Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
September 17, 2014    270 Elm Road, Bolinas



1.   Call to Order.


         7: 32 p.m.


2.   Roll.


         Directors Amoroso, Comstock, Godino, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.


3.   Manager’s Report.


-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.


         Staff reported that the Working Group met on September 16, 2014 to plan for a community meeting to “Save Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook”.  The tentative date for the meeting is October 25th, subject to Supervisor Kinsey’s availability.  Assuming the meeting goes forward, the Working Group will publicize it extensively with signage in the community, as well as flyers, articles in the Hearsay News and so forth.  The staff of the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) will put together a “powerpoint” slideshow of photos documenting the problem and the recommended geostructural stabilization of the bluff.  The goal of the meeting is to recruit community volunteers to launch a “capital campaign” by a set deadline if any project is to occur, it will need to be largely privately funded.


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


         Staff met with consultant Jonathan van Bourg, director Smith and Dr. Alex Horne on September 4, 2014 to discuss his draft report and recommendations for improving the water quality in the Woodrat #1 reservoir, which is the source of much of the district’s chlorine disinfection byproject problems.  Dr. Horne hopes to have a final report complete for the Board’s review in October.  In brief, everyone agrees that backwash from the water treatment plant should no longer go directly into the reservoir as it is nutrient-rich and promoting unwanted algae growth.  Algae is the source of the water quality problems, not runoff from the surrounding watershed.  Everyone also agrees that we need to get more oxygen into the reservoir; Dr. Horne suggested the injection of liquid oxygen via a “speece cone” to supersaturate the bottom of the reservoir with a blanket of liquid oxygen.  This also would have the benefit of eliminating iron (within 2 weeks) and manganese (within a year) from this raw water source.  Staff also is working hard on the tasks necessary to rehabilitate the clarifier and start a coagulation pilot study; staff also continues to profile the reservoir.


-- Update on the Status of BCPUD’s Current Capital Improvement Projects.


         Staff noted that the status of two of the district’s current capital improvement projects (the bluff stabilization and chlorine disinfection byproduct projects) was just addressed.  In addition, the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project has begun; staff has monitored the contractor’s work undertaken on BCPUD land, and Mesa Park’s Project Manager, Ed Pohlman, is closely monitoring and inspecting the work in progress.


         The Brighton Beach Stair Replacement Project is complete.  Chief Operator Bill Pierce planned this project, and Shift Operator Scotty Hanks worked with extra hire to install the project. 


The district’s Water Meter Replacement Project has been underway for several months.  To date, 34 meters have been replaced and approximately 180 more are scheduled for replacement as time/staffing permits.  The meters were identified for replacement by staff following a comprehensive survey and ranking of each meter in the district based on its apparent age/condition.


The Billing Software Replacement Project is nearly complete.  A new software program has been purchased and installed and Administrative Assistant Belle Wood is in the process of entering all customer data.  Staff hopes to “go live” with the new software beginning with the quarter ending in September.  Staff noted that Belle Wood has done an excellent job of managing this project and working with the district’s outside consultant to identify the best billing software for the district. 


The pest tenting and replacement of the siding at the sewer lab building is being planned for Spring 2015. 


The Flow Meter Installation Project – i.e., the installation of two new flow meters at the wastewater treatment ponds – is underway and staff plans to have the meters installed prior to December 31, 2014.


As for the various water line replacement projects currently budgeted (Birch between Ocean Parkway and Elm Road, Cedar between Larch and Elm Road, and Fern between Elm and Alder Roads), staff is conferring with local contractors for prices to lay only the new main lines.  BCPUD staff will install all of the additional project components (service laterals, meters, disinfection procesures, etc.).


-- Inspection of Sewer Force Main.


Staff noted that director Amoroso requested this item on the agenda following the July 20th force main break that resulted in a small sewer spill downtown.  It is not possible to video-inspect this main as the district regularly does with the rest of the collection system as the force main is under constant pressure.  Staff therefore will research alternative inspection approaches and provide a report to the Board for consideration.


On the water side of operations, consumption remains down.  The most recent data indicates that the Back of the Mesa recently consumed only a small amount more than it did during the same quarter in 2009 (which is the year the BCPUD imposed mandatory rationing).  The district continues to be able to meet demand exclusively with water diverted from the Arroyo Hondo creek and the Woodrat #1 and #2 reservoirs are full, but for the amount that has been lost due to evaporation in recent months.


The County Department of Public Works (“DPW”) has issued a notice that the Wharf Road Seawall Repair Project will begin on September 22, 2014.  The applicable permits limit the work to be done in the lagoon to low-tide events, so DPW staff is advising residents that work may need to begin as early as 7 am and continue until 7 pm and on the weekends until that portion of the work is completed.  Wharf Road will be open to residents only past the the project site to the beach.


The paved road in the Seadrift Subdivision is scheduled to be repaved and the contractor perfoming the work has offered the resulting grindings to the Bolinas community.  Staff advised the contractor that the grindings must be tested for environmental contaminants and that Mesa Park must approve the use of its parking lot as a deliver site.  Samples of the grindings have been taken and delivered to the testing lab; results are expected later this week. 

Staff directed the Board’s attention to a recent communication from the Local Agency Formation Commission (“LAFCO”); LAFCO is continuing to work on its study of the water systems in Marin and the district is providing requested information.


Staff reported that County counsel is evaluating the district’s legal options with regard to the removal of obstructions in the Zebra right-of-way.  In the meantime, staff has conferred again, at length, with the obstructing property owner who believes he has cleared enough of the obstructions from the right-of-way such that the neighboring property owner can install access.  Staff inspected the site and confirmed that a sufficient clearing of the major obstructions has been done to install an access road, but considerable debris (fence boards, metal stakes, etc.) and overgrown vegetation remain in the right-of-way.  In the meantime, staff has clearly advised the property owner, again, that the studio structure currently within the Zebra right-of-way must be removed.


On the wastewater side of operations, staff has scheduled a site visit by Bailey Greene, an engineer who worked with Dr. Oswald on the design of the BCPUD’s sewer pond treatment system; the meeting will take place this Friday and directors Amoroso and Smith also plan to attend.


On Tuesday, September 23, 2014 in Sacramento the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) will conduct a public hearing on a proposed Waste Discharge Rule for “discharges to land by small domestic systems”.  Staff is following the SWRCB progress on this rule as it likely will apply to the BCPUD’s spray disposal process.


Staff directed the Board’s attention to the binders, which contain the BCPUD’s response to the recent Grand Jury report on Marin County’s sewer systems, as well as an inquiry from a resident on Terrace Avenue who is interested in hooking into the district’s sewer system if a connection becomes available.  With regard to the latter inquiry, staff noted that the issues are practical and jurisdictional in that (1) a sewer connection must be available; (2) the proposed point of connection must be feasible vis-a-vis the collection system; and (3) the jurisdictional boundaries of the sewer system must be observed.  Staff is researching the latter question concerning the boundary of the sewer district and will report back to the Board.


Finally, staff reported that Jennie Pfeiffer has been appointed to serve on the County’s C-SMART stakeholder advisory committee.


-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.


Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.


4.    Community Expression.


Jennie Pfeiffer said that some small communities with solar installations are considering the possibility of “mini-grids” in order to have solar back-up when the grid is down (as it stands now, solar facilities connected to the grid cannot be used when the grid is down for safety reasons).  Director Smith noted that such systems have been around for some time and a few people in town have them, but there are problems/challenges with them that should be taken into consideration; he said he analyzed the issue and concluded that it doesn’t make sense.  He offered to speak with Jennie about his analysis outside of the meeting.

5.      Coastal Permit and Second Unit Permit – 210 Laurel Road, APN# 191-011-35 (A. Patton for R. Donohugh) (legalize existing second unit, relocate an existing detached accessory structure and construct a new detached accessory structure).


Staff noted that the Board considered an expanded water use permit application for this project; this month, the coastal permit application for the same project has been sent to the BCPUD.  President Siedman noted that no one was present from the public to comment on this permit application and requested staff to advise the County planner.


6.      Request to Suspend Sewer Connection (L. Ferlinghetti).


Director Comstock said he has no objection to suspending the connection, but noted that Mr. Ferlinghetti may be interested to selling it to the person who has inquired about connecting into the system.  Director Siedman said that if the connection is suspended, all accrued and unpaid fees would need to be paid prior to activation.  Director Smith moved to suspend the connection subject to all accrued service charges being paid before the connection can be reactivated, and director Comstock seconded the motion.  Director Amoroso noted that the district has a process in place for water meter suspensions but not for sewer connection suspensions; he queried whether a specific process for sewer connection suspensions should be enacted.  After a brief discussion, director Smith amended his motion to suspend (but not waive) Lorenzo’s obligation to pay the sewer service charge for FY 2014-15 in order to provide for some time for the district to develop a resolution specific to the suspension of sewer connections.


D. Smith/L. Comstock            all in favor         to suspend (but not waive) Lorenzo Ferlinghetti’s obligation to pay the FY 2014-15 sewer service charge subject to the requirement that this charge (and any other accured but unpaid charges) must be paid in full before the connection can be reactivated.


7       Request that BCPUD Adopt a Resolution of Commitment to Comply with the Brown Act (M. Lewis).  


Matt Lewis provided the Board with sample resolutions enacted by other districts and cities affirming their commitment to comply with the Brown Act notwithstanding the fact that the state has suspended certain provisions of the Act as part of its budget process, including the state’s obligation to reimburse local governments for their costs incurred in abiding by the Brown Act.  Director Amoroso asked staff if the district has ever sought the reimbursement of these costs from the state; staff said it has not and that the district has continued to abide by the Brown Act notwithstanding the suspension of some of its provisions.  Matt noted that the BFPD has passed a motion to reaffirm that district’s commitment to comply with the Brown Act.  Director Siedman said that when the Board members are elected they take an oath to obey the laws of the State of California and it seems redundant to adopt a resolution such as Matt is suggesting, but he noted that other districts have done so.  Discussion ensued, with the directors expressing support for and a commitment to the Brown Act, but disagreeing over the need for/potential language of such a resolution.  The Board ultimately directed staff to agendize a proposed resolution expressing the district’s commitment to continue to abide by the Brown Act for consideration at the October 2014 regular meeting.


8.      West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Update on Issues Under Discussion Concerning the Renewal of a Non-Toxic Protocol for West Marin and Request that BCPUD Host a Meeting with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito Vector & Control District (L. Goldblatt).


Liza Goldblatt stated that the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito Vector & Control District (“M&VCD”) staff has proposed the use of methoprene in septic systems.  The West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council would prefer that the current agreement stay in place, which does not allow the use of methoprene.  She believes it will be very effective for the BCPUD to host a meeting in Bolinas for the M&VCD staff and board committee members to come hear from the community on this topic.  Director Comstock thanked Liza for her good work on the Council and said he is in favor of the BCPUD doing what it can to help on this issue.  Liza suggested the BCPUD invite the M&VCD out for a community meeting in November, if possible.  After a brief discussion, staff was directed to coordinate and schedule the meeting.


9.      Memorandum of Understanding between the BCPUD and Mesa Park Concerning the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project; Update on Status of Bridge Loan for Costs of Project Not Covered By Advance of Grant Funds; Request from Mesa Park for BCPUD to Advance Payment for Such Costs if Bridge Loan Not Secured.


The Board received a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the BCPUD and Mesa Park concerning the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project (“MOU”) prepared by staff to memorialize how the project will be paid for via a $400,000 advance of grant funds, supplemented by funds contributed by Mesa Park (and, if necessary, the BCPUD) until the final $100,000 in grant funds is released by the state funding agency after the project is complete.  Director Smith moved to approve the MOU and director Amoroso seconded the motion for discussion purposes.


Discussion of the draft MOU ensued, with director Amoroso asking if the BCPUD will be reimbursed for staff time spent on the project.  Bryan Lee said that the project budget includes $35,000 for project administration and Ed Pohlman has indicated his costs will be less than $10,000, so there should be sufficient funds remaining to reimburse the BCPUD for administrative costs.  Discussion continued about the MOU’s provisions re: insurance and indemnification; Bryan Lee said he would discuss those items with the Mesa Park Board.  Bryan then reported that Mesa Park representatives met with Wells Fargo to discuss a potential bridge loan to pay costs due prior to the release of the final $100,000 in grant funds; unfortunately, a loan from Wells Fargo is unlikely because a loan amount of $100,000 exceeds Mesa Park’s annual operating income and because Mesa Park is not the Project grantee.  He therefore requested that the BCPUD consider advancing any funds needed to complete the project, which will be repaid when the final $100,000 in grant funds is issued (which will be on or before June 30, 2015).


Director Amoroso asked several questions relating to potential cost overruns and asked what will happen if the project costs exceed the $500,000 grant amount.  Bryan said that Mesa Park is managing the project closely and has funds it can draw on in an emergency to pay for cost overruns.  Director Amoroso said that Mesa Park has not repaid the BCPUD in the past for funds loaned; specifically, there was a loan for $8,000 that has not been repaid.  Bryan responded that, to his knowledge, Mesa Park has reimbursed the BCPUD for all costs paid out on the Project, but he would work on an accounting to be sure.  After further discussion, staff suggested that perhaps the Finance Committee should meet with representatives from Mesa Park to try and resolve as many questions and open issues as possible with a revised MOU, and then present the MOU to the Boards of both agencies for consideration.


Director Smith said that the issue really seems to be how much money will need to be advanced by the BCPUD to pay the contractor to ensure the project is timely completed until the final $100,000 in grant funds is paid out; he noted that the state is obligated to pay the grant and he does not believe it is inappropriate for the BCPUD to advance funds for this project.  Director Godino concurred and director Comstock said he agrees, but wants to be sure that the BCPUD does everything it should do to mitigate risk if something goes awry on the project.  He said that the possibility of cost overruns should be addressed, that Mesa Park must use all available revenue sources before BCPUD funds are contributed, and that BCPUD must be paid back any and all funds advanced on the project.  Bryan Lee pointed out that Mesa Park will begin receiving Measure A funding this year, which is anticipated to be about $40,000 per year for the next seven years, in addition to Mesa Park’s parcel tax funds of approximately $30,000 per year.  At the conclusion of the discussion, Director Siedman noted that the MOU is referred for now to the Finance Committee to meet with Mesa Park representatives Bryan Lee and Dylan Squires to revise the MOU and address the issues of concern; a revised MOU will then be forwarded to the Mesa Park and BCPUD Boards for consideration.


10.    BCPUD Comments on LAFCO’s Proposed Update to Adopted Fee Schedule.


Staff presented LAFCO’s proposed update to its fee schedule and noted that the deadline to submit comments is September 30, 2014.  The update changes the way LAFCO calculates, assigns and collects application fees for jurisdictional changes and related planning activities, it establishes fixed fees, and it raises the hourly composite staff rate from $50/hour to $126/hour.  The Board had no comment on the proposed update. 


11.  2014 Local Agency Biennial Notice – Conflict of Interest Code.


Staff recommended that the Board review its current conflict of interest code, BCPUD Resolution 572, and update it if necessary.  If an update is necessary, staff will present it at the October 2014 regular meeting. 


L. Comstock/D. Smith                        all in favor         directing staff to review the current conflict of interest code and update it if necessary.


12.  Water Supply Update.


The Board reviewed the latest data analysis submitted by the district’s consulting hydrogeologist about the irrigation well at the Resource Recovery site.  In response to questions from the Board, director Smith explained the relationship of the various charts and the data collected about the rate of pumping and recharge of the levels in the well.  A significant question under evaluation is the impact of the lack of rain on the well’s production.


13.  Volunteer Committee Reports


-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.


-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Nothng to report.


-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.


-- Water Conservation Assistance Committee:  Northing to report.


-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Nothing further to report.


-- Land Stewardship Committee: Director Siedman reported that the committee met the previous Friday and worked on a map of the BCPUD lands and talked about the use/potential improvements of existing paths.


14.       Other Business


a.             Board Committee Reports


-- Finance:  Staff reported that the field work for the district’s FY 2013-14 audit is scheduled for tomorrow, September 18, 2014. 


-- Legal:  Director Siedman reported that the committee met to review a conceptual proposal from the garbage company for a renewal of the existing franchise agreement (which expires in June 2015) for a period of 10 years, with an annual 5% increase in rates over the term of the agreement.  This approach recently was approved by the Board of the Stinson Beach County Water District and director Siedman discussed the matter with Larry Baskin, a member of that district’s Board of Directors.  Although a 5% per year rate increase may seem high, when analyzed relative to other districts around the state, the rates in West Marin remain far below average.  Director Godino said she feels the proposal is fair and reasonable and preserves parity between Bolinas and Stinson on these costs.  The next step will be for staff to arrange a meeting between the Legal Committee and garbage company representatives to formally discuss a proposal.


      Director Smith reported that he and director Comstock had a very productive meeting with garbage company representatives about the district’s request for the company to ensure that garbage and recycling is kept separate.  The company has agreed to conduct two “runs” through the areas is serves with its “goat truck” (which includes streets the company cannot access with its larger trucks) – one run for garbage and one run for recycling – rather than mix the garbage and recycling and separate it at the disposal site as it has been doing.  The district offered to work with the company as necessary to facilitate its efforts in this regard.


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


-- Operations:  Nothing to report.


-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing further to report.


-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.


-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.


b.             Minutes of the August 20, 2014 Regular Meeting.


Director Comstock and director Smith offered clarifying revisions to the minutes.


D. Smith/L. Comstock            all in favor         to approve the minutes of the August 20, 2014 regular meeting, as amended.


c.             Warrants


L. Comstock/G. Godino                    all in favor         to approve the warrant list.


d.             Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)


October 15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.


15.  Adjournment.


10: 41 p.m.