Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
September 20, 2006     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    8:01 p.m.
2.    Roll

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

3.    Manager’s Report

Staff reported that the California Department of Health Services (“CDHS”) conducted a site visit to the district on August 30th.  Discussion focused on the district’s on-going chlorine disinfection byproduct exceedences (TTHMs and HAA5s); unfortunately, the CDHS does not currently have any definitive guidance for small water distribution systems with relatively small amount of byproducts in excess of the maximum contaminant levels.  Staff will prepare a proposed timetable for the district’s compliance with CDHS requirements by October 2, 2006.

  The district’s difficulties producing sufficient treated water to meet customer demand continues as staff awaits FEMA clearance to proceed with the projects to restore the district’s facilities in the Arroyo Hondo watershed.  The district is experiencing an unfortunate spike in water consumption (despite the conservation notices issued in August) and an unlucky coincidence of major leaks on private properties.  Staff has enclosed requests for customers to provide their e-mail addresses to the district in the most recent set of quarterly water bills in order to better communicate water shortage information.

Staff met earlier in the month with representatives from US Filter to discuss a schedule and plan for the conversion of the filters (from high to low pressure) and retrofit of the filters’ control panels at the Woodrat Treatment Plant.  Staff plans to attend a seminar in Santa Rosa at the end of the month hosted by the filter manufacturing company.  Completing the conversion and retrofit of the filters will result in lowered maintenance costs and increased water production, will lower the district’s power demand (possibly by as much as 50%) and may help lower the chlorine disinfection byproduct results because the raw water will be filtered down to 1 micron, rather than 2 microns.  The Board requested that staff prepare a proposal for the Board’s consideration and approval to perform the conversion and retrofit at the treatment plant as soon as possible.

The process of securing FEMA disaster assistance for the Arroyo Hondo clean-up continues; staff has been in regular contact with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (“OES”), which now has responsibility for administering the district’s grant funds, and has submitted a revised scope of work (significantly scaled down from what FEMA originally submitted) to restore the upper reservoir and clear off the access road.  Staff repeatedly has requested that OES expedite the project approval process because the community’s water supply is in jeopardy and because staff must have safe access to district facilities.

On the wastewater side of operations, the Firehouse & Clinic Project connection to the wastewater system is complete and the Project is in the process of securing an inspection of the connection by a registered sanitarian or an environmental health specialist.  Staff commended the work of operators Bill Pierce, Seth Kline and Lewie Likover for their assistance (considerable at times) to the Project during the construction of lateral connection.

Staff reported that the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) trapped a considerable number of mosquitoes for the first time this year from the ponds behind the sewer lab last week and performed a BT treatment to reduce the larvae. M&VCD personnel continue to be very complimentary about the heightened maintenance and management the district has conducted at the sewer ponds facility over the last year.  Staff is considering the removal of reeds from the two outer-most seepage ponds to improve evaporation and reduce potential breeding sites.  Finally, the district completed its biennial inspection of composting toilets at the end of August; all inspected facilities were well-maintained and in good shape. 

The district’s annual audit field work was performed on August 28th and has proceeded smoothly, despite the fact that the County of Marin’s transition to a new financial system has caused certain delays.  The district also hosted a site visit from ACWA/JPIA on September 7th – representative John Haaf conducted a defensive driving class for all BCPUD employees and inspected district facilities, including the skatepark and proposed recreational path.  The BCPUD is required to submit an “inspection and maintenance plan” for the path in connection with the district’s request to include the path under ACWA/JPIA’s insurance coverage.

Staff reported that Bill Niman called to follow-up on his request to relocate the fence near the Woodrat 2 Reservoir.  Several months ago, the Board approved the relocation of the fence to the east side of the access road, as long as the relocation does not pose any costs to the district.  Bill is in the process of securing approval from the Point Reyes National Seashore for the fence relocation and intends to propose a cost-sharing arrangement for the fence in the near future.

Staff reported on a visit from Ed Pohlman, who has inquired whether the BCPUD can/will accept land donated from property owners and dedicate it as open space.  The Board instructed staff to inform Ed that the BCPUD has in the past and will continue to accept donations of private land for open space purposes.

Finally, staff reported receiving an e-mail from the County Code Enforcement office stating that Jeremy Kidson has advised the County that he intends to submit a local coastal permit to build a single family residence on his property on the seaward side of Ocean Parkway.  Cela O’Connor noted that the County’s Senior Code Enforcement Officer months ago cited Mr. Kidson for various Coastal Act violations associated with the clearing of his property and construction of trails.  She asked the BCPUD to send a letter to the County referencing the citation letter and urging the County to halt any other permit activity at the property site until Mr. Kidson complies with the citation letter.

J. McClellan/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to direct staff to write a letter as described by Cela O’Connor to the County Code Enforcement office.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received by the district since the last regular Board meeting.  Staff noted that the district received an immediate telephonic response from Sharon McNamee at the Open Space District to the BCPUD’s letter urging an incremental interventionist approach to restoring the Bolinas Lagoon.  An Executive Committee meeting of the BALTAC is scheduled on September 27, 2006 at the Quesada Building at the Bolinas School to discuss possible intervention alternatives and the public is encouraged to attend.

Director Siedman inquired about a well drilling permit reactivated for Marc Dwaileebe on Elm Road between Grove and Hawthorne; he said he thought that only the BCPUD can regulate for potable water within the boundaries of the district and that the references in the reactivated permit to a “domestic well” are troubling.  Director McClellan disagreed, saying that if a property owner is able to meet all the conditions for a domestic well (including setbacks from septic systems, etc.), which very few properties can meet, the Board should not be overly concerned.  Jennie Pfeiffer expressed concern that some folks with undeveloped properties are starting to clear out vast tracts of area, clearly in preparation for some sort of a project, and this is destroying habitat and impacts drainage on the Big Mesa.  Director Smith noted that the permit states that any domestic well must have a 100 foot setback from all “existing and future septic systems” which will be very difficult for anyone to meet. 

      -- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Lewie Likover reported that the County’s Department of Public Works has indicated that it will provide the district with one day of work to help with drainage ditching on the Mesa – probably on Overlook and part of Elm; Lewie plans to work with Pete Maendle and affected property owners to schedule this work.  DPW is willing to install culverts for property owners seeking to create driveways to access their property, but will charge a fee to the property owner for doing so.

Lewie is in the process of preparing a scope of work to present to the National Park Service for assistance on Poplar Road.   He met with Rob Gailey to obtain his assistance in analyzing the Alder Creek stream flow data the district obtained during last year’s storm season; Lewie also spoke with Rob about possible re-engineering of the Todd Plan in the bluff erosion zone. 

Lewie noted that several neighborhood drainage projects are on the Board’s agenda.  He placed an order for culverts for the BCPUD to make available to homeowners, at cost, for use under driveways and he shot elevations on Alder from Overlook to Grove; property owners on Grove evidently are planning a project for consideration on the October agenda, as is a property owner seeking to install a culvert under Hawthorne at Elm.  Lewie hopes to schedule a community work day in the Alder swale in October and will coordinate with Matt Lewis to do so. 

    Director Smith commented on a letter in the Board’s meeting book from staff to a customer regarding certain BCPUD equipment (a blow-off valve and box) that had been damaged by grading and digging work that the customer’s contractor performed in the BCPUD right-of-way without prior notice to either the Underground Service Alert or the BCPUD.  Director Smith noted that the letter indicated that the customer would not be charged for the BCPUD’s time and materials needed to repair the broken equipment and he said that he opposed this decision.  Director McClellan concurred.  Director Smith further observed that the district recently has experienced several significant water losses due to unattended leaks on customer properties and he stated that he opposed the existing practice of staff forgiving a portion of customer water bills under such circumstances.  He suggested that the district consider requiring the installation of telemetry meters tied into the district office on properties where significant leaks have occurred to avoid future similar water losses.  Director McClellan suggested that perhaps customers planning to be away from town for more than a short period of time should be required to shut off the water to their property.  Director Siedman observed that this issue appropriately should be discussed under item 6 on the agenda and he directed staff to include an item on the October agenda for the Board to consider a draft resolution requiring customers to reimburse BCPUD for damage caused to district equipment.

4.    Community Expression

Matt Lewis offered three comments:  (1) he suggested that BCPUD staff issue written notices to property owners who plant or construct fences/other items in the BCPUD rights-of-way; Matt feels many may not be aware they are encroaching in the rights-of-way; (2)  he asked whether the BCPUD has obtained prices from a contractor to implement the drainage pilot plan;  Lewie inquired whether he specifically is inquiring about the culverts and Dogwood and Evergreen – Matt said yes, and Lewie said that he has not obtained any price estimates; (3)  finally, Matt commented that water seems to be coming down Little Mesa and pooling at the end of Wharf as a potential mosquito breeding site; staff responded that the hydrant there is flushed every day and likely is the source of the water.

Jennie Pfeiffer thanked the BCPUD for clearing the path from the corner of Mesa and Overlook to the Resource Recovery Center and for taking steps to ensure that Laurel Road between Elm and Alder is accessible for emergency vehicles.

Bobbi Kimball read the text of a thank-you postcard sent to the BCPUD from AmeriCorps volunteer Adam Smith.

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

--  Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

--    Beach:  Director Amoroso said that a meeting had been held the prior week, but a quorum was not present, so no action was taken.  Director Smith observed that the committee members  present spent approximately three hours discussing the report and he anticipates that there will be one more committee meeting to finalize the report before it is re-presented to the BCPUD Board.  Although the camping ban was a big discussion point, the committee has identified many other problems and proposed solutions that should be part of a community dialog – the committee strongly feels that the community should weigh in on all of the beach issues, which are likely to be the subject of an advisory vote on the November 2007 ballot.

--  Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Meg Simonds reported that the committee members have charged themselves with reading the entire plan (and its amendments) and prioritizing items to be addressed.  Staff reported that planner Kristin Drumm has been assigned by the County to assist the committee and that committee member David Kimball will serve as the committee’s liaison to Kristin.

--  Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Update by BCPUD representative.  Director Amoroso reported that a very significant meeting on the future of the lagoon will be held next Wednesday, September 27th at 6:00 p.m. at the Quesada building at the Bolinas School to present proposed alternatives to restore the lagoon and he urged the public to attend.   Director Amoroso noted that Scott Tye has raised some questions about the legality of the Executive Committee meeting at which the alternatives were formulated; in the past, the BALTAC has received a written report of the Executive Committee meetings but it did not receive such a report for the meeting at which the alternatives were formulated--rather, Bill Carmen merely provided a brief verbal report of the meeting.  Scott Tye has referred the matter to the County Counsel’s office for an opinion.  There also are concerns about the limited time in which the public can respond to the proposed alternatives because the close of public comment period is October 13th – Director Amoroso said the comment period likely will be extended to October 30th.

--  Community Paths Group:  Update on Status of Coastal Permit Application; Discuss proposed plan and budget for inspection and maintenance of path.  Director Smith reported that the district is proceeding with the path permit process and currently is responding to questions raised by the Department of Public Works.  Director Smith anticipates that construction will take place in the spring, as will the County’s planned bike path installation on Olema-Bolinas Road.  Director Siedman noted that the district’s insurance authority, ACWA-JPIA, has requested a written inspection and maintenance plan for the path.  Directors Smith and McClellan agreed to work with staff to develop a draft plan for consideration at the October meeting.

--  Downtown Parking and Traffic:  Director Amoroso reported that Coastal Commission staff recently conducted a visit to Bolinas to assess the downtown parking situation and public access implications of the proposed parking plan.  Staff reported that the Board received a letter from Jody Angel challenging the legitimacy of the November 2005 election results in favor of the parking plan in light of what Ms. Angel contends were illegalities with respect to the ballot plan advisory measure.  Staff further reported contacting the County and speaking with Registrar of Voters Elaine Ginnold, who personally assured staff that there were no illegalities of which she was aware with regard to the ballot measure and that she had informed Ms. Angel of such.  Director McClellan suggested staff not spend any further time on this issue and the Board concurred.

-- Resource Recovery:  Receive August Financial Report; Receive June and July minutes.  The Board received the August financial report and the June and July minutes without comment.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Anita Tyrrell-Brown reported that she has convened the initial meeting of the Board, which is scheduled to take place next Tuesday morning, September 26th at 9:00 a.m. at the BCPUD offices.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that mosquito activity thankfully is very low, with only one WNV-positive human case in Marin (an asymptomatic blood donor), one WNV-positive horse in Novato and two dead birds.  There has been no reported WNV activity thus far in West Marin, which suggests that education and prevention is working well.  The Coordinating Council is continuing to work on education and prevention and has consulted with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District on a mosquito management issue in Inverness.  The Council is scheduled to meet again at the end of October. 
6.    Discuss Need to Increase Water Consumption Awareness; Request for BCPUD to Support October 15th Ceremony for the Expression of Gratitude to the Arroyo Honda Watershed (Lea Earnheart)

    Director McClellan observed that there once was an ethic in Bolinas about conserving water and not using it to water lawns in summer; demographics have changed in recent years, however.  He stated that the Big Mesa is a great place to live precisely because it is a “failed subdivision” that never completed the transition from a rural to a suburban area.  The advantage of this is that there is lots of open space, but residents are forced to cope with “terrible infrastructure -- terrible roads and a chronic shortage of water.”  He lamented that people who recently have moved to Bolinas and paid “obscene prices” for their homes “expect to bring their suburban habits with them and they need to be disabused of this.”  He observed that several absentee owners with large properties and automatic sprinkler systems recently experienced leaks that caused enormous water losses for the district.  He noted that staff historically has forgiven a percentage of water bills attributable to leaks and he urged the Board to revise this informal policy and fully charge all customers for the water lost through such leaks.  He further proposed that the Board consider (1) requiring property owners to shut the water to their homes off when they are not in Bolinas so that accidental leaks do not result in inadvertent, huge water losses and/or (2) prohibiting automatic sprinkler systems in the district and/or (3) creating a new top tier of rates to charge more for the highest water consumption levels.

        Director Amoroso agreed that the rate schedule should be reconsidered.  Director Kimball also supported a new tier on those customers consuming the greatest amount of water.  She stated that she has been pulling together information on water conservation and landscaping with the goal of developing an educational packet for customers to raise their awareness of water usage for landscaping.  Director Smith agreed that action is necessary, but that other legal considerations will limit what the BCPUD can do.  For example, he said that new construction regulations require fire suppression sprinklers in homes, so the district cannot require such customers to shut off the water to their homes.  He favors exploring an adjusted rate structure and/or exploring the possibility of installing telemetry meters on properties with a history of leaks and/or excessive water usage.

        After further discussion, the Board directed staff to research the constraints on the options available to the district to regulate water consumption and to collect information about other districts’ approaches to this issue; staff was further directed to include an item on the next agenda for additional discussion of the topic and to include an item in the next newsletter on the importance of water conservation.

        Director Siedman noted that Lea Earnheart was present and asked if she wished to speak about her ceremony proposal.  Lea said she hoped her letter to the Board (in the Board binders) was self-explanatory; she has come to seek the Board’s blessing for a water ceremony she plans to conduct on October 15th to express thanks from the community to the Arroyo Hondo watershed.  

J.  McClellan/D. Smith        all in favor    of expressing support for Lea Earnheart’s ceremony of gratitude to the watershed.

    Director Kimball thanked Lea for her proposal and indicated that she plans to attend the ceremony.

7.    Request to Remove Hazardous Trees:  Gertrude/Young, 365 Dogwood Road.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to authorize removal of the trees and contribute $1,000 of BCPUD funds toward the project.

8.    Request to Remove Hazardous Trees:  Hollander/Bryant, west side of Cedar between Poplar and Mesa Roads.

        Albert Hollander explained that there are two dead trees in the BCPUD right-of-way on Cedar between Poplar and Mesa Roads.  He has obtained three estimates for their removal and requested that the BCPUD approve the removal and contribute financially to the project since the trees are in the right of way.  Director McClellan observed that one of the trees is inside of Albert’s fence; therefore, the fence also must be in the right-of-way.  Albert acknowledged this is true.  After further discussion about the need to be consistent when contributing BCPUD funds to projects of this nature and analysis of the bids presented, the Board resolved to approve and contribute to the tree removal.  

V.  Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to authorize removal of the trees and contribute $1200 on the express condition that the fence on the Hollander property is permanently relocated to the property line.

    Albert thanked the Board and stated that he would abide by the fence relocation condition.

9.    Application to Improve the BCPUD Right-of-Way on Alder Road between Overlook and Cedar Roads (Alder Road Group):  proposed ditching along both sides of Alder Road and installation of four culverts under BCPUD rights-of-way on Alder, Aspen and Birch Roads.

    Lewie Likover reported that he has reviewed the project proposal, which generally consists of normal maintenance of Alder Road, with the inclusion of four new culverts and ditching on both sides of road and he recommends approval. 

    Dieter Tremp said he appreciates the BCPUD’s focus on drainage, even if road improvement results in faster traffic on Alder.  He noted, however, that much of the water that comes to Alder moves laterally down Aspen, Birch and Cedar from Elm Road and he urged attention to focus on improvements to Elm Road drainage, as well.  Lewie confirmed that he is going to try and do exactly this when the County crews are available to work in town.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the permit application.

10.    Application to Improve the BCPUD Right-of-Way on Larch Road between Fern and Grove Roads (Porter/Willig):  proposed ditching along south side of Larch Road and installation of two culverts under Larch Road and one culvert under a driveway.

    Lewie reported that he has reviewed the project proposal, which is designed to redress the fact that water is collecting on Larch Road and threatening BCPUD water lines; the proposed solution is to install culverts to divert the water down into the Alder swale and off the road.  Lewie clarified that two culverts may not be necessary; one may be sufficient.  He noted that he has spoken with Nancy Condy and Al Hettich (nearby property owners) and they have no objection to the application; he also has contacted other neighbors (the Katzs’) to encourage their financial participation in the project as it will benefit them directly. 

J. McClellan/V. Amoroso        all in favor    to approve the application on the condition that BCPUD staff contact the other affected neighbors (Katzs’) and obtain their agreement to financially participate in the project.

11.    Pesticide Resolution and Ordinance Proposals: Discussion of Structure and Scope.

    The Board reviewed a draft resolution and Ordinance 30 amendment prepared by directors Smith and McClellan to ban the use of toxic substances on BCPUD property.  Director Smith cautioned that Eleanor Lyman, who initially requested the Board adopt these measures, is out of town and any official action should await her input.  Director Amoroso said he feels it is important to have both an amendment to the roads ordinance and a resolution because people might not think to review the roads ordinance, but will be aware of a separate resolution specific to pesticide use.  Director Kimball stated that the language needs to be reviewed for consistency with the district’s agreement with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District, which permits the use of certain bacteriological treatments in the district.  Director McClellan said that a saving clause could be inserted to the effect of “except as otherwise expressly permitted by the BCPUD . . . .”.  After further discussion, the Board resolved to review revised language for the amendment to Ordinance 30 and a proposed resolution banning pesticide use on BCPUD property at the next meeting. 

    On a separate road-related topic, Director Smith suggested that the district adopt a standard for the installation of speed humps on BCPUD rights-of-way and the Board requested staff to include an agenda item for this purpose on the next month’s meeting agenda. 

12.    Update on Tomales Bay Watershed Council progress on Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan

Staff has attended multiple meetings of the Tomales Bay Watershed Council Technical Advisory Committee (“TAC”), as well as subject-specific subcommittee meetings relating to storm water monitoring, septic system solutions and assessments of the four Areas of Special Biological Significance (“ASBS”) in the integrated watershed, in recent weeks.  The stormwater monitoring is scheduled to take place in Point Reyes Station, Woodacre and possibly in Tomales, where there are well-mapped County storm systems, over the late fall and winter.  The septic solutions work will focus on creating a model management district in Inverness, with outreach to Woodacre to raise awareness of problems there; follow-up meetings on the septic solutions work likely will be held in Bolinas in February or March to share information.  The ASBS assessment will be conducted on all four ASBS regions in the integrated watershed, with the most focus on Duxbury Reef, given its proximity to developed lands.  Extensive water quality monitoring at Duxbury Reef will be conducted by the County during the upcoming rainy season for a broad spectrum of constituents, including bacteriological pathogens.

13.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Receive 4th Quarter (Year-End) Financial Report.  The Board received the year-end financial report.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

    -- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Director Smith observed that it would be helpful to community members desiring to implement discrete drainage projects in the BCPUD rights-of-way to have a stream-lined, over-the-counter permit process (with no requirement of public notice or Board action) so that such projects can be more efficiently implemented.  Director Smith said that where there is neighborhood controversy, however, public notice and a Board hearing should still be required so that all concerns can be raised.  Director McClellan said that a verification procedure must be a part of any streamlined process so that the BCPUD can confirm that there is no neighborhood controversy.  Director Siedman directed staff to include an item on the next month’s agenda for consideration of a possible further amendment to Ordinance 30 to authorize a streamlined permit process.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  The Board received a staff report on the status of the grant for the reclamation project at Mesa Park

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:  Director Amoroso reported that he and Director Smith recently toured the sewer pond property to assess the eucalyptus there and concluded that it would be best to defer any further work until next spring.
b.  Minutes of August 16, 2006 Regular Meeting.

    Director Smith offered certain typographical corrections to the minutes.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor     to approve the August 16, 2006 minutes, as amended.

c.  Warrants

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

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

October 18, 2006 at 8:00 p.m.

14.    Adjournment

11:35 p.m.