Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
November 18, 2009     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order.

    7:30 p.m.

2.    Roll.

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

3.    Manager’s Report.

Staff summarized the results of the November 3, 2009 election and congratulated directors Kimball and Siedman on their reelection and Kim Bender on her election to the BCPUD Board; staff also wished Jack McClellan well on his impending retirement.

    The Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Valve Station project is underway;  the district’s outside contractor, Piazza Construction, is coordinating well with the County Department of Public Works (“DPW”) crew and keeping community disruption to a minimum.  The work necessary on the east side of Olema-Bolinas Road is complete and the contractor currently is working on the vault itself.  Staff discovered today that the vault’s floor drain piping inadvertently was paved over when the County DPW crew moved Olema-Bolinas Road over to the west; discussions are underway as to how best remedy the problem.  Staff noted that the Bolinas-Stinson Union School district’s music teacher organized a community celebration about the bike path which was held this past Sunday morning.

    Water consumption throughout the district continues to be lower during 2009 than it was during 2008, although the data from the most recent three-month billing period is not as dramatic as earlier quarters this year.  Overall, however, the drop in consumption during 2009 is likely to be quite significant as compared to consumption during the most recent several years. 

    The district has received a letter from the California Department of Public Health which deems complete the district’s application for Safe Drinking Water State Resolving Fund funds to finance a relocation of the water main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  (The district submitted its application in October 2008.)      The district’s planned project to extend its water main north on Horseshoe Hill Road is proceeding well.  The engineering is nearly complete and affected property owners have been notified about the district’s plans;  staff plans to meet with these property owners to answer questions and discuss their new water meter locations. 

    Staff meet with staff from the Inverness Public Utility District (“IPUD”) last week to discuss possible solutions for the district’s chlorine disinfection byproduct problems;  IPUD experiences similar problems in its water system.  Based in part on information obtained during this meeting, staff plans to set up a pilot aeration study; IPUD did so using five gallon bucket, a portable compressor and copper tubing (before doing so, IPUD researched and reviewed other water districts’ studies/approaches)  and the BCPUD staff plans to follow suit.  IPUD’s pilot study lab results confirmed a 78% reduction in TTHMs after 20 minutes of aeration and an 84% reduction in TTHMs after 20 additional minutes of aeration.  It should be noted, however, that whereas IPUD has a problem with TTHMs, it does not experience a problem with HAA5s;  unfortunately, there is no evidence that aeration helps reduce HAA5s.  As such, the district plans to assess whether pre-filtration chlorination can solve that problem.   IPUD is working on a passive aeration approach to reduce power costs; they plan to pump treated water to structures installed on top of their water storage tanks and passively run the water down through this structure (thus aerating the water) and into the storage tanks. 

    Per the Board’s direction at the prior meeting, staff asked the Bolinas Fire Protection District  (“BFPD”) for the name and contact information of the individual who damaged the district’s hydrant at the corner of Dogwood and Elm Roads. The BFPD requested that the BCPUD send a formal letter to request this information and the BFPD will request a legal opinion on the release of the information in light of the potential privacy rights involved.

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to correspondence sent and received since the last meeting, including a written request for financial relief due to a water leak from the Thorburn family on Crescente Avenue.  A review of the request indicates that the leak was in an outdoor irrigation system, so the district deemed the application ineligible for relief.  The district also received a letter from the Marin County Grand Jury acknowledging receipt of the district’s response to its request for information about Board member compensation and benefits.

On the wastewater side of operations, spray season officially concluded on November 14, 2009 and does not reopen until April 15, 2010.  One of the new force main pumps at the downtown lift station is still not working; Pump Repair Service, the installer, plans to come remove the pump and send it back to the factory for assessment.   The district is expecting to receive sometime next month a preliminary analysis from its engineers as to options for relocating the sewer collection main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.  Staff also is hard at work on the district’s new phase of the Sewer System Management Plan (and a more specific update will be provided later in the meeting).

Staff will host a training session by the ACWA/JPIA on “confined space” and “defensive driving” on December 8th and 9th at the BFPD Public Meeting Room.  Staff also has arranged for Board members to do on-line training (including but not limited to ethics training) via Prevention Link (a service provided to ACWA/JPIA members).

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

The district is in the process of engaging an engineer to review the ADA remodel plans for the BCPUD office building.  Staff recommends against applying for Community Development Block Grant funding due to the lengthy application process and the indication from the County that the district likely would receive a maximum of $5,000 from this funding source.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

    Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.

4 .    Community Expression.

    Andy Blake thanked director McClellan for his many years of service to the community as a member of the BCPUD Board of Directors, particularly for his efforts on drainage issues, legal topics, and his “unique perspective and theatre.”  Andy said director McClellan will be “sorely missed”.  Director Siedman seconded Andy’s remarks and said he was very humbled by director McClellan’s dedication to the district, which has been very much appreciated.

5.    McCarthy Coastal Permit (CP 10-15) and Minor Design Review (DM 10-20), Expanded Water Use Permit Application; APN # 193-020-50, 60 Mesa Road (to legalize a 450 square-foot detached accessory structure; a 640 square foot detached horse shelter; and, a 14-foot tall temporary screen).

    Staff reported that a neighboring property owner has requested that this matter be deferred to the December agenda so that he has sufficient time to submit comments and/or arrange to attend the meeting.  After speaking with Ms. McCarthy, the district agreed to hold the matter over for decision until the December meeting; however, Ms. McCarthy is present and would like to explain her project and answer any questions.

    Nancy McCarthy explained that she is seeking to legalize a horse shelter on her property, which has been there for several years.  There is a water spigot at this building to water her horses.  In addition, she is hoping to legalize a carport which has a room she would like to use as tack/storage room; she would like to plumb this building because she had a sick horse last year and no way to easily get water for the horse.  She said that she had no idea when she bought her property that these buildings were not permitted.  She does not believe that she will be using any more water than she has used historically.  She said she would be happy to answer questions.  Director Siedman said that the main issue for the Board is to determine whether her expanded water use permit should be conditional or unconditional;  he said the matter would be held over to the December meeting to receive further public comment and to determine the terms of the expanded water use permit. 

6.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 104 Terrace Avenue (S. Frank).

    Susan Frank told the Board that her water bill typically is approximately $12;  during the summer, however, she received a bill for over $100.  She said that she had installed some new plants and thought that perhaps that explained the spike in her water bill; she therefore cut back on outdoor water use.  The following quarter she was stunned to receive a bill for $974.  She called the district and staff confirmed during a site visit that she had a leak.  She hired a plumber, Brendan Higgs, who found a corroded seam on a pipe near her back porch that was leaking badly.  She had Brendan replace all of the previously-existing galvanized pipe with new copper pipe and repaired the problem.  Director Kimball said that this appears to be a blind leak and noted that  the Board historically has reduced bills in similar circumstances by the amount attributable to the leak.  Director Smith noted that the leak was not obvious and that the applicant repaired it very promptly. 

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor        to reduce the quarterly metered water bill by the amount attributable to the leak (based on the average of the prior three years during the same quarter).

7.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 295 Grove (J. Molyneux).

    This matter was deferred to the December meeting at the request of the applicant.
8.       Expanded Water Use Permit: Notice of Non-Compliance - 59 Brighton Avenue (Perkins).

    Staff has been in communication with the property owner and has scheduled a meeting at the property for Friday, November 20th.   Since the most recent notice of non-compliance was issued, water use at the property has declined and is now within the maximum quarterly water use allowed under the permit.  The property owner remains concerned, however, because the house is occupied only infrequently and he feels the water usage is still quite significant given the occupancy at the house.  The property owner reports that a caretaker recently came upon surfers using the outdoor hoses at the house to wash down surf gear and he feels this could be one of the causes of the high water use.   A member of the public commented that the house seems to be regularly rented to large groups of people, which also may be the source of the water use.  The Board directed staff to inform the property owner about how to lock out his meter or key-lock his hoses; staff agreed and said a further report will be made following the November 20th meeting.

9.    Expanded Water Use Permits and Property Owners’ Disclosure Obligations.   

    Director Amoroso noted that when people buy homes in Bolinas they often are unaware of the applicable water usage limits.  Director Kimball agreed and said this issue came up last month during the Board’s consideration of specific non-compliance matters.  She said that while the realtors have some responsibility, it also is the district’s responsibility to be proactive.  She suggested that the district notify new property owners of the applicable water use permit terms and conditions upon a change in ownership and offer to instruct the owners how to read their water meter.    Marcella Robinson said that as a property owner she would prefer to know about the permit and its terms before  she bought the property.  Director Siedman suggested that the district write a letter to the local realtors, remind them that certain properties have expanded water use permits and ask them to check with the district to obtain accurate information about those permits prior to listing the properties.  Discussion ensued about also requiring that permit holders record their permit with the County’s Recorder’s Office as a condition of approval and whether to post details about the permits on the district’s website.   Director Kimball agreed to work with staff to prepare draft text for two permit notification letters  -- one to property owners and one to real estate agents – for the Board’s consideration at the December meeting.

10.    Accept Donation of Real Property from the Bolinas Community Center, Inc.

    Director Siedman said that the district previously requested an opinion letter from County Counsel on any legal issues posed by the district accepting a donation of land from the Bolinas Community Center and said it was his understanding that the Board wishes to waive the attorney-client privilege as to this opinion letter and discuss the substance of the letter during the meeting.  All directors concurred.  He noted that the opinion letter indicates that the district has limited liability for the properties if the district does not improve them.  Discussion ensued about the  opinion letter and the generally unimproved condition of the properties. 

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to accept a donation of real property from the Bolinas Community Center, Inc.

    Marcella Robinson expressed deep appreciation for the Board’s action  on behalf of the Bolinas Community Center.

11.    Marin County Local Coastal Plan Update:  Meeting re: Bolinas Community Planning Issues on Dec. 3, 2009 at 7:00 p.m., 100 Mesa Road (Bolinas Fire Protection District Public Meeting Room); Dissolution of Bolinas Planning Group.

    This matter was deferred until later on the agenda pending the arrival of David Kimball.

12.    November 3, 2009 Election:  Discuss Election Results and Next Steps re: Measure H (Bolinas Beach Advisory Measure)

    Director McClellan commented that the election results are less conclusive than the 3-2 vote by the BCPUD Board on the beach camping issue several years ago.  Director Siedman observed that the outcome of the vote within the BCPUD boundaries and the vote that included voters outside the BCPUD boundaries but within the BFPD boundaries was the same:  56 percent in favor of Measure H (which would extend the current weekend ban on camping on Bolinas Beach to a full-time ban) and 44 percent opposed.  Bruce Bowser said that while not a landslide, the vote was conclusive.  Director Amoroso moved that the Board send a letter to the County, provide the election results and request that the County amend the existing ordinance;  Director Kimball seconded the motion.   She said that she reviewed all of the district election results since 1976 to determine how often the BCPUD Board has taken action after advisory measures such as Measure H.  In each case, the BCPUD Board followed the majority will of the voters. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball     all in favor    to send a letter to the Marin County Board of Supervisors with the election results and a request that the County amend the existing ordinance to ban camping on Bolinas Beach full-time and year-round.

13.    Ordinance 38:  Repealing and Replacing BCPUD Resolution 152 (Water Meter Transfer Resolution).

    The Board deferred consideration of this agenda item pending further consultation with the district’s legal counsel.  Staff was directed to schedule a closed session of the Board for this purpose as soon as possible.

11.    Marin County Local Coastal Plan Update:  Meeting re: Bolinas Community Planning Issues on Dec. 3, 2009 at 7:00 p.m., 100 Mesa Road (Bolinas Fire Protection District Public Meeting Room); Dissolution of Bolinas Planning Group.

    The Board returned to agenda item 11.  David Kimball reported that County planner Jack Liebster recently contacted district staff about scheduling a community meeting in Bolinas for the purpose of discussing with the community the local planning issues presented by the LCP update.  A meeting has now been scheduled for December 3rd at the Bolinas Firehouse Public Meeting Room beginning at 7:00 p.m.  County hopes to clarify that local community plans are not being abandoned and to explain how the LCP and community plans interrelate.  David and district staff will prepare notices about the meeting to run in the Hearsay News so that the community is aware of the meeting.

    As for the next item about the dissolution of the Bolinas Planning Group, David said that he notified the group about his intention to resign and also told them that the BCPUD planned to consider whether the dissolve the group at this meeting.  He reported that there is no objection from the members of the Bolinas Planning Group to the proposed dissolution.   Director Amoroso said that he feels it is still important to designate someone to speak on behalf of the district to the Planning Commission on issues that arise during the LCP Update process of concern to the Bolinas community; he suggested that David Kimball and Steve Matson are logical choices.  Discussion ensured about next steps.    

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to dissolve the Bolinas Planning Group.

    Director Amoroso them moved to appoint two representatives to speak on behalf of the BCPUD during the LCP Update process.   Cela O’Connor questioned how representatives can do so without first receiving specific authority from the BCPUD Board.  David Kimball said he agreed with this point, but that it does make a difference at the County level when an individual or group of individuals is there on behalf of the BCPUD.   Director Amoroso suggested that the Board appoint Burr Heneman and David Kimball as representatives, with Cela O’Connor and Steve Matson as alternates.  Director Smith said they should be required to apprise the BCPUD of any planned remarks or testimony and, if there is any objection, then the representatives must present the matter for the BCPUD Board’s consideration at a meeting.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to appoint David Kimball and Burr Heneman as BCPUD representatives during the LCP Update process (with Steve Matson and Cela O’Connor as alternatives), subject to the BCPUD being informed in advance of any planned remark or testimony and, upon any objection, the matter will be referred to the full Board for consideration at a meeting.

14.    Ordinance 39:  Amending Ordinance 29 (Regulating the BCPUD’s Sewer System); Discuss Update of the BCPUD’s Sewer System Management Plan.

    Staff presented an overview of the State Water Resources Control Board Order 2003-0006-006, which applies to sewer collection systems.  One of the requirements is a legal review of the district’s governing ordinances and resolutions applicable to the sewer system.  This legal review has been completed and a draft ordinance is in the Board binders to revise BCPUD Ordinance 29 to ensure compliance with the terms of the Board’s Order.  Staff will include an item on the December agenda for approval of the ordinance.   The draft update of the next four sections of the district’s Sewer System Management Plan will be presented to the Board for approval at the January meeting.

15.    Request for BCPUD to Pass a Resolution in Favor of More Local Authority over Siting Regulations for Cell Towers and Other Wireless Facilities.  (J. Elliott)

    Judith Elliott presented this request and provided three resolutions passed by other California local governments in favor of more local control over the location of cell towers and other wireless facilities due to growing concerns of the public health and environmental implications of these facilities.  Director Kimball said she has no problem with the BCPUD passing such a resolution, but perhaps the appropriate local entity to pass such a resolution is the County Board of Supervisors.   Director Siedman suggested that the BCPUD resolution endorse local control of these facilities and also ask the Board of Supervisors to pass a similar resolution on behalf of the County.  Director Smith said that any time the public can regain local control, the public should do so.   Staff was directed to prepare a draft resolution for the Board’s consideration at the December meeting.

16.  Letter from the BCPUD to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in Support of the Reappointment of Ed Schulze to the Board of Directors of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District.

    Director Kimball said that she requested this agenda item because Ed Schulze and Fred Smith are directors-at-large on the Board of Directors of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District and they represent the unincorporated areas of Marin.  She said that Ed Schulze has been a great advocate for health and the environment and routinely advocates for the National Park Service and West Marin, even though he lives on Novato.  She recommended the Board send a letter in support of his reappointment, a draft of which is in the Board binders, to the County Board of Supervisors. 
V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to send a letter in support of the reappointment of Ed Schulze to the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District Board of Directors.

17.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that the district has completed its first year of operation with the solar arrays and received its “true up” statement from PG&E.   Both of the district’s arrays are performing very well; in fact, they overperformed and, thanks to a recent bill sponsored by Assemblymember Jared Huffman, the district should be able to transfer excess generation to another site (such as the district’s lift station site downtown).  

-- Bolinas Planning Group:  See Item 11, above.

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

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

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Director Siedman said that despite recent attempts by both staff and Board members from both the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District to contact Supervisor Kinsey, neither Supervisor Kinsey nor his staff have responded to voicemails or e-mails requesting a meeting to plan next steps on the engineering study for Terrace Avenue.  Director Siedman and Phil Binley, President of the Board of Directors of the Bolinas Fire Protection District, therefore have prepared a draft letter to Supervisor Kinsey to reiterate the districts’ request for a meeting, a copy of which is in the Board binder.  The Board had no objection to sending the letter

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council has reviewed all data issued by the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District and she presented a one-page summary of the data to the Board. 

18.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Nothing to report.

-- Legal:   Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that a question has arisen as to who should pay for the installation of the electrical service at the Resource Recovery Center; he said that the Mesa Park Board feels the cost should be shared equally by Mesa Park, the BCPUD and the Resource Recovery Center.  Director Amoroso said that the BCPUD should not participate as there is no benefit to the district.  Director Siedman said that the district owns the property on which the Resource Recovery Center operates and the property will have greater use with electricity on site.  Director Smith suggested that the BCPUD could pay the upfront costs, subject to reimbursement from Mesa Park and Resource Recovery;  he then commented that electricity is really a basic utility at any developed property and since the Resource Recovery Center is only a tenant, the BCPUD should participate financially in the installation of electricity at the site.  Director Smith then moved that the district contribute 1/3 of the cost, subject to reimbursement from the grant funds for the water reclamation project;  Director McClellan seconded the motion.   Director Siedman disqualified himself from voting on the motion

        D. Smith/J. McClellan        3 in favor, 1 abstention, 1 opposed     to approve the district contributing 1/3 of the cost of bringing electrical service to the Resource Recovery Site, subject to being reimbursed for these costs from the reclamation grant funds..

-- Personnel:  Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the October 21, 2009 Regular Meeting.

    Director Smith offered corrections to the minutes.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve the minutes as amended.

c. Warrants

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

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    December 16, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

19.  Adjournment.
    10:24 p.m.