1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Comstock, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding and director Godino absent.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.
Staff reported that the Marin County Department of Public Works (“DPW”) has confirmed that it will install the repair of the upper road-level retaining walls at Surfer’s Overlook (which will extend the life of the road by an estimated 10-15 years) if the community raises the necessary funds (an estimated $500,000. A local group of stakeholders is working on the paperwork necessary to form a 501(c)(3) to be known as the Bolinas Community Projects Fund to which tax-deductible donations to the project can be made. Staff noted that the necessary steps to the 501(c)(3) formation are outlined in a handout in the Board binders.
-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.
A considerable amount of improvements have been installed at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant in connection with the district’s efforts to reduce the chlorine disinfection byproducts in its treated drinking water. Specifically, the clarifier is now fully rehabilitated and backwash is being treated/settled there before being put back in the reservoir. In addition, a new chlorine analyzer and turbidimeters have been installed, and many different operational upgrades have been implemented. The crew had an extensive training session on the new procedures to ensure that everyone is familiar with the new processes. The coagulation pilot project is ready for implementation and staff estimated that it will begin in March.
-- BCPUD’s Capital Improvement Plan; BCPUD’s Financial Reserve Policy.
Staff continues to work with the Finance Committee on the development of the district’s Five-Year Captial Improvement Plan and its financial reserve policy and the next meeting of the Finance Committee is scheduled for February 24, 2015.
On the water side of operations, staff reported that consumption was down again for the quarter ending in January (for the customers on the mid Mesa) and was the lowest in 10 years. As for rain totals, so far in February the district has received 3.4 inches of rain. The November rains totaled 5.1 inches, the December rains totals 22.2 inches (the second single rainiest month recorded in Bolinas, only January 1970 was higher at 23.88 inches), for a year to date total over 30 inches, which is more than the preceeding rain year.
Staff has been meeting actively with other water district managers in West Marin concerning the Marin County LAFCO’s municipal service review and will report on that later in meeting.
Staff attended an ACWA-JPIA webinar on risk transfer, which was very helpful, and the annual conference is coming up on May 4th, which staff also will plan to attend.
As for the wastewater side of operations, the main news is the failure of a pump at the sewer lift station on February 2nd. This occurred when the second pump was at the repair shop, so staff implemented emergency bypass pumping until a rental pump could be located and installed. On February 4th, a rental pump was installed; staff notified downtown businesses and residents beforehand to expect increased noise from the rental pump and the customer response has been amazing. Staff is working with a pump supply company to locate alternative pumps for permanent installation, and likely will visit other sewer districts in Marin to evaluate their systems. Flows into the collection system are low due to the dry weather and on-going water conservation.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting, including a letter from DPW confirming the County’s payment of half of the cost of the sewer manhole repairs necessitated by damage incurred during the seawall repair project, as well as a notice of the CEQA action challenging the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Plant Pest Prevention and Management Program PEIR (BCPUD is a public agency having jurisdiction over a natural resource affected by the Program, which is why the district received notice of the CEQA action).
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
The Board received a written report from Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.
4. Community Expression.
Jennie Pfeiffer commented that there is a lot of conversation in town about the influx of weekend vistors and the need to revive the Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee. Director Siedman said that this discussion appears to revive after a bad weekend, but wanes when things get better. Director Amoroso noted that Michael Rafferty had been interested in heading up a revived committee, but lost interest. Jennie said that the Bolinas Museum years ago agreed to have openings only on Sundays to help reduce the impact of cars downtown on Saturdays, but recently the Museum hosted a Saturday event that brought huge numbers of people downtown. Matt Lewis noted that there used to be a clause in the community plan prohibiting outside advertisements of local events, but ads were everywhere for the Bolinas Museum event; he also said that his wife Stacey Henderson is curious about whether the committee will be reactivated as she has been on the three prior committees. Jennie said she thinks that prohibition is a Bolinas Community Center policy, not a provision in the community plan.
5. Coastal Permit (15-18) and Second Unit Permit (15-11); Expanded Water Use Permit – APN 193-072-02, 10 Olema-Bolinas Road, Bolinas (E. Smith/Peacock Designs).
Director Siedman observed that the applicant is proposing to build a second unit on his property, which triggers the district’s expanded water use permit process. He noted that the BCPUD records about water use at this property shows that the amount of water used fell off dramatically after 2012. The applicant, Erik Smith, explained that the house had been occupied by tenants until 2012, but is used now on only a part-time basis, so the water use isn’t quite representative at this point. Director Smith inquired as to the district’s average water use per property and staff noted that it is approximately 2,260 cubic feet per quarter, or about 188 gallons per day. Director Amoroso asked where the second unit will be located and Alethea Patton responded that it will be behind the house and that a soils report has been prepared by the Salem Howes firm.
D. Smith/L. Comstock four in favor, Godino absent to approve a conditional expanded water use permit allowing a maximum quarterly water use of 2,260 cubic feet.
Director Siedman asked if there is any public comment on this application. Alethea Patton said that as the project architect and as an advocate of affordable housing, she thinks that second units are the best way to go for the town. Erik Smith said that he and his wife are evaluating whether they will live in the second unit and rent the house, or live in the house and rent the second unit. Director Amoroso said he is concerned about the slope behind the proposed location for the second unit. Director Siedman asked staff to reflect the public comment in the district’s response to the County.
6. Proposed Sale of College of Marin Properties in Bolinas (including Boat Dock on Wharf Road).
Director Siedman said that discussions have been underway for years about the potential sale of the College of Marin lab building and, approximately seven years ago, a local group of people put together a proposal for the College of Marin Board of Trustees whereby they requested that the Board sell the property to them for $1 and in exchange the group would raise the $3 million necessary to rehabilitate the facility. The Board of Trustees was in favor of the proposal, but the Sacramento headquarters office said no because the College was required to sell the property for fair market value. When the College of Marin acquired the property from the Coast Guard, the college promised to maintain the lab building for educational purposes for 50 years, a commitment which has now expired. In addition, a legal opinion has been issued stating that the College is authorized to sell the property for less than fair market value. Director Siedman said it would be wonderful if the properties could be under local ownership and control and be used, for example, as senior housing, or classes/community meeting rooms, etc. He suggested there may be roles for BCPUD, or the Bolinas Community Land Trust, or Mesa Park to acquire one or more of the properties. He said he would like to meet with interested members of the community to develop a proposal and bring it back to the Board for consideration.
Discussion ensued and director Smith noted that if it will cost $3 million to rehabilitate the properties, the fair market value of the properties may be less than zero. Director Siedman agreed, and said new owners will be taking a liability off the hands of the College. Director Smith said he agrees that the dock is a very important community asset, but questioned whether BCPUD or BCLT would be taking on too much if either were to try and acquire the lab building. Director Siedman said the refurbishment of any of the buildings would have to be covered by grant and/or donor funds. Director Amoroso questioned the stability of the hill behind the lab building and the potential costs involved to remediate that risk. Director Comstock said he agrees it is worth exploring whether these properties can be under community control, but expressed concern about potential liability, risk or costs to the BCPUD if it were to acquire one or more of the facilities. Director Siedman agreed and said he would take all of this feedback to interested community members and report back to the Board.
7. Local Agency Formation Commission of Marin County (“LAFCO”) Countywide Water Municipal Service Review: BCPUD Comments on Revised Draft of Agency Profile.
Staff reported that work is progressing on the BCPUD comments; LAFCO has granted an extention until March 26, 2015 for the district to send in its comments, so staff will present the comments for Board consideration at the March meeting. Staff met with other district water managers in West Marin and the LAFCO Executive Director Keene Simonds last week; the managers expressed their concern about the accuracy of some of the data and projections cited in the respective reports (particularly about population growth rates, peak day demand and drought implications for water supplies). Chris DeGabriele from the North Marin Water District suggested that the West Marin agencies work together to develop an appropriate drought predictor model rather than use the DWR study LAFCO references, which is a study of the Central Valley water supplies. Keene Simonds was respectful of the managers’ input and the meeting was constructive and cordial.
8. Resolution 635: Accepting Completion of the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project.
Director Siedman announced that there will be a ceremony to celebrate the renovated fields prior to the annual St. Patrick’s Day soccer game on March 15, 2015.
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor to approve Resolution 635, accepting completion of the Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project.
9. Update on Cross-Connection Control Survey.
Staff reported that the district has received responses from about 60% of its customers to the cross-connection control survey and staff therefore plans to send out a second, follow-up mailing next week.
10. Water Supply Update.
Director Smith reported that he and director Comstock met with consulting hydrogeologist Rob Gailey to discuss next steps on the district’s water supply study, which is focused on an assessment of the irrigation well. Rob recommended that the district keep a close eye on the potential for seawater intrusion to this groundwater source and recommended sampling groundwater at points about half-way between well and ocean points. This could be done via the installation of monitoring wells from which regular samples can be taken to test for salinity. Director Comstock said the meeting was very informative and agreed with the priority need to assess the water quality in the aquifer and surrounding area, particularly for an increase in TDS (total dissolved solids) as a proxy for salinity as it will be important not to overdraw from the irrigation well. Director Amoroso suggested that other well owners close to the lagoon and/or ocean, such as the school or Warren Weber, may have data to share about the water quality at those locations. Staff was directed to follow up with Rob Gailey about the monitoring well concept and also to request data from other nearby well owners.
11. Volunteer Committee Reports.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso reported that Marty Griffin attended the most recent meeting of the committee. He said the focus of the committee now seems to be on the wye and allowing the lagoon to “take over” that area.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Director Amoroso suggested that the BCPUD could try again to revive the committee and asked Jennie Pfeiffer if she would be willing to chair it; Jennie responded that she is willing to work on a solution but does not want to head the committee. She said she would write up a “pitch” to revive the committee for publication in the Hearsay News.
-- Resource Recovery: Staff is working with Rob Gailey and Jeff Creque on revisions to the Resource Recovery site management plan.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Director Amoroso reported that the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District General Manager, Phil Smith, has applied to serve on the Council.
-- Land Stewardship Committee: Presentation of Planned Exhibit re Sewer Pond Property at the Bolinas Museum. Genie McNaughton reported that the committee met last Friday about a proposed exhibit at the Bolinas Museum that will focus on the history and current use of the sewer pond lands and that will inform the public about this community resource. Genie envisions that the exhibit will detail the history of the various leases on this property that were issued after the BCPUD bought the property, the uses of the land for celebrations (i.e., the Sun Festival), Peter Warshall’s role in the design and installation of the ponds, a listing of native plants and of the birds that frequent the site, and so forth. After a brief discussion, the Board advised Genie that it had no opposition to the proposed exhibit as long as it limits its focus to the history of the site and current uses.
12. Other Business.
a. Board Committee Reports.
-- Finance: December 2014 Quarterly Financial Statements The Board received the December 2014 financial statements and director Comstockk noted that the Finance Committee met on February 10th and is scheduled to meet again on February 24th to work on the FY 2015-16 budget as well as the capital improvement plan and financial reserve policy.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Nothing further to report.
-- Personnel: Director Siedman reported that the Board and staff will not need to renegotiate the Memorandum of Understanding re: Compensation and Benefits this year because the staff has agreed to a simple cost of living increase in wages (3% based on the Bay Area CPI); he instructed staff to include an item on the March meeting agenda for the Board to consider continuation of the MOU on the same terms and conditions, except for also a wage increase of 3% for district staff.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the January 21, 2015 regular meeting.
Director Amoroso noted a typo on page four of the draft meeting minutes
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to approve the minutes of the January 21, 2015 regular meeting, as amended.
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s):
March 18, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Staff reminded the Board that the April meeting will be on April 22 and the May meeting will be on May 27, per the Board’s decision at the February meeting.