Public Utility District
Meeting Of The Board Of Directors
January 21, 2009 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Report on January 7, 2009 Closed Session of the BCPUD
Board of Directors.
A closed session of the Board was held on January 7th to confer with legal
counsel regarding potential litigation; at this time, the Board has taken
4. Manager’s Report.
Director Kimball said she would like to raise a procedural question about
agenda item 12, which includes a discussion of a draft water rationing ordinance;
based on her discussions of earlier in the day with the district’s Chief
Operator, director Kimball is concerned that this item may need urgent action.
Staff confirmed that although staff had hoped it would be possible to defer
implementing mandatory rationing until the February Board meeting (which
is why it was listed on the January agenda as a discussion item only), current
data indicates the district should not wait to do so. Staff recommended
that the Board schedule a special meeting in the near future to pass a mandatory
rationing measure. Director Siedman said the Board will act on this
recommendation during item 12.
Staff reported that the district’s current low water
supply is extremely serious. Based on a staff report prepared by the district’s
Chief Operator, staff recommends that the Board enact a mandatory conservation
program as soon as possible, including rationing of water. Although
water consumption was lower in the most recent quarter (ending in December)
than at the same time last year, consumption began to creep up alarming
during January, which has been unusually dry and warm. At present,
consumption is outpacing the district’s ability to supply water. Staff
directed the Board’s attention to a document in the binders which identifies
the district’s highest water users; specifically, the document lists
those customers (by account number only) using more than 4000 cubic feet
of water per quarter. Originally, staff had contemplated recommending
a water conservation program for the district to focus on reducing the consumption
of these highest users only – however, the supply situation has become so
challenging that staff now believes that only a mandatory rationing program
will suffice to get the district through the year.
In other operational news, staff noted that three non-compliance
notices were issued last month to customers in violation of the terms of
their expanded water use permits. The district’s generator at the Woodrat
Water Treatment Plant, which had been damaged due to rat infestation, has
been repaired and is now operational; unfortunately, this was an unbudgeted
Staff attended a meeting co-hosted by the State Water
Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) and the California Department of Public
Health (“CDPH”) last week in Santa Rosa to preview the anticipated economic
stimulus bill currently pending in Congress and its impact on water and
wastewater projects. Attendance was quite high from agency representatives
throughout the North Bay. SWRCB and CDPH told attendees that hundreds
of millions of dollars are expected to be designated for California projects
in the stimulus bill; SWRCB and CDPH intend to disburse the federal monies
via their existing loan programs. As such, the money will not come
to local agencies in the form of grants, but rather in the form of low interest
loans. Although the loans are expect to have very low interest rates,
for small agencies this was not welcome news as many cannot absorb significant
increases to their long term debt levels. SWRCB and CDPH emphasized
that federal authorities view the stimulus bill as a job stimulus program,
top priority will be given to projects that can get underway immediately
(i.e. those that are “shovel ready”), or within 60 days of funding.
The district’s insurance representative from ACWA/JPIA
conducted a site visit on January 9, 2009 to inspect the district’s solar
arrays and recreational bike path; this visit went well and the district’s
representative was highly complimentary of the new facilities.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to several items
in the meeting binders, including but not limited to an update on the status
of the National Park Service’s acquisition of the district’s Pine Gulch
Creek property and a request from a group affiliated with RDI/Commonweal
to initiate a garden project at the back of the BCPUD property at 270 Elm
Road. The group envisions this as a volunteer effort to showcase
water catchment and sustainable gardening practices. Staff will include
the request on the Board’s February meeting agenda.
Director McClellan inquired about a rumor he had heard
that the County was stepping up its enforcement activities in Bolinas.
Staff reported placing a call to the Environmental Health Service department
to inquire about the rumor; EHS staff said that discussions were underway
between the various departments within the Community Development Agency
(EHS, Planning and Building) to more tightly coordinate their activities
-- historically, these departments have worked quite independently from
each other and did not cross-refer enforcement activities. Director
McClellan said that there could be negative repercussions from this in that
local residents typically can work with EHS to resolve septic issues, for
example, but local willingness to work with EHS may evaporate if EHS suddenly
starts reporting suspected building and zoning violations to the Building
and Planning Departments.
-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility
of the BCPUD Building.
Staff reported that the district’s building permit to remodel its interior
and exterior office space to comply with disability access requirements
has been approved; $1,865.11 in permit fees are remaining to be paid
and the permit will be valid until August 21, 2009.
-- Update on the BCPUD’s Application for Proposition 84 Grant Funds
(in partnership with the County of Marin and the National Park Service)
for Projects to Enhance the Duxbury Reef Area of Special Biological Significance(“ASBS”)
The district’s application for Proposition 84 grant funds, which it submitted
in partnership with the County of Marin and National Park Service) for water
quality improvement projects for Duxbury Reef has been recommended for funding
by SWRCB staff. At present, the SWRCB is scheduled to meet on January
20, 2009 to evaluate the staff funding recommendations.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report
Nothing to report.
5. Community Expression.
Jennie Pfeiffer inquired whether one of the district’s
building tenants may be using rat poison; an extremely bad odor emanating
from under the bathroom near the Hearsay offices appears to be from a dead
rat. Director McClellan said any use of rat poison should be prohibited
and district tenants should be instructed not to use rat poison.
Director Siedman said the district has an obligation to provide a rodent-free
premises to its tenants; if necessary, appropriate personnel should
be retained to eliminate any rat problem.
6. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water
Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553)
– 30 Terrace Avenue (Rippe).
Bob Rippe told the Board that he experienced a
water leak in one of the toilets his family does not generally use;
he did not realize they had a leak until he received the quarterly water bill.
Once the leak was identified, the toilet valve was turned off immediately.
In response to questions from the Board, Bob said that the toilet is a 1927
toilet that is not a low flow model; he said the landlord does not
want to replace the toilet, so a plumber has been hired to located the necessary
parts to fix the toilet. Director Kimball noted that the Board has
evaluated several prior requests for financial relief due to toilet leaks;
in most cases, the district has granted a reduction of 25% over the historic
average use. Director Smith said that district has granted a reduction
of 50% over the historical average use in a hardship situation.
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball all in favor
to reduce the quarterly water bill by 25% of the amount by which the cubic
foot usage exceeds the historical average for the same billing period.
7. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water
Bill due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553)
– 415 Yucca Road (Elliott).
Judith Elliott acknowledged that she was appealing to
the Board a second time for financial relief; discussion ensued about
historic high water usage at the property and uncertainty as to whether
a leak actually exists. The Board determined that the matter should
be continued until staff can investigate and report back to the Board.
8. Coastal Permit and Second Unit Amnesty Permit (SA
09-24); Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 230 Alder Drive (Johnson).
Dale Johnson explained that she is trying to legalize
a second unit on her property; she was advised to apply for a permit
under the second unit amnesty program by County representatives who had
come to her property to investigate a complaint. Discussion ensued
between Board members about the expanded water use permit language in paragraph
6 of Resolution 173 in light of the current water supply shortage.
Director Amoroso said he does not want to delay the applicant’s permit application,
but he would like staff to review its files to ensure that the Board is
proceeding in accordance with past practice on second unit applications.
J. McClellan/B. Kimball four in favor, Amoroso opposed
to grant a conditional expanded water use permit based on the historical
quarterly water usage at the property, plus 50% or 500 cubic feet per quarter,
whichever is less.
9. Approve Revised Lease Agreement for Agricultural Use of
BCPUD Sewer Pond Property.
Director Siedman said that the Board has a revised lease
agreement before it, with changes highlighted to allow certain additional
agricultural activities and a second herd of goats for clearing brush.
In response to a question from director Amoroso, Alethea Patton (on behalf
of the lessees) confirmed that no district water will be used in connection
with the agricultural activities.
J. McClellan/B. Kimball all in favor
to approve the revises lease agreement.
10. Report on Local Coastal Plan Update Process:
Approve BCPUD comments. (Note: A Community Meeting on the Local Coastal
Plan Update Process is Scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on January 28, 2009 at the
Bolinas Firehouse & Clinic Building.)
David Kimball presented an “issues list” prepared by
a subgroup of the district’s Bolinas Planning Group and requested the Board’s
approval for the list to be presented on behalf of the BCPUD at the upcoming
community meeting on the Local Coastal Plan update process.
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball all in favor
to approve the Bolinas Planning Group issue list.
11. Update on Use of Asphalt/Concrete Grindings.
Staff reported that the district has not yet received
definitive results or analysis from the lab testing performed on the asphalt/concrete
grindings. Director Amoroso said that the pile of materials now appears
to be properly tarped; staff confirmed that district staff purchased tarps
and covered the material at district expense because Mesa Park was not able
to do so. Director Amoroso said the district should bill Mesa Park for its
time and expenses; director Smith disagreed because he feels the material
ultimately will be a significant benefit to the BCPUD rights-of-way.
Director Siedman said the Mesa Park was approached by Andy Blake in his
capacity as the leader of a local road group to temporarily store the asphalt/concrete
grindings at its parking lot; this was never a Mesa Park project.
Director Siedman said that the BCPUD then determined the material should
be covered, but Mesa Park is not responsible for that. Director Amoroso
said that any expenditure of district funds to cover the materials therefore
should come out of the road budget.
12. Resolution 573: Declaring Prolonged Drought Condition in
the Bolinas Community Public Utility District; Discuss Draft Water Rationing
Staff presented an overview of Resolution 573.
In brief, the district’s emergency water supply is at historically low levels
-- the reservoirs are only 38% full, whereas they typically are 100% full
at this time of year – and the flow in the district’s primary source, the
Arroyo Hondo Creek, is at late-summer like levels. In addition, consumption
rose during January, which has been unusually dry and warm; as a result,
to meet demand, the district has started to draw on its emergency water supply.
The district’s Chief Operator has determined that at present rates of consumption,
the district’s emergency water supply will be gone by the end of April.
To avoid such a situation, it will be necessary to ration water to ensure
that the district’s overall consumption does not exceed 92,000 gallons per
day, which is the amount of water that the district presently can draw from
the Arroyo Hondo Creek; it is critical that the district preserve
its emergency water supply as long as possible to use during the summer
and fall months. The Chief Operator has calculated that it is necessary
to limit each service connection to 164 gallons per day and recommends that
the Board adopt a mandatory conservation resolution as soon as possible.
Discussion ensued about accommodations for downtown
businesses; potential prohibition of all landscape irrigation; strategies
to require reduced usage by the district’s highest consuming customers; and
so forth. Chief Operator Bill Pierce emphasized that it is important
to act quickly: “we are basically out of water right now”, he said,
“we’re trying to figure out how to make the water we have last through December.”
He emphasized that overall district water consumption must be reduced immediately
and a per-service-connection limit is the “value neutral” means by which
to do so in that it does not discriminate between types of use. Further
discussion ensued about the means by which the district will enforce the
mandatory rationing program; staff recommended a written warning system
whereby customers using in excess of the ration amount will receive two
written warnings prior to the discontinuation of water service. The
Board ultimately resolved to schedule a special meeting on January 28, 2009
at 5:00 p.m. at the Firehouse & Clinic Building to enact a mandatory
rationing resolution; staff was directed to revise the resolution
to make some accommodations for downtown businesses, public institutions
and multi-use facilities and to create an exemption process whereby individual
customers can appeal to the Board for a specific accommodation in compelling
13. Resolution 574: Granting Director McClellan Permission
to be Absent.
Director McClellan requested permission to be absent
from the district from February 1, 2009 through June 1, 2009.
B. Kimball/D. Smith four in favor, McClellan abstaining
to pass Resolution 574 (which shall be renumbered resolution 573) granting
Director McClellan permission to be absent from the district.
14. Resolution 575: Approving the Appointment
of Director Kimball as the BCPUD’s ACWA/JPIA
Director McClellan recommended that director Kimball
replace him as the BCPUD’s ACWA/JPIA Director representative; he feels
that another director should be designated to fulfill this responsibility
on behalf of the district due to his regular absences from the district.
V.Amoroso/J. McClellan all in favor
to pass Resolution 575 (which shall be renumbered Resolution 574) and appoint
director Kimball to serve as the BCPUD’s ACWA/JPIA Director representative.
15. Election of BCPUD Board Officers/Committee Assignments.
J. McClellan/D. Smith all in favor
to approve the current Board Officer/Committee assignments, subject to the
revision that director Kimball will replace director McClellan as the ACWA/JPIA
16. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Director Siedman said that the reduced lighting
at the location of the sewer pond solar arrays is now satisfactory to the
nearby neighbors. Director Smith reported that the district should
soon be receiving its state rebate funds as all of the required paperwork
has been timely submitted to PG&E.
-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Nothing further to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Community Paths Group: Director McClellan said that the path is in good
shape and seems to have been improved from the recent light rains.
Director Smith agreed, but said it will need additional work over time;
he suspects the district eventually will surface the entire length of the
-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Staff reported that Redwood Disposal has resumed
green waste drop-off to the Resource Recovery Project; evidently the
company had ceased local drop-off due to the amount of garbage in the green
waste containers. Director Amoroso commented that he places his green
waste container outside the night before the morning pick-up and people
often deposit garbage in it during the night. Redwood Disposal
has agreed to provide a dumpster at the Resource Recovery Project so that
staff there can remove and dispose of garbage in the green waste.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Staff reported
that there has been no response from Supervisor Kinsey to the district’s
letter of December 10, 2008 regarding Terrace Avenue. The Board requested
staff to follow-up with Lisa Crosse and report back at the next meeting.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating
Council: Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control
Coordinating Council has successfully negotiated a five-year extension of
its agreement with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control district;
a signing ceremony to execute the extension was conducted at the district’s
offices in Cotati.
17. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: FY 2009-2010 Budget Schedule; FY 2007-2008 Audit Report
The Board reviewed a draft schedule
for the fiscal year 2009-2010 budgeting process; director Kimball
requested that the proposed Finance Committee meeting date in May be adjusted
to May 7th due to her travel schedule; there was no objection.
The Board also reviewed draft
financial statements prepared by the district’s new bookkeeper; directors
provided comments on the reporting format and directed staff to work with
the bookkeeper to revise the statements.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Report on Draft Statewide
Director Smith reported that he, director McClellan
and staff attended a meeting with Armando Alegria at the County’s Environmental
Health Services Department to discuss the proposed statewide septic regulations
and potential comments on the regulations (which are due February 9, 2009).
The County and BCPUD are in agreement about the regulations in many respects;
in particular, both agencies strongly feel that the regulations should be
revised to allow more discretion for local agencies to accommodate specific
site issues. As presently drafted, there is very little flexibility
and the “one size fits all” approach is misguided in light of the diversity
of soil and site conditions throughout the state. Directors Smith
and McClellan, working with staff, will prepare written comments on the
regulations on behalf of the district and submit them to the state prior
to the comment deadline.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman reported that Mesa Park’s
Downtown Park committee will present its proposed design of the part to
the town on Sunday, February 8th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Bolinas Community
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Staff reported that a recommendation is under development
for eucalyptus removal at the sewer pond property.
b. Minutes of the December 17, 2008 Regular Meeting.
Director Kimball offered several technical corrections
to the draft December minutes.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor
to approve the December 17, 2008 regular meeting minutes as amended.
J. McClellan/B. Kimball all in favor
to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
A special meeting of the Board will
be held next Wednesday, January 28, 2009 beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Firehouse
& Clinic Building to discuss a mandatory rationing resolution.
The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Board will be on February
18, 2009 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the BCPUD offices.