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

May 21, 2003      270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order

8:00 p.m.

2.  Roll

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

3.  Manager’s Report

A major leak, losing about 80,000 gallons of water a day, was found on Olema-Bolinas Road at the end of the system, and repaired, after intensive searching over two weeks. However, the situation illustrated that there are several more leaks in the system, some identified, some not. The district-wide meter reading that was undertaken to determine whether the high water production numbers were caused by consumption revealed that average usage per residence was about 161 gallons per day over 48 hours. Unaccounted for water ran at about 50% of production during the period prior to discovering the leak. Staff will research possible methods of measuring flow at various points throughout the system that would make leak detection in the future easier.

In order to reimburse employees for their co-payments for health costs, while respecting their privacy yet satisfying the auditor’s requirements, Manager Buchanan has proposed that employees submit a form detailing reimbursement requests. Receipts should be kept for a year in case any questions arise when the requests are reviewed. Director Kayfetz indicated that more research on the legality of investigating employees’ health records should be done.

Residents on Nymph and Jute Roads have asked if BPUD will contribute towards some roadwork they plan to do on the stretch adjacent to the BPUD property. No plans have been submitted yet, but staff believes that it is likely to be more in the nature of filling in potholes, rather than major work affecting drainageways.

Administrative Assistant, Jill Whitcroft, will be on vacation/leave from June 2 to July 3, 2003.

4.  Community Expression

Matt Lewis reported that he had met with Supervisor Steve Kinsey and Department of Public Works road engineer Jason Nutt to discuss the intersection of Overlook and Poplar Roads. He stated that Kinsey and Nutt had not realized that the obstruction Lewis has been concerned about is as one turns left from Overlook onto Poplar. He has not heard from them since the meeting.

Tom Williard asked if the Bike Path Committee’s adoption of a new member needed any ratification by the Board. He was informed that a Path Committee report appeared farther down the agenda.

Roger Peacock asked if BCPUD would write a letter to Marin County Department of Public Works asking the Department to repair a retaining wall on Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook. The wall is on private property but was built by the DPW.  Director Kayfetz said the situation affects the whole community and the District pipelines that run along Terrace.

--  Kayfetz/Bertsch        four ayes, Siedman absent        to take the matter up as an urgency item

--  Kayfetz/Bertsch        four ayes, Siedman absent        to send a letter as requested by Peacock

5.  Enforcement of Ordinance 30, Establishing Rules And Procedures For Governing The Use Of The Gridded Public Right Of Way Network On The Mesa

Director McClellan stated that, particularly in light of the County focus on septic regulations, he believed it was time for the District to become more aggressive and explicit in setting out the rules for privately undertaken road and drainage work. According to the studies that BCPUD has had done the groundwater on the Mesa can be lowered with appropriate drainage, thus permitting septic systems some separation from the groundwater. He proposed adding elevation numbers to the list of requirements on the road permit application, to ensure that ditches and culverts are deep enough. He cited recently installed culverts at Full Circle on Dogwood as probably not meeting the drainage plan requirements. In addition he suggested that road permit applications be brought to the Board on a case-by-case basis, rather than dealt with administratively.

Many issues were raised by numerous members of the audience: When a homeowner undertakes improvements, for drainage to be effective, properties downstream must also make changes. Who pays? Grades are often adjusted to avoid ponding because of conditions elsewhere. County regulations can require culverts that result in ditches thirty inches deep. County culverts can be too high; who pays when one has to be changed so that private work is effective? Fences and property lines are often in drainage ways. Who pays the cost of drainage alongside undeveloped property? Don Murch suggested setting up a BCPUD fund to help homeowners with unanticipated costs. Roger Peacock proposed surveying and setting the heights of all the culverts in town so that there are definitive starting points. Andy Blake stated that a piecemeal approach will never work.

Director Amoroso proposed forming a committee to bring a proposal before the Board for surveying work, a budget, a four-year plan for implementing a comprehensive drainage/road plan and how to enforce it, and language for a ballot measure to gauge the degree of support in the community for such a plan, and to fund it.

Roger Peacock asked who owned the roads. Director Kayfetz explained that in 1926, Smadbeck Associates, the developer who owned the Mesa, quitclaimed his ownership to the then utility district for the Mesa, which subsequently merged with the downtown utility district to become the current BCPUD. The offer of dedication of the roads that Smadbeck made to the County of Marin was never accepted. Thus, BCPUD owns the roads.

In the meantime the Roads Committee will review all new applications for permits, and bring them before the Board if there are issues that the Roads Committee cannot resolve.

Matt Lewis, Stacey Henderson, Don Murch, Rob Rich, Jack McClellan and Andy Blake were appointed to the ad hoc Road Improvement Committee, with Andy Blake as chair. The committee will report at the next meeting.

7.  Mosquito Abatement
There were no objections to moving Item 7 forward on the agenda.

Stacey Henderson reported that the Marin-Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District can no longer provide support to Bolinas due to budget restrictions, which leaves the two options of joining the MSM&VCD formally, or falling back on our own mechanical methods, such as clearing ditches. To join the MSM&VCD community would have to vote to approve participation and a property tax of approximately $20 a year.

In a related matter, the Board received a letter from Sydney Bass, whose property is adjacent to 315 Hawthorne.  Bass noted in her letter that, since the home at 315 Hawthorne burned down in June, 2002, standing water has pooled and remained standing underneath the structure, providing a perfect environment for mosquitoes.  Bass recommended in her letter that the burnt structure be removed and the standing water eliminated.   Staff indicated that the new owner of the property, Pam Whitehead, has hired a contractor to restore the property to its natural state, a condition for the transfer of the meter to a new address on Poplar Road.  Whitehead has stated that the contractor will complete the work by the end of May.

6.  Road Maintenance Permit Application:  Woods
    project location:  Birch between Poplar and Mesa    

The proposed Birch Road drainage project illustrated the difficulties that merely complying with Ordinance 30 does not cover. Culverts will cross the road and intersect water lines and work needs to be done elsewhere. Director Amoroso proposed asking for elevations. Director Bertsch, as a member of the Roads Committee, said she would go and look at the project the following day.

8.  Bolinas Lagoon Restoration Project:  status report; proposal to appoint BCPUD
representative to project committee

Director Amoroso volunteered to attend any future meetings about the restoration of Bolinas Lagoon as a representative of BCPUD. He said he would represent BCPUD as having the following views: to have a project that meets the need to preserve the lagoon with the minimum impact, to open the channel so the fishermen can work, and to adequately investigate opening Seadrift Lagoon to tidal action through deep culverts at several locations along the spit.

--  Bertsch/Amoroso        four ayes, Siedman absent        to appoint Director Amoroso as official BCPUD representative at lagoon restoration meetings, with Director Kayfetz as alternate

Staff will send a letter to BLTAC, Ron Miska and Supervisor Kinsey, confirming the appointment and asking that the District be advised of and invited to attend any meetings.

9.  Meter Transfer Request:  Hollander
project location:  3 Spring Road

Albert Hollander explained that he would like to move the meter at Spring Road to another location because the house is situated on a very dangerous curve, very close to the road, where vehicles accelerate to go up the hill, resulting in a lot of fumes. Director Kayfetz stated that he objected initially because he thought it would set a precedent for moving small houses to large lots where they could be sold for a lot of money; when he heard the testimony about the fumes he changed his response. Director Amoroso said he had looked at the property and the possibility of making it safer by installing a barrier would then eliminate two parking spaces. Although Hollander does not yet have an alternative location in mind, which the Board would take into consideration if a request to transfer the meter was submitted, it was able to find the meter transferable, due to compelling health and safety reasons.

--  Kayfetz/Bertsch        four ayes, Siedman absent        to find the water connection at 3 Spring Road transferable

10.  Request for Variance on Schedule for Meter Transfer:  Smith/Mickelson
      project location:  38 Ocean / 191 Poplar

--  Amoroso/Kayfetz     four ayes, Siedman absent        to grant the Smith/Mickelson request to approve the Request for Variance, extending the time to complete the meter transfer to May, 2004.

11.  Road Survey Project:  revised proposal

The revised proposal was not available but Andy Blake indicated that it would cost about $28,000 over five years. An initial $3,000 would pay for the recording and mapping of the existing monuments. The proposal was referred to the Road Improvement Committee and continued to next month.

12.  Proposal To Increase BCPUD Directors Pay

Directors have been paid $125 a month since the 1970s. Nancy McDonald observed that the economic climate has changed since then and that people are less able to give their time. She suggested that more people might run for election if there were higher compensation. Director Kayfetz objected strongly, saying that it would be inappropriate, since the school was having such a hard time. Most districts pay per meeting rather than per month. Director Bertsch said she would be happier if she were not losing income when she attends District meetings during her working hours. $125 per regular meeting and $50 per committee meeting, with a limit of two additional meetings per month was suggested.

--  Amoroso/Bertsch        three ayes, Kayfetz opposed, Siedman absent        to proceed with the ordinance process to modify the existing ordinance on directors’ pay

13.  Other Business

a.    Committee Reports

-- Alternative Energy:

A copy of “Small is Profitable” is available at the office for review. Bob Gold reported that the District cannot qualify for the buydown on the wind generator because it doesn't consume enough power and cannot hook up with other consumers such as Commonweal or the Park Service. He invited directors to take a tour of a wind generation facility at Rio Vista, where there is more wind and permitting is already in place, with the idea of doing a project there, selling the power and using the income to offset District utility bills. He is currently exploring hydrogen and fuel cell production options.

-- Finance:  3rd quarter financial report; 2003-04 budget process

The Board received the 3rd quarter financial report.

The draft budget will be mailed out to owners and tenants prior to the public hearing on the budget, scheduled for next month.

-- Legal:

Director Kayfetz signed and then asked staff to handle a number of documents regarding the Orrick v. BCPUD case that need to be filed on a certain schedule. He directed Manager Buchanan to check with counsel Kip Edwards and to make sure Richard Harris pays the District before releasing the documents. Edwards has billed the District, presumably for accounting reasons, since Harris is supposed to be paying him. Director Amoroso suggested staff consult Kayfetz with any questions.

-- Amoroso/Bertsch        four ayes, Siedman absent        to authorize Director Kayfetz to sign the legal documents

-- Mesa Septic, Roads and Drainage:  SepTAC policy update

Septic, roads and drainage were discussed in items 5 and 6. There was no further discussion of the SepTAC policy update.

-- Operations: No report

-- Park and Recreation:  Mesa Park:  Grant Disbursement Request

Mesa Park has submitted a written request for the release of the skateboard park grant advance. Director Amoroso reported that he had attended a lively Mesa Park meeting where relocating the skatepark and removing the adult baseball field were discussed.

--  Amoroso/Kayfetz     four ayes, Siedman absent        to release the grant funds

Mark Fraser has asked to purchase water to fill the storage tanks and to irrigate the playing fields simultaneously. The District’s storage tanks are full and the dam is spilling.

--  Kayfetz/Bertsch        four ayes, Siedman absent        to allow Mesa Park to fill its tanks and irrigate the fields for 48 hours, “in the public interest.”

-- Personnel:

Director Bertsch, as representative of the Personnel Committee reported that the employees had presented a request for a 3% increase in hourly rates, a 1% increase in the District’s deferred compensation contribution, to continue the District’s reimbursement for the additional co-pay resulting from the switch to a less expensive Kaiser plan in January, and to give Maintenance Operator Seth Kline the option of reducing his work week to 36 hours. The Personnel Committee had agreed to all the requests. Director Amoroso said he saw the employee requests as only the first stage in negotiations and recommended a counter offer.

--  Amoroso/Bertsch        four ayes, Siedman absent         to make a counter offer of a 3% total increase, divided  as the employees wish, and to accept the health and work week requests.

Director Amoroso suggested that if the employees don’t accept the 3% offer then the District might  withdraw the health cost co-pay, while accepting the work week provision.

-- Sewer:  Resource Recovery Project; Community Paths Group

The Resource Recovery Project’s permit application is moving forward. The Community Paths Group was not discussed.

-- Solid Waste:  No report.

b.    Minutes of April 16, 2003 Meeting

--  Bertsch/Amoroso         four ayes, Siedman absent        to approve the minutes of April 16, 2003 meeting

c.    Warrants

--  Bertsch/Amoroso         four ayes, Siedman absent        to approve warrants

d.    Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

June 18, 2003

14.    Adjournment

11:28 p.m.