Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular  Meeting  Of  The Board  Of  Directors
March 21, 2001    270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order

8:04 p.m.

2.  Roll / Announcement re: Closed Session

 Directors Amoroso, Bertsch, McClellan, Siedman present. Director Kayfetz absent. Director     McClellan presiding.

Director McClellan announced that no action had been taken at the closed session for personnel issues prior to the regular meeting.

3.  Manager’s Report

The newsletter survey of District customers’ opinions on the future of the Pine Gulch property has produced a marginally negative response to the idea of selling the property on the public market, if the National Park Service fails to purchase it.

Directors were invited to submit any comments or additions to the next issue of the newsletter by the following Monday.

During the recent power outage the generator at the Woodrat Treatment Plant failed. Due to a possible combination of factors the rotor and stator had burned up. Repairing the alternator was estimated to cost $7,300; staff decided to purchase a new one, with a warranty, for $7,500. The total cost, including replacement rental, etc., will be around $15,000, the exact amount of the deductible on insurance coverage. When the interim rental generator was being installed it was hooked up incorrectly, causing an overload on the plant electrical system. All the fluorescent light fixtures and exit signs were destroyed, but that appears to have been the extent of the damage. The electrical contractor has been very prompt in making all necessary repairs.

The District has received an $800 refund of the last election costs.

The president of the Bolinas Fire Protection District is willing to make a presentation to the Board of BFPD’s plans for upgrading its facility. Director Amoroso suggested that a presentation to the larger community would be more appropriate. Fire Chief Hicks stated that earlier public presentations have not been overwhelmingly attended. A presentation will take place at the May meeting.

The unresolved conflict between the District and Marin County Environmental Health Services over the irrigation well at the sewage treatment facility has been cited in the Marin County Grand Jury report as an example of the inability of local, County and State agencies to reach a reasonable solution to a problem.

The sign in front of the building at 270 Elm was destroyed by the cypress tree that fell in the recent storm. Staff will follow up on replacing it, with Board direction.

The District’s energy generation company, ACN, has returned the District to PG&E, stating that it cannot guarantee its prices.

Information on a Marin County-sponsored open house on housing issues was received by the Board.

4.  Community Expression

Cela O’Connor brought before the Board the Bolinas Committee on Park Planning’s latest letter to National Parks Superintendent Don Neubacher. In it the committee asks for clarification of the process whereby alternative proposals for the future of Rancho Baulines will be considered, and proposes guidelines for long-term management of the ranch.

Director Siedman stated that he has met with representatives of Senator Dianne Feinstein who suggested sending a letter to Senator Feinstein followed by one to the new Secretary of the Interior, requesting that Rancho Baulines be returned to the NPS General Management Plan update process.  Director Amoroso suggested sending a copy to Marin County Board of Supervisors, asking for support.

--  Siedman/Amoroso     four in favor, Kayfetz absent     to send a letter to Senator Feinstein and a copy to Marin County Board of Supervisors.

Bill Lyons asked the Board to note that the access lid to the 6-inch valve on the corner of Aspen and Alder were being pops off due to vehicle activity and presents a liability.

Debbie Morrison asked for attention to the recent case where Pat Gonzales was charged with obstructing a Park Ranger when walking her dog. Director Amoroso asked that the matter be agendized.

5.  Bolinas Beach:  draft ordinance establishing regulations

Noting that the proposed ordinance to ban camping on Bolinas Beach would require approval from the Board of Supervisors and the Coastal Commission, Supervisor Steve Kinsey stated that he was present to listen to the community for direction.

While acknowledging that the impact on the neighboring residents necessitated some action an outright ban on camping did not seem to be the answer for many people in attendance. The possibility of a one-year trial period for a ban, which would (hopefully) be selectively enforced and not impact Bolinas campers, was suggested, with some support. Cela O’Connor noted that camping is already illegal on the public easements on the beach that are owned by BCPUD.

Several people favored a permit process, possibly run by the Bolinas Fire Protection District, which solution was not favored by Fire Chief Kevin Hicks. Cela O’Connor noted that issuing permits amounted to creating a Park district, with attendant requirements to provide sanitary facilities and trash disposal.

There was considerable interest in the idea of creating a position for a local person to act as a monitor or constable to provide a security presence, act as a substitute for the citizens in making citizen’s arrests where necessary, and possibly issue parking citations. Supervisor Kinsey doubted the feasibility of such a solution. He noted that income from parking citations does not, at present, return to the communities in which the citations are made, so would not be available as a funding source for such a position.

To sum up Kinsey stated that there didn’t appear to be a clear direction to him from the community so he will continue with the incremental measures already underway and allow the community to continue its dialogue or proceed with an advisory poll on the November ballot as suggested by a number of people.

6.  Alternative Energy Generation:  report on Sacramento workshop;  review of Marin County CDA permit requirements and fees

Bob Gold reported that the energy generation buydown program has increased its windmill capacity limitations to include the 50KW model that would be suitable to install at Woodrat 2. Within three years the District could be making savings of $15,000 p.a. However, this model is still being tested and will not be available until January 2002. In addition, such a project must have written permission from its immediate neighbors. Gold suggested applying to PG&E for meter hookup as soon as possible, whether or not a project moves ahead right away.  If the funds available from the buydown program seem to be disappearing it would be advisable to move to reserve them. He added that a low-maintenance, low-noise 1KW windmill, which would be suitable for the sewer facility, is available for $1,500. Manager Buchanan queried the value of such a low-productivity project.

7.  Roads:  Evergreen (between Larch and Alder): drainage encroachment
     Kale (between Poplar and Larch): status of order to remove spoils
     Hawthorne (between Larch and Alder): complaint of obstruction

Manager Buchanan noted that several large eucalyptus trees are growing further in the right-of-way than the pile of chips at the property of Arlene Allsman and Rick Hall, which they indicated in their letter they would be removing gradually. Al Hettich noted that the earth deposited in the road by Nancy Condy has settled and is no longer an obstruction. Director McClellan emphasized that it is important to restore drainage and keep obstructions away from the District’s distribution lines. He suggested revisiting the site in the fall, before the rainy season gets under way.

The West Poplar Roads Group has completed the proposed work on Kale Road, apart from removing the spoils, which are piled on the east side of the road. Director McClellan directed staff to write to Andy Blake and Don Murch and point out that the project is not finished.

Suzanne Bartlome stated that the speed humps she has placed on Hawthorne Road are no higher than those on Seadrift and would only damage vehicles going over them at speed. She noted that she objects to large clouds of dust caused by the passage of some neighbors. Fire Chief Hicks indicated that the humps in question are not an unusual problem for emergency vehicle access. Director Bertsch will visit the site and give a second opinion to add to the Roads Committee’s view that the bumps are not excessive.

Continued to April meeting.

8.  Vegetation Management Plan:  Marin County CDA letter re possible permit requirements

The Marin County Community Development Agency has indicated that a Coastal Permit, and possibly an Environmental Impact Report, will probably be necessary for either of the proposals of the Vegetation Management Committee. In addition there may be state and federal regulations to be met.

Director Amoroso proposed developing a plan to contain any further spread of the eucalyptus forest, while waiting for the legal and permit-establishing process, including a biological reconnaissance, to conclude. Dale Polissar suggested consulting with Ray Moritz before any tree removal. Madeleine Muir requested no action until the monarch butterfly population has moved on. The moratorium on cutting eucalyptus poles was reaffirmed.

It was agreed that monarch butterfly expert Kingston Leong should plan to begin his study of the grove in the winter of 2001-2002.

Ray Moritz will be asked to consult with Davey Tree before the removal of dangerous limbs along Mesa Road.

9.  Solid Waste:  Waste Management, Inc. proposal for 2002; draft agreement for consultant services (Foothill      Resources)

Shoreline Disposal (Waste Management, Inc.) manager Ken Foley formally requested an extension of Shoreline’s contract with the District for solid waste services. He stated that Shoreline is willing to negotiate on rate setting and that Shoreline is distressed at the expense of needless lawsuits. He said that Shoreline brought the cross-complaint against BCPUD to get all defendants of  Martinelli v. Johnson together, and that Shoreline’s cross-complaint has been a minor part of the District’s expenses, the bulk of the cost being related to the Martinelli suit.  He asked directors to define what their requirements are for solid waste services in the future. Director Amoroso stated that the district is seeking a refund of the legal expenses it has incurred so far defending itself in the Martinelli v. Johnson cross-complaint, that customers be charged the same rates as Stinson Beach, and that Shoreline reimburse the District for overcharging its customers. Foley said he expected to discuss those items in negotiations.

Janine Aroyan requested the community be more informed before making any changes in service providers – she expressed concern that not enough people knew of the possible changes (switching to an in-house service, rather than renewing with Shoreline). Amoroso stated that that the matter has been well publicized so far, but that a signed petition from 50% of the registered voters would affect his view of the direction to take. Director Bertsch noted that if solid waste appeared earlier on the agenda more people might come to meetings to discuss it.

A public meeting to discuss renewing Shoreline’s contract will be attended by Ken Foley and Directors Amoroso and Kayfetz.

Solid waste consultant Paul Rottenberg will meet with Directors Amoroso and Bertsch to discuss his proposed fee schedule.

10.  Mesa Park:  letter requesting BCPUD funding for year 2001 operations; approval of final payment to Oswald Engineering Associates, Inc. for Wastewater Reclamation Engineering Report

Director Siedman explained that, although Mesa Park intends to put a parcel tax measure on the ballot and fully expects it to pass, it does not want to compete with the Bolinas Fire District, which intends to put its own measure on the ballot in November 2001. Therefore it is asking BCPUD to pay its operating costs for calendar year 2001. Siedman stated that in the past Mesa Park has absorbed basic land maintenance costs that would have normally fallen to BCPUD and is now asking BCPUD to meet current land use costs, estimated at $18,000. He added that Mesa Park has also asked Marin County to provide some funds and that funding comes from a variety of sources but is not sufficient for the park’s needs.  Director Amoroso said that he would not be comfortable spending water revenue on a recreational facility without a legal opinion and that he believes that the Joint Powers Agreement with the Bolinas-Stinson School would be violated. He stated that District ratepayers would be covering the cost for users outside the water district but within the planning district, estimated at about 25% of the population. Siedman noted that the Board frequently approves expenditures that are not strictly water related and that if the School withdrew from the JPA, Mesa Park would then be a sub-committee of the BCPUD and its costs would become the responsibility of the District. Siedman said he would have no objection to seeking a legal opinion. Amoroso stated that he wants the District counsel to be informed of the JPA and that an earlier ballot measure by Mesa Park had been narrowly defeated. Amoroso also expressed surprise that Mesa Park’s financial records showed a balance of $27,000, more than enough to cover its own costs for the year. Siedman pointed out that those funds were capital funds. Amoroso said he would be willing to lend the funds to Mesa Park if it passed a ballot measure in November.

Director Bertsch asked if the $76,000 BCPUD budget item for solid waste is to be covered by customer revenue. Director Amoroso said that was the plan.

Director Amoroso stated that he was concerned that Mesa Park’s financial report did not show the costs of Oswald Engineering’s report, for which BCPUD agreed to pay on condition of being reimbursed, as a liability, but only as a contingent liability if a grant was received. Director Siedman explained that the liability was a contingency for Mesa Park, because the State would pay BCPUD directly if the grant were accepted. If not accepted Mesa Park will repay BCPUD. The second payment of the engineering fee is due. Amoroso stated that he wants a letter from Mesa Park stating when the fee will be repaid, whether or not the grant involved is approved or denied.

--  Amoroso/Bertsch      three ayes, Siedman abstained, Kayfetz absent     to defer payment of Oswald Engineering’s fee until BCPUD receives a letter from Mesa Park stating when it will be reimbursed for doing so.


11.  Resolution 457, ratifying May, 1994 action regarding employer paid PERS contributions

--  Bertsch/Amoroso   four ayes, Kayfetz absent     to approve Resolution 457.

12.  Resolution 458, concurring in Joan Finnegan nomination to ACWA JPIA executive committee

--  Siedman/Bertsch   four ayes, Kayfetz absent to approve Resolution 458.

13.  Resolution 459, rescinding and replacing Resolutions 238, 248, 258, 439 and 440,
        concerning water meter suspension and abandonment procedures


14.  LAFCO:  review of proposed letter to Marin County Supervisors re funding

--  Siedman/Bertsch   four ayes, Kayfetz absent to approve letter.

15.  Other Business

a.  Committee Reports
      – Finance:  proposed calendar for 2001-02 budget process

-- Bersch/Siedman  four ayes, Kayfetz absent     to approve calendar as amended.

      – Legal:

Director Siedman reminded the Board that District counsel Hadden Roth filed a motion offering to settle with Shoreline. If Shoreline now decides to dismiss its cross-complaint BCPUD can ask for reimbursement of legal costs.

Director Bertsch left at 12:15

Roth has requested a closed session April 18, to discuss Orrick v. BCPUD.

      – Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads:  SepTAC status

Director McClellan reported that the direction of SepTAC seems to be in favor of more flexibility for new construction. He said that opposition to biennial inspection of systems is not very strong yet.

b.  Minutes of February 21, 2001 Meeting

--  Amoroso/Siedman     three ayes, Bertsch, Kayfetz absent     to approve minutes

c.  Warrants

--  Amoroso/Siedman     three ayes, Bertsch, Kayfetz absent     to approve warrants

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

April 18, 2001 preceded by a closed session to discuss pending litigation in Orrick v. BCPUD

16. Adjournment

12:20 p.m.