Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors

December 17, 2003      270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order:                

    7:32 p.m.

2.  Roll    

    Directors Amoroso, Bertsch, McClellan, Siedman, Smith present
    Director McClellan presiding        

3.  Manager’s Report

Recently completed small projects include: installation of a new line valve on the Evergreen main, near Mesa Road; replacement of the Iris Road main between Elm and Ocean Parkway; replacement of the Walnut main between Larch and Poplar; excavation of the Arroyo Hondo upper dam and repairs to the catchment basin; and, replacement of the line valve between ponds 2 and 3 at the sewerage treatment facility.  Total costs are approximately $39,000.  Still to be completed is the installation of cathodic protection on the west water storage tank and exterior painting of 270 Elm.  

Board members received several documents related to the Smadbeck quit claim deed.  The deed effectively transferred ownership of the 270 Elm Road property, the unpaved rights of way and certain parklands to the Bolinas Property Owners Association, with title passing to the Bolinas Beach Public Utility District upon its formation in 1937.  With the proposed development of cliff-side property near Juniper and Kale apparently now quashed, ownership of 49.5 acres near the cliffs between Overlook Drive and Duxbury Point may become less of an issue.

Board members received brochures promoting attendance at the California Special District Association’s series of workshops on Governance. 

Board members received a copy of a follow-up letter on the Salwen project written to the Marin County Community Development Agency by neighbor David Kimball.

The deadline is January 31, 2004, for written comments on the National Park Service’s General Management Plan Update for Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  This item will be placed on the agenda of the January 21, 2004 Board of Directors meeting.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board is now considering the District’s proposal to provide a sewer connection for the Firehouse/Medical Clinic project.  Recent correspondence with RWQCB engineer Blair Allen was received by Board members.

BCPUD has a new primary contact for all matters related to municipal water quality at the Department of Health Services, Erica Wolski.   She has offered to investigate treatment options for reduction of trihalomethanes.

The draft winter issue of Pipeline is nearly ready for printing.   Staff requested comments and suggestions by noon on Monday, December 22.

4.  Community Expression

    There were no items of community expression.

5.  Seating of New Directors:  certificate of election; oath of office

Re-elected incumbent Director Victor Amoroso, and newly elected Director Don Smith signed the Oath of Office and received their Certificates of Election.  Director Smith submitted a completed Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests, required annually of all publicly elected officials, and also for governing board members assuming and leaving office.  Former Director Paul Kayfetz submitted his final Form 700 in November. 

Immediately following the November 4, 2003 election, results indicated that Smith had bested Amoroso by 2 votes.  Amoroso, humorously noting the self-serving nature of his remarks, pointed out that the Marin County Clerk’s final certified tally made Amoroso the top vote getter, with 370, while Smith finished second with 368.  The other three candidates on the ballot received a combined total of 196 votes.

6.  Proposal To Seek Legal Opinion:  Board/Committee Brown Act Implications

The version of the Brown Act in the meeting binders is out of date.  The 2003 version, with amendments, appears to conflict with an oral opinion Director Amoroso received from County Counsel in October regarding attendance by a majority of governing board members at committee meetings.  Staff will communicate with County Counsel, pointing out sections 54952.2(c)(2), 54952.2 (c)(4), and 54952.2(c)(6), and asking for a response.  Section 54952.2 (c) states, in part: “Nothing in this section shall impose the requirements of this chapter upon … the following:  (6) The attendance of a majority of the members of a legislative body at an open and noticed meeting of a standing committee of that body, provided that the members of the legislative body who are not members of the standing committee attend only as observers.”

7.  Expanded Water Use Permit Application:  Liebenstein.  46 Wharf Road (Coast Café)

Director McClellan opened the discussion, continued from the November meeting, by asking what specific event triggered the initiation of the permit process.  Director Siedman noted the cumulative impact over an extended time of apparent improvements and expansions of the operation that coincide with a doubling of water usage in the past five years.  Director Smith pointed out that BCPUD has a moratorium on new water hookups because water is scarce, and the Coast Café is a major user. 

McClellan argued that the purpose of Resolution 173, Section 6, was not to conserve water but to share the burden of the moratorium.  With respect to the restaurant’s rooftop sign, he stated that if residents don’t like something that is happening downtown, they should complain to the permitting authority, not push BCPUD’s regulations out of shape to achieve their ends.

Director Bertsch stated the Board should do nothing, including granting an unconditional permit.  Director Amoroso agreed, stating it might be better to take no action, since future developments might require the Board to reconsider.  Director Siedman indicated there is no demonstrated basis for continuing with the permit process.  Concluding the discussion, the Board declined to act on the permit.

8.  Expanded Water Use Permit – Request for Variance:  Spangler.  11 Wharf Road (Blue Heron)

    The Blue Heron’s Expanded Water Use Permit restricts it to 4,200 cubic feet per quarter.   The business has had difficulty complying with the limit.  The owners, noting they use much less water than other food serving businesses in the downtown, have requested a variance to increase the limit to 8,000 c.f. per quarter.   Director Amoroso questioned the need for an increase of this size, since the establishment has not exceeded 6,200 cubic feet per quarter anytime in the past four years.

    Bertsch/Smith            4 ayes, Amoroso opposed          to grant a variance, increasing the maximum quarterly allowance to 6,500 cubic feet per quarter.  

9.  Roads:  Complaint Re Unauthorized Road Work at Poplar and Kale;  proposed Department of Public Works survey agreement; update on pilot drainage project

    The Board considered the proposed Department of Public Works survey agreement first.
Andrew Blake, Chair of the Ad Hoc Drainage Committee, explained that the District needs  the survey work because there are not enough monuments to implement the drainage plan.
    Director Amoroso commented that BCPUD has approved $3,500 seed money to pay for documentation of existing control points.  Blake agreed the District approved that initial expenditure but explained that Marin County had no contract for it.  That initial phase is included in the current proposal, which also provides for additional monumentation and provides a record of survey.  

    Director Amoroso expressed skepticism, stating that BCPUD has not spent a penny in the last twenty years for any of the instances where someone thought it would be good if we knew exactly where a boundary line was.  He also emphasized that, if the work goes forward, the cost should be assessed to those who benefit, i.e., owners of property within the area of the Mesa Drainage Plan.   

    Director McClellan argued that the District has, in the past,  allocated costs to all ratepayers for work that benefited only a handful of customers.  As an example, he cited the distribution line and pump station meant to serve 6 connections on Mesa Road west of the treatment plant.

    Blake argued that the proposed survey will benefit more than just the residents of the Mesa.

Bertsch/Amoroso         all in favor        to approve the  agreement and budget accordingly, with Mesa residents paying for it unless it can be shown to be of a clear benefit to the entire District. 

The Board then turned to the complaint of unauthorized road work, filed by Andrew Blake  against Jerry Tergis.  Blake summarized his problems with Tergis by stating that Tergis doesn’t consult with the West Poplar Road Maintenance Group, as required by District Ordinance 30, and that he actively works against the goals of the neighborhood group.  Tergis’ daughter, Amber, attended as his representative.  She said that he removed speed bumps when neighbors complained.  She also noted that she and her husband were going to become more involved in gardening on the Tergis property next spring, that they plan to lay drainage pipe and backfill a ditch on Kale Road that has been an ongoing source of contention, and that they want to resolve the conflict.  Director Amoroso encouraged her to work with the Board.

Siedman/Bertsch      all in favor         to notify Tergis, by letter, of the Ordinance 30 requirement that he must apply for a permit, consult with the neighborhood road group, and comply with the items on the permit checklist prior to doing work on neighborhood access streets.  Ordinance 30 is to be included with the letter, which will also direct him to remove spoils placed in the roadway from recent ditch maintenance.  Director Smith suggested the letter point out it is in the best interests of the whole community that roadwork be consistent with the Mesa Drainage Plan. 

Regarding the Pilot Drainage Project, Nancy Condy has assented to vegetation removal adjacent to her property to permit BCPUD to determine the elevation of the Evergreen Road water main at the proposed location of the culvert.  Condy has requested obstructions to drainage downstream near Grove Road be removed so that there is an exit for the water from her property.  The Ad Hoc Committee will seek to hire Steve Wrenn to do the Grove Road work by hand.  Director Amoroso stressed the need to inform the neighbors about the work..

10.  Pine Gulch Creek Fence Project:  recent correspondence

    Staff summarized the history of the proposed fence project, as well as the correspondence between the District and the adjacent land owner’s attorney.  The adjacent owner is Michael Moritz.  Moritz’ ranch manager, Robert Heffelfinger, expressed frustration and anger at the District’s original letter conveying unconfirmed reports of creek pollution from cattle, and of the use of herbicides near the riparian area.  The District has retracted the unconfirmed reports contained in that letter but Heffelfinger felt the retractions covered only the herbicide issue, and Moritz’ attorney has demanded to know the source of the allegations of creek pollution.

    Tony Lewis, proponent of fence construction, and Gordon Bennett, of the Sierra Club, both spoke in support of the fisheries restoration project, of which the fence construction is a key component, and Bennett and Lewis proposed a lot split of BCPUD’s property, with a lot line adjustment, that could permit a sale of the western portion of the property, including the creek, to the National Park Service.  Bennett suggested BCPUD make the lot split contingent on Park purchase of the property.  As an aside, Bennett noted that during a recent visit to the District’s property, he saw fresh cow manure in the creek.

Amoroso/Siedman      all in favor       to pursue a lot split and lot line adjustment, with sale of Parcel A to the National Park Service.      

Bertsch/Amoroso     all in favor     to send a letter to Michael Moritz, clarifying that the District is retracting all unconfirmed reports, not just those related to herbicide use.  The letter will also state that Park naturalist Brannon Ketcham is the source of information that the individuals conducting the underwater survey don’t want to do it anymore because of coliform pollution.

11.  Call For Nominations:  LAFCO Special District Member

    No directors expressed an interest in running for the position.

12.  Sewer System:  review of Resolution 443 and connection fee schedule; proposal to establish sewer connection application priority list

    Resolution  443 established the connection fee schedule, based on the accruing charges to current users of the system for capital projects, including the 1973 construction of the sewerage treatment facility, and the 1990 rehabilitation of the collection system.  An attachment to the resolution shows the individual fees for both collection and treatment, based on the year any new connection is granted.   The proposed firehouse/medical clinic connection would be assessed the charges for treatment only since the fire district will be paying for and constructing its lift station and connector main.

There was no motion to establish a priority list at this time because there are no pending applications on file. 

13.  Other Business

a.  Committee Reports
     -- Downtown Parking and Traffic:  recognition of new members
Siedman/Bertsch       all in favor      to approve new members Greg Hewlett, Steve Matson, John Norton, E. J. Pearcy and James Sword.

     -- Park and Recreation:

Directors reviewed the Reclamation Project Engineer’s letter to the Regional Water Quality Control Board requesting an order to operate the proposed recycled water facility as a side stream, with no change to the District’s current Waste Discharge Order 88-100.

      -- Personnel:

The General Manager recommended the Board consider hiring a replacement administrative assistant as early as March, 2004, and budgeting the position to increase to 35-36 hours per week effective July 1, 2004.   The Personnel Committee will meet January 13 to discuss the proposal.

      -- Sewer:  Resource Recovery Project; Community Paths Group

The Board received the November financial report for the Resource Recovery Project.

Director Smith gave a brief report on the work of the Community Paths Group:  Choosing a surfacing material; monitoring the County’s work on Phase 1; designing the work at the Mesa and Olema-Bolinas Roads intersection; and seeking the County’s cooperation in the integration of the Phase 1 path with the point where the proposed improvements cut into the Eucalyptus forest.  The committee will also be evaluating a prospective consultant.   Director Amoroso mentioned a consultant’s estimate for paving that is relatively inexpensive and should be kept as a possible alternative.

b.  Minutes of November 19, 2003 Meeting

Bertsch/Siedman       all in favor         to approve the minutes of the November 19, 2003 meeting.

c.  Warrants

Bertsch/Siedman        all in favor         to approve the warrants.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

January 21, 2004

14.  Adjournment

10:40 p.m.