Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
October 20, 2010 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
-- 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
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.
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.