Bolinas Community Public Utility
A Regular Meeting
Of The Board Of Directors
March 19, 2008 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Kimball, Siedman and Smith present;
director McClellan absent. Director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report
Staff reported that the district received another notice
of violation from the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) relating
to the exceedances of haloacetic acids (a chlorine disinfection byproduct)
in the district’s drinking water; staff noted that the exceedance level is
very small and that the district’s water did not exceed the applicable maximum
contaminant level for total trihalomethanes. Staff will be issuing
a customer notice about this latest exceedance in April; staff noted the
CDPH no longer requires the notices to be published in a newspaper of general
circulation, which will save the district hundreds of dollars.
The district continues to work diligently to identify
a treatment solution to address the chlorine disinfection byproduct problem.
Under the guidance of its engineers, staff has installed a pilot GAC unit
at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant, which is now up and running; this is
the first step in the process confirmation needed to verify whether GAC contactors
will sufficiently reduce organics in the district’s raw water prior to disinfection.
The GAC unit will be closely monitored by staff over the next few months
pursuant to a monitoring protocol currently under development by the district’s
engineers (to be submitted to CDPH for approval) which will entail significantly
greater lab testing expenses. Staff thanked operators Bill Pierce,
Lewie Likover and Seth Kline for their creative and thoughtful work on the
Staff directed the Board’s attention to a draft “Standard
Monitoring Plan” in the Board binders relating to Stage 2 of the federal
and state disinfection byproduct rule. The final version of the plan
will be developed by staff in consultation with CDPH and submitted to CDPH
no later than April 1, 2008. The Stage 2 phrase of the rule requires
the district to prepare this plan and then commence additional monitoring
(at two new sites) for chlorine disinfection byproducts in 2009. Staff
noted that the mapping requirements for the plan are quite detailed and said
that designer Steve Matson has provided invaluable assistance to the district
in this regard.
The district filed its annual report for
2007 with the Department of Water Resources; the consumption results
for the year reveal the response to the district’s request for conservation
last fall -- August, September and October consumption levels were down significantly
as compared to the prior year. Staff is currently at work on the CDPH
Annual Report for 2007, which is due on April 30, 2008, as well as the district’s
2007 Consumer Confidence Report, which will be distributed to customers by
no later than June 30, 2008.
The district experienced two significant water main leaks
in the last month: one on Ivy Road off of Larch and a second on Tulip
Road between Larch and Poplar.
The Board reviewed a draft version of the Spring 2008
Pipeline newsletter and requested that staff include information in the Summer
issue relating to the advantages and disadvantages of bottled vs. tap water,
as well as information relating to pharmaceuticals in drinking water.
The Board also reviewed a letter from staff to state legislators in opposition
to the potential tax grab of special district water and wastewater funds
to pay for a County parolee supervision program.
On the wastewater side of operations, the district is preparing for spray
season, which will begin on April 15th. Both of the primary pond aerators
are under repair and staff hopes to have them back on line by the end of
March. Staff is working on the first phase of the district’s Sewer
System Management Plan, which will be presented to the Board for approval
at the April regular meeting.
Staff attended the 2008 Funding Fair hosted by various
state regulatory agencies in Anderson, California on March 12th; staff reported
that it was a very productive meeting with lots of useful information.
-- Update on the Tomales Bay Watershed Council’s Integrated Coastal Watershed
Nothing to report; the district continues to await a response from the State
Water Resources Control Board to the Council’s Proposition 50 grant applications.
-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of
the BCPUD Building.
Staff is working with designer Steve Matson to prepare the building permit
drawings and other information required for the ADA compliance remodel.
Staff is also researching potential funding sources for the construction
work via the Community Block Grant Program.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
There is no drainage report this month; due to staff absences,
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover has been working full-time on water
and wastewater projects.
4. Community Expression
Eleanor Lyman reported that resident Linda Weyrick is
upset about drainage work in her neighborhood; the Board agreed that any
complaints should be made directly to the district by the complainant, rather
than relayed through others. Director Kimball encouraged anyone concerned
about drainage to contact Lewie Likover.
5. Request for BCPUD to Oppose the State of California’s Light
Brown Apple Moth Eradication Program (E. Lyman).
Director Siedman acknowledged a large amount of background
information on this agenda item in the Board binder; Eleanor Lyman acknowledged
providing it and said that she and Janine Aroyan, whose brother lives in
Santa Cruz – an area that was sprayed recently in connection with the Light
Brown Apple Moth (“LBAM”) eradication program – were present to request the
BCPUD’s opposition to the LBAM eradication program. Director Amoroso
stated that he was in favor of opposing the program and does not think there
is any opposition to doing so on the Board. Director Kimball noted
that Eleanor submitted a copy of a resolution adopted by San Anselmo, which
addresses the issues succinctly and appropriately; she recommended the BCPUD
essentially adopt the same resolution (modified as appropriate).
Director Smith expressed strong criticism of the California
Department of Food & Agriculture (“CDFA”)’s approach on the LBAM program.
He noted that while the use of a pheromone to control the moth is preferential
to using an insecticide, the exemption being utilized by the CDFA for the
pheromone could be used to support an insecticide eradication program.
He stated that the CDFA has significantly biased the information it has released
in favor of pressing for the eradication program, without sufficient scientific
review or follow-up.
Janine Aroyan commented that the owner of the company
that produces the pheromone in question (“Check-Mate”) strongly pushed for
the eradication program; this business owner also owns an almond farm in
Southern California and has contributed over $150,000 to the current governor.
She noted that the California Certified Organic Farmers (“CCOF”) originally
did not take a stance against the pheromone program because they use pheromones
on occasion; however, once CCOF realized the extent of the inert ingredients
in Check-Mate, they publicly opposed the eradication program. Lastly,
Janine said that her brother reported that hundreds of people in Santa Cruz
fell ill after the spraying that occurred there – far more people than reported
because the press only reported the number of people that actually sought
medical treatment for their illness.
Director Kimball moved that the Board approve a resolution
modeled on the San Anselmo document, but modified to reflect BCPUD specifics.
Director Smith seconded the motion. Janine noted that the directions
for Check-Mate specifically say the product is not appropriate for use over
or near waterways; however, the company reportedly has taken the position
that it is easier to pay the applicable fines for doing so rather than incur
the expense of avoiding such waterways. Director Siedman suggested
the BCPUD resolution contain an additional provision relating to the BCPUD’s
role as a protector of surface waterways and water quality.
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to adopt
the San Anselmo resolution in opposition to the LBAM eradication program,
with appropriate revisions to reflect BCPUD’s concern about the protection
of surface waterways and water quality.
The Board directed staff to prepare the resolution for
President Siedman’s signature the following morning so that the resolution
could be sent immediately to the CDFA, elected representatives, other Marin
water districts, and the press.
6. Vietor Single-Family Residence Addition – Coastal Permit
and Variance; 270 Laurel Road, Bolinas (APN: 191-011-33).
Director Siedman recused himself from participation in
this agenda item. There were no comments from the public; staff commented
that the applicants are working diligently to address the district’s previously-stated
concerns relating to drainage and encroachments in the Laurel Road right-of-way.
7. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill
due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 11 Brighton
Director Siedman recused himself from participation in this agenda item;
director Amoroso presided over the discussion. Staff reported that
the applicant’s bill was $1,451 and the water loss was 127,908 gallons; in
contrast, the prior highest bill for this customer was $32. Staff said
that Mr. Hill responded immediately when the leak was discovered and had
it repaired within a day.
Mr. Hill explained that the leak was caused by a cracked pipe leading to
a hose bib, approximately 2 feet below ground. Because he still had
water pressure at the house, he was completely unaware of the problem.
Drainage in the area (on Brighton Avenue) is so efficient that there was
no ponding or other evidence of this leak at all. As soon as BCPUD
alerted him to the high bill, he hired a plumber and repaired the cracked
pipe. In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Hill stated that
he does not have an irrigation system on the property and the leak occurred
during the winter months.
Director Kimball referred to the criteria set forth in Resolution 553 and
said that Mr. Hill’s request for financial relief appears to meet all of
the criteria set forth. She said this was a blind leak comparable to
the leak at the Skinner property for which the Board granted full relief.
Director Smith noted that the amount of water lost due to the Skinner leak
was miniscule in comparison to the 127,908 gallons at issue here; on the
other hand, it was a blind leak that was impossible to have identified earlier,
so he agreed that full relief was appropriate under Resolution 553 notwithstanding
the amount of water lost. Director Smith moved that the Board forgive
the entire excess amount of the bill above the average of preceding quarters
during which he has owned the house, with the proviso that the water meter
be monitored carefully by Mr. Hill and that no further financial relief be
granted for this property under any circumstances for the next year.
Director Amoroso suggested that the Board defer financial relief until the
next billing period to ensure the leak was repaired. Director Kimball
said she thought that approach would complicate the process unnecessarily
and she seconded director Smith’s motion.
D. Smith/B. Kimball three in favor (J. Siedman recused)
to approve Mr. Hill’s request for financial relief and forgive the entire
excess amount of the bill above the average of preceding quarters during
which Mr. Hill has owned the property, with the proviso that that the water
meter be monitored carefully by Mr. Hill and that no further financial relief
be granted for this property under any circumstances for the next year.
8. Marin County Department of Public Works’ Response to
BCPUD Letters regarding the Wharf Road Seawall.
Director Siedman said that the Board previously wrote to the County’s Department
of Public Works (“DPW”) because the seawall under Wharf Road appears to be
moving into the lagoon and the district is concerned about the implications
for the water and wastewater lines which are located under the road.
Director Siedman referred to the DPW’s response which says, in essence, that
it will cost too much for the County to fix the seawall, so the BCPUD should
consider alternatives to protect and/or relocate its utility lines.
Director Siedman noted the County previously has taken the position that
their responsibility for Wharf Road is to ensure property owners’ access
to their property via the surface of the road, not the integrity of land
(or any utilities) under the road. Director Siedman suggested that
the BCPUD obtain a legal opinion as to the County’s responsibility for the
maintenance of the seawall in light of, among other things, the district’s
utility easements; he suggested the County may well have a legal obligation
to maintain the seawall and road in such a manner as to not interfere with
the district’s easement rights.
Director Amoroso said that staff has recommended slip-lining the sewer line
under Wharf Road; staff confirmed this and said the district is talking with
contactors to get estimates for the work for budget planning purposes.
Director Kimball noted that the district previously moved the water main
at Terrace and Overlook when the bluff in that area began to slip; she inquired
whether there is a similar contingency plan in the event of a slippage of
Wharf Road. Staff said that the area containment of any spill potential
was the primary contingency plan – hence, the slip-lining recommendation;
options to relocate the lines are very limited under the circumstances.
Discussion ensued about appropriate next steps and potential scenarios if
the seawall were to fail. The Board concurred that the district needs
to obtain legal advice to determine next steps at this juncture and directed
staff to do so.
9. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Director Smith reported that the district is
consulting with biologists for assistance in addressing the environmental
issues raised by County planners in connection with the coastal permit process.
Both of the proposed solar sites (the district’s sewer ponds and Woodrat
1 reservoir) are considered by the County to be “wetlands” under the Local
Coastal Plan and a 100 foot “buffer zone” around any such wetlands must be
maintained; unlike the Clean Water Act, the Coastal Act does not have a clear
exemption for utility facilities. Director Smith expressed strong concern
that this interpretation of the Local Coastal Plan requirements could halt
the district’s solar project. He said that the district has been extremely
careful to locate the arrays in the least environmentally sensitive area
possible – in both cases, the arrays are proposed to be installed on earthen
berms that were constructed years ago by the district and which are well
outside of any “wetlands”. The Board urged director Smith to contact
Supervisor Kinsey’s office and seek his assistance; director Smith agreed
to do so.
-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Request for Appointment:
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball all in favor to
appoint Megan Matson to the Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Community Paths Group: Staff reported that a draft contract for
the path installation is under development and should be ready soon.
-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Nothing to report
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Director Smith
reported that the County applied more asphalt on Terrace Avenue at Overlook
and that the new curbing appears to be carrying stormwater drainage down
Terrace in a better manner. Director Kimball noted that Ocean Parkway
at Juniper is also moving (with pavement cracks appearing, as has been the
case at Terrace and Overlook), but at a slower rate; she speculated that
the vehicle traffic on Terrace may be contributing to the problem.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball reported that the West Nile Virus Task Force will meet at
the end of April and that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council
will meet on March 31st. Director Kimball said she has received a 109-page
service call report for West Marin from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector
Control District; she plans to excerpt the Bolinas calls and provide a report
at the next Board meeting.
10. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: First Draft of FY 2008-09 Budget. Staff reported
that the Finance Committee had its first meeting On March 11th to review
a preliminary draft budget. It seems likely that the district will
be seeking increases to the annual water and sewer charges this year for
capital infrastructure improvement projects (such as slip-lining the Wharf
Road sewer main) and to cover increased operating costs (such as the 25%
increase imposed by Kaiser for employee health care benefits).
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Nothing to report.
-- Personnel: Update on Hiring Process. Staff reported that applicant
interviews are continuing and that staff hopes to recommend a candidate early
-- Sewer: Director Amoroso said that he will defer any further discussion
of the topic of clearing the understory in the eucalyptus grove at the sewer
ponds (which he proposed for fire safety reasons) until fellow committee
member Smith has more time available.
b. Minutes of the February 20, 2008 Regular Meeting
Directors Smith and Amoroso offered minor corrections.
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso all in favor to
approve the minutes, as corrected.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
April 16, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.