Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
November 16, 2011     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.   Call to Order.

    7:32 p.m.

2.   Roll.

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

3.   Manager’s Report.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project – SAGE Proposal for Additional Geotechnical Engineering Consulting Services

At staff’s request, SAGE has submitted a proposal for the next set of tasks necessary in the geotechnical evaluation process to design both the in-kind repair of the road-level retaining walls and the full-height bluff stabilization project.  The total cost is estimated to be $46,950 and consists of three subsurface test borings – one at road level and two at beach level – followed by lab testing and evaluation of the resulting materials and preparation of a geotechnical report.  After a brief discussion the Board received the proposal but declined to take any action until the current scope of work with SAGE is complete and until the County indicates what level of participation it will have in this effort going forward.

--    Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project

Staff reported that the project loan documents have been formally amended to extend the deadline for completion of the project to December 31, 2012.  Staff plans to put the project out to bid early next year for installation following the rainy season.

--    Update on the Wharf Road Service Saddle Replacement Project

Staff presented a proposal from the district’s outside consulting engineers, Brelje & Race, to prepare plans and technical specifications for this project at a not to exceed cost of $7,000.  Staff reminded the Board that this project is necessitated at this time by the County’s plans to pave Wharf Road during the summer of 2012 after which time there will be a five-year moratorium on non-emergency work in this right-of-way.  Staff recommended that the district authorize Brelje & Race to proceed with the plans and technical specifications and there was no objection from the Board.

-- Approve Legal Review of Water Meter Suspension Resolution

Staff stated that directors Amoroso and Smith plan to meet to discuss director Smith’s proposed water meter suspension resolution prior to the December meeting and inquired whether it made sense for the Board to authorize legal review of the resolution prior to the next meeting so that the Board would be prepared to take action.  After a brief discussion, the Board directed staff to defer any legal review until after the Board reviews the resolution as revised by directors Amoroso and Smith. 

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

Staff reported that the fire fuel reduction project continues to go well and is nearing completion within the next few weeks.  The Board reviewed a letter of thanks from the BCPUD to the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) for its contribution of $5,000 toward the project.  Finally, staff reported that the hoped-for work by PG&E to reduce the tree canopy over Mesa Road has been deferred until specific details can be worked out relating to the length of time needed to do the work (which per PG&E’s contractor is 10-12 days and not 5 as PG&E originally estimated) and the need for the power to be shut off during portions of the project. 

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

Nothing new to report.

On the water side of operations, staff reported that consumption is at historically low levels for the mid-Mesa, with levels lower even than those experienced during the mandatory rationing in 2009.  Staff also reported that all customers who received a termination of service of notice last month for failure to pay their water bills have now submitted payment and are current on their accounts.

As for operations, staff noted that a very impressive amount of work has been accomplished in the field during the past month as a result of the district’s temporary hire of an equipment operator.  Specifically, the district has:  (1) installed a new culvert under Rosewood at Elm; (2) repaired the concrete spillway at seepage pond #2; (3) ground stumps along the bike path, improved the bike path near the sewer lab building and improved the drainage along Mesa Road; (4) finished work to abandon an old water line on Ocean Parkway across from Agate Beach; (5) graded the district’s property around its water storage tanks on Mesa Road and installed drainage improvements; (6) repaired the Arroyo Hondo access road; (7) graded the parking lot in front of the district’s office building; and (8) completed the disconnection of the district’s former storage tank site from the main under Mesa Road.

Staff reported that spray season in the district’s disposal fields closed as of November 15, 2011 and noted that later on the agenda staff will request Board approval of a proposed letter to the Regional Water Quality Control Board (“RWQCB”) in response to the RWQCB’s recent sewer collection system inspection.

Staff noted that the district’s outside auditors submitted a draft set of financial statements to the district two weeks ago.  Staff has prepared a Management & Discussion Analysis to accompany the financial statements and a conference call has been scheduled for this upcoming Friday with the district’s bookkeeper and auditor to review the draft financial statements.  The district’s audited financial statements should be finalized for acceptance by the Board at the December regular meeting.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting of the Board, including a letter from the BFPD regarding repair work needed to the fuel tank shared by the district, the BFPD, the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District and the Stinson Beach County Water District – all four agencies will share equally in the cost of the repair, which is estimated to be $18,565; and a letter from ACWA/JPIA regarding the district’s recent traffic control and flagger safety training.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

    The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.

Director Siedman reported that he received a request from part-time Bolinas resident Joan Finnegan for the BCPUD to pass a resolution concurring in her nomination to the Association of California Water Agencies’ (“ACWA”) Health Benefits Authority Board of Directors;  he proposed to add this request as an urgent item to the agenda (item 13b) as it was not submitted in time to be included on the regular agenda.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso        all in favor        to add item 13b to the agenda to consider a request from Joan Finnegan for the district to pass a resolution concurring in her nomination to the ACWA Health Benefits Authority Board of Directors.

4.    Community Expression.

Matt Lewis said that at the September Lion’s Club meeting the club approved an award to Bobbi and David Kimball for their wonderful volunteer effort to install and maintain the planted median strip along the Olema-Bolinas Road bike path.  Director Kimball thanked Matt and noted that over 200 community volunteers and donors have contributed to the project.

5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 1 Brighton Avenue (Calvary Presbyterian Church of Bolinas).

Director Siedman said that the Board has received a letter dated November 8, 2011 from the treasurer of the Calvary Presbyterian church, Sharon Glasson, requesting financial relief from a large water bill.  Sharon Glasson was present and explained that the church discovered a leak at the property in May which was promptly repaired, but noted that usage surged in the July – September quarter to 4,900 cubic feet for unknown reasons and the resulting bill is $207.00.  The water usage at the property since September 30th has returned back to normal levels of 373 cubic feet.  Discussion ensued about what could have caused this water loss;  director Kimball opined that the district’s staff should investigate before the Board takes any action.  Staff was directed to periodically read the meter and attempt to isolate the cause of the water loss; the item was deferred to the December agenda.

6.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application, 415 Yucca Road, Bolinas (unconditioned addition to existing dwelling) (Magid).

Noting that no one was present to speak on behalf of the applicant, director Siedman deferred consideration of this item.

7.    Coastal Permit and Development Plan Amendment, 330 Horseshoe Hill Road, Bolinas, APN# 188-140-69 (Parcel A) and 188-140-70 (Parcel B) and 188-140-21 (change in project):  to legalize portions of an underground utility line trench excavation and conduit installation completed without a permit, new trenching and underground conduit installation, and installation of a new utility pole within the Horseshoe Hill Road right-of-way (Rappaport and Rosenman)

No public comment was submitted on this item and staff was directed to advise the County as such.

8.    Request to Plant Oak Seedlings at the BCPUD Sewer Pond Property adjacent to Mesa Road (J. Foreman, Quality of Life Foundation)

Jedda Foreman from the Quality of Life Foundation was present to speak on behalf of this request.  She explained that acorns from coastal live oak trees were collected last year from a state park and she has coordinated with middle school teacher Don Jolley and his seventh grade class to plant the seedlings.  She requested permission to plant them on the BCPUD sewer pond property adjacent to Mesa Road, where the row of pine trees was removed several years ago.  Director Kimball recommended that Ms. Foreman walk the property with district staff to identify the best location and ensure no implications for the facility operations.  Matt Lewis cautioned that maintenance of the perimeter ditch should be ensured and director Smith said that the eventual horse path parallel to the ditch also needs to be considered (i.e., the path onto which horses will be diverted to reduce further damage to the existing bike and pedestrian pathway).  Director Amoroso said that approval of the request should be contingent upon review and approval of the specific location by district staff and director Smith.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball        all in favor    to approve the request to plant coastal live oak seedlings on BCPUD property, subject to review and approval of the specific location by district staff and director Smith.

9.    Request to Sell and Transfer Sewer Service Connection (E. Pohlman).

Ed Pohlman explained that he purchased a water service and a sewer service from Mesa Park and subsequently transferred the water service to his property on the Big Mesa.  He knows he cannot transfer the sewer service to this property as the property is not within the sewer district – however, he has been paying the annual sewer service charge and wants to know whether he can sell the sewer service to someone within the sewer district.  If not, he likely will abandon the service.

Director Amoroso said that he does not recall this specific question ever arising before and director Siedman commented that Ed correctly has noted that a sewer service cannot be transferred outside of the sewer district.  Discussion ensued among the Board members concerning whether the sewer service can be sold and transferred, as a water service can be sold and transferred, with the Board members expressing support for the proposition.  At the conclusion of the discussion, Director Siedman noted that it is the consensus of the Board that this sewer service can be sold and transferred as long as the property to which it will be transferred is located within the sewer district and has water service.

10.    Request to Discuss Recent Poplar Drainage Improvement Project (M. Lewis).

Matt Lewis said that a few months ago he noted that culverts were going to be installed on Poplar Road and was advised by BCPUD staff that a drainage improvement project for the area was approved by the Board at the June 2009 meeting.  Matt said that the project was more extensive than approved by the Board (in particular, he said that the Board did not approve ditching between the culverts) and he said that the culverts are not in conformity with the Todd Plan; he asked why the project was done.  Matt said that he also asked for a copy of the application and permit for the work but has not received a response.  Matt acknowledged that Lewie Likover explained to him that the project was done in connection with private projects implemented at the same time by adjacent property owners.

Lewie Likover responded that the project was approved by the Board at the June 2009 regular Board meeting at which Matt was present.  He said the district installed culverts as approved by the Board and reestablished ditches between them – he said he never envisioned installing culverts without connecting them via ditches.  He affirmed that several property owners also did ditching and/or culvert work adjacent to their own properties at the same time.  In response to questions from the Board members, Lewie stated that all of the work was generally in conformity with the Todd Plan, except as specifically discussed and approved during the June 2009 meeting.  Lewie said that the Todd Plan is out-of-date in several respects now (it is more than 25 years old) and the elevations are no longer accurate in many locations, so exceptions need to be made in the field.  All of the neighbors were consulted; the project was delayed in implementation while the district worked through the Prop. 84 process and staff revived the project after the district pulled out of the Prop. 84 process. 

Matt said that the Todd Plan is the master drainage plan for the Mesa and it is an engineered plan that should be followed.  He said that if exceptions are allowed, the plan won’t work.  Matt noted that when the district does water or sewer projects, it hires consultants and engineers to do those projects.  He argued that if the district is going to approve a project that is not in conformity with the Todd Plan, the project should be reviewed by a civil engineer.  Director Siedman said that drainage projects on the Mesa generally do comply with the Todd Plan and the district is doing the best it can with very limited resources to assist the community in improving drainage.  Director Kimball noted that the district had hoped to receive significant grant funding to improve drainage on the Mesa via Prop. 84, but unfortunately the conditions imposed as a condition of receipt of the grant funds were so onerous that the district could not accept them.  She said that the Board’s Mesa, Septic, Flood Control and Roads Committee is available to review drainage projects to ensure they are working.

Director Smith said that there are two relevant items of policy in place: (1) the Todd Plan, which he said is not “sacred” but rather a starting point -- when field measurements differ from the Plan, field measurements take precedence; and (2) BCPUD does not issue itself permits for projects that it undertakes after notice, discussion and approval at public Board meetings.  Permits are issued to private parties to ensure they are aware of certain conditions of working in the public rights-of-way, such as notifying the Underground Service Alert, and to ensure they are using proper materials, etc., but the Board previously decided that the district need not issue itself a permit as district staff have been instructed as a general matter to comply with all permit conditions applicable to private parties and follow the scope of work approved by the Board at the public meeting in any event.  Director Smith also said that if Matt is aware of any particular drainage project that is not properly designed, he (director Smith) would like to evaluate it.

Matt asked why this particular project was done when there are other areas on the Mesa that need attention more than this area.  Director Siedman said the purpose of the project was to help drain the Mesa, which is an underlying principle of the Todd Plan.  Lewie Likover said that this particular neighborhood is one of the flattest areas of the Mesa and very difficult to drain.  Matt said that he does not think this drainage project was necessary.

 11.    Request from North Bay Corporation for Annual Rate Adjustment of 3.7% Effective January 1, 2012.

    Staff reported that the North Bay Corporation is requesting an annual rate increase of 3.7%, broken down as follows:  2.48% based on the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) (i.e., 85% of the actual annual CPI increase of 2.92% as per the franchise agreement) plus 1.22%, which is the Bolinas share of the JPA Zero-Waste fee.  Director Amoroso inquired how the company determined the Bolinas share of the JPA fee.  Director Smith said the requested increase seemed reasonable, as long as the company can satisfactorily answer director Amoroso’s inquiry concerning the JPA fee.

D. Smith/K. Bender        all in favor        to approve the requested annual rate increase, subject to a satisfactory explanation from North Bay Corporation concerning the Bolinas share of the JPA fee.

12.  Authorize General Manager to Execute New Grant Contract with the State of California’s Department of Parks and Recreation for the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project.

Staff reported that the district must execute a new contract with the state Department of Parks and Recreation for the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom project in light of the state legislature’s decision to extend the time for grantees to complete their projects from 2012 to 2015.  The deadline to submit the executed contract is December 1, 2011 and is a condition of encumbering the grant funds – in other words, if the district does not execute the new contract, it will not receive any grant funds. 

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to authorize the General Manager to execute the new grant contract with the State of California’s Department of Parks and Recreation for the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation Project.   

13.  Approve BCPUD Response to the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Collection System Inspection Report.

Staff presented the BCPUD’s response to the Regional Water Quality Control Board (“RWQCB”)’s collection system inspection report; the response essentially commits that the district will implement all of the RWQCB’s recommendations on or before December 31, 2011.  Staff noted that the Board will need to approve a requirement for staff to acquire CWEA certification in collection system maintenance and amend the district’s Sewer System Management Plan at the December meeting in order to fully implement all of the RWQCB’s recommendations.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the BCPUD’s response to the RWQCB’s collection system inspection report.

13a. Approving a Resolution to Concur in the Nomination of Joan Finnegan to the Board of Directors of the Association of California Water Agencies’ Health Benefits Authority.

V. Amoroso/K. Bender        all in favor    to pass a resolution in the form provided by the Association of California Water Agencies’ Health Benefits Authority to concur in the nomination of Joan Finnegan to the Board of Directors of the Association of California Water Agencies’ Health Benefits Authority.

14.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Community Path Update:  Director Kimball reported that approximately 100 additional plants have been purchased to further enhance the median strip between the community path and Olema-Bolinas Road;  she noted that Mostly Natives Nursery has given the project significant discounts and donations.  Director Kimball also reported that Anny Owen has organized a “critical mass” bike ride on Saturday to encourage kids and parents to ride their bikes and use the path.  Supervisor Steve Kinsey is planning to participate in the event.

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the Council met on November 7, 2011 and there is no West Nile Virus activity in Marin.  The Task Force is no longer formally meeting due to the lack of activity in Marin, but rather is “on call” in the event it becomes necessary to meet in the future.  The Council is working with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) to evaluate treatments performed in West Marin.  Director Kimball reported that the M&VCD has selected a new General Manager:  Phil Smith, the former Directors of the Environmental Health Services department at the County of Marin.

15.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  FY 2011-2012 First Quarter Financial Report.  The Board received a balance sheet and profit and loss statement depicting the current financial status of the district.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report. 

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Matt Lewis said he recently was reading the BCPUD minutes and asked if Mesa Park installed a well at the Resource Recovery Center for its ballfield irrigation project.  Director Siedman said that Mesa Park did so in 2009 and, as has been discussed extensively since then, is planning to use this groundwater for the irrigation project.  Director Siedman also reported that the bathrooms for the Downtown Park project may be installed as soon as next month and that he has spoken with Supervisor Kinsey about potentially cost-sharing on the cleaning of these bathrooms and the County’s bathrooms at the tennis courts.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the October 19, 2011 Regular Meeting

    Directors Kimball and Amoroso offered corrections to the draft minutes of the October 19, 2011 regular meeting.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the minutes of the October 19, 2011 regular meeting.

c. Warrants

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

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

December 21, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. 

16.  Adjournment.

9:40 p.m.