Saturday, January 19, 2013
A. CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
President Jim Zell called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach
County Water District to order on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 9:30 a.m., at the Stinson
Beach County Water District office, located at 3785 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach, CA
Jim Zell, President
Barbara Boucke, Vice President
Lawrence Baskin, Director
Sandra Cross, Director
Morey Nelsen, Director
General Manager present:
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Asst.
B. PUBLIC EXPRESSION
Local residents, Pamela Smith Lichtenwalner and Marion Weber expressed their desire to be
notified concerning Verizon's and other telecommunication group's placement of cellular
equipment near the District's water tanks.
Ms. Weber requested that she be advised of the date of the next Water Operations Committee
meeting. She would like to bring up for discussion the technology developed by Pax Water
Technologies, a company that uses a biomimetic approach in mixing water in storage tanks.
Ms. Weber disclosed that she has invested in the company.
C. SETTING OF AGENDA
The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.
D. SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS
Special Recognition to Toby Bisson for his efforts and invaluable local knowledge in
the rescue of a hiker who was lost on the west side of Mt. Tamalpais.
The rescue took place on New Year's Eve and involved the assistance of 60 personnel from
12 agencies, across 6 counties, including the CHP helicopter, all searching in the dark for the
whereabouts of the hiker in extremely challenging, steep terrain. When finally found hours
later at the base of a waterfall, the hiker was suffering from hypothermia and likely would not
have survived the night. Toby was instrumental in instructing the team from Napa County
where to search. The Board applauded Toby as, thanks to him, this challenging mission had a
Special Recognition to Helma Schwendig for her extra effort in obtaining a
commission as a Notary Public of the State of California.
The Marin County Recorder is now requiring that the General Manager's signature on all
SBCWD Septic Discharge Permits as well as Failed Systems Citations be notarized prior to
sending in for recordation. The Board applauded Helma's success in obtaining her 4 year
commission as a Notary Public for the District.
E. PUBLIC HEARING
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, continued from the Saturday, December 15, 2012, Board meeting.
The discussion of the requested rate increase was continued from the Saturday, December 15,
2012, Board meeting.
Steve McCaffrey, Director of Governmental Affairs, North Bay Corporation, spoke briefly of
Redwood Empire Disposal's commitment to continue to provide good customer service. He is
preparing a new draft contract which would be initially reviewed by the Legal and Garbage
Director Baskin moved to adopt Draft Resolution No. GB-2013-__ [subsequently numbered
GB-2013-01] with attached Exhibit A, setting forth the new rates which become effective
February 1, 2013. Director Nelsen seconded the motion. The motion was passed
unanimously with the exception of Director Cross, who was not present when the vote was
F. GENERAL BUSINESS
Review of the District's Basic Financial Statements and the Memorandum on Internal
Controls as at June 30, 2012.
David Alvey, Manager, Maze & Associates, the District's Independent Auditors, stated they
gave an unqualified opinion of the District's financial statements without any reservations. This
is the highest level of assurance that a CPA firm can give to a client. This means that the
auditors feel that the District followed all accounting rules appropriately and that the financial
reports are an accurate representation of the District's financial condition. In their
Memorandum on Internal Controls, the auditors did not find any material weaknesses or
significant deficiencies, just a few housecleaning items, nothing that they feel are of a real
major concern. Lastly, the District's net assets are moving in the right direction, which is a
good sign of a strong financial position.
Director Baskin motioned to accept the Basic Financial Statements and the Memorandum on
Internal Controls. Director Boucke seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board directed the General Manager to have the financial audit posted to the District's
website and have a copy placed in the Stinson Beach Library.
Discussion and possible direction to staff to grant a Water Use Charge Reduction
Request for Mr. Mike Bernsohn, tenant, 185 Buena Vista, Stinson Beach, Account #3360.
Mr. Bernsohn's water loss was due to the irrigation lines for his vegetable garden being
"squeezed" between growing hedge trees and a fence, causing the PVC lines to crack. The
total water use portion of his bill from August 30, 2012 to October 1, 2012 was $1,025.86. He
had submitted a repair receipt of $415 and is requesting a 50% or more reduction of the water
use portion of his bill. Under paragraph#1 of the District's Water Use Charge Reduction
Policy, the General Manager is not authorized to grant Mr. Bernsohn any water use reduction,
as the loss of the water was caused by Mr. Bernsohn's irrigation system.
Mike Bernsohn, the tenant, is a full-time resident of Stinson Beach. He stated the irrigation
system had no controllable parts. It consisted only of the PVC pipe that was connected to his
garden hose and that the water loss was not within his reasonable control. Mr. Bernsohn was
adamant in his belief that he could not have inspected the PVC pipe for cracks due to its
The Directors discussed the percentage of leaks resulting from failed irrigation systems
[approximately 50 to 60%], the impact of leaks on the town's water supply, the District's limited
storage capacity, and the District's strict guidelines which need to be met in order to grant a
water use charge reduction.
Director Baskin made a motion to grant Mr. Bernsohn a 50% water use reduction. Director
Nelsen supported Director Baskin's motion if Mr. Bernsohn was also required to install a digital
display meter (MDU). Director Baskin amended his motion to grant Mr. Bernsohn a 50% water
use reduction with the stipulation that Mr. Bernsohn install an MDU. Director Nelsen seconded
the amended motion. The motion was approved 4-1, with President Zell opposed. The Board
also provided Mr. Bernsohn the option to make monthly payments of the reduced balance due.
The language of the policy establishing water use charge reductions will be reviewed in the
Discussion and possible direction to staff to grant a Water Use Charge Reduction
Request for Ms. Pauline Walton Flath, 133 Seadrift Road, Stinson Beach, Account
Ms. Flath's water loss was due to a toilet flapper failing to shut off. She has submitted a repair
receipt and has requested a 100% reduction of the water use portion of her bill from August
29, 2012 to October 1, 2012 of $2,375.32. Since the loss of the water was caused by a
component of Ms. Flath's toilet, the General Manager is not authorized to grant her any water
Pauline Walton Flath, a part-time resident, stated that the house was not occupied. However,
she is very sensitive to water use, and always turns off the red lever in front of her driveway
upon departing. She had a new, quiet toilet installed which makes no sound when it flushes,
so she was completely unaware that the toilet was running. Ms. Flath distributed to the
Directors a copy of her water usage history from July 31, 2007 - January 2, 2013 which
reflected very little or no usage except the large amount for the period in question. She has in
the past experienced a next door contractor connecting his hose to her water spigot.
Director Nelsen moved to grant Ms. Flath a 50% reduction, with the stipulation that she hire
someone to make sure her water is turned off during her absence. Director Boucke seconded
the motion, but the motion did not pass. The vote was as follows: AYES: Directors Boucke
and Nelsen. NOES: President Zell, Directors Cross and Baskin.
Ms. Flath stated she believes the Board is biased against Seadrift people. Director Baskin
responded that the Board tries to be fair to everyone, but unfortunately, based on the
circumstances of her leak, he could not vote to grant her any relief. However, Ms. Flath can
make monthly payments over an extended period of time.
G. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Director Baskin moved to approve the Minutes of December 15, 2012. Director Nelsen
seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously.
H. APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
Director Baskin moved to approve the disbursements of December 12 and December 27,
2012. Director Nelsen seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved unanimously.
I. MANAGER'S REPORT
The General Manager discussed his monthly report. He is still working with Lance Benjamin of
Pall Technology Services regarding our claim for reimbursement for the purchase of a failed
350 gallon polymer tank of $7,000. Also being followed up is a $1,700 credit due us for a
recent meter return.
A fourth meeting is being scheduled with Joanne Towl, Supervisor, Marin/Sonoma Mosquito &
Vector Control District. There are 22 different kinds of mosquitos in this area. One lives its
entire life cycle of three weeks in septic systems. Director Nelsen has agreed to be the
District's representative of the West Marin Mosquito Control Coordinating Council. The District
provides free mosquito netting measuring 1/16" for homeowners to screen their roof vents.
The Notice of Start of Wet Weather Testing Period has been modified slightly, placed on our
website, posted around town and e-mailed to Barbara Fedun. However, due to the lack of
rain lately, no wet weather testing can be done at the present time.
The District has so far received 10 requests from contractors regarding the Highlands #1
Water Tank Anchorage Improvements Project plans and specifications. The estimate for the
project is $92,500. The bid opening date is February 18 [Presidents' Day], but the General
Manager will speak with Allan Richards of Stetson Engineering to change it to the next
Governmental Accounting Standards Board rule (GASB) #45 requires the District to estimate
the future cost of required medical benefits given to employees and set that money aside.
Dennis Daugherty of Nicolay Consulting is in the process of preparing the 2012 report.
The SBCWD Ordinance and Notice of Lien on Norman McVea's property for an unpaid water
bill of $1,714.36 was mailed to the County Recorder for recording.
We are still working with PG&E to reduce the number of billings we receive from them.
Because the District put its solar panels on line about the same time as Marin Clean Energy,
PG&E has been sending out "statements" and "invoices."
Director Nelsen requested that the General Manager send a letter to Kiren Niederberger,
General Manager, Seadrift Association, concerning the projected completion date of the
Seadrift Water Line Relocation Project.
Director Cross inquired regarding the formulation of the wastewater inspection policies. She
felt there is some confusion of the proper nomenclature. Some policies appear to her to be
actually operating procedures. The General Manager responded that the District's Title IV is
policy and that administrative/operations procedures support its policy. He will have operating
procedures retitled as such as necessary. Treasurer Stemen inquired if the District maintains
a manual of standard operating procedures, especially for Water Supervisor Toby Bisson and
Wastewater Inspector Chris Kelley. Director Baskin noted that the Water Operations
Committee could review all policies already stated and that the Wastewater Committee could
review all septic policies
J. COMMITTEE REPORTS
The Board reviewed the correspondence.
The motion to adjourn the meeting was approved by unanimous vote. The meeting was
adjourned at 11:22 a.m.