Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
December 16, 2009     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.    Certificates of Election and Oaths of Office for the Newly Elected Members of the BCPUD Board of Directors.

Vice President Vic Amoroso administered the oath of office to newly elected members of the BCPUD Board of Directors:  Jack Siedman, Bobbi Kimball and Kim Bender

4.    Manager’s Report.

    Staff reported that the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Valve Station project is nearing completion.  The district’s contractor is waiting for certain parts that are on backorder and will be back to finish the project as soon as the parts are delivered.  Staff will obtain an extension of the district’s encroachment permit in light of the unanticipated delay. 

    With regard to the district’s plan to extend its water main north along Horseshoe Hill Road to improve service to customers in this area, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) has approved the district engineer’s request to install a reduced size of pipeline.  As such, the engineering plans are complete and staff focus will turn to planning the project.  Due to current weather and staffing constraints, this is likely to be a Spring project.  An affected homeowner has raised concerns about the cost implications for his service line relocation; staff is working to obtain information for the homeowner and address his concerns.

    Staff has made a preliminary decision to submit a readiness certification to CDPH for financing to plan, design and construct an alternative impound structure on the Arroyo Hondo to meet a required deadline; however, the final decision whether to proceed has not been made.

    The most recent data is in on water consumption in the district and consumption on the Back Mesa is below last year; the Back Mesa historically has the lowest consumption rates in the district.  The Board reviewed a chart prepared by Director Smith, which shows graphically the pattern known to exist: consumption district-wide jumps up in the summer quarter.

    Staff directed the Board’s attention to recent correspondence sent to and received from CDPH: the district’s certification of compliance with state chlorine disinfection byproduct notification requirements and a letter dated December 10th from CDPH requiring the district to submit a cryptosporidium monitoring plan by March 1, 2010 and to start monitoring by April 1, 2010.  Staff has raised questions about the letter with CDPH because the treatment plant filters are designed to remove cryptosporidium; unfortunately, that may not be sufficiently persuasive to CDPH to waive the source monitoring requirement and preliminary estimates are that this testing will cost $20,000 per year.  Discussion ensued about the appropriate district response to this new monitoring requirement; ultimately, Board directed staff to communicate with CDPH and emphasize that the CDPH itself has approved the specifications and log removal of the district’s membrane filtration plant and that, combined with the district’s use of chlorine for disinfection, should overcome the need for a very costly monitoring program.  Finally, staff noted that CDPH has raised its annual fees considerably from the historic $728 to $3,522; staff verified that the Inverness PUD has received the same notification.

    On the wastewater side of operations, Pump Repair has removed the nonfunctioning pump from the downtown lift station and has sent it to the manufacturer’s factory for assessment; the pump is still under warranty, but whether the cause of the pump’s problem is covered by the warranty is still unknown.  With regard to the collection system, staff met with the district’s engineers last week to discuss the work underway to develop recommendations for the district to relocate its sewer collection main off of Terrace Ave at Surfer’s Overlook.  The engineers’ recommendations should be ready for the Board’s review at the January meeting.

    The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last Board meeting, including a letter provided by the Bolinas Rod & Boat Club and sent to the County’s Department of Public Works to express the Club’s extreme concern about the deteriorating condition of the seawall under Wharf Road and a letter of thanks from the Community Center for the Board’s agreement to accept the Center’s donation of real property.
    In financial news, staff reported that the fiscal year 2008-09 audit is almost complete and will be submitted in final form by the auditors prior to the calendar year end.  The district received its first installment of annual funds from the County’s December 10th collection and will transfer the appropriate amounts to the district’s designated funds and checking account with Bank of Marin.    
    Finally, staff reported that operations crew recently completed two safety classes (safe handling of asbestos pipe and defensive driving) provided by ACWA/JPIA at the Firehouse Public meeting room. 

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

Staff is in the processing of retaining a structural engineer to review the plan documents and recommend and necessary revisions. 

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

    Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.

5.   Community Expression.

Diana Middleton McQuaid submitted an article for the Board’s consideration regarding the depletion of the Central Valley groundwater table.  Cela O’Connor submitted a copy of testimony she plans to give on December 17th at a Deputy Zoning Administrator hearing on Jon Carlin’s building project.

6.    Petition for Vacation of Public Easement – 200 Pine Gulch Road, Bolinas  (Osterweis).

The Board received a letter from attorney Barry Epstein on behalf of John Osterweis requesting comment from the BCPUD, if any, on Mr. Osterweis’ petition for the County to vacate a portion of Pine Gulch Road.  Consultant Carol Whitmire was present and said that Mr. Epstein asked her to attend in the event of any questions about the Osterweis petition.  In response to questions from the Board and public, Ms. Whitmire explained that the portion of Pine Gulch Road in question is on paper only and has never been developed; the existing access road already has been relocated to a location more than 100 feet from the creek, with special filtering and other preventative measures installed to filter runoff.  Ms. Whitmire also said that the Martinelli family has reviewed the petition and have no objection to it; they have a private easement to access their property.  At the conclusion of public comment, staff stated that neither the BCPUD nor the Bolinas Fire Protection District staff have any concerns about the petition.

7.    Marcotte Coastal Permit (CP10-18), Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN # 192-192-29,  201 Elm Road (to legalize a 200 sq. ft . addition to an existing 400 sq. ft. detached garage).

    Director Siedman summarized the application and director Amoroso noted that the property already is subject to a conditional expanded water use permit limiting water use at the property to no more than 4,500 cubic feet per quarter.  Director Kimball commented that no plumbing fixtures are proposed for the addition. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor        to re-affirm the terms of the existing conditional expanded water use permit.

8.    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).

    Director Siedman said that this item was continued from the November agenda to allow a neighboring property owner an opportunity to speak to the project.  John Bryant stated that he was present to answer any questions, noting that a letter from the neighboring property owner was submitted to the Board and speaks for itself.  The Board proceeded to discuss the details of the project and the proposed plumbing fixtures, including a toilet and hose spigot.  In light of the implications for water use, director Kimball proposed granting a conditional expanded water use permit with the limitation on usage set at the historic average use at the property plus 50% or 500 cubic feet per month, whichever is less.  After further discussion about water usage at the property, director Kimball revised her motion to propose a conditional expanded water use permit with the limitation on usage set at an amount equivalent to last year’s usage.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve a conditional expanded water use permit with the maximum quarterly water usage limited to an amount equal to the prior year’s actual usage.

9.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN# 193-102-03, 51 Brighton Avenue (foundation retrofit, kitchen addition and interior remodel) – Croteau

    The applicant was not present to speak to the application.  Director Kimball said that any permit granted should be conditional because new plumbing fixtures are involved.  Director Smith said the project seems to be primarily to save the house from collapse, replace the kitchen and add 110 square feet; he does not believe the water use will increase.  Director Amoroso stated that he agrees any permit should be conditional because of the scope of the proposed project and implications for increased water use.  He proposed approving a conditional permit with the limitation on water use set at an amount equal to the district’s average household use as no one has been living in the house during the prior year. 

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso    all in favor        to approve a conditional expanded water use permit based on the district’s average household use. 

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

    Dale Polisar was present to speak to the request; he noted that director Smith had called him to explain that his request does not meet the requirements of Resolution 553 because the amount of water loss attributable to the leak is not 50% greater than in prior quarters at the same time of year.  Dale said he nonetheless wanted to appear to ask the Board to reconsider its rules because they have made a tremendous effort to conserve water, including installing water catchment tanks, limiting shower length and using drip irrigation for vegetables.  He said he feels it is grossly unfair to be subject to an $800 water bill when most of the cost was due to a leak that was promptly repaired.  The Board examined data about historic water use at the property and agreed that the most recent two quarters prior to the quarter in which the leak occurred indicated real conservation efforts during that time.  

    Director Siedman said he was entitled to exercise some discretion to grant relief in light of the extraordinary conservation efforts.  Director Amoroso agreed he would like to do something to help but is not sure what to do; Director Kimball concurred.  Director Smith agreed that there was real conservation in the past year, but he is concerned about setting a precedent by granting relief when the applicant does not meet the criteria of Resolution 553.  The Board then reviewed its past decisions under similar circumstances (undetected leak in outdoor plumbing).  Director Siedman proposed looking at water use during the past two comparable quarters and then reducing the bill by an amount equal to half or a quarter of the amount by which the most recent quarter exceeded that historic average in which the leak occurred; he noted that the excess water usage was 2,000 cubic feet, so that would mean reducing the amount of the bill by the fees charged for 1,000 cubic feet at the highest rate. 

    Director Amoroso said that he believes this is a hardship case and he moved that the Board reduce the bill as director Siedman proposed, by an amount equal to 50% of the overage attributable to the leak, based on the prior two quarters during the same time of year.  Director Kimball seconded the motion.  Director Smith noted that this result would be consistent with the Board’s past decision on blind leaks. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    all in favor    to grant financial relief in an amount equal to 50% of the amount attributable to the leak, based on the prior two quarters in the same time of year, or 1,000 cubic feet.

11.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 71 Crescente   (C. Spangler)

    Director Siedman stated that the applicant requests relief because a hose was left on at the property by a caretaker.  Director Smith stated that in prior similar cases the Board has granted relief in the form of a reduction in the bill equal to 50% of the amount attributable to the leak, based on the prior three quarters. 

D. Smith/V. Amoroso    all in favor    to grant financial relief in an amount equal to 50% of the amount attributable to the leak, based on the historic usage during the prior three quarters at the same time of year.

12.    Appeal of Denial of Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 5 Crescente  (Thorburn)

    Director Siedman read a letter submitted by Kim Thorburn requesting that the Board reconsider its denial of her request for financial relief.  She clarified that an irrigation system was not the source of the leak as the Board previously surmised, but rather an outdoor hose bib.  Director Smith proposed that the Board reconsider its denial under the circumstances and approve the same terms of relief granted to the prior two requestors. 

D. Smith/K. Bender        all in favor    to grant financial relief in an amount equal to 50% of the amount attributable to the leak, based on the historic usage during the prior three quarters at the same time of year.

13.    Expanded Water Use Permit: Notice of Non-Compliance: - 270 Laurel Road (Vietor).

    Janelle Davis was present on behalf of the property owners and explained that she assists them with the property and recently discovered a hose that was leaking; she replaced it and hoped it would solve the problem of inexplicable high water use at the property.  She also turned off the irrigation system.  After the owners received the district’s second notice of non-compliance, they also installed a cistern to catch rainwater.  Finally, she said the next step will be to better monitor renter water usage at the property.  Director Smith expressed frustration at the repeated water use violations at the property; he questioned whether the property owners had been sufficiently responsive.  Director Kimball concurred and said staff should read this meter monthly so that so much time does not pass with excessive water use.  After further discussion, the Board agreed the best approach would be to carefully monitor the water usage on a monthly basis and try and pinpoint the source of the high usage. 

14.     Expanded Water Use Permit: Notice of Non-Compliance - 59 Brighton Avenue (Perkins).

    Staff summarized the content of letters sent to and received from this property owner documenting non-compliance with the terms of the expanded water use permit; at present, water usage at the property is down and within the terms of the permit.  Director Kimball said this meter also should be read monthly to better monitor the water usage.  Director Siedman directed that staff inform Mr. Perkins that his meter will be read monthly and request that he install lock-outs on his outdoor hose bibs.

15.    Form of Letters to Realtors and Property Owners re: Expanded Water Use Permits.   

    The Board reviewed draft forms of letters prepared by Director Kimball and staff to local realtors and property owners concerning expanded water use permits.  The district wishes to remind realtors that many properties in town are subject to these permits and this should be a part of the disclosure process; the district also wishes to remind property owners themselves of the terms of their permits.  Board members offered various suggested revisions to the forms of letter and directed that the letters be sent out via certified mail, return receipt requested.

K. Bender/D.Smith        4 in favor, Amoroso abstaining    to approve forms of letters to realtors and property owners with expanded water use permits, as amended.

16.  Renewal of Kaiser Permanente Group Agreement for BCPUD Employees (2010 Plan Year).

    Staff reported that the annual agreement submitted by Kaiser includes a 6% increase in premiums for the 2010 Plan year.  While any increase is less than desirable, this increase is relatively modest as compared to past years and staff recommends approval.  Staff further suggested that the district perform an analysis of cost-control options for health care costs and Director Kimball offered her assistance.

B. Kimball/K. Bender        all in favor    to renew the district’s agreement with Kaiser Permanente Group.

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

    The Board reviewed draft Ordinance 38, which repeals and replaces BCPUD Resolution 152 governing water meter transfers, and a staff report concluding that the Board’s enactment of Ordinance 38 is categorically exempt under CEQA Section 15303.  Staff based its conclusion on a review of the history of water meter transfers and an analysis of the impact of future potential transfers on the district’s water consumption; staff analysis concludes that the enactment of Ordinance 38 will not have a significant impact on the environment under CEQA.  Director Siedman suggested that the reimbursement paragraph be revised to make clear that applicants are not obligated to reimburse costs incurred by the district with regard to a challenge of the ordinance itself and there was no objection.  Discussion then focused on the permit requirements, particularly the requirement to record the expanded water use permit with the County, the requirement to install water efficient appliances and the ban on outdoor irrigation systems.  Ultimately, the Board agreed that these provisions should remain in the ordinance.  Director Amoroso suggested deleting the first sentence in the permit requirement section which mandates that a conditional expanded water use permit issue for any water meter transfer; he noted it was theoretically possible that a project would not require a conditional permit and it would be better to simply state that an applicant must obtain all coastal, building and/or use permits required by the County, Coastal Commission and the BCPUD (the latter of which implicitly requires a water meter transfer applicant to apply for an expanded water use permit).  Former director McClellan noted that any decision by the Board to issue an unconditional expanded water use permit must be based on a finding that the project at issue has no implications for water use, so director Amoroso’s suggested revision is consistent with staff’s CEQA analysis.  The Board then discussed specific revisions to the permit requirement paragraph, consistent with director Amoroso’s suggestions.

D. Smith/B. Kimball    all in favor    approving the staff report and directing staff to file a Notice of Exemption under CEQA with the County of Marin.

K. Bender/D. Smith        all in favor    to waive the reading of Ordinance 38.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve Ordinance 38 with the changes agreed upon concerning the reimbursement and permitting provisions.

    The Board directed staff to agendize Ordinance 38 for a second reading at the January 2010 regular Board meeting.

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

    Staff presented a revised version of Ordinance 39 which has been prepared by the district’s outside counsel to amend Ordinance 29 specifically to ensure that the BCPUD’s comprehensive system of wastewater regulation meets all of the requirements of the State Water Resources Control Board Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ and provides the BCPUD will all of the necessary legal authority to implement its Sewer System Management Plan.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to waive the reading of Ordinance 39.

K. Bender/B. Kimball    all in favor    to approve Ordinance 39.

    The Board directed staff to agendize Ordinance 39 for a second reading at the January 2010 regular Board meeting.

19.    Resolution 586:  In Support of Local Authority over Siting Regulations for Cell Towers and Other Wireless Facilities.

    Judith Elliott was present in support of Resolution 586; after a brief discussion, the Board concluded it had no changes to the draft resolution, which was based on resolutions recently enacted by several other California local governments.

V. Amoroso/D. Smith    all in favor    to approve Resolution 586.

20.  Resolution 587:  In Appreciation to the County of Marin for the Installation of the Community Bicycle Path along Olema-Bolinas Road.

    The Board reviewed draft Resolution 587, which expresses the district’s appreciation to the County for the installation of the bike path along Olema-Bolinas Road.  Director Amoroso noted that there are tasks not yet completed with respect to the path installation, including the coloration of the asphalt path, the planting in the area between the path and the road, and the removal of the former double yellow line on the road.  With regard to the latter issue, director Amoroso said the conditions near the top of the hill are very confusing right now, especially at night, because both the old and new double-yellow lines are showing.  Discussion ensued about these issues and staff was directed to bring them to the attention of the road crew and inquire as to next steps.  Director Smith said that while the resolution may be premature right now, when all issues are resolved the Board should pass this resolution because Supervisor Kinsey worked very hard to make this project happen and the County’s Department of Public Works did a great job with the installation.  Director Kimball suggested also sending a thank-you letter to the Buells; Director Smith concurred and said that their input resulted in a better project.

21.  Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso reported that the Committee ultimately decided not to take a position on Advisory Measure H (the Bolinas Beach full-time camping ban measure).  The Committee’s restoration project to remove vegetation from Kent Island is on hold for funding.

-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee:  Director Amoroso reported that the County planners were in town on December 1, 2009 to meet with the community about the Local Coastal Plan (“LCP”) Update process; the planners stated that they intend to recommend that the Bolinas Downtown Parking & Traffic Plan be incorporated into the LCP. 

-- Resource Recovery: The Board received the minutes of the most recent RRP meeting.

-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee:  Director Siedman reported that he spoke recently with Supervisor Kinsey who called to apologize for the lack of communication from the County on the topic of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook and said he is working with the Department of Public Works to set up a meeting with Bolinas representatives in late January.

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

22.     Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Director Amoroso said it is time to schedule a Finance Committee meeting; he, director Kimball and staff tentatively agreed to January 12, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.  The Committee will consider input from staff and discuss potential expenditures of district funds obtained from the sale of the Pine Gulch Creek property.  Director Siedman asked the committee to then make recommendations for the consideration of the full Board.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Nothing to report.

-- Park and Recreation:  Director Siedman reported that the Mesa Park Committee met the previous Monday evening and decided to sell one of the three water meters currently attached to the Downtown Park property.  The Committee also decided to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to fund the cost of installing electrical power at the irrigation well site and lay piping to bring irrigation water to Mesa Park.  Director Smith said he spoke extensively with Mesa Park board member Bryan Lee about how to reduce the cost of the electrical installation.  Director Siedman also reported that Mesa Park is proceeding with the steps necessary to hold elections for the Board seats; if all goes as planned, three seats will be up for election in November 2010.  Director Amoroso inquired whether Mesa Park plans to build a caretaker’s cottage;  Director Siedman said no.  Director Kimball said she recently spoke with Alethea Patton about the possibility of using Americorps volunteers to clear acacia on the hill above the Downtown Park site.

-- Personnel: Nothing to report.

-- Sewer:   Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the November 18, 2009 Regular Meeting.

    Directors Kimball, Amoroso and Smith offered corrections to the draft minutes.
D. Smith/B. Kimball    4 in favor; Bender abstaining        to approve the minutes of the November 18, 2009 regular meeting, as amended.

c. Warrants

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

d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

    January 20, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

23.  Adjournment.

    10:40 p.m.