Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
December 21, 2005   270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.    Call to Order

        7:30 p.m.

2.    Roll

Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman and Smith present.  Director Siedman presiding.

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 great start.

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 the county’s
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 operations.

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 measures).

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 things. 

-- 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 representative.

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 of Election.

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 license.  

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 its condition

9.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application:  Bass,  222 Alder

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.

c.  Warrants

V. Amoroso/J. McClellan    all in favor     to approve the warrant list.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

        January 18, 2006


10:07 p.m.