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

September 17, 2003       270 Elm Road, Bolinas

1.  Call to Order                

    8:00  p.m.

2.  Roll

    Directors Amoroso, Bertsch,  McClellan and Siedman present
    Director McClellan presiding
    Director Kayfetz arrived at 8:13 p.m.

3.  Manager’s Report

The Evergreen/Alder project is now complete. The work was needed to install a new 10” line valve and steamer hydrant near Mesa Road, and to complete the connection at Alder with the 6” line constructed between Overlook and Evergreen 2 years ago.

The office photocopier is failing.  There were no objections to the purchase of a used Canon model 210S, with a 12 month service and supplies contract.  

Excavation of the Arroyo Hondo upper dam is scheduled for the week of September 29, 2003.  The dam has not been cleaned out since 1998 and more than half of its capacity has been lost from the annual accumulation of silt and gravel.

An informal local group of interested citizens has secured grant funds to construct a fence on the District’s Pine Gulch Creek property to keep cattle out.   There were no objections to Staff’s preparation of a letter of agreement to be signed by the project participants, indemnifying and holding harmless BCPUD from any liability or claims that may arise as a result of the project.

The ACWA Joint Powers Insurance Authority will conduct an Illness and Injury Prevention Seminar at the District office October 23, 2003, at 1 p.m.  The seminar is open to employees from other JPIA member agencies.

The Fall issue of BPUD Pipeline is nearly ready for distribution to customers.   Comments and suggestions from the Board are invited until Monday, September 22.

4.  Community Expression

Jerry Bo Jeste reported on the Marin County Sheriff’s removal, with no advance notice, of one of his automobiles.  Bo Jeste confronted the deputy, who was standing by during the tow operation, pointing out to him that the car was not an abandoned vehicle, that it was lawfully parked out of the traveled portion of the right-of-way, and adjacent to his property.  Despite his protestations, the car was towed.  Staff will report Bo Jeste’s complaint to the Marin County Sheriff, and request that his department send a representative to the October meeting to discuss the vehicle towing program.

Andy Blake asked that the Board move item 14 up on the agenda.  Director Amoroso indicated there were too many items on the agenda to accommodate Blake’s request.

Elia Haworth described recent work done on the Finkelstein property and adjacent right-of-way that appears to violate conditions of the owner’s coastal permit.  Staff will write a letter to Marin County Senior Planner Ben Berto, asking him to visit the site. 

Director Amoroso, expressing an interest in attending the Ad Hoc Drainage Committee meetings,  asked if the Brown Act permits a majority of directors to attend such meetings There were no objections to contacting County Counsel for clarification.  Amoroso observed that the first two meetings of the committee did not meet the act’s notice requirements and suggested that future meetings should do so. 

The Board received a copy of a letter to Supervisor Kinsey complaining about speeding traffic downtown and requesting placement of a stop sign at the Wharf and Brighton intersection.

5.  Downtown Parking and Traffic Committee:  appointments; calendar; agenda

-- Amoroso/Bertsch      all in favor      to appoint Howard Dillon, Stacey Henderson, Jennifer   Blackman, Vic Amoroso and Joan Bertsch to the re-formed Downtown Parking and Traffic Committee, and to leave membership on the committee open to additional applicants.
Director Bertsch will arrange the initial meeting.  

Following the vote on the motion, Joel Braverman volunteered for the committee on behalf of the Bolinas Community Center, and Leo Kostelnik (represented by his wife Megan)  and Joan Kopfer also asked to be added to the committee.
    The Bolinas Fire Protection District has asked to be kept apprised of committee recommendations.

6.  Resolution 173, §6, Expanded Water Use:  evaluation of applicability to
    46 Wharf Road – Coast Café

    The Board and members of the audience, including the café owner, David Liebenstein, participated in a discussion about the scope of the business and its structural renovations since Liebenstein purchased the property in 1998, the key question being whether there have been changes made during that period that should have triggered either use and/or building permit processes by County of Marin.  

    Liebenstein stated that he obtained building permits for work done in the restaurant’s kitchen. Director Kayfetz noted that the number of seats in the main dining room, on the side patio and in front of the restaurant far exceed the level that requires a use permit.  He also noted a major increase in water use since Liebenstein purchased the property.

    Susannah Mills asserted that there is a feeling among townspeople that Liebenstein is pushing the boundaries.  Liebenstein defended the growth in the scope of his establishment’s operations by saying that he has a lot of people on the payroll and he needs to cast a wider net if he is to generate the business to continue employing these local people.  To the suggestion that he has failed to establish off-street parking for employees and customers on the lot he owns across the street, he told the Board that they were opposed to his turning that lot into off-street parking.   He also stated that he has never advertised his business over the hill.

Director McClellan, who earlier had stated his distaste for the current enquiry, since the Board usually initiates such a process only in response to official notification by County of Marin, explained to Liebenstein that the District now knows by Liebenstein’s own testimony that he has made changes to his property that would require a use and/or building permit. 

    Kayfetz/Bertsch       3 ayes, McClellan opposed, Amoroso abstaining         to require application for an Expanded Water Use Permit, and that it be submitted by the October meeting.
7.  Mesa Park:  water reclamation project; proposed sewer hookup; lot line adjustment

    After Director Siedman reported briefly on the current status of the project,  Director Kayfetz expressed concern about projected operations and maintenance costs.  Siedman, noting that the participating agencies will provide the money, and reiterating that Mesa Park will not go forward with the project until construction, operation and maintenance financing is firm, urged everyone to let the financial issues work themselves out.   Kayfetz argued that the Board can’t wait until the project has unstoppable momentum to raise its concerns, and Director Amoroso voiced his fear that the District’s sewer customers might be left to pick up the tab for higher than expected operations and maintenance costs.  

Mesa Park Commissioner Blake stated that each of the participating agencies will pay for its own use of the facilities.  Kayfetz repeated his concern regarding the estimated $60,000 annual operations and maintenance cost.   Siedman and Blake, while not conceding that it will cost that much, emphasized that the project will not go forward unless the financing of ongoing costs is secure, and suggested that those details should be handled by the project planners.  Director Amoroso asked Siedman and Blake directly if they were assuring the Board that BCPUD will not be liable for any costs associated with the project.  Blake stated that seeking contributory funding from BCPUD is definitely not their intent.

    The Bolinas Fire Protection District has requested a lot line adjustment, needed to accommodate the proposed medical clinic location.  The adjustment would transfer to the Fire District a 15 foot strip running between the firehouse and the soccer field.  The adjustment would be contingent upon the project being built.   Kayfetz indicated it would be preferable for there to be an exchange of land or other acceptable trade off.  Staff will request a legal opinion from County Counsel on whether the requested adjustment, absent consideration, would constitute a gift of public funds.

    -- Amoroso/Kayfetz      all in favor       to send a letter, as amended, to the Regional Water Quality Control Board informing them that, pending Region’s approval of the Title 22 Recycled Water Use Project, the Board intends to approve a sewerage lift station and direct connection to the treatment facility for the proposed complex.
8.  Ad Hoc Committee On Mesa Drainage:  establishing sight lines along Larch Road right of way from Overlook to Evergreen; pilot project implementation; purchase of laser level
    Committee Chair Andrew Blake described the proposed pilot project, noting that this initiative is taking shape now because of the SepTAC process and mounting pressure from County of Marin to address failing septic systems, stated that improving drainage in the Larch Road right-of-way between Overlook and Evergreen is a good place to start and the pilot project seeks to restore drainage in that area to its condition before the road grid blocked the natural flow.  The finished pilot project will provide a benchmark for homeowners who want to improve their own drainage and be confident that they are trenching and installing driveway culverts to the proper elevations.

    The committee has proposed mowing the right of way to better establish elevations, and installing five culverts.  Blake stressed that the work needs to be done soon or it will have to wait until next summer.  Director McClellan pointed out that the ditch being proposed for Larch Road will be no more than 18 inches deep and 6 feet wide and eventually will be overgrown.
    Following these remarks, there was a lengthy discussion regarding the proposed work within the Larch swale, and the potential for negative downstream effects.  Several people in the audience expressed concern about mowing and ditching in the right of way.   The need to  protect plants, animal habitat and wetlands was emphasized by several speakers.  As counterpoint, Stacey Henderson argued that it is necessary to improve the drainage to help control the mosquito problem.    
    [Director Kayfetz left the meeting at 10:20 p.m.]

    There was considerable opposition to mowing, despite repeated statements from committee members that mowing is needed to establish proper elevations for proposed drainage improvements.  Don Smith suggested waiting until winter when the ground is saturated to determine where the low spots are.  Charles Weismiller observed that, if the road grid is what is blocking the flow, putting in the culverts under the cross streets at the correct elevations should be all that is required to correct the problem.   Bob Demmerle expressed opposition to installation of culverts under Aspen, Birch and Cedar, suggesting that simple trenching across the right of way would be better, with light wooden bridges for foot traffic.

    Curt Willig stated a concern about the effects west of Evergreen after the flow is improved between Overlook and Evergreen.  Blake contended that the water moves just fine between Evergreen and Hawthorne.

    Director Amoroso suggested installing the Dogwood and Evergreen culverts this fall.  Then, this winter, when the groundwater level reaches its peak, complete the  survey recommended by Don Smith to determine the obvious obstructions, and proceed accordingly next year.  Director Bertsch indicated she could go agree to Amoroso’s proposed compromise, although she suggested it would still be necessary to clear the swale between Dogwood and Evergreen.  Weismiller opposed this idea and Bertsch asked him to join the committee.  Weismiller consented.

    Amoroso/Siedman       4 ayes, Kayfetz absent          to begin the pilot project by installing culverts under Dogwood and Evergreen, before the wet season,  with no mowing this fall and clearing only as necessary to install the two culverts, followed by an evaluation of this initial phase before continuing with further work.

    Amoroso/Siedman       4 ayes, Kayfetz absent      to purchase an optical level.

    Item continued to the regular meeting in October.
9.  California Independent System Operator’s Identification of Bolinas As Potential Site For Gas-Powered “Peaker” Electrical Generation Plant (Dogtown Substation)

    In January, 2003, the Independent System Operator wrote the California Power Authority, discussing various reliability-challenged areas around California where so-called peaker electrical generation plants might be appropriate.  Bolinas was one of the sites mentioned.     

Siedman/Bertsch       4 ayes, Kayfetz absent       to send a letter to the California Independent System Operator, referencing the January, 2003 letter, indicating the proposal was discussed at the meeting and that the Board is opposed to the idea.  The letter will urge the ISO in the strongest possible terms to remove Bolinas from the list of reliability challenged areas. 

Amoroso/Siedman       4 ayes, Kayfetz absent       to approve Resolution 493, supporting the County of Marin’s application for California Public Utility Commission funding under the Energy Efficiency Program and the County’s designation as a Community Choice Aggregator

10.    Complaint Regarding Cleanup Status At 315 Hawthorne:  Bass

    The complainant is the next door neighbor.  In the letter she requested BCPUD to perform a   site inspection but Marin County Environmental Health Services performed its own inspection the day before the meeting.   No action was taken.

11.  Mosquito Abatement

    Stacey Henderson, the District’s community liaison for mosquito and vector control, recommended that screens be installed on  the windows of the BPUD office, and for people to use them at their houses, too.   Henderson wants to urge homeowners to seal their septic systems as recommended by the Marin Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District. Director Bertsch suggested that Henderson approach the Disaster Council for help with distribution of Henderson’s mosquito abatement brochures.  Cela O’Connor recommended Bolinas joining the Mosquito Abatement and Vector Control District at a cost of $15 per parcel.

    Staff will discuss with the sewerage treatment plant operator periodic monitoring of the ponds for mosquito larvae and the possibility of using mosquito fish where appropriate.  

12.  Visibility Obstructions at Overlook and Poplar:  responses to 8/27/03 BCPUD letter

         Dan Riesenfeld, the owner of the property at the corner of Overlook and Poplar, responded to the District’s letter by sending a copy of a letter he wrote to Marin County Public Works Director Farhad Mansourian, telling him that a large eucalyptus growing in the right of way needs to be removed, and that something should be done to slow traffic on Overlook. No action was taken.

13.  Contract Award:  270 Elm Road Exterior Painting Project

  Amoroso/Bertsch       4 ayes, Kayfetz absent      to approve Resolution 494, awarding a $26,000 contract to James Vest Painting.

14.  Proposed Date(s) for Meet-The-Candidates Night(s)

    Amoroso/Bertsch       4 ayes, Kayfetz absent       to approve the following: Candidates Night to be October 22, with an optional night on the 29th.  Phil Buchanan will moderate.   Each candidate will have 3 minutes for an opening statement.   Then, audience questions will be taken, with 3 minutes allotted to the candidate who is asked the question and 1 minute for other candidates who want to respond.   After the audience question period, the  candidates can ask each other 1 question apiece.   To conclude, each candidate will have  3 minutes for a closing statement.  The meeting will be limited to 2 ½ hours.  If people don’t have time to ask their questions within the 2 ½ hour limit, the second night can be scheduled.

15.  Bid Award:  1988 Toyota pickup

Siedman/Bertsch      4 ayes, Kayfetz absent        to sell the truck to the lone bidder, Andrew Lopas, for $200.

16.  Other Business

a.  Committee Reports

      -- Alternative Energy:  report on September 10 meeting

The committee met to discuss the ISO peaker plant proposal and the Energy Efficiency and Community Choice programs.  

      -- Finance:  Draft Audit

--Amoroso/Siedman        4 ayes, Kayfetz absent       to approve audit

      -- Mesa Septic, Roads and Drainage:

Andy Blake reported that the Marin County Public works road survey proposal is now budgeted at $30,200.  The revised contract proposal is to be mailed soon.

      -- Personnel:  temporary hire proposal
        There were no objections to hiring Stephanie Hammerman on a temporary, part-time basis    
      as administrative assistant.

  b.  Minutes of August 20, 2003 Meeting

       -- Bertsch/Amoroso       4 ayes, Kayfetz absent       to approve minutes.

c.  Warrants

      -- Amoroso/Siedman       4 ayes, Kayfetz absent      to approve warrants.

d.  Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)

     October 15 for the regular meeting and October 22 for candidates’ night.

17.  Adjournment

       12:32 a.m.