Public Utility District
Meeting Of The Board Of Directors
November 19, 2008 270 Elm Road, Bolinas
1. Call to Order
Directors Amoroso, Kimball, McClellan, and Smith present;
director Siedman absent. Director Amoroso presiding.
3. Manager’s Report
Staff reported that the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant
is now running on 24 new membranes and that the operations problems reported
at last month’s meeting appear to be resolved: specifically, air consumption
is down, treated water quality is improved, and the district’s ability to
produce water is enhanced. Although the situation presented was stressful,
the operational staff learned a tremendous amount during the process of resolving
these problems. Another opportunity for learning occurred a couple
of weeks ago when staff conducted a routine exercise of the generator, which
inadvertently caused power to surge to the filters inside the treatment plant
and two power packs on the control panels failed. Again, staff handled
the situation well – after an initial concern about a possible interface
with the solar arrays, it was determined that rats have managed to nest inside
the generator (despite the “rat proof” enclosure the district installed several
years ago) and caused, at a minimum, the voltage regulator and photo cell
to fail. Staff is waiting for a repair quote for the generator and
already has worked with Siemens to expedite the necessary parts order to
install replacement power packs on the affected filter control panels.
On the wastewater side of operations, the district completed its spray season
ahead of schedule. In recent days, staff has focused on vegetation
management, particularly on the section of the sewer pond property above
the Resource Recovery Project. Staff coordinated a brush reduction
project and invited the Fire Chief to assess the work; brush (i.e., fire
fuel) in excess of 10 feet high was removed and numerous illegal campsites
were discovered (along with candles and other fire hazards). Staff
has posted the area as “no camping” and removed abandoned items. At
the lift station, the district is scheduled to install a new replacement
pump during the first week of December.
Staff directed the Board’s attention to the most recent
water consumption data, which shows that consumption is down on the middle
of the Mesa as compared to this time last year. The Board then reviewed
correspondence sent and received since the last regular Board meeting, including
but not limited to the district’s application for a Safe Drinking Water State
Revolving Fund loan to move its water main off of Terrace Avenue at Surfer’s
Overlook, a letter to the County Planning Department regarding the Local
Coastal Plan update process, and a notice from the State Water Resources
Control Board that a revised version of the statewide septic system regulations
has been issued and a public comment period will be open until February 9,
2009. A workshop concerning the proposed regulations will be held in
Santa Rosa on January 27, 2009. After some discussion, the Board referred
this matter to the Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads Committee of the
Board (i.e., Don Smith and Jack McClellan).
-- Update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility of
the BCPUD Building.
The district’s permit application to remodel its office building and parking
lot to meet ADA accessibility guidelines cleared the County Planning Department
in September, cleared Land Development/ DPW in October, and is now under
review by the Building & Safety Inspection Division. The Division
has requested that the district’s outside designer, Steve Matson, provide
some additional drawings and notes, which he is in the process of doing,
to complete the permit application.
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover is on vacation and submitted a written
4. Community Expression
Director McClellan noted that the Giacomini dike in Point Reyes Station has
been deconstructed and wetlands have been restored in this area of the Tomales
Cela O’Connor urged the BCPUD Board to consider how the Bolinas Community
Plan can be implemented and enforced and she advocated the creation of a
separate Planning Group to do so. David Kimball said it is his belief
that a majority of the Bolinas Planning Group members agree that the BPG
does not want to be a design review committee. Director Amoroso suggested
that Cela’s request be sent back to the Bolinas Planning Group for an express
comment. Director Kimball said she believes the current process, whereby
the County forwards significant permit applications to the BCPUD for review
and comment (which the BCPUD then includes on its regular meeting agenda
for determination) and the BCPUD conveys public comment, is working well
and does not need to be altered.
5. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill
due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 95 Olema-Bolinas
Warren Weber told the Board that upon receiving his most recent water bill,
he immediately looked for a leak on his property and discovered a break in
the plumbing underneath the house next to the Bolinas School. He said
he was completely unaware of the leak prior to this because it was underground
and no water was surfacing. Once the leak was discovered (and he has
no idea how long it was there), he replaced the plumbing immediately.
Upon reviewing BCPUD Resolution 553, he believes his case meets the criteria
for financial relief. He noted that in his area along Gospel Flats,
the soil is very porous soil and drains well, which would explain why the
water from the leak was not surfacing.
Director McClellan said that the circumstances were beyond his control and
that he appears to qualify for complete relief; Director Kimball agreed and
said she was willing to grant such relief because he took immediate action
to fix the leak. Director McClellan advised Mr. Weber to regularly
read his meter to ensure that such a large water loss does not recur.
Director Smith agreed that the matter was well handled and suggested that
the Board reissue the bill based on the average usage during the same billing
period over the last three years at current rates.
J.McClellan/D. Smith all in favor to
grant financial relief for the entirety of the amount attributable to the
leak and reissue the bill based on the Weber’s average usage during the prior
three years during the same billing period, at current rates.
6. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill
due to Unintentional Water Loss (pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553) – 115
Susan Barkan explained that her house in Bolinas is a second home that is
used one or two weeks per month; there is no washing machine or dishwasher
and she does not have a lawn. When she first received her water bill,
she immediately hired a plumber to investigate for a leak, but he was unable
to locate any leak on her property. She also reduced the water used
in the property’s automatic irrigation system. There is no explanation
for the high water use that she has been able to identify; at this point,
she can only conclude that the gardener left a hose on by mistake – he told
her that did not happen, but she doesn’t know what else to conclude.
Director Smith said it was clear that there is no explanation for the high
water use and that she endeavored to determine the source of the problem
immediately; on the other hand, she is responsible for supervision at the
property, whether she is there to do so herself or not. He noted that
in similar past cases, the district has reduced bills by 50% of the amount
by which the bill exceeded past usage during the same billing period over
the last three years, and he recommended that approach here. Discussion
ensued as to whether the irrigation system could be involved, in which case
the matter is not eligible for relief. In response to questions, Ms.
Barkan explained that the system is on a timer and that the plumber inspected
it for leaks. The Board members agreed it seemed most likely that a
hose had been left on, but that there was no way to be sure. Director
Smith renewed his suggestion to apply the reasoning of prior similar cases
(one in which a hose was left on, another in which a toilet was running when
landlords were out of the country) and reduce the bill by 50% of the amount
by which the bill exceeded past usage during the same billing period over
the last three years. Director McClellan advised Ms. Barkan of the
district’s policy of discouraging automatic irrigation systems because of
the proclivity for leaks and malfunctions; Director Smith emphasized that
he would not support financial relief of any kind if he thought the water
loss was caused by an irrigation system.
D. Smith/J. McClellan three in favor, Kimball opposed
to reduce the Barkan water bill by 50% of the amount by which the bill exceeded
past usage during the same billing period during the prior three years.
7. Expanded Water Use Permits; Notices of Non-Compliance
- 72 Crescente (Jenkins); 52 Wharf (Goosherst); 46 Crescente (Hostetler).
Director Siedman arrived at 8:37 p.m. and presided over
the remainder of the meeting.
Staff reported that Mr. Jenkins is out of compliance with the terms of his
expanded water use permit; the maximum quarterly allowance is 3400 cubic
feet, but Mr. Jenkins used 11,500 cubic feet for the quarter ending June
2008 and 6100 cubic feet for the quarter ending September 2008. Staff
has been in regular contact with the property landscaper since Mr. Jenkins
receipt of the first non-compliance letter and the landscaper implemented
immediate water conservation measures. Chief Operator Bill Pierce met
with the landscaper at the property and made specific conservation suggestions.
It seems that extensive landscaping was installed at the property in late
spring, which is clearly the source of the water use. Staff noted the
significant decline in consumption in the most recent quarter and that further
water conservation measures have since been implemented; staff is hopeful
that the property will be in compliance (or close thereto) in the current
quarter. Discussion ensued among the Board members as to the appropriate
next steps, with directors and members of the public lamenting the amount
of water used for landscaping purposes.
J. McClellan/B. Kimball all in favor
to send a letter to the property owner initiating the 60-day water service
termination procedures for violation of the terms of the expanded water use
permit and to specify that water service will be terminated if the property
remains out of compliance with the permit terms by the end of the 60-day
Staff reported that the Goosherst property was out of
compliance with the terms of their expanded water use permit in part of the
2007-08 fiscal year, but non-compliance notices inadvertently were not sent
due to an error in the district’s internal tracking system (which has since
been corrected). The maximum quarterly allowance for this property
is 3100 cubic feet, but the Goosherst’s used 6200 cubic feet for the quarter
ending June 2008 and 7500 cubic feet for the quarter ending September 2008.
The property owners have been in very regular contact with BCPUD staff since
their receipt of the non-compliance letters, staff has met with them at the
property, and specific measures are being implemented to identify the specific
sources of use and also reduce water usage at this multi-use building (a.k.a.
“the Barn” on Wharf Road, with several individual business tenants).
An existing irrigation system has been shut down, but further steps are in
progress to identify the usage of the individual business tenants and conduct
inspections of their plumbing fixtures. After some discussion, director
Siedman recommended that staff continue its investigatory work with the property
owners and report back to the Board at the next regular meeting and the Board
Finally, staff reported on the Hostetler property. Like the Goosherst
property, this property was out of compliance with the terms of its expanded
water use permit during part of the 2007-08 fiscal year, but the same internal
tracking error resulted in no notice being sent to the property owners during
that time. The maximum quarterly allowance for this property is 3900
cubic feet, but the Hostetler property used 6300 cubic feet during the quarter
ending June 2008 and 7500 cubic feet for the quarter ending September 2008.
The property owner has been in regular contact with staff since her recent
receipt of the second non-compliance notice – evidently she did not receive
the first notice when it arrived as she was out of the country and her son
was in the hospital and she only just saw both notices. No site visit
to the property by staff has been done yet; the property owner plans to retain
a plumber to check for leaks and has instructed her tenants at the property
to reduce water usage immediately. Discussion ensued between Board
members whether to issue a 60-day water service termination notice or to
direct staff to continue work with the property owner and report back at
the next meeting.
J. McClellan/B. Kimball three in favor; Amoroso opposed
and Smith abstained to send a letter
to the property owner initiating the 60-day water service termination procedures
for violation of the terms of the expanded water use permit and to specify
that water service will be terminated if the property remains out of compliance
with the permit terms by the end of the 60-day period.
8. Whitefield Lot Line Adjustment (LL 08-8), Whitefield
Merger (MG 09-11) and Commons Merger (MG 09-12), 575 Aspen Road and 161 Mesa
Chris Whitefield explained that the lot line adjustment was to split an undeveloped
property between adjacent property owners. No public comment was provided.
9. Request for BCPUD Action on Bolinas Beach Committee
Recommendation For a Year-Round No Camping Ordinance for Bolinas Beach (O’Connor).
Cela O’Connor requested action by the BCPUD on the Bolinas Beach Committee’s
recommendation for a year-round no-camping ban at Bolinas Beach. Director
Amoroso noted that the Committee had been directed by the BCPUD to hold a
town meeting to discuss its Final Report, which included the recommendation
of a year-round camping ban, but no such meeting has yet occurred.
Magi Barror, the former chair of the Bolinas Beach Committee, said that the
committee was very much split on this recommendation and that the camping
issue was not the main focus of the committee -- in fact, many of the Final
Report’s core recommendations already have been implemented. However,
this particular issue has not been resolved and Magi agreed that it needs
to go to the town for input. Bruce Bowser, who also served on the committee,
noted that many of the issues at the beach have vastly improved but that
a serious public health issue remains with regard to beach camping and he
supports a year-round ban. Director Amoroso said if the town supports
the ban, he will too – public process and input is important and he suggested
an advisory vote on a proposed camping ban ordinance.
Director Smith reminded other Board members that the Board
previously accepted the Beach Committee’s Final Report, but did not endorse
it; pending the community meeting that was to be held. In response
to questions from director Siedman, director Smith said he does not personally
support a full-time ban on camping but rather enforcement by the County Sheriff
of the existing weekend no-camping ban. Director Smith favors a community
meeting about the Final Report, followed by a decision as to whether an advisory
measure on the issue is called for. Director Kimball said she feels
it is now time for the advisory poll to occur as its time for the community
to make up its mind on this issue. Director Siedman said that in the
past, when contentious issues arise, the BCPUD solicits community input.
B. Kimball moved to place a measure on the next ballot to ask the community
whether there should be a full-time camping ban at Brighton Beach; director
McClellan seconded the motion.
After further discussion, it was decided that the BCPUD
should also more fully distribute the Beach Committee’s Final Report via
posting on its website and forwarding to local newspapers in advance of the
B. Kimball/J. McClellan all in favor
to place advisory measure on an upcoming ballot to poll the community as
to whether there should be a full-time, year-round ban on camping on Bolinas
10. Bolinas Mesa Road Improvement Projects: Approve
Ground Asphalt Delivery at Mesa Park Parking lot; Discuss/Approve Recommendations
of BCPUD and Bolinas Fire Protection District Staff for Potential Road Surface
Improvement Projects and Related Budgetary Items; Discuss/Approve West Poplar
Road Maintenance Group Application to Cap Kale Road from Alder to Poplar,
Poplar Road from Kale to Yucca, and Yucca Road to Ocean Parkway South with
Director Siedman noted that the first item on this agenda item is to approve
the delivery of ground asphalt at the Mesa Park parking lot. Director
McClellan so moved and director Kimball seconded the motion. Andy Blake,
a member of the Mesa Park Board, stated that the Mesa Park agency does not
need the approval of BCPUD for its action in accepting the ground asphalt.
Staff said the agenda item is there to clarify the respective roles of Mesa
Park on the one hand and the BCPUD on the other, if any, in the acceptance
of ground asphalt – if Mesa Park is accepting all responsibility for the
delivery, storage and maintenance of this material, there is no role for
BCPUD. Andy Blake emphasized that the delivery is a huge donation of
the “best material we have found to put on the roads.” Director Siedman
stated that Mesa Park already has accepted responsibility for accepting the
material and storing it, but that once folks apply for a permit to spread
the material on BCPUD rights-of-way, it becomes a BCPUD issue.
Andy Blake inquired as to who will manage the use of the material and who
decides who gets to use it? Also, should folks be charged for their
use of the material? Additional issues include the cost of hauling
from Mesa Park and the cost of equipment to lay the asphalt, as well as how
to control speed on the improved roads. He advocated the installation
of speed bumps to slow traffic. Ned Riley commented that he received
a message at home from someone opposed to using any petroleum based products
on BCPUD roads and that he thinks there is opposition to the application
of this ground asphalt in his neighborhood. Director Amoroso urged
that BCPUD not move forward with any projects apart from the West Poplar
project currently proposed until more information is conveyed to the community.
Andy Blake said that he has been told that the volatile portions of the hydrocarbons
in the asphalt have long ago gassed off and that this is acceptable recycled
material. He said he understands that there are concerns, but there
is no way the West Poplar road group could afford the proposed road improvement
project without this material. He questioned BCPUD even placing the
item on the agenda for discussion, as the project is, in essence, nothing
more than the road group’s usual maintenance. In response to questions,
Andy acknowledged the road group has not previously spread ground asphalt
on Poplar Road, other than two small sections. Discussion ensued about
how to inform the community about the ground asphalt and how to convey information
about its recycled nature. Director Smith volunteered to write an article
for publication in the Hearsay News.
Further discussion ensued about whether Mesa Park should charge for the material
and the potential cost of road improvement projects. Andy Blake said
that Don Murch said he would charge $10 a cubic yard to deliver material
to the Mesa and that the cost of the proper equipment to apply the material
is likely $15 a yard (but that depends on whether the material is simply
spread, or watered and rolled out). The West Poplar road group has
committed the funds to pay for the project, but since Ghilotti is participating
in it, the project must be done either on Thursday or Friday. Director
McClellan moved to expand the project to include the application of ground
asphalt on “East” Poplar between Cedar and Kale; he stated that he has personally
called all affected neighbors and there is no opposition.
Director Siedman said the first decision is whether director Smith should
draft an article for publication in local newspapers and on the district
website; there was no opposition. Next, he called the question as to
whether there was a motion to approve the West Poplar Road group road improvement
project. Director Kimball moved to approve the project as described
in the permit application and director Amoroso seconded the motion.
Chief Operator Pierce requested that all valves on Poplar Road remain accessible
before, during and after the project.
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso all in favor to
approve the West Poplar road improvement project as described in the permit
Andy Blake inquired whether the BCPUD would contribute
funds toward this project and director Siedman said no. Andy said the
BCPUD is obligated to maintain roads to protect its water lines and inquired
whether funds could be contributed for that reason. Chief Operator
Pierce said that the water lines on Poplar Road run only between Overlook
and Evergreen and the BCPUD has been maintaining that area for years.
Director Smith said the BCPUD should consider whether it has a responsibility
or desire to improve the roads and, if so, how this would be done; there
are issues of safety, access, water lines, garbage truck travel and so forth.
Director Amoroso stated that there is no money in the district’s 2008-09
fiscal year budget for such projects, but it is something that can be discussed
in upcoming budget discussions for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
11. Approve Amendments to BCPUD’s Conflict of Interest
J. McClellan/B. Kimball all in favor
to approve Resolution 571, which amends and updates the BCPUD’s Conflict
of Interest Code.
12. Potential Amendments to Resolution 152 re: Water Meter
This matter was deferred to a future meeting.
13. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Alternative Energy: Director Smith reported that the solar arrays
are now operating; the contractor is installing the monitoring systems and
the district is in the process of seeking its state rebate checks via the
California Solar Initiative.
-- Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee: Director Amoroso reported that
Burr Henemann has requested to be appointed to this committee; his letter
of application is in the Board binders.
J. McClellan/D. Smith all in favor to
appoint Burr Henemann to the Bolinas Community Plan Review Committee.
. Director Amoroso commented that the Committee has turned
its focus in recent meetings to the County’s Local Coastal Plan Update process.
The County has said it will not likely act on updating local community plans
for many years, so the Committee is focused on the plan that is in the process
of being updated (and which has significant implications for Bolinas and
all communities in Marin’s coastal zone).
-- Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Community Paths Group: Director Smith stated that the bike path
project really won’t be fully complete for another year because there is
on-going work to do, but an agreement has been reached with local equestrians
about the horse route via the property to minimize or eliminate degradation
to the path. Horse crossing areas have been identified and signage
(to be created by StuArt) will be installed. The district will apply
for disbursement of the grant funds as soon as the County’s encroachment
permit is signed off.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing to report.
-- Terrace Avenue/Alternative Access Road Committee: Report on Meeting
with Supervisor Steve Kinsey and County Department of Public Works.
Director Siedman reported on a meeting held earlier that
day at the Firehouse & Clinic Building, which was attended by Supervisor
Kinsey, Chief Assistant Director of Public Works Bob Beaumont, representatives
of the BCPUD and Bolinas Fire Protection District (“BFPD”) and some members
of the BCPUD’s Terrace Avenue Committee. The meeting was convened at
Supervisor Kinsey’s request; the County would like to partner with the BCPUD
and BFPD to stabilize Surfer’s Overlook. The County is willing to dedicate
funds for engineering and to commence the Coastal Commission permit process,
but is requesting a community commitment to this endeavor. The County
also requested that the BCPUD suspend its Public Records Act request, in
which the BCPUD requested that the County provide documents relating to Terrace
Avenue and the County’s seawall below. In the short term, the County
agreed to install a curb at the top of Surfer’s Overlook to divert surface
water from the street off the face of the bluff. Director Siedman said
that there is a renewed sense of partnership on this difficult issue between
Bolinas and the County; the County requested that the BCPUD and BFPD send
a letter as a follow-up to the meeting in which the districts confirm their
commitment to working with the County. Director Smith added that he
and staff met recently with the engineer who designed the groin on Bolinas
Beach to assess possible engineering solutions to stabilize the bluff and
the engineer identified several possible approaches; in particular, there
is an example of a seawall in Santa Cruz that was installed within the last
10 years that seems very promising.
Director Siedman requested Board authorization
to send the letter Supervisor Kinsey requested and to send instructions to
the district’s attorneys to suspend the pending Public Records Act request.
V. Amoroso/D. Smith all in favor to send
the requested follow-up letter to Supervisor Kinsey and to instruct the district’s
attorney to suspend the pending Public Records Act request.
-- West Nile Virus Task Force/West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council:
Nothing to report.
14. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Approve Independent Contractor Agreement for New Bookkeeper
B. Kimball/V. Amoroso all in favor
to approve independent contractor agreement.
-- Legal: Nothing to report.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: Director Smith confirmed that
he and director McClellan will review the proposed statewide septic regulations.
-- Operations: Nothing to report.
-- Parks and Recreation: Director Siedman presented design drawings
for the downtown park and said the next step is to finalize details with
the designer and then schedule a public meeting to present the design to
the town. After that, the committee will move on to the permit process,
assuming there is no significant opposition or changes needed to the design.
The design incorporates drought resistant plants and cisterns are planned
for installation at the base of the hill at the back of the park.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the October 8, 2008 Special Meeting; Minutes of the October
15, 2008 Regular Meeting.
Director Smith offered minor corrections to the October 8th special meeting
D. Smith/V. Amoroso all in favor to approve
the minutes of the October 8, 2008 special meeting, as amended.
D. Smith/B. Kimball 4 in favor, Amoroso abstaining
to approve the minutes of the October 15, 2008 regular meeting.
J. McClellan/D. Smith all in favor
to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
December 17, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.