Bolinas Community Public Utility
A Regular Meeting
Of The Board Of Directors
November 14, 2007 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
7: 30 p.m.
Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, Siedman and Smith
present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report
Staff reported that the conversion and retrofit of the
Woodrat Water Treatment Plant has been largely completed. The conversion
process presented many challenges for staff and for the filter company; the
process itself required three weeks of technician time on site, rather than
the two that had been scheduled. All staff are now trained on the new
equipment and should be complimented on their hard work during this difficult
process, particularly Chief Operator Bill Pierce for his dedication, persistence
and supervisory skills.
Staff noted that the California Department of Public Health
(“CDPH”) has granted the BCPUD’s request for additional time to identify
a pilot treatment process to reduce TTHM and HAA5s in the district’s treated
drinking water; (the deadline has been extended from October 30, 2007 until
May 30, 2008. Staff is hopeful that the improved filtration process
at the treatment plant will make a difference in the disinfection byproduct
levels; the next two quarterly test results should indicate that one way
or the other. In the meantime, the BCPUD received another letter from
CDPH and will notify customers that the most test results indicate levels
of HAA5s over the MCL by 0.005.
The BCPUD also has received notice of the state’s adoption
of statewide perchlorate standards (rocket fuel); staff does not anticipate
this to be a problem for the district, but staff is reviewing the new requirements
and will keep the Board apprised.
As for consumption, the most recent data indicates that
customers continue to heed the BCPUD’s request for conservation. The
most recent round of meter reading on the middle of the Gridded Mesa indicates
that consumption declined approximately 100,000 cubic feet from last year
and the amount billed to customers increased by less than $2,000.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to a letter from
the ACWA/JPIA regarding a site visit to the BCPUD in late September
and the Board discussed the various recommendations, including but not limited
to the ACWA/JPIA’s recommendation that the BCPUD enter into a “Facilities
Use Agreement” with Mesa Park concerning operation of the Mesa Skatepark.
The Board directed staff to prepare a draft agreement for its consideration
at the December meeting.
Staff informed the Board about a recent letter from the
County indicating that the BCPUD will receive $17,373 in excess ERAF funds
during FY 2007-08. Also, the County’s LAFCO has amended the Bolinas
Sphere of Influence to include two parcels not previously included in the
district’s sphere of influence: the Woodrat #1 reservoir site and the water
storage tanks site.
Staff began the interview process this week for the part-time
shift operator position; staff hopes to identify a final candidate by the
end of the month.
The BCPUD received a proposal yesterday from an outside
engineer to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the district’s two reservoirs;
staff will review the proposal and include an item on the December agenda
for the Board’s consideration.
On the wastewater side of operations, spray season concludes
tomorrow. Staff continues to conduct vegetation management activities
at the property; most recently, a perimeter drainage ditch was moved and
additional French broom was removed. The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito &
Vector Control District has weed-whacked a trail to one of the lower seepage
ponds in order to facilitate mosquito trapping.
Well boring was attempted today at the BCPUD’s sewer pond
property to assess whether there is sufficient ground water for an irrigation
well for Mesa Park’s athletic fields. Unfortunately, although the soils
were quite saturated, the driller bored to 70 feet and did not find water.
Mesa Park’s consulting hydro-geologist concluded that it was not productive
to continue with this prospective site; he has identified other possible
sites and will discuss further work with the Mesa Park Board.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since
the last regular meeting of the Board, including but not limited to a notice
regarding an incomplete well drilling permit application on a property on
Poplar Road between Tulip and Walnut.
Staff informed the Board that the Tomales Bay Watershed
Council has been invited by the state to apply for implementation grant funding
for some of the projects identified in the Integrated Coastal Watershed Management
Plan. Two BCPUD projects are on the Council’s “short list” of projects:
a demonstration chlorine disinfection byproduct treatment facility and partner
project with the County and National Park Service to improve water quality
at Duxbury Reef. The state has established an aggressive timetable
for project proponents; staff will know more after a meeting on November
27th with the Council’s Project Subcommittee.
-- Update on ADA Accessibility
of the BCPUD Building
The Board’s Operations Committee and General Manager met
on November 6, 2007 with outside designer, Steve Matson to review Steve’s
recommended plans for building modifications to render the BCPUD building
ADA compliant. The exterior building modifications will include a revised
parking scheme (including paved ADA parking spots) and remodeled ramping
to the main doors; the interior remodeling recommendations consist of improved
meeting and office space configuration and an accessible bathroom.
The next steps include a meeting with the County’s ADA coordinator and exploration
of funding opportunities to pay for the construction work.
Stacey Henderson thanked the Board for addressing the
issue of ADA accessibility of the district’s facilities; given that it will
take time for the district to be in a position to actually implement the
recommended modifications, Stacey urged the Board to move its regular monthly
meetings to the Bolinas Firehouse & Clinic building, which has an ADA
accessible meeting room and bathroom.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover reported on two
recent meetings between BCPUD staff and County personnel regarding the dozens
of projects that have been identified to improve drainage on the Gridded
Mesa. BCPUD staff is seeking guidance from County and other officials
regarding implementation of these projects. In general, drainage projects
on arterial rights-of-way likely do not need any special permitting whereas
projects in the major drainways likely do. An interagency group known
as the Marin Projects Coordination committee meets monthly to discuss proposed
stormwater management projects and provide feedback to project proponents;
BCPUD staff plan to attend one of the MPC meetings in the near future to
present the district’s list of drainage projects. BCPUD staff also
is exploring the concept of installing bioswales to slow water draining from
the Mesa and clean it via biofiltration; County personnel believe BCPUD likely
would qualify for grant funding for such a proposal given the strong interest
in water quality at Duxbury Reef.
4. Community Expression
Director Amoroso commented that the no camping signs at
the beaches have disappeared again and that he intends to follow-up with
Stacey Henderson said that a “Get Ready Marin” class will
be held the following evening at the Firehouse & Clinic building beginning
at 7:30 p.m.; Stacey urged people to attend as the class is very informative.
Meg Simonds said that she and many others in the community
have been trying to assist with clean-up efforts following the November 7th
oil spill in San Francisco Bay and described her strong frustrations with
the lack of effective response by County, State and other personnel.
Discussion ensued about the need for local control of responses to disasters
such as this. The prior Monday evening, a standing-room only crowd
of people attended a meeting at the Firehouse & Clinic building;
this meeting included Mark Brown, the County’s main pointperson on the response,
Don Neubacher from the National Park Service and Dan Howard from the Cordell
Bank Marine Sanctuary. David Kimball commented that there seemed to
be consensus about the need for local involvement and control and said the
community should work through its elected representatives such as Supervisor
Kinsey and Assemblyman Huffman to ensure this happens. Director Amoroso
agreed and said the BCPUD should offer its support to the Bolinas and Stinson
Fire Departments (Bolinas and Stinson) to serve as lead disaster response
Director Smith said he wanted to correct the record with
regard to a November 19th Hearsay article by Stephen Simac which seeks to
put the BCPUD in a bad light; Director Smith said it is ironic that Mr. Simac,
who repeatedly challenged the accuracy of BCPUD documents, would be so inaccurate
in his own writings. For example, in the article Mr. Simac claims that
after he reported the district to the Marin County District Attorney, the
District Attorney “tweaked their [the BCPUD’s] attitude” when, in fact, the
District Attorney dismissed Mr. Simac’s complaint in its entirety and exonerated
the BCPUD. Director Smith said “this kind of negative and destructive
article is working against community and drives people away from public service”
and he deeply resents it.
5. Application for Water Meter Transfer; Application for Expanded
Water Use Permit – 176 Alder Road, Bolinas (S. Hodge).
Steve Hodge requested that the Board approve the transfer
of the meter he purchased from the Bolinas Community Land Trust to his one-half
acre lot on Alder Road between Cedar and Dogwood and grant him an expanded
water use permit. The Board noted that the historic water use for this meter
was not representative as it has been out of service for many years.
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to
conditionally approve the expanded water use permit application, subject
to a maximum quarterly allotment of 3750 cubic feet.
J. McClellan/V. Amoroso all in favor
to approve the transfer of the meter to 176 Alder Road, Bolinas.
6. Request for BCPUD Letter to Marin County Planning Department
re: Vegetation Removal/Landscaping in the Bluff Erosion Zone - 395 Yucca
Road (K. Khtikian).
Kent Khtikian requested that the Board authorize a letter
to the County from the BCPUD to protest the recent clearing and roto-tilling
of vegetation at the property next door to his (395 Yucca Road), a large
section of which occurred on the BCPUD right-of-way (Ocean Parkway South).
Kent noted this is an historic area of high erosion, completely within the
Bluff Erosion Zone; the new owner of 395 Yucca evidently wants to install
a landscape irrigation system, which Kent argued would increase the loading
of water in this sensitive zone. Kent suggested that the BCPUD send
a letter to the County requesting, whenever a permit is sought or required
(as here) for landscaping on the Bolinas Mesa, that the County notify BCPUD
so that the district can review the application for erosion, water use and
Cela O’Connor commented that the proposed irrigation system
likely requires a coastal permit and reminded the Board of a prior letter
to the County regarding the former Finkelstein property and vegetation-clearing
activities there. The Board discussed whether the district should have
a policy prohibiting the installation of irrigation systems in the Bluff
Erosion Zone and agreed that the question should be the subject of a separate
agenda item in the future. For now, the question before the Board is
Mr. Khitikian’s request for a letter regarding the activities at 395 Yucca
D. Smith/J. McClellan all in favor to
send letter to County as requested by Kent Khitkian.
7. Pine Gulch Creek Enhancement Project (Fresh Run Farms,
Paradise Valley Farm and Star Route Farms Request for Coastal Permit and
Design Review Clearance to Construct Five Off-Stream Water Storage Ponds).
Doug Gallagher stated that he was present on behalf of
Warren Weber to answer any questions the Board may have about the proposed
project. Director Amoroso said the project has lots of support,
but there is a concern about protecting the appropriative water rights to
ensure that they will be dedicated permanently to agricultural (and never
to development) use. For example, director Amoroso noted that Mr. Weber
evidently has elected to remove his property from the Williamson Act, which
suggests he may intend to develop it in the future. Mr. Gallagher said
the decision to do so had nothing to do with the proposed project; he also
noted that the terms and conditions of the appropriate water rights will
be determined by the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) in an
open, public licensing process. Director Amoroso suggested that the
water rights be dedicated to MALT so as to preserve them legally in perpetuity;
he reiterated that the project is a very good one, but he just wants to be
sure it will continue to be implemented as envisioned by the current project
proponents. Director Kimball said the Board has reviewed the project
at several junctures and supports it and it’s goal of enhancing endangered
fish habitat; however, there is a concern that once the existing project
proponents have passed on, the appropriative rights – if not sufficiently
limited – could be misused to support unwanted development. Director
McClellan commented that he doesn’t believe in “dead-hand control over what
people in the future want to do” and will not vote in favor of any restrictions
on the farmers’ water rights.
Mr. Gallagher said he would raise the issue of a dedication
of rights to MALT with Mr. Weber and the other project proponents.
Cela O’Conner said that the water rights will be decided
by the SWRCB and any future owner of the properties involved can petition
the SWRCB for a change in use and a change in place of use of appropriated
water, which is a big concern. She agreed that there is no opposition
to the project as proposed, but only if it continues to be implemented as
proposed. Director Smith agreed that it would be ideal to have a mechanism
over and above the SWRCB license to ensure the appropriated water can only
be used for irrigation, but it is not sure what that mechanism should be.
Director Amoroso moved that the BCPUD write a letter to
the County emphasizing the Board’s commitment to the conditions set forth
in our prior letter about this project and requesting that something like
a dedication to MALT (or some other legally enforceable constraint) be required
to expressly limit the appropriated water rights use. Director Smith
seconded the motion.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith 2 in favor (Amoroso and Smith), 3
against (Kimball, McClellan and Siedman)
to send such a letter to the County.
8. Bolinas Community Land Trust Letter to the Marin County
Community Development Agency re: Second Unit Amnesty Program.
Staff reminded the Board that at the October meeting the
Board had requested that the Bolinas Community Land Trust (“BCLT”) copy the
district on its planned letter to the County regarding the need to revise
the septic regulations in order to make it feasible for residents with properties
served by septic systems to apply for amnesty under the County’s second unit
program. A copy of the BCLT letter is now before the Board.
J. McClellan/D. Smith all in favor to
send a letter of support for the BCLT letter to the County Community Development
9. Amendments to BCPUD Ordinance 30 Establishing Criteria
for BCPUD Participation in the Financing of Road Improvements and Other Projects
in the Gridded Mesa’s Public Rights-of-Way.
The Board considered proposed amendments to Ordinance
30 in the form of a draft Ordinance 36; director Smith suggested two revisions
to the proposed language.
B. Kimball/J. McClellan all in favor
to approve Ordinance 36 amending Ordinance, with the revisions offered by
10. Proposal to Clear Debris and Understory from Eucalyptus
Forest on BCPUD Sewer Pond Property.
Director Amoroso proposed that the BCPUD evaluate whether
to adopt a procedure for regular clearing of debris and understory in the
eucalyptus grove on the sewer pond property; he has discussed the matter
with Fire Chief Anita Brown and she strongly supports reducing the fire load
at the ground level. He noted that expert advise will be needed to
ensure monarch habitat is protected, but that he feels the district should
take a responsible look (no action yet) at managing this forested area.
Director Smith said he believes the district should evaluate the question
in the context of its responsibility as steward of the land; restoring
natives in this area is also needed, as is control of eucalyptus – uncontrolled
eucalyptus growth leads to a loss of biodiversity and habitat. Director
Amoroso said the issues should be out in the open for community discussion
Ilka Hartman said that she was glad to hear mention of
the monarchs; she is very concerned that any clearing of understory may damage
or eliminate important monarch habitat. Cela O’Connor suggested that
any replacement vegetation added to the property be resistant to fires and
she said arborist Ray Moritz has information about such plants. After
further discussion, it was agreed that directors Amoroso and Smith (as Board
members of the Sewer Committee) will pursue evaluation of this topic with
input from Fire Chief Anita Brown.
11. National Water Resources Association (“NWRA”) California
Caucus Ballot – Selection of Representatives and Alternates
V. Amoroso/B. Kimball all in favor to
support the Marin Municipal Water District
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to also
support the East Bay Municipal Utility District representative.
12. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Update on Solar Installation Project:
Announcement of Lowest Responsible Bidder. Director Smith announced
that SPG Solar, Inc. of Novato was the lowest responsible Qualified Bidder
and recommended that the district proceed to enter into contract negotiations.
The Board concurred and asked director Smith to lead the contract negotiations.
- Beach: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Community Paths Group: Director Smith reported that the bike path
route has been flagged in preparation for a brush mowing by Don Murch; an
8-foot wide swath will be mowed and the path route will be monitored over
the winter to decide where gravel will be needed. Director Smith also
met County staff (i.e. the traffic engineer, ADA coordinator, DPW road crew
and the designer of the proposed County bike path) to evaluate the Mesa Road/Olema-Bolinas
road path entry and there now appears to be agreement on the design for this
-- Downtown Parking and Traffic: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Director Smith
reported that the committee has made progress with the County on the idea
of moving Terrace Avenue away from the guard rail at Surfer’s Overlook.
The proposal requires an easement from the affected property owner and the
Committee and County hope to secure the owner’s agreement to grant the easement.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Director Kimball said that a signed agreement with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito
& Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) is in the Board binders; it has
a one-year term because the Council would like to monitor the M&VCD’s
use of Agnique. The agreement and exhibits also are posted on the BCPUD
13. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Staff reported that the County has not yet provided final
trial balances for the 2006-07 fiscal year.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Director Smith inquired as
to whatever happened to the ground asphalt left-over from recent CalTrans
paving in the area. Kent Khitikian said that CalTrans initially balked
at providing it, claiming it was an environmental hazard, but ultimately
has promised the Poplar Road group 1500 yards. Kent noted there is still
a large trucking expense involved in moving the material from Highway 1 to
the Kale/Poplar neighborhood. The Poplar Road group plans to proceed
with the project the BCPUD approved as a road improvement project.
-- Operations: Director Siedman said he would like the BCPUD to send
a letter asking the presumed new solid waste hauler in Bolinas, North Bay,
to confirm in writing that all of the former Empire Waste Management employees
working in Bolinas will keep their seniority rights and benefits after the
transition to the new company. There was no disagreement and staff
was directed to prepare such a letter.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Siedman reported that the Downtown
Site Committee made two decisions the prior evening: (1) to implement
erosion control at the project site during the rainy season and (2) to remove
5 trees in the old sink hole behind the duplex. The County has confirmed
that a permit is not necessary for that work; the trees are hazardous.
The donor has withdrawn the condition of having a caretaker unit at the downtown
park due to the uncertainty over what/how to do it; also, the existing duplex
is moldy, unhealthy and not worth remodeling. Accordingly the duplex
will be demolished after it is utilized by the Fire Protection District for
a burn exercise/drill.
Director Siedman further reported that the Mesa Park parcel
tax measure did not pass, which may be for the best because Mesa Park can
now better project the annual cost of the downtown park now that the caretaker
unit is no longer in the picture. As for bathrooms, they are planned
but costly to build/maintain – Mesa Park therefore is looking into a shared
park arrangement with the County.
Finally, director Siedman said that Mesa Park’s consulting
hydrogeologist supervised a well boring down to 70 feet at the sewer pond
property and there was no water; Mesa Park will evaluate next steps at it’s
next meeting (i.e., whether to try drilling again at a different location).
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the October 17, 2007 Regular Meeting
Directors Amoroso and Smith proposed revisions to the
D. Smith/B. Kimball all in favor to approve
B. Kimball/D. Smith all in favor to approve
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
December 19, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.