Saturday, December 15, 2012


President Elizabeth Sapanai called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, December 15, 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

Directors absent:
Scott Tye, Director

Treasurer present:
Judy Stemen

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

Staff present:
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Asst.


Vice President Zell stated that outgoing Board President Sapanai has provided an invaluable service to the District for the past 28 years. There was a thunder of applause from everyone present.

Fire Chief Kenny Stevens announced that the National Park Service's Head Ranger Pat Norton retires this month. A retirement party for him will be held on January 5, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. at the Stinson Beach Community Center.


The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.


  1. Oath of Office for Three Full Term Vacancies on the Board of Directors, Stinson Beach County Water District, Barbara Boucke, Incumbent, Sandra Cross, and Morey Nelsen.
    President Sapanai stated that it was her great honor to give the oaths of office to newly elected Board members Barbara Boucke, Sandra Cross and Morey Nelsen. At the completion of the swearing in ceremony, Ms. Sapanai turned the meeting over to Vice President Zell.
  2. Election of Stinson Beach County Water District Board President and Vice President for Calendar Year 2013.
    Director Baskin noted that Vice President Zell was next in line to become Board President and Director Boucke to become Vice President. Director Baskin made the motion to nominate Vice President Zell to be President and Director Boucke to be Vice President. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
  3. Discussion re: District Committee Membership changes by the Board President.
    President Zell assigned the District Committee membership for 2013 as follows:
    Legal Committee - Director Baskin and Director Cross
    Water Operations Committee - Director Baskin and Director Nelsen
    Wastewater Committee - Director Cross and President Zell
    Finance Committee - Vice President Boucke and Director Nelsen
    Personnel Committee - Vice President Boucke and President Zell
    Garbage Committee - Director Baskin and President Zell


  1. Consideration of a request from North Bay Corporation/Redwood Empire Disposal to raise garbage rates by 7.01% (No Franchise Fee Increase) to be effective on February 1, 2013.
    The General Manager gave a brief background of the requested garbage rate increase. It has been two years since their last increase. The proposed increase of 7.01% [which amounts to a $1.05 monthly increase for the average residential customer] is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Marin County Hazardous and Solid Waste Management Joint Powers Authority program expansion.

    A postcard "Notice of Hearings on Request for Rate Increase for Solid Waste Collection" was mailed to the District's customers on November 27, 2012.

    Steve McCaffrey, Director of Governmental Affairs, North Bay Corporation, gave a brief background of Redwood Empire Disposal, a local company comprised mainly of long time employees. He distributed a schedule comparing the current garbage pickup rates with the proposed 2013 rates as well as a schedule of garbage rates in Marin county that had been prepared by a third party. Mr. McCaffrey stated that the rates in Stinson Beach are the lowest in the entire Bay Area. Director Baskin suggested that District staff post these two schedules around town.

    The water bills that will be mailed in early January 2013 will contain a note that the monthly increase for the average residential customer will be $1.05. As Proposition 218 requires two public hearings, the requested rate increase will be continued to the Saturday, January 19, 2013, Board meeting. A new contract will be negotiated with Mr. McCaffrey at a later date.


  1. Discussion of SBCWD representation in West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council.
    The General Manager stated that the District has recently been informed by Bobbi Kimball and Liza Goldblatt of the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council (WMMCCC) that there is a mosquito problem in the Stinson Beach Area. District staff provides mosquito netting and sun resistant tie wraps for homeowners to use to screen their roof vents to prevent mosquitos from entering their septic systems. The District inserted into its November bills a Mosquito Alert, giving a listing of providers that can evaluate if the homeowner's septic tank lids are sealed and secured and the roof vents screened.

    The District is supportive of the flyers from the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District, but does not recommend that septic lids be covered with plastic and several inches of dirt or sand. The homeowner is responsible for providing complete and unobstructed access to all components of the septic system to the District's Wastewater Inspector, Chris Kelley.

    Ms. Goldblatt, who is chairman of the WMMCCC, made a short presentation regarding a nontoxic approach to eradicating mosquitos in West Marin. She stated that the Bolinas Community Public Utility District (BCPUD) website contains more information. She was seeking a representative from the Stinson Beach County Water District to attend the WMMCCC's twice yearly meetings. Director Nelsen volunteered to be the District's representative.
  2. Discussion and possible direction to staff to place and record a lien on the property at 235 Seadrift Road, Stinson Beach, owned by Euro Isle Limited Partnership (Norman McVea), Account #7450.
    The General Manager briefly described the Board's approval at the November 17, 2012 Board hearing concerning the placement of a non-interest lien of $1,714.36 on Mr. Norman McVea's house at 235 Seadrift Road. The $1,714.36 represents his water usage charge from May 30, 2012 to June 28, 2012, when his irrigation system failed. Mr. McVea had stated he would not be able to make monthly payments and consented to have a lien placed upon the premises to be paid to the District upon the sale of the property.

    Director Baskin was not present at the November 17, 2012 Board hearing. He stated that the issues of granting interest free loans and setting a time limit for payment should be reexamined at a future date.

    Vice President Boucke moved to approve the drafts Agreement and Request to Impose Lien, Notice of Lien, and Ordinance No. 2012-__ [subsequently numbered as Ordinance No. 2012- 02]. Director Cross seconded the motion. The motion passed 4 to 1, with Director Baskin abstaining.
  3. Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) for Newly Elected Officials Assuming Office and Officials Leaving Office.
    The California Fair Political Practices Commission requires newly elected officials as well as those leaving office to complete and file the Form 700. Newly elected Board members Sandra Cross and Morey Nelsen must file the Form 700 within 30 days after being sworn in. Directors Elizabeth Sapanai and Scott Tye must file the Form 700 within 30 days after leaving office. The Forms 700 were provided to them for completion.
  4. Discussion and possible direction to staff re: (1) Approval of the District's Highlands #1 Water Tank Anchorage Improvements Project; (2) Authorization to Solicit Bids from contractors to undertake construction work on Highlands #1 Water Tank anchors.
    When the Highlands #1 Water Tank, which holds 320,000 gallons of potable water, was installed in 1979, it did not include seismic anchoring. Calculations by Stetson Engineers determined that the tank is only marginally stable. Stetson was directed to prepare design plans and specifications for the installation of mechanical anchors to improve the tank's stability. No California Coastal Commission or County permits are required. The project is also exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. The tank will remain in service during the construction process.

    Director Baskin made a motion to (1) Approve the District's Highlands #1 Water Tank Anchorage Improvements Project and to (2) Preauthorize the General Manager to solicit bids from construction contractors, when he determines the time is necessary and appropriate, for the installation of the new water tank anchors. Director Nelsen seconded motion (1) and (2). Motion (1) and (2) passed unanimously.


Vice President Boucke moved to approve the Minutes of November 17, 2012. Director Baskin seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.


Director Baskin moved to approve the disbursements of November 14 and November 28, 2012. Vice President Boucke seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved unanimously.


The General Manager discussed his monthly report. An envelope containing water bill check payments totaling $3,600 is missing from the Petaluma Branch of the Westamerica Bank's night deposit box. The checks have not been cashed and the matter is under investigation. Treasurer Stemen has offered and will henceforth make the District's deposits during business hours inside the bank and obtain a receipt for us when she conducts her own twice weekly banking transactions with Westamerica Bank in Marin.

[Note: On December 18, 2012, the bank informed the General Manager that our deposit envelope containing the missing checks was found stuck in a crease in a corner of the bank's night deposit box.]

The financial audit report will be reviewed at the January 19 Board meeting.

On December 11, the General Manager participated in a focus group meeting and practice exercise of the Our Coast Our Future (OCOF) project which is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This organization, the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, the Marin County California Coastal Commission, the National Park Service and others are developing software for modeling scenarios for estimating Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge intensity and duration for San Francisco Bay and the Sonoma and Marin Coasts. FEMA is also revising its flood maps, but there has been no sea level rise on the Northern California Coast for the last 20 years. The General Manager and President Zell will continue to attend the local flood control meetings.

On November 29, the General Manager was notified by the County Health Department that someone made an anonymous complaint about septic odors coming from the Stinson Beach Market parking lot. Wastewater Inspector Kelley inspected the site twice, once by himself and once with the General Manager. Nothing was found amiss in the market's septic system. The odor could have originated from the nearby garbage receptacles or homes in the surrounding area.

Rozlyn Marnell, a resident of the Calles, expressed her concern that all homes located in the flat areas of town that are subject to flood events should have high septic tank risers installed. She is having 24 inch high risers installed on her holding tank. The General Manager responded that he will place this item on the agenda for the next Wastewater Committee Meeting.






The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

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