Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
December 21, 2005 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman and Smith present. Director
3. Manager’s Report
The BCPUD received a notice dated November 28, 2005 from the Drinking Water
Field Operations Branch of the Department of Health Services that the district
continues to be in violation of the federal Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection
Byproducts Rule due to the exceedance of the maximum contaminant level (MCL)
for total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and haloacetic acids (HAA5s). Staff
noted that the MCL exceedance is extremely small: 0.003 milligrams
per liter (mg/l) for the TTHMs and 0.005 mg/l for HAA5s. Staff reported
that the requisite public notices were sent to all customers, legal notices
were published in the Hearsay and the Marin Independent Journal, and notices
were posted on community bulletin boards—all as of December 9, 2005.
Staff continues to research available options for reducing the TTHM and HAA5
levels and is optimistic that a pilot project can be implemented in the first
quarter of 2006.
Lewie Likover, the district’s new Drainage Project Manager, reported on his
work to-date, which includes conducting background research on Mesa drainage
issues, interviewing former volunteer committee members and concerned residents,
assessing field conditions and prioritizing next steps. Lewie reported
that Big Mesa resident Rob Gailey, who is a professional hydrologist, has
offered to help collect stream flow data to facilitate Lewie’s evaluation
of the effect of upstream drainage improvement on the lower Alder Creek.
The Board thanked Lewie for his report and commented that he is off to a
Director Smith reported that he met recently with former Volunteer Drainage
Committee member Andy Blake regarding the latest developments with the proposed
county survey of the Big Mesa. Director Smith stated that the survey
is important for two reasons: (1) to obtain elevation data, and (2) to locate
the road rights of way. Lewie noted that the district may be able to
identify elevations by purchasing and using hand-held GPS devices.
Director Smith agreed this is possible; in addition, the existing monuments
can be coordinated with the county’s GPS grid using the county’s software.
The next step is to meet with the county to get the survey process underway.
Director Smith also said that Andy has a considerable amount of drainage-related
information that he is consolidating into a reportable form for the BCPUD
Staff recommended that the district purchase new leak detection equipment
at a cost of approximately $3,200 and the Board approved the recommendation.
With respect to current operations, staff reported that Pump #2 at the downtown
lift station has been replaced and that the repaving of Cliff Road has been
completed. Staff noted that
the repaving was done by the BCPUD in connection with a private culvert repair
and repaving job ordered by a commercial property owner on Brighton Avenue,
at a cost saving to both parties.
Staff reported that a recent meeting with county financial personnel regarding
transition to a new financial, procurement, HR and payroll system was productive;
thus far, it appears that the transition will have a minimal impact on BCPUD
Staff updated the Board on correspondence sent and correspondence received
by the district since the last regular meeting of the Board. Notably,
the BCPUD received written notice from the California Department of Parks
and Recreation that the district’s $500,000 grant application for the Mesa
Park Water Reclamation and Irrigation Project has been approved. In
addition, staff noted that Doug Ferguson, counsel to the Moritz family, wrote
to suggest a visit at the property site on Horseshoe Hill Road for the purpose
of discussing implementation of the stream conservation measures in the Moritz
Conservation Area Stewardship Plan; staff noted that the BCPUD Board
previously had decided to appoint a representative for this purpose.
After some discussion, it was agreed that the appointment would be placed
on the January Board agenda so that all persons interested in serving in
this capacity would have the opportunity to apply. Director Smith noted
that a prior letter from the BCPUD (dated January 22, 2005) should be brought
to the county planner’s attention as it makes clear that the BCPUD consistently
has taken the position that the Moritzs must obtain BCPUD approval of the
stream conservation measures (not simply consult with the BCPUD about such
4. Community Expression
5. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Beach: Nothing to report.
-- Community Paths Group: Nothing to report.
-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Director Amoroso reported that the
Downtown Parking and Traffic Committee has decided to schedule another community
meeting on February 7th at the Community Center and invite the public to
come and express any suggestions or concerns about implementation of the
plan. Director Amoroso said that although the community approved the
plan by a clear majority, the Committee would like to hear the concerns of
those who voted against the plan and take those concerns into consideration
as much as possible during the implementation process.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Committee: Director Kimball reported
that the Committee continues to work with the Mosquito & Vector Control
District and currently is researching the non-OMRI approved BT products
used by the District to determine why those products are not OMRI approved
and to see if they can be approved. The Committee also is pursing a
Public Records Act request it previously submitted to the District and a
subgroup of the Committee is planning to go to the District to review its
files of responsive documents. Finally, the Committee is evaluating
alternatives such as the nascent West Marin “sustainability” group, which
is considering forming a special district for mosquito abatement, among other
-- West Nile Virus Task Force: Director Kimball reported that the Task Force
met for the last time in 2005 in November and is not scheduled to meet again
until March 2006. She circulated the latest statistics published about
West Nile Virus in California, which show a rise in the number of reported
cases and a decline in the number of deaths from the virus.
-- Resource Recovery: The Board received the November 2005 financial
report and appointed the General Manager to serve as the district’s Committee
6. Seating of New Directors: certificate of election;
oath of office
Re-elected incumbent Directors Bobbi Kimball, Jack McClellan
and Jack Siedman signed the Oath of Office and received their Certificates
7. Request to Increase Rates by 48% from Empire Waste Management
Sadonna Cody addressed the Board on behalf of Empire Waste Management.
She said that she did not have a formal presentation to supplement her written
materials (previously mailed to the district), but she stated that the company
is experiencing a net operating loss on its operations in Bolinas and therefore
is requesting a 48% increase in rates charged to Bolinas customers.
In response to questions from Board members, Ms. Cody said that unforeseen
increases in expenses relating to insurance, workers compensation and fuel
prices were major causes of the net operating loss; she agreed with
Board members who noted that the franchise agreement limits the company to
an 8% cap on rate increases in any one year, but she said that the company
views the current situation as an “extraordinary circumstance” under the
agreement, entitling the company to a greater increase in rates. Ms.
Cody confirmed that the company has asked Stinson Beach for a 34% rate increase.
Director Amoroso said that the Board wants the company to provide the district,
at a minimum, with audited financial records for its operations during the
2001-2005 time period, including as much detail as possible. He reminded
Ms. Cody that the company less than two years ago entered into a 10-year
contact with the district, after out-bidding several competitors to win the
district’s business. Director Amoroso said it seems that Empire Waste
Management lowered its rates to cut out the competition when it was trying
to win the district’s business and now is trying to make it up by raising
rates far higher than any of the former competitors would have charged.
After further discussion, the Board referred the matter
to its Legal Committee for evaluation of the district’s options under the
franchise agreement. The Board also asked Empire Waste Management
to provide the requested financial data as soon as possible so that the Board
members have the opportunity to evaluate the information prior to the next
meeting. Jennie Pfeiffer observed that if Bolinas customers are going
to be charged more for the company’s services, the company should provide
additional services, such as bulky and/or hazardous waste pick-up.
Company representatives agreed that bulky waste pick-up is a possibility,
but that hazardous waste pick-up is not an option because it requires a special
8. Request to Remove Dangerous Tree in Public Right of
Way - 100 block of Fern Road
Mike Hanley of 140 Fern Road submitted a written request to the BCPUD to
remove a tree located in an area within or close to the public right of way
in the 100 block of Fern Road which Mr. Hanley contends poses a danger to
his property. Mr. Hanley did not attend the meeting, but residents
Jeff Quinn and Chris Weicher of 110 Fern Road were in attendance and spoke
in opposition to the request. Dr. Quinn explained that he and his wife
were called at their respective work locations last week by another neighbor,
alerting them to the fact that a tree workers were up in the tree with ropes
and chainsaws. Mr. Hanley evidently had retained the tree company to
cut down the tree without prior notification to anyone in the neighborhood.
Dr. Quinn distributed pictures of the tree and said that it does not, in
fact, appear to be dangerous or to otherwise pose a danger to Mr. Hanley’s
property. Dr. Quinn also pointed out that the tree is not located adjacent
to Mr. Hanley’s property, but rather on or adjacent to his property at 110
Fern Road. Dr. Quinn and Ms. Weicher acknowledged a “long and
sorry history” between them and Mr. Hanley over trees in the neighborhood.
After further discussion, staff was directed to write Mr. Hanley a letter
stating that the Board was not able to make a determination whether the tree
is dangerous, that there seems to be a genuine dispute as to whether the
tree is in the right-or-way, and that the Board would like to evaluate any
information Mr. Hanley may have regarding the location of the tree and/or
9. Expanded Water Use Permit Application: Bass,
The Board considered an application by Sydney and Richard Bass of 222 Alder
Road for an expanded water use permit incident to an addition of a 281 square
foot home office. In response to questions from the Board, the Bass’s
said that the addition will not contain any water fixtures and that their
current water use is unrestricted.
J. McClellan/D. Smith all in favor to
approve an unconditional expanded water use permit for the Bass residence
at 222 Alder Road
10. Status of County Inspection/Enforcement – Kidson property
Staff updated the Board with respect to the status of the county’s response
to the BCPUD’s letter of November 17, 2005 regarding the development activities
at the Kidson property which the BCPUD contends are subject to permits under
the California Coastal Act. Staff met with Debbie Poiani, Senior Code
Enforcement Specialist for the County, on December 20, 2005. Ms. Poiani
stated that she and a colleague from the Department of Public Works visited
the site earlier in the month and subsequently have required Mr. Kidson to
provide a biological assessment and a drainage plan for the site, which he
has agreed to do. Ms. Poiani stated that she has instructed Mr. Kidson
to cease any further development activities, which he also agreed to do so.
She emphasized that any further development activities on the site should
be reported to her immediately.
11. Deborah Beckman and Marin County Environmental Health
Services – Can We Trust the County?
Director McClellan stated that he put the item on the agenda, but that the
matter should be tabled until the next meeting because Ms. Beckman has not
provided certain information that he requested for the meeting.
The Board agreed to table the item for discussion at the January meeting.
12. Approval of Renewed Group Agreement for the Bolinas
Community Public Utility District with Kaiser Permanente for 2006
Staff reported that Kaiser Permanente has increased the premium charges by
approximately 14%; however, the coverage remains very good and staff recommends
renewal of the agreement for 2006.
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso all in favor approving
the Renewed Group Agreement for the BCPUD with Kaiser Permanente for 2006.
13. Proposal to Increase Directors’ Pay
Director Amoroso stated that he placed this item on the agenda for discussion
purposes; he would like the Board to consider an increase in Directors’ pay
beginning with the next fiscal year on July 1, 2006. Specifically,
he proposes doubling the pay from $125 per month to $250 per month.
Director Smith said that an increase in pay may serve as an incentive for
more community members to run for the Board. Director McClellan noted
that the Directors’ pay has not been increased since 1973 or 1974.
After further discussion, the Board agreed to consider the proposal as an
action item at the May Board meeting.
14. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: None
-- Legal: None.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: None
-- Operations: Director Smith is the new Board representative to this
Committee, along with Director McClellan. The Committee updated the
Board on a recent meeting with BCPUD Chief Operator Bill Pierce regarding
alternatives for the pilot project to additionally filter the district’s
water to remove, among other things, additional organic carbons. The
Committee anticipates meeting again within the next two months with
company representatives from a particular filter company.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman confirmed staff’s earlier
report that Mesa Park has received a grant of $500,000 from the California
Department of Parks and Recreation for the wastewater reclamation and irrigation
project. The Mesa Park Board is working with Bonnie Jones, a Bolinas
resident who is a certified engineer, to determine whether it is possible
to reduce operating and monitoring costs connected with the project.
In addition, Mesa Park received a block grant to replace its two large metal
storage containers with aluminum containers which are resistant to rust.
Mark Butler has put a halt to any further construction of the Skatepark in
light of the current rainy weather conditions. Finally, the Board has
appointed Suki Ferrari as its new General Manager, replacing Mark Fraser
after his many years of dedicated service.
-- Personnel: None
-- Sewer: Director Smith noted that Dr. Oswald,
who designed the Bolinas wastewater treatment pond system, passed away the
prior week. Director Amoroso expressed concern over recommendations
of the Mosquito Vector & Control District personnel at the prior Board
meeting in favor of finer spray heads at the sewer spray fields; he said
the Regional Water Quality Control Board may oppose this approach because
the BCPUD is supposed to contain all surface water on the property site and
a finer spray would have a tendency to be blown further in windy conditions.
He recommended that the Committee meet to discuss a regular mowing program
at the ponds to begin in the Spring.
b. Minutes of November 16, 2005 Regular Meeting
J. McClellan/B. Kimball four in favor, D. Smith abstaining
to approve the Minutes of the November 16, 2005 Regular Meeting,
c. Minutes of December 5, 2005 Special Meeting
D. Smith/ V. Amoroso three in favor, Directors McClellan
and Kimball abstaining to approve the Minutes of the December
5, 2005 Special Meeting.
V. Amoroso/J. McClellan all in favor
to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
January 18, 2006