1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Comstock, Godino, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project: Report on the November 15, 2014 Town Meeting.
Staff reported that the November 15, 2014 town meeting to “Save Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook” was very well attended, with over 100 community members present. Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown opened the meeting, and BCPUD staff and Supervisor Steve Kinsey (who has provided consistent leadership on this issue) also made presentations about the work done to-date by the Working Group to identify a project (including design, permitting and construction details) to stabilize Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook. The presentations were followed by an extensive question and answer session, and the tone of the meeting was positive and constructive. Anita did a terrific job of explaining why every resident of our town should care about this issue – simply put, if Terrace Avenue fails at Surfer’s Overlook and Mesa Road is closed for whatever reason (downed trees or power lines, for example), the BFPD engines and personnel, and all of the Big Mesa, will be completely isolated. This means that the BFPD would not be able to repond to emergency calls from downtown, the Little Mesa, Gospel Flats (including but not limited to the Bolinas School), Horseshoe Hill Road, Olema-Bolinas Road, or Dogtown. Ken Masterton brought a sign up sheet for a persons potentially interested in serving on a fundraising committee and 27 people signed up. This group of people is now seeking a person to serve as the chair and will meet soon to strategize about how to fundraise. One issue to resolve is whether/how to establish a “Save Terrace Avenue” 501(c)(3) so that contributions will be tax-deductible.
-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.
BCPUD staff has nearly completed the the rehabilitation of the clarifier at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant (“WRTP”), which is an essential step toward transitioning the district away from diverting backwash water into the Woodrat #1 reservoir. The installation of the safety railing on the top of the clarifier was delayed due to a delay in receipt of the necessary parts, but it should be completed next week. Shift Operator Scotty Hanks has done a great job of painting all of the new stairs and railings. The next step is to trench for the installation of the electrical and plumbing lines between the WRTP and clarifier, to be followed by the installation of the process equipement (i.e., the new turbidimeter and chlorine analyzer).
-- Update on Status of the BCPUD’s Capital Improvement Plan.
Staff provided the district’s consulting engineers with a spreadsheet with information about the district’s assets (styled as a Priorization Worksheet) at the end of October with a request to complete the process of valuing these assets by December to ensure that the information will be available to the Finance Committee when the budget process gets underway in early 2015. Staff noted that the Prioritization Worksheet contains many more projects than are possible for the district to install in the next five years, so part of the process of developing the capital improvement plan witll be to narrow down the list of projects for inclusion based on priority and pricing and feasibility.
As for current capital improvement projects, the new billing software project continues to be implemented and should be completely installed by the beginning of the year. Staff stated that Administrative Assistant Belle Wood is doing an excellent job working with the district’s outside consultants and trouble-shooting problems. The new flow meter to measure flows from the downtown sewer collection system into the district’s treatment ponds is scheduled to be installed next month. The Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project is on-schedule. The district received a second advance of grant funds in the amount of $200,000 from the California Department of Parks and Recreation and will pay current bills due prior to the end of month. Nearly everything but the installation of the pre-fabricated restroom building has been completed; the bathroom building is scheduled for delivery and installation on December 7th and all required permits have been obtained from the County. Finally, staff continues to work on the Water Meter Replacement Project, but that work has slowed while staff has devoted time to the rehabilitation of the clarifier.
Water consumption in the downtown areas of the district as of the end of September was the lowest in many years. Staff noted that since the district publicized the need for conservation beginning in February and March, consumption throughout the district has dropped considerably. Thus far this year, the district is on track for one of its lowest years of water production ever: 89 acre feet, which equates to 29 million gallons (the district’s average water production is 35 – 37 million gallons). The district continues to supply the town with water exclusively from the Arroyo Hondo Creek and has not tapped its reservoirs at all this year. .
Staff is developing a “cross-connection control survey” to send out to the district’s customers per the requirement in the state’s recent Annual Inspection. This is a questionnaire designed to help the district determine whether there are risks of “cross-connections” from other sources at customers’ properties into the district’s water supply. The last survey was performed by the district in 1997 and the state therefore has directed the district to perform another one before the end of the year.
On the wastewater side of operations, the flows into the collection system are very low, less than 20,000 gallons per day. Spray season is over and the levels in the treatment ponds also are extremely low.
The district experienced some damage to its sewer collection main on Wharf Road in the vicinity of the County’s seawall repair project. The damage has been fixed at a cost of approximately $7800. Staff has before and after video of this section of the collection system and plans to request the County to cost-share for the damage evidently caused by the heavy vibration/drilling during the seawall repair project.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting, including the district’s letter to the California Department of Food & Agriculture approved at the October 30th special Board meeting.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report and was present to answer questions from the Board.
4. Community Expression.
Sue Verhalen thanked the Board and staff for all the work performed on her behalf to cause the obstructions in the Zebra right-of-way to be removed so that she could install access to her property. She said that her family is very pleased to be able to now drive to their property line and have installed a path to the house. In response to inquiries from the Board, she confirmed that the studio structure has been removed from the right-of-way.
5. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 185 Iris Road (Weare).
After a brief discussion, the Board directed staff to defer the matter to the December agenda and ask the customer to appear in person or by phone to provide additional information and respond to questions from the Board about the circumstances of the leak.
6. Right-of-Way Permit Application: Install Ditch on East Side of Zebra Right-of-Way to Connect to Existing Ditch along West Side of Yucca Right-of-Way and Into Culvert Under Yucca Road; Clear Debris from Existing Ditch on West Side of Yucca Right-of-Way (BCPUD).
Kent Khtikian said he was pleased the district is undertaking this project. He inquired about the slab of granite currently in the ditch near Yucca Road; Lewie Likover said it will be removed as part of the project. Lewie offered to walk the project site with Kent and answer any questions, and Kent accepted.
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor to approve the Right-of-Way permit application.
7. BCPUD Comments on LAFCO’s Draft Agency Profile of the District.
The Board reviwed comments prepared by staff and director Smith on the LAFCO’s draft agency profile of the district, which focus on ensuring the accuracy of the data presented about the BCPUD’s water system.
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to approve the BCPUD comments on LAFCO’s draft agency profile of the district.
8. Audited Financial Statements of the BCPUD for the Years Ended June 30, 2014 and 2013.
The Board discussed the auditor’s recommendation in the management letter that the district adopt a policy prohibiting authorized signatories from signing checks made payable to themselves. Director Comstock said that for the routine monthly director fee payments, this recommendation seems overly bureaucratic as the check amounts are always the same, the amount is established by resolution, and two signatures are required in any event. In contrast, he agrees that the recommendation is appropriate for other sorts of checks, such as reimbursement checks to staff or directors. The other directors concurred.
L. Comstock/G. Godino all in favor to accept the audited financial statements of the BCPUD for the years ended June 30, 2014 and 2013.
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to direct staff to provide a response to the district’s auditors for inclusion in the management letter that the district will adopt a policy prior to the end of the current fiscal year prohibiting authorized signatories from signing checks payable to themselves, with the exception of the monthly director fee payments.
9. Water Supply Update.
The Board reviewed data about use of the irrigation well at the Resource Recovery center; staff recommended the Operations Committee meet with the district’s consulting hydrogeologist, Rob Gailey, to develop the next steps for the district’s water supply study. Director Smith expressed support for this recommendation and said it is an ideal time to do so. He noted that the the district needs to understand the expected potential of the aquifer supplying this well, which is not an easy question to answer, as well as the potential for saline intrusion. Discussion ensued and there was no objection to the Operations Committee meeting with Rob Gailey after the holiday season and reporting back to the Board.
10. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Staff reported that there was a meeting on November 24th at the Resource Recovery site with County representatives to discuss an operations plan for the project. The plan should ensure that a sufficient setback of compost from the well site is maintained during the rainy season, and that a compost berm is constructed to divert stormwater away from the well. Staff will draft a plan for the County’s consideration.
-- Water Conservation Assistance Committee: Nothing to report. President Siedman asked staff to remove this item from the agenda going forward.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Director Godino reported that she and director Amoroso attended a meeting of the Council on Monday afternoon. The council discussed personnel changes at the the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) and how that may be impacting discussions on the renewal of the non-toxic protocol. Liza Goldblatt reported that the M&VCD Board appears to be split on the issue of whether West Marin should be treated differently than other areas within that district. Director Godino said the Council also discussed preparations for the January 6, 2015 Special BCPUD Board meeting concerning the renewal of the non-toxic protocol. Director Smith commented that he recently received a survey in the mail from the M&VCD which seemed to be trying to solicit support for increasing that district’s annual assessment; he said the M&VCD should be pressed about how much of their annual budget is dedicated to the acquisition and use of chemical pesticides.
-- Land Stewardship Committee: Director Amoroso reported that the committee met on November 7th and the featured guest was BFPD Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown, who supports further vegetations management efforts in the eucalyptus grove at the sewer pond property to reduce the risk of fire.
11. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Nothing further to report.
-- Legal: Director Siedman reported that he and director Godino and staff met with the garbage company to informally discuss a potential renewal of the franchise agreement; the company plans to submit a formal proposal for the Board’s consideration soon. The company would like the district to consider renewing the agreement on the same core terms as the Stinson Beach County Water District just did, which provides for a 5% increase in rates. The rates charged in Bolinas and in Stinson for garbage service are among the lowest in the state; the company is losing money on the contract and wants to propose a rate increase that is fair and equitable and still maintains the rates as the some of the lowest in the state. Director Siedman spoke with a director at the Stinson Beach County Water District and confirmed that the district is satisfied with their new agreement. Director Smith suggested that the new agreement contain specific language about keeping garbage and recycling separate and he asked if the district can get information from the company about how the community is doing on its recycling efforts (as a percentage of total solid waste).
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Director Smith commented that there is still a considerable amount of ground asphalt available for the community’s use at the Mesa Park parking lot and suggested that staff submit a notice to the Hearsay to remind people that it is available.
-- Operations: Nothing further to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Amoroso reported that he attended the most recent meeting of the Mesa Park Board of Directors, but that neither Bryan Lee nor Dylan Squires were present.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the October 15, 2014 Regular Meeting; Minutes of the October 30, 2014 Special Meeting.
Directors Amoroso and Smith offered clarifying revisons to the draft minutes of the October 15, 2014 regular meeting.
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor to approve the minutes of the October 15, 2014 regular meeting of the Board of Directors, as amended.
Director Smith offered clarifying revisions to the draft minutes of the October 30, 2014 special meeting of the Board of Directors.
L. Comstock/V. Amoroso all in favor to approve the minutes of the October 30, 2014 special meeting of the Board of Directors, as amended.
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
December 17, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.