Director Sapanai called a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, September 15, 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:
Christine Casper


Jamie Sutton, owner of 3715 Shoreline Highway, stated that he and the District are awaiting comments back from Blair Allen at CRWQCB regarding his resubmitted plans. Mr. Sutton stated that he would like his project to be on next Wastewater Committee meeting agenda.

Director Tye arrived at the meeting at 9:34a.m.

Director Baskin referenced a letter dated July 3, 2007 from Blair Allen regarding Mr. Sutton's initial submittal. On page two of the letter, variances are referenced that could not be found in the current version of the code. Director Sapanai stated that this discrepancy will be addressed at the next Wastewater Committee meeting. Director Baskin gave a copy of the letter (with his notes on it) to staff to forward to Rich Souza.


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


Motion to approve minutes for Saturday, August 18th made by Director Boucke, seconded by Director Zell and approved by unanimous vote with the following amendments: on page 2 under "Financial Statements," it shall read the District's revenue is ahead of budget projections. On line 47 under "Manager's Report, view shall be changed to review and adjusted shall be changed to adjusting. On page 4, line 19, Director Boucke shall be changed to Director Sapanai.


Motion to approve disbursements for August 15th and submitted Board Member Reimbursement Requests made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote.

Director Boucke requested the Board's approval to reinstate the check-signing procedure of having a member of the Finance Committee sign the disbursements; if neither Director Boucke nor Director Baskin [of the Finance Committee] is available to sign checks, then another member of the board may sign them. The Board unanimously approved reinstating the procedure.


Mr. Schmidt reported that the draft audit was received on September 5, 2007. Mr. Schmidt invited the auditor, Terry Krieg, to give a presentation to the Finance Committee; if the Finance Committee gets all of its questions answered, then Mr. Krieg will present the audit at the October board meeting.

Mr. Schmidt stated that the five grant applications [that were submitted on July 31, 2007] were confirmed received by the State of California.

Mr. Schmidt reported that the GTE Mobilnet representative [in negotiating a cell tower lease agreement], Blaine Swafford, has left the company and the District has not yet been contacted by his replacement.

Mr. Schmidt reported that he, Allan Richards, and Toby Bisson had a productive meeting with Ben Berto from County Planning, who is interested in cooperating with the District regarding getting a Coastal Development Permit (if needed) for the new water treatment plant. Since the District is not planning on increasing the capacity of the plant, nor its footprint by more than 5,000 sq. ft., Mr. Berto does not think there will be a problem in getting a permit. Allan Richards plans to finish the design by mid October and submit it to the County, then the County will send staff for a site visit. If the District submits all of its design plans by October, then the District should have a hearing with a County Hearing Officer sometime around January, 2008. If there is no opposition from the members of the public, the construction of the plant will commence in spring or summer of 2008.

Mr. Schmidt reported that Toby Bisson met with GGNRA representatives regarding the park bathrooms. Environmental Health confirmed that high groundwater was not caused by the District's well; there is high groundwater all along the creek.

Mr. Schmidt reported that staff fixed two leaks at Laurel Avenue. The leaks were due to three-quarter inch poly pipes that are failing. There are still six or seven in the area that still need to be replaced.

Mr. Schmidt reported that the Water Operations Committee had two successful meetings, one at the Laurel Treatment Plant Site and one in La Honda, California to observe a Pall water treatment plant in operation.

Mr. Schmidt reported a successful meeting of the Finance Committee, during which the wastewater fees were reviewed. In addition, Mr. Schmidt, Director Boucke and Director Tye attended an Executive Water Briefing in Sonoma County that will be discussed later on in the agenda.

Mr. Schmidt reported that the field staff finished the tie-ins on the Calles and the Patios and saved the District an estimated $25,000 in labor costs.

Mr. Schmidt reported that Chris Kelley, Wastewater Technician, compiled a list of ten contractors who are certified to perform maintenance on Orenco systems.

Mr. Schmidt explained that the board packet includes several pictures of the Pall plant that the Water Operations Committee visited in La Honda. Overall, the La Honda staff is fairly satisfied with the plant, but they have had to make a few minor changes to the operations of the plant.

Mr. Schmidt stated that the other pictures included in the board packet depict the field staff working on the leaks at Laurel.

Mr. Schmidt stated that the last item under "Manager's Report" is a listing of Stinson Beach wastewater systems by type, provided by Chris Kelley. Director Tye noted that the list indicated that there are 379 systems in Seadrift. There are 150 gravity systems in Seadrift, of which ninety are single-field. Director Tye continued that there are 200 dual field sandfilter systems, and 92 single field systems. Director Tye stated that groundwater issues in Stinson Beach could mean catastrophic problems with the leachfields [of those systems]. Director Tye also noted that there are thirty-two holding tanks in our district, and there are only 317 systems outside of Seadrift. Consensus among the board members is that Mr. Kelley's report is very useful, and the photos included in the board packet are much appreciated.

Crispin Livak, owner of 3 Calle Del Resaca, stated that she is at the meeting regarding Mr. Sutton's variance; Director Sapanai related that the Hearing has been continued to October, and that she may come into the office before that time to view the plans.


Director Tye stated that Stinson Beach should have representation at the Bolinas Lagoon meeting on September 19, and encouraged others to attend.


  1. Consideration/Adoption of a Draft Resolution Granting a Waiver for Property Located at 274 Seadrift Road, Account #6800, Victoria Sebastiani, Owner: Director Sapanai stated that it is problematic that the resolution in the board packet reflects findings of fact for a variance, but the plans for this project have been revised, and the revisions have changed the requirements from a those for a variance to those for a waiver. Director Sapanai asked the system designer, Troy Pearce, if the project now meets all of these findings of fact for a waiver:
    1. that the site meets all standard design requirements,
    2. that there is sufficient space on the property to accommodate two dispersal areas for 100% of the design flow and an area capable of 100% of design flow reserve, and
    3. that the advanced treatment system is not used for the purpose of increasing square footage of conditioned space over the square footage that would have been allowed by a standard system of the same size.

    Mr. Pearce confirmed that the project meets all of the findings of fact for a waiver.

    The Board discussed Seadrift Association's policy of prohibiting septic tanks on the ocean side of properties. The Board concluded that Mr. Schmidt should call the general manager of the Seadrift Association and relay the District's displeasure at this policy.

    With the understanding that the resolution needs to be changed to include findings of fact for a waiver for use of an alternative system, motion to approve the waiver made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote.
  2. Consideration/Adoption of a Resolution to Raise Fees for Some Wastewater Program Related Services: Mr. Schmidt stated that this item is a continuation of the public hearing from last month, at which the wastewater fees were sent back to the Wastewater Committee for refinement. The Finance Committee met on Monday, August 27, reviewed the list of proposed charges, and directed staff to create a new spreadsheet [attached] that includes four columns of fees. The first column reflects the current fees, the second column includes the previous Finance Committee's proposal, the third column represents the results from the August 27 Finance Committee meeting, and the fourth column contains the County fees.

    Director Baskin, of the Finance Committee, stated that the committee's new proposed fees were drafted after reviewing the County's rates. In all cases but one, the Finance's Committees new proposed fees are lower than the County rates; the "Design Review Fee" is higher than the County, due to the complexity of the design review process in Stinson Beach. Director Sapanai asked if the committee took into consideration what the actual costs to the District are in performing these wastewater services; Mr. Schmidt replied that the staff has begun tracking time spent on these services, but based upon the information received to date, the new proposed fees reflect the actual amount of time, energy, and overhead of the District in performing these wastewater services. Mr. Schmidt added that the attached resolution also includes the new water connection fee of $17,500 that was approved at last month's meeting.

    Motion to approve the resolution made by Director Tye, seconded by Director Boucke and approved by unanimous vote.

    Mr. Schmidt confirmed that the Board is also approving the attached Pre-Application Design Review Consultation application.


  1. Discussion of the Regional Executive Water Forum Hosted by the Department of Water Resources: Ed Schmidt reported the meeting took place on Tuesday, August 28 at the Sonoma County Water Agency; there were several parts to the forum, including a discussion of the Governor's proposal for approximately six billion dollars in water infrastructure projects, the California Strategic Growth Plan, information about water conservation, water reservoir site information, drought workshops, and water conditions within the state of California. The last item [under this section in the board packet] came from one of the attendees of the workshop; it's called the Ahwahnee Water Principles for Resource Efficient Land Use. The Ahwahnee Principles parallels two pieces of legislation (planning laws) that were passed two years ago. These principles were specifically developed for the Central Valley where they are putting in thousands of new homes at a time without getting the water under contract. If fewer than 500 homes are built, or if expansion is less than ten percent of a district's existing connections, the planning laws don't apply.

    Mr. Schmidt stated that the person who distributed the Ahwahnee Principles is with the City of Rohnert Park. Director Boucke stated that she found the forum to be very informative. Director Tye reported that Stinson Beach was the only water district from Marin that had representation at the meeting. Director Tye suggested that the Water Operations Committee should spend some time studying the Ahwahnee Principles and consider adopting a set of principles as part of Stinson Beach's water conservation program.
  2. Discussion of an Amendment to the Contract with the California Public Employees' Retirement System: Mr. Schmidt stated that the contract has been executed and it was effective as of August 30, 2007; the employees saw the first deduction in last Friday's paychecks. Mr. Schmidt reported that the staff is happy with the retirement enhancement.
  3. Discussion of the Onsite Wastewater Management Program Semi-Annual Report, January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007: Mr. Schmidt stated that this report is compiled by Rich Souza, Wastewater Engineer, twice a year. Once approved by the Board, it is forwarded to the Regional Board. Director Boucke asked how much of the report could be completed by Chris Kelley, Wastewater Technician. Director Baskin commented that he was happy to see [at the end of the Manager's Report] that both Mr. Kelley and Mr. Bisson attended relevant educational programs recently. The Board discussed encouraging Mr. Kelley to become involved with the committees of organizations that host these educational programs. Director Zell asked how much time is involved in producing the semi-annual reports and if they must be completed semi-annually. Director Sapanai replied that most of the information in the report already exists; there is very little in the report that is original information that is done specifically for the report. Mr. Baskin confirmed that the majority of the report is copies of documents that already exist. Mr. Schmidt stated that his Manager's Report estimates the fiscal impact of the report to be $2,000. Director Sapanai stated that it may not be the best use of the Wastewater Engineer's time to compile the documents for the report that already exist, and suggested that direction be given to staff to complete those portions of the report that already exist.

    Director Tye stated that on page 2 under "Telemetry" it states that no additional septic systems will be connected to the in-house telemetry system, but that existing septic systems already connected to telemetry will continue to be monitored; Director Tye stated concern that since the report is a public document, the District is putting itself up for a possibility of unequal representation; if the District exempts new owners from the telemetry requirement, then the District should exempt those who are currently on the system. Director Sapanai added that the report does not clearly explain the current status of the telemetry program, and that the District may be setting up a situation where people will choose to put in a Fast system instead of an Advantex system because of the telemetry requirement. Director Sapanai added that the wording in the report is not accurate, since the District is still exploring the possibilities of other systems being included in the telemetry requirement. The Board decided that the Wastewater Committee would revise the "Telemetry" portion of the report before it is sent to Regional.

    Director Sapanai asked staff to change the photo on the cover of the report and the photo on the website home page. The Board also directed staff to ask Blair Allen if the District can move to an annual reporting schedule.


Director Tye, of the Water Operations Committee, reported that the field trip [to La Honda] was very useful. La Honda ordered their Pall plant a year before it was actually installed, so it was already antiquated by the time it was installed. Therefore, Director Zell stated that the Water Operations Committee realizes that the District doesn't want to order something and have it sit; it should be shipped when it is ready for installation. Director Zell added that [the Board] initially wanted to purchase the plant as soon as possible because they thought that the price was escalating dramatically. However, the price of the plant has only gone up in price $20,000/year over the past three years, so it does not make sense to buy the plant early and store it. Director Tye stated that La Honda's board members got certified in plant operation as back-up to staff. Director Tye suggested that whoever is on the Water Operations Committee when the unit finally gets delivered and installed should go to the two-day orientation, just to get a sense of what it is all about. Director Sapanai stated that there needs to be a clear distinction between the Board and staff.

Director Boucke stated that she thinks the distinction between Board and staff is a subject that should be visited from time to time; thus, Director Boucke stated that it doesn't sit right with her that the Directors are wearing Stinson Beach County Water District t-shirts, when the intent of the t-shirts was staff identification. Director Sapanai stated that she tends to agree with Director Boucke; the shirts were originally purchased to have the staff identified while they were out in the field. Director Sapanai added that she also has a problem with the t-shirts for Board members being free because directors are not supposed to get any benefits. Director Tye said that he has only worn his shirt four times, to two conferences and a field trip to La Honda; he agreed it would be a benefit and a misrepresentation if he wore it all the time, but he uses it only as an identifier at specific times. Director Tye added that he has no problem paying for the shirt, but the reality is that he is not benefiting from it. Director Boucke replied that if that is how Director Tye is using the shirt, then it is very appropriate. Director Zell added that he only wears his shirt to board meetings and places where he wants to be recognized as a board director. Director Sapanai stated that according to the use of the t-shirts by Director Tye and Director Zell, the t-shirts are directly related to their jobs as directors. The Board also discussed and confirmed the appropriateness of board members ordering business cards if they so desire.

The Board discussed organizing a field trip to the water treatment plant site; the Board decided to postpone the site visit.

Director Boucke asked if there are other districts that have the plant that is planned for Stinson Beach; Director Tye stated that La Honda was the most cost-effective [Pall plant] to visit. Director Tye added that he was struck at how similar La Honda's plant is to our plans; it is up on a hillside, has a new building and an abandoned old building, and includes a retaining wall.

Director Boucke, of the Finance Committee, stated that a meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 25, during which they plan to speak with the auditor about the draft audit report. Mr. Schmidt stated that he did some more research on the GANN appropriations limit. Mr. Schmidt reported that he called his past employer to find out what happened to their property tax this past year; their tax increased even more than Stinson Beach's. Stinson Beach went from $425,000 to about 475,000, and Half Moon Bay went from $490,000 to about $750,000. They are not even close to their appropriations limit. Mr. Schmidt indicated that the key is getting the appropriations limit [for Stinson Beach] changed. Mr. Schmidt reported that after reviewing some old files, he discovered there was an election held back in 2002. The appropriations limit in the fine print of the election says "only through 2005-2006". Thus, Mr. Schmidt said that there should have been an election last fall [to raise the appropriations limit]. Mr. Schmidt explained that appropriations limits are set by calculations sent by the Department of Finance, but that the Base Rate is approved by the electorate. Mr. Schmidt stated that he has not spoken to district counsel yet, but he thinks the next step is to participate in the next election. The board decided to budget the appropriations excess to the capital improvement reserve.

Director Sapanai stated that the Wastewater Committee will have to schedule a meeting. Mr. Schmidt confirmed that the [3715 Shoreline Highway] plans have been received by the District and forwarded on to Blair Allen. The Wastewater Committee meeting was tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 15 at 10:00a.m.

Director Sapanai stated that she calculated the daily water use from her last water bill and was shocked to discover that it was only 59 gallons per day; she has a dishwasher, a washing machine, takes long showers, and waters animals and her vegetable garden. Director Tye stated that since the District schedules water use at 100 gallons per day per person, the question is whether or not that basis is accurate. Director Sapanai replied that 100 gallons per day per person may be high if you have low flow devices, only run your dishwasher when it is full and run it on the lowest possible water setting, only use your washing machine on the lowest setting when it is full, and only water when it is absolutely necessary. Mr. Schmidt stated that the last year in Half Moon Bay (fiscal year 2006) the water district's research revealed that daily water usage was 92 gallons per day per person. Director Sapanai stated that this proves that if you use as many conservation measures as you can, water usage can be way down.

Director Zell asked for Board permission for the Personnel Committee to meet with Ed Schmidt some time in October regarding his assessment of personnel; the Board acceded.


The next regular board meeting was set for Saturday, October 27th. Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Director Baskin, seconded by Director Tye and approved by unanimous vote.

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