Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
November 17, 2010     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

    7:32 p.m.
2.    Roll.

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

3.    Manager’s Report.

-- Update on the Agreement for Geotechnical Engineering Consulting Services – Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project;  Review Petition of Support from Bolinas Residents

Staff reported that the geotechnical site assessment of the bluff at Surfer’s Overlook is scheduled for November 30, 2010.  The work will involve use of a boom lift, both on the beach and from Terrace Avenue, from which engineers will perform their evaluation of the bluff.  BCPUD staff will provide traffic control while one lane of Terrace is closed when the boomlift is stationed there and residents who access their homes via Terrace have been notified about the lane closure.  In addition, subcontractors will be on-site to perform a seismic refraction evaluation to determine the depth at which competent material is located under the sand.

Staff requested that the Board President execute a revised Memorandum of Understanding with the County of Marin to reflect the increased financial commitments each party is making to engage the geotechnical engineers for the site assessment work.  The Board previously approved the BCPUD’s increased financial commitment at the September meeting.  There was no objection and director Siedman signed the MOU.

The Board reviewed a petition submitted to Supervisor Steve Kinsey by 63 residents of the Terrace Avenue neighbor hood to express their strong support and encouragement for joint BCPUD/County efforts to preserve Terrace at Surfer’s Overlook.  The petition further requests that the County develop a contingency plan to re-open the top of Terrace near Overlook Road in light of the time likely needed to implement the stabilization project.

Staff reported that there is still no word from the State of California on the loan financing to move the district’s water main off of Terrace Avenue.  The district has paid its engineers more than $30,000 for their plans and specifications, which the State required the district to submit by July 23, 2010 to be eligible for the funding;  the district will recoup these fees when the loan is funded.

    On the water side of operations, consumption in the most recent quarter on the mid-Mesa was down slightly from the same time in 2009; as such, this is the lowest consumption on record for the last five years – no doubt due to a foggy summer and early Fall rains.  Thus far in the season, the district has received approximately 5.4 inches of rain at the office and over 6 inches out at the water treatment plant.
    The Board reviewed a letter from the California Department of Public Health accepting the district’s revised lead and copper sampling results, all of which were below state action levels.  As a result, the district is in compliance with applicable requirements and is not required to resample for another three years.

    John Haaf, the district’s ACWA/JPIA representative, visited the district today to check in, plan for on-site training classes in February and March (trenching and shoring, field ergonomics), and discuss certification for one of the district’s operators to conduct asbestos/concrete pipe safe handling training.

    Staff requested the Board’s guidance on how the district should handle an obstruction in the Zebra right of way.  The crew recently encountered significant difficulty locating a leak on the district’s water main in the Zebra right of way near its intersection with Yucca Road.  The difficulty was presented by the fact that a resident has constructed a yurt, sweat lodge, patios and assorted additional structures well into the Zebra right-of-way and on top of the district’s water line.  Staff ultimately determined that the leak was caused by the resident driving rebar into the ground for the sweat lodge, which punctured the water line.  This matter therefore involves obstructions in the right-of-way and customer negligence causing damage to the district’s infrastructure, all of which led to significant cost to the district.  The Board directed staff to prepare a letter explaining this to the property owner and demanding that the encroachments be removed as soon as possible. 

    The Board reviewed a letter from customer Kimberly Goosherst asking if she can request a variance to her expanded water use permit;  the Board instructed staff to include an item to consider such a request on the December agenda.

    Staff presented an estimate for additional electrical work needed at the Bolinas Children’s Center; specifically, new wiring to the Center’s furnace and new wiring upstairs, for an additional cost of $1830.  Staff recommended that the work be performed and the Board had no objection.

    On the wastewater side of operations, spray season concluded November 15th (although the district had ceased spraying as of November 8, 2010).  Staff met with electrical engineer Dave Thomas of DCV Consultants in Petaluma and authorized the design work for the electrical panel replacement at the sewer ponds to proceed.  The estimated cost is approximately $2,400.  The engineer has recommendations for several firms qualified to build and install the new panels; the district likely will issue an RFP for the installation work, which will include two new flow meters to better measure flow into the ponds, and flow out of the ponds to the spray fields.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including a notice from Kaiser Permanente about a 15.56% increase in premiums for the 2011 plan year.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

The Board reviewed a report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover about a recently instituted “culvert clearing” service offered by the district, which has proved to be very popular with residents. 

Director Kimball commented that she has given thought in recent weeks to the amount of time required for staff to prepare letters that are requested periodically from the district on topics not related to the district’s core mission of providing water, wastewater, solid waste and drainage services.  She requested that an item be included on the December meeting agenda to discuss guidelines for the district to adopt and which must be followed in such circumstances so that staff time is minimized.

Director Amoroso noted that the gate at the Brighton Beach entrance is nearly fully replaced;  the replacement posts have been set and the gate will be installed when the concrete is set.

4.    Community Expression.

Dale Polissar said he would like to discuss the mowing and tree-cutting the district recently conducted on the eastern end of the sewer pond property.  He acknowledged discussing his concerns with staff as well as Chuck Oakander (whose company did the tree removal) and said he appreciated that discussion, as well as the public health and safety issues (i.e., illegal camping and medical emergency calls) that motivated the work.  Dale expressed concern about the reduction in “wild areas” within Bolinas and pleaded with the district to do less, rather than more, in the way of brush and tree removal – particularly when the fire fuel reduction project is implemented next Fall.   He also asked if the district would remove the “poles” left standing after hazardous limbs were removed from four cypress trees.   Director Amoroso suggested that the district agendize the topic of the fire fuel reduction project for community discussion at a future meeting, perhaps in January.  Director Siedman asked staff to request an estimate to drop the four “poles” in place.

    Cela O’Connor inquired about the status of the letter she requested be sent to the Planning Commission in opposition of the Bolinas village boundaries proposed for the updated Local Coastal Plan.  Staff acknowledged the delay in sending out the letter and said it will be sent as soon as possible.

    Wilber told the board he was a friend of Arthur Okamura and would like to install a sculpture in the district spray fields on Mesa Road, across from the Firehouse.  He was asked to create plans and a sketch of the proposed sculpture for the Board’s consideration at a future meeting.

5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 77B Olema-Bolinas Road (McFarlin-Perron).

Tenzin Alatsang appeared on behalf of the property owner, Heather McFarlin-Perron.  He explained that he is the caretaker for the property, but was out of the country in Tibet when the leak occurred.  In brief, a water tank on the property malfunctioned during this period and water overflowed for an unknown period of time.  The tank is not visible from the main house and his nephew, who was living there at the time, did not realize the problem.  As soon as Tenzin returned from Tibet, he checked on the water tank and realized that it was malfunctioning.  He shut it down immediately and arranged for it to be repaired, which took a couple of weeks.  He also replaced the pressure tanks and is installing a new alarm system on the tank.  Director Amoroso asked why the property has a water tank; Tenzin said it was there when the property was purchased a few years ago because the pressure delivered at the meter is not sufficient at the house (which is up hill at the back of the property).  In response to additional questions, Tenzin explained that it is a 5,000 gallon tank and that the water is plumbed to the houses on the property (there are three residences), as well as to the automatic sprinkler system, and used for horses.  Tenzin said that Ms. McFarlin-Perron is aware of the water shortage in the district and frequently instructs him to be careful about water use.

Director Kimball expressed strong concern at the amount of water loss at the property – over 85,000 cubic feet, which is more than 650,000 gallons.  She noted that historic records of water use at this property are extraordinarily high, far more than most residences in town, although consumption did come down significantly after the mandatory rationing period in early 2009.  She said that the district does not grant financial relief for landscape irrigation malfunctions and she is inclined not to grant relief here. 

Discussion ensued about the water tank and why it is in use.  Discussion then refocused on the water loss and historic consumption patterns at the property.  Director Kimball asked what the water is used for; Tenzin explained it is for the three houses, the landscaping and horses.  Director Kimball said that most of the water use must go to irrigation and livestock, since Tenzin and his family are the only full-time residents.  Director Amoroso said that perhaps the district should revisit the terms of the expanded water use permit applicable to the property.  Discussion ensued about that suggestion and also how to figure out the amount of water loss attributable to the leak.  Director Kimball noted that the district generally looks at the prior three quarters of water use during the same time period and that the average use during the same quarter at this property was 16,100 cubic feet;  if this amount is subtracted from the 85,000 consumed during the quarter at issue, that leaves 69,000 cubic feet of water loss attributable to the leak.  She reiterated that she is not inclined to grant relief in this case because a mechanical failure like this is much like a automatic sprinkler failure and the district does not grant relief for the latter.

Staff suggested that it might be helpful to the Board to provide the property owner an opportunity to appear and answer questions relating to historic water use, the purpose of the water tank, how water is used at the property, etc.  The Board agreed and staff was directed to continue the item to the December agenda and contact Ms. McFarlin-Perron and ask her to attend the December meeting.

6.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 46 Wharf Road (Setrakian).

The Board reviewed a letter submitted by Rob Setrakian requesting leak relief for a water loss due to a blind leak on the service line outside the house, which was immediately repaired when discovered.  Director Kimball noted that in most past cases involving blind leaks, the Board has reduced the bill by the increment due to the leak and she recommended the Board do so in this case.

B. Kimball/K. Bender        four  in favor/director Smith absent        to reduce the quarterly water bill by an amount attributable to the leak, based on the prior three years of usage during the same quarter of the year.

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

Steve McCaffrey was present on behalf of Redwood Empire Waste Disposal.  He reminded the Board that the company did not request a rate increase the prior year because the CPI was close to flat in the Bay Area.  Accordingly, this year the company requests that the rate increase reflect both the 2009 and 2010 CPI; taken together, this results in a modest 0.96 % rate increase.  In addition, the company is asking to pass on a fee now being charged to the company by the JPA Zero Waste program to fund its outreach and education efforts to encourage more recycling; the cost of the JPA Zero Waste fee results in an additional 0.83% rate increase.  Steve explained that there are many benefits to the Zero Waste Project and that all Marin communities have accepted it, with the exception of Novato.  Director Kimball noted that taken together, the total rate increase requested is 1.79% and she moved that the Board approve it;  director Amoroso seconded the motion. 

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    four  in favor/director Smith absent        to approve Redwood Empire Waste Disposal’s request for a rate adjustment of 1.79% effective January 1, 2011.

8.    Request for Letter from BCPUD to the California Coastal Commission Regarding the 2010 Repair and Re-Armoring of Seadrift Revetment (O’Connor).

Cela O’Connor said that the consultants to Seadrift are claiming that the current re-armoring of the seawall is “ordinary maintenance” within the meaning of the settlement agreement.  She said that they further claim they are just replacing existing rock – but Cela questions where the pre-existing rock is now such that 4,000 tons more rock is necessary.  She points out that the settlement agreement says there should be no increase in footprint of the existing wall, but the footprint must be increasing as earlier rock is sinking and more is being piled on top.  Cela said that technology must exist whereby the footprint of the wall can be documented.  Also, the original 1982 seawall did not include the last two houses on the spit because they were not yet built at the time; now, however, the wall is extended down to include them.  Cela said it is important to see the consultant report that requests Coastal Commission staff approval of the current rearmoring as “ordinary maintenance” and also see what the Coastal Commission staff has agreed is acceptable.  Cela seeks the BCPUD’s assistance in getting the report and Coastal Commission staff report; she also wants copies of any documentation of phone calls between the consultants and Coastal Commission staff. 

Director Kimball said that she is inclined to support the request in view of the BCPUD’s responsibility for the groin and director Amoroso’s involvement with the Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee (“BLTAC”); she moved that the district request the Noble Report, the Coastal Commission staff report, and copies of any communications between Coastal Commission staff and the Noble consultants.  Director Amoroso seconded the motion and said the topic of the revetment re-armoring came up during the last BLTAC meeting and he is personally convinced the footprint of the revetment is expanding as a result of the repeated re-armoring.  Cela stated that she feels that an EIR should be required for continued placement f rock on the beach in light of the amount of sand being pushed into the lagoon.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    four in favor/director Smith absent    to send a letter requesting the Noble Report, the Coastal Commission staff report, and copies of any communications between Coastal Commission staff and the Noble consultants.

9.    Memorandum of Understanding between the Marin County Department of Public Works and the BCPUD Regarding the Olema-Bolinas Road Community Path Improvement Project.

Director Kimball stated that at the October meeting she had apprised the Board that the next step on the bike path median strip planting project would be to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding with the County Department of Public Works (“DPW”)  and the Parks and Open Space District for the project.  Director Kimball spoke with Ron Miska at the Parks and Open Space District and confirmed that because the median is entirely within the County right-of-way, it is the sole responsibility of the County DPW and the Parks and Open Space District need not be involved.  Bob Beaumont at the County DPW concurs.  Accordingly, the MOU will be between the County DPW and the BCPUD.  The draft MOU in the Board binders was sent to Bob Beaumont for review and he said it looks good but must be reviewed by his staff; director Kimball expects to hear further from him soon. 

Director Kimball reported about various local residents with whom she is consulting on the project and/or who have agreed to help.  The estimated budget for the project is $40,000; most of that is “in kind” volunteer services.  The remainder is the costs of plants, erosion control materials and pavers (which will be installed in the sections of the medians over which residents want to be able to drive).  Director Kimball said she plans to ask the BCPUD for a financial contribution of $5,000 toward the project once she knows whether certain funding sources to which she has appealed will contribute funds.  She asked the Board for authority to expend up to $10,000 in BCPUD funds in advance of formal approval of a contribution to purchase materials if the County by any chance is prepared to proceed with the project prior to the December Board meeting.  Director Siedman asked if $5,000 would be repaid; director Kimball confirmed that it would.

K. Bender/V. Amoroso        four in favor/director Smith absent    to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between DPW and the BCPUD

K. Bender/B. Kimball     four in favor/director Smith absent    to approve an advance of $10,000 toward the bike path planting project, contingent upon at least $5,000 of that amount to be repaid to the BCPUD.

10.    Land Use/Lease/License Agreements between BCPUD and Mesa Park, Resource Recovery Project  and Gospel Flat Farms.

Director Siedman said that he has spoken with staff about the need to get formal agreements either in place or updated with the various entities utilizing BCPUD lands.  Discussion ensued about providing a full opportunity for other interested parties to propose uses for these sites.  In general, the Board members concurred that current tenants should be given a reasonable lease period for an initial term and that the leases should be written to provide that at the time of renewal, the BCPUD will invite additional proposals for use of the land.  The Board further agreed that staff should prepare leases modeled on the goat farm lease for the Board’s approval. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    four in favor/director Smith absent    to authorize staff to prepare lease agreements with Mesa Park, Resource Recovery and Gospel Flat farms for the Board’s review and approval.

11.    Grant Amendment/Mesa Park Irrigation Project – Direct BCPUD General Manager to Complete Environmental Review.

Staff reminded the Board that Mesa Park is seeking to amend its grant from the State Department of Parks and Recreation to use water from the irrigation well at the Resource Recovery site as the water source for the ball fields at Mesa Park, rather than reclaimed wastewater from Pond 3 of the BCPUD’s wastewater treatment ponds.  The State Department of Parks and Recreation has instructed Mesa Park to submit updated CEQA information, budget estimates and plans.  To that end, Mesa Park engaged a licensed hydrologist to conduct an analysis of the well and staff is now preparing materials for an Initial Study and Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration, which will include the well report, a thorough description of the project, and maps and diagrams.  Staff requested Board approval to issue the Initial Study and Notice of Intent as soon as those documents are complete in order to start the 30 day review period.  The Initial Study and Notice of Intent will be circulated to interested parties and sent to the State with other requested items to initiate the grant amendment request process.  Director Kimball suggested the Board approve staff circulating the materials first to the Board for a determination of whether a special meeting should be held to discuss the documents;  if not, the Initial Study and Notice of Intent can be issued.

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    four in favor/director Smith absent    to authorize staff to complete the environmental review process, subject to review by the Board prior to issuance for determination of whether a special meeting is necessary to discuss the documents.

12.  Horseshoe Hill Road Water Main Extension Project:  (1) Approve Amended Agreement with Property Owners for Installation of Water Main to 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road; (2) 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 the Horseshoe Hill Road water main extension project is bid out, the lowest responsible bidder is identified and that the remaining hurdle to overcome to start the project is to reach an agreement with the property owner at 150 Horseshoe Hill Road regarding payment for the work.  In the Board binder is staff’s recommendation, and an agreement in principle with the property owner, that the BCPUD will pay all costs of the project except for the following:  the cost of the water main from 16 Horseshoe Hill Road to 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road and the cost of meter installations at 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road ($90,505) and associated costs for necessary work on Gospel Flats (i.e., installation of individual pressure reducing valves and service line replacements, to be capped at $14,000).  The property owner will provide a cashier’s check for $90,505, payable to BCPUD, and will pay the remainder on a time & materials basis when the costs are known, subject to the cap of $14,000.  The property owner has requested a provision in the agreement to the effect that if the district should ever approve another connection to the water system on the section of water main this property owner has paid to install, that the BCPUD shall charge that customer a connection fee reflective of an appropriate share of the capital cost of the water main, with said amount to be remitted to the property owner.  Director Amoroso queried how the district would determine the amount of that fee; after some discussion, staff was instructed to confer with legal counsel for advice.

K. Bender/B. Kimball        four in favor/director Smith absent    to authorize staff to execute an amended agreement with the property owner regarding payment for the installation of the water main to 150 and 190 Horseshoe Hill Road, subject to the receipt of legal advice concerning the future connection fee.

Staff requested approval of Resolution 594, whereby the district awards a contract to Team Ghilotti, the lowest responsible bidder for the project, subject to the district’s execution of an agreement with the property owner and receipt of a cashier’s check for $90,505.

K. Bender/B. Kimball        four in favor/director Smith absent    approving Resolution 594.

13.    Resolution 595:  Supporting ACWA Policy Principles on Implementation of State and Federal Endangered Species Act.

Director Kimball said that she supported including this item on the agenda, but became concerned after she read the ACWA policy principles the district is being asked to support as the principles seem to compromise Endangered Species Act implementation on a federal and state level in order to increase water deliveries via the Delta.  She suggested that the district contact Assembly-Member Jared Huffman’s office for advice.  The Board concurred and the item was continued to the December meeting.
14.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:   Staff reported that a problem with one of the invertors at the sewer pond solar site was discovered by SPG Solar during a routine inspection and maintenance visit; the invertor was replaced under warranty.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Nothing to report.

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Director Amoroso requested staff to inquire with the County Local Coastal Update planners about the status of the Downtown Bolinas Parking Plant.  Director Bender said that she has received numerous inquiries from downtown residents about the plan; these residents support the concept of permit parking downtown. 

-- Resource Recovery:  Notice of Decision by Deputy Zoning Administrator:  The Board reviewed the Notice of Decision by the County’s Deputy Zoning Administrator adopting a Mitigated Negative Declaration under CEQA for the Resource Recovery Center.  The Board also reviewed a written loan agreement between the BCPUD and the Resource Recovery Center for the $30,000 loan made to the center by the BCPUD earlier in 2010 for the removal of hazardous trees.

-- 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 West Nile Task Force will not meet again until 2011 and that the County’s Public Health Director, Fred Schwartz, has announced his retirement.  The West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council met recently and reviewed treatment data provided by the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District and confirmed that all reported treatments have been conducted in accordance with the non-toxic protocol agreement.  The treatment data reveals that Agnique was used for the first time to treat enclosed fish ponds and that most of the treatments in Bolinas have been performed at the sewer ponds and at the Bolinas Lagoon.  Director Kimball noted that Ron Keith has announced his retirement from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District and that Jim Wandersheid has given one-year notice of his planned departure from the district;  the district plans to conduct a national search to replace him.  The next planned meeting of the Council is scheduled for May 2011.

15.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  First Quarter Financial Report.   Staff reported that the first quarter financial report is delayed due to a problem with the Quickbooks program;  the report will be provided to the Board at the December meeting.

-- Legal:  Director Siedman reported that he and director Smith are working on revisions to Ordinance 30.   

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

-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation:  The Board reviewed a request from Mesa Park for the BCPUD to reappoint Bryan Lee to another term as one of the BCPUD-appointees to the Mesa Park Board;  staff will include an item for the Board to consider this request at the December meeting.  Director Siedman reported that there was good news on the pending permit application for the Downtown Park improvements;  specifically, the County has dropped requirements for stormwater retention facilities and certain sidewalk improvements – the permit is now expected to be issued soon.

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the October 11, 2007 Special Meeting; Minutes of the October 29, 2008 Special Meeting; Minutes of the September 15, Regular Meeting; Minutes of the October 20, 2010 Regular Meeting

B. Kimball/K. Bender        three in favor/director Amoroso abstaining/director Smith absent        to approve the minutes of the October 29, 2008 Special Meeting.

Director Kimball requested that the draft minutes of the September 15, 2010 regular meeting be revised to reflect that Margarate Graham, the newly appointed West Marin representative to the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District, is from Tomales.  There was no objection.

K. Bender/B. Kimball        three in favor/director Amoroso abstaining/director Smith absent        to approve the minutes of the September 15, 2010 regular meeting, as amended.

Director Kimball offered clarifying corrections to the minute of the October 20, 2010 regular meeting.

K. Bender/B. Kimball        three in favor/director Amoroso abstaining/director Smith absent        to approve the minutes of the October 20, 2010 regular meeting, as amended.

c. Warrants

B. Kimball/K. Bender        four in favor/director Smith absent    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    December 15, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

Staff reminded the Board that the annual BCPUD holiday party is scheduled for December 10, 2010, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

16.  Adjournment.

    10:40 p.m.