Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
March 17, 2010 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
Director Siedman stated that the district has received a request to nominate
Joan Finnegan to the office of the President of the ACWA/Joint Powers Insurance
Authority (“JPIA”). In order to make a timely nomination, it is necessary
to pass a resolution at this meeting and he therefore requested a motion
to add an item to the agenda as an urgency item.
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to add
an item to the agency on an urgency basis to nominate Joan Finnegan to the
ACWA/JPIA Office of the President.
Director Smith then noted that members of the public were
present to speak to the Board of Directors and he directed deferral of the
Manager’s Report until after the conclusion of Community Expression.
3. Community Expression.
John Wick presented copies of The Humanure Handbook, by Joseph Jenkins, to
the Board members. Mr. Wick said that he believes Bolinas is uniquely
positioned to participate in an important pilot “humanure” project.
As described by Mr. Jenkins in his book, this is a waste disposal process
whereby all pathogens, pharmaceuticals and other waste byproducts are broken
down and eliminated. Mr. Wick has met with various County officials
and private septic engineers to familiarize them with the humanure approach,
which is really a complete alternative to traditional sewer or septic systems
at far less expense. Mr. Wick would like to stage a pilot project in
Bolinas whereby waste is collected from various porta-potty sites in the
community and composted at the sewer ponds. Director Smith suggested
that there may be other potential waste sources, such as the local ranch
worker housing. After a period of questioning from the Board, members
told Mr. Wick that they are interested in his proposal and urged him to meet
with staff and provide further details.
3. Manager’s Report.
Staff reported that consumption continues to remain at
the reduced levels experienced since the period of mandatory rationing early
in 2009. While the current rainy weather is no doubt quite effective
at discouraging consumption, the community’s conservation efforts also have
The district received two recent letters from the California
Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) requesting information about the district’s
pilot aeration study to reduce chlorine disinfection byproducts, as well
as announcing a new electronic annual report process. Staff will respond
as appropriate to these letters.
In operational news, staff engaged a service technician
to trouble-shoot some problems at the Woodrat Treatment Plant; the
technician identified problems with the control panel processors, which have
been sent to the manufacturer for analysis. The reconstruction of the
pressure reducing valve station at Mesa Road is complete and the Board will
be asked to accept the project later on the agenda. As for the extension
of the water main up Horseshoe Hill Road, staff is negotiating with the County’s
Department of Public Works over the encroachment conditions for this project
– alternative installation options include trenching along the side of the
road, trenching in the ditch on the east side of the road, and directional
boring. Staff is assembling costs for the Board’s consideration, as
well as the affected property owners.
On the wastewater side of operations, staff has submitted
a funding proposal to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Project Priority
List for the relocation of the sewer main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s
Overlook. At the lift station, the district’s second pump is scheduled
to be reinstalled tomorrow by Pump Repair; all of the repairs needed
to the pump were covered under warranty at no cost to the district.
Staff plans to smoke-test the collection system this spring to determine
whether any storm drains inadvertently have been plumbed into the sewer system
– flows to the system seemed overly high during the recent stormy weather.
Terrace Avenue at Overlook Road continues to slump.
The County has stabilized its storm drain with a series of cables over the
slumping area. County representatives continue to indicate their belief
that the road is reparable.
Staff reminded the Board that it previously voted unanimously to authorize
a loan to the Resource Recovery Project to pay for the removal of hazardous
trees identified by a consulting arborist as posing immediate danger to customers
and employees. Per the district’s procurement policy, two estimates
for the work have been obtained and the lowest will be selected. Staff
met with the County planning staff, who confirmed that emergency work of
this nature can proceed for safety reasons. The consulting arborist
and tree removal contractors agree that all of the identified trees must
be removed immediately to ensure the safety of the site. As such, staff
has determined that the project is exempt under CEQA as an emergency project;
staff plans to file the necessary notice of exemption and proceed with the
project immediately. The Board affirmed its approval of the project
and need to undertake the work as soon as possible.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since
the last regular Board meeting, including a letter of congratulations to
Don Neubacher for his promotion to the position of Superintendent of Yosemite
National Park and a letter to the County Community Development Agency concerning
the new state graywater code. Finally, staff reminded the Board members
to timely complete their ethics training on-line and provide their completion
certificates to the office.
-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of
the BCPUD Building.
Staff plans to put the project out to bid at the end of April with a construction
commencement date in July.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written
report. In addition, staff received a proposal from the owners of 35
Queen Road regarding potential road improvements; the Board directed
that the matter be agendized before any permit is issued to perform this
4. Community Expression.
Cela O’Connor requested that the BCPUD write a letter of support for the
revised Bolinas Beach Camping Ordinance which will be the subject of a March
25, 2010 Deputy Zoning Administrator (“DZA”) hearing. The Board instructed
staff to copy the DZA on the letter previously sent to the Board of Supervisors
requesting the revised ordinance. Director Kimball noted that both
the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and the Bolinas Community Land
Trust (“BCLT”) have submitted letters of support for the revised ordinance.
Director Amoroso raised the topic of the required setbacks for agricultural
wells and questioned whether the setbacks unduly restrict legitimate agricultural/irrigation
uses for those wells. Discussion ensued about the need for property
owners to improve their septic systems and all agreed that this should always
take precedence over an irrigation well, which is not necessary to a property
in the same manner that a septic system is. Cela O’Connor noted that
the County has been remiss in not requiring coastal permits for agricultural
wells for decades; she reminded the Board that the Local Coastal Plan (“LCP”)
is under revision at present and that if the Board feels that there should
be any policy revisions concerning agricultural wells, it should be raised
during the LCP update process.
5. Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN # 192-121-32,
Alder Road between Cedar Road and Dogwood Road, Bolinas (Hodge).
Staff presented Steve Hodge’s expanded water use permit application, which
was submitted in connection with his revised coastal permit application.
Staff noted that Mr. Hodge currently has a conditional expanded water use
permit with a maximum quarterly water use limit of 3750 cubic feet.
The revised coastal permit application seeks only to legalize several existing
V. Amoroso/K. Bender: all in favor
to reaffirm the terms of the existing conditional expanded water use
permit with a maximum quarterly water use limit of 3750 cubic feet.
6. Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN# 193-074-02, 10 Newport
Drive, Bolinas (Werbach).
Staff presented Adam Werbach’s expanded water use permit
application; Mr. Werbach was unable to attend the meeting due to an illness
in his family. The Werbachs are remodeling two existing bathrooms and
anticipate that water use at the property will decline due to the installation
of low flow fixtures and fewer people living at the house.
K. Bender/V. Amoroso all in favor
to grant an unconditional expanded water use permit.
7. Expanded Water Use Permit Application, APN #
193-081-05, 32 Wharf Road, Bolinas (Firehouse Community Park Agency, aka
“Mesa Park” for the Downtown Community Park).
Alethea Patton presented the expanded water use application
on behalf of Mesa Park for the Downtown Community Park, which will include
a public restroom with low flow toilets and a waterless urinal; she also
presented information regarding the two other public restrooms in town –
the Bolinas Community Center and the County bathrooms near the tennis courts.
The Downtown Community Park design proposes 20,000 gallons of rainwater catchment
and storage, which is anticipated to supply most of the summer landscape
irrigation needs. Discussion ensued about water uses at some of the
other “public” properties, including the BCLT housing and the laundry mat
and whether the expanded water use permit for the Downtown Community Park
should be conditional or unconditional; discussion further ensued about the
appropriate limit to impose if a conditional water use permit is approved.
Director Kimball proposed that the Board approve an unconditional
permit, subject to the condition that water use will be monitored quarterly
to assess the data and impose an appropriate limit after one year of data
is obtained (once the park is fully installed and operational). Director
Amoroso suggested that the Board impose a quarterly limit now, subject to
revision if needed and noted that it will be a burden on the district to
closely monitor and assess the water usage. Director Smith supported
director Kimball’s motion, but added that low flow fixtures should be required.
Director Bender also supported director Kimball’s motion. Director
Amoroso pointed out that water use at the park during the first year might
be high as the plants are established, which might erroneously suggest an
unreasonably high long-term use. Alethea agreed that the first year
likely would be the highest water use year to establish the park and that
water use thereafter should decline. Director Kimball therefore revised
her motion to propose an unconditional permit, with water use to be reviewed
after one year of park operations, and then again after the second year of
park operations with the right to impose a quarterly limit on water use at
that time, and conditioned upon the installation of low flow fixtures, waterless
urinals and appropriately timed water faucets.
B. Kimball/K. Bender four in favor,
Siedman abstaining to grant an unconditional
expanded water use permit, subject to the requirement that water use will
be reviewed by the district after one year of park operations, and then again
after the second year of park operations with the right reserved by the district
to impose a quarterly limit on water use at that time, and further conditioned
upon the installation of low flow fixtures, waterless urinals and appropriately
timed water faucets at the park.
8. Bolinas Fire Protection District Coastal Permit (CP
10-33) and Use Permit (10-17), APN# 193-020-55, 100 Mesa Road, Bolinas
94924 (application for AT&T Mobility to continue operation of facility
– no changes proposed to the facility).
Alethea Patton stated that recent articles published in scientific magazines
suggest that electromagnetic radiation from cell towers may disrupt bees’
ability to navigate back to their hives and could be a causative factor in
colony collapse disorder. Others present lamented the location of the
cell tower on the same property as a public park and medical services building.
Director Bender stated that the subject application renews an existing use
and does not propose additional cell towers at the site; she further noted
that if AT&T is not permitted to continue is operations, the community
will have only one cell service provider. In response to a question
from director Kimball, Alethea said that she has lost 10 of her 12 bee hives
this year and that entire bee populations near cell towers in India have
been wiped out. Judith Elliott commented that cell towers interfere
with the natural life cycles of plants and that EMFs may be spread through
water. Director Siedman directed staff to include the public’s comments
in a letter to the County planner processing this application.
9. Review California Department of Food & Agriculture’s
Response to BCPUD’s Comments on the Light Brown Apple Moth Eradication Program,
Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report.
Director Siedman noted that the BCPUD previously wrote a letter of comment
on the draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) concerning
the Light Brown Apple Moth (“LBAM”) Eradication Program and that the district
has received a response to its letter from the California Department of Food
& Agriculture (“CDFA”). Director Smith said that the district made
eight essential points in its comment letter and that the CDFA responded
to seven of them (the CDFA did not respond to the BCPUD’s comment that the
LBAM program was a waste of state funds during a time of fiscal crisis).
The CDFA response is extremely technical and complicated; whether or not
the responses are legitimate will need to be analyzed by qualified scientists.
Mary Beth Brangan said that a petition has been submitted to declassify the
LBAM as not a harmful pest as it is identical to other leafrollers;
notably, the CDFA response in opposition to the petition was heavily criticized
by the National Academy of Science. She noted that citizens of the
state of California continue to oppose and be outraged by the CDFA’s proposed
eradication program and communities (including the County of Marin) are continuing
to write letters opposing any kind of aerial or ground spraying against LBAM.
Alethea Patton said that her nursery is licensed by the CDFA as an organic
nursery and that she has been trained in how to inspect for the LBAM.
She said they are genetically almost identical to other leafrollers and therefore
impossible to distinguish – in fact, suspected LBAM must be sent to a lab
for a DNA test to determine whether they are LBAM or not. Alethea said she
does not know how an eradication program would distinguish between LBAM and
Discussion ensued about how to express the community’s on-going opposition
to the LBAM eradication program and how to coordinate with other potentially
interested entities, such as other water districts and the National Park
Service. Mary Beth said that state Senator Flores has scheduled a hearing
for the following Tuesday in Sacramento and she would love to be able to
submit a letter from the BCPUD at this hearing. Ultimately, staff was
directed to write a letter to the CDFA, with courtesy copies to the Marin
County Board of Supervisors, the National Park Service and the other Marin
water districts (to request their support), stating that the EIR was too
limited in scope and failed to analyze the impact of the eradication program
on non-target species or insects (particularly bees) and requesting that
the eradication program not proceed. Mary Beth requested that the letter
specifically oppose both aerial and ground application of pesticides and
staff was instructed to include this point.
10. Approve Memorandum of Understanding Between the County
of Marin, the Bolinas Community Public Utility District and the Bolinas Fire
Protection District Regarding a Geotechnical Assessment of Terrace Avenue
at Surfer’s Overlook in Bolinas.
This matter was deferred to the April meeting.
11. Approve Amendment to Amend Fire House Community Park
Agency (aka Mesa Park) Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement to Require that
All Candidates for the Elected Board Must Be Registered Voters Residing Within
the Boundaries of the Mesa Park District.
Staff presented the amendment and one revision of clarification.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve the amendment to the Fire House Community Park Agency Joint Exercise
of Powers Agreement to require that all candidates for the Elected Board
must be registered voters residing within the boundaries of the Mesa Park
12. Approve Application for Proposition 84 Grant Funding
(in Partnership with Conservation Corps North Bay) for the Fire Fuel Reduction
Project at BCPUD Sewer Pond Property.
Staff briefly presented the districts application for Proposition 84 funding
to employ the Conservation Corps North Bay to conduct a fire fuel reduction
project on the BCPUD sewer pond property. Director Smith noted that
the district will be obligated to maintain the property once the project
has been completed.
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor to
approve the district’s Proposition 84 grant funding application.
13. BCPUD Resolution 587: Accepting Completion of the Mesa Road
Pressure Reducing Valve Station Reconstruction Project.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
Resolution 587 accepting completion of the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Value
Station Reconstruction Project.
13.a BCPUD Resolution 588: Concurring in Nomination
of Joan C. Finnegan as President of the Association of California Water Agencies/Joint
Powers Insurance Authority (“ACWA/JPIA”)
Director Siedman recused himself from participating in this agenda item.
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball four in favor, Siedman abstaining
to approve Resolution 588 concurring in the nomination
of Joan C. Finnegan as President of the ACWA/JPIA.
14. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso reported
that the committee held a meeting recently. A recommendation was made
by the County’s stormwater office to improve drainage throughout the watershed,
including Gospel Flats; however, the committee opposes this recommendation
due to concerns regarding sediment settling. The committee also has
received $500,000 in funding to implement the Kent Island project (leaving
$300,000 still needed, as well as permits).
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Discuss application for
Coastal Permit to Implement the Voter-Approved Downtown Parking & Traffic
Plan. Staff reported that the County planners have recommended
that the district apply for a coastal permit to implement the Bolinas parking
plan, particularly since the LCP update process is taking so long.
Staff noted that there are some open issues still to be decided about the
plan details; as such, it would be useful to get feedback from the
planners now as to what additional information will be needed to issue a
coastal permit (especially in light of the County’s new fee structure, whereby
applicants are assessed fees based on time spent by County staff on the application).
Discussion ensued as to whether the County should be the applicant, rather
than the BCPUD, since the plan is to be implemented on County roads.
After further discussion, it was agreed that staff will follow up with the
County planners as to who the proper applicant is and what information will
be needed about the parking plan to complete a coastal permit application.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Nothing to report
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Nothing to report.
5. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Report on Draft FY 2010-11 Budget. Staff reported that the Finance
Committee reviewed an initial draft of the budget at a meeting on March 9th
and provided direction to staff to make revisions; the next scheduled
meeting of the Finance committee is April 13, 2010 and a draft budget will
be presented to the Board at the April meeting.
Staff noted that the district has used the same auditor for many years and
best practices dictate that the district issue a request for proposal to
solicit proposals from auditors to perform the district’s FY 2009-2010 audit.
The Board concurred.
-- Legal: Discuss “Gift of Public Funds” doctrine. The Board
reviewed materials provided by the County Counsel’s office concerning the
gift of public funds doctrine; notably, district funds cannot be used
outside of the community (such as a donation to Haitian relief) without running
afoul of this doctrine. However, the district may contribute funds
toward non-district projects as long as those projects benefit the community
and the district retains a sufficient degree of control over the continuation
of the community benefit conferred by the funds.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: The committee is planning
to meet in the near future to discuss the district’s drainage initiatives.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman provided an update of the
Downtown Community Park’s efforts to obtain a coastal permit to install the
park amenities. He also noted that Mesa Park is in the process of gathering
the requested information for the California Department of Park and Recreation
to amend its grant to irrigate the playfields with water sourced from the
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the January 20, 2010 Regular Meeting and the February 17, 2010
Director Smith offered minor revisions to the minutes of the January meeting.
D. Smith/K. Bender all in favor
to approve the minutes of the January 20, 2010 regular meeting, as amended.
Directors offered minor revisions to the minutes of the February meeting.
K. Bender/B. Kimball four in favor,
Amoroso abstaining to approve the minutes
of the February 17, 2010 regular meeting.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
April 21, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.