Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
January 18, 2012 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order.
7: 32 p.m.
Directors Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project
Staff reported that the County’s Department of Public Works is reviewing
the most recent proposal from Sanders & Associates Geotechnical Engineers
(“SAGE”) for a second phase of geotechnical investigation work to be
done to complete the assessment of subsurface conditions at Surfer’s Overlook.
The BCPUD, the Bolinas Fire Protection District and the County hope to meet
again to discuss the project and next steps by the end of the month.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to a report in the binders forwarded
from the County Department of Public Works confirming that there had been
no contamination at the Mesa Park soccer field as a result of the use of
the field as a spoils disposal site during the Terrace Avenue Slide Repair
-- Update on Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project
Per the requirements of the loan agreement, staff is working on selecting
a fiscal agent to administer the district’s loan repayments following completion
of the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project. Unfortunately,
the district’s regular outside bank, the Bank of Marin, is not able to provide
these services, so staff is gathering information about the services provided
by three other banks.
-- Update on the Wharf Road Service Saddle Replacement
The district’s outside engineers have completed the initial plans and specifications
for this project and staff have reviewed the plans, walked the project site,
and submitted comments back to the engineers. In connection with this
project, the district also needs to video-inspect the condition of the sewer
laterals in the section of the road to be paved by the County this summer
and a letter to affected customers will be mailed next week. Director
Amoroso offered comments on the draft letter. Finally, staff reported
that the district’s engineers considered director Smith’s suggestion of extension
piping for the water service laterals located in the vicinity of the County’s
seawall under Wharf Road, but concluded that such piping will double the
cost of affected service replacements, so staff recommends against the piping.
There was no objection from the Board.
-- Update on the Bolinas Fire Fuel Reduction Project (BCPUD Sewer Pond Property)
Staff reported that the fire fuel reduction project officially was completed
on January 12,
2012. The Conservation Corps North Bay interviewed Chief Operator Bill
Pierce and published an article about the project in its newsletter; a copy
of the newsletter and accompanying photos are in the Board binders.
-- Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade
The district’s outside electrical engineer is putting the finishing touches
on the plans and specifications for this project and has provided the names
of three qualified firms specializing in the construction of the control
panels needed for this project for the district to include on the list of
potential bidders for the project.
On the water side of operations, staff reported that consumption downtown
during the quarter ending December 31, 2011 was down again as compared to
this time the previous year. Staff noted that overall consumption for
2011 is the lowest on record for the past six years; the only “downside”
for the district is that water sales for the year were just under $100,000
as compared to $122,000 in 2010.
Taken together, the low rate of consumption in 2011 and the extended rainy
season last spring meant that the district was never required to use its
emergency stored water supply (i.e., reservoir water) during 2011.
Consumption also was quite steady during 2011 so that the district’s operators
did not have to cope with big spikes in consumption or major swings in chlorine.
Staff is investigating whether these facts were instrumental in the district
being in compliance with the maximum contaminant levels of chlorine disinfection
byproducts during most of 2011. Lewie Likover has been tasked with
evaluating data and exploring whether operational changes could permanently
resolve this problem. Staff also is evaluating whether a pre-filtration
settling basin might be beneficial when the district is using reservoir water
to let the organics settle out more before treatment.
Staff reported that Joanna Haigood and Wayne Campbell at 410 Yucca
Road experienced an unexplained spike in water use at this property
over the summer, resulting in a high bill. Although the situation does
not technically meet the criteria for financial relief due to the unknown
reasons for the water loss, staff agreed to present the matter to the Board
to inquire if the Board is willing to consider some relief. After a
brief discussion, the Board agreed to consider the situation as an agendized
item at a future meeting.
Staff reminded the Board that the Schmidts at 160 Overlook are no longer
willing to provide access to the Lowe meter so the district needs to relocate
the Lowe meter from the back of the property to an appropriate location on
Terrace Avenue. Now that the slide repair is nearly complete, staff
is planning for this project and will send a letter to the Lowes to provide
them time to connect their water service to the new meter location.
On the wastewater side of operations, the district is preparing the spray
fields for the rainy season; rainfall has been quite a bit below normal
this year thus far. Staff reported that the Bolinas Museum is planning
to run a photo exhibit about the district’s wastewater treatment facility,
including some materials from Peter Warshall, who designed the ponds.
Staff will provide more information as it becomes available.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular
meeting of the Board, including a request from the Marin County Grand Jury
for financial information about the district and a Public Records Act request
for compensation information pertaining to the district’s Board members and
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.
4. Community Expression.
Director Siedman noted that there was a request from Matt Lewis in the Board
books seeking to amend the minutes of the November 16, 2011 regular meeting.
Director Siedman suggested that the request be agendized for the February
meeting; there was no objection.
Bob Ekedahl commented that he has lived in Bolinas for 40 years and he is
very impressed with all that the district is doing on behalf of the community.
5. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill
pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 410 Ocean Parkway (Benson).
Director Siedman noted that the Bensons submitted a letter dated January
5, 2012 concerning the bill they received for $1200 and asked if they were
present to address the Board. Mrs. Benson said that the family has
owned their house in Bolinas since the 1930’s but it needs a huge amount
of work and no one has been actively living there for more than 10 years;
she said the historical records will show no water use at all during that
time period and she explained that they always turn off the water at the
meter if they ever visit the home. The Bensons believe that someone
turned on the water at the meter, resulting in the high water use.
Mr. Benson since has placed a padlock on the meter to prevent that from happening
again. Director Amoroso said the district should forgive the water
bill as this seems to be a case of water theft. After a brief discussion,
the other Board members concurred.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith all in favor
to forgive the entire amount of the bill attributable to the water loss,
based on the historical three-year average consumption at the property for
the same quarter.
6. Second Notice of Non-Compliance – Expanded Water Use
Permit #31, 77 Crescente (C. Post).
Chip Post appeared before the Board and explained that he has a plan to reduce
water consumption at his property that he believes will be effective.
He explained that he planted fescue grass in the yard last summer and used
more water than usual. He plans to install water storage tanks and
a cistern at the property as soon as possible for landscape watering and
believes this will enable him to comply with his permit limit on water use.
After a brief discussion, the Board agreed to continue the matter for another
quarter and directed staff to monitor consumption at the property on a monthly
7. Request for Letter from BCPUD in Support of the County
of Marin’s Tentative Notice of Violation re: the Dedication of APN 188-170-44
(entirety of Schipper Lane) for Roadway Purposes and Not a Separate Legal
Lot of Record. (B.G. Bates).
Staff reported that the district’s answering service received a message from
Mr. Chiorean, the owner of APN 188-170-44, in which Mr. Chiorean stated that
he does not wish the Board to discuss this item in his absence. Director
Siedman noted this message for the record.
B.G. Bates, a nearby property owner, explained that in 1966 APN 188-170-44
was dedicated as a roadway. Ownership of the parcel changed hands over
the years and the parcel was put up for sale on EBay in 2011, which is where
Mr. Chiorean acquired the property. B.G. explained that she uses this
parcel, which is known as Schipper Lane, every day to access her property
and it is her only means of access; it is also a means of access for several
other property owners in the area. She said that Mr. Chiorean has put
up “no trespassing” and “keep off the grass” signs and is trying to develop
the parcel to whatever extent he can. She noted that the BCPUD has
an easement across Schipper Lane and requested that the BCPUD submit a letter
in support of the County’s tentative notice of violation, which essentially
finds that the parcel is a roadway and not a separate legal lot of record.
President Siedman explained that the district generally conveys public comment
on matters pending before the County rather than take a position on the issue
itself. After a brief discussion, the Board directed staff to submit
a letter to the County conveying the public comment in support of the tentative
notice of violation and noting the BCPUD’s easement on the subject property.
8. Approve Removal of Acacia Trees on the West Side of
the Juniper Right-of-Way near Ocean Parkway (BCPUD Staff Request in Connection
with Relocation of Fire Hydrant).
Staff reported that the fire hydrant located on Juniper Road near Ocean Parkway
needs to be relocated due to the eroding bluff near Ocean Parkway.
Staff currently plans to relocate the hydrant on the west side of Juniper
Road, which will require the removal of a cluster of acacia trees.
Pacific Slope Tree Company estimates the tree removal will require approximately
one day of work by a full crew, or approximately $3,000.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve the removal of the acacia trees at BCPUD expense in connection with
the fire hydrant relocation project.
9. Accept Offer of Sale or Donation of Real Property, APN
190-231-08 (near Nymph and Elm Roads) (D. Houghton).
Staff reported that Delores Houghton would like to sell or donate a parcel
of undeveloped property to the district. She inquired whether the district
would pay for the land and staff told her no, but that the Board may be willing
to approve a donation. The Board discussed the matter and asked that
staff inspect the property to ensure that it was in an acceptable condition
(i.e., undeveloped land with no improvements).
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball all in favor to
accept the donation of real property, subject to staff inspection to ensure
the property is undeveloped and has no improvements.
10. Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom
Project: Approve Deed Restriction on BCPUD Lands; Approve Letter Requesting
Amendment of Grant Contract and Revised Project Budget; Approve License for
Use of Irrigation Well.
Director Siedman noted that the state is requiring as a condition of the
grant funding that the BCPUD approve a deed restriction on the Mesa Park
property to ensure it will remain dedicated to the recreational uses to be
funded – i.e., improved ballfields and public restrooms.
K. Bender/D. Smith all in favor
to approve deed restriction on Mesa Park property.
Director Siedman reported that he was advised by Bryan Lee that the Mesa
Park Board has approved a revised budget for the project, which is in the
Board binders. Discussion ensued concerning whether Mesa Park itself
would be providing construction management services, whether documentation
has been submitted regarding the $55,000 in-field restoration work performed
by Magiorra & Ghilotti, and whether the sewer lift station at the Firehouse
& Clinic building can count as “match” under the grant since there are
multiple users. Staff was directed to confirm these details.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor
to approve the revised budget, subject to staff
confirmation of budget details and granting staff discretion to make budget
adjustments based on eligibility of proposed matching funds.
Director Siedman noted that the Board also needs to approve the license agreement
for Mesa Park’s use of the irrigation well. Directors Smith and Kimball
offered small clarifying revisions concerning the average daily use of water
allowed under the license and Director Amoroso requested that staff send
a copy of the approved license to Bob Cart.
K. Bender/D. Smith all in favor
to approve the license agreement for use of the irrigation
11. BCPUD Comments on Draft Local Coastal Plan Update re: Shoreline
Director Smith explained that he has concerns about some of the proposed
provisions in the draft Local Coastal Plan update document concerning shoreline
protection structures. For example, the Planning staff is proposing
a 20-year permit limit on such structures notwithstanding the fact that they
are designed for a 100-year lifespan, which does not make sense. Director
Amoroso noted that such a limited permit life may discourage private citizens
from investing in such projects and that concept should be reflected in the
district’s comments. Cela O’Connor speculated that the Planning staff
may have structures such as the Seadrift Revetment in mind given the amount
of maintenance needed for that structure. Discussion ensued about the
soil-nail and sculpted shotcrete wall that is envisioned to stabilize Terrace
Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook which is quite different than the Seadrift revetment;
director Smith said the permit life span should be decided on a case-by-case
basis, depending on the type of shoreline protection structure and should
be commensurate with the engineered life of the structure. Staff was
directed to send a letter to the Planning Commission reflecting the Board’s
12. Approve Budget Schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal Year
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor
to approve the budget schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal
Year 2012-13 Budget
13. Election of BCPUD Board Officers/Committee Assignments.
K. Bender/D. Smith all in favor
to approve the existing slate of Board officers and committee assignments.
14. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso reported
that the committee will next meet on February 3, 2012.
-- Community Path Update: Director Kimball stated that she included
a written financial report on the path and copies are in the Board binders.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Director Siedman reported that he and director
Smith are planning to attend the upcoming Resource Recovery committee meeting
to discuss the project’s role as an enterprise of the BCPUD and define operational
responsibilities given the BCPUD’s oversight role and ownership of the property
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating
Council had a “meet and greet” meeting earlier today with the new Marin/Sonoma
Mosquito & Vector Control District General Manager Phil Smith, who is
pleased to work with the council and honor the non-toxic protocol in West
15. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Nothing to report.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman noted that the district received
an e-mail from Bryan Lee with Mesa Park inquiring whether the district will
consider a reduced water rate for the Downtown Park given the public facilities
to be provided. Discussion ensued about the anticipated reduction in
restroom use at the Bolinas Community Center once the Downtown Park bathrooms
are open and about the planned cleaning and maintenance of those bathrooms.
Director Siedman agreed to inquire with the County about the financial support
it is giving to other public restrooms in unincorporated Marin, including
those in Point Reyes Station.
-- Personnel: Director Siedman stated that he and director Kimball
are evaluating the district’s employee health care plan and potential options
for cost reductions. Staff reported that staff would like to negotiate
wages for fiscal year 2012-13 per the district/staff Memorandum of Understanding.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the December 21, 2011 Regular Meeting
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to
approve the minutes of the December 21, 2011.Regular Meeting
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
February 15, 2012