SBCWD BOARD MEETING MINUTES


REGULAR MEETING
SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2007

A.    CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL

Director Sapanai called a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, March 24, 2007 at 9:35a.m., at the District Office located at 3785 Shoreline Highway in Stinson Beach, California.

Directors present:
Elizabeth Sapanai, President
Jim Zell, Vice President
Lawrence Baskin, Director
Barbara Boucke, Director
Scott Tye, Director

Staff present:
Toby Bisson, Interim Secretary
Christine Casper, Recording Secretary

B.    PUBLIC EXPRESSION

None.

C.    SETTING OF AGENDA

Director Baskin made a motion to adopt the agenda as presented; motion approved by unanimous vote.

D.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Director Tye made a motion to approve minutes for Wednesday, February 14, seconded by Director Baskin and approved by unanimous vote with the following change: page 2, line 23 "are $90,000" shall be changed to "were approximately $90,000".

Director Sapanai reminded Toby Bisson to provide her with the prior communication exchange between the District and Bolinas School so that she can draft a letter to the school's superintendent regarding the district's flushing of the school's hydrant.

Motion to approve minutes for Saturday, February 24 made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote with the following changes: page 1, line 50 "has exceeded" shall be changed to "had exceeded," and on page 4, line 25 "Shauf" shall be changed to "Schauf".

E.    APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

Motion to approve January 3 disbursements and all February disbursements (February 2, February 8, February 14, February 21, and February 22) made by Director Tye, seconded by Director Zell, and approved by unanimous vote.

Barbara Boucke, of the Finance Committee, reported that she has reminded the bookkeeper, Janice Payne, that all voided checks require Toby's signature. Christine added that in the future, Janice will only do two check runs per month. Director Tye asked where the voided checks are kept; Director Boucke replied that Janice shall keep all voided checks in a file for the auditor.

Motion to approve board member compensation request forms made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote: Scott Tye, February 12 Water Operations and February 16 Wastewater; Barbara Boucke, March 6 Finance and March 14 Finance; Lawrence Baskin, March 6 Finance and March 14 Finance; Jim Zell, March 12 Water Operations.

Director Sapanai stated that the verbiage at the top of the Board Compensation Request form should be edited; "...the submittals must be received by the last day of the month in which they were incurred" should be changed to "Please submit this form to Christine as soon as possible after the meeting."

F.    FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Director Boucke reported on the second quarter 2006-2007 financial statements: Director Boucke stated that second quarter financials were rerun on March 21st; some adjustments were made since the original set was run on March 5th; Director Boucke plans to meet with the bookkeeper, Janice Payne, to review those changes. Director Boucke related that a big adjustment in November was changed to a smaller adjustment in December, which affected the retirement and PERS accounts. Director Boucke added that though there is confusion in the books, the bottom line numbers are correct. Specifically, the revenues, expenses and cash balances are all correct. Director Boucke concluded that Janice will rerun January financials for the Finance Committee.

Christine distributed a supplementary financial packet to the board members that included the financial "dot" report (highlighting the balances in the District's six cash accounts) and documentation verifying the balances in those accounts. The District's six cash accounts are: the operating account, the payroll account, the LAIF account, the Westamerica CD account, the Seadrift Waterline Replacement Account, and the Union Bank CSCDA2002C account. Director Baskin explained that Christine was asked to provide the Board with this supplementary information because at the last board meeting the Financial Committee had related some continuing problems with the financial statements; the Finance Committee is still working on those problems. Thus, even though the financial reports are not reflecting accurate figures, the money is in the cash accounts.

Director Boucke stated that third quarter financial statements (January through March) will be available in April and will be presented to the Board in May.

The Board approved Barbara Boucke's request to have Christine trained on payroll.

G.    GENERAL BUSINESS

  1. Consideration of a Water Use Charge Reduction for Property Located at 103 Seadrift Road, Account #7750, Howard Spindler, Owner: Toby Bisson reported that after a standard meter read, the District staff noticed high use and investigated the problem; when staff arrived at the residence, the meter indicator was not spinning and the leak appeared to have already been repaired.

    Director Tye noted that the billing date in question is October 2nd, so the leak occurred during the District's critical fire season. Director Zell stated that (after reading the applicant's letter) this is the first time he has ever heard of a silent toilet leak. Director Sapanai stated that she would not accede to a fifty-percent reduction because the use during the billing period in question was 10,000 cubic feet, and on the July 28 bill of the prior year, use was 6,200 cubic feet. Thus, a fifty-percent reduction would reduce the bill beyond normal use. Director Sapanai continued that the letter from the applicant indicated that there were people (the applicant and others) inspecting the property for water leaks, but in order to properly check for leaks, someone needs to be checking the meter.

    Howard Spindler, applicant and owner of 103 Seadrift Road, addressed the Board. Mr. Spinder stated that he has owned the house since 1989, and that when he received the water bill in question, he was shocked; he immediately called the Water District, and District staff recommended that Kenny Stevens inspect the property for leaks. Kenny dropped some food coloring in the toilets, and though they did not hear water running, they eventually saw some coloring in the bowl. Thus, Kenny replaced the flappers and the next bill was back in the normal range, which indicated that the toilet may have contributed to the problem. Mr. Spindler added that during that time, renters and cleaning people were in and out of the property.

    Director Sapanai stated that an easy solution to leak problems is to have a digital meter (MDU) installed and have somebody read it once a week. Director Sapanai reported that she found a leak within her own water system by reading the digital meter at the bottom of her driveway every day. Mr. Spindler replied that he is willing to have an MDU installed.

    Director Zell stated that he has a problem with the fact that people were in the house but did not notice the leak, and that 10,000 cubic feet is a great deal of water to leak through flapper; that amount of water loss would require almost constant refilling of the tank. Director Zell suggested that Mr. Spindler attempt to recover some of the cost of the water loss from the rental agency. Director Sapanai reiterated that the only way to accurately check for water loss is to read the meter in the ground or a digital meter. Director Boucke added that a digital meter would allow him to monitor the water use of renters. Director Sapanai continued that the reason the District is so strict with regards to granting water use charge reductions is because the water is expensive to treat, store and transport, and because storage capacity is very limited; if a leak drains a tank in the middle of the fire season, the District is put at risk because it relies upon that water for fire protection.

    Director Baskin stated that he would be inclined to grant a fifty percent reduction; Director Sapanai replied that District policy does not allow for reductions for leaking toilets. Director Baskin made a motion to grant a fifty percent reduction, seconded by Director Tye; motion died.

    Director Boucke made a motion to grant a fifty percent reduction on the difference between the 10,000 cubic feet of the bill in question and the 6,200 cubic feet from the same billing period of the previous year (1,900 cubic feet), seconded by Director Baskin; motion died. A water use charge reduction was denied.
  2. Consideration of Reversal of Fees for Properties Located at 270 Calle del Mar, Account #4710, 90 Calle del Ribera, Account #0680 and 160 Buena Vista, Account # 3380, Jack Russo, Owner: Toby Bisson stated that Mr. Russo purchased these three properties in the same month; the billing information he provided the District is an address that he does not check on a regular basis; thus, he allegedly did not receive water bills and wants a credit for late fees. Christine added that the requested reversal of fees includes a one-time change of address fee for $45.00 per property. Thus, Toby stated that the total amount of fees he is requesting reversal for is $180; a $45 change of address fee and $15 late fee per each of the three properties.

    Director Tye stated that he was at the District Office when a representative for Mr. Russo initially called about the change of ownership; Director Tye verbally related all the information regarding the process of setting up service for a change of ownership, and Jackie followed-up with paperwork. Director Tye added that it is the owner's responsibility to check mail at the address given as the mailing address to set up service. Motion to deny the request for reversal of fees made by Director Tye, seconded by Director Zell and approved by unanimous vote.
  3. Consideration/Adoption of Amendment to Resolution GB 2002-07, Water Use Charge/Leak Reduction Policy: Director Baskin stated that the board previously decided to eliminate the word "reasonable" from the policy in reference to "circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the customer." However, Director Baskin stated that since situations may occur for which the Board will want to be responsive to a customer's request for a water use charge reduction, the Board should consider leaving "beyond the reasonable control" in the policy. Director Zell stated that the word "reasonable" should be removed from the policy since that word is open to interpretation; Director Zell added that the board should consider granting reductions in denominations other than fifty percent. Director Baskin stated that if the word "reasonable" is removed from the policy, then it prevents granting relief to applicants on an individual basis; thus the word "reasonable" should be left in the policy to avoid creating a zero- tolerance policy. The board decided to leave the word "reasonable" in the policy. The Board also decided to remove the words "District Policy" from line two of the first paragraph.

    Director Tye stated that the board should make a concerted effort to ask the Seadrift Association to notice all their residents about the need to install MDUs; it needs to be made imperative to the Seadrift Association's staff and board that their members are coming to the water district with high expectations for water use charge reductions.
  4. Consideration/Adoption of Amendment to Title V: Director Sapanai stated that at the last meeting, the board discussed eliminating garbage waivers; staff has provided the Board with a copy of that section of Title V with the proposed changes. Motion to approve elimination of the garbage policy made by Director Zell and seconded by Director Baskin.

    Director Tye stated that eliminating the waiver policy alleviates the staff from micromanaging the enforcement of that policy, and it creates a consistent increased revenue stream for waste management. Director Tye added that the District should obtain a quarterly report from waste management of all customers who have stopped payment or not signed up for garbage removal; the District would then give them one quarter to commence service before enforcement proceedings would begin. Director Tye added that, inadvertently, the increased revenue stream for waste management could result in an increased franchise fee. Director Sapanai stated that the District should also ask Waste Management to do an annual audit to inform the District of those who are not receiving garbage service.

    Toby Bisson pointed out the current policy disallows residents from removing their own garbage from their residence. Director Sapanai stated that the language needs to be changed to read that nothing shall prevent owners or occupants from removing or hiring somebody to remove trash accumulated on their property that is not picked-up by waste management.

    The board decided to have staff make the changes to the policy mentioned above, then to have the policy and its corresponding resolution presented at the next board meeting.

    Director Baskin stated that staff needs to include in the proposal a procedure for enforcement.
  5. Consideration/Adoption of Contract from Stetson Engineering for New Water Treatment Plant: Motion to adopt the contract as presented made by Director Baskin, and seconded by Director Zell. The Water Operations Committee reported their recommendation that the Board approve the contract; contract approved by unanimous vote.

H.    CLOSED SESSION/RETURN TO OPEN SESSION

  1. Review of the General Manager Position: The Board met in closed session pursuant to Government Code section 54957. Board entered closed session at 10:53a.m. and returned to open session at 11:13a.m. The board discussed a proposed contract for the general manager position between the District and Edward Schmidt. Director Baskin made a motion that the District employ the services of Edward Schmidt for general manager commencing on May 1, 2007 pursuant to the contract that Director Baskin has submitted; motion seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote

I.    COMMITTEE REPORTS

Director Zell reported that the Personnel Committee is meeting with the employees' designated representative on Wednesday, March 28 at 9:30a.m. to officially recognize Buck Meyer as spokesman for the employees and to receive from him a proposal (for employee compensation) for the coming fiscal year.

Director Boucke, of the Finance Committee, presented a draft of the 2007-2008 fiscal year budget and noted for the Board that the Finance Committee is recommending certain increases in revenues. Director Boucke directed the Board to the totals on the last page of the budget; the total revenues are a million and a half and the total expenses are one point two million, leaving a budget excess of two hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars (of which approximately half covers depreciation for the District). Director Boucke indicated on the budget that Water does not pay for itself, Wastewater does pay for itself, and property taxes are a primary source of revenue. The Finance Committee will meet again to further refine the budget.

Director Tye reported that the Water Operations Committee plans to meet on a monthly basis to review capital improvements.

Director Sapanai stated that the Wastewater Committee plans to meet on Monday, March 26; one of the agenda items is revision of Title IV.

Director Baskin, of the Finance Committee, asked both the Water Operations and Wastewater Committees to consider the recommendations of the Finance Committee with regards to increases in rates for the coming fiscal year.

J.    ADJOURNMENT

The next workshop meeting was set for Wednesday, April 11, and the next regular board was set for Saturday, April 21. Motion to adjourn made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote.




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