraph on page 2.

D. Smith/B. Kimball     all in favor    to approve the minutes of the Board’s August 20, 2008 regular meeting, as amended.

c.  Warrants

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

d.    Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    October 15, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.

13.  Adjournment

10:59 p.m.