1. Call to Order.
7: 32 p.m.
Directors Amoroso, Comstock, Godino, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.
Staff reported that the Working Group met in December with outside community members interested in the fundraising component of this project. The group discussed whether to establish an independent non-profit entity to accept the project donations, or contract with an existing non-profit to serve as the fiscal sponsor. Ultimately, the group decided to set up an independent non-profit, but also to work with the Bolinas Community Center as the fiscal sponsor (for a 3% administration fee) during the interim period while the new entity is being established. Remick Hart volunteered to serve as the non-profit administrator; he and staff will meet with a CPA next week to review the incorporation and tax exemption application processes. The initial fundraising focus will be on the road-level retaining wall repair project and, when those funds have been raised, the focus will turn to the full bluff stabilization project. Ralph Camiccia agreed to chair the fundraising effort. Staff spoke with Liza Crosse from Supervisor Kinsey’s office and she suggested that it may be prudent for the County to issue a letter of commitment to include the road-level retaining wall repair project in its 2016 work plan if the funds are raised.
-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.
Staff noted that samples taken in December 2014 indicate that the levels of TTHMs and HAA5s in the district’s drinking water remain above the maximum contaminant levels. Unfortunately, the samples were taken during a week when the district experienced heavy storm events, which increases turbidity and raises the demand for chlorine. The district notified customers of the sample results in a mailing on January 16th. Staff referenced an update from Lewie Likover in the Board binders concerning the status of the district’s disinfection byproduct reduction project. The clarifier rehabilitation is nearly complete, a new chlorine analyser and a new turbidimeter have been installed, the coagulation pilot project is under development, and the operations plan is being updated to reflect these changes.
-- BCPUD’s Capital Improvement Plan; BCPUD’s Financial Reserve Policy.
Staff has put together a very rough draft of a five-year capital improvement plan and is working on a financial reserve policy. Staff proposed to present more developed drafts of each document to the Finance Committee at its February 10th meeting for review and feedback. The Board had no objection.
With regard to water consumption in the district, staff said the usage was one of the lowest ever in the downtown area for the quarter ending in December. At present, consumption is very low and averaging only about 73,000 gallons a day across the district. For the 2014 calendar year, the district diverted just 91 acre feet (of the 167 acre feet it is licensed to divert) from its water sources – this compares to 127 acre feet diverted in 2013, which is a 29% reduction. That said, the 2013 diversion total was unusually high due to several major water main leaks as well as excess water used for the flushing performed during the Terrace Avenue Water Main Relocation Project. The average diversion over the past five calendar years is 114 acre feet; as such, the 2014 diversion total represents a 21% reduction from that five-year average.
The district experienced a very surprising leak on the 6-inch asbestos-concrete water line between the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant and the old storage tank site on Mesa Road; this is a line that presumably was taken out of service when the new water storage tanks were installed across the street. Bill Niman contacted staff around Thanksgiving to report water in that area and staff investigated without success; then, it rained nearly all of December which made it impossible to determine whether a leak was in progress. Once it dried out, staff called in emergency assistance and ultimately located the leak (made difficult by a massive network of gopher holes in the area), which was from a circumference crack in the 6-inch asbestos-concrete pipe, likely caused by the Napa earthquake last August. Although the crack itself has been repaired, staff needs to determine where the line is charged and disconnect it permanently so that the line is taken out of service, as was intended years ago. Staff also repaired two other leaks this month: one on a service line to a customer home on Ocean Parkway and one on Birch Road at Elm.
Staff reported that the district’s attorneys filed amended water license reports for 2013 to correct the inadvertent overstatement of water production previously reported caused by an error in the district’s spreadsheet accounting of water production (which has been corrected); copies of the amended reports are in the Board binders.
On the wastewater side of operations, the County Department of Public Works agreed to share with the district on a 50-50 basis the cost of the repair of the sewer main/manhole on Wharf Road in the vicinity of the seawall repair project, which was about $7,000.
The flows into the collection system are very low right now, less than 20,000 gallons per day, which corresponds with the dry weather. On the other hand, flows increased considerably during the rainy weather of December, which indicates that there is some sort of infiltration and inflow occurring during storm events, which may be because one or more house roof gutter sytems or sump pumps have been plumbed into the sewer system, or one or more clean-outs are uncapped. In any event, staff will continue to investigate the source of this increase in flows during rain events. Finally, the new flow meter is nearly fully installed at the treatment ponds.
Staff updated the Board on the district’s effort to research whether service connections to the district’s sewer system for properties that are outside of the current footprint of the district’s collection system can be allowed. This research was prompted by an inquiry from a property owner on Terrace Avenue. The district’s former general manager believes that the district established a specific sewer district boundary as part of the 1975 project to install the lift station, force main and treatment ponds, so staff will locate the relevant documents in the district archives and review them. Staff has reviewed the document from the 1990 slipline project and there are several references to the district’s “sewer service area” which is depicted by a map showing the current collection system. Staff also is researching whether the district has ever considered a similar request in the past and, if so, confirm the outcome.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting, including an email from Liza Goldblatt, who thanked the Board for hosting the special meeting with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) and noted that the M&VCD subsequently voted to extend the non-toxic protocol agreement through 2015.
Staff said the ACWA/JPIA conference this year will be on May 4, 2015; staff will attend and director Godino also is invited as the Board’s JPIA director. Staff reminded directors Amoroso, Smith and Siedman that their deadlines to renew their ethics certifications are coming up in February.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
The Board reviewed a written report by Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.
4. Community Expression.
Janine Aroyan thanked the Board for approving the funds requested by the Land Stewardship Committee to remove invasive non-native pampas grass from sewer pond property. She said that the Committee would like to propose an exhibit in the History room of the Bolinas museum this April about the sewer pond property and she provided the Board members with a brief recap of the proposed exhibit. Janine says she knows the Board cannot take formal action on a topic not on the agenda, but the deadline for the museum exhibit already passed (a short extension has been given), so she would really appreciate an indication from the Board about whether such an exhibit would be ok. Director Amoroso questioned whether the Committee is ready for such an exhibit; Janine explained that there are grant deadlines in the Fall that the Committee is pursuing and some grants require a certain amount of community outreach, so it would be great timing to have an exhibit about the Committee’s work at the museum in the Spring. Discussion ensued, and the Board members generally stated that they did not object to an exhibit consisting of a historical depiction of the past and current uses of the sewer pond property, but that it would be inappropriate to address potential future uses given that the Committee has not yet proposed anything for the Board’s consideration. Director Siedman directed staff to include an item on the February agenda for a presentation from the Committee about its proposed exhibit.
5. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 80 Terrace Avenue (D. Stewart).
Director Siedman noted that there is a letter from the customer in the Board binder explaining the circumstances of the leak and an e-mail from plumber Rudi Ferris confirming the repair. Director Smith said that this appears to be a classic case of a “blind” underground leak that was dealt with promptly by the customer as soon as he was aware of the problem. Under such circumstances, the Board’s practice is to grant full relief; director Smith noted that two quarters are at issue here (the quarters ending in September and December 2014).
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor to approve full relief of the amount of water loss attributable to the leak, as determined by a comparison to the historical average amount of water used during the same quarters over the preceeding three years.
David Stewart thanked the Board and said he felt terrible about the leak occurring as it was a huge waste of water, for which he apologized.
6. Request to Remove Hazardous Acacia Trees located in the Juniper Road Right-of-Way near Ocean Parkway (BCPUD staff).
Staff reported that acacia trees have fallen across Juniper Road near Ocean Parkway. The resident on Juniper previously requested that these trees be removed, but she did not present an arbortist report – the resident feels that she should not have to submit such a report because the trees are in the right-of-way and should be the BCPUD’s responsibility. Staff said the resident on the other side of Juniper previously objected to the removal of the trees because they provide a privacy screen. Staff obtained an estimate of approximately $4,500 to remove all of the acacia trees, which are planted in a thick row. After a brief discussion, the Board requested that staff obtain an arborist report to confirm the condition of the remaining trees.
7. Local Agency Formation Commission of Marin County (“LAFCO”) Countywide Water Municipal Service Review: BCPUD Comments on Revised Draft of Agency Profile.
Staff referenced a large set of materials in the Board binders pertaining to the LAFCO municipal service review and the draft agency profile on the BCPUD. Staff provided extensive comments on the administrative draft of the agency profile; although many of staff’s comments were incorporated, some were not. Unfortunately, some of the omitted corrections are important as LAFCO otherwise seems to be developing policy conclusions or recommendations on the uncorrected data. For example, LAFCO concludes that water consumption in the district is rising and water use per capita is intensifying, which clearly is not the case. Also, at least one media report on the LAFCO profiles repeats these erroneous conclusions, which is disturbing. All of the West Marin districts have similar concerns about inaccuracies in the draft profiles about their agencies, so the general managers have scheduled to meeting to discuss possible next steps. At present, comments are due on this revised draft LAFCO reports by February 26, 2105. The Board expressed support for staff’s efforts and underscored the importance of correcting errors in the draft reports.
8. Request for Nominations to Elect or Reappoint a Regular and an Alternate Special District Member to the Marin County LAFCO.
No action was taken on this item.
9. Update on Cross-Connection Control Survey.
Staff reported that the district has received about a 50% response rate on its cross-connection control survey, which is great news but means there is more work to do. Responses are still arriving and staff has not yet analyzed them. As expected, some residents did not respond well to the perceived intrusion of some of the questions. In the future, staff recommends that an option be given that residents may simply agree to install a backflow prevention device in lieu of responding to the survey. Staff will report further on this topic at next month’s meeting.
10. Water Supply Update.
The Board reviewed the most recent data analysis provided by consulting hydro-geologist Rob Gailey. Director Smith said that the district needs to figure out whether data it’s collecting now is enough and if not, what more the district should do and how much will it cost to really get an accurate assessment of the quantity and quality of water in the aquifer supplying the irrigation well. Director Siedman noted that 2015 will be the first year of data the district will have with the irrigation well fully in use by the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project.
11. Election of BCPUD Board Officers/Committee Assignments.
Director Amoroso requested that staff add the West Marin Mosquito Council assignment to the list of Board officers and committee assignments.
V. Amoroso/D.Smith all in favor to reelect all Board members to their current officer positions and committee assignments.
12. Approve Budget Schedule for the BCPUD’s Fiscal Year 2015-16 Budget.
L. Comstock/G. Godino all in favor to approve the budget schedule for the BCPUD’s fiscal year 2015-16 budget.
13. Volunteer Committee Reports.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso reported that the following evening at 7:00 p.m. there will be a formal update on the status of the lagoon.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Staff reported that discussions are on-going with the County’s Environmental Health Services Department about the details of a site management plan for the Resource Recovery Project.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Nothing to report.
-- Land Stewardship Committee: Director Siedman reported that the Committee will be meeting on Friday and he will discuss with the Committee members the Board’s feedback about the proposed museum exhibit.
14. Other Business.
a. Board Committee Reports.
-- Finance: Nothing further to report.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing further to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Amoroso reported that he attempted to attend a noticed meeting of the Mesa Park Board on January 12th, but it had been cancelled because several Board members were sick. Director Siedman reported that the bathrooms have been installed at Mesa Park and the fields look great.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the December 17, 2014 regular meeting; Minutes of the January 6, 2015 Special Meeting.
Directors Comstock offered clarifying revisions to the minutes of the December 17, 2014 regular meeting.
G. Godino/D. Smith all in favor to approve the minutes of the December 17, 2014 regular meeting, as amended. Director Amoroso offered clarifying revisions to the minutes of the January 6, 2015 special meeting.
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to approve the minutes of the January 6, 2015 special meeting, as amended.
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s): Request to Reschedule Regular Meeting Dates in April and May (G. Godino).
February 18, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Director Godino explained that due to conflicts in her schedule, she is unable to attend the regular meetings in April and May if they are held on the third Wednesday of the month, as usual. After a brief discussion, the Board consensus was to move both meetings back by one week. As such, the April regular meeting will be held on April 22, 2015 and the May regular meeting will be held on May 27, 2015. Staff was directed to include a notice in the Hearsay in April and May on the Friday prior to the usual meeting date to let the community know about the change in dates.