Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
November 19, 2008     270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

    7:31 p.m.

2.    Roll

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

3.    Manager’s Report

    Staff reported that the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant is now running on 24 new membranes and that the operations problems reported at last month’s meeting appear to be resolved:  specifically, air consumption is down, treated water quality is improved, and the district’s ability to produce water is enhanced.  Although the situation presented was stressful, the operational staff learned a tremendous amount during the process of resolving these problems.  Another opportunity for learning occurred a couple of weeks ago when staff conducted a routine exercise of the generator, which inadvertently caused power to surge to the filters inside the treatment plant and two power packs on the control panels failed.  Again, staff handled the situation well – after an initial concern about a possible interface with the solar arrays, it was determined that rats have managed to nest inside the generator (despite the “rat proof” enclosure the district installed several years ago) and caused, at a minimum, the voltage regulator and photo cell to fail.  Staff is waiting for a repair quote for the generator and already has worked with Siemens to expedite the necessary parts order to install replacement power packs on the affected filter control panels.

On the wastewater side of operations, the district completed its spray season ahead of schedule.  In recent days, staff has focused on vegetation management, particularly on the section of the sewer pond property above the Resource Recovery Project.  Staff coordinated a brush reduction project and invited the Fire Chief to assess the work; brush (i.e., fire fuel) in excess of 10 feet high was removed and numerous illegal campsites were discovered (along with candles and other fire hazards).  Staff has posted the area as “no camping” and removed abandoned items.  At the lift station, the district is scheduled to install a new replacement pump during the first week of December.

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to the most recent water consumption data, which shows that consumption is down on the middle of the Mesa as compared to this time last year.  The Board then reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including but not limited to the district’s application for a Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan to move its water main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook, a letter to the County Planning Department regarding the Local Coastal Plan update process, and a notice from the State Water Resources Control Board that a revised version of the statewide septic system regulations has been issued and a public comment period will be open until February 9, 2009.  A workshop concerning the proposed regulations will be held in Santa Rosa on January 27, 2009.  After some discussion, the Board referred this matter to the Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads Committee of the Board (i.e., Don Smith and Jack McClellan).   

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

The district’s permit application to remodel its office building and parking lot to meet ADA accessibility guidelines cleared the County Planning Department in September, cleared Land Development/ DPW in October, and is now under review by the Building & Safety Inspection Division.  The Division has requested that the district’s outside designer, Steve Matson, provide some additional drawings and notes, which he is in the process of doing, to complete the permit application.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover is on vacation and submitted a written report. 

4.    Community Expression

Director McClellan noted that the Giacomini dike in Point Reyes Station has been deconstructed and wetlands have been restored in this area of the Tomales Bay.

Cela O’Connor urged the BCPUD Board to consider how the Bolinas Community Plan can be implemented and enforced and she advocated the creation of a separate Planning Group to do so.  David Kimball said it is his belief that a majority of the Bolinas Planning Group members agree that the BPG does not want to be a design review committee.  Director Amoroso suggested that Cela’s request be sent back to the Bolinas Planning Group for an express comment.  Director Kimball said she believes the current process, whereby the County forwards significant permit applications to the BCPUD for review and comment (which the BCPUD then includes on its regular meeting agenda for determination) and the BCPUD conveys public comment, is working well and does not need to be altered.

5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 95 Olema-Bolinas Road (Weber).

Warren Weber told the Board that upon receiving his most recent water bill, he immediately looked for a leak on his property and discovered a break in the plumbing underneath the house next to the Bolinas School.  He said he was completely unaware of the leak prior to this because it was underground and no water was surfacing.  Once the leak was discovered (and he has no idea how long it was there), he replaced the plumbing immediately.  Upon reviewing BCPUD Resolution 553, he believes his case meets the criteria for financial relief.  He noted that in his area along Gospel Flats, the soil is very porous soil and drains well, which would explain why the water from the leak was not surfacing.

Director McClellan said that the circumstances were beyond his control and that he appears to qualify for complete relief; Director Kimball agreed and said she was willing to grant such relief because he took immediate action to fix the leak.  Director McClellan advised Mr. Weber to regularly read his meter to ensure that such a large water loss does not recur.  Director Smith agreed that the matter was well handled and suggested that the Board reissue the bill based on the average usage during the same billing period over the last three years at current rates.

J.McClellan/D. Smith    all in favor    to grant financial relief for the entirety of the amount attributable to the leak and reissue the bill based on the Weber’s average usage during the prior three years during the same billing period, at current rates.

6.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 115 Overlook (Barkan).

Susan Barkan explained that her house in Bolinas is a second home that is used one or two weeks per month; there is no washing machine or dishwasher and she does not have a lawn.  When she first received her water bill, she immediately hired a plumber to investigate for a leak, but he was unable to locate any leak on her property.  She also reduced the water used in the property’s automatic irrigation system.  There is no explanation for the high water use that she has been able to identify; at this point, she can only conclude that the gardener left a hose on by mistake – he told her that did not happen, but she doesn’t know what else to conclude. 

Director Smith said it was clear that there is no explanation for the high water use and that she endeavored to determine the source of the problem immediately; on the other hand, she is responsible for supervision at the property, whether she is there to do so herself or not.  He noted that in similar past cases, the district has reduced bills by 50% of the amount by which the bill exceeded past usage during the same billing period over the last three years, and he recommended that approach here.  Discussion ensued as to whether the irrigation system could be involved, in which case the matter is not eligible for relief.  In response to questions, Ms. Barkan explained that the system is on a timer and that the plumber inspected it for leaks.  The Board members agreed it seemed most likely that a hose had been left on, but that there was no way to be sure.  Director Smith renewed his suggestion to apply the reasoning of prior similar cases (one in which a hose was left on, another in which a toilet was running when landlords were out of the country) and reduce the bill by 50% of the amount by which the bill exceeded past usage during the same billing period over the last three years.  Director McClellan advised Ms. Barkan of the district’s policy of discouraging automatic irrigation systems because of the proclivity for leaks and malfunctions; Director Smith emphasized that he would not support financial relief of any kind if he thought the water loss was caused by an irrigation system. 

D. Smith/J. McClellan    three in favor, Kimball opposed    to reduce the Barkan water bill by 50% of the amount by which the bill exceeded past usage during the same billing period during the prior three years.

7.    Expanded Water Use Permits; Notices of Non-Compliance - 72 Crescente (Jenkins); 52 Wharf (Goosherst); 46 Crescente (Hostetler).

    Director Siedman arrived at 8:37 p.m. and presided over the remainder of the meeting.

Staff reported that Mr. Jenkins is out of compliance with the terms of his expanded water use permit; the maximum quarterly allowance is 3400 cubic feet, but Mr. Jenkins used 11,500 cubic feet for the quarter ending June 2008 and 6100 cubic feet for the quarter ending September 2008.  Staff has been in regular contact with the property landscaper since Mr. Jenkins receipt of the first non-compliance letter and the landscaper implemented immediate water conservation measures.  Chief Operator Bill Pierce met with the landscaper at the property and made specific conservation suggestions.  It seems that extensive landscaping was installed at the property in late spring, which is clearly the source of the water use.  Staff noted the significant decline in consumption in the most recent quarter and that further water conservation measures have since been implemented; staff is hopeful that the property will be in compliance (or close thereto) in the current quarter.  Discussion ensued among the Board members as to the appropriate next steps, with directors and members of the public lamenting the amount of water used for landscaping purposes.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to send a letter to the property owner initiating the 60-day water service termination procedures for violation of the terms of the expanded water use permit and to specify that water service will be terminated if the property remains out of compliance with the permit terms by the end of the 60-day period.

    Staff reported that the Goosherst property was out of compliance with the terms of their expanded water use permit in part of the 2007-08 fiscal year, but non-compliance notices inadvertently were not sent due to an error in the district’s internal tracking system (which has since been corrected).  The maximum quarterly allowance for this property is 3100 cubic feet, but the Goosherst’s used 6200 cubic feet for the quarter ending June 2008 and 7500 cubic feet for the quarter ending September 2008.  The property owners have been in very regular contact with BCPUD staff since their receipt of the non-compliance letters, staff has met with them at the property, and specific measures are being implemented to identify the specific sources of use and also reduce water usage at this multi-use building (a.k.a. “the Barn” on Wharf Road, with several individual business tenants).  An existing irrigation system has been shut down, but further steps are in progress to identify the usage of the individual business tenants and conduct inspections of their plumbing fixtures.  After some discussion, director Siedman recommended that staff continue its investigatory work with the property owners and report back to the Board at the next regular meeting and the Board concurred.

Finally, staff reported on the Hostetler property.  Like the Goosherst property, this property was out of compliance with the terms of its expanded water use permit during part of the 2007-08 fiscal year, but the same internal tracking error resulted in no notice being sent to the property owners during that time.  The maximum quarterly allowance for this property is 3900 cubic feet, but the Hostetler property used 6300 cubic feet during the quarter ending June 2008 and 7500 cubic feet for the quarter ending September 2008.  The property owner has been in regular contact with staff since her recent receipt of the second non-compliance notice – evidently she did not receive the first notice when it arrived as she was out of the country and her son was in the hospital and she only just saw both notices.  No site visit to the property by staff has been done yet; the property owner plans to retain a plumber to check for leaks and has instructed her tenants at the property to reduce water usage immediately.  Discussion ensued between Board members whether to issue a 60-day water service termination notice or to direct staff to continue work with the property owner and report back at the next meeting.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    three in favor; Amoroso opposed and Smith abstained        to send a letter to the property owner initiating the 60-day water service termination procedures for violation of the terms of the expanded water use permit and to specify that water service will be terminated if the property remains out of compliance with the permit terms by the end of the 60-day period.

8.    Whitefield Lot Line Adjustment (LL 08-8), Whitefield Merger (MG 09-11) and Commons Merger (MG 09-12), 575 Aspen Road and 161 Mesa Road.

Chris Whitefield explained that the lot line adjustment was to split an undeveloped property between adjacent property owners.  No public comment was provided.

9.    Request for BCPUD Action on Bolinas Beach Committee Recommendation For a Year-Round No Camping Ordinance for Bolinas Beach (O’Connor).

Cela O’Connor requested action by the BCPUD on the Bolinas Beach Committee’s recommendation for a year-round no-camping ban at Bolinas Beach.  Director Amoroso noted that the Committee had been directed by the BCPUD to hold a town meeting to discuss its Final Report, which included the recommendation of a year-round camping ban, but no such meeting has yet occurred.  Magi Barror, the former chair of the Bolinas Beach Committee, said that the committee was very much split on this recommendation and that the camping issue was not the main focus of the committee -- in fact, many of the Final Report’s core recommendations already have been implemented.  However, this particular issue has not been resolved and Magi agreed that it needs to go to the town for input.  Bruce Bowser, who also served on the committee, noted that many of the issues at the beach have vastly improved but that a serious public health issue remains with regard to beach camping and he supports a year-round ban.  Director Amoroso said if the town supports the ban, he will too – public process and input is important and he suggested an advisory vote on a proposed camping ban ordinance.  

    Director Smith reminded other Board members that the Board previously accepted the Beach Committee’s Final Report, but did not endorse it; pending the community meeting that was to be held.  In response to questions from director Siedman, director Smith said he does not personally support a full-time ban on camping but rather enforcement by the County Sheriff of the existing weekend no-camping ban.  Director Smith favors a community meeting about the Final Report, followed by a decision as to whether an advisory measure on the issue is called for.  Director Kimball said she feels it is now time for the advisory poll to occur as its time for the community to make up its mind on this issue.  Director Siedman said that in the past, when contentious issues arise, the BCPUD solicits community input. 

B. Kimball moved to place a measure on the next ballot to ask the community whether there should be a full-time camping ban at Brighton Beach; director McClellan seconded the motion.

    After further discussion, it was decided that the BCPUD should also more fully distribute the Beach Committee’s Final Report via posting on its website and forwarding to local newspapers in advance of the advisory measure. 

B. Kimball/J. McClellan    all in favor    to place advisory measure on an upcoming ballot to poll the community as to whether there should be a full-time, year-round ban on camping on Bolinas Beach.

10.    Bolinas Mesa Road Improvement Projects:  Approve Ground Asphalt Delivery at Mesa Park Parking lot; Discuss/Approve Recommendations of BCPUD and Bolinas Fire Protection District Staff for Potential Road Surface Improvement Projects and Related Budgetary Items; Discuss/Approve West Poplar Road Maintenance Group Application to Cap Kale Road from Alder to Poplar, Poplar Road from Kale to Yucca, and Yucca Road to Ocean Parkway South with Ground Asphalt.

Director Siedman noted that the first item on this agenda item is to approve the delivery of ground asphalt at the Mesa Park parking lot.  Director McClellan so moved and director Kimball seconded the motion.  Andy Blake, a member of the Mesa Park Board, stated that the Mesa Park agency does not need the approval of BCPUD for its action in accepting the ground asphalt.  Staff said the agenda item is there to clarify the respective roles of Mesa Park on the one hand and the BCPUD on the other, if any, in the acceptance of ground asphalt – if Mesa Park is accepting all responsibility for the delivery, storage and maintenance of this material, there is no role for BCPUD.  Andy Blake emphasized that the delivery is a huge donation of the “best material we have found to put on the roads.”  Director Siedman stated that Mesa Park already has accepted responsibility for accepting the material and storing it, but that once folks apply for a permit to spread the material on BCPUD rights-of-way, it becomes a BCPUD issue.

Andy Blake inquired as to who will manage the use of the material and who decides who gets to use it?  Also, should folks be charged for their use of the material?  Additional issues include the cost of hauling from Mesa Park and the cost of equipment to lay the asphalt, as well as how to control speed on the improved roads.  He advocated the installation of speed bumps to slow traffic.  Ned Riley commented that he received a message at home from someone opposed to using any petroleum based products on BCPUD roads and that he thinks there is opposition to the application of this ground asphalt in his neighborhood.  Director Amoroso urged that BCPUD not move forward with any projects apart from the West Poplar project currently proposed until more information is conveyed to the community.

Andy Blake said that he has been told that the volatile portions of the hydrocarbons in the asphalt have long ago gassed off and that this is acceptable recycled material.  He said he understands that there are concerns, but there is no way the West Poplar road group could afford the proposed road improvement project without this material.  He questioned BCPUD even placing the item on the agenda for discussion, as the project is, in essence, nothing more than the road group’s usual maintenance.  In response to questions, Andy acknowledged the road group has not previously spread ground asphalt on Poplar Road, other than two small sections.  Discussion ensued about how to inform the community about the ground asphalt and how to convey information about its recycled nature.  Director Smith volunteered to write an article for publication in the Hearsay News.  

Further discussion ensued about whether Mesa Park should charge for the material and the potential cost of road improvement projects.  Andy Blake said that Don Murch said he would charge $10 a cubic yard to deliver material to the Mesa and that the cost of the proper equipment to apply the material is likely $15 a yard (but that depends on whether the material is simply spread, or watered and rolled out).  The West Poplar road group has committed the funds to pay for the project, but since Ghilotti is participating in it, the project must be done either on Thursday or Friday.  Director McClellan moved to expand the project to include the application of ground asphalt on “East” Poplar between Cedar and Kale; he stated that he has personally called all affected neighbors and there is no opposition.

Director Siedman said the first decision is whether director Smith should draft an article for publication in local newspapers and on the district website; there was no opposition.  Next, he called the question as to whether there was a motion to approve the West Poplar Road group road improvement project.  Director Kimball moved to approve the project as described in the permit application and director Amoroso seconded the motion.  Chief Operator Pierce requested that all valves on Poplar Road remain accessible before, during and after the project.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the West Poplar road improvement project as described in the permit application.

    Andy Blake inquired whether the BCPUD would contribute funds toward this project and director Siedman said no.  Andy said the BCPUD is obligated to maintain roads to protect its water lines and inquired whether funds could be contributed for that reason.  Chief Operator Pierce said that the water lines on Poplar Road run only between Overlook and Evergreen and the BCPUD has been maintaining that area for years.  Director Smith said the BCPUD should consider whether it has a responsibility or desire to improve the roads and, if so, how this would be done; there are issues of safety, access, water lines, garbage truck travel and so forth.  Director Amoroso stated that there is no money in the district’s 2008-09 fiscal year budget for such projects, but it is something that can be discussed in upcoming budget discussions for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
11.    Approve Amendments to BCPUD’s Conflict of Interest Code.

J. McClellan/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Resolution 571, which amends and updates the BCPUD’s Conflict of Interest Code.

12.    Potential Amendments to Resolution 152 re: Water Meter Transfers.

    This matter was deferred to a future meeting.

13.    Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Director Smith reported that the solar arrays are now operating; the contractor is installing the monitoring systems and the district is in the process of seeking its state rebate checks via the California Solar Initiative.

-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Director Amoroso reported that Burr Henemann has requested to be appointed to this committee; his letter of application is in the Board binders.

J. McClellan/D. Smith    all in favor    to appoint Burr Henemann to the Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee.

.    Director Amoroso commented that the Committee has turned its focus in recent meetings to the County’s Local Coastal Plan Update process.  The County has said it will not likely act on updating local community plans for many years, so the Committee is focused on the plan that is in the process of being updated (and which has significant implications for Bolinas and all communities in Marin’s coastal zone).

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

-- Community Paths Group:  Director Smith stated that the bike path project really won’t be fully complete for another year because there is on-going work to do, but an agreement has been reached with local equestrians about the horse route via the property to minimize or eliminate degradation to the path.  Horse crossing areas have been identified and signage (to be created by StuArt) will be installed.  The district will apply for disbursement of the grant funds as soon as the County’s encroachment permit is signed off. 
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Report on Meeting with Supervisor Steve Kinsey and County Department of Public Works.

    Director Siedman reported on a meeting held earlier that day at the Firehouse & Clinic Building, which was attended by Supervisor Kinsey, Chief Assistant Director of Public Works Bob Beaumont, representatives of the BCPUD and Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and some members of the BCPUD’s Terrace Avenue Committee.  The meeting was convened at Supervisor Kinsey’s request; the County would like to partner with the BCPUD and BFPD to stabilize Surfer’s Overlook.  The County is willing to dedicate funds for engineering and to commence the Coastal Commission permit process, but is requesting a community commitment to this endeavor.  The County also requested that the BCPUD suspend its Public Records Act request, in which the BCPUD requested that the County provide documents relating to Terrace Avenue and the County’s seawall below.  In the short term, the County agreed to install a curb at the top of Surfer’s Overlook to divert surface water from the street off the face of the bluff.  Director Siedman said that there is a renewed sense of partnership on this difficult issue between Bolinas and the County; the County requested that the BCPUD and BFPD send a letter as a follow-up to the meeting in which the districts confirm their commitment to working with the County.  Director Smith added that he and staff met recently with the engineer who designed the groin on Bolinas Beach to assess possible engineering solutions to stabilize the bluff and the engineer identified several possible approaches; in particular, there is an example of a seawall in Santa Cruz that was installed within the last 10 years that seems very promising. 

        Director Siedman requested Board authorization to send the letter Supervisor Kinsey requested and to send instructions to the district’s attorneys to suspend the pending Public Records Act request.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to send the requested follow-up letter to Supervisor Kinsey and to instruct the district’s attorney to suspend the pending Public Records Act request.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Nothing to report.

14.    Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Approve Independent Contractor Agreement for New Bookkeeper

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso        all in favor    to approve independent contractor agreement.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  Director Smith confirmed that he and director McClellan will review the proposed statewide septic regulations.

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Parks and Recreation:  Director Siedman presented design drawings for the downtown park and said the next step is to finalize details with the designer and then schedule a public meeting to present the design to the town.  After that, the committee will move on to the permit process, assuming there is no significant opposition or changes needed to the design.  The design incorporates drought resistant plants and cisterns are planned for installation at the base of the hill at the back of the park.

-- Personnel: Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:    Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the October 8, 2008 Special Meeting; Minutes of the October 15, 2008 Regular Meeting.

Director Smith offered minor corrections to the October 8th special meeting minutes.

D. Smith/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to approve the minutes of the October 8, 2008 special meeting, as amended.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    4 in favor, Amoroso abstaining    to approve the minutes of the October 15, 2008 regular meeting.

c. Warrants

J. McClellan/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

December 17, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.

15.  Adjournment

11:16 p.m.