SBCWD BOARD MEETING MINUTES


REGULAR MEETING
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 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, August 18, 2007 at 9:30a.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

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

Staff present:
Toby Bisson
Christine Casper

B.    PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Barbara Fedun, owner of 85 Buena Vista, stated that in her research prior to purchasing her property, she discovered that an adjacent property owner had taken a pick axe to her leach field, causing her water to be shut off and her property to be uninhabitable. She is in the process of finding solutions to the problem, and asked the Board to give her special consideration, given that her system was destroyed by unnatural causes.

Jamie Sutton, of 3715 Shoreline Highway, stated that it is his intention to merge his lots into a single parcel and to move the septic system as far away from the creek as possible. The combined living space of the two proposed structures will be approximately 2,200 square feet. Mr. Sutton stated that a copy of the revised plans should be received by Rich Souza by next week so that they can be submitted to the Regional Board in time for a public hearing at the September 15th board meeting. Director Sapanai responded that since he is submitting an entirely new plan with different required variances, he needs to resend the neighbor notification.

Robert Roush, of 55 Buena Vista, asked what kind of septic system the Stinson Beach County Water District uses. Director Sapanai replied that the property does not have a septic system; it has a holding tank. Mr. Roush asked how much it costs each month to pump the tank. Director Baskin replied that it costs approximately $300.00 per month.

C.    SETTING OF AGENDA

Motion to adopt the agenda as presented made by Director Tye, seconded by Director Baskin and approved by unanimous vote.

D.    APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion to approve minutes for Wednesday, July 11th made by Director Tye, seconded by Director Zell and approved by unanimous vote with the following amendments: add Director Boucke's name as "Director Absent"; change Behm to Boehm and add change Nick Sieyes to Nick de Sieyes.

Motion to approve minutes for Saturday, July 21 made by Director Tye, seconded by Director Baskin and approved by unanimous vote with the following amendment: on page 2 it was Norm Hantzsche who personally stuffed the envelopes.

E.    APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

Motion to approve disbursements for July 11, July 18, July 20 and July 31 made by Director Boucke, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote.

Director Tye asked why check #15951 cut on July 31 to Brelje & Race for sampling is significantly higher than the amount that was paid to them on July 11. Ed Schmidt responded that the higher amount includes both the quarterly and monthly sampling.

Motion to approve the following Board Member Compensation Requests made by Director Boucke, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote: Director Boucke, July 24 Finance; Director Zell, July 2 Water Operations; Director Baskin, July 24 Finance.

Director Sapanai requested that the board move "Financial Statements," "Manager's Report," and "Correspondence" to after the first public hearing; all board members agreed.

F.    FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Director Boucke stated that as of June 30, the District has over a million dollars in liquid cash, and suggested to staff that some of the cash be moved into an interest-bearing account. Director Boucke noted that water operations were $45,000 in the red, which is better than what was budgeted (negative $178,000). The wastewater revenue is $79,000 over budget, and the tax revenues are over by $371,000. Overall, the District's revenue is ahead of budget projections by $430,553. Director Baskin and Director Boucke noted that expenses ran close to what was budgeted, and revenues are over budget due to fees (increased business at the district) and property tax revenue increases.

Mr. Schmidt stated that the GANN initiative requires the district to limit the amount of property tax it can receive, so the financial reports may reflect more property tax from the county than the maximum allowed. That tax money may have to be refunded to the rate payers. Director Boucke asked if the surplus funds can be retroactively applied to the three reserve funds that were set up for the 2007-2008 budget. Mr. Schmidt replied that, according to the auditor, reserve funds can be established with pre-funded cash, which the district may want to do with the property tax money.

G.    MANAGER'S REPORT

Mr. Schmidt reported that the field work portion of the audit is complete. The auditor related that Title VI, the district's financial code, should be reviewed and updated. It will take about two months for the auditor to finalize a report, and a presentation of the report will probably be scheduled for the November board meeting. Director Boucke stated that she would like to continue the practice of having the Finance Committee review the adjusting journal entries.

Mr. Schmidt reported that he, Allan Richards, Toby Bisson, and the Water Operations Committee (Vice President Zell and Director Tye) met twice during the past month; they measured and marked all of the facilities for the Water Treatment Plant Replacement Project. The next step is a meeting with the county to present the draft plans and request a Coastal Development Permit. Director Tye stated that his goal is to have a complete plant up and running and certified by the state by March 2009. Mr. Schmidt stated that he will send an email with some potential dates to take a tour of the site.

Mr. Schmidt reported that field staff is working on the tie-ins for Calle Del Arroyo.

Chris Harrington, co-coordinator of the Village Association's Telecommunications Committee, voiced concern over the District entering into a cell tower contract without eliciting feedback from the community. Director Sapanai assured Mr. Harrington that the District has every intention of eliciting feedback from the community, once the proposal is negotiated between the District and the cellular company.

H.    CORRESPONDENCE

Ed Schmidt referenced a letter to the Marin County Board of Supervisors from the Marin County Community Development Agency regarding a request by the Environmental Health Services Division of the Community Development Agency for authorization to apply for a grant [from the State of California] to develop an improved Beach Water Quality Monitoring test. By unanimous agreement, the board directed staff to write a letter requesting that the Stinson Beach wetlands be included in the project.

Director Sapanai requested staff to create two "Reading Books," with month tabs, to be kept at the district office, one for incoming correspondence and one for outgoing correspondence.

Regarding the August 16 letter to Tim Petersen from Ed Schmidt [Re: Septic Inspection at 12 Marine Way], the board decided to revisit the issue if Mr. Petersen does not respond within thirty days.

I.    PUBLIC HEARING

  1. Consideration/Adoption of a Draft Resolution Granting a Variance for Property Located at 75 Buena Vista Account #3580, Michael Garsva, Owner: Rich Souza stated that the property currently has a septic tank and a single gravity drain field that was constructed circa 1962. It was approved by district staff for use of 100 gallons per day. During the last septic system inspection, there was no repair order issued, and it is on a two-year inspection schedule. A recent addition to the property requires an upgrade to the septic system. Soils investigation was performed at the property, and a design was prepared by ILS Engineers, Inc. The design includes a drip dispersal field with a septic tank and an aerobic pretreatment device. The new flow would be 150 gallons per day, which is consistent with the proposed building addition and the total size of the house (under 1,400 square feet). The system will include a 1,500 gallon septic tank, a 750 gallon sump tank, a Microfast aerobic pretreatment device and a dual subsurface drip field with a 100% reserve. There are two variances for this property; one is for the setback to the septic tank from a property line and from the drain field to the property line (due to the size of the property), and the second variance is for the use of an alternative septic system. The application is complete, the district is waiting on comments from the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the neighbor notification information was received today. Rich Souza stated that staff recommendations are to include a control panel capable of telemetry control, quarterly monitoring for the first year and to be determined by the staff for subsequent years, and submittal of a maintenance agreement contract with a district-approved service provider prior to issuance of a discharge permit.

    Motion to approve the resolution made by Director Tye and seconded by Director Baskin.

    Director Tye stated that due to the tight [fit] of the system, it is imperative that the required maintenance contract is in place before a discharge permit is issued.

    Barbara Fedun, of 85 Buena Vista, commented that she only received the neighbor notification letter within the last week. Director Baskin replied that, according to the applicant's certification, neighbor notification was mailed on August 9th, which is in compliance with the district's notification requirements.

    Mary Sue Thomsen, owner of 125 Buena Vista, stated that she is surprised that she was unaware of an addition made to a neighboring home; Mr. Garsva replied that she was not notified because he neglected to get permits.

    Barbara Fedun, of 85 Buena Vista, stated that she is the one who submitted a complaint to the Marin County code enforcement for Mr. Garsva's illegal addition, and she is gravely concerned about the addition because of the view from her home. Director Sapanai replied that Stinson Beach does not have a view ordinance, and that Ms. Fedun's concern is a planning issue, not a water district issue; the county deals with planning issues.

    Mary Sue Thomsen, of 125 Buena Vista, asked if the home addition included a bathroom; Mr. Garsva responded that he did not add a bathroom. Director Baskin explained that the District is involved because any time "conditioned space" is added to a Stinson Beach home, a review of the septic system versus the square footage of the conditioned space is initiated.

    Bob Roush, of 55 Buena Vista, commented that he hopes that this situation is resolved amicably. Mr. Roush said that his concern with regards to improvements in his immediate neighborhood is whether it makes the neighborhood more desirable to live in and increases his property's value.

    Resolution approved by unanimous vote.

    Director Zell noted for the record that he does have a problem with the board granting variances to district code to accommodate people who have performed a previous illegal action.
  2. Consideration/Adoption of a Resolution to Raise Fees for some Wastewater Program Related Services and Increasing the Initial Water Connection Fee: Ed Schmidt recommended that the district adopt the county's fee structure for a year until data regarding tracking staff time can be collected and interpreted. Director Sapanai stated that she is opposed to adopting the county fee schedule, and believes that the district should take a more conservative approach until the data is collected; Stinson Beach can charge less than the county, in part due to its smaller geographical area.

    Motion to approve the proposed office related fee increases made by Director Boucke, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote.

    Motion to approve the proposed water related fee increases made by Director Boucke, seconded by Director Zell and approved by unanimous vote. Stinson Beach resident, Chris Harrington, asked if the proposed fee increases were market driven or cost driven. Director Baskin replied that the fees were both market and cost driven; the fees include buying to the infrastructure of the system and the new water treatment plant.

    The proposed wastewater fee increases were referred to the Finance Committee for review; the Finance Committee will then present a proposed wastewater fee schedule to the board.

J.    GENERAL BUSINESS

  1. Request from Stinson Beach Community Center for Letter of Support from SBCWD to Marin County Regarding Voluntary Seismic Upgrade and ADA Compliance/Possible Impact on the Septic System: Rich Souza stated that he is waiting to hear back from the SBCC's wastewater system designer (Troy Pearce) regarding whether the seismic work could adversely affect the septic system. Motion to direct the General Manager to write a letter from the district on behalf of the SBCC, if the engineer who designed the system reports that any alteration of the asphalt could create a problem with the septic system, made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote.
  2. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff Regarding the Establishment of a "Pre-Application Review Fee" for Wastewater Systems: Mr. Schmidt stated that the proposed fee is the result of many people seeking information on properties and tying up the wastewater engineer's time. Director Tye added that the engineer is also spending considerable time with real estate companies who shop sites looking for a preapproval from our engineer regarding the on-site wastewater systems. Director Sapanai stated that this topic was discussed at the Wastewater Committee meeting, and the Wastewater Committee recommends implementing a "Pre-Application Fee".

    Chris Harrington, formerly of Oceanic Realty, stated that he is in support of the "Pre-Application Fee," as it prevents much wasted time on the part of the buyers, sellers, brokers, and wastewater engineers. Mr. Harrington believes that the information gleaned during a "Pre-Application" process would be a substantial benefit to a prospective buyer.

    Mr. Schmidt stated that district counsel confirmed that a "Pre-Application" fee falls within the category of fees that can be approved at a board meeting, and does not necessitate a public notice.

    Board decided to charge $150/hour to cover the wastewater engineer and incidental costs to the district. Director Sapanai asked if the board wants to follow the county's structure, and deduct the "Pre-Application" amount from the application cost if an application is submitted within one year. The board decided to have the Finance Committee gather more information from the county regarding their fee structure before a decision is made regarding credit for a future application. The board decided that the fee will be treated as a deposit; customers will be refunded money at the rate of $150.00/hour for unused hours. Further, additional deposits must be collected when the maximum of five hours is exceeded. Director Baskin made a motion to approve a $750 "Pre- Application Fee" deposit ($150/hour for five hours of time), with refund for unused time, but not to be applied as credit for a future application; motion seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote.
  3. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff Regarding Grant Documents (Universal Pre-Application for Drinking Water Program) Submitted to the State of California Department of Health Services: Mr. Schmidt stated that grant applications have been submitted for five capital improvement projects. The board directed staff to update the Construction in Progress spreadsheet with the current project costs.
  4. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff Regarding Adoption of a Resolution to Authorize an Amendment to the Contract with the California Public Employees" Retirement System (CalPERS): Mr. Schmidt stated that this is the second time that this amendment to the contract has gone before the board; the first time was at the July 21 board meeting. Mr. Schmidt reported that the staff (via secret ballot) unanimously voted to accept the amendment; if the amendment is approved by the board today, then the contract will be executed and the authorization to amend the contract will be sent to CalPERS.

    Director Boucke commented [for the meeting guests] that the contract amendment for the enhanced retirement package is the result of the board ensuring that the employees have good benefits; the cooperative team of employees have agreed to fund one-third of the additional costs to the district.

    Motion to approve the resolution made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Boucke and approved by unanimous vote.
  5. Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff Regarding Use of the District's Board Member Compensation Request Form: Mr. Schmidt stated this issue was placed on the agenda because the district auditor asked why a board member was paid two months into this fiscal year for a meeting that took place in the last fiscal year; the payment process was delayed because a Board Member Compensation Request Form had not been submitted. Mr. Schmidt stated that if he could authorize board member reimbursements for authorized board and committee meetings, it would streamline the payment process. Director Sapanai stated that she supports Mr. Schmidt's suggestion, but still would like to continue board approval for reimbursements, and that all reimbursements should be pre-approved by the board. The board directed staff to revise the Board Member Compensation Request Form to render it a form used for board reimbursements; board member compensation for committee meeting attendance will be authorized by the General Manager. The Board granted approval for a September 5th Water Operations Committee fieldtrip to the La Honda Water District.

K.    COMMITTEE REPORTS

None.

L.    ADJOURNMENT

The next regular board meeting was set for Saturday, September 15th. Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Zell and approved by unanimous vote.




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