Saturday, September 21, 2013


President Jim Zell called the Regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Stinson Beach County Water District to order on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at 9:30 a.m., at the Stinson Beach County Water District office, located at 3785 Shoreline Highway, Stinson Beach, CA 94970.

Directors present:
Jim Zell, President
Barbara Boucke, Vice President
Lawrence Baskin, Director
Sandra Cross, Director
Morey Nelsen, Director

Treasurer present:
Judy Stemen

General Manager present:
Ed Schmidt

Staff present:
Helma Schwendig - Administrative Assistant


Director Cross inquired about depth to groundwater, which is currently 24 inches below the existing grade. This topic will be discussed at the next Wastewater Committee meeting.


The agenda was unanimously adopted as set.


Director Baskin moved to approve the Minutes of July 20, 2013. Vice President Boucke seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously with the exception of Director Cross, who stated she was not present at the July 20 meeting.

Ms. Boucke moved to approve the Minutes of August 17, 2013, with the correction of the second part of the sentence on page 2, lines 9 and 10 to state..."the owner will be required to relocate the water main line if portions are less than ten feet from the leach field." Director Cross seconded the motion. The minutes were approved unanimously with the exception of President Zell and Director Baskin, who were both absent at the August 17 meeting.


Director Baskin moved to approve the disbursements of August 15 and August 28, 2013. Vice President Boucke seconded the motion. The disbursements were approved unanimously.


The Board reviewed the District's Operating Report for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, the Balance Sheet Summary as of June 2013 and the Cash Flow Report for the fiscal year 2012-2013. The Board also reviewed the corrected Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014, which had previously been reviewed by the Finance Committee.


The General Manager discussed his monthly report. The creek flow is only half of its normal flow. The recent rain was very welcome. So far, the District is keeping up with the demand for water. Richard Reasoner has received a good deal of data to develop a plan for the highest residential water users to voluntarily conserve water used for irrigation purposes. He will visit the individual properties to determine their water needs. The District has a keen interest in conserving water, while at the same time assisting its customers in lowering their water bills. However, because the District does not receive any State grants, its customers are not required to prepare a water budget.

Director Nelsen stated that Village Green I has seen a spike in water usage. Michael Mitchell believes this is due to leaks. Director Nelsen has calculated the turf areas requiring irrigation based on site plans he received from Mr. Mitchell. The General Manager will send a letter to Mr. Mitchell, inquiring about the tree of responsibility for excess water usage and the County's role. Both parks are CSA's. Neither Village Green I nor Village Green II pay for water.

The District received an anonymous letter of complaint from a person claiming to live close to the Sand Dollar Restaurant regarding the timing and frequency of the restaurant's septic tank pumping, as well as its accompanying odor. The District has determined that the system is being operated correctly. The General Manager has responded and forwarded the complaint to the restaurant, including copies to the pumper and Marin County Environmental Health. He has suggested to the pumper, Bob Farley of Coast Sanitary, that the latter use odor masking sprays and not pump on weekends. The Board agreed that no further action is required.

The Board reviewed the Special Flood Hazard Area FEMA map and noted that Mira Vista, a nonexistent paper street, is still shown on the map.

The District received a complaint from Marlene Levy, a former tenant who rented a downstairs room at the Kinberger residence at 40 Buena Vista Avenue, regarding the legality of the unit and septic odors and backups. Upon inspection, the District confirmed that although the system was operating properly, it may be out of compliance with Title IV regulations. The General Manager will visit the County to determine its definition of habitable space.

The Board determined that the District has already done all it can regarding the question of the use of its road easement by private contractors to its Highlands Water Tanks site. The burden is now up to Verizon to issue a proposal.

AshLin Pacific Construction will begin the Highway 1 Replacement Waterline Project in about a week. They were required to obtain their own Encroachment Permit, stop work on week days at 3:00 p.m., and widen the trench, all of which resulted in change orders of $30,000, bringing the District's cost to its original estimate of $121,000.

The Pax mixer was hard wired and installed in the Steep Ravine Tank on September 11. In less than 24 hours, the temperature was the same throughout the tank. The donor of the mixer, Marion Weber, was present and the Board will send her a thank you card. The backflow letter to our customers has been modified. If a customer does not respond, the District will automatically perform the backflow device test. However, there may be an additional charge if the device requires repairs. The General Manager will discuss with Buck Meyers the approximate time needed to take the device apart if it fails the test, lubricate it, or install a replacement washer, etc., retest the device, as well as the cost of the replacement parts to determine the additional charge to the customer.

Director Cross noted that, as a cancer survivor, she appreciates that the District samples annually for Chromium 6 [hexavalent chromium], which occurs naturally in serpentine, our State rock, and can seep into groundwater. Vice President Boucke suggested that the District inform our customers regarding the low level of arsenic and chrome in the water supply.


Director Baskin reported the result of the Legal Committee meeting on September 19, 2013. Steve McCaffrey stated that Redwood Empire Disposal operates at a loss in Stinson Beach. The existing Garbage Collection Contract goes to 2019, but provides for a fair and equitable return. The garbage rates here are much lower than in other communities. To achieve even a break-even point, the rates would have to be raised by 32%. Redwood Empire Disposal has been operating at a deficit even after last February's rate increase. The contract will be amended to raise rates by 35% over a 7 year period, after which time there will be an annual adjustment based on the CPI increase. It is estimated that a customer's average monthly garbage bill will increase by 80 cents. They will continue to service the doggie waste barrels and have the annual community cleanup. The matter will be subject to customer notification and two public hearings before the Board.


The Board reviewed the correspondence.


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

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