Bolinas Community Public Utility
A Regular Meeting
Of The Board Of Directors
August 15, 2007 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report
Staff reported that the district experienced several significant
water losses in last month. First, a break in the main water
line adjacent to Marin Way, immediately north of Terrace Avenue (to which
the staff was alerted by Lea Earnheart), which likely was caused by the recent
4.2 earthquake; an emergency repair was conducted and went very well, despite
the difficult access conditions. Second, the staff responded to reports
of water flowing in the culvert at Agate Beach (which is unprecedented in
August) and discovered that a homeowner on Elm Road had left his hose on
the prior weekend. Finally, there was a leak on the water line on Tulip
Road off of Larch. The water loss from these three events was more
than 200,000 gallons. Staff thanked the community for discovering and
reporting these water losses so quickly; without such diligence, the amount
of water lost would be even more significant.
The equipment necessary for the retrofit of the Woodrat
Water Treatment Plant is scheduled to begin arriving during the week of August
20th. The current shipping schedule indicates that all of the required
components will not arrive until after the end of the month, so staff has
rescheduled the retrofit until mid-September, conditions permitting.
At present, the district is in good shape in terms of stored water, despite
the water losses previously described, thanks to the good response from the
community to the district’s pleas for water conservation. Staff is
optimistic that consumption will further decline after the Labor Day holiday.
Staff is planning to complete several projects during
August: (1) excavate the plumbing at the intersection of Olema-Bolinas
and Mesa Roads; staff suspects that there is a valve in the system in this
location that needs to be either bypassed or replaced; (2) commence the long-awaited
restoration work in the Arroyo Hondo canyon; the district has the green light
to proceed now that the spotted owl nesting and fledging season has passed;
(3) replace a service on Ocean Parkway off of Elm, across from the Agate
Beach parking lot; (4) install a valve on Pine Road near Cherry so that staff
can better isolate neighborhoods in the event a water leak requires the district
to shut off water or reduce flows; and other smaller projects. Staff
plans to hire two temporary field personnel to work with the permanent staff
to complete these projects before the rainy season begins.
Staff acknowledged the excellent administrative assistance
the district received during the first week from of August from Chou Chou
O’Hare, Molly Brown and Kara Blake, who filled in for administrative assistant
Belle Wood when she was on vacation.
On the wastewater side of operations, the sprayfields
are doing very well this year. Staff has significantly reduced the
amount of standing water in the fields by replacing solenoids and repairing
spray heads. As a result, the fields are drying out almost completely
over the weekend when the sprinklers are not in use and there is little to
no presence of mosquitoes this year (however, the yellow jacket population
is alive and well, as staff can attest).
The removal of the dead and dying pine and cypress trees along Mesa Road
to the north of the sprayfields is under way. Pacific Slope Company
has worked very well with district staff on this project and the public feedback
to-date has been extremely positive.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last Board
meeting. After some discussion, the Board approved outgoing correspondence
to Empire Waste Management and requests for events including a “Toxic Away
Day” on September 22, 2007 at Mesa Park and tree-limbing work by PG&E
along Mesa Road during the latter part of August.
Staff reported on the district’s receipt of an e-mail from the County of
Marin’s Disability Access Manager which states that it has been reported
to the County that BCPUD “is regularly conducting its meetings in a facility
that is not accessible to persons with disabilities” and encloses guidance
about compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
Staff recommended that the district gather more information and determine
whether there is, in fact, an access problem with the district’s building.
If there is a problem, the district can then explore the steps necessary
to comply with applicable law. If the money necessary to do so is prohibitive,
staff already has secured permission from the Bolinas Fire Protection District
to hold the BCPUD meetings at the new firehouse meeting room, which is fully
compliant with the ADA.
The Board reviewed a formal written complaint by Stephen Simac of certain
obstructions to the public right-of-way at 350 Fern Road. After some
discussion, staff was directed to notice a public hearing on Mr. Simac’s
complaint to be held during the September regular Board meeting in accordance
with BCPUD Ordinance 30.
Director Amoroso commented that data provided to him by staff indicates that
water consumption on the middle section of the Mesa declined 13% as compared
to last year and billings increased by approximately 8% (reflecting the new
tiered rates). Director Amoroso requested that staff include
a standing item on the Manager’s Report to update the Board on the status
of consumption trends and amounts billed the previous month to district customers.
-- Update on Tomales Bay Watershed Council progress
on an Integrated Coastal Watershed
The district submitted comments to the Tomales Bay Watershed
Council on the draft Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan, nearly
all of which were incorporated by the Council’s consultants into the second
draft of the plan (however the district awaits requested information relating
to the ASBS Assessment). Copies of the current draft plan are available
in the BCPUD office, on CD and via the Council’s website. Further public
review of the plan will be conducted during the next month and formal approval
of the plan will be requested of all participating Council members in September.
A Council meeting is scheduled for August 21, 2007 and a Technical Advisory
Committee meeting has been scheduled for August 27, 2007 for further discussion
and refinement of the plan. Director McClellan confirmed that he plans
to attend the Council meeting and staff confirmed attendance at the TAC meeting.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report
The Board received a report from Drainage Project Manager
4. Community Expression
Bill Lyons requested a copy of any correspondence to the
Board from the district’s attorneys regarding the rights-of-way on the Mesa.
Director Siedman advised him that attorney-client correspondence is privileged
Director McClellan suggested that the district’s water
conservation notices should be printed and distributed in Spanish as well
as English, to be certain that all persons in the community are fully informed
about district news. Staff agreed to work with local community members
to translate district notices.
5. Marin Local Agency Formation Commission (“LAFCO”) Bolinas
Area Service Review and Sphere of Influence Update.
Staff provided a summary of the LAFCO’s draft Bolinas Area Service Review
and Sphere of Influence Update, which addresses both the BCPUD and the Bolinas
Fire Protection District (“BFPD”). In brief, LAFCO planners have concluded
that the current spheres of influence – which are coterminous with their
jurisdiction—should remain in place and have recommended against consolidation
of the two districts. Staff directed the Board’s attention to draft
comments prepared on the BCPUD’s behalf with regard to the LAFCO draft report;
the comments address minor factual corrections that should be made to the
report in the interest of accuracy. The Board concurred with the comments
and directed staff to forward them to LAFCO.
6. Request for Correction to Public Record re: Simac Ag
Structure Coastal Permit and Design Review (CP 06-32 & DC 06-143) Fern
Road, Bolinas (no assigned address), APN 193-111-15 (S. Simac).
Mr. Simac requested three things: (1) further corrections
to the public record per his previous written submittal to the Board outlining
alleged errors in the Board’s minutes and letters to the County; (2) a public
apology from the Board for having approved allegedly inaccurate minutes and/or
letters regarding his proposed building project; and (3) a personal apology
from director Kimball for repeating allegedly inaccurate statements about
his building project.
Director Amoroso asked staff to summarize recent developments
concerning Mr. Simac and the BCPUD since the last meeting. Staff reported
that the district was contacted by the Marin County District Attorney’s Office
because Mr. Simac had filed a complaint with the District Attorney alleging
that the BCPUD violated the Brown Act in connection with its review of Mr.
Simac’s permit application; staff cooperated with the ensuing investigation.
Staff recently was advised that the District Attorney’s Office has completed
its investigation into Mr. Simac’s complaint and concluded that no violations
of the Brown Act occurred.
Director McClellan moved that the Board include a reference
in the August meeting minutes referring to Mr. Simac’s previous written request
for corrections and stating that any persons interested in reading Mr. Simac’s
request may obtain a copy at the BCPUD offices. Director Smith seconded
the motion. Director Amoroso clarified that the minutes will reference
the request only, not reprint it in its entirety; director Kimball reiterated
that any interested persons can obtain copies of the request at the BCPUD
J. McClellan/D. Smith all in favor to
include a reference in the August meeting minutes referring to Mr. Simac’s
previous written request for corrections and stating that any persons interested
in reading Mr. Simac’s request may obtain a copy at the BCPUD offices.
Mr. Simac’s request for an apology failed for lack of
a motion from the Board. Director Siedman advised Mr. Simac that his
request for an apology from director Kimball was not properly the subject
of a Board vote as this seems to be a personal matter between Mr. Simac and
7. 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(s) of BCPUD
Letter(s) to be Issued to Property Owners Regarding Obstructions and/or Encroachments
in the Public Rights-of-Way on the Gridded Mesa.
Director Siedman observed that the BCPUD has an ordinance governing the public
rights-of-way on the Gridded Mesa (Ordinance 30); historically, the BCPUD
has not participated financially in road improvement projects (other than
where such projects are necessary to protect the district’s water lines and
other facilities), but rather has provided guidance and input to property
owners via the permitting process. As such, the quality of the roads
on the Mesa depends on the success of particular road groups (and, in some
cases, whether there is a road group at all). Also, in its efforts
to assist the community with drainage improvements, the district is finding
that it is often necessary to conduct work in the rights-of-way (such as
ditching and/or culvert installation); however, where the drainage work is
adjacent to undeveloped property, the property owner may or may not be interested
in participating financially in the drainage project. Thus, the BCPUD
is presented with the question of whether or not the district should be participating
financially in road improvements and other projects in the Gridded Mesa’s
Director Smith said that he believes the district should participate in such
projects and he referenced the criteria he previously had developed to determine
when such participation is appropriate, subject to all applicable budget
limitations. He emphasized that driveway culverts should not be included
in the sorts of projects the district will financially support as driveways
are properly the responsibility of the property owner. Director McClellan
agreed with director Smith’s approach and volunteered to assist with the
drafting of specific language to amend Ordinance 30. Director Amoroso
suggested that if the district ultimately approves such participation, a
line item should be added to the drainage budget to allocate specific funds
for this purpose; director Smith did not object to the suggestion, but said
staff should retain discretion to prioritize projects under the drainage
budget. After further discussion, director Siedman requested staff
to include an item on the Board’s September agenda for approval of the specific
language amending Ordinance 30.
Director Siedman directed the Board’s attention to the next topic under this
agenda item involving approval of specific forms of letters to be sent by
the BCPUD to property owners concerning obstructions and/or encroachments
in the rights-of-way. He noted that the first form of letter addresses
the issue of trees planted in the rights-of-way; the letter essentially informs
the property owner that a tree or trees have been planted in the right-of-way
adjacent to their property and they are required to remove the tree or trees
immediately, or the BCPUD will do so at the property owner’s expense.
Director McClellan commented that trees inevitably grow to be large and dangerous--by
that time, such trees are very expensive to remove; since the district has
the authority to abate an encroachment, whether it amounts to obstruction
or not, he favors the district adopting a policy of “no tolerance” with regard
to the planting of trees in the rights-of-way. On the other hand, he
said, the district need not similarly address other things such as shrubs,
fences, corner of buildings and the like in the rights-of-way because – unlike
trees -- they won’t get any worse. Director Smith noted that the form
of letter grants property owners only 72 hours to remove such trees and he
suggested that 30 days was more reasonable. Director Siedman directed
staff to make that correction to the form of letter.
Director Siedman turned to the second form of letter, which addresses encroachments
in the rights-of-way that do not pose an immediate threat to BCPUD or BFPD
facilities or operations; the letter places the property owner on notice
of the encroachment(s), but does not require removal. Director Amoroso
suggested that the letter should make clear that the alleged encroachment
“appears” to be in the right-of-way; the qualifier is necessary where, in
most cases, there is not a formal survey to rely upon. Staff noted
Finally, director Siedman referred to the third form of letter, which addresses
encroachments in the rights-of-way that do pose an immediate threat to BCPUD
and/or BFPD facilities and/or operations and therefore requires the removal
thereof. Director McClellan noted that an encroachment must rise to
the level of an obstruction under Ordinance 30 for a private citizen to lodge
a formal complaint; the BCPUD, however, has the authority to take action
such as this with regard to encroachments in the rights-of-way that threaten
public health and safety.
Members of the public commented about pending encroachments in the rights-of-way
(such as where fence post holes are being dug and are clearly in the right-of-way);
about customary and historic use of particular rights-of-way (some rights-of-way
have never been developed roads, but rather have been only accessible via
foot or bicycle); and about emergency vehicle access on the rights-of-way.
J. McClellan/D. Smith all in favor to
approve the three forms of letters (with the corrections noted above) as
part of the district’s process of governing the public rights-of-way on the
8. Resolution 551: Establishing Criteria for Appeals
by District Customers for Relief on Quarterly Metered Water Delivery Charges
in the Event of a Leak.
Director Siedman commented that the topic of establishing
criteria for appeals by district customers from BCPUD water delivery charges
in the event of a leak was requested by certain customers in light of the
BCPUD’s recently revised tiered water rates. Criteria are necessary
so that customers have clear notice as to when they are entitled to appeal
water charges and when such charges are not subject to appeal. For
example, when a customer leaves a hose running in his or her yard, is this
the type of action that should entitle the customer to appeal his or her
Director McClellan said that the resolution needs to address
leaks and “other inadvertent water losses”. He referenced the draft
resolution in the Board binders that was prepared by director Kimball and
said it is a “great start.” He stated that if a water loss occurs and
was beyond the control of customer, the district should grant some forgiveness;
however, he feels that water losses of any kind caused by irrigation systems
should be ineligible for relief because such systems are the responsibility
of the property owner to maintain and repair.
Director Siedman inquired whether other directors agreed
that water losses resulting from irrigation systems should be ineligible
for relief. Director Amoroso questioned whether singling out a single
category for ineligibility was appropriate – what about swimming pools, he
asked. Director Kimball agreed that activities necessary for health
and sanitation are different from things such as swimming pools and irrigation
systems. Director McClellan referenced the district’s recent large
water losses resulting from faulty irrigation systems and said that residents
should not be irrigating their landscapes with the district’s drinking water.
He said the Board has a right to discourage inappropriate landscaping and
should do so when the opportunity arises.
After further discussion and considering public input,
the Board agreed that the draft form of resolution should be revised to make
clear that water losses resulting from irrigation systems will not be eligible
for relief, but that the Board will retain discretion to decide whether to
grant relief in all other cases. Staff was directed to revise the draft
resolution consistent with the meeting discussion and agendize a final draft
of the resolution for approval by the Board at the September meeting.
9. Resolution 552: Cites Board of Directors’ Choices
for Determining Fiscal Year 2007-08 Appropriations Limits.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
10. Resolution 553: States District’s Appropriation
Limits for Fiscal Year 2007-08.
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to approve
11. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Update on Solar Installation
Project. Director Smith reported that the district has issued
an RFQ/RFP for the design and installation of solar arrays for the water
treatment plant and wastewater treatment plant. Six contractors attended
the required walk-throughs of the sites and more information was requested;
the contractors also requested more time to prepare their technical proposals.
Director Smith is working with staff to amass the requested information and
to issue addenda to the RFQ/RFP to respond to the contractors technical questions
and extend certain deadlines.
-- Beach: Cela O’ Connor inquired whether a community meeting is going
to be scheduled to consider the Final Report of the Beach Committee.
Director Amoroso confirmed that such a meeting was supposed to occur, but
the Beach Committee has not yet convened it. He said he personally
has not been hearing complaints from the public about beach problems this
year; he speculated that this may be because the County sheriff deputies
seem to be consistently enforcing the weekend ban on camping. Cela
disagreed, noting that the previous weekend many people were evicted from
camping sites and vehicles also had to be moved off the beach.
-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
Cela commented that the recent decision to grant control of the BALTAC process
to the Gulf of the Farallones is likely to significantly change the dynamics
of the process.
-- Community Paths Group: Director Smith stated that the district continues
to await word as to whether supplementary funding for the path construction
will be available; as a result, the district plans to seek an extension
of time for completion of the path.
-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Nothing to report; director
Amoroso commented that the downtown parking problem seems to be less acute
this year than it has been in past years.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Director Smith
said the committee is slowly moving ahead with the concept of moving the
road back from Surfer’s Overlook and that the homeowner on the north side
of Terrace Avenue. The County’s Department of Public Works will do
a topographic survey to further define the situation.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball reported that both the Task Force and the Council will meet
the following week; the Task Force meeting on August 20, 2007 will be open
to the public from 10:00 -12:00 noon. She noted that the Governor has
declared a “state of emergency” for West Nile Virus in three counties in
central California, but there has been no evidence of the virus in Marin
County to date. Finally, the Marin County Board of Supervisors appointed
a new director to the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District:
Fred Smith, a resident of Inverness and the new Executive Director of the
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin.
12. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Nothing to report.
-- Legal: Director Siedman reported that he and director McClellan
are working on proposed amendments to Resolution 152 and hope to have something
to report for the next meeting.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Update on Committee Appointment Status-Solicit
applicants for September appointment. The Board approved a draft notice
to be placed in the Hearsay News to announce the vacancies on the Mesa Park
Board of Directors. The Bolinas-Stinson Union School District and the
BCPUD will make their respective and joint appointments in September.
-- Personnel: The deadline for applications for the BCPUD’s open part-time
staff position has been extended until September 14, 2007.
-- Sewer: Director Amoroso reported that he spoke with Donald Guravich
about performing the eucalyptus containment work at the sewer pond property
by the end of September and he requested that staff write Mr. Guravich a
b. Minutes of the July 18, 2007 Regular Meeting
Director Kimball requested revisions to item 9 and director Smith requested
a revision on page 7 of the draft minutes; there was no objection.
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
the minutes, as amended.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith all in favor to approve
the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
September 19, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.