Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board
April 21, 2010 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order.
7: 31 p.m.
Directors Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
Staff requested that the Board add an urgent item to the
meeting agenda to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between the
BCPUD, the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and the County of Marin
concerning a geotechnical evaluation of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s Overlook.
The County of Marin unexpectedly was able to approve the MOU today and, if
the BCPUD Board is able to approve the MOU this evening, the BFPD can do
so next Monday at its regularly scheduled meeting.
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor
to add agenda item 9a to approve the MOU between the County of Marin, the
BCPUD and the BFPD.
3. Manager’s Report.
Staff reported that consumption in the district remains
below average, even when compared to this same time last year, when mandatory
rationing was in effect. An extended rainy season such as the district
has experienced this year has a tremendous impact on consumption as customers
defer outdoor landscape irrigation. The Arroyo Hondo Creek is flowing
well, although staff did find a freshly killed deer on the creek access road,
the apparent victim of a mountain lion. Staff also discovered a dead
deer on the Woodrat #1 dam, which likely similarly was killed by a mountain
lion and dragged to the dam site by coyotes.
The operations staff continues to experience problems
with one of the air compressors at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.
Despite numerous repair attempts, the compressor continues to leak oil and
is not working properly. In addition, the microprocessors on the filter
control panels have been damaged, evidently by surges in power coming into
the plant. The district’s technician has recommended the installation
of a device that is essentially a specialized surge protector; staff is pursuing
this solution. The aeration pilot plant which the district is running
to try and reduce the levels of chlorine disinfection byproducts in treated
water is up and running; the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”)
has approved the district’s proposed plan and the district will be reporting
quarterly on its progress to the CDPH.
As for pending projects, staff is developing a fire hydrant
replacement plan and a distribution pipeline replacement plan per the request
of the Board’s Finance Committee. Staff also is finalizing the details
of the Horseshoe Hill water main extension project. A Notice of Completion
has been recorded for the Mesa Road Pressure Reducing Valve Station reconstruction
project and a Notice of Exemption was filed for the hazardous tree removal
project at the Resource Recovery Project site; that project subsequently
was completed. The replacement of the Brighton Beach gate will soon
be underway; Rich Peterson provided the lowest bid to remove the gate and
the new gate will be fabricated and installed.
Staff will attend the annual ACWA/JPIA conference in Monterey
from May 3rd – May 4th.
On the wastewater side of operations, spray season opened
on April 15th; however, the district has no immediate plans to spray given
the ongoing rainy conditions. The second pump has been reinstalled
at the lift station (it was repaired under warranty, but the district incurred
costs on removing and reinstalling the pump). It is now operating well,
so the district has full redundancy back in the system.
The district experienced a small spill from the sewer
collection system last month on Terrace Avenue; on March 25, 2010, less than
125 gallons spilled as a result of a blockage in a manhole. The spill
was reported to the district by an observant community member within minutes
and it was fully redressed and cleaned up within 45 minutes. Staff
reported the spill within two hours to the Office of Emergency Services,
Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Water Resources Control Board
and the County’s Environmental Health Services department. Staff has
scheduled a full staff meeting to evaluate the district’s spill response
on May 10th. Staff also is working on the final sections of the district’s
Sewer System Management Plan; the deadline to complete these sections is
August 2, 2010 and drafts will be presented to the Board for its review at
the regularly scheduled June and July meetings.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since
the last regular Board meeting, including a letter from the Bolinas Rod &
Boat Club to Bob Beaumont at the County’s Department of Public Works and
an e-mail from Liza Crosse, aide to Supervisor Steve Kinsey, concerning the
County’s approval of the full-time camping ban at Bolinas Beach. The
first reading of the new ordinance occurred on April 20th and the second
reading is scheduled for May 4th; director Kimball will attend to represent
the district as staff will be out of town at the ACWA/JPIA conference.
-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of
the BCPUD Building.
The district’s structural engineer has reviewed the construction drawings
and a final set of construction documents is being prepared. Staff
hopes to have the project out to bid in late May or early June.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report.
Director Amoroso inquired about the status of the County
bike path and the anticipated schedule for its completion. Staff reported
that per discussions with the County road crew, the sidewalk in front of
the school is planned for installation next week and the crew continues to
research appropriate plantings for the median strip between the road and
the path (likely some sort of low grasses). Unfortunately, the crew
has not found a product to colorize the asphalt; moreover, there are no plans
to repave Olema-Bolinas Road, despite its deplorable condition.
Director Amoroso expressed concern about the lack of progress
on planting the median and the difficulty with coloring the asphalt; he said
the path as installed to-date is not what the community approved. Director
Smith said that the County crew identified a slurry product to color the
path, but they have learned that over time it sheds sand and lots of loose
sand can be dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians. He said that
the plantings will provide a nice aesthetic barrier between the road and
path and that the path itself will look better, even if not colored, as it
grays out over time.
4. Community Expression.
5. Right-of-Way Permit Application: Add 4 inches
of road base to existing gravel road and install 10 foot by 10 foot asphalt
apron at intersection with Cherry Road - 35 Queen Road (Meese)
Director Siedman summarized the project proposal to resurface
Queen Road with gravel road base and install an asphalt apron at the intersection
with Cherry Road; he inquired whether the neighbors have been contacted.
Richard Meese, the project proponent, was present and said that he has contacted
all affected neighbors and there is no opposition to the project. Director
Kimball noted that the Drainage Project Manager has reviewed the project
and approves of it.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
the right-of-way permit application.
6. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant
to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 140 Juniper (Stein).
The Steins were present and explained that their daughter
inadvertently left a water line on when leaving their home several weeks
ago; the resulting water loss flooded the yard. The daughter was distracted
by her small children when leaving the property and she did not realize that
she did not close the valve to the water line all the way and left the hose
running. The Steins were unaware of what had happened until the local
cleaning company called to say they could not access the house due to standing
water in the front yard. Staff commented that the water loss occurred
during the present quarter and there is no data yet available as to the amount
of water lost. Director Kimball said that in all prior instances when
customers have requested financial relief on a water bill where a hose had
been left running (unbeknownst to the homeowner at the time), the Board approved
a reduction of 50% of the water loss attributable to the leak. Director
Amoroso said the Board could apply that same reasoning here, and ratify the
express amount of financial relief at the next meeting.
Director Smith said he was not sure this was “excusable
neglect” as required by BCPUD Resolution 553. He noted that the daughter
knew what to do insofar as shutting off the water when leaving the property,
but simply did not do so properly.
V. Amoroso/K. Bender four in favor,
Smith opposed to reduce the water bill
by an amount equal to 50% of the water loss attributable to the leak.
Staff was directed to report to the Board on the details
of the financial relief at the May meeting.
7. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water
Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 42 Wharf Road (Setrakian).
This item was deferred until such time as the customers
present more information about the water loss.
8. Certificates of Compliance Applications: Application
10-0071 -- a portion of 193-133-37 (1.51 acres - a portion of old 193-131-05),
1 Spring Avenue, Bolinas; Application 10-0072 – a portion of 193-133-37 (0.56
acres - old 193-131-06), 5 Spring Road, Bolinas; Application 10-0073 – a
portion of 193-133-37 (1.57 acres - old 193-131-07), 40 Spring Road, Bolinas;
and, Application 10-0074 – a portion of 193-133-37 (2.49 acres -- old 193-131-08
and -09), 50 Marin Way, Bolinas (Whamond)
Director Kimball observed that the applicant has submitted four certificate
of compliance applications, each one evidently asking the County to determine
that separate parcels were created many years ago, yet the applicable zoning
laws specify a 10 acre minimum lot size. Director Smith said the applicant
apparently contends that the smaller parcels were created before the zoning
laws mandated a 10 acre minimum lot size and therefore should be considered
separate lots. Director Kimball noted that this is an issue for determination
by the County as the BCPUD does not have the authority with regard to land
use matters; however, she noted that there is no demonstrated water source
at the property and this should be noted in comments to the County.
Director Amoroso said that if the parcels in question were consolidated for
purposes of the open space easement, the applicant may not have a right to
“re” split the lots.
Burr Heneman noted that complicated legal issues are involved
in these certificates of compliance applications; he noted further that extensive
clearing is occurring on the property, ostensibly as fire protection, and
that the County should be resolute in enforcing the open space easement protections.
A neighboring property owner said that he did not understand the certificate
of compliance applications, which appear to raise complicated legal issues,
but that the neighbors prefer to see the land maintained as open space; he
noted that there are trails across the property that have been used by the
public for decades and likely constitute public easements at this point.
Burr Heneman said the current clearing of the property combined with the
certificate of compliance applications suggest the property owner plans to
develop the property or market it as developable property. Rudi Ferris
expressed additional concern about the vegetation clearing underway at this
property; he said that native vegetation (live oak) is being cut and hillsides
are being cleared, but eucalyptus and dead wood are left on the property
and this poses a significant fire danger. Rudi noted that the property
owner has submitted an agricultural plan for the property, but the County
has not approved it, so the clearing work seems to be going on with no approved
Director Siedman directed staff to send a letter to the
County relating the comments expressed during the meeting.
9. Resolution 589: Removing Former Director Jack McClellan as
a Signatory on Behalf of the District with the Bank of Marin and Authorizing
Director Kimberly Bender as a Signatory on Behalf of the District with the
Bank of Marin.
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve Resolution 589.
9a. Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Marin,
the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District
Director Siedman summarized the background pertaining to the Memorandum of
Understanding between the County of Marin, the BCPUD and the BFPD concerning
geotechnical services to assess conditions at Surfer’s Overlook on Terrace
Avenue. The execution of this memorandum is a necessary step to the
County’s release of funds and the memorandum has been approved by the “working
group” of Bolinas representatives from both BCPUD and BFPD.
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor to
approve the Memorandum of Understanding.
10. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: JLB talking with planners
-- Resource Recovery: Staff reported that the hazardous tree removal
project has been completed.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Nothing further
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball reported that the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating
Council will meet in early May and that the West Nile Virus Task Force will
meet in June.
11. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Draft FY 2010-2011 Budget; Discuss Process for Allocating
Staff presented the draft FY 2010-2011 operating budget for the district.
Staff noted that the Finance Committee is recommending that the district
not increase any of its annual charges this year, but rather use a portion
of the proceeds of the district’s sale of its Pine Gulch Creek property to
the National Park Service to fund the revenue shortfall posed by increasing
operational costs and several planned distribution system and other improvement
projects. Director Kimball clarified that some of the projects will
be paid for via the district’s reserve funds (which have been steadily built
up for this purpose) and additional work will be funded from the property
sale proceeds; she noted further that the issue of how the district will
invest the bulk of the property sale proceeds and overall approach to the
expenditure of these funds (and how to authorize the expenditure of the funds)
remains to be decided by the full Board.
Director Bender said that she favors the establishment
of predictable increases in annual charges for customers rather than a year-by-year
decision-making process; she said this approach is more consistent for customers
and allows the district to conduct long-range planning. Discussion
ensued on this topic, with several directors expressing interest in this
approach. Director Smith noted that any shortfall in revenue could
still be funded via reserves rather than additional annual service charge
The Board discussed the process by which it will decide
on the district’s investment strategy and controls/restrictions on the expenditure
of reserve funds. After some discussion, the Board decided to hold
a special meeting to discuss only these issues. Board members agreed
to forward their thoughts and suggestions to staff beforehand; a date for
the special meeting will be decided upon at the Board’s regular monthly meeting
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman reported that he met with
staff, Ralph Camiccia and consulting hydro-geologist Rob Gailey to discuss
the work needed to update the environmental work applicable to the Mesa Park
irrigation project (due to the change in water source to the irrigation well,
rather than reclaimed water from the district’s sewer ponds), which is required
in connection with Mesa Park’s request to amend its grant from the state.
Rob Gailey has been retained by Mesa Park to analyze any foreseeable impact
on nearby wells and produce a written report for submission to the California
Department of Parks and Recreation. On a separate topic, director Siedman
further reported that the bidding period for the water meter currently for
sale by Mesa Park has been extended to May 15, 2010. Mesa Park also
has completed its Local Coastal Permit application for the development of
the Downtown Park.
-- Personnel: Approve BCPUD’s Updated Illness & Injury Prevention
Program. Staff presented the district’s updated Illness & Injury
Prevention Program, which is based on state law and on model documents provided
by the district’s insurance authority, ACWA/JPIA.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve the district’s updated Illness & Injury Prevention Program.
Director Kimball thanked Safety Coordinator Lewie Likover for his contributions
to the updated program.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the March 17, 2010 Regular Meeting
Director Amoroso offered a revision to item 14 in the draft minutes.
K. Bender/D. Smith all in favor
to approve the minutes of the March 17, 2010 regular meeting.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith all in favor to approve
the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
May 19, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.