Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
October 18, 2006     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    8:00 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Manager’s Report

Staff reported on continued efforts to secure FEMA authorization and funding for the restoration projects BCPUD must complete in the Arroyo Hondo watershed to reestablish the upper reservoir and access road.  To briefly recap:  the damage was sustained in the 2005/06 New Year’s Eve storms; the FEMA assessment was completed in April 2006, but the BCPUD received no word on the status of its disaster assistance application until late August, when FEMA released a Programmatic Biological Assessment/Opinion outlining environmental conditions applicable to the district’s projects.  Staff immediately retained a biological consultant to guide the district through the environmental regulatory requirements and revised the BCPUD’s scope of work; however, despite on-going communication with a multitude of federal and state agencies, BCPUD has not yet received approval to proceed, although the district has been assured that the funds have been obligated for its projects. 

Staff is preparing a proposal for the Board’s consideration to retrofit and convert the filters and control panels at the Woodrat Treatment Plant and hopes to have it finalized for the Board’s consideration at the November meeting. 

The district experienced a break to the water main under Dogwood Road north of Alder on October 16th caused by an out-of-town tree contractor (the contractor dropped a large cypress in the road without first confirming the location of the water main).  Although the repair was completed relatively quickly, the cost to the district is likely to exceed $1,000 in labor and materials.  The Board directed staff to write a letter to the tree contractor demanding payment for the costs incurred by the district in completing the repair.

The district’s replacement of the water main under Fern Road between Elm and Ocean Parkway is scheduled to be completed by the end of the week.  Individual connections are being replaced, which is a difficult part of the project due to the age of most of the equipment currently in the ground.  When the project is finished, however, one of the historically most problematic areas on the water distribution system will have been completely upgraded.

Staff reported that the district needs a new utility truck and dump truck as the current equipment is old and unsafe; staff therefore is in the process of exploring dealer leases and other options to obtain replacement equipment.

On the wastewater side of operations, staff recently obtained a bid of approximately $1900 to clear reeds out of the two outer- most seepage ponds to increase their capacity and facilitate access.  The Board had no objection to staff scheduling this work.

Staff from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) recently visited the district to discuss a BT treatment in one of the outer ponds that was necessitated by a sudden spike in the number of adult mosquitoes during the recent heat wave.  The M&VCD was highly complimentary of the overall maintenance of the sewer pond property in the past year; the ditching and mowing projects have dramatically decreased the number of breeding sites and the overall numbers of mosquitoes at the site.  Also, the M&VCD recently purchased a large mower and suggested that it might be possible to collaborate on a project to mow the east side of the sewer pond property (which would save the district several thousand dollars).

The district is approaching the end of the spray season with the ponds and spray fields in good shape.  During the winter, staff plans to schedule inspections of the two irrigation pumps (one needs a new motor, at a minimum) and is preparing a priority list of equipment replacement needs for the Board’s consideration (including but not limited to the pressure regulator, control panel, pond level indicators, valves, and flow meter).

Staff plans to contact the Marin Transit District to discuss arrangements for the West Marin Stagecoach’s parking outside the sewer lab building.  The Transit District recently changed contractors and staff recommends formalizing the parking arrangement to ensure appropriate access by BCPUD staff to its lab and pond facilities.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received by the BCPUD since the last monthly meeting, including but not limited to a letter from the BCPUD to Marin County Senior Code Enforcement Specialist about the Kidson bluff property and apparent plans of the property owner to apply for a permit to build a house there. 

      -- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover reported on a number of drainage projects that are underway or soon to be underway on the Big Mesa prior to the onset of the rainy season.  Specifically, Lewie reported on several projects on Alder Road and another on Fern at Larch Road; he also reported on several meetings he has held in recent weeks with property owners at other locations (including but not limited to Cedar Road off of Poplar) who sought his advice on elevations, ditching, mowing and other issues.  Lewie recently mowed the Alder swale and spoke with nearby residents about removing a pedestrian “bridge” on Birch Board so that drainage blockages and silt underneath the bridge can be cleaned out.  Lewie also is consulting with local hydro-geologist Rob Gailey to develop potential monitoring techniques to confirm the drainage indicators on the Todd Plan.

4.    Community Expression

Cela O’Connor provided the Board with a copy of a letter she recently sent to the California State Lands Commission and noted that she is still waiting for a response.

Director Kimball thanked Lea Earnheart for leading a recent celebration of water and commented that it was a wonderful reminder of the precious nature of this scarce resource.

5.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Kimball suggested that the committee, which has been dormant for some time, be reconstituted with additional community members.  After some discussion, the Board decided to defer any action until the first quarter of 2007.

-- Beach:  Presentation of Final Report:  Committee members Bruce Bowser and David Kimball were present on behalf of the Committee; Bruce said that the Committee met the previous evening and refined the report from four to three pages, but retained the core recommendations as previously presented.  David noted that the committee did have differences of opinion, but all agree that it is time to release the report and get it out into the community for discussion.   Director Smith said he concurred with the need to disseminate the report and that BCPUD should host a community meeting to obtain input on the problems identified and solutions offered.  Director Amoroso suggested that it might be preferable to transition the Beach Committee to a community committee, unaffiliated with the BCPUD.  Committee member Bowser said he “disagreed heartily” with the suggestion and noted that such a committee would not have “any credence” in the community.  Numerous people in the audience urged the Board to simply accept the Final Report at this point and release it to the community for comment.  After considerable discussion, the Board agreed to do so with the clear understanding that Board members are not agreeing with or endorsing the recommendations in the Final Report, but rather simply accepting the report as completed by the Committee.  It was further agreed that staff would distribute the report to the Hearsay as well as to the boards of the Fire Protection District, the Rod & Boat Club and the Community Center, and include an action item about the Final Report on the November meeting agenda.  After further discussion, the Board directed staff also to include an item on the November agenda to request that the County Board of Supervisors extend the current camping ordinance for another year.

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

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: See Item 7, below.

-- Community Paths Group:  Present plan and budget for inspection and maintenance of path.  Director Smith updated the Board on the status of the BCPUD’s permit to install the bike path, which is on track to commence construction in the Spring of 2007.  In addition, he presented a proposed plan and budget for the inspection and maintenance of the path, which is required by the district’s insurance authority as a condition of extending insurance coverage to the path.  Director McClellan suggested that the plan be amended to completely prohibit horses on the path (not just during the rainy season) as he is concerned that horse traffic will significantly degrade the crushed gravel path.  There was no objection to Director McClellan’s suggestion and staff was directed to forward the revised plan to the insurance authority.  The Board referred the budget component of the plan to the Finance Committee for consideration in connection with the FY 2007-08 budget.

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Nothing to report

-- Resource Recovery:  Receive September Financial Report; Receive August minutes.  Nothing further to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Rudi Ferris reported that the Committee had its first meeting last month and is scheduled to meet again next Tuesday.  He expressed frustration with the fact that no one knows what the County intends to do with regard to Terrace Avenue (apart from the recent patch of the road).  A subcommittee of Committee members are seeking a meeting with Supervisor Kinsey to solicit his input and advice.  Rudi said he is concerned that the town does not appreciate the gravity of the situation – a loss of Terrace Avenue would be devastating to the community and he strongly feels it should be repaired, particularly given the length of time and amount of effort it will take to agree upon an alternate access road.  Director Smith agreed that the County must be pressed to act; the idea behind bringing Supervisor Kinsey into the process is to work collaboratively towards a solution.  However, the community needs to know what its leverage is in this process.  To that end, director Smith inquired about the status of a legal opinion on the County’s responsibility to maintain Terrace Avenue.  Director Siedman said that the district retained lawyers for this purpose, but that the work has been on hold; after further discussion, staff was directed to contact the lawyers and request they resume work on the legal opinion.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball said that the reported incidences of West Nile Virus are down nationwide, so far so that the Marin County health officer has disbanded the Task Force until next spring.  In addition, the national West Nile Conference has been cancelled for this year.  The new West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council is scheduled to meet the following Monday and will discuss a strategy to extend the current BCPUD agreement with M&VCD, which otherwise will expire in 2007.
6.    CalTrans Presentation on the Closure of Highway One for Major Repairs between Stinson Beach and Slide Ranch and between Green Gulch Farm and the Highway One/Panoramic intersection west of Mill Valley (Projected Closure:  late October 2006 – February 2007)

        Bob Haus appeared on behalf of CalTrans to apprise the Board and community about the upcoming closure of Highway 1.  He began by stating that the planned closure already has been delayed by the fact that the County needs more time to complete its repair of Muir Road; as such, the closure of Highway 1 is now scheduled to commence November 15, 2006, which pushes the re-open date back until mid-March.  CalTrans plans to do seven projects and Bob described them with the assistance of a large visual display and map; in response to questions, he stated that CalTrans attempted to plan the project using a one-way traffic control such as currently exists at the on-going repair site, but ultimately concluded it would be too inefficient.  Bob presented a photo of another repair site near Jenner and said that the work between Stinson and Mill Valley would be much the same: metal pilings will be inserted deep into the ground, wooden timbers will be placed sideways and the road will then be backfilled and repaved.  Bob explained that the construction process is much like bridge-building, which is appropriate given the unstable soils.  Bob said the design is “state of the art” for coastal and/or mountain highways.  The Board and members of the public expressed considerable interest in the possibility of applying this repair technique to restore Terrace Avenue and Bob agreed to provide further information directly to staff.

7.    BPCUD Letter to the Marin County Open Space District and Supervisor Kinsey on the Bolinas Lagoon Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study – Preliminary Range of Intervention Alternatives.

    Staff reported that the BCPUD officially received an extension of time from the Marin County Open Space District to submit its comments on the lagoon restoration alternatives until October 20, 2006.  Director Amoroso commented that the alternative presented at the most recent Executive Committee meeting, which seems to propose to “confiscate” the Weber property and reopen the flood plain on which the school and other homes are sited, was a surprising new development.  Rudi Ferris clarified that the alternative to which Director Amoroso referred is applicable to property below the school and nearby properties.  Rudi said that, as a BALTAC member, he favors the North Basin work, some work in the delta, and opening up Seadrift to tidal influence.  Director Kimball said that after reviewing all of the available information, she supports all of the monitoring measures and alternatives ND-2 and DN-3.  Director Smith referred to Rudi Ferris’s letter in the Board binders and said it was the “most thoughtful and articulate letter I’ve seen in this whole project and I heartily endorse it.”  Director Amoroso stated that the BCPUD needs to say something in its comments about needing further information and/or clarification on the proposal to open up the Pine Gulch flood plain.  Director Siedman said that he also supports the monitoring and alternatives ND-2 and DN-3, with Director Amoroso’s caveat.  Staff was directed to write a letter expressing the Board’s endorsement of the monitoring measures and alternatives ND-2 and DN-3.

8.    Application to Improve the BCPUD Right-of-Way on Hawthorne Road at the Intersection with Elm Road (Dwaileebe):  Installation of a Culvert under the BCPUD Right-of-Way on Hawthorne, Parallel to Elm Road.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve this road improvement application and the installation of the proposed culvert. 

9.    Proposal to Revise Metered Water Delivery Charges and/or Create a Fifth Tier of Metered Water Delivery Charges.

    Director Kimball presented data that she and staff member Belle Wood have compiled regarding customer water consumption from August 2005 – July 2006 , as well as information staff collected about the metered water delivery charges assessed by other comparable districts.  The internal consumption data reveals that on the “low” end of consumption, nearly half (48%) of BCPUD customers use only 17% of the water produced by the district, whereas on the “high” end of consumption, the top 25% of BCPUD customers use 57% percent of the water produced.  The information collected about rates charged by other districts suggests that the BCPUD metered water delivery charges are far below those of comparable districts, particularly with regard to customers who consume the greatest amount of water.  Taken together, the data indicates that BCPUD should explore raising its charges for the highest-use consumers and/or create a fifth tier of charges.  Staff noted that this approach is more equitable than raising the annual service charge across the board, as it places the costs of significant consumption directly upon customers on the basis of their use.  After some discussion, Director Siedman requested that staff provide the Board with additional information about the consumption of Tier 4 customers and continue this item for further discussion at the November meeting.

10.  Amendments to Ordinance 30:  (1) Regulating Pesticide Use in BCPUD Rights-Of-Way; (2) Setting Specifications for the Installation of Speed Humps in BCPUD Rights-of-Way; (3) Granting the General Manager Authority to Issue Certain Permits for Improvements or Alterations to the BCPUD Rights-of-Way.

Director McClellan stated that he has not completed his work on the amendment to Ordinance 30 regulating pesticide use in the BCPUD rights-of-way, but would do so in time for consideration at the November meeting.  With regard to an amendment setting specifications for the installation of speed humps, Director Smith indicated that he originally raised the concept of amending the ordinance in this regard, but now is “sorry he did” because there are no clear guidelines available from the County or other sources for appropriate speed hump specifications on dirt roads and the topic is clearly controversial (for example, the Fire Protection District and many customers strongly oppose the installation of speed humps on BCPUD rights-of-way).  After further discussion, the Board agreed to forego any such amendment to Ordinance 30. 

Director Smith said that he favors granting the General Manager additional authority to issue permits for improvements or alterations to the BCPUD rights-of-way so that every project customers would like to complete need not wait for review by the Board at its monthly meeting.   He and Director Kimball indicated that where a proposed project is not controversial (which the General Manager can determine by contacting nearby residents), and as long as it conforms with the Todd Plan, the General Manager should be able to approve the project “over the counter.”  After further discussion, staff was directed to draft an appropriate amendment to Ordinance 30 for consideration at the November meeting.

11.    Resolution 538: Stating the Policy of the BCPUD Board of Directors with respect to the Use of Toxic Chemicals within the District and Requiring Notification Thereof.

The Board reviewed the proposed resolution and proposed two clarifying amendments. 

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolution 538, as amended.

12.    Resolution 539:  Requiring District Customers to Reimburse the BCPUD for Repair Costs to BCPUD Equipment for Damage Caused by Customer Negligence.

The Board reviewed a draft ordinance to require customers to reimburse the BCPUD for damage caused by customers to its equipment.  Board members offered several comments and staff was requested to revise the ordinance to eliminate any requirement to prove customer negligence and include an appeals process.  Staff was further directed to continue this item for additional consideration at the November meeting.

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

Staff reported that meetings of the Technical Advisory Committee (“TAC”) to the Tomales Bay Watershed Council continue to take place approximately twice a month.  The most recent focus of meetings has been to strategize about effective public outreach to ensure that people are aware of the Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan development process and the opportunity for input.  Representatives of the four water suppliers in the watershed (i.e., BCPUD, Inverness Public Utility District, North Marin Water District and Marin Municipal Water District) met recently with the plan consultants to discuss water supply projections, growth estimates, infrastructure assessment and water quality issues.  In addition, the ASBS assessment process began this week; consultants and TAC representatives are assessing the Duxbury Reef ASBS from Agate Beach and up on to the Big Mesa.  The State Water Resources Control Board has indicated that it is most interested in the water quality of the flow along Elm Road and down to the Agate Beach parking lot.  Water quality monitoring will take place at the Duxbury ASBS this Fall/Winter.  Staff reported that the TAC has inquired whether the BCPUD favors a one-time water quality sample (which is what is required by state law), or a multiple sample approach based on stormwater monitoring standards.  After some discussion, the Board directed staff to inform the TAC that it favors the one-time water quality sample approach required by state law.

14.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance: Nothing to report.

-- Legal: Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations: Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation: Nothing to report.

-- Personnel: Nothing to report.

-- Sewer: Nothing to report.

b.  Minutes of the September 20, 2006 Regular Meeting

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the September 20, 2006 meeting.

c.  Warrants

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

        November 15, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.

16.    Adjournment
    11:25 p.m.