Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
October 20, 2010     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

    7:30 p.m.

2.    Roll.

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

3.    Manager’s Report.

-- Update on Terrace Avenue (at Surfer’s Overlook)  Water Main Relocation Project.

Staff reported that e-mails and letters have been sent to residents most impacted by the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project to inform them of official postponement of the project due to the delay in approval of a state budget this year.  In the Board binders are copies of those communications, as well as copies of additional financial information about the district sent in to the state (per the state’s request).  In addition, staff has prepared a draft Statement of Intent and response to a cost breakdown request from the state for the Board’s review;  the district’s outside engineers have confirmed that the cost breakdown is accurate.  Staff requested approval to send in the Statement of Intent and approved cost breakdown;  there was no objection. 

--  Approve Agreement for Geotechnical Engineering Consulting Services – Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project

Staff explained that a draft agreement is in the Board binders for the preliminary geologic investigation that needs to be done of the bluff to determine stabilization options; a scope of work has been negotiated and is included as an Exhibit to the agreement.  The BCPUD originally understood that the County would be a party to this agreement, but the County’s position is that the BCPUD should be the sole contracting entity.  Staff does not necessarily agree, but at this point time is of the essence and it is vital to get the work started before the winter season; since the agreement is for evaluative work only, staff recommends that the district make clear to the County that it will not be the sole contracting entity on subsequent agreements.   The Board agreed that the district should proceed as the contracting entity and directed staff to complete the negotiations on the indemnification provision.  Director Amoroso asked if heavy equipment will be on the beach for the work;  staff responded that a boomlift will be used for the bluff evaluation and equipment for the seismic refraction also will be placed on the beach –both of these are alternatives to drilling borings on the beach. 

-- Update on the Award of Prop. 84 Grant Funds for Projects to Enhance the Duxbury Reef Area of Special   Biological Significance(“ASBS”).

-- Approve MOU between the County of Marin, Point Reyes National Seashore and BCPUD Regarding Implementation of Water Quality Improvement Projects in the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance; Review Grant Agreement between the State Water Resources Control Board and the County

County Counsel and attorneys from the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) continue to wrangle over issues relating to insurance, as well as provisions in the draft Grant Agreement that require the repayment of grant funds if certain grant agreement requirements are not fulfilled by the grantee.  Of particular importance to the BCPUD is the County’s desire to  “push down” the insurance requirements set forth in the Grant Agreement, which effectively would require the district to insure the bioswales it intends to install with the grant funds.  The district’s insurance authority, ACWA/JPIA, has informed the district that it does not currently have such coverage and ACWA/JPIA cannot provide it;  the district therefore would have to search for such coverage on the open market.  ACWA/JPIA offered constructive advice that bioswales should not be considered “facilities” within the meaning of the Grant Agreement and requiring bioswales to be insured does not make sense given the remote possibility of an insured loss in excess of the likely deductible. 

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

As reported at last month’s regular meeting, no bids were submitted in response to the district’s request for proposals to improve the accessibility of its office building.  Staff plans to rebid the project in a few months as there does appear to be interest in the project by out-of-town contractors.

    Staff updated the Board on the status of several leaks discovered in the district’s water distribution system in recent weeks.  The district retained an outside contractor on an emergency basis for assistance repairing a leak on the line from the water storage tanks to Commonweal on the north side of Mesa Road.  Specialized equipment was necessary to fuse a repair of the line and all repairs have been completed.  Staff also repaired another leak on Cedar Road near the intersection with Alder;  staff used the HurcoVac equipment to work around large tree roots which had damaged the line and the necessary repairs have been completed.  Staff similarly repaired another leak on the Fern Road line between Elm and Alder;  both the Cedar Road line and the Fern Road line are high priority lines for replacement.  Staff continues to grapple with locating the source of the leak in the Zebra Road right-of-way;  staff’s efforts are hampered by the significant encroachments located in this right-of-way and water remains off on this line.

    The water meters previously approved by the Board to be transferred (for Ed Pohlman and Steve Hodge) have been installed by staff and both meters are now at the newly approved locations.  

    Staff referred the Board to several notices of non-compliance that have been sent to customers in violation of their expanded water use permits and noted that these notices will be discussed in connection with item 11 on the Board’s agenda. 

Staff reported that the office recently completed water and sewer charge verifications for the district’s customers and discovered that a parcel may have been erroneously charged;  the matter involved an owner with both developed and undeveloped properties.  It seems that back in 2005, the district’s water and sewer charges were properly placed on this customer’s developed property but not removed from the same customer’s undeveloped property.  Staff is informed that the proper procedure now is for BCPUD to provide written notice to the affected property owner of the potential overcharges and advise the customer about the process of requesting a refund.  The appropriate changes have been made on a going-forward basis so that the undeveloped property henceforth will not be erroneously charged. 

On the wastewater side of operations, staff is engaged in vegetation management work on the sewer pond property behind the Resource Recovery Center.  The BCPUD was informed recently that the Bolinas Fire Protection District responded to a medical call in a location in heavy brush and under heavy tree limbs on the district’s sewer pond property.  Upon investigation, staff discovered an extensive encampment containing a huge amount of garbage, human waste, drug paraphernalia and other debris.  In light of the health and safety implications and fire danger posed, district staff engaged Don Murch to mow out the area and Pacific Slope to remove a number heavy of branches and dead trees which had hidden the camp site.  The mowing area was extended and several other abandoned camp sites with similar features were discovered and removed. 

On the wastewater side of operations, staff is working on the project to upgrade the electrical panels at the sewer pond site and hopes to meet with the electrical engineer within the next few weeks to discuss the design work needed.  In the meantime, spray season is nearly done and the will conclude for the year on or before November 15, 2010.

    The district has received an estimate from electrician Dietmar Kootz for some electrical work needed in the Bolinas Children’s Center, including the installation of new exit lights, the replacement of two subpanels in the Center (as well as one panel in the district’s corporation yard) and a new outside flood light.  The estimate is $5,300, with the work to be done on a time and materials basis.  Staff recommends proceeding as soon as possible; there was no objection from the Board.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including a letter to the Regional Water Quality Control Board and to the Whamonds’ attorney in response to the “cease and desist” letter and accompanying report sent to the district last month, as well as a response from the Whamonds’ attorney.  The Board also reviewed a letter from the California Coastal Commission to Noble Consultants approving the planned maintenance of the Seadrift revetment as “ordinary maintenance” under the terms of the settlement agreement.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report in which he estimates the cost of the ditching work proposed under item 8 on the Board’s agenda at $1,000.  In addition, Lewie and other staff have been cleaning culverts on the Bolinas Mesa in response to customer requests with the new HurcoVac in anticipation of the rainy season.

4.    Community Expression.

    Eleanor Lyman requested that the Board write a letter to demand Congressional hearings into planned Navy activities off the Pacific coastline.  She noted that the Marin County Board of Supervisors wrote a letter asking for the environmental comment process to be extended by a week (the deadline otherwise is this Friday).  Eleanor suggested that the BCPUD write a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking that board to request Congressional hearings.  After a brief discussion, the Board agreed to add an item to the agenda to consider Eleanor’s request. 

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to add an item to the meeting agenda to consider Eleanor’s request that the BCPUD submit a letter requesting Congressional hearings on planned Navy activities in the area.

4a.    Request for BCPUD Letter Demanding Congressional Hearings on Planned U.S. Navy Activities in Nearby Coastal Waters (E. Lyman).

B. Kimball/K. Bender        all in favor    directing staff to prepare a letter to the Marin County Board of Supervisors asking that Board to request Congressional hearings on planned U.S. Navy activities in nearby coastal waters. 

4.    Community Expression (cont’d).

Cela O’Connor referenced the Coastal Commission letter approving the repair of the Seadrift revetment and said she knew a repair would be required because the upper extension of the wall is failing.  Cela wrote a letter to BLTAC demanding that the committee insist that some kind of investigation be done into repeated repairs of the seawall rather than just a continual string of approvals of “repair and maintenance”.  Cela believes that an environmental evaluation should be done of the impact this repair work has on the beach, particularly since such an evaluation was never done at the time the settlement agreement was approved.  Cela requested that the BCPUD include an item on the November meeting agenda for discussion of this issue.  Director Siedman directed staff to do so. 

5.    Update on Osterweis Petition to Vacate (200 Pine Gulch Creek Road).

John Osterweis explained that a paper right-of-way exists on his property; it dead-ends in his property and does not connect to any other road or public lands.   His options with regard to this right-of-way are either to vacate it, or to move it to the location of the current driveway.  He said he initially had thought that the easiest option would be to vacate the right-of-way, but it is clear that his neighbors prefer to see the right-of-way relocated to his current driveway.  He noted that this will be a “road to nowhere” because the right-of-way terminates in the middle of his property.  Nonetheless, he has abandoned his petition to vacate and instead applied to relocate the public right-of-way to the new driveway;  as a result, it is his understanding that his neighbors now support his application.  Director Amoroso inquired whether the right-of-way will connect with the Martinelli property;  John explained that it will not and that the original right-of-way did not do so either. 

    A representative of the Martinelli family was present and explained that the public right-of-way was created in 1870 to provide access to homes in Paradise Valley that no longer exist.  The Martinellis have a private easement to access their property that was negotiated with the Osteweis family.  The right-of-way on the Osterweis property does not now and at no time ever served as a conduit to public lands.  The Martinellis hold a lease to farm a portion of the Osterweis property and strongly object to allowing public access across the Osterweis property because they have experienced people coming in with high powered rifles to shoot deer or spin donuts in the fields.  The Martinellis have never allowed public access across their lands.

Director Siedman said that the BCPUD serves as a forum for public comment from time to time on local development projects.  He inquired if there was any other public comment.  He then noted that Steve Matson has submitted a letter on behalf of the Paradise Valley Association in support of the transfer of the right-of-way as Mr. Osterweis now proposes.  Accordingly, hearing no objection, director Siedman stated that the BCPUD will send in a letter to the County confirming that the proposed right-of-way relocation is acceptable as presented by John Osterweis. 

6.    North Bay Corporation (dba Redwood Empire Waste Disposal) Request for Rate Adjustment effective January 1, 2011.

Staff explained that the garbage company is requesting a 0.96% increase in customer rates based on increases in the local Consumer Price Index (CPI) during 2009 and 2010;  staff has verified that the stated CPI numbers are accurate.  The company also is seeking to pass on to its customers the “Zero Waste” fee passed by the County to charge local garbage companies to fund the County’s Zero Waste program;  this represents an additional 0.84% increase in customer rates.  Staff directed the Board’s attention to the May 28, 2010 letter from the County announcing the anticipated imposition of this fee.  Steve McCaffrey from the North Bay Corporation contacted staff to explain he cannot be present this evening, but plans to attend the November Board meeting and requests that the Board defer action until that meeting.   Board directed staff to continue this item on the November meeting agenda.

7.    Approve Letter to County of Marin Department of Public Works in Support of New No Parking Zone on Terrace Ave., Beginning at the Southern Property Boundary of 18 Terrace and Extending to Surfer’s Overlook.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the draft letter to the County’s DPW in support of a new no parking zone on Terrace Avenue.

8.    Application to Improve the BCPUD Right-of-Way:  Re-establish Ditch on North Side of Poplar Road between Evergreen and Iris Roads.

Staff explained that the BCPUD is requesting permission to do this project at the request of nearby resident Ned Hoke.  Ned is concerned that there is a lot of debris in the ditch on the north side of Poplar as a result of the district’s recent fire fuel reduction project and he asked that the district clean out and re-establish the ditch.  Matt Lewis asked if Lewie Likover has shot the elevations to determine compliance with the Todd Plan.  Staff verified that Lewie has taken elevations and is supervising the project.  Matt said that when he was on the drainage committee, it was established that any drainage work on the Bolinas Mesa should be performed by licensed general engineers;  director Siedman said he does not recall the Board enacting such a requirement.  Matt inquired whether the ditch will be moved over to comply with the Todd Plan.  Director Siedman said that the ditch will be connected to the existing culverts under Poplar Road.  Matt said that the Todd Plan establishes setbacks from property lines and other requirements for ditches in the rights-of-way.  Director Siedman repeated that Lewie will be supervising work for compliance with the Todd Plan.  Jennie Pfeiffer asked whether the newly mowed section of the Poplar right-of-way could be planted;  director Siedman said this inquiry will be passed on to the fire district.

D. Smith/K. Bender        all in favor    to approve the application to re-establish the ditch on the north side of Poplar Road between Evergreen and Iris Roads. 

9.    Update on Olema-Bolinas Road Bike Path Planting Proposal (Kimball).

Director Kimball updated the Board on the proposal to plant the median strip between the bike path and Olema-Bolinas Road.  She has reviewed and discussed the proposal with County DPW personnel, conferred with the Bolinas-Stinson School principal, requested compost for the project from the Resource Recovery Center and communicated plan to all neighboring property owners and landscape consultants.  DPW Roads Supervisor Craig Parmley today said that the next step is to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between BCPUD, DPW and the Parks & Open Space District, which is responsible for maintenance.  Director Kimball said the intention is to use native plants in that strip to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians to use the path and to improve the aesthetics.  Director Kimball said she would like the Board’s approval to work with staff to prepare the MOU. 

In response to questions, director Kimball explained that Resource Recovery will donate compost in exchange for receipt of most of the gravel to be dug out of the existing strip.  In addition, director Smith has requested some of this gravel to improve the bike path on BCPUD lands.  It appears that it will be necessary to build fiber dams on the slope down toward Gospel Flats from the intersection with Mesa road and director Kimball is working with local volunteers on this task.  The school is involved insofar as the art shops may be designing stencils to mark the path as a bike path, not for use by cars.  Local landscape professionals have identified seed sources and will be providing estimates on costs and quantities.  Director Kimball believes the planting proposal is doable;  she said she ultimately intends to seek a financial contribution to the project from the BCPUD, but in the nearer term is submitting a grant proposal to the Bolinas-Stinson Community Fund and will appeal to the County and other local sources for contributions.  She noted that the County already has agreed to donate four days of road crew labor to remove the gravel and install the compost.  

In response to additional questions, director Kimball said that there are three places along the path where cars need to pull over:  (1) about 20 feet of the first portion of the median strip just outside the Buells’ driveway (fire engines and other larger vehicles are not able to make the turn off of Mesa Road without partially driving over the median); (2) the median strip adjacent to the   mail box stand across from Aggie Murch’s property (post office personnel and residents delivery and access their mail, respectively, via car); and (3) the area for the farm stand across from Warren Weber’s Field.  Director Kimball is exploring whether permeable pavers (amongst which plants can grow) could be installed in these sections of the median strip. 

    Directors thanked director Kimball for her fantastic efforts to manage this project.  Matt Lewis volunteered 16 hours of his time and machinery to assist with the project.  Director Kimball said she hopes the preparatory work can be done in late November and that the planting can start in December.  Director Amoroso inquired about the fiber dams to be installed on the slope to stop erosion;  director Kimball explained that she has been advised to install six-inch fiber rolls in a herring bone pattern, and then plant behind them and fill in with compost.  Director Smith suggested that permeable pavers may be cost-prohibitive and it may be better to just leave the gravel median strip as-is in the three locations identified where cars need to pull over the path. 

10.    Approve Letter to Realtors re: Disclosures to Prospective Property Purchasers Concerning BCPUD Water Meter Moratorium and County Of Marin Water Well Setback Requirements.

    Director Siedman explained that this item is on the agenda because the Board is concerned that persons purchasing property in Bolinas, particularly undeveloped property, are not necessarily aware of the water moratorium, expanded water user permits, well setbacks rules and other limitations on water source/uses in the district.  He noted there is a draft letter in the Board binders prepared by staff for the district to send out to realtors;  he suggested that it would be helpful to include sub-headings in the letter so that the reader more easily can understand the types of water source/use restrictions and limitations.  Directors Kimball and Smith expressed support for the letter and the concept of providing this notification to realtors, who in turn will then provide the information to their clients.  Director Kimball asked that staff maintain a list of persons to whom the letter is sent; director Siedman noted that the district will receive signed receipts from the certified mail process.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the letter to realtors, with the subheadings added as per director Siedman’s suggestion.

11.    Expanded Water Use Permits and Establishment of Maximum Quarterly Water Usage Limitations.

Staff presented five expanded water use permit notices of non-compliance that were sent out to customers whose water use exceeded the limitations in their permits during the prior 6-month period.  Director Kimball commented on the notice sent indicating that a single customer used an extraordinary amount of water, with a resulting bill of more than $14,000.00.  She said that this particular violation is a “huge concern” and that the Board should consider revisions to this customer’s permit as a result.  Discussion ensued about the process by which the Board might make such revisions;  director Kimball advocated that when a violation of an existing permit is particularly egregious, the Board should revisit the permit terms and conditions.  Director Amoroso said that the district should investigate why this customer used so much water and staff agreed to do so.  Director Kimball requested that when a customer violates their permit, the district should then read that customer’s meter each month (rather than waiting until the end of the following quarter).  After further discussion, the Board referred the particular permit violation for a legal opinion.  Director Smith requested copies of the minutes at which the Board meeting originally granted this particular expanded water use permit.  

12.    Request for Modification of Annual Water and Sewer Charges; Proposed Abandonment of Sewer Connection (26 Wharf Road – Downtown Park).

Director Siedman noted that Ed Pohlman purchased the water meter from Mesa Park; the meter also had a sewer connection right, but Ed has transferred the meter outside of the sewer district.  Has the sewer connection now been abandoned?  Director Amoroso noted that past customers coming onto the sewer system (such as the Fire District) have had to pay a connection fee that is based on a percentage share of the original capital construction/improvement costs of the sewer system – as such, an existing connection right has value, as the connection fee would not be applicable.  Director Siedman stated that the choice should be Ed’s as to whether he wants to preserve the sewer connection right;  if so, he will need to pay the annual service charge to maintain it as an active connection.  Director Amoroso inquired whether Ed can separate the connection from the meter he purchased and sell/give the connection to someone else.  Director Siedman said the meter was sold has having a connection to the sewer system if the meter was relocated within the sewer district;  he said he does not think Ed has a right to separate the two.

    The Board reviewed documentation prepared by staff memorializing outstanding annual service charges owed by Mesa Park for the downtown park water and sewer connections;  staff was directed to invoice Mesa Park for the charges.

13.  Resolution 594:  Approving Form of Contract Documents for the Horseshoe Hill Road Water Main Extension Project and Awarding a Contract for the Project to the Lowest Responsible Qualified Bidder, Subject to Certain Conditions.

Staff reported that it is not  yet ready to make a recommendation as to whether to proceed with this project, so the item was deferred.

14.    Repeal Existing Ordinances 30, 33, 34, and 35 and Replace with a New Ordinance to Establish Procedures Applicable to the Public Rights-of-Way on the Bolinas Gridded Mesa.
    Director Siedman observed that the district now has several ordinances dealing with the rights-of-way on the Bolinas Mesa, which is confusing and redundant;  it is time to clear-up this process by repealing the disparate ordinances and replacing them all with one comprehensive ordinance.

Lyndon Comstock said that in his view, the existing ordinances are too weak, particularly insofar as they address (or do not address) environmental issues, such as the potential development of “paper” roads and public safety issues such as speed bumps.  Lyndon submitted a letter with various proposals/ideas to include in the new ordinance for the Board’s consideration.  In general, he supports the BCPUD asserting as much control as possible over the roads in order to protect public health and safety.  Discussion ensued about the paper roads on the Bolinas Mesa and about the difficulty of installing speedbumps without accompanying signage.  Stephen Newstadt expressed support for the BCPUD taking environmental concerns of the residents into account with regard to the use/development of any roads. 

Director Smith commented that the district is stuck with a “terrible”’ subdivision map that imposes an inappropriate “grid” of rights-of-way on the Bolinas Mesa; nonetheless, property owners do have a right to use the rights-of-way to access their property.  Lyndon said that while that may be true, environmental laws must be taken into account and many of the paper roads are in environmentally sensitive areas of the Mesa.  After further discussion, the task of drafting a proposed new ordinance was referred to director Smith (as a Board member of the Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads Committee) and director Siedman (as a Board member of the Legal Committee).

15.    Call for Nominations – LAFCO Alternate Special District Member.

Director Siedman inquired whether anyone would like to propose any nominations of persons to serve as the LAFCO Alternate Special District Member.  Hearing none, director Siedman noted for the record that no nominations were proposed.

16.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  The Board reviewed a letter from Assembly-Member Jared Huffman congratulating the district on its recent receipt of awards for it solar array installations.

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

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Nothing to report

-- Resource Recovery:  Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration of Environmental Impact and Initial Study.   The Board reviewed a letter from the Stinson Beach County Water District and accompanying resolution in support of the Resource Recovery Center.  The Board also reviewed comments submitted by the National Park Service in response to the draft Mitigated Negative Declaration and a response to that letter from Resource Recovery Committee member Jeff Creque. 

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Nothing further to report.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:   Director Kimball reported that the Coordinating Council will next meet on November 8th and the Task Force will not meet again until next year.

17.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Draft FY 2009-2010 Audit.   Staff presented the draft audit, management letter, and proposed response from the district to the management letter. 

    Director Kimball noted that there is a memo from staff to the Finance Committee in the Board binders regarding the reinvestment of district funds in the CDARS program.  She explained that the Finance Committee authorized the liquidation of one CD in the amount of approximately $35,000 for deposit in the district’s money market account at the Bank of Marin.  The remaining CDs were renewed for a six month term, which means the district will need to decide by March about potential alternative investment strategies for these funds.  After further discussion, staff was directed to seek professional investment advice and convene a meeting of the Finance Committee when ready to discuss next steps.

-- 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 consulting hydro-geologist’s report on the Mesa Park irrigation well is expected later in the month.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.
-- Sewer:    Nothing to report

Director Siedman commented that one of downtown’s local personalities, Chad, passed away recently and said he wanted to recognize him for the record.
b. Minutes of the September 15, Regular Meeting; Minutes of the August 11, 2010 Special Meeting, Minutes of the September 14, 2010 Special Meeting, Minutes of the October 7, 2010 Special Meeting

The minutes of the September 15, 2010 meeting were not yet ready for Board approval and therefore this item was deferred to next regular meeting. 

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the minutes of the August 11, 2010 Special Meeting.

Staff then presented minutes of the June 9, 2010 Special Meeting, noting that these minutes were inadvertently omitted from agenda item 17b (Minutes section).

B. Kimball/K. Bender        all in favor     to approve the minutes of the June 9, 2010 Special Meeting.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the September 14, 2010 Special Meeting.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the October 7, 2010 Special Meeting.

c. Warrants

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    November 17, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

Director Amoroso stated that he is scheduled to have eye surgery on November 15th and therefore may not be able to attend the November meeting.  Director Smith said that he will be out of town on November 17th to celebrate his 35th wedding anniversary.

18.  Adjournment.

    10:06 p.m.