Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
October 19, 2005     8:00 p.m.    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 that the motor for one of the irrigation pumps at the sewer ponds has been replaced and is in good working order.  A new pump for downtown sewer lift station has been ordered and is pending; staff has performed repair work on the faulty pump and it is in limited  working order for emergency situations at this point.   Staff is in the process of obtaining bids for both the vault at the intersection of Mesa and Olema-Bolinas roads and the granulated activated carbon filter pilot project at the water treatment plant.  Staff is also currently working on clearing the lower dam and performing tree and brush removal at the Arroyo Honda watershed.  Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District personnel conducted a second application of VectoLex CG (an OMRI-approved biological treatment) at selected sites on the BCPUD sewer pond property on October 7, 2005.

At the Board’s request, staff conducted a review of the Coastal Commission records relating to the Seadrift revetment which BCPUD obtained pursuant to a Public Records Act request.  The records consist primarily of the periodic reports submitted by the Seadrift Association’s outside consultants, Noble Consultants (the reports are dated September 11, 1998; July 3, 2001; June 12, 2003, July 29, 2004 and May 27, 2005).  The September 11, 1998 report appears to be the first report issued subsequent to the 1994 settlement agreement and it reports on the replacement of 5,000 tons of armor stone (approximately 16.7% of the total amount of armor stone in the revetment), which the Coastal Commission agreed is within the “ordinary maintenance” envisioned by the 1994 settlement agreement.  The July 13, 2001 report indicates that no maintenance work is necessary on the revetment because the prior work holding up well.  The June 12, 2003 report recommends the reestablishment of the revetment through the application of  3,500-4,500 tons of rock (11.7-15% of the total amount of armor stone).  A letter dated September 9, 20003 from Noble Consultants to the Coastal Commission notes:  (1) overall settlement of revetment over time necessitates periodic restoration of rock; (2)  the existing longard tube should be left in place; (3) debris should be removed; (4) the foregoing work should be done in early winter when the sand levels are low.  The July 29, 2004 report addresses allegations that original footprint and apron of the revetment was exceeded in the most recent round of revetment maintenance work; it states that:  (1) rock debris has been and will continue to be removed; (2) the apron was constructed in 1983/84—it has been buried in sand for some time and inadvertently left off of the 1994 “as-built” drawings of the revetment; (3) the western end of beach has always changed and the allegation that the end of the revetment historically has been under water except at low tide is not true; (4) it is “absurd” to say that new rock has been added to the revetment in front of two houses at the end of beach; pre-existing rock is clearly shown on the 1994 as-built drawings; (5) the armor rock of the revetment wall is all within the original footprint.  A November 4, 2004 Coastal Commission engineer memo states that there is “no reason to doubt Noble” but that Noble’s report can be double-checked if necessary; all measurements and plans show that the revetment footprint has stayed constant, although it can appear to have changed when the beach elevation changes due to the usual tidal flow.  Finally, the May 27, 2005 finds that the revetment is in stable and sound condition; there is no need for maintenance/repair work as prior work completed in March 2004 has been very effective

    Staff updated the Board on correspondence sent and correspondence received by the district since the last regular meeting of the Board. 

4.  Community Expression

Director Amoroso commented that during a recent walk down to Brighton Beach, he noted that the area to the west side of the ramp (where vegetation caught on fire last summer) has not yet been replanted despite the fact that the homeowner evidently had agreed to do so.  Staff agreed to contact the property owner and confirm their plans to replant.

5.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Beach:  See also Item 9, below.  Maji Barror reported that the last committee meeting was very positive.  Board members of the Bolinas Community Center (“BCC”) attended the meeting;  they and the committee discussed an issue of common concern:  garbage services.   BCC manager Marcella Robinson contacted the Marin Conservation Corps, who has agreed (subject to approval of Waste Management) to donate and service recycling bins at the heads of the beach and at the BCC plaza.  Marcella acknowledged that past efforts to implement garbage service at the beach seemed to have invited more garbage;  however, the committee and the BCC Board members are optimistic that the new recycling bins will command more respect from the community.  The committee also resolved unanimously to support the BCPUD’s Parking Committee and its recommended parking plan;  in response to a question from Director Amoroso, Maji said that the committee would write a letter to the Hearsay endorsing the plan.

-- Community Paths Group:  Discussion of Funding Agreement.  Director Smith reported that the group currently is in negotiations with the Transportation Authority of Marin over the terms of the Funding Agreement;  the paths group has concerns about certain provisions of the agreement, yet TAM is claiming it is there standard form of agreement.  Director Amoroso noted that under the terms of the agreement, the BCPUD does not incur any liability until is starts spending money that TAM is then obligated to reimburse.

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor    to execute the Funding Agreement with TAM, subject to obtaining clarification on provisions of concern at the appropriate time before any BCPUD funds are spent on the path. 

-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Director Amoroso reported that the committee intends to reprint the entire proposed plan in the Hearsay for the week prior to the election to provide voters as much information as possible about the plan details.  Stacey Henderson stated that at the request of the Rod & Board Club, she had made a brief presentation of the plan at the club’s most recent meeting. 

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Committee:  Director Kimball reported that committee chair Liza Goldblatt was attending the board meeting of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District that evening;  the board originally had scheduled to vote on the WMMCC protocol as an action item, but evidently rescheduled the item as an information item for that evening’s meeting.  Liza intends to request that the protocol be scheduled as an action item for the district’s next board meeting.   Director Kimball is writing an article for the next issue of the BCPUD Pipeline issue on mosquito abatement and control measures that homeowners can implement on their property.  In addition, the BCPUD has applied for NCCC*Americorps help with homeowner roof screening. 

Stacey Henderson stated that the community should still be watching for dead birds and reporting any by calling (877) WNV-BIRD number; she noted that two dead birds were reported in Bolinas within the last week.  Director Amororso commented that the M&VC district has conducted biological treatment consistent with the WMMCC protocol on two occasions on BCPUD property at the sewer ponds.  He said that the ponds are critical portions of the Pacific flyway and that very rare birds have been sighted there;  he is very concerned about the potential for any degradation of the sewer pond property.  Director Amoroso noted that M&VC district representatives had been invited to tonight’s meeting to discuss and answer questions about their recent activities at the sewer ponds;  unfortunately, they were unable to attend due to the conflict with the scheduling of the M&VC district board meeting.  Director Amoroso suggested that they be invited to the November BCPUD meeting.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force: Director Kimball reported that the most recent task force meeting was cancelled;  she noted that the incidences of WNV around the state are coming down.  Fourteen dead birds have tested positive for WNV in Marin so far this year;  none of the birds from West Marin have tested positive.

-- Resource Recovery:  The Board received the most recent minutes of the committee meetings, as well as the September financial report.
6.    Waste Management, Inc.:  Community Update, presentation by Sadonna Cody, Recycling Education Coordinator for Waste Management

Sadonna Cody gave an informative presentation about recycling in West Marin.  She said that Bolinas is doing a great job recycling its waste, easily exceeding the state requirement of 50% diversion.  However, Waste Management has found that Bolinas customers continue to dispose of some recyclables in the trash;  Ms. Cody urged residents to check the website for information about appropriate recyclables.  In response to requests from the audience, Ms. Cody agreed to consider the feasibility of a local drop off program once or twice a year in Bolinas for hazardous waste disposal.  Staff agreed to follow-up with Ms. Cody about the implementation of this program.

7.    Proposal to Pave with Asphalt:  Queen and Mistle roads, from the Intersection of Cherry and Queen to the Intersection of  Mistle and Rosewood; Road Maintenance Permit Application to Grade Queen Road

Robert Plotkin, who lives on Mistle Road, spoke on behalf of the paving request.  He explained that he purchased his home in March 2005; during the escrow period, he walked down below the house to the beach and was greatly alarmed to see evidence of two huge slippages of the bluff below his property.  He hired soils engineer Vince Howes to evaluate the site;  Mr. Howes opined that the main cause of erosion on the bluffs is the water beneath the surface.  Mr. Howes believes that surface water is traveling on Mistle Road above the Plotkin property, traveling along the clay sub-layer and then sheeting to bluff, resulting in a super-saturation of the   top 4-6 feet of the bluff that eventually slumps off. Robert noted that the BCPUD granted him a permit to grade Mistle Road, slant it to the uphill culvert and improve the drainage ditch to the catch basin at the intersection of Mistle and Rosewood.  He said that he inadvertently failed to request a permit to grade the section of Queen Road to Cherry Road and therefore requested that the Board grant the request to grade Queen Road.  Robert also noted that Vince Howes has opined that as much as 25% less water would seep through to the bluffs if Mistle Road is paved; a paving contractor has also been contacted and is ready to proceed with the paving on Friday.  The project would include paving from the intersection of Cherry and Queen to the intersection of Mistle and Rosewood;  he  has received a very favorable bid of $1.50 per square foot.  Robert said that he had spoken to most of the neighbors and they are generally supportive. 

In response to questions from the Board, Robert explained that his project is focused on the work to be done on Mistle Road;  he said that Anna Gottreich separately has proposed to line a culvert on Rosewood with asphalt and enhance the existing catch basin at the end of Rosewood with a “bowl” of asphalt to improve its functionality.  (However, Anna submitted her proposal too late for inclusion on the meeting agenda.)   He explained that the costs to date of grading Mistle and improving the uphill culvert total $4,000; the Gottreich proposal for Rosewood is estimated to cost $6,500 and the proposed paving project is $18,500—although the costs will go up if the work cannot proceed on Friday as the cost of asphalt is scheduled to increase.

Nancy Kemper stated that she lives at 135 Rosewood and is “hugely opposed” to the paving project; she also complained that the notice of the proposed paving project was inadequate and did not provide the neighborhood a realistic opportunity to prepare arguments against the paving.   The Rosnows, who live on Queen Road, said they had no idea until they receive the agenda that this project had been proposed and were present at the meeting to learn about it; they are in favor of improving drainage, but not sure if paving is the right answer.  They questioned whether a soils engineer is qualified to analyze the impact of paving.  David Gleason said that he would be directly impacted by the increase in traffic that will occur if the roads are paved.  He feels that any kind of paving is a “disservice to the neighborhood” and its tranquil environment;  David is strongly opposed to the paving proposal, particularly insofar as it envisions connecting pavement off of Cherry, up Queen and down Mistle Road, which will invite traffic to the area.  Lee Chisholm, who lives on 196 Rosewood, said that even the grading work that has been done has had a big impact on the neighborhood by creating a big “thorough-fare”.  She stated that she opposes the paving proposal and feels that the current, unpaved roads better absorb the rainwater.  Lee said that all of the neighbors on Rosewood that she has spoken with also are opposed to the paving proposal.

Director Amoroso suggested that since most of the anticipated drainage benefit would be from paving Mistle Road, perhaps the paving should be limited to Mistle Road and not extend to Queen—as such, there would then be no connecting pavement to Cherry Road, which would address some of the neighborhood concerns.  He also suggested that a county coastal permit may be required for a project of this significance.  Robert observed that the opposition expressed seems to be from people who do not live on the stretch of road to be paved and that everyone whose property is adjacent to Queen and Mistle either supports the paving, or do not oppose it.  Robert said that the issue is a cost-benefit analysis of aesthetics vs. saving homes. 

    Director Siedman asked to hear from Board members as to their views on the three issues presented:  (1) grading Queen Road from Mistle to Cherry; (2) paving Queen and Mistle Roads, and (3) lining the ditch on Rosewood with asphalt and enhancing the catch basin.

Director Amoroso said that he wanted to know whether a coastal permit would be required by the County for the paving project.  He also feels that the paving, if done at all, should be limited to Mistle Road.

Director Smith said that he was very concerned about the precedent that would be set by paving so much roadway.  He noted staff concerns that paving would complicate work on the district’s water system.  While he understands the drainage concerns of property owners near the bluff, he is also very concerned about proceeding to quickly.  He suggested that Robert consider lining just the ditch on Mistle with asphalt to at this point;  doing so will provide considerable drainage benefit at a much lower cost and lower impact on the neighborhood.  Director Smith said he was very concerned about the proposal to enhance the catch basin at the end of Rosewood—engineered plans should be required for this proposal as it will divert surface water down to Agate Beach and the surrounding marine sanctuary.  Director Smith said he had evaluated the proposed stretch of Queen Road to be graded with Don Murch;  he agrees that it can be smoothed (although an existing “hump” in the road should be maintained) and the uphill ditch can be cleared out.

Director Kimball expressed concern that the previous catch basin work had been poorly done;  she does not feel the Board has sufficient information to approve the catch basin proposal.  She does not favor the proposal to pave Queen and Mistle, or even to pave just the ditch along Mistle as Director Smith proposed—she suggested lining the ditch with large rocks to preserve the ditch and slow the velocity of water and evaluate the effectiveness during the upcoming winter. 

Director McClellan said that when the Board approved the district’s traffic plan, it expressly considered paving certain roads on the Mesa and rejected doing so in order to keep vehicle speed down and discourage tourists, even though the associated maintenance costs are higher.  He stated that he is inclined to approve the grading and ditching, but not the asphalt.  He also expressed concern over the catch basin proposal and potential outfall issues. 

Director Siedman stated that in his view, the Board lacks sufficient information to make a good decision on certain aspects of Robert’s and Anna’s proposals—to say that the catch basin will be “enhanced” is not enough information as to how it will work and there are downstream implications.  Director Siedman said that he has no problem with the proposal to grade Queen and clear ditches, but he is not in favor of paving the roads with asphalt. 

D. Smith/V. Amoroso     all in favor    to approve grading Queen Road (retaining the current “hump”), cleaning out the uphill ditch and replacing the 16 inch culvert at the intersection (under Queen and parallel to Cherry).

The proposal to pave Queen and Mistle Roads failed for lack of a motion.

8.    Schmidt New SFD Coastal Permit, CP 06-6 – 160 Overlook Drive

Director Siedman recused himself from participation in this item due to a potential conflict of interest;  Director Amoroso therefore presided over the meeting during this agenda item.  Scott Schmidt and his family were present to answer any questions the Board may have about their plans to build a home on a 2+ acre parcel off of Overlook Road.  In response to questions from Director Amoroso, Dr. Schmidt explained that the well and septic systems have been approved by the county.  Director Amoroso advised the Schmidts that a subterranean plume from the BCPUD’s nearby sewer treatment ponds was identified some years ago on a property southeast from the Schmidt parcel and said he wanted to be sure the Schmidts were aware of this fact in light of their apparent plans to use an existing well to supply potable water to the proposed residence

Robert Lowe, who owns a nearby home on Terrace Avenue, expressed a concern that the building plans appear to locate the septic system directly over a spring which Mr. Lowe claims exists there and runs underground across his property.  Mr. Lowe said that he at one time drilled a well on his property that he claimed produced potable water.  Mr. Lower is concerned about the possible implications of locating a septic system above a source of potable water.  He also expressed a concern that the Schmidt’s project may affect drainage on his property; Dr. Schmidt said that the proposed construction does not alter the existing drainage conditions—he pointed out that his property naturally slopes toward Mr. Lowe’s property.  Mr. Lowe stated he had no objection to the Schmidts’ proposed building plans, but wanted them to be aware of his concerns.   The Board agreed to convey Mr. Lowe’s comments to the county.

9.    Beach Ordinance:  Proposal to Extend “No Camping” Ordinance for an Additional Year

J. McClellan/V. Amoroso    all in favor    of BCPUD supporting the extension of the “no camping” ordinance for an additional year.

10.    Update on Mesa Skatepark:  Status of Construction; Insurance

Mark Butler advised the Board that the commencement of the construction of the Skatepark has been delayed due to an insurance issue.  Specifically, Marin County is refusing to issue the building permit without evidence that Mesa Park has workers’ compensation insurance for the volunteers who will be working on the project.  Mark investigated the costs of such an insurance policy and discovered it would be a minimum of $8,000, which is far in excess of what the Skatepark project can afford.   BCPUD staff has spoken with its carrier to determine whether BCPUD can carry the required insurance; the insurance representative is not in favor of this approach because the Skatepark is not a BCPUD project—however, it can be done if the Board enacts a resolution extending workers’ compensation coverage to the volunteers on the Skatepark project by deeming them to be employees of the district for the purposes of the project.  Mark said that Mesa Park will reimburse the BCPUD for the additional premium costs.  Finally, staff advised that there is another possibility—a California Labor Code provision may exempt Mesa Park from the workers’ compensation requirement, but Marin County has not yet agreed that the provision is applicable.

Director Amoroso expressed strong concern about any potential costs to the district if the Board were to approve a resolution deeming Mesa Park volunteers to be employees of the district for purposes of the Skatepark project. 

J. McClellan/J. Siedman moved to adopt a resolution extending the district’s workers’ compensation coverage to the volunteers on the Skatepark project by deeming the volunteers to be employees of the district for the purposes of the project, with the applicable premium costs to be reimbursed to the BCPUD by Mesa Park.

Director Amoroso said that Mesa Park should be required to reimburse the district for any costs the district may incur in paying claims or in the form of increased premiums and suggested such an amendment to the motion.  Mark Butler said that as a realistic matter, Mesa Park cannot do so as it simply does not have the funds to commit to such reimbursement obligations.   The proposed amendment was not approved.

    Director Amoroso alternatively suggested that the motion be amended to provide that the district’s workers’ compensation coverage will only be extended if necessary—in other words, if the County agrees that the Labor Code provision is applicable, then the extension of workers’ compensation coverage is unnecessary. 

Directors Smith, Kimball and McClellan approved the motion as so amended by Director Amoroso;  Director Amoroso voted against the motion and Director Siedman abstained.

11.    Resolution 526, Approving Lot Line Adjustment between the Bolinas Community Public Utility District and the Bolinas Fire Protection District

    The Board discussed a draft resolution prepared by staff approving a lot line adjustment between the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) which was necessary for the Firehouse & Clinic Project.  Director Siedman suggested that the draft language in the resolution making it conditional upon actual completion of the project and payment by the BFPD of all associated costs be removed from the text of the resolution itself because Project Manager Kim Bender had advised him that the conditional language could be problematic for the title company;  however, Director Siedman said that this conditions should be included in an accompanying cover letter, which should also make clear that to the extent the lot line adjustment needs to be reversed, it will be done so at the BFPD’s expense.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    approving Resolution 526 subject to the accompanying cover letter as suggested by Director Siedman.

12.    Reschedule Candidates’ Night from October 26, 2005 to November 2, 2005

The Board agreed to reschedule Candidates’ Night from October 26, 2005 to November 2, 2005 due to candidate Stacey Henderson’s unavailability on October 26th.  The event will commence at 7:30 p.m. at the BCPUD offices, and General Manager Jennifer Blackman will moderate.

13.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  2004-2005 Audit; Special Districts Financial Transactions Report; 1st Quarter Financial Report

V. Amoroso/ B. Kimball    all in favor     to accept the 2004-2005 audit.  The Board deferred review of the auditor’s comments shall be deferred to the Finance Committee.  The Board also received the first quarter financial report.

-- Legal: Director Siedman noted that the Board’s Legal Committee had evaluated the liability issues associated with accepting the Offers to Dedicate on Brighton Beach;  staff was requested to convey the evaluation to the Beach Committee.  Director Siedman further noted that he had received a call from Doug Ferguson, counsel to Michael Moritz, regarding the BCPUD’s easement across the Moritz property.  Mr. Ferguson stated that after researching the matter, he agrees that BCPUD has a legal access easement across the Moritz property.  Director Siedman requested that Mr. Ferguson put this in writing and send it to the BCPUD.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  County Survey; discussion of road ownership

Staff reported that a Mesa resident recently contested BCPUD’s ownership of the unpaved roads on the Mesa based on the resident’s discussions with the county personnel in the Real Estate division of the Department of Public Works.  A discussion ensued regarding the Subdivision Map, the clear demarcation of private property lines ending at the roads on the Mesa and the BCPUD’s historic and long-standing maintenance, improvement, and permitting activities with regard to road surfaces, drainage, tree removal and other matters on the Mesa roads.  BCPUD has long asserted ownership of the Mesa roads based on the Subdivision Map, the Smadbeck quitclaim deed and other legal documents.  Staff was requested to pursue the matter with appropriate county personnel.

Staff reported on a recent conversation with Andy Blake, who met recently with Mike Brogan, the county Department of Public Works new Chief of Surveys.  Mike and Andy discussed the topic of the county’s survey of Mesa roads;  Andy reported that Mike evidently believes that the county may able to perform the necessary survey work at a much lower cost to the BCPUD than previously anticipated.  Director Smith agreed to contact Mike Brogan to pursue the matter.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

--Park & Rec:  The Board received copies of the minutes of the August 15, 2005 and September 12, 2005 Mesa Park Board of Directors meetings.

-- Personnel:   The Board discussed the status of arrangements for Phil Buchanan’s retirement party on October 28, 2005.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report
b.  Minutes of August 11, 2005 Special Meeting

D. Smith/J. McClellan    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the August 11, 2005 Special Meeting.

c.  Minutes of September 21, 2005 Regular Meeting

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor     to approve the minutes of the September 21, 2005 Regular Meeting.

c.  Warrants

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

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

    November 16, 2005 at 7:30 p.m.

14.    Adjournment
12:43 a.m.