President Elizabeth Sapanai called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, March17, 2012, at 9:30 a.m., at the Stinson Beach County Water District office, located at 3785 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach, CA 94970.

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

Treasurer present:
Judy Stemen

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

Staff present:
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Asst.




was unanimously adopted as set, but General Business items E.1. - 3. were to be heard before Public Hearing item D.1.


  1. Introduction and possible direction to staff to begin the process to amend Ordinance 2010-01, revising and updating Regulations related to the protection of ground and surface water and the discharge of waste and wastewater within the District, and revisions to the standards of design, construction, replacement, and repair of individual sewage disposal systems and the administration of said regulations and standards, (Title IV).
    President Sapanai made several suggestions to be discussed at the District's next Wastewater Committee Meeting on March 26, 2012. She recommended adding a paragraph under Section 4.15.205 of the District's Title IV Onsite Wastewater Management Code, Wet Weather Testing Period, regarding a number of factors that could prevent wet weather testing. The substitution of the word "observation" for "inspection" should be revisited. Director Baskin stated the outside engineer that designed the septic system should provide certification of his/her observation and inspection that it was built to the District's specifications and standards.


  1. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: a Stinson Beach Garbage Rate Analysis performed by Armanino McKenna LLP at the request of Redwood Empire Disposal.
    Steve McCaffrey, of Redwood Empire Disposal, made a presentation to adjust the garbage rates over the next several years. He stated that Stinson Beach has benefited from low rates over a long period of years. The accounting firm of Armanino McKenna LLP prepared a rate model, using Redwood Empire Disposal's revenue and expense information, to calculate required rate adjustments. In the past, the company has only adjusted rates by the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, actual costs associated with providing garbage services have far outpaced the CPI, especially for fuel, payroll and dump fees.

    Section 5 of the Garbage Collection Contract between the District and Shoreline Disposal, Inc. (subsequently Redwood Empire Disposal) provides that the rates charged for its services shall assure the Disposal Company a fair and equitable return. Armanino McKenna has determined a fair and equitable return to be 10%.

    Director Baskin stated that today's economic environment would warrant a lower rate of perhaps 5%. President Sapanai requested that Mr. McCaffrey submit a proposal for a future increase for the Board's consideration.
  2. Discussion and possible direction to staff to grant a Water Use Charge Reduction Request for the Gerald C. and Elizabeth Sterns Trust, 311 Seadrift Road, Stinson Beach, Account #7255.
    The General Manager summarized the following unusual circumstances of the leak location: The leak was close to the water main lateral supply line; the leak was located very close to the construction site for the recently modified sea wall work authorized by Seadrift Association; and the leak never surfaced. Because the leak occurred on the Sterns' 1" irrigation supply line, as opposed to a main lateral supply line, the General Manager was unable to grant them a 50% water use charge reduction. The water usage component of the bill was $3,421.84.

    Gerald Sterns, the homeowner, explained that his irrigation system had been installed by a professional crew. After much investigation, his landscaper discovered a crack in his 1" irrigation pipe, located about 10 feet from the recently reconstructed sea wall. The heavy equipment that was driven over Mr. Sterns' property during the time of construction may have cracked the pipe and caused it to fail. He believed his appeal had merit. Vice President Zell inquired of Mr. Sterns if he had attempted to obtain any relief from the Seadrift Association. Mr. Sterns replied that he had not contacted the Association. Mr. Zell stated that Mr. Sterns should have appealed to the Seadrift Association first before coming to the Board. Mr. Sterns replied he will do so.

    President Sapanai noted that there are more and more cases of water leaks occurring in cases where the residence is not occupied on a full time basis. She stated that homeowners have a responsibility to monitor their water usage. Ms. Sapanai recommended that they install a digital display meter (MDU) in order to catch a leak early on. Director Boucke recommended that a note be inserted in the next water bills stating that the District has meters available for purchase by homeowners.

    Director Tye stated that a 1" diameter pipe is not necessary for irrigation purposes; a 1/4" or 1/2" pipe would be sufficient.

    Director Boucke made a motion requesting staff to remove the penalty from the Sterns' water bill and that Mr. Sterns could appear before the Board again if he does not receive any relief from the Seadrift Association. Director Tye seconded the motion.
  3. Discussion and possible direction to staff to grant a Water Use Charge Reduction Request for Mr. Richard Carcione, 17 Dipsea Road, Stinson Beach, Account #7780.
    The General Manager explained that Mr. Carcioni's leak occurred on the lateral water line going to his house. He had offered to give Mr. Carcioni a 50% reduction of his February 1, 2012 water usage bill of $2,320.24, the maximum amount he had discretion to approve. Mr. Carcioni, however, requested that he be granted a 90% reduction.

    Richard Carcioni, the homeowner, stated he was unaware that his water pipe was leaking when District staff alerted him of his excess water usage. He rents out the house, but because his accountant had his payment ledger, he did not notice the gradual increase in his water bill.

    Director Tye noted that since Mr. Carcioni is responsible for overseeing his property, he needs to take aggressive stewardship and monitor how much water is being used, as water is gold out here. Mr. Tye noted that Mr. Carcioni's water bill would have been twice as large if the District would still read the meters every two months, instead of on a monthly basis.

    Director Boucke motioned to give Mr. Carcioni a 50% reduction on his combined January and February bills. Director Baskin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

    President Sapanai strongly recommended that Mr. Carcioni install and arrange to monitor a digital water meter. The District has a very limited amount of water storage capacity. In the past, several large water leaks during the fire seasons have resulted in bringing the District's water storage down to dangerous levels. Ms. Sapanai requested that District staff place a reminder notice in the bills that it is the user's responsibility to notice and fix water leaks promptly. Staff should also prepare a flyer containing photos that would list recommendations for preventing leaks and how to read a water meter.

    Vice President Zell suggested including copies of the highest water bills spanning the past five years as random samplings to show users how rapidly an unmonitored water usage can escalate.

    [Note: Although the Board approved a reduction of 50% of his January and February 2012 water usage billings, the period was intended to be for the water usage in December 2011 and January 2012 for $1,279.97.]
  4. Discussion and possible direction to staff to revise the wording on the condition for relocating the District Water Main.
    The General Manager explained that before a Septic System Discharge Permit is issued by the District, any property owner whose proposed new septic system will be within 10 feet of the water main line must relocate the water line to meet the State of California requirement of 10 feet or greater from the edge of the septic system. President Sapanai emphasized that only individuals seeking a variance would be subject to having to relocate their water main lines.

    Because the District field staff has numerous other significant projects to accomplish, which are more in line with the mission of a water agency, it is proposed that the property owner would now hire his/her own contractor to do the work to relocate these water main lines. After much discussion among the Board members, which included the various encroachments by some Seadrift homeowners, Director Baskin motioned to approve the proposed alternate wording to read as follows: "The property owner recognizes and understands that the proposed new septic system will be within 10 feet of the water main. Before a Septic System Discharge Permit is issued by the District, the property owner will relocate the water line to meet the State of California requirement of 10 feet [or greater] from the edge of the septic system. The Water Main relocation shall be performed in accordance with the District's Typical Water Main Relocation to Leach Field Details by a licensed contractor at the property owner's expense, in coordination with the District, which shall include inspection and approval of the work. Both ends of the relocated pipeline will be reconnected to the existing line." Director Tye seconded the motion. The Directors voted 3-2 to insert this language in Resolutions for Design Permits.

    Director Boucke was of the strong belief that the District should continue to do this work. President Sapanai noted that if District staff has sufficient time after attending to their capital improvement projects, then the procedure can be changed again to use District staff to relocate the water mains.
  5. Discussion and possible modification to Paragraph 4 of the District's Resolution No. GB-2010-02; A Resolution Establishing a Policy for Water Use Charge Reductions.
    Currently, paragraph 4 of the resolution states: "Water loss reductions/adjustments shall be limited to two consecutive months within one billing period." The wording should be modified, since the District is now billing monthly instead of every two months.

    Director Baskin moved to adopt the modified wording to Paragraph 4 as follows: "Water loss reductions/adjustments shall be limited to a period of two months, within two consecutive billing periods." Director Boucke seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Treasurer Stemen noted she should be listed as being present at the February 18, 2012 Board Meeting. President Sapanai stated that the prior correction to the Minutes of the January 21, 2012 meeting, shown on page 3, line 47, of the February 18, 2012 Minutes, should be corrected to state that she had opposed the vote "with a reduced fee of 15% for the resubmitted [Sutton] Variance Application and Design Review Application." Director Baskin moved to approve the February 18 Minutes and Director Tye seconded the motion. The Minutes with these changes were approved unanimously.


Director Baskin moved to approve the disbursements of February 22 and March 7, 2012. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved unanimously.


The General Manager discussed his monthly report. On April 13, four of the Board members and the General Manager will attend a workshop in Petaluma on Climate Change: How Can We Be Ready?

The County of Marin has a Simple Graywater System Notification form to be completed by the property owner which notifies Marin County Environmental Health Services that he/she is constructing a Simple Graywater System on their parcel. President Sapanai noted that the Stinson Beach County Water District has total jurisdiction and considers a gray water system as an alternative system. The applicant would, therefore, need to pay a $2,000 fee for a variance and $4,500 for an alternative system.

The District has received bound copies of its audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. Four different salary/benefit spreadsheets were prepared for the Personnel and Finance Committees. If there is any raise, it can be included into the new budget. Director Boucke requested that the General Manager prepare a salary survey for several positions. Vice President Zell noted that the District's employees possess unique capabilities and would be difficult to replace.

Director Baskin approved sending out the check for $5,500 in settlement of Valley Ford Construction Company's claim.






The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

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