1. Call to Order.
7: 30 p.m.
Directors Amoroso, Comstock, Godino, Siedman and Smith present; director Siedman presiding.
3. Manager’s Report.
-- Update on the Terrace Avenue Bluff Stabilization Project.
The Working Group is exploring how to best establish a non-profit entity to which “Save Terrace Avenue” donations can be donated on a tax-deductible basis. Staff consulted with the district’s outside CPA on this topic and a written summary of the conversation is in the Board binders. In brief, to establish a 501(c)(3) entity, it is necessary to develop articles of incorporation and by-laws, appoint a Board, and submit applications to the IRS, the state’s Franchise Tax Board and the state’s Registry of Charitible trusts and to follow the applicable rules and regulations, including annual filings with all three entities and meticulous bookkeeping. An alternative is to work with an existing non-profit as the project’s “fiscal sponsor”, although the fiscal sponsor then typically assesses a fee of 10% or more, which could be a deterrant to donations. TheWorking Group plans to meet on December 23rd at 11:00 a.m. to discuss next steps.
-- Update on the BCPUD Chlorine Disinfection Byproduct Reduction Project.
Lewie Likover reported that the clarifier rehabilitation project is nearly complete. New stairs and guard rails have been installed and the existing overflow piping (which is rusted) is scheduled to be replaced next month. Conduit was laid for new electrical lines and most of the backwash diversion piping was imbedded in the ground before the rains. A new finished water turbidometer has been installed and the old turbidometer was put on the raw water line to measure raw turbidity. A new chlorine analyzer is now on-line and running smoothly, and a new chlorine pump will be set up, as well. Jonathan Van Bourg is connecting the various switches and wiring for new alarms and shutoffs, and he is ordering necessary accessories. Finally, Lewie reported that he continues to research the district’s options for automatic strainer baskets that will work effectively on the district’s raw water transmission line (i.e., at low pressure).
-- Update on Status of the BCPUD’s Capital Improvement Plan.
The district’s consulting engineers have almost completed their valuation of the district’s priority assets. Staff noted that the engineers are recommending that the district seek a waiver from the State of its requirement to install 4-inch (minimum) mains; many of the district water mains in need of replacement are 2-inch lines and it would be very costly (an unnecessary) to upgrade to 4-inch lines; in addition, this would increase the detention time in the distribution system, which contributes to the chlorine disinfection byproduct problem. As such, staff intends to submit a waiver request to the State and permission to install smaller diameter mains.
As for the district’s current capital improvement projects, Administrative Assistant Belle Wood continues to do a wonderful job of implementing the new billing software and it should be completely installed by January 2015. The new meter to measure flows from the downtown sewer collection system into the district’s treatment ponds has been purchased and was scheduled for installation earlier this month, but staff has been fully occupied with pre- and post-storm work. Staff will install the meter as soon as time permits. The Mesa Park Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project is nearly complete; only the installation of the restroom and connection of restroom utilites remains to be done, along with several “punch list” items. The installation of the restroom has been delayed due to heavy rains and site conditions; it is simply too wet to safely operate the crane required to lift and place the restroom. Staff noted that Mesa Park delivered a check to the BCPUD for $50,000 to cover project costs as agreed per the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding entered into earlier this year.
Water consumption in the district continues to be very low, especially since the rains started; staff directed the Board’s attention to the consumption numbers in the Board books. As for rain totals, this year the district received 5.1 inches of rain in November, and has received 19.3 inches of rain thus far in December. The total rain fall received this year (from July 1, 2014 to the present) is 25.8 inches. In contrast, last year the district received 3.3 inches of rain in November, and 0.7 inches of rain in December. The major rainfall news within the district at present was the big storm last week – the district received 6 inches of rain in 24 hours from that storm. District staff were very busy preparing for the storm, and cleaning up afterward; Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover monitored drainage closely during and after the storm. Staff noted that the post-storm power outage was caused by a blown transformer near the Woodrat Water Treatment Plant. The County’s Department of Public Works road crew was on scene early on during the storm and did a commendable amount of clean-up work; staff proposed to send a letter of appreciation, and there was no objection from the Board. The Arroyo Hondo creek is flowing hard; the storm took down some trees and tree limbs that are now endangering the district’s transmission lines, so tree work will be completed when it has dried out and is safe to work. The district’s reservoirs are full and spilling.
John Norton reported a slide below a small impoundment near the windmill on National Park Service (“NPS”) land across from the Woodrat #2 reservoir. Staff investigated and confirmed there is a 4-acre foot “non-jurisdictional” dam at this location which is owned by the NPS and leased to Commonweal. Staff notified the Point Reyes National Seashore (“PRNS”) and met with PRNS staff to express concern about the implications of a failure of this dam: the district’s raw water line from the Arroyo Hondo Creek and a treated water line are vulnerable if a large amount of water is released, and a breach could cause considerable silt and debris to impact water quality in the Woodrat#2 reservoir. PRNS staff will meet with staff from the Bureau of Reclamation and will update the district on next steps after that meeting.
Staff met recently with County Environmental Health Services staff about the irrigation well at the Resource Recovery site and steps needed to ensure the protection of groundwater there. It was agreed that staff will submit a site operations plan to whereby (1) during rainy season, a 60-foot setback will be maintained between all compost piles and the well pad, and (2) a berm will be constructed around the well pad to divert rainwater.
On the wastewater side of operations, the district experienced high flows into the sewer system during the storm – 160,000 gallons were pumped into the ponds from downtown, whereas the norm is 20,000 -30,000 gallons. Staff plans to conduct a smoke test and other inspections to determine whether a failed cleanout, or roof gutter tie-in or some other point source is diverting stormwater into the collection system.
As reported at last month’s meeting, the district experienced some damage to its sewer collection main on Wharf Road in the vicinity of the County’s seawall repair project. Staff will be meeting with County staff to discuss responsibility for payment. Staff directed the Board’s attention to an e-mail in the meeting binders from the district’s wastewater consultant advising, with regard to the new order issued by the State Water Resources Control Board for small domestic wastewater systems, that the Regional Board will contact the distict if it wants us to apply for coverage under the new order – until then, the district should continue to operate per the terms of its existing permit.
The Board reviewed correspondence sent and received since the last regular meeting, including a notice of abandonment by Jeremy Kidson of his property on the ocean side of Ocean Parkway and a copy of the final Proposed Enviornment Impact Report concerning the California Department of Food & Agriculture’s statewide plant pest prevention and management program
-- Drainage Project Manager’s Report.
Drainage Project Manager Lewie Likover submitted a written report and was present to answer questions from the Board.
4. Community Expression.
Director Comstock requested that the Board advance to item 6 on the agenda; there was no objection.
6. Request from North Bay Corporation for Annual Rate Adjustment of 2.52% Effective January 1, 2015.
Steve McCaffrey greeted the Board and said he was present to formally request the rate increase allowed per the terms of the company’s franchise agreement with the district. He noted that the agreement provides for an increase equal to 85% of the Bay Area consumer price index. As such, for a 32 gallon can, the monthly fee would increase from $16.49 to $16.91.
L. Comstock/D.Smith all in favor to approve the annual rate adjustment per the terms of the franchise agreement.
5. Request for Financial Relief from Quarterly Water Bill pursuant to BCPUD Resolution 553 – 185 Iris Road (Weare).
Chris Weare was present by telephone to answer questions from the Board. Director Smith inquired whether the leak was visible on the property given the amount of water loss. Chris said the BCPUD alerted him to the leak, which was on the water line to the house near the meter on Iris Road, which was observed during the quarterly meter read. Noting that the Board approved a prior request for financial relief due to water loss at this same property, director Smith inquired whether anyone lives full-time at the house. Chris said that a tenant is there, but uses the Juniper Road entrance and did not see the leak. He said that as soon as the leak was brought to his attention, he shut off water immediately and hired Rudi Ferris to repair the pipe. After a brief discussion, director Amoroso moved that the Board grant full financial relief for the amount of water attributable to the leak, but noted it is the last time the Board will grant relief at this property under the same circumstances. Director Comstock seconded the motion on the ground that it was difficult to observe and the owner did move aggressively to repair it; he echoed director Amoroso’s remarks that a third request for relief will not be well-received and urged the owner to monitor the property carefully.
V. Amoroso/L. Comstock all in favor to grant full financial relief from the quarterly water bill for the amount attributable to the leak based on the historical usage during the same quarter at this property for the prior three years.
7. West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Update on Issues For Discussion with the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District at the January 6, 2015 Special Meeting of the BCPUD Board of Directors Concerning the Renewal of a Non-Toxic Protocol for West Marin. (L. Goldblatt).
Liza Goldblatt thanked the Board for agreeing to host the January 6, 2015 meeting concerning the non-toxic protocol for West Marin. She reported that an OMRI-approved adulticide and larvacide have been released for mosquito control and that she has provided information about these products to the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (“M&VCD”). Discussion ensued about likely topics of discussion during the meeting, the importance of education and mechanical control of mosquitoes to reduce the need for any type of chemical treatment, OMRI-approved or otherwise. In response to questions from directors, Liza said the objective of the meeting is to persuade the M&VCD Board members in attendance to recommend to their full Board that the M&VCD renew the existing non-toxic protocol for West Marin on the same terms. Liza will submit information to the local newspapers about the meeting and to her network of contacts, as well.
8. Cross-Connection Control Survey Mailer to BCPUD Customers.
Staff presented a draft cross-connection control mailer to BCPUD customers to the Board for its consideration. Staff reminded the Board that the district is required by the State Water Resources Control Board to issue this survey to determine whether additional backflow prevention devices are needed on the district’s distribution system to protect the quality of the water. Directors offered suggested revisions to the text of the cover letter and survey and directed staff to proceed with implementation.
V. Amoroso/L. Comstock all in favor to approve the cross-connection control survey, as amended.
9. Water Supply Update.
Director Smith reported that the Operations Committee is planning to meet with consulting hydro-geologist Rob Gailey next month to discuss next steps on the district’s water supply study.
10. Volunteer Committee Reports
-- Bolinas Lagoon Advisory Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Downtown Parking & Traffic Committee: Nothing to report.
-- Resource Recovery: Nothing further to report.
-- West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council: Nothing further to report.
-- Land Stewardship Committee: Recommendation for Removal of Pampas Grass from BCPUD Sewer Pond Lands. Director Siedman reported that the committee met last Friday and is recommending that the district spend not more than $500 to remove invasive pampas grass from specific sites on the sewer pond property. The money will pay for hauling and manual labor as the sites are too difficult to access with machinery.
D. Smith/V. Amoroso all in favor to authorize up to $500 to be spent on labor and hauling to remove invasive pampas grass from the sewer pond property.
11. Other Business
a. Board Committee Reports
-- Finance: Staff said that final copies of the audited financial statements for the district’s 2013-14 fiscal year are in the Board binders.
-- Legal: Director Comstock inquired about the rates paid by North Bay Corporation to dispose of green waste it collects in the district at the Resource Recovery site and was informed the amount is based on the volume of green waste delivered.
-- Mesa Septic, Flood Control and Roads: After a brief discussion of hiring an equipment operator to load grindings into resident’s pick-up trucks, staff was directed to put a notice in the Hearsay News to remind residents about the availability of free asphalt-concrete grindings at the Mesa Park parking lot for road improvement projects in Bolinas.
-- Operations: Nothing further to report.
-- Park and Recreation: Director Amoroso reported that he attended the Mesa Park Board meeting in December and the Ballfield Irrigation and Public Restroom Project is on-budget and nearly complete.
-- Personnel: Nothing to report.
-- Sewer: Nothing to report.
b. Minutes of the November 19, 2014 Regular Meeting.
Directors Amoroso, Godino and Comstock offered clarifying revisions to the draft minutes of the November 19, 2014 regular meeting.
D. Smith/L. Comstock all in favor to approve the minutes of the November 19, 2014 regular meeting, as amended.
L. Comstock/D. Smith all in favor to approve the warrant list.
d. Scheduling of Next Meeting(s)
January 21, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. NOTE: Special Board meeting on January 6, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.