Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting Of The Board Of
May 15, 2013 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to
Amoroso, Bender, Kimball, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Water Main
Staff reported that the project is proceeding
on schedule. The new main has been
installed on Terrace and Park Avenues from the top of stairs to the intersection
of Brighton and Park Avenues and disinfection is underway. The next step is for the contractor to install
pressure regulators at each of the customer meters on the new line, complete
the tie-ins, and then pave. Staff
directed the Board’s attention to Change Order 2 for the replacement of the
“dogleg” section of pipe in the ten-foot easement between Rafael and Park
Avenues; that work has been completed at a cost of $7,500. In addition to this change order, there will
be extra work charges for the realignment of the pipe on Park Avenue at the
beginning of the job, as well as the installation of the new valve
cluster/tie-in at Brighton and Park Avenues.
Finally, staff directed the Board’s attention to the copy of the
district’s Claim 2 submitted to the California Department of Public Health on
April 26th for reimbursement of $37,254.35 in engineering,
permitting and construction management costs.
on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project
As previously reported, three test borings were
completed last month at Surfer’s Overlook as a part of the second phase of
geotechnical investigation conducted by Sanders & Associates Geostructural
Engineers (“SAGE”). SAGE has indicated
that its draft report on the second phase of the investigation will be
submitted on May 24th.
Update on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Pump Station and Electrical Upgrade
Director Smith expressed his concerns about
the cost of specifying stainless steel for the cabinet construction for the new
electronic panels; he believes that a lesser-grade steel for the cabinets will
be adequate if the district houses them inside a structure. Director Smith said that the electric panel
at his house, which is located in a cubby outside his garage, is very well
protected and an enclosure would make all the difference for the district’s
panels. As such, the district could save
thousands of dollars if the panels are made of a lesser-grade steel. Staff explained that the district’s electrical
engineer and its insurance authority (ACWA/JPIA) have recommended stainless
steel due to the site conditions and exposure to corrosive salt air; staff also
has concerns about the maintenance required for the non-stainless panels (they
will need to be regularly monitored and painted) and enclosure structure,
particularly as the district will be experiencing a reduction in staff due to a
pending retirement. After some
discussion, staff agreed to ask the district’s electrical engineer to revise the
bid specifications to require bidders to give prices for two options: (a)
stainless steel control panels and (b) powder-coated steel control panels inside
a protective enclosure.
Staff reported that water consumption is down
slightly on the mid-Mesa from this time last year, but not appreciably lower
than in past years. The lack of late
rains this year, plus the on-going windy weather are resulting in dry gardens,
so staff remains concerned about the potential impact of landscape irrigation
on the district’s water supply this summer and fall.
Yesterday morning (May 14, 2013) at about
6:00 a.m. the district experienced a break in the raw water transmission line
from the Arroyo Hondo; the treatment plant shut down because no water was coming
in, which alerted staff to the problem.
An investigation revealed a break where the transmission line is located
under a steep gulley – fortunately, the break was in the blow-off line and not
the main transmission line. However, the
blow-off line also is very deep (approximately 8 feet) and down a steep gulley,
so specialized equipment is needed to complete a repair. Staff contacted an outside contractor to do
the work tomorrow on an emergency basis for approximately $6,800.
The district also experienced a leak in the
water distribution system on the Mesa, on Cedar between Elm and Alder two
nights ago and it has been repaired.
Staff noted that this is a section of water main scheduled for
replacement during the upcoming fiscal year.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to a
copy of the district’s 2012 annual report to the California Department of
Public Health (“CDPH”), which was timely submitted and accepted. Staff attended a Stage 2 Chlorine Disinfection
Byproduct meeting at CDPH in Santa Rosa earlier in the month for a very helpful
presentation by Janice Thomas, District Engineer. CDPH staff was on hand to help participating
districts finalize their Stage 2 Monitoring Plan; a copy of the district’s
approved plan is in the Board binders.
Staff noted that the Association of
California Water Agencies (“ACWA”) is leading an effort vis-a-vis AB 145, which
is a bill introduced in the California Assembly to move the state’s Drinking
Water Program, currently within CDPH, to the State Water Resources Control
Board. ACWA objects to moving the
entirety of the Drinking Water Program out of CDPH and argues instead that only
the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund should be moved; ACWA requests
that member districts submit letters to the state legislators to this
effect. AB 145 evidently was a response
by legislators to allegations that funds for improvements to drinking water
systems in disadvantaged communities within the state have not been disbursed
efficiently enough. After a brief
discussion, Board member Kimball agreed to contact professional colleagues in
the public health field for more information before the district takes a
position on the issue.
On the wastewater side of operations,
district customers have been proceeding with the repairs needed to their
laterals per the notifications recently issued by the BCPUD. All repairs must be completed prior to the
commencement of the County paving projects this summer. During the repair of one of the customer
laterals, a crack was discovered in a “Y” fitting on the main; this fitting is
directly below a section of the County storm drain that has a large hole in
it. As such, during high tides seawater
flows into the storm drain rather than out.
This almost certainly has been a source of infiltration and inflow to
the district’s sewer system. The cracked
fitting has been replaced and the County was notified of the compromised storm
drain. Finally, spray season is
underway. The flows into the collection system
are generally low right now and the fields are relatively dry due to the lack
of rain this year.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and
received since the last regular meeting, including a notice of bankruptcy from Satcon,
the manufacturer of the invertors at the water treatment plant solar arrays and
an e-mail exchange between Mark Fraser and Supervisor Steve Kinsey concerning
the possible rebuilding of the old groins on Brighton Beach. Supervisor Kinsey does not believe the Coastal
Commission would support such an endeavor.
Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
The Board reviewed a report submitted by
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover.
5. Expanded Water Use Permit Application – 23
Rafael Avenue (J. Coen).
The Board reviewed an expanded water use
permit application submitted by Joel Coen in connection with a planned 440 square
foot addition to an existing 885 square foot house. The addition involves the enlargement of the
dining, entry and living rooms, with no additional bedrooms, bathrooms or
kitchen fixtures. After a brief
discussion during which it was noted that no water use was implicated by the
project, director Siedman suggested an unconditional permit was appropriate.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve an unconditional expanded water use permit
6. Shelter Agreement with American Red Cross (to
Use the BCPUD Building on a Temporary Basis as an Emergency Shelter During a
Bolinas Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown was
present to answer questions on behalf of the American Red Cross, which is requesting
permission to use the BCPUD building upon request as a temporary shelter in the
event of an emergency. Staff explained
that the American Red Cross conducted an inspection of the building with the
Fire Chief last month; staff has no
objection to the request, subject to notifying ACWA/JPIA to determine if any
insurance issues are posed by the arrangement.
Fire Chief Brown explained that the Board’s agreement to the request
simply means that the BCPUD is added to the list of potential available
shelters in the community and the BCPUD can refuse a request at any time.
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor to
approve the Shelter Agreement with the American Red Cross, subject to staff
consultation with (and no objection from) ACWA/JPIA.
7. Memorandum of Understanding between the BCPUD
and the Bolinas Fire Protection District Regarding Shared Personnel for the
Purpose of Emergency Response.
Staff explained that this MOU embodies an
agreement between the BCPUD and the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”)
whereby the BCPUD agrees to allow interested employees to train in and then
perform (on an as-needed basis) the operation of fire apparatus during the
weekday workday when most of the BFPD’s authorized volunteers are not in town. In turn, the BFPD agrees to allow its
interested employees and authorized volunteers to train in and then perform
sewer spill response activities on an as-needed basis. BFPD employees and volunteers will be covered
at all times by the BFPD’s workers compensation insurance; the BCPUD employees providing assistance to
the BFPD also will be covered by the BFPD’s workers compensation insurance. Director Kimball proposed that the BCPUD
employees agreeing to assist the BFPD in this way should be paid (both for
training and actual response time) from the district’s “Community Benefit fund”
(i.e., the sub-fund of proceeds from the sale of the district’s Pine Gulch
Creek property to the National Park Service).
Discussion ensued and in response to questions from director Amoroso,
Fire Chief Brown explained that what the BFPD really needs are additional
trained personnel to drive its fire engines and operate the engineer’s panel
when the BFPD’s authorized volunteers are out of town at their regular jobs
during the workweek. She anticipates
that 2-3 hours of training per month will be needed for the first few months,
and then perhaps 1 hour per month of training thereafter; unfortunately, the
BFPD cannot pay the BCPUD employees for their time as it is a volunteer fire
department. She noted that “mutual aid”
programs like this between public agencies are extremely common throughout the
County of Marin – each agency pays their own people for their training and
Director Amoroso expressed concern about the
amount of time BCPUD employees may spend on BFPD training activities and the
potential cost to the district. Fire
Chief Brown explained that she does not believe this will be at all
time-consuming – she estimated that apart from training, the BFPD may call on
the BCPUD employees a few times a year to help for 30 – 60 minutes at a
time. Director Kimball moved that the
district approve the MOU, subject to the cost of compensating BCPUD employees
for training and response time be paid from the Community Benefit fund in an
amount not to exceed $10,000. Director
Smith proposed certain clarifying revisions to the MOU. Staff agree to provide quarterly reports to
the Board of the amounts spent to pay BCPUD employees under the MOU.
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor to approve the MOU, subject to all
costs of compensating BCPUD employees being paid from the Community Fund in an
amount not to exceed $10,000.
8. Asphalt/Concrete Grindings from Marin County
Department of Public Works 2013 Paving Projects in Bolinas.
Staff reported that samples of
asphalt/concrete from the roads to be repaved in Bolinas this summer were
delivered to the lab for testing today and the results should be available in
five days. Director Smith proposed that
if the samples pass the applicable testing requirements, the district should
agreed to accept the grindings. He
reported that the Mesa Park Board has agreed that the grindings can be stored
at its parking lot on Mesa Road.
D. Smith/K. Bender all in favor to
accept the grindings, subject to receipt of acceptable lab test results.
9. Report on Chlorine Disinfection Byproducts in
the BCPUD’s Drinking Water; Staff Recommendation for Implementation of
Nano-Filtration Pilot Project at Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.
Staff presented a report prepared by Jonathan
Van Bourg, a former water agency professional who is now working as a consultant
to the district, as well as the Inverness Public Utility District
(“IPUD”). The report is a comprehensive
assessment of the BCPUD’s water treatment process and overall operations, with
recommendations for moving forward to reduce chlorine disinfection byproducts
(“DBP”s) below the applicable maximum contaminant levels. Staff commended the excellent work of shift
operator Lewie Likover, who worked closely with Mr. Van Bourg on the
preparation of the report, and continues to work with Director Smith to analyze
the chemistry of the district’s treated drinking water. The report posits that the best (non-chemical)
option for the district to reduce the chlorine DBP’s appears to be
nano-filtration. The district has an
opportunity to conduct a nano-filtration pilot study (as IPUD has done) and the
preliminary tests on the district’s water are encouraging. The California Department of Public Health
has approved the nano-filtration pilot study and the cost will be approximately
$14,000 to rent and/or purchase the necessary equipment. In response to questions by the Board, Lewie
explained that the nano-filtration is secondary to the micro-filtration process
and will remove the organic precursors such that the amount of chlorine needed to
disinfect the filtered water should be much less; in addition, district
operators are implementing many of the other operational recommendations set
forth in the report.
D. Smith/K. Bender all in favor to
accept the Report on Chlorine Disinfection Byproducts in the BCPUD’s Drinking
B. Kimball/K. Bender all in favor to approve the implementation of a
nano-filtration pilot project at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant.
10. Review Expanded Water Use Permit Limits and
Historical Actual Water Use.
The Board reviewed data in the binders on
historical water usage by customers with expanded water use permits
(“EWUPs”). Director Siedman said that
the Board requested this information due to a concern about the differing
quarterly limits on water. Director
Siedman noted that the large majority of EWUP holders are using water in
amounts well below their quarterly limits.
Director Kimball pointed out that the limits differ based on historical
water usage, per the formula set forth in the moratorium resolution. Director Smith concurred, but suggested that
perhaps the resolution should be revised so that the resulting limits on usage
are not so disparate. Staff commented
that the Board also should evaluate water usage data for all customers, not
only those with EWUPs, to fully understand the differing water consumption
across the district. After further
discussion, the Board directed staff to provide water usage information
throughout the district to director Smith, who agreed to graph the information
for the Board’s consideration at the June meeting.
11. Revised Balance of Proceeds from
District’s Sale of its Pine Gulch Creek Property to the National Park Service;
Staff Recommendations for Allocation of Funds.
Staff presented an updated spreadsheet
detailing the expenditures (past and planned) of the proceeds from the
district’s sale of its Pine Gulch Creek property to the National Park Service,
including recommendations for revised allocations based on Finance Committee
discussions during the past several months.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve the revise balance of proceeds spreadsheet.
12. Update on Water Supply Augmentation Project.
Director Smith said there is nothing further
to report until the rains begin again and the irrigation project commences so
that the impact on the watershed surrounding the irrigation well can be
13. Volunteer Committee Reports.
-- Alternative Energy: Nothing to report.
Lagoon Advisory Committee: Director
Amoroso said that the BLAC held a meeting but he did not receive notice of it
as his name is no longer on the committee list;
he noted Ralph Camiccia did not attend, either. Director Amoroso said it is unlikely the
local group will survive in any significant way and that currently no one seems
to know quite what to make of the new BLAC.
-- Community Path Update: Nothing to report.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic
Committee: Nothing to report.
Recovery: The Board received an inspection
report for April 2013; no violations or areas of concern are noted in the
Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Director Kimball reported that the Council met
on May 6th and had a visit from a “sustainable mosquito control” product
company. The Council has two new
members, one from the National Park Service (to replace Natalie Gates) and one
from the Stinson Beach County Water District.
The Council is entering negotiations with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito
& Vector Control District (“M/S M&VCD”) to renew the non-toxic agreement
applicable to West Marin for another 5-year term by January 2014. Finally, while the M/S M&VCD has agreed
only to use mosquito control products that are safe for organic farms, there is
no comprehensive database of organic farming entities outside of West
Marin. The Council therefore is
considering a letter encouraging all organic operators to register with the M/S
14. Other Business.
a. Board Committee Reports.
-- Finance: Report
on Draft Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget; Minutes of the May 7, 2013 Meeting of the
Finance Committee; Fiscal Year 2012-13 Audit Engagement Letter from Doran &
Staff presented the
draft Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget and a proposed notice to customers explaining
the budget (and noting that no rate increases are proposed for this year). The notice also details the district’s intention
to embark on a “five year plan” with regard to its budget and invites customers
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso all in favor to approve the minutes of the May 7,
2013 meeting of the Finance Committee.
Staff presented the
proposed engagement letter for the Fiscal Year 2012-13 audit from Doran &
Associates. Staff noted that Doran &
Associates offers to complete the district’s State Controller’s Office (“SCO”)
report for an additional $500; staff believes this is a good price as the
district’s outside CPA currently prepares the district’s SCO report at a
slightly higher price. Staff recommended
that the Board approve the engagement letter, including the additional work to
complete the SCO report.
K. Bender/B. Kimball all in favor to approve the audit engagement letter
from Doran & Associates, including the completion of the SCO report.
stated that the prior month she had offered to talk with people knowledgeable
in the utility budgeting, investing and revenue generation process. She spoke with Bonnie Jones, a Bolinas
resident who has worked for several different state regulatory and utility
agencies. Ms. Jones advised director
Bender that the “general wisdom” is not to freeze rates, but rather increase
them slowly over time to match increasing costs. Ms. Jones noted that San Francisco currently
is replacing sewer lines that date back to the 1920’s; all agencies face
difficult questions about how to fund needed capital improvements. Overall, she advises that if the BCPUD has
funds available, it should replace and/or upgrade as much infrastructure as
possible; in addition, the BCPUD should continue to slowly build its reserves
to finance additional projects in the future.
Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Amoroso attended the most recent
Mesa Park Board meeting and noted that the County will require a coastal permit
for the ballfield irrigation and public restroom project.
-- Personnel: Staff reported that the Memorandum of
Understanding between the Board and employees regarding compensation and
benefits will be included for Board approval on the June meeting agenda.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the April 17, 2013 Regular
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve the minutes of the April 17,
2013 regular meeting.
K. Bender/D. Smith all in favor to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
June 19, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Staff asked if the July meeting could be held on July 24th
rather than July 17th due to vacation schedules; there was no