Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
September 21, 2011     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.   Call to Order.

    7:35 p.m.

2.   Roll.

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

3.   Manager’s Report.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project

Staff reported that representatives from the Bolinas Working Group have a meeting scheduled at the County Civic Center on October 13th to discuss the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.  Drew Kennedy from SAGE also will attend.  The objective of the meeting is to agree on next steps for the second meeting with Coastal Commission staff and identify the extent of County’s continued participation, financial or otherwise, in this project.

On a related topic, BCPUD staff attended a preconstruction site meeting for the project to repair the Terrace slide at Overlook that was held on September 8th at the Civic Center.  The contractor, Maggiora & Ghilotti, will need access to water for the project and the district has agreed to sell water at its bulk rate per district policy – fortunately, the district has sufficient water available this year and this is a project that clearly benefits the community.  District staff also has agreed to assist with communication efforts to inform the community about the project, contractor work schedule, etc.  In addition, BCPUD and Mesa Park have agreed to allow the County to use the soccer field at Mesa Park as a temporary spoils storage site.  In exchange, the County has agreed to restore and upgrade the field once the slide repair project is complete. 

--    Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project

Staff reported that the district will prepare bid documents for this project during the next few months while the repair of the Terrace slide is underway.   When the slide repair is complete and through access is restored on Terrace Avenue, the district will apply to the County Board of Supervisors to close Terrace at Surfer’s Overlook so that the water main relocation project can be installed as quickly and inexpensively as possible. 

-- Update on the BCPUD Office Building Accessibility Improvement Project (see Item 11, below)

    This project is now complete and there is an item later on the agenda for the Board to formally accept the project.  Staff and customers are very appreciative of the remodeled space.  Staff moved back into the offices at the end of August, but there is still a considerable amount of unpacking and organizing to do. 

-- Update on Evergreen Road Improvement Project

        The property owners requesting this project have submitted their financial contribution and staff therefore will schedule the work to begin as soon as possible.  PG&E will come in first to remove some of the eucalyptus branches closest to their facilities and BCPUD’s contractors will then come in to mow and remove/trim back trees.  The tentative start date for the work is October 3, 2011.

-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property)

    Staff reported tremendous progress has been made on this project and considerable positive feedback has been received from the community.  The work has been done in steps: first, Conservation Corps North Bay (“CCNB”) crews remove saplings to about three feet in height and limb up the other trees while Chuck Oakander’s crew remove dangerous overhanging limbs and saplings near the power lines.  (In addition, Chuck has provided valuable safety and technical instruction to the  CCNB crews, for which the district is very appreciative.)  Next, the CCNB crew chip brush for at least one day at the end of each work week and cut the downed saplings into manageable lengths.   District staff then put out the word in the community that firewood is available, subject to signing a liability waiver with the district.  Local folks then come in with their trucks and removed the available firewood.  The final step is the removal of the sapling stumps and mowing of the area – which, along with the work performed by Chuck Oakander’s crew – is part of the BCPUD match on this project.  As such, this project is providing  job training for the CCNB crew,  local employment for the match portion of the work, firewood for the community and an improved and healthier grove.  Now that the grove has been thinned out, it is much more apparent just how many dangerous limbs are overhanging the power lines on Mesa Road.  Staff has resumed efforts to persuade PG&E to come in and trim these trees.

Staff noted that BCPUD is close to exhausting its match funds of $25,000 toward this project, not including staff time, and recommended that the district send a letter to the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) requesting that it consider a financial contribution toward the work.  Staff noted that the project is for the express purpose of fire fuel reduction, it is removing threats to the power lines and road closures, and it is setting an example for the community to be mindful of vegetation management responsibilities – all topics within the purview of the BFPD.  Staff also requested that the Board considering approving additional match funds toward the project to pay for more outside contractor work to keep the project moving along efficiently.  After a brief discussion, director Amoroso suggested that the Board contribute an additional $5,000 on the condition that the BFPD agree to contribute the same amount.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve an additional match amount of $5,000 to the fire fuel reduction project on the condition that the BFPD agree to contribute the same amount.

-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade Project

    Nothing to report on this project at the present time.  Staff noted that the district is experiencing “unbalanced loads” of power at this property which seem to be affecting the motors on the district’s pumps.  PG&E installed a volt meter to determine if the problem is on the PG&E side of the meter or the district’s, but it was not able to record any reliable information.  Staff will continue to pursue the matter. 

On the water side of operations, consumption in the district declined during July, but moved back up during August on the back of the Mesa.  The leak repair performed by staff at the former water storage tank site on Mesa Road is holding for now, but a permanent solution is needed to disconnect the piping from the main to this abandoned site so that a leak does not recur.  Staff hopes to perform this work before the winter rains.

 The County Department of Public Works (“DPW”) has advised the district that it plans to pave Wharf Road in 2012.  As a result, the district will need to move forward with a specific project sooner than planned, which is the replacement of the service saddles on the water main under Wharf Road.  Several of these saddles have burst apart in recent years – the saddles are made of steel and were backfilled with beach sand when installed many decades ago.  The resulting corrosion is causing the saddles to fail and they all need to be replaced before the County’s paving project begins because the County prohibits new work in its rights-of-way for up to five years following a new paving project.  There are approximately 50 saddles on Wharf Road and the per saddle replacement cost is likely to be approximately $2,000 – 2,500.  Staff also wants to install several gate valves on this section of the water main so that sections of the main can be isolated when necessary without the need to turn off the water to all of downtown.  Staff has asked the district’s engineers to prepare technical specifications so that the district can put the project out to bid and then determine whether it would be most cost-effective to do the project with an outside contractor or in-house. 

Director Smith inquired whether the County also is planning to repair the seawall under a portion of Wharf Road prior to the paving job;  staff said the County did not mention such a repair.  Director Smith expressed strong concern about the integrity of the County’s seawall and the implications for the district’s water and sewer mains if the seawall should fail.

The Board reviewed a Notice of Completion recorded by district staff for the Horseshoe Hill Water Main Extension Project, as well as Notices of Non-Compliance sent to customers out of compliance with their expanded water use permits.

    On the wastewater side of operations, staff reported that spray season continues as does mowing in the disposal fields.  The Board also reviewed an e-mail from the Regional Water Quality Control Board inquiring whether the district would like to keep its recycled wastewater order in place given that it does not seem likely that the district will construct a recycled wastewater plant in connection with the Mesa Park irrigation project.  Staff recommended the district respond that it would like to keep the order in place for now as a lot of time and effort went into creating it and the district continues to explore possible new water sources;  there was no objection from the Board.  Finally, staff reported that the purchasers of the Whamond property (located adjacent to the district’s wastewater treatment facility) requested a copy of the West Yost report and the district has provided it to them.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

    The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.

4.   Community Expression.

Jennie Pfeiffer, on behalf of the Bolinas Hearsay News, told that the Board that there appears to be an infestation of wood boring beetles in the Hearsay office doorframe and that the floor of the office also has some deteriorated areas which are covered with metal.   Staff will investigate and report back with a recommended course of action. 

Matt Lewis requested that the Drainage Project Manager’s reported be posted on the district’s website.  The Board agreed and directed staff to do so.

5.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 4 Park Avenue (Saint Aidan’s Episcopal Mission).

Tom Dibble was present on behalf of the Saint Aidan’s Episcopal Mission and explained that the mission had a toilet leak which caused the water loss at issue; he noted that Saint Aiden’s is a small mission with a tiny budget, so any financial relief at all would be much appreciated.  Director Smith noted that per the district’s financial relief policy, the district historically has granted 25% or 50% relief in the case of toilet leaks, granting the higher relief in extenuating circumstances.  He noted that such circumstances are present here because Saint Aidan’s is a community mission and generally uses a very small amount of water.  He proposed that the district grant relief equivalent to 50% of the amount of water attributable to the leak.

V. Amoroso/K. Bender        all in favor    to grant financial relief equivalent to 50% of the amount of water attributable to the leak, as determined by the average amount of water used during the same billing quarter in the prior three years.

6.   Offer by Bolinas Beach Preservation LLC (Jeremy Kidson) to Donate Real Property to the BCPUD.

Director Siedman reported that he received a call from Mr. Kidson inquiring whether the BCPUD would be interested in taking title to all of the land he owns in Bolinas.  Director Siedman told Mr. Kidson that this is a Board decision that would need to be agendized for discussion.  Mr. Kidson thereafter called a second time to let the BCPUD know he also was contacting other potentially interested parties to offer the land.  Director Siedman said that he is not inclined to recommend that the district accept the property because the County has made clear that this land cannot be developed so there is no real need for the district to acquire the land and potential liability therefore.  Director Siedman said he believes that the Marin County Open Space district received the same offer from Mr. Kidson and rejected it.

Director Smith said that he thinks this offer is worth evaluating; he noted that there is a California law exempting public agencies from liability for claims relating to undeveloped property they own under certain circumstances.  He said it may help the community if this land is publicly owned so that a future private owner does not attempt again to try and develop the property.  John Bryant noted that during Mr. Kidson’s ownership of the property, he altered it by developing trails and stairs, etc., and that the property has been under an enforcement action – he warned that the district would “acquire” any resulting problems created by Mr. Kidson’s attempted development.   Discussion ensued about additional potential liability concerns and staff was directed to consult with County Counsel or outside counsel regarding the district’s potential liability if it should accept Mr. Kidson’s offer of real property.   Further discussion on the matter was deferred to the October meeting.

7.   Approve Stockpiling of Asphalt-Concrete Grindings at Mesa Park parking lot.

Director Siedman stated that Maggiora & Ghilotti previously offered asphalt-concrete grindings to the community, to be stockpiled at the Mesa Park parking lot, subject to the execution of an agreement that the district felt was not acceptable to it as the owner of the parking lot property.  Since its initial offer of the grindings, Maggiora & Ghilotti was awarded the Terrace Avenue slide repair project and is planning to use the grindings for that project.  However, the district recently was contacted by Team Ghilotti about accepting grindings to be generated from a project Team Ghilotti was awarded to repave part of Highway 1.  The Board held a special meeting the prior week and determined that if Team Ghilotti agree to test the grindings to confirm that the material passes the environmental screening limits established by the Regional Water Quality Control Board before delivering the material to Bolinas, the district would be willing to accept delivery of the grindings at the Mesa Park parking lot.  Alternatively, if the material cannot be tested prior to bringing the grindings to the parking lot, Team Ghilotti must agree to remove them at its own expense if the grindings do not pass the screening limits.  Staff conveyed this decision to Team Ghilotti but unfortunately Team Ghilotti feels it cannot comply with this request due to timing considerations;  Team Ghilotti submitted test results from grindings generated at a different project as an alternative.   As such, there is no action to be taken on this agenda item.

8.     Proposed Resolution Establishing Procedures for Suspension and Reinstatement of Water Service.

Director Smith reported that he revised the proposed procedures for suspension and reinstatement of water service based on the Board’s discussion at last month’s regular meeting; the revised proposed procedures are in the Board binders.  Discussion ensued, with questions asked about the distinction between terms such as “abandonment” and “suspension” and “termination” and the use of these terms in past resolutions.  Director Kimball noted that the Board books contain a summary table of the resolutions and ordinances to be consolidated or superseded by the proposed procedures, as well as a listing of the meters potentially affected by the proposed procedures, which are very helpful.  Director Amoroso said that he has not yet had sufficient time to study the revised procedures; he noted that the procedures will consolidate prior resolutions, which seems fine, but he questioned the purpose of the proposed procedures as only one meter in the district (owned by the Bolinas Community Land Trust) likely will be affected.  Staff recommended that the final version of the procedures eventually agreed upon by the Board should be reviewed by legal counsel prior to enactment.  Director Siedman said the topic will be discussed again at next month’s meeting so that the Board members may have sufficient time to further consider the proposed procedures.

9.    Proposed Revisions to Ordinance 30.

This item was deferred to a future Board meeting.

10.  Update on Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation Project.

Staff reported that the revised Initial Study required under the California Environmental Quality Act for this project has been re-circulated and the public comment period will close on September 30, 3011.  If there are no further comments, an item will be included on the October meeting agenda to adopt a Negative Declaration of Environmental Impact for the project.

11.  Resolution 605:  Accepting Completion of the BCPUD Office Building Accessibility Improvement Project.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolution 605.

12.    U.S. Department of Transportation Notice re: Air Tour Management Plan Development at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and Point Reyes National Seashore.

Director Smith said that the proposed air tour management plan will allow thousands of flights per year over the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (“GGNRA”) and the Point Reyes National Seashore (“PRNS”) which could greatly impact the park visitors’ experience as well as local residents’ daily lives in a negative way; he urged that the district submit comments opposing the plan.  Discussion ensued with all directors concurring that the district should oppose any increase in the number of existing flights based on noise for people and wildlife, potential interference with emergency medical flights, the presence of nesting and migrating birds and other species, and the fact that the purpose of these parks is to preserve wildlife.  Director Smith offered to contact PRBO Conservation Science to find out if they have taken a position on the plan and director Kimball offered to contact the PRNS.  Staff was directed to draft a letter opposing the plan for all of the reasons previously stated and submit it no later than the September 28, 2011 comment deadline, with copies to federal and state representatives, the County Board of Supervisors, PRNS and GGNRA and to PRBO Conservation Science. 

13.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:   Director Amoroso reported that he attended the most recent meeting and it seems like the County is trying to disband the committee.  The committee now must obtain approval from the Board of Supervisors before an item can be on its agenda and Bill Carmen, the project manager, has been laid off.  He noted that the funds are in hand for the restoration of Kent Island, but the project is not moving forward. 

-- Community Path Update:  Director Kimball provided a brief financial report on the path project and noted that all signage and flags (which had been installed to deter traffic from driving on the path plantings) have been removed.  She said that the project is in good shape financially; in addition to the Stinson-Bolinas Community Fund grant of $1,000 and the BCPUD advance of $5,000, over $5,000 has been raised in volunteer donations from the community.  Approximately $6,500 has been spent on plants and materials; labor for the path project has all be donated.  Director Kimball says she currently plans to purchase more plants and erosion control material and will honor her personal commitment to maintain the path for two years and repay a significant portion of the BCPUD advance by the end of calendar year 2011.  Director Siedman praised director Kimball’s hard work and on-going dedication to the project which has resulted in an incredible benefit to the entire community.

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:   Staff reported on a conversation with the DPW traffic personnel, who said that implementation of the Bolinas Downtown Parking Plan is not in the department’s work plan.  Staff recommended that the district pursue the matter with Supervisor Kinsey’s office at this point.

-- Resource Recovery:  Discuss Possible Forgiveness of Outstanding Loan from the BCPUD for Hazardous Tree Removal.   Director Siedman reported a productive discussion with RRP Manager Mike Aitken on the need to have a lease in place with the district; he also noted that RRP operates on a very tight budget but that Mike does not feel it is appropriate to request forgiveness of RRP’s loan from the district because “a deal is a deal”.  Director Siedman recommended that the district nonetheless forgive all or a portion of this debt because the BCPUD is the landowner of the RRP project area and arguably should have been financially responsible in the first place to pay for the hazardous tree removal.  Director Siedman noted that the RRP is a community project with tremendous local benefit and Mike Aitken donates countless hours of his time toward its success.  Director Kimball agreed, noting that the presence of the RRP helps reduce everyone’s garbage rates since green waste can be brought there, rather than trucked over the hill.
        Director Amoroso suggested that the district consider reducing the loan by half and extending the payback period for the remaining amount.  Discussion ensued about the RRP’s financial status and the need for the RRP to be able to operate as a viable independent entity.  Director Kimball suggested that the Board continue the item to the next meeting and that a current financial report be submitted for the Board’s consideration.  The directors discussed some of the operational issues at the RRP, such as the marketing of the compost and the lack of ability to delivery large quantities of compost, but Jennie Pfeiffer urged the directors not to engage in micro-management of the site.  She recommended instead that a current director attend the RRP meetings so that the district has regular representation on the RRP committee.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:   Nothing to report;  director Kimball said that the next meeting of the coordinating council will be November 7, 2011.

14.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance: The Board received a capital projects report for the first quarter of the 2011-2012 fiscal year as well as a bank statement confirming the renewal of the district’s “CDARs” investments.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that the Downtown Park Committee has been responding to concerns expressed by some residents about the removal of the eucalyptus trees at the top of the hill above the park, which is a project condition imposed by the County.  A meeting was held to discuss the concerns, as well as to discuss a report by arborist Ray Moritz about the condition of the trees.  A primary concern expressed by some residents is the visual impact of the proposed tree removal; the residents expressing those concerns asked the committee to go to their homes and see for themselves the impact the project will have for them.  Last Saturday the committee and residents met to analyze view impact and most concerns were dispelled by careful explanations of the tree removal project.  It was ultimately agreed that the tree removal will begin, subject to a follow-up meeting.  In addition, the grading and infrastructure work will soon begin and portions of  the park will be closed for approximately one year while the project is installed.  Residents have also expressed concern about park visitors potentially walking uphill from the park onto the Little Mesa, so the hillside will be fenced off.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the August 17, 2011 Regular Meeting

Directors Amoroso and Smith offered technical revisions and corrections to the draft minutes of the August 17, 2011 regular meeting.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the August 17, 2011 regular meeting, as amended.

c. Warrants

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

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    October 19, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

15.  Adjournment.
    10:17 p.m.