1. Call to Order.
Directors Amoroso, Comstock, and Siedman present; directors Godino and Smith absent. Director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.
Staff received an e-mail today from Marin County Department of Public Works (“DPW”) stating that the project to repair the retaining wall at Surfer’s Overlook most likely will begin the week of November 30th, not this week as previously thought. The Board reviewed a road closure notice received from the County’s contractor, Hillside Drilling, and signs will be installed soon to notify the community about the specific closure dates. Staff also will publish an update in Friday’s Hearsay News to inform the community about the revised project schedule.
-- Update on the Wharf Road Lift Station Pump Replacement Project.
Staff spoke with the pump manufacturer’s representative today and the current estimated shipment date for the pumps is December 9th. The delay is due to the time needed to manufacture a specialized transition piece on the discharge side of the pumps that is required due to the tight space in the dry well; this piece is being manufacturered in Germany.
-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.
The Board reviewed lab results from the most recent round of bucket testing on the coagulation pilot. Lewie Likover and Jonathan Van Bourg are working on a report on the pilot project and recommendations for next steps.
Staff reported that water consumption in the mid-Mesa area declined as compared to the same time last year (August/September/ October). It is one of the lowest consumption quarters on record for this time of year.
Staff is busy training new employees and trouble-shooting problems at the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant. The staff has replaced the membranes in two of the plant’s four filters as they had reached the end of their useful life. Consultant John Lewis was on site yesterday to conduct training and make adjustments at the plant; he will be back in early February for more work/training.
ACWA/JPIA will hold a training day for BCPUD staff on December 9th at the Firehouse Public Meeting Room and personnel from neighboring districts have been invited. The training day will include Confined Space Entry and Defensive Driving instruction. This training is provided at no cost to the BCPUD and is an excellent training opportunity, particularly for the district’s new staff.
Staff reported that the hazardous tree removal project in the Dogwood right-of-way has been completed to the satisfaction of the requesting neighborhood. The work was completed in three days and all wood was removed from the project site and/or chipped.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to a notice from the State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB”) about a new water measurement law that will impact the district as of 2016. Specifically, the SWRCB will require water systems to report their raw water diversion numbers on a monthly basis beginning January 2016. At present, the district reports this data to the SWRCB on an annual basis on or before June 30th of the immediately preceding year. Staff noted that the SWRCB also issued a separate notice about the possibility of extending its emergency water conservation regulations if drought conditions persist into 2016. Finally, staff reported that there is yet another new SWRCB requirement that all small water systems report their water production data for July – November 2013 and July – November 2015 so that the state can compare the data to determine if systems are achieving the required conservation standards..
Staff reported that the district and the Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) met to discuss the possibility of jointly applying for grant funding from Cal Fire to continue the fire fuel reduction efforts in the eucalyptus grove on the sewer pond property. Staff from both districts met with a grant specialist who advised an application with Cal Fire because Bolinas is in the State Reponse Area (“SRA”) and there is $5 million available statewide for SRA funds. Grants of up to $100,000 are available with no match required (although match funding will make an application more attractive). The deadline to submit a grant application is January 7, 2016. Staff plans to prepare a proposal for the Board’s consideration at the December meeting.
On the wastewater side of operations, staff reported that flows continue to be low and spray season concluded on November 15th.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including a letter from the BCPUD to Phil Smith, Manager of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”) advising that BCPUD will be resuming a leadership role with regard to the renewal of the non-toxic protocol agreement and requesting a one-year extension of the agreement to allow sufficient time for negotiation. Phil Smith responded by e-mail saying the BCPUD’s letter and request for extension would be on the agenda of the M&VCD’s West Marin subcommittee meeting, and included in the Board packet for the M&VCD monthly meeting on November 18th. Unfortunately, the West Marin subcommittee subsequently recommended modifiying mosquito control methods in West Marin effective January 2016 to include the use of methoprene for control of larval mosquitoes in septic systems, which currently is prohibited under the non-toxic protocol agreement. This recommendation has galvanized a widespread response and director Godino is working with other West Marin representatives to urge the M&VCD to reject the recommendation and work with West Marin to craft an extension of the non-toxic protocol.
The Board also reviewed a letter from resident Bill Barton informing the district that he has received permission from the California Coastal Commission to replace riprap at the base of the bluff below his house that has washed away over time. Bill inquired whether the BCPUD would like to evaluate the project. Director Siedman noted that the district has no jurisdiction over projects of this nature as there is no implications for water use, so it is not necessary for the district to review the project.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
The Board received a drainage report from Lewie Likover.
4. Public Hearing: Proposal to Increase Solid Waste, Recycling and Green Waste Collection Rates in the Bolinas Community Public Utility District.
Director Siedman opened the public hearing on a proposal to increase solid waste, recycling and green waste collection rates in the district. Staff reported that the district mailed out a Proposition 218 notice on October 2, 2015 to inform the community about tonight’s hearing and the proposed rate increase; the notice details the implications of the proposed increase in rates effective Janury 1, 2016 and through and including 2022. The associated amendment of the district’s franchise agreement extends for 15 years, so the district will undertake additional Proposition 218 processes to inform the community about the potential rate increases in upcoming years, consistent with the law. No public comment has been submitted for or against the current rate increase proposal.
Discussion ensued between the Board members and in response to questions, Redwood Empire Disposal representative Steve McCaffrey explained that the company has been operating at a loss for some time in Bolinas and the revised rate structure is intended to bring the rates up over time to fully cover the company’s costs. Director Comstock said that a review of rates throughout Marin County shows that even after the proposed rate increase is fully implemented, rates in Bolinas will be less than the rest of the County. Director Siedman noted that the Stinson Beach County Water District recently approved a similar rate increase and he recommends the Board approve the new rates as fair, reasonable and appropriate. Director Siedman inquired whether any one was present to comment on the proposed rate increase and there was no comment; accordingly, he closed the public hearing.
5. Amendment to Franchise Agreement for Solid Waste, Recycling and Green Waste Services between BCPUD and USA Waste of California, Inc./Redwood Empire Disposal, Inc. (as successor in interest)
Staff summarized the proposed amendment to the franchise agreement, which extends the terms of the franchise agreement to 2030 and sets the new rate structure as described in the Proposition 218 notice. The amendment also obligates Redwood Empire Disposal to provide specific quarterly reports to the district, to provide two bulky-waste clean-up events each year, and to pay the district an annual franchise fee of $5000.
L. Comstock/V. Amoroso three in favor, directors Godino and Smith absent to approve the amendment to the franchise agreement and associated rate increase.
6. Community Expression.
7. Expanded Water Use Permit Application - 160 Iris Road, Bolinas (APN # 191-181-17) (D. Stewart).
Director Siedman said the application describes a project to reroof and replace sklylights, with no implications for water use.
L. Comstock/V. Amoroso three in favor, directors Godino and Smith absent to grant an unconditional expanded water use permit.
8. Marin Local Agency Formation Commission: BCPUD Comments on Countywide Water Service Study (Municipal Service Review – Draft Report, August 2015).
The Board reviewed a draft letter prepared by staff to convey the district’s comments on the Marin LAFCO’s Countywide Water Service Study. Among other things, the district’s comments focus on the Study Summary and point out, as the district has several times, the BCPUD’s disagreement with Marin LAFCO’s assertion that water usage in Bolinas has “intensified” (which is not supported by the data) and with Marin LAFCO’s recommendation that the BCPUD expand its water treatment facility to accommodate alleged projected peak-day demand. The letter also encloses the district’s past comments on the agency profile about the BCPUD included in the Marin LAFCO study.
L. Comstock/V. Amoroso three in favor, directors Godino and Smith absent to approve the BCPUD comments on Marin LAFCO’s Countywide Water Service Study.
9. BCPUD Ordinance 30: Report from the Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads Committee re: Recommended Approach for BCPUD/Bolinas Fire Protection District Survey of Obstructions and Encroachments in the Public Rights-of-Way on the Bolinas Mesa.
Director Comstock reported that the committee met yesterday with district staff and Fire Chief Anita Tyrrell-Brown and Assistant Fire Chief Steve Marcotte to further discuss and clarify the scope of the survey to be conducted of obstructions and encroachments in the public rights-of-way. First, the committee clarified that the survey will be focused on the Mesa because none of the BCPUD’s sewer lines are obstructed by encroachments in the public rights-of-way downtown or on the Little Mesa and because the rights-of-way downtown and on the Little Mesa either are County rights-of-way (downtown) or private rights-of-way (Little Mesa). The committee further clarified that the BFPD has independent authority to address obstructions or encroachments in the rights-of-way that pose fire hazards; however, the two districts prefer to work collaboratively to prioritize areas of common concern. Both disticts are committed to providing as much notice and public education as possible to the community about the survey and its purpose, and to providing ample opportunity for public input; to that end, the BCPUD will have a standing item on its monthly Board meeting agenda on this topic and will feature the topic in this quarter’s Pipeline newsletter. Ultimately, director Comstock noted, the Board will need to provide specific guidance to staff with regard to enforcement. A brief discussion ensued and staff noted that the County will be consulted so that the districts understand what, if any, enforcement assistance the County can provide, particularly with regard to fences or other structures in the public rights-of-way.
10. Amendment to BCPUD’s Accounting Controls Procedures and Policies Manual.
Staff presented the prpoposed amendments to the district’s Accounting Controls Procedures and Policies Manual. The primary revision is to clarify that authorized signatories on the district’s bank accounts (i.e., directors and General Manager) cannot approve or sign checks payable to themselves, with the exception of the monthly director fee checks since the amount of those checks are set by Board resolution. The revisions also identify the district’s new billing systems (Intedata) and current bank accounts.
L. Comstock/V. Amoroso three in favor, directors Godino and Smith absent to approve the amendment to the district’s Accounting Controls Procedures and Policies.
11. Water Supply Update.
The Board reviewed the most recent water use data for the irrigation well, noting that water use declined significantly recently as water use by the three users (Mesa Park, Resource Recovery and the Murch farm) declined. The water levels in the well continue to recover quickly after pumping, but the concern remains about the possibility of seawater intrusion. Staff noted that the hydrologist’s report on the well aquifer should be completed by the end of the year.
12. Volunteer Committee Reports.
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Update re: Notice of Violation from the Marin County Environmental Health Services Department:
Staff noted that the County’s Environmental Health Services originally noted nine alleged violations at the Resource Recovery site; as of today, all have been addressed to the County’s satisfaction with the exception of the after-the-fact permit needed from the Regional Water Quality Control Board “(RWQCB”). Staff has submitted all of the required testing and written plans, as well as an engineering report by Wildscape Engineers verifying that the repaired berm will serve its purpose of protecting the drainage ditch (water course) from compost. The Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed that a nationwide permit covers the work and there is no need to submit anything further. It is possible that the County Department of Public Works will have further comment once all submittals are reviewed.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Nothing further to report.
-- Land Stewardship Committee: Receive Report from the Land Stewardship Committee. Director Siedman said this item will need to be deferred to the December meeting as the committee has not yet finalized its report.
4. Other Business.
a. Board Committee Reports.
-- Finance: Staff reminded the Board that there will be a special meeting on December 3, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. for the Board to receive the draft financial statements for the FY 2014-15 and host a presentation by the district’s outside auditor, Lisa Doran of Doran & Associates.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Nothing further to report.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Nothing further to report.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the October 21, 2015 regular meeting.
Directors Comtock and Amoroso offered corrections to several typographical errors in the draft minutes.
L. Comstock/V. Amoroso three in favor, directors Godino and Smith absent to approve the minutes of the October 21, 2015 regular meeting.
L. Comstock/V. Amoroso three in favor, directors Godino and Smith absent to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s):
Special Board meeting: December 3rd at 11:00 a.m.
Regular Board meeting: December 16, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.