Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
November 28, 2012     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.   Call to Order.

7:33 p.m.

2.   Roll.

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

3.   Manager’s Report.

--    Update on the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project.

Staff directed the Board’s attention to an e-mail chain of communication between the district and the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) regarding efforts to amend the Funding Agreement for the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project to: (1) provide a greater loan amount and (2) extend the completion date to December 31, 2013.  The district is requesting additional funds to finance the higher-than-expected costs of construction and CDPH has indicated that the amendment approval should be forthcoming from the headquarters office soon.

    Operations staff members have been discussing certain issues about the 10-foot wide easement between Rafael and Park within which the primary water main to the Little Mesa is located.  The easement is quite overgrown and the staff feels it should be cleared given the importance of the line and the need to have ready access in the event of a repair or emergency.  It will be necessary to mow and also do some tree removal; staff will notify homeowners well in advance of the planned work.

    Staff has continued work on the installation of the new water line on Hillside Road and the relocation of certain water meters from lower Hillside to Marin Way and from Terrace to Hillside, which is necessitated by the planned relocation of the Terrace Avenue water main.  Affected property owners will be notified of their responsibility to hire a plumber to connect their household plumbing to the new meters.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.

    Staff has prepared soil boring permit applications to the County’s Environmental Health Services department to drill the borings on Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook and at the beach level below as the next phase of geotechnical  investigation of the bluff.  Staff intends to request a waiver of the applicable permit fees given that this is a public project jointly undertaken by the district, the Bolinas Fire Protection District and the County Department of Public Works.

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

    Following the last Board meeting, staff spoke with the engineers at West Yost and the firm agreed to amend its fee proposal from $5,900 to $4,000.  Staff is now working with the firm to finalize a form of contract for the civil engineering work.

    On the water side of operations, consumption has increased quite a bit.  Records show that consumption on the mid-Mesa for the August – October 2012 quarterly billing period was the highest it has been since 2008.  The office has received many calls about high water bills; in general, it seems that customers increased their landscape irrigation during the summer months, which can very quickly result in high water bills.  Staff noted that the Board binders contain several notices to customers who violated the terms of their expanded water use permits.  As far as the district’s water supply, the storage tanks are full and the district anticipates receiving considerable rainfall in the upcoming forecasted storms.

The staff has located a leak in the water distribution system on Park Avenue near the Ferlinghetti’s.  The district received several calls during the summer of unusual water in the ditch but staff was unable to locate any leak and attributed the water to prolonged drainage from the hill behind Park.  Using the leak detection equipment, staff eventually was able to locate the leak.  A repair is planned for after the forecasted storms.  Another leak occurred at a water service on Ocean Parkway South, caused by a eucalyptus root cracking through the pipe;  this leak has been repaired. 

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to a letter from ACWA/JPIA in the binders, which is a follow-up to the recent site visit.  Staff is drafting a Heat Illness Prevention program as recommended in the letter; although it is agendized for approval at this meeting, staff stated the program will not be ready for adoption until the December meeting.  In addition, the district is replacing the support posts in the equipment bay in the corporation yard per the letter’s recommendations.

    The district has been notified by the County’s Department of Public Works (“DPW”) that the project to retrofit the parking lot at Agate Beach will be installed this upcoming summer.  DPW’s stormwater personnel are conducting water quality sampling at Agate Beach as part of the project preparation.  Staff invited the DPW personnel to attend a BCPUD Board meeting, likely in March 2013, to present the parking lot retrofit project and answer questions from Mesa residents. 

On the wastewater side of operations, spray season ended on November 15, 2012.  The staff has repaired the spillway at seepage pond 1 (known as the “sun pond”) and removed trees and other encroaching vegetation from the face of the spillway.  The aerators in the treatment ponds are in need of rebuilding and staff has ordered the necessary parts; long-term, it will be necessary to budget for their replacement.  Finally, staff is developing a brochure to educate sewer and septic-owner customers about the damaging potential effects of “Fats, Oils and Grease, or FOG” in a wastewater treatment system; staff plans to have the brochure prepared for the Board’s review at the December meeting.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting, including a letter to Leslie Dollard per the last Board meeting, a letter in connection with the Freedomhowler coastal permit appeal, and a letter to John Neville at the County DPW about speed humps on Wharf Road.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.

    The Board reviewed a drainage report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.

Director Siedman suggested that the Board take up item 6 on the agenda as the representative from North Bay Corporation, Steve McCaffrey, was present and no one else was in attendance at this time.

6.    Request from North Bay Corporation for Annual Rate Adjustment of 2.52% Effective January 1, 2013.

Steve McCaffrey appeared on behalf of the North Bay Corporation to request the rate increase to which the company is entitled pursuant to the terms of the Franchise Agreement, which is 2.52%.  Included in his presentation materials was a garbage rate comparison sheet which indicates that the garbage disposal rates in Bolinas currently are among the lowest in Marin and, in fact, among the lowest in the entire Bay Area.  Steve complimented the Resource Recovery Center and stated that the company really enjoys supporting the center and its green waste disposal service.  In response to questions from the Board, Steve explained that his company is unable to take food waste in the green waste containers because the Resource Recovery Center does not have the permits necessary to process food waste.  Marin County leads the state in the percentage of its waste which is recycled:  75%. 

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor     to approve the request from North Bay Corporation for an annual rate adjustment of 2.52%.

Steve McCaffrey noted that the current franchise agreement between his company and the district expires on June 30, 2013.  He stated that his company is hopeful that the parties will mutually agree to extend the agreement and also to establish a process to explore a long-term extension of the contract (the agreement provides only for a two-year extension).  In response to questions from the Board, Steve clarified that he is proposing to extend the agreement for two years under the same terms and conditions, and to use that period to negotiate a longer-term new agreement; he said the company would like to propose a different rate structure.  After a brief discussion, the Board agreed to include an item on an upcoming agenda to approve a two-year extension of the current agreement and also to delegate to the operations committee the task of attempting to negotiate a new, longer-term agreement.

4.    Community Expression.

    Mark Fraser expressed concern about the rate of erosion of the bluffs on Brighton Beach and implications for nearby homeowners and the community.  Director Siedman stated that the district has been working for some time with the County of Marin on a bluff stabilization project for Surfer’s Overlook.  Mark said that the old groins that are evident at low tide on Brighton Beach were very effective for many years and were relatively low cost to install and maintain; he queried whether the BCPUD could push for the re-installation of the groins.  Discussion ensued about the Coastal Commission’s current policies regarding seawalls, riprap, groins and the like.  The directors noted that BCPUD does not own any of the beach property and suggested that local property owners may need to lead an effort to re-establish the groins.  Cela O’Connor suggested that since the BCPUD accepted the public access easements a few years ago, the BCPUD may have authority to coordinate the community effort to preserve the beach for public access.  Director Amoroso noted that the BCPUD coordinated the building of the concrete groin and he offered to assist a group of interested property owners if Mark would coordinate that effort.

5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 81 Crescente, Bolinas  (W. Lazarus).

Director Amoroso said that this property owner has a history with the BCPUD in that a water meter years ago was transferred off of an adjacent property now owned by this property owner, but water service was subsequently reconnected without BCPUD authorization.  Director Amoroso suggested the district inspect the adjacent property as a condition of granting any financial relief.  Director Kimball noted that the water loss was due to a leaky toilet and that the Board in the past has awarded 25% relief in such cases.

V. Amoroso/K. Bender        all in favor    to forgive 25% of the amount of the bill attributable to the leak, based on the historical water use at the property over the last three years during the same billing quarter, contingent upon a BCPUD inspection to ensure that the water meter is not also serving the adjacent property.

7.    Request for BCPUD Letter to the County of Marin Regarding the Dissolution of the Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee  (C. O’Connor).

Cela O’Connor said that she attended the first meeting of the new Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Council (“BLAC”) and that she would like a letter to be drafted to: (1) request the minutes of the first BLAC meeting; (2) request that County appoint to the BLAC representatives from the state Fish & Game Department and the Army Corps of Engineers as is consistent with the Bolinas Lagoon Management Plan and the Local Coastal Plan (“LCP”), and (3) express concern that all policies about the lagoon and streams to the lagoon have been eliminated from the LCP update.  Director Siedman reminded Cela that the Board’s policy is to require people requesting letters to provide a draft letter in advance of the meeting for the Board’s consideration, which was not done here.  After some discussion, it was agreed that Cela would first provide a draft of the letter to director Amoroso, who is the BCPUD representative to the BLAC, who will then discuss it with Rudi Ferris and Ralph Camiccia (both of whom are BLAC members).  Staff was directed to include an item on the next month’s agenda for the Board to review the draft letter.

8.    Establishment of a Flexible Benefits Plan for BCPUD Employees:  Adopt a Full Small Group Plan, Adopt a Dependent Care Assistance Plan, Adopt a Health Expense Reimbursement Plan.

B. Kimball/K. Bender        all in favor    to adopt a Full Small Group Plan, a Dependent Care Assistance Plan and a Health Expense Reimbursement Plan.

9.     Amend the BCPUD’s Illness & Injury Prevention Program to include a Heat Illness Prevention Program.

This item was deferred to the December meeting.

10.    Approve Audited Financial Statements of the BCPUD for Fiscal Year 2011-12.

Director Kimball reported that she and director Amoroso were interviewed by the district’s outside auditor, Lisa Doran, and that this year’s audit was very positive for the district.  She said that the only issues that came up was the recommendation for the Finance Committee to establish procedures for cash transactions and use of the district’s credit card, which the Finance Committee can do when it begins the budget process for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to approve the fiscal year 2011-2012 audited financial statements.
11.    Update on Water Supply Augmentation Project.

Director Smith reported that well usage is down and the rains have started, so the current data from the pressure transducer in the Board books shows the prior draw-down and subsequent recovery of the water levels in the aquifer.   Director Smith plans to request meteorological data from the fire district’s weather station in order to estimate evapotranspiration. 

12.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso noted that staff should change the name of this committee for future agendas to reflect the new council name.

-- Community Path Update:  Director Kimball reported that on Monday she worked with several laborers to re-plant the area in the median where PG&E had weed-whacked this summer and also did an hour of test weeding to determine how much can be accomplished in that amount of time.  Warren Weber has agreed to hire out some of his workers to assist with the most noxious weed removal.  In addition, the BCPUD staff and County have assisted to install road base and reflectors at the top of the hill just past the intersection of Mesa and Olema-Bolinas Roads where several vehicles have driven over the plants that used to be there.  Director Kimball requested an accounting from district staff so that she can repay the district for this time out of the bike path reserve fund.

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

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball directed the Board’s attention to two pages of a report from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District treatments in Bolinas, which documents 500 surveillance visits by that district in Bolinas.  At the November 5, 2012 meeting of the Council, the big news was that Point Reyes Station and Stinson Beach experienced major mosquito problems this year relating to septic systems.  Council members are working to help educate those communities about screening their septic vents and the Council also will consider additional products, consistent with the non-toxic protocol, for killing adult and larvae mosquitos. 

13.       Other Business

a.    Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Nothing further to report.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Amoroso said that Mesa Park’s parcel tax measure likely failed by a very small number of votes, although the official results will not be known until December 4th.

-- Personnel:  Director Kimball thanked the district staff for their timely efforts to complete the forms required for the district’s transition to a new medical plan.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the October 24, 2012 Regular Meeting.

Director Amoroso offered two clarifying corrections to the minutes of the October 24, 2012 regular meeting.

B. Kimball/D. Smith      all in favor    to approve the minutes of the October 24, 2012 regular meeting, as corrected.

c. Warrants

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve the warrant list.

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

December 19, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

14.  Adjournment.

    9:33 p.m.