Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
October 19, 2011     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.   Call to Order.

    7: 32 p.m.

2.   Roll.

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

3.   Manager’s Report.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project

        Staff reported that the Working Group met on October 4, 2011 to strategize and prepare for a meeting on October 13th with the County concerning Surfer’s Overlook.  The Working Group has concluded that a “two step” stabilization project should be pursued, whereby the top of bluff the initially will be protected with an “in-kind” repair of the failing retaining walls at the road level, followed several years later by the construction of a full bluff stabilization structure.  Unfortunately, the reality is that it will take several years to conduct the necessary environmental review, obtain permits and bid the full stabilization project; however, the road could fail sooner than that if a repair of the retaining walls is not performed.  Per Coastal Commission regulations, only an “in-kind” repair of the retaining walls can be done without a full coastal permit;  in-kind repairs to existing structures within the Coastal Zone may be done with a local permit from Marin County.  The district’s consulting geostructural engineers, SAGE, estimate that an in-kind repair of the retaining walls be will be approximately $200,000. 

On October 13th, the Working Group presented this conclusion to the County and there was swift agreement on the need for the in-kind project, that the County Department of Public Works (“DPW”) would be the logical applicant for the local permit, which likely would take 3 - 4 months to process.  The Working Group said the goal is a late 2012 installation of the in-kind repair, after the slide repair at Terrace and Overlook is complete and after the district’s water main is relocated.   Additional geotechnical work is needed for both the in-kind repair and the full stabilization project, and SAGE will submit a proposal for the proposed scope of work.  The Working Group and County deferred for continued future discussion on how the in-kind repair project will be funded. 

    The full bluff stabilization project is much more complicated.  It will require full Coastal Commission permitting via a consolidated permit whereby the County would concede jurisdiction to the Coastal Commission, but would have dedicated a liaison from the Planning Department to the Coastal Commission on the project.  It is not as clear who the applicant for the project permits should be because the project involves both public and private property.  And, of course, the question of how to pay for the project is quite significant, as it likely will cost $5 million, including environmental review, permitting, design and construction costs.  The Working Group is working to develop an outreach strategy to stakeholders to inform them about the potential project and the need to develop a public/private partnership to finance it.

--    Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project – Approve Amendment to Loan Agreement

     Staff presented an amendment to the Loan Funding Agreement for the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation project which extends the deadline to complete the project until December 31, 2012.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        4 in favor; Bender absent        to authorize staff to execute the amendment to the Loan Funding Agreement.

--    Update on the Wharf Road Service Saddle Replacement Project

         Nothing to report.

-- Update on Evergreen Road Improvement Project

     Staff reported that the project is nearly complete.  The trees in the right-of-way and over the water main have been removed and the stumps have been ground; additionally, encroaching vegetation has been mowed back and preliminary work toward reestablishing the road has begun, with consultation with Lewie Likover to ensure proper drainage.

-- Update on Hazardous Trees on BCPUD Sewer Pond Property – Payment of Outstanding Costs; Request for Reimbursement for Damage to Fence (Buell)

Staff noted that the district paid $2,644.00 to Pacific Slope to clean up the debris from the eucalyptus tree that fell over Olema-Bolinas Road last July, even though the district was not legally responsible for the tree failure.  When the tree fell, it also damaged a fence located on the property directly across the street and the owners have requested that the district reimburse the materials cost for new lumber to repair the fence;  the owners will pay for the labor.  After a brief discussion, the Board concurred that staff has the authority to resolve this matter in the best interest of the district as long as the total cost of materials is less than $1,000.

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

Staff reported that the excellent work of the Conservation Corps North Bay (“CCNB”) crew continues to improve the eucalyptus grove and noted that the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) at its most recent meeting agreed to contribute $5,000 to the project.  Staff drafted a letter of thanks and the Board directed staff to send it on to the BFPD.

    Staff said that a site visit occurred last week with staff from the district, the BFPD, the CCNB and PG&E to explore whether a project to remove the tree canopy over the power lines on Mesa Road would be possible this Fall.  PG&E is impressed with the work underway in the grove and the PG&E representative said that the tree canopy work may be possible if the district personnel can provide traffic control and if CCNB crews can haul out wood.  The details are currently under negotiation and PG&E will meet separately with its tree removal contractor to further assess the project requirements. 

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

    The district’s electrical engineer has submitted technical specifications for the project, which staff is evaluating for integration into the district’s standard bid documents.

Staff directed the Board’s attention to a letter of appreciation from Stacey Henderson for the district’s recent project to improve the accessibility of the district’s office building.

On the water side of operations, consumption is down to historic low levels in the most recent quarter.  Notably, the district received over three inches of rain in October (with over five inches falling in Paradise Valley); the rain caused a spike in turbidity and resulting adjustments in chlorine were needed at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.  Staff recently determined that water pressure was high downtown because of a slight inadvertent opening between the two valves in the vault at the intersection of Mesa and Olema-Bolinas Roads.  Staff plans to install a pressure reading device on the hydrant on Wharf Road to daily monitor/confirm water pressure levels in the downtown pressure zone.

The Board reviewed water service termination letters sent via certified mail to several customers who have not paid their quarterly water bills in more than a year.  The Board also reviewed non-compliance notes sent to customers who are in violation of the terms of their expanded water use permits. 

Staff reported that the district’s insurance provider, ACWA/JPIA, recently conducted a class on traffic control and flagger safety at the BFPD building for district and CCNB staff.

On the wastewater side of operations, staff reported that spray season in the disposal fields will close on November 15th.  At present, staff expects to be finished spraying during the first week of November.

    The Board reviewed a follow-up letter from the Regional Water Quality Control Board concerning its inspection at the district earlier this year;  staff will prepare a response to the letter for the Board’s consideration at the November meeting.

    Finally, staff noted that Jedda Foreman, a former Bolinas resident who now works with a non-profit entity in San Francisco, would like to appear at the November meeting to request the Board’s permission for her organization to plant oak seedlings on district property.  The Board directed staff to include such an item on the November agenda.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

    Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.  Staff noted that Matt Lewis has requested that the Board include an item on the November agenda to discuss the recent Poplar Road Drainage Improvement Project; the Board directed staff to include this item on the November agenda.

4.   Community Expression.


5.   Offer to Provide Framed Photos of Historic BCPUD Events and Request for Reimbursement of Costs (I. Hartmann).

    Ilka Hartmann said that she loves the new BCPUD office space and spoke with staff about donating framed historic photos of BCPUD events for the main office.  She presented the proposed photos, which include photos of the downtown sewer installation, the new disposal fields, and the historic “moratorium” Board of Directors.  She requested $500 from the BCPUD to cover the costs of reproducing the photos, printing them on archival paper, purchasing frames, etc. and said that she would like to donate her time.  After some discussion of the proposed photos, the Board agreed to approve Ilka’s proposal and thanked her very much for her thoughtful gift to the district.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    four in favor; Bender absent        to reimburse Ilka Hartmann up to $500 in costs for five historic framed photos for the district office.

6.    Kirshman Response to Public Comments made during August 17, 2011 BCPUD Regular Meeting re: Coastal Permit, Land Division and Development Plan (Project ID 2009-0377), APN# 188-100-35 (5959 State Route One, Bolinas/Dogtown)

    Director Siedman explained that Cela O’Connor previously addressed the Board concerning the Kirschman project and her letter of comment was passed on to the County by the BCPUD.  He emphasized that the district neither endorsed nor opposed Cela’s comments, but rather simply passed them on for the County’s consideration.  He noted that the Board has received a copy of a letter from attorney Doug Ferguson on behalf of the Kirschman’s to the County arguing that Cela’s letter should be disregarded.

    Richard Kirschman apologized for not attending the prior BCPUD Board meeting at which the project was discussed.  He said that he and other neighbors in Dogtown several years ago purchased a major section of the former Full Circle property because they were concerned about its potential development.  At the time of purchase, the neighbors told the County they wanted to purchase it together and then divide it among themselves.  The County said the property first would need to be merged to all of the properties and then a proposed land division could be considered.  Richard said that he and Cela have been squabbling since then about this property, but it is a squabble between neighbors and he hopes the BCPUD would not feel it necessary to take a position in the dispute.  He said that he would appreciate it if the BCPUD would send a letter to the County stating clearly that the district is not taking sides in this dispute.

After a brief discussion, the Board directed staff to send a letter to the County within the next week clarifying that it is not taking a position in this matter but rather conveying public comment only.

7.    Request to Erect Barn Owl Nesting Boxes at the BCPUD Sewer Pond Property.

Stockton Buck explained that he is involved in Wildcare’s “Hungry Owl” project and would like to encourage people to stop using rodenticides to address rat problems and erect barn owl boxes, instead.  He worked with Kathy Bustamente’s summer camp to build boxes that were erected at Audubon Canyon Ranch and would like to erect such a box on BCPUD property.  He explained that the boxes need to be protected from wind, near a tree, a certain height off the ground and flashing needs to be installed around the poles.  After a brief discussion, the Board directed staff to meet with Mr. Buck and identify an acceptable location on BCPUD property for one owl nesting box.

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

    Director Siedman stated that this offer was discussed at the last meeting and the Board concluded that it was important to identify potential liability issues for subsequent owners arising from the work done by Mr. Kidson on the property (i.e., vegetation removal, stair installation).  Staff reported that Mr. Kidson has offered the property to the County’s Open Space District and that the County Counsel’s office has offered to convene a meeting with potentially interested entities to discuss the offer and evaluate issues of concern.

9.   BCPUD Comments on the State Water Resources Control Board Policy for Siting, Design, Operation and Management of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (Septic Systems) and Substitute Environmental Document.

Director Smith stated that the California legislature passed a bill in 2001 directing the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) to develop statewide septic regulations.  The SWRCB worked for seven years on the regulations and published proposed regulations in 2008 that were met with widespread criticism.  The SWRCB withdrew the proposed regulations at that time and now have come out with a revised approach; the SWRCB staff is soliciting public comment, which are due on November 14, 2011.  Director Smith said that the newly issued proposed regulations take a “tiered” approach to regulating, with failing systems and systems near water bodies having a higher level of scrutiny.  Director Smith carefully reviewed the proposed regulations and prepared comments on behalf of the district; these comments focus on the need for the state to first identify whether the source of identified pathogens or nitrates are, in fact, human rather than assume as such and force expensive septic system upgrades on property owners.  For example, nearby livestock can be the source of either of these contaminants and the technology is readily available today (specifically, the Phylochip developed at Lawrence Livermore Lab) to confirm whether a source is human or animal.  The comment letter also points out that there are alternatives to septic systems, such as composting toilets, that are even more effective at eliminating nitrates and are much less water intensive than are conventional toilets.

Discussion ensued concerning the proposed comment letter, with several directors thanking director Smith for taking the time to craft such a detailed and thoughtful document.  Former director McClellan predicted that the state will resist any suggestion that it should first prove the origin of a contaminant source, but it should because to essentially pass on the cost of monitoring the state’s groundwater to private property owners is, he believes, a regulatory taking. 

B. Kimball/D. Smith         four in favor; Bender absent    to approve the district’s comment letter on the SWRCB proposed septic policy.

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

Director Smith explained that he has incorporated the comments made to date into a revised proposed resolution and director Kimball noted that a table showing which resolution would be superceded, the water meter rule history and the text of earlier resolutions are also in the Board binders.  Director Amoroso said that a great deal of confusion has been caused by the use of the term “suspended”; director Smith agreed and said that he proposes to eliminate this term.  Discussion ensued about the four suspended meters in the district vs. meters with terminated services for non-payment of quarterly metered water charges.  Director Kimball suggested that a flow chart would be helpful;  several examples of potential scenarios could be depicted in a chart to assist the Board in fully understanding how the proposed resolution would work in practice.  After further discussion, it was agreed that directors Smith and Amoroso would meet with staff to further refine the proposed resolution and then seek legal review to ensure the resolution as drafted would be enforceable.

11.  Resolution 606:  Adopting a Negative Declaration of Environmental Impact for the proposed Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project in all respects.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        four in favor; Bender absent     to approve Resolution 606.

Staff reported that the next step will be to file a Notice of Determination within five days of the Board’s approval of the resolution.  The California Department of Fish & Game fee for the filing of such a notice is $ 2,044.00.  In the interest of time, the BCPUD will pay this fee and seek prompt reimbursement from Mesa Park.

12.    Resolution 607:  Adopting a Capital Expenditure Threshold for the District.

    Staff explained that this resolution was recommended by the district’s outside bookkeeper to clearly establish policy and facilitate the district’s bookkeeping. 

B. Kimball/D. Smith        four in favor; Bender absent    to approve Resolution 607.

13.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- Community Path Update:  Nothing to report.

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Staff will contact Liza Crosse in Supervisor Kinsey’s office to ask for support to request DPW to implement the downtown parking plan.  Barbara Kayfetz asked who installed the “ugly bike racks” at the end of Wharf Road; director Siedman suggested she ask the Rod & Boat Club as it owns that property.  Jennie Pfeiffer said that the County’s Board of Supervisors has voted to terminate the Route 62 Stage service between Bolinas and Point Reyes Station due to low ridership. 

-- Resource Recovery:  Review Draft Lease Agreement; Forgiveness of Outstanding Loan from the BCPUD for Hazardous Tree Removal.

Staff reported that a draft lease is still under development because of insurance issues.  As for the loan, director Siedman noted that hazardous trees were removed at the Resource Recovery site per a loan from the BCPUD for approximately $30,000, but the directors recently have discussed whether it was really the district’s responsibility as the owner of the property to pay for this project.  Director Amoroso suggested forgiving half of the loan amount.  Discussion ensued, during which site manager Mike Aitken clarified that he did not make this request;  staff acknowledged that the district is raising the issue of forgiving the loan on its own initiative.   Director Siedman said that the directors know that Mike feels he made a deal and will honor it, but that he personally feels it wasn’t a fair deal for the Resource Recovery center.  Director Siedman said that the district has paid for hazardous tree removal at other property sites that it owns and that it is the district’s responsibility to provide safe premises. 

Director Kimball moved that the district forgive the loan repayment and director Smith seconded the motion.  Discussion ensued about the motion, with director Amoroso expressing reservations about the BCPUD shouldering the entire cost when the site is used by residents of both Bolinas and Stinson to dispose of green waste;  he suggested that the Stinson water and fire districts should make a contribution.  Discussion further ensued about how to render the Resource Recovery project a more financially stable enterprise, including possible negotiations with the garbage company when the franchise agreement is up for renewal.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    three in favor; Amoroso opposed; Bender absent        to forgive the outstanding loan from the BCPUD for hazardous tree removal at the Resource Recovery site.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the coordinating council met will meet on November 7th to review the reports from the Marin/Sonoma Vector & Control District treatment applications in Marin County.  The August meeting of the West Nile Virus Task Force was cancelled, but a first case of the virus this year was reported in Southern California.  Finally, the new General Manager for the Marin/Sonoma Vector & Control District is scheduled to be announced in November.

14.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:   Staff reported that a day of field work was performed by the district’s auditors on September 22, 2011 and staff has been working with the auditors since that time to answer questions and finalize the FY 2010-2011 audit. 

-- 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 met the prior evening with Roger Peacock, project manager, and Alethea Patton to pare down the project so that Mesa Park can pay for the work with the cash on hand;  some planned features of the park will be deferred for the future.  For example, it was decided that planned water storage tanks on the hillside, which would require extensive retaining walls, will be too expensive and therefore the park will have just one tank to collect rainwater off of the bathroom roof.  All in all, the committee cut $265,000 from the project budget.  At present, the site grading is almost done, the remaining trees will soon be removed and the bathrooms will be built.  The committee was able to resolve all concerns of neighboring property owners concerning the tree removal and agree upon a replanting strategy including oak trees at the top of the hillside. 

-- Personnel:   Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the September 13, 2011 Special Meeting; Minutes of the September 21, 2011 Regular Meeting

B. Kimball/D. Smith            four in favor; Bender absent        to approve the minutes of the September 13, 2011 special meeting.

Director Kimball and director Smith each offered clarifying corrections to the minutes of the September 21st regular meeting of the board.

D. Smith/B. Kimball              four in favor; Bender absent         to approve the minutes of the September 21, 2011 regular meeting, as corrected

c. Warrants

D. Smith/B. Kimball        four in favor; Bender absent        to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    November 16, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

15.    Adjournment.

10:44 p.m.