Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
October 15, 2008     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 on significant developments at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant (“WWTP”) over the last few weeks.  Staff has observed several issues since the filter conversion and retrofit last year – higher than expected air consumption and other unusual operational issues that staff communicated to Siemens Water Technologies.  In September, staff scheduled a call with Siemens representatives to discuss enhanced coagulation options to redress the district’s ongoing chlorine disinfection byproduct issues, but by this time the operations issues at the treatment plant had escalated.  The filters were backwashing every six minutes, treated turbidity levels were spiking, and the district was not able to run reservoir water through the filters.  Thus, the September call with Siemens became an urgent conversation regarding these operational issues; an immediate decision was made to send two new filter membranes and a technician to diagnose the problem as soon as possible.  When the technician arrived, staff worked with him to “pin” membranes and reprogram the filter control panels.  The technician discovered various problems likely stemming from the original retrofit project, which may have led to or be leading to membrane failure.  Siemens ordered ten more filter membranes to be delivered; if the operational issues improve as expected after these membranes are all installed, Siemens will then order 12 more filter membranes so that all 24 membranes at the treatment plant will be replaced.  Staff then hopes to resume full production of water on all four filters – the storage tanks have been dropping as the plant has been off-line while the repair work is being done.  At this point, staff believes that the repair work falls under Siemens’ warranty of its original retrofit work; Siemens has assured the district of its commitment to provide the service and equipment necessary to enable the plant to run at capacity and in compliance with drinking water standards.  Staff complimented operators Bill Pierce, Seth Kline, Lewie Likover and Scotty Hanks for their hard work under very stressful circumstances.

    In other water-related news, staff discovered a leak on the transmission main from the Arroyo Hondo Creek to the WWTP.  The leak is at a location where the pipe is exposed next to the road.  It has been patched, but staff plans a full repair.  Staff also performed several repairs of services and saddles on Wharf Road near the library to repair leaks reported there.  Finally, staff directed the Board’s attention to a letter from the California Department of Public Health approving the district’s proposed Stage 2 chlorine disinfection byproduct monitoring plan.

Staff reported that lights have been installed at the WWTP and at the lab building on the sewer pond property as part of the district’s security measures for the solar arrays.  Additional security options are under investigation.  High voltage warning signs will also be posted at both sites.
On the wastewater side of operations, one of the district’s pond aerators is not functioning and will undergo repair.  Spray season is nearly finished; staff anticipates that we will finish all spraying well in advance of the November 15th deadline.  Staff directed the Board’s attention to a completed Clean Watersheds Needs Survey, which addresses present rehabilitation and replacement needs for the district’s sewer collection system.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including but not limited to a revised deed prepared by the National Park Service for its acquisition of the district’s Pine Gulch Creek property and a letter from Redwood Empire Disposal detailing is request for a 5.84% increase in fees based on its franchise agreement with the BCPUD.

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

Staff reported that the district is in the process of revising its remodel plan submittal based on comments received from the County’s Department of Public Works.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

    Nothing to report; due to the operational issues outlined earlier at the WWTP, the district’s Drainage Project Manager has devoted all of his time in the past month to the district’s water and wastewater operations.

4.    Community Expression

Director McClellan inquired about staff follow-up on his report the prior month about a fundraising letter he received from the Tomales Bay Watershed Council.  Staff confirmed that a call was placed to the Council’s Coordinator, Neysa King, who explained that most organizations that are members of the Council have contributed between $200 and $1,000. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to contribute $500 on behalf of the BCPUD to the Tomales Bay Watershed Council.

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

Director Siedman noted that the Board has received an application from Bryan Lee and he endorsed his appointment.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to appoint Bryan Lee to fulfill the unexpired terms of Robert Mowry on the Mesa Park Board.

6.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 61-63 Brighton (Minvielle).

Albert and Cheryl Minvielle presented a request for financial relief from their quarterly water bill due to a leak at their property.  Albert Minvielle explained that they recently retired and left the country in May for a month on a bike trip; when they were away, their tenant gave notice and left.  It seems there was a leaking toilet, but they were not present to take care of it.  The bill for the quarter in which this occurred was over $1,000, whereas it is typically much lower.  As soon as they returned and received the bill, they immediately investigated and found, in addition to the running toilet, some leaking sprinkler heads on their irrigation system.  Director Smith inquired whether they had a property agent to manage the property during their absence; Albert said no, an agent had never been necessary.  Director Smith said it was difficult to know how much water was lost via the irrigation system and how much due to the toilet leak.  Cheryl Minvielle said that the irrigation system had been running only ten minutes twice a week.  Director McClellan expressed concern that something as easy to fix as a toilet leak went undetected for so long; he said he does not feel that property owners should be “insulated” from tenant dereliction (i.e., failure to report the leaking toilet).  Director Smith also said he was troubled by the tenant failure to report the leak.  Director Kimball noted that past water use records indicate generally low consumption, punctuated by periods of high consumption; she noted that in connection with a similar leak relief request, the Board reduced a bill by 25% over the historical usage for that time period due to leaking toilet in a tenant building.  Director Smith said that someone should have been checking on the property, but he was willing to approve a 25% reduction over historical usage.  Director Amoroso said he was willing to grant a bit more relief, but would go with Board consensus.  Director McClellan said that someone should have been overseeing the property – “the buck stops with who owns the property.” 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to reduce the bill by 25% of the amount by which the water loss exceeds the historical average use for the same billing period in the past three years.

Albert Minvielle commented that the property has a single water meter but it serves a duplex; he inquired whether any sort of adjustment can be made for that.  Several directors explained that the district does not differentiate between the number of people or tenants using a property; where there is one water connection, it is the customer’s responsibility to manage the use in accordance with the district’s requirements. 

7.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 400 Hawthorne (Hicks).

This request was deferred to following month per the request of the affected property owner.

8.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 115 Overlook (Barkan).

This request was deferred to following month per the request of the affected property owner.

9.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 295 Grove (Molyneux).

Director Smith said that based on his review of the request for relief, it does not meet the requirements of BCPUD Resolution 553 because the amount of water lost due to the apparent leak totaled less than 150% of the average usage for the same billing quarter.  Director Amoroso concurred.  Director Kimball requested that staff prepare an article for the next issue of the Pipeline newsletter to explain Resolution 553 and its requirements.  Director Smith requested that staff review all leak relief requests to determine whether they meet the requirements of Resolution 553 prior to placing any requests on the Board’s agenda and staff agreed to do so.

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

Alethea Patton submitted a site plan for the proposed agricultural use of the BCPUD’s sewer pond property; she also submitted a certificate of insurance for $300,000, which names the district as an additional insured.  Discussion ensued about the annual rental amount and it was agreed that the Board previously approved $100 per year.  Staff presented a proposed lease agreement, which previously had been reviewed by Alethea and her fellow lessees. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the proposed lease agreement for agricultural use of the BCPUD’s sewer pond property.

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

Staff noted that the Board previously approved proceeding with the preliminary engineering design phase of this project (at a special meeting on October 8, 2008), on the condition that the costs were be paid by the property owners (or their designee).  The preliminary design work has been completed and the district’s engineers have confirmed that the district cannot deliver water at the required 20 psi to these properties without the installation of a second pressure reducing valve (“PRV”) in the vault at the intersection of Mesa and Olema-Bolinas Roads.  The engineers recommend the installation of a 2 ½ inch main from the intersection of Horseshoe Hill and Olema-Bolinas Roads north along Horseshoe Hill Road (subject to approval of a waiver from the California Department of Public Health of the 4-inch minimum pipe requirement); in addition, the service laterals along Olema-Bolinas Road will need to be replaced and pressure regulators will need to be installed at each service.  The next phase of engineering work will confirm whether the district’s existing 4-inch main under Olema-Bolinas Road can withstand the increase in pressure that will be necessary to deliver water to 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road as projected. 

Chief Operator Bill Pierce noted that the existing services on Olema-Bolinas Road (as well as downtown) are all somewhat precarious; they consist of iron services, brass services and galvanized pipe services.  Due to budgetary constraints, most of these services have been spot-repaired, which is less than ideal; this project presents a good opportunity for the district to upgrade all of the existing service laterals along Olema-Bolinas Road.  Discussion ensued about who should bear the financial responsibility for the service lateral replacements and other associated project costs; the condition of the existing water main under Olema-Bolinas Road and the implications of the project for that water main; likely construction costs and other details regarding the potential project.  Ultimately, director McClellan suggested that the Board identify each of the potential project costs (apart from the costs of the installation of the new water main north under Horseshoe Hill Road to 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill, the installation of the new meters and all related engineering costs, as those issues already were decided and agreed to by the property owners at a prior meeting) and tackle them one-by-one.

First, the Board discussed the cost of service lateral replacements along Olema-Bolinas Road.  Although directors Kimball and Smith suggested that the BCPUD should consider assuming responsibility for all costs of this aspect of the project, the property owner ultimately agreed to be financially responsible for fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the service lateral replacements, up to a maximum of $2,000 each.  Second, the Board discussed the cost of installing the pressure reducing valves at the individual services and the property owners agreed to be financially responsible for this aspect of the project, as well.  Third, the Board discussed the cost of the installation of the new PRV at the Mesa/Olema-Bolinas Road vault and the property owners similarly agreed to be financially responsible for this cost.  Finally, the Board discussed the cost of the possible need to upgrade the existing water main under Olema-Bolinas Road (if it cannot withstand the pressure needed for the new project); after an extended discussion about the probable condition of the pipe and other issues, the Board determined that the district will be responsible for this cost, if it should arise.  Director Amoroso objected to this decision on the grounds that the property owners should bear some or all of this cost.

Director Kimball moved that the Board approve the Agreement, amended to reflect all of the decisions finalized that evening, including the fact that the next phase of engineering will commence sometime after January 2009 and be completed by March 2009.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the agreement, as amended per director Kimball’s motion.

12.    Approve Amendments to BCPUD’s Conflict of Interest Code.

Staff presented a draft resolution amending the BCPUD’s conflict of interest code to comply with current law.  Staff recommended that the Board members study the proposed amendments prior to the next meeting and adopt an implementing resolution at the November meeting.  The Board concurred and directed staff to include such an item on the November meeting agenda.

13.    Memo from Marin County DPW re: Bolinas Film Permit Procedures and Special Conditions.

The Board reviewed and discussed a memorandum received by the district from the County’s Department of Public Works in response to the district’s request (submitted jointly with the Bolinas Fire Protection District) for certain revisions to the County’s film permitting procedures in Bolinas.  Director Siedman noted that the key is in the final section of the memorandum wherein the County indicates it will forward all permit applications to film in Bolinas to the BCPUD and BFPD prior to approval.  The Board directed staff to send a letter to the BFPD requesting that the BFPD: (1) establish a set of film permit procedures and special conditions for implementation in Bolinas, consistent with the terms of the DPW memorandum and (2) forward said procedures and special conditions to the County Department of Public Works for distribution to film permit applicants.

14.    Discuss Potential Amendments to Resolution 152 re: Water Meter Transfers.

The Board discussed the possible implications under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) of amending BCPUD Resolution 152.  To the extent such action is deemed to be a “project” under CEQA, the district will need to conduct some form of environmental review of any potential amendments to the resolution.  Director McClellan suggested that staff review past meter transfer decisions and determine whether any approved water meter transfers led to an increase in water use; if not, the Board can then issue a negative declaration. 

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to instruct staff to review and develop data on water consumption after approved water meter transfers and report back at the next meeting.

Director Amoroso suggested an alternative approach to amending Resolution 152, by simply adding government regulations and/or environmental considerations as additional bases upon which assess a proposed water meter transfer.  Director McClellan said that he favors removing restrictions on water meter transfers, not further restricting such action.  Director Siedman encouraged director Amoroso to bring his suggested approach to the next meeting for consideration.

15.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that the solar arrays are installed at both sites, are now producing electricity and working well.  The arrays currently are putting out about 10% more power than planned on, which will means the district may receive 10% more funds than anticipated, but the arrays likely will not produce at this rate year-round.  Director Kimball complimented director Smith on his thorough inspection and detailed punch-list of remaining items for SPG Solar to complete. 

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso noted that PBS is airing a program in the near future about the Bolinas Lagoon restoration project.
-- Community Paths Group:  Discuss and/or Approve Final Payment to Brent Harris Construction.  Director Smith said the Board previously had resolved to require the contractor to re-grade four path sections before approving final payment; this work has now been done.  Director Smith said that the work is well done, it vastly improves the four problem areas, and he recommends approval of the final payment.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to make the district’s final payment to Brent Harris Construction for the installation of the bike path.

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Update on Resolution 570 and Letter to Bolinas Community; Discuss and/or Approve Letter to Homeowners on the Sewer System Who Will Be Directly Affected by a Failure of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook

Staff reported that Resolution 570 was passed by the Board at its special meeting on October 8, 2008 and has been forwarded to Supervisor Kinsey with a request that the Board of Supervisors calendar the resolution for discussion as soon as possible.  The Board similarly approved the text of a letter to the community about Terrace Avenue at is October 8th special meeting; the letter is under final review by the Bolinas Fire Protection District and staff anticipates that it will be mailed by the end of the week.  The Marin Independent Journal has called to request information for a story on the issue and staff will meet with them tomorrow.  Director Smith said that he feels the district also should communicate directly with property owners on the sewer system who will face significant individual costs in the event the district is forced to relocate the collection main.  Discussion ensued about the likely engineering implications and potential costs.  Ultimately, it was determined that the district will need input from engineers in order to have a sufficiently specific estimate of potential costs to convey to affected property owners.

Staff presented a potential funding opportunity whereby the district could apply to the state’s Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund for the monies necessary to move the water main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  Staff has consulted with the district’s engineers, who confirmed that the engineering work necessary for the funding application can be completed for approximately $3,000 - $5,000.  Staff recommended that the district proceed with the funding application, particularly in light of the County’s stated intention not to repair the seawall at Surfer’s Overlook.

D. Smith/J. McClellan    all in favor    to authorize up to $6,000 in engineering fees to complete the district’s funding application.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the Task Force’s October meeting was cancelled and the Task Force is not scheduled to meet again until 2009.  The next meeting of the Council will not occur until December.  Finally, the Center for Disease Control reported that 2008 is the mildest year for West Nile Virus since the year in which it was first detected in the U.S.

16.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Staff reported that the FY 2007-08 audit is on-going.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman noted that the district received a letter from the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District with questions about the existing joint powers agreement establishing Mesa Park and suggesting a possible move to an elected, rather than appointed, Board of Directors.  After some discussion, director Siedman agreed to follow-up with the BSUSD.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the September 10, 2008 Regular Meeting; Minutes of October 8, 2008 Special Meeting.

Director Smith offered minor amendments to the September 10, 2008 regular meeting minutes.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the September 10, 2008 regular meeting minutes, as amended.

Approval of the October 8, 2008 special meeting minutes was deferred until the November 19, 2008 regular meeting.

c.  Warrants

    Staff presented the usual warrant list for the preceding month, as well as a corrective list to include one-week of warrants that inadvertently were not approved during the prior fiscal year (this was detected by staff during preparations for the current audit).

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor     to approve both warrant lists.

d.    Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

November 19, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.

17.  Adjournment

11:45 p.m.