Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
December 21, 2011     270 Elm Road, Bolinas


1.   Call to Order.

    7:33 p.m.

2.   Roll.

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

3.   Manager’s Report.

    Staff announced that items 9 and 14 on the agenda would be deferred to a future meeting.  Staff also noted that Steve McCaffrey from the Redwood Disposal Company was present in the audience and would like to address the Board regarding the company’s requested rate adjustment for 2012, which the Board approved at the November meeting on the condition the company provided detail about the specific amount of the requested rate increase.  Mr. McCaffrey thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak and reminded the directors that when his company began serving Bolinas several years ago, the company made commitments to the community that it has kept:  it retained the existing truck drivers, routes and days of service.  In addition, the company upgraded to low-emission trucks in the last year.  The company’s requested rate increase is consistent with the franchise agreement, but also passes on the Zero Waste fee now charged by the County.  Discussion ensued concerning this fee and how the Bolinas share is calculated, as well as the Resource Recovery Center and green waste disposal services.  Director Smith inquired about the operation of the company’s trucks and how the recycling and trash are separated;  Mr. McCaffrey said that they have some split-body trucks with two compartments, one for trash and one for recycling; in addition, they run some smaller trucks into which both the garbage and recycling are placed during collection, but then separated back at the company’s recycling center.  Mr. McCaffrey emphasized that the company has a simple business model:  it makes more money when as little as possible goes to the landfill.  Hence, it is in the company’s interest to ensure that all possible recyclable materials are, in fact, recycled.  At the conclusion of the discussion, the directors requested that the company remind its drivers to stay slow on the unpaved Mesa roads and Mr. McCaffrey said he would personally do so.

-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.

Staff stated that at the last meeting, the Board received a proposal from SAGE for the next phase of geotechnical investigation necessary to do the in-kind repair and/or the full bluff stabilization; the cost of the work is estimated at $46,950.  The Board deferred any action on the proposal pending (1) receipt of a detailed cost breakdown from SAGE, and (2) an indication from the County about its role.  Since that time, Steve Kinsey informed the district that the County/DPW would like to continue working together on the next phase of geotechnical work.  Also, SAGE submitted a detailed cost breakdown and the Working Group met on December 13th to evaluate it.  The Working Group believes that there is the potential to reduce the estimated cost and has requested input from DPW on the proposal.  Finally, the Working Group believes that time is drawing near for more extensive engagement with key stakeholders as the project cannot go forward without significant private financial participation.

--    Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project

Staff is in the process of submitting various documents to the California Department of Public Health as required by the loan agreement.  Staff plans to put the project out to bid in the spring of 2012;  the district intends to request a closure of Terrace Avenue at the project location during working hours given that access has been restored at Overlook Road.

--    Update on the Wharf Road Service Saddle Replacement Project

The district’s engineers are preparing the detailed plans and specifications for this project, which the district also plans to put out to bid as early as possible in 2012. 

-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property)

Staff reported that this project is nearing completion and directed the Board’s attention to the documentation in the binders indicating that the district has contributed approximately $28,000 to date in payments to contractors and in-kind labor as “match” on the project.  The district continues to receive very positive comments about the project and the Conservation Corps North Bay crew.

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

    The district is in the process of finalizing its agreement with an electrical engineer for the project and is planning to also put this project out to bid in early 2012.  Staff observed that the district will be implementing quite a few projects during 2012.

On the water side of operations, consumption in the district is down again to historic low levels in the most recent quarter for the back of the Mesa; as a result, the district has been able to meet demand with its preferred water source, the Arroyo Hondo creek, and has not yet resorted to using reservoir water despite the unusually dry weather conditions. 

The district experienced another leak on the distribution system at Cedar and Alder Roads this past month.  This is a very poor section of distribution piping that is at the top of the staff’s list for replacement, along with sections of the system under Fern Road between Elm and Alder.  Staff made a decision in the field to remove pine trees nearby because of the intrusion of roots into the water main.  Staff repaired the pipe at this location and also raised various valve boxes nearby on the Mesa, which had been buried in recent years as a result of road improvement projects.

On the wastewater side of operations, staff video-inspected certain sewer laterals in connection with the Downtown Park project and is in the process of planning a more extensive video-inspection program.

The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the most recent meeting, including a notification from Kaiser Permanente of a 7.76% increase in premium amounts for 2012 and a letter the BCPUD sent to a customer concerning an unauthorized drainage project near the district’s water main that was installed without a permit.

-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report

The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover..

4.   Community Expression.

    Cela O’Connor commented that the Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee  (“BalTAC”) is changing its process for receiving public comments – comments must now be submitted in writing and not verbally during meetings – as well as its reporting structure;  BalTAC now will report directly to the Board of Supervisors rather than via the County’s Open Space District.  Cela also told the Board that she has requested that the Coastal Commission staff take over the process of updating the Local Coastal Plan because the County staff have not done an adequate job and a tremendous amount of money has been wasted. 

Jennie Pfeiffer told the Board that the West Marin Stage Coach bus run between Bolinas and Point Reyes Station has been discontinued due to low ridership, but the County has agreed to a one-year trial of one morning/one evening bus between the two communities to facilitate kids getting to Drake High School.  Jennie said the proposed schedule is not likely to work because the timing does not line up well with the high school schedule, so she has submitted a letter to the County’s transit district to identify the problem.

    The Board received a letter from Kevin Hunter with the Marin County Pony Club thanking the district for maintaining various roads and paths so that horses can travel the Mesa.

5.    Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 465 Ivy Road (Dubin).

    The Board received a letter from resident Beverly Dubin explaining that she had a leak under her house that evidently had existed for some time before she discovered it, resulting in a bill of $93;  the leak was repaired the next day.  Director Kimball said that she recommends the Board forgive the amount of the bill attributable to the leak as long as the plumber confirms when the leak was fixed.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        four in favor, director Bender absent        to forgive the amount of the bill attributable to the leak based on the historical three-year average consumption for the same quarter, subject to confirmation from the plumber that the leak was repaired immediately after it was discovered.

6.   Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 1 Brighton Avenue (Calvary Presbyterian Church of Bolinas).

    Sharon Glassen was present on behalf of the church and stated that the church has no idea why it experienced a huge water loss in the summer quarter which resulted in a $207 bill; there is no evidence of any leak subsequent to the one repaired in May and the water usage is now at typical levels (about 600 cubic feet per quarter).  Director Siedman asked if there is an outdoor hose at the church;  Sharon affirmed that there is, but the valve is off and she has been checking it weekly.  Director Smith said he thinks the district should assume there was a leak; he noted the church has been diligently monitoring the situation and he recommended forgiving the amount of the bill attributable to the presumed leak.  After some discussion, director Kimball recommended that the Board forgive 50% of the amount of the bill attributable to the unexplained water loss and she referenced the Board’s decision with regard to a financial relief request from Judith Elliot under similar circumstances.

B. Kimball/D. Smith        four in favor, director Bender absent        to forgive 50% of the amount of the bill attributable to the water loss based on the three-year historic average use during the same quarter.

7.    Expanded Water Use Permit Application, 415 Yucca Road, Bolinas (unconditioned addition to existing dwelling) (Magid).

    Director Siedman noted that the building application is to legalize a 180 square foot addition to a house, re-roof the house, and repair siding; in addition, a number of accessory structures will be removed from the property.  Alethea Patton was present on behalf of the property owner and she explained that he was red-tagged several months ago for the un-permitted construction of a utility room and excessive accessory structures on the property.  Mr. Magid will be removing a yurt, reducing the size of one structure that is over 120 square feet and cleaning up the property.  She noted that Mr. Magid has an unpermitted second unit on the property, but the County is processing a separate legalization permit for that structure.  In response to questions, Alethea explained that the 180 square foot addition to the house will have electrical service but no plumbing.  The Board discussed whether the expanded water use permit should be conditional or unconditional; director Kimball noted that the Board typically issues unconditional permits when no plumbing is involved.  Director Amoroso said that when Mr. Magid applies to legalize his second unit, he will need to re-apply for an expanded water use permit and that permit almost certainly will be a conditional permit, placing a limit on the amount of water use at the property.

D. Smith/B. Kimball        four in favor, director Bender absent        to approve an unconditional expanded water use permit for 415 Yucca Road.

8.    Notice of Non-Compliance – Expanded Water Use Permit #83-05 (Lerner).

    Michael Lerner said that this is the second time he is appearing before the Board due to non-compliance with his permit, which is an experience he does not relish.  He has evaluated water use at the property and notes that his mother-in-law, who is 100 years old, is under 24-hour per day care and a large amount of laundry is washed in connection with her care.  He also discovered a toilet leak and replaced three faucets with small leaks.  He said his most recent water bill reflects a reduction in use and he hopes this will continue.  Director Smith observed that the district’s records of water use at this property reflect that the summer water usage is consistently about twice as high as other times of year, which likely indicates summer landscape watering.  Michael said he hadn’t noticed this before, but agreed that summer watering could explain the high water use; he said he has water storage tanks at his property, which haven’t been used effectively.  The Board directed staff to read the meter at this property once a month to monitor the water use and report back at the end of the next quarter.

9.    Notice of Non-Compliance – Expanded Water Use Permit #39 (Rosenberg).

    This item was deferred to a potential future meeting as the property owner did not receive timely notice of the non-compliance.

10.    Accept the BCPUD’s Audited Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 2010-2011.

Staff reported that the audited financial statements contain the basic statements, a management letter (with responses), and an audited presentation of the supplemental $19,000 in bike path funds as required by the Transportation Authority of Marin.  In terms of the financial highlights, the Management & Discussion Analysis notes that the district’s cash position declined during the fiscal year because the district paid off three outstanding loans that were nearing maturity; the district received $55,848 in rebates from PG&E as a result of the electricity produced by its solar arrays; and, the district received less in property tax revenue due to lowered valuations and the state’s “tax grab” of local government revenues during the year to balance the state budget.  Staff also directed the Board’s attention to staff’s responses to the management letter, which commits the district to completing its accounting policies and procedures manual during the current fiscal year. 

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball        four in favor, director Bender absent        to accepted the district’s audited financial statements for fiscal year 2010-2011.

11    Approve Amendments to the BCPUD Sewer System Management Plan.

Staff presented a set of amendments to the district’s Sewer System Management Plan that were discussed at last month’s meeting in connection with the Board’s approval of a letter from the district to the Regional Water Quality Control Board.  Briefly stated, the amendments reflect: (1) the new reporting procedure for sanitary sewer overflows; (2) a requirement that district staff be CWEA-certified in collection system maintenance; (3) a procedure to better estimate spill volume; and (4) a revised sampling and clean-up protocol.

D. Smith/B. Kimball        four in favor, director Bender     absent            to approve the amendments to the district’s Sewer System Management Plan.
12  Approve Requirement for all BCPUD Staff to Attain CWEA Wastewater Collection System Maintenance Certification; Approve Related Amendment to Memorandum of Understanding Re: Compensation and Benefits between BCPUD Board of Directors and BCPUD Employees.

Staff requested Board approval of a requirement for all operations staff to attain CWEA wastewater collection system maintenance certification as desired and recommended by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.  The district’s job descriptions will be revised to reflect the new requirement.

D. Smith/B. Kimball        four in favor, director Bender absent        to approve a requirement that all BCPUD operations staff attain CWEA wastewater collection system maintenance certification as a condition of employment.

Staff next presented proposed amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding re: Compensation and Benefits between the Board and employees (“MOU”) to provide that operations staff will be eligible for a 4% raise in pay upon attainment of CWEA certification in wastewater collection system maintenance, up to grade level 2.

B. Kimball/V. Amoroso        four in favor, director Bender absent            to approve amendments to the     MOU to provide for a 4% increase in compensation for staff attaining CWEA certification in wastewater collection system maintenance, up to grade level 2.

13  BCPUD Resolution 609: Establishing District Policy Concerning Suspended or Abandoned Water Service.

This item was deferred to a future meeting.

14  Election: Association of California Water Agencies – Health Benefits Authority (“ACWA/HBA”) Board of Directors

V. Amoroso/B. Kimball    four in favor, director Bender absent        to vote for Joan Finnegan for the ACWA/HBA Board of Directors.

15. Volunteer Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:  Nothing to report.

-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee:  Director Amoroso said that the December meeting was cancelled; BalTAC’s next will meet in February.
-- Community Path Update:  Director Kimball reported that she has given staff a check in the amount of $3,000 to repay funds advanced to the bike path project by the BCPUD.  She said the project has about $2500 in remaining funds; she does not anticipate purchasing any more plants, but may need to obtain more erosion control material for the slope.  She noted that she also may need to hire labor to assist in removing eucalyptus debris from the path median as it tends to bury and smother the plants. 

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

-- Resource Recovery:  Nothing to report.

-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:  Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council will hold a meeting on January 18th at 3:30 p.m. at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station to say hello to the new General Manager, Phil Smith, and to wish Jim Wanderscheid well in his retirement. 

16.  Other Business

a.  Board Committee Reports

-- Finance:  Staff stated that the budget process for fiscal year 2012-13 will soon be underway, as will the annual negotiation concerning staff hourly wage rates.

-- Legal:  Nothing to report.

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

-- Operations:  Director Amoroso said that he is interested in better understanding where the district’s valves are located within the distribution system and whether the district is able to sufficiently isolate neighborhoods during a water outage.  Staff agreed to report back on this at a future meeting.
-- Park and Recreation:  Nothing to report.

-- Personnel:  Employee Request for Contribution Toward Health Insurance Premium.  After a brief discussion, the Board concluded that since the request is from an employee of the Resource Recovery Project (“RRP”), the board of the RRP should make this decision.

-- Sewer:  Nothing to report.

b. Minutes of the November 16, 2011 Regular Meeting

Directors Smith and Kimball offered clarifying revisions to the minutes of the November 16, 2011 regular meeting of the Board.

B. Kimball/D. Smith    four in favor, director Bender absent        to approve the minutes of the November 16, 2011 regular meeting, as amended

c. Warrants

D. Smith/B. Kimball        four in favor, director Bender absent        to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s) 

January 18, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

17.  Adjournment.

    10:21 p.m.