Bolinas Community Public Utility District
A Regular Meeting
Of The Board Of Directors
July 18, 2007 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Kimball, Siedman and Smith present
and director McClellan absent; President Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report
Staff reported that water consumption thankfully has declined
significantly since the July 4th holiday. The media focus on the district’s
water emergency seems to have raised community awareness about the serious
nature of the issue and the community made concerted efforts to reduce consumption.
As a result, the levels in the water shortage tanks are rising. BCPUD staff
is very grateful to the community for its efforts; staff will continue its
work to educate the public about water conservation, particularly with regard
to landscaping. Staff also intends to recommend the purchase of a fifth
filter for the water treatment plant during FY 2008-09 to boost the district’s
FEMA has granted the district’s request for an extension
of time until November 2008 to conduct and complete its restoration work
in the Arroyo Hondo canyon; the extension is necessary due to the presence
of spotted owls near the work site. On a related note, conditions permitting
(i.e., creek flows and water storage tank levels), the retrofit of the water
treatment plant is scheduled to get underway during the week of August 13th
when equipment and parts are scheduled to begin arriving.
The district currently is advertising for a part-time
shift operator to cover alternate weekend and certain weekday shifts.
Several applications have been submitted and staff will keep the Board apprised
regarding the hiring process.
Staff reported that director Kimball has raised concerns
about disabled access to the BCPUD office. Although the BCPUD building
complies with the ADA access requirements (via the main doors at the center
of the building), the entry to the BCPUD office likely is not compliant.
Staff is investigating possible solutions to that problem (i.e., construction
of a ramp, a designated parking space, and so forth); in the meantime,
however, director Kimball has suggested that the district implement a policy
immediately to ensure the public’s opportunity to attend BCPUD meetings whereby
any interested person can contact the office and request access to the meeting
via the main building door and BCPUD staff will make the necessary arrangements.
On the wastewater side of operations, based on a recent
inspection of the wastewater pumps it is clear that one of the two pumps
serving the wastewater treatment ponds is in need of replacement. This
will result in an unanticipated expense to the district of over $20,000 this
fiscal year. Staff recommends paying for the new pumps from district
reserves this year and then repaying the reserves via increases to the sewer
service charge in subsequent years. The Board had no objection.
In the field, spray season is underway; staff took advantage
of the dry spring and summer months to mow the spray fields, remove reeds
and re-establish sprayheads. Overall, enhanced vegetation management
is improving soil absorption so that there is little to no standing water
in the sprayfields and minimal mosquito activity.
Staff met this week with representatives of PG&E ,
the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and the Davey Tree company
to discuss a planned PG&E tree-limbing project on Mesa Road; specifically,
PG&E plans to remove dead, dying and dangerous limbs from the tree canopy
overhanging Mesa Road near Olema-Bolinas Road as these limbs are endangering
the power lines. Staff has contacted local wood cutters, but no one
yet seems to be interested in hauling the limb remains. As a last resort,
the largest limbs may need to be left on site (the brush and small limbs
will be chipped and taken the Resource Recovery).
Staff also met recently with representatives of the West
Marin Stage and the Marin County Transit District regarding on-going parking
difficulties at the lab building due to the increased number of busses and
driver vehicles. It was agreed that BCPUD will request estimates from
contractors to improve and expand the existing parking lot to accommodate
the additional vehicles with the expectation that the transit district will
finance the improvements.
The district has received an offer from a community member
to purchase the Resource Recovery dump truck ; staff recommends selling the
vehicle as the BCPUD would like to donate its existing dump truck to the
RRP when it purchases the new dump truck for the district this year.
The Board had no objection.
Staff apprised the Board of a report received on July
13th of approximately 20 cows in the Pine Gulch Creek on the BCPUD property,
despite the existence of an exclusionary fence. Staff hiked to the
property and confirmed the report; photos were provided to the Board.
As of at least July 18th, the cows are out of the creek. Staff inquired
whether any further action is necessary at this time. After a brief
discussion, the Board directed staff to contact the neighboring property
owner’s ranch manager and discuss the situation with him
The owner of the boat in the Juniper right-of-way called
the BCPUD this week and stated that he plans to relocate the boat to his
property this week.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since
the last Board meeting, including but not limited to a pending permit application
for the installation of a well on Poplar Road. Staff reminded the Board
that the filing period for persons interested in running for the two open
seats on the BCPUD Board opened on July 16th and will close on August 10th,
unless one or more of the incumbents does not file for re-election, in which
case the filing period will be extended to August 15th.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report: Update on
BCPUD’s Drainage Planning Process and Technical Analysis by Consulting Hydrogeologist
Consulting hydrogeologist Rob Gailey was present at the
meeting and provided a comprehensive update on the district’s drainage planning
process and technical analysis. Rob noted preliminarily that drainage
on the Gridded Mesa is a complicated issue because of challenging hydrologic
issues, including but not limited to relatively flat terrain, the ability
(or lack thereof) of the soil to accept stormwater, and the high winter water
table, all of which are compounded by past land use decisions including right-of-way
obstructions and/or encroachments, lack of culverts, house locations close
to drainways, septic system locations, and so forth. In addition to
the physical conditions, regulatory considerations present additional challenges.
The purpose of the current planning process is to lay the necessary groundwork
for technical (staff) and policy (Board of Directors) analysis and decision-making.
A working group has been formed, consisting of Rob, the
BCPUD’s Drainage Manager and the BCPUD’s General Manager; the group has met
seven times to develop an overall approach to the planning process and develop
comprehensive and site-specific project goals. The group identified
a set of topics to be considered and assigned primary responsibility for
each topic within the group: (1) the district’s drainage needs (Drainage
Manager), which are to prevent flooding, lower the water table, protect the
health of the coast and direct water away from the bluff zone; (2) hydrology
(Rob); (3) regulatory considerations (General Manager); (4) project implementation
considerations (Rob); (5) community participation (Drainage Manager); and
(6) institutional considerations (General Manager). The group also
developed an analysis grid (an enlarged copy of which was posted for the
Board and public’s review) which Rob described as a “living” document which
is not yet complete and which is subject to further additions and refinements.
To develop the grid, the group took a map of the Gridded Mesa and broke the
region into eight “project areas”, based on hydrology considerations and
project needs; within each project area, the group further identified sub-areas
called “legs”, with project-specific descriptions. At present, the
group is working to complete the analysis grid within the next month.
The group also is evaluating potential sources of funding to conduct projects
(particularly the more ambitious projects) and completing a regulatory analysis
to determine whether any particular permits are required for the projects
identified. Community participation in the drainage planning process
is essential to ensure community “buy in” and acceptance of the district’s
efforts to improve drainage on the Gridded Mesa; this is particularly true
where property owner permission may be necessary to direct stormwater along
certain of the naturally-occurring drainways that cross private property.
Finally, Rob noted that the Board’s guidance on drainage management will
be critical, especially with regard to addressing obstructions and encroachments
in the rights-of-way and to funding drainage projects.
Director Amoroso commented that one of the considerations
driving the district’s efforts with regard to drainage has been the looming
threat of new statewide septic system regulations; he inquired about the
status of that process. Director Smith said that based on a conversation
he had recently with the County’s Director or Environmental Health Services,
it is his understanding that the state is “going back to the drawing board”
on its proposed regulations because of the widespread criticism the proposed
draft regulations have received.
Rob responded to a variety of questions from the Board
and members of the public regarding the status of the work in progress and
possible next steps. The working group is planning to complete its
analysis grid and regulatory overview and then request a meeting with the
County’s “MCSTOPP” office, which has jurisdiction over stormwater management
in unincorporated Marin County. Staff is optimistic that the BCPUD
and MCSTOPP can work together cooperatively to address the district’s drainage
needs; staff is keeping the MCSTOPP director and Supervisor Kinsey’s
office generally up-to-date on the district’s work. Finally, staff
presented a proposal to continue Rob Gailey’s consulting relationship with
the district at a cost of $8,960.00 to complete the drainage planning work.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
Rob Gailey’s hydrology consulting proposal and extend the retainer agreement
to complete the district’s drainage planning and analysis..
4. Community Expression
Cela O’Connor said the revised draft of the Marin Countywide
Plan is now available for download and is concerned about the fact that the
County staff has deleted a reference to the fact that the Local Coastal Plan
shall govern land use in the Coastal Zone. President Siedman noted
that the BCPUD received a letter from County Counsel on this topic and directed
staff to provide a copy to Cela.
Cela also expressed concern about the fact that the Well
Permitting Agreement between the County Environmental Health Services office
and the BCPUD may not be applied outside the BCPUD’s boundaries; she said
she is concerned because of the possible impact of wells on the health of
Pine Gulch Creek. Director Kimball responded that the BCPUD will notify
neighboring property owners of all well permit applications received from
EHS, whether or not the proposed well is outside the district boundaries;
she noted the BCPUD did so at the last meeting, with regard to a well permit
application on Horseshoe Hill Road.
5. Tomales Bay Watershed Council – Integrated Coastal Watershed
Management Plan: Receive Public Comments on Draft Plan.
Staff presented draft comments on the Tomales Bay Watershed
Council’s Draft Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan; the draft comments
are directed at correcting inadvertent errors in the draft plan with regard
to BCPUD facilities and operations. The Board directed staff to work
with director Smith, if necessary, to complete the draft comments and timely
submit them to the Council.
6. Request for Approval/Empire Waste Management: Sale of
Company and Assignment of Franchise Agreement with the BCPUD for Solid Waste,
Recycling and Green Waste Services in Bolinas to the North Bay Corporation.
James Salyers and Pam David were present on behalf of the Ratto Group and
North Bay Corporation and Tom Ridder was present on behalf of Empire Waste
Management. Mr. Salyers explained that the proposed assignment of the
franchise agreement will not be to North Bay Corporation as originally thought,
but rather to the Redwood Empire Disposal Company, a newly formed corporation
within the Ratto Group which has been created to accept the assignment from
Empire Waste Management of its Sonoma and Marin operations. Mr. Salyers
explained that the Ratto Group is a local, family-owned business in Santa
Rosa; under the terms of the deal with Empire Waste Management, all
terms of the existing franchise agreement with the BCPUD will be honored
and the company plans to employ the same drivers and use the same trucks.
In response to questions by director Siedman, Amoroso and Smith, Mr. Salyers
repeated that new company has no plans to change trucks on the Bolinas routes
and that all of the employees working in Bolinas will be offered jobs with
Redwood Empire Disposal Company. He explained that these employees
know all of the routes in West Marin extremely well and the company hopes
to retain all employees; the new company intends to honor employee seniority
and will be providing a better health insurance plan for employees and their
dependents than currently exists at Empire Waste Management.
Finally, he explained that the new company is optimistic about its acquisition
of the West Marin and Sonoma operations because, unlike Empire Waste Management,
Redwood Empire Disposal Company is not a publicly traded company with shareholders
demanding a 10-20% return on investment (which is why Empire Waste Management
is selling the business); rather, it is a small, privately-held company that
operates efficiently and is satisfied with a 5% return.
Director Smith moved to approve the request for an assignment of the franchise
agreement and director Kimball seconded the motion. Director Amoroso
queried whether the district should seek any legal advice with regard to
the assignment; after some discussion, it was agreed that such advice is
not necessary because all terms of the existing franchise agreement will
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to grant
the request for assignment of the BCPUD franchise agreement, subject to the
understanding that all terms of the existing franchise agreement will be
Director Siedman directed staff to prepare a letter consistent with the terms
of the Board’s motion.
7. Osterweis Coastal Permit (CP 05-29 and CP 05-30) and
Design Review (DR 05-57 and 05-58), APNs: 188-120-31 and 188-140-11, Pine
Gulch Road, Bolinas
No one was present to speak to the proposed permit and/or design review;
the Board therefore had no comments to convey to the County.
8. Simac Ag Structure Coastal Permit and Design Review
(CP 06-32 & DC 06-143) Fern Road, Bolinas (no assigned address), APN
Director Siedman stated that Mr. Simac requested that
this item be deferred until the end of the agenda.
9. Discuss Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District’s
Request to Use Agnique to Control Adult Mosquitoes at the BCPUD’s Wastewater
Director Kimball noted that she has been updating the Board regularly on
the process of the negotiations between the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector
Control District (“M&VCD”) and the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating
Council (“WMMCCC”) regarding a renewal of the existing agreement in place
for West Marin. In the course of those negotiations, the M&VCD
has proposed that it be allowed to use an additional product in West Marin
known as “Agnique”, a surfactant that is sprayed on ponds to control
adult mosquitoes. Director Kimball said that there is a lack of data
about this product that has led the WMMCCC to conclude that only a limited
use of the product should be approved; specifically, the product should be
used in “closed” ponds only, including dairy waste ponds, septic tanks and
ornamental ponds, and not in any ponds or swales with the potential to drain
into a water way. The Tomales Village Community Services District
(“TVCSD”) and the BCPUD are areas of focus because of the presence of their
respective wastewater treatment ponds. The TVCSD voted not to approve
the use of Agnique in its ponds; the TVCSD concluded that use of the product
is not warranted at this time. Director Kimball said she asked for
the item to be included on the agenda because she otherwise is not comfortable
speaking on behalf of the entire Board during the WMMCCC proceedings; in
response to questions from other members of the Board, director Kimball said
she personally agrees that use of Aqnique is not warranted at this time,
especially in light of the presence of avian and other wildlife in the BCPUD’s
ponds. She noted that there is a clause in the agreement with the M&VCD
that permits use of any means necessary to control mosquitoes in the event
of a public health emergency.
Director Amoroso moved that the Board vote not to approve the use of Agnique
in its sewer ponds, but not to oppose its use in dairy ponds, septic tanks
and ornamental ponds; director Smith seconded the motion. In response
to questions from the public, director Kimball explained that the purpose
of Agnique is specifically to control adult mosquitoes (which are not effectively
controlled by the approved BT products under the current agreement).
V. Amoroso/D. Smith 3 in favor, 1 opposed (D. Smith)
to disapprove the use of Agnique at the BCPUD sewer ponds but not in dairy
ponds, septic tanks or ornamental ponds.
10. Amendments to Ordinance 30: (1) Establishing
Criteria for BCPUD Participation in the Financing of Road Improvements and
Other Projects in the Gridded Mesa’s Public Rights-of-Way; (2) Approving
Form of BCPUD Letter to be Issued to Property Owners Regarding Obstructions
and/or Encroachments in the Public Rights-of-Way on the Gridded Mesa.
Director Siedman suggested that the agenda item be continued to the August
Board meeting in light of director McClellan’s unexpected absence.
Matt Lewis urged the Board to take more aggressive action with regard to
encroachments in the public rights-of-way on the Mesa. He noted that
he complained to the BCPUD about a fence under construction recently on Alder
Road and was told that both the BCPUD and BFPD investigated the alleged encroachment
and concluded it did not pose an impediment to either utility or emergency
services. Matt said that the BCPUD should require property owners to
move fences and other encroachments out of the right-of-way; he said anything
less amounts to giving away the public right-of-way. He noted that
at first people build their fences in the right-of-way, then they plant in
front of the fences, then they park in front of the plants, and before long,
the rights-of-way are nearly impassable. Stacey Henderson concurred,
noting that district money otherwise is spent later removing encroachments
from the rights-of-way.
Director Amoroso said that he tended to agree that the BCPUD should at least
notify property owners when they have encroached in the right-of-way.
Director Kimball observed that three different forms of notification letter
have been drafted by staff ; she agrees that such notification may be appropriate,
particularly where fences are constructed on corners in a manner which presents
a visual obstruction. Director Siedman noted that while notification
to property owners is one thing, it is quite another to propose that BCPUD
require all property owners to remove existing encroachments from the rights-of-way.
Director Amoroso said that the BCPUD should and does act when encroachments
impede the district’s access to its water lines and/or poses access problems
for the BFPD; however, where no such problems exist, notification to the
property owners that they may be required to remove the encroachment at their
own expense in the future is a potential next step. Director Smith
observed that the rights-of-way on the Mesa are generally 40 or 60 feet wide,
which is far more than actually necessary of vehicular and other passage;
accordingly, he said it seems unnecessarily draconian to require all property
owners to move their encroachments out of the right-of-way.
After further discussion, it was agreed that the item should be continued
to the August agenda.
11. 2007-08 Budget Adoption: Resolution No. 549 approving
budget; Resolution No. 550 stating current rates and charges and authorizing
placement of charges on Marin County property tax bill.
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to approve
Resolution 549: Approving the 2007-08 District Budget.
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to approve
Resolution 550: Stating the Current Rates and Charges for District
Services and Authorizing Placement of Charges on the Marin County Property
Tax Bill, where appropriate.
12. Resolution 551: Establishing Criteria for Appeals
by District Customers for Relief on Quarterly Metered Water Delivery Charges
in the Event of a Leak.
Director Kimball reported that she has compiled information from a variety
of different water and utility districts within the Bay Area concerning those
districts’ approaches with regard to requests from customers for adjustments
to their water bills in the event of leaks or other water losses. She
has prepared a rough draft of a resolution that she intends to refine with
input from staff; director McClellan also previously indicated an interest
in helping craft a proposed resolution. After further discussion, the
Board agreed to continue the item to the August agenda.
13. Resolution 552: Authorizing the BCPUD to Shut-Off
Water in the Event of A Water Emergency.
Staff reported that the district already has the authority under the state’s
Water Code to act as necessary in the event of an emergency. The Board
concurred that a separate BCPUD resolution on the topic is unnecessary.
14. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Update on Solar Installation
Project. Director Smith reported that the district has applied for
an allocation of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and is presently finalizing
a Request for Proposal for the design and installation of solar arrays for
the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant and the district’s sewer pond facility.
-- Beach: Nothing to report. Directors commented that County
appears to be vigorously enforcing the existing no-camping ordinance.
-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Director Amoroso
reported that he spoke with BALTAC member Ralph Camiccia and it does not
appear any new developments have occurred.
-- Community Paths Group: Director Smith reported that he is
awaiting word from the funding agency as to whether additional monies will
be forthcoming to cover unanticipated path construction costs; as soon as
that occurs, the district will finalize a contract with the installer and
commence the project.
-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Receive Minutes of March and June Committee Meetings;
Receive June Financial Report. Nothing further to report.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Director Smith
reported that a subset of the committee spoke with the owner of the house
directly across from Surfer’s Overlook who is amenable to the County’s moving
and replacing the existing retaining wall to widen Terrace Avenue at this
location. Director Smith is optimistic that the County will step-up
to undertake this project, for the mutual benefit of district residents and
the affected property owner.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Nothing to report.
15. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Director Amoroso commented that staff provided him with
information about the first complete billing cycle for the downtown section
under the new water rates: water consumption increased by 13% over
the prior year and the amount billed increased by approximately 100%.
-- Legal: Director Amoroso noted that potential revisions to Resolution
152 was referred to the Legal Committee for analysis.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Update on Committee Appointment Status..
Staff reported that the terms of Mesa Park Board members Robert Mowry, Geoff
Geupel and Jack Siedman expired in January 2007; Robert is a BCPUD appointee,
Geoff is a Bolinas-Stinson Union School District (“BSUSD”) appointee, and
Jack is a joint appointee of the districts. Staff was directed to work
with BSUSD staff to coordinate the appointee process as soon as possible.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the June 20, 2007 Regular Meeting
Director Smith said he provided minor corrections to the minutes to staff
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball all in favor to
approve the minutes, subject to director Smith’s corrections.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
August 15, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.
8. Simac Ag Structure Coastal Permit and Design Review
(CP 06-32 & DC 06-143) Fern Road, Bolinas (no assigned address), APN
Director Siedman made a final call for any comment on the agenda item.
Mr. Simac was not present. Director Siedman noted that in addition
to a transmittal memo from the County seeking comment from the BCPUD on Mr.
Simac’s project, the BCPUD has been sent a courtesy copy of a letter to Mr.
Simac from the County indicating that his permit application remains incomplete.
After further discussion, it was agreed that the BCPUD has no further comment
on this permit application.