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MINUTES


BROOKTRAILS TOWNSHIP COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BROOKTRAILS COMMUNITY CENTER

24850 Birch Street, Willits, CA 95490

May 8, 2001

The Board of Directors of Brooktrails Township Community Services District met in regular session on May 8, 2001 in Brooktrails Community Center. President Richard Estabrook called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


A. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE


B. ROLL CALL

Roll call showed the following Directors present: Whitney, Monteleone, Orth, and Estabrook. Also present were General Manager Chapman and District Counsel Neary.


C. ADDITIONS/ ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

None


D. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

April 6, 2001

Director Monteleone moved to approve the minutes of April 6, 2001 as written. The motion was seconded by Director Whitney and passed unanimously by the members present, with Director Orth abstaining.

April 17, 2001

General Manager Chapman clarified the corrected language on page 3143. Director Orth moved to approve the minutes of April 17, 2001, as amended by the General Manager. The motion was seconded by Director Monteleone and passed unanimously by the members present.


E. SPECIAL PRESENTATION - RESOLUTIONS OF APPRECIATION TO NICK AND LINDA NICHOLS, FOR THEIR SERVICE ON THE GREEN COMMITTEE

President Estabrook read the resolutions of appreciation aloud. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols came forward and thanked the Board for the recognition. Mrs. Nichols expressed her appreciation to those who serve on the Board of Directors.


F. PUBLIC HEARING

None


G. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Barrie Boone, resident of Tuck Place who suffers from severe respiratory problems, came forward. She reported a recent incident when her neighbors had been burning and using pesticides, causing smoke and airborne chemicals to enter her home and cause her to become ill. She reported the problem to the Brooktrails Fire Department who referred her to Air Quality. Upon contacting Air Quality, she was referred back to Brooktrails. She voiced concern about the lack of enforcement, and read an excerpt from the burn permit regulations of the Mendocino County Air Quality Agricultural and Residential Outdoor Burning Program, which states that the person burning could be held liable if burning creates a nuisance or health problem to others.

She again contacted Director of Emergency Services, Daryl Schoeppner, and stressed the fact that she is a disabled person, and that the smoke was not simply a nuisance, it was a threat to her health. Mr. Schoeppner then visited the site and asked the neighbors to move the burn pile and provide 24 hour notice to Ms. Boone before burning. She voiced appreciation for Mr. Schoeppner's assistance, and asked for clarification of which agency is the enforcing agency, as CDF, Air Quality and Brooktrails have all stated that it is out of their jurisdiction.

President Estabrook offered to schedule a future agenda item to discuss burn permits and enforcement procedures, and offered to notify her of the date.

Mr. Schoeppner came forward and confirmed that Air Quality is the enforcing agency and has the authority to issue citations.


H. ACTION AGENDA

Routine Items

2a) NOTICE OF RESIGNATIONS AND APPOINTMENTS TO GREEN COMMITTEE


2b) ACCEPTANCE OF FIVE DONATED LOTS FROM ROBERT PHILIS, FOUR ON RIDGE ROAD AND ONE ON DAPHNE WAY

Director Whitney moved to accept the resignations of Nick and Linda Nichols, appoint Dale Sevier and Bob Hagan to the Green Committee, and to adopt Resolution No. 2001-9, A Resolution Accepting Deed of Real Property, accepting the five lots donated to the District by Robert Philis. The motion was seconded by Director Monteleone, and a vote was taken as follows:

AYES: Directors: Whitney, Monteleone, Orth, Estabrook

NOES: Directors: None

ABSENT: Directors: Venturi

Resolution No. 2001-9 Adopted


3. CONSIDERATION OF AWARD OF CONTRACT TO ABATE 12 LOTS

OF PUBLIC NUISANCES (WEEDS, GRASSES AND OTHER COMBUSTIBLE VEGETATION.)

General Manager Chapman reported that Thompson Timber Falling had offered to bid on another 20 of the lots on the Board list.

Director of Emergency Services, Daryl Schoeppner, asked the Board to accept bids from licenced Timber Operators, such as O.A.K. Farms who expressed interest in submitting a bid. He recommended the Board award the contract on the 12 lots to Thompson Timber Falling, and put the remaining lots out to bid again.

In response to concerns raised by Director Monteleone, Mr. Schoeppner assured the Board that all parties receiving contracts from the District would be properly instructed in how to abate the lots.

Director Whitney asked for clarification of the time frame from the expenditure for abatement fees and the reimbursement from the County, and how the reimbursement is accounted for on a lot-by-lot basis. He suggested the reimbursement amount received from the County be used as the budget the following year.

General Manager Chapman responded that staff was working on the reports requested by Director Whitney, and provided copies of information on the "Teeter Plan."

Director Whitney asked for a future agenda item to discuss the lot abatement expenditure and reimbursement process.

President Estabrook asked for a motion to award the contract for abatement of 12 lots to Thompson Timber Falling. Director Whitney moved to award the contract, seconded by Director Monteleone.

Owen Kenney of O.A.K. Farms came forward and reported that his company had abated the property at 2500 Coyote Road, number 19 on the list. Mr. Schoeppner clarified that if a property is completed when the contractor arrives, the District is not obligated under the contract to pay the charge.

District Counsel Neary commented that the actual contract should be reviewed prior to the next time award of contract appears on the agenda. He stressed the importance of the contractor providing a certificate of workers compensation insurance, and recommended that a statement directing the contractor not to commence work until the certificate is provided be included in the contract.

A vote was taken on the motion currently on the floor which passed unanimously by the members present.

As to opening the remaining lots to bid, Director Orth suggested a pre-bid conference be held

where parties interested in bidding would be actually taken out and shown how to perform abatement on a lot.

Mr. Schoeppner commented that as a part of the bidding process, contractors are given instruction as to the location of the lots and the abatement standards. He also provides evaluation of lots on an individual basis for special circumstances.

Director Orth made a motion that the bid be reopened on the remaining lots on the Board list, and that a pre-bid conference be conducted for interested contractors. Director Monteleone seconded the motion, noting the importance of providing instruction to a new contractor by actually taking them to a lot.

Bob Houtz, of Harrah Drive asked that the instructions to the contractor include not disposing of clippings in the gutters.

A vote was taken on the motion which passed unanimously by the members present.


4. APPEAL BY THEMBI BORRAS TO GENERAL MANAGER'S DECISION NOT TO WAIVE CHARGES FOR WATER LEAK

General Manager Chapman read aloud the letter written to Ms. Borras declining to waive the charges, and her response.

Ms. Borras came forward and summarized the events leading up to the appeal. She pointed out that she had no way of knowing that there was leak until the meter was read, unlike a person with a water tank on their property that can monitor the level in the tank.

Superintendent of Utilities Wendell Wilson, who was present in the audience, confirmed that staff did shut the water off at the house when the meter was read, and that there was no visible evidence of the leak.

Director Monteleone stressed the need for the Board to establish a policy on water leaks. President Estabrook agreed, and summarized previous Board discussion on the topic.

After a brief question and answer session with the Board members, Director Whitney made a motion to split the cost of the leak with Ms. Borras. The motion was seconded by Director Orth. President Estabrook suggested an amendment to the motion, that the District credit Ms. Borras for 50% of the difference between the current bill and the previous month's charges. Director Whitney agreed to the amendment, and Director Orth agreed to amend his second.

Wendell Wilson pointed out the inconsistency between this motion and the action taken several months prior when the Board agreed to write off a bill in full for a renter on Sherwood Road.

Jack Bothwell, resident of Buckeye Road and former member of the Board of Directors, commented that during his tenure another member of the Board had a water leak and was required to pay the bill in full.

Ginger Pohlson pointed out that the Application for Utility Services requires the property owner to be responsible for payment of charges if a tenant moves and leaves an unpaid bill, and suggested the policy be extended to water leaks when tenants neglect to pay.

Mike Aplet commented that owner-occupied residential property should be treated differently than rental property, as the landlord is operating a business and should pay the cost of leak as overhead. He also suggested the Board policy include a maximum amount that the District would be willing to absorb.

President Estabrook suggested a future agenda item to discuss the landlord's responsibility under the provisions of the District's Utilities Code.

A vote was then taken on the motion, which passed unanimously by the members present.


5. APPEAL BY LACE L. MAY TO GENERAL MANAGER'S DECISION TO DENY APPLICATION FOR WATER AND SEWER SERVICE FROM THE DISTRICT

General Manager Chapman reported that Mr. May had requested a second water connection and meter for his property on Buckeye Road. He read aloud his letter to Mr. May denying that request.

Mr. May came forward and noted that he submitted his plans for architectural review prior to obtaining a grading permit from the County. He was given the grading permit, with the condition that water and sewer would be provided by Brooktrails Township Community Services District. He pointed out that drawing for the proposed building had been approved by the District Architect, that there are three Assessor's parcel numbers, and that the description of the building was "a garage."

Director Whitney noted that due to a recent boundary line adjustment the property is now one legal parcel, zoned FL, Forest Land, and the District's Utilities Code prohibits more than one connection on parcels not zoned multiple residential. He also pointed out that the District approved plans for a "shop building," however the County approved a "residence" for a cottage industry.

President Estabrook reiterated the provisions of Ordinance No. 116, adding that to grant a variance he would have to be convinced that the project was for the good of Brooktrails as a whole. He then stated that he could only see negatives coming from Mr. May's proposal.

After a lengthy question and answer session with Mr. May, Director Orth moved to uphold the decision of the General Manager and deny a second connection to Mr. May. The motion was seconded by Director Monteleone and passed unanimously by the Directors present.


6. REPORT ON RATES AND FEES FOR WATER, SEWER, FIRE, AND GENERAL FUND AND CONNECTION FEES. PROPOSAL IS TO SCHEDULE TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS FOR JUNE26 AND JULY 10, 2001

With the aid of the overhead projector, General Manager Chapman reviewed his proposed Budget and Rates in detail. He began with a review of the forecast for District Administration, including Ambulance, Recreation and Franchise, which he expected would nearly break even at year end.

He commented that the Water Fund is the only fund that is currently operating with a positive cash balance, and is in the position to begin to build reserves. He stressed that his proposed rate increases in the Water Fund were not for the benefit of the Income Statement, but for the need to fund the necessary equipment replacement.

As to the Sewer Fund, he explained that the major change in the Budget would be the method of allocation of wages and benefits to the departments. His calculations indicated a 33% increase in sewer rates would be necessary just to break even. He also reminded the Board members that the City of Willits is anticipating a sewer plant upgrade within the next 5 years which is expected to cost between $5 million to $6 million dollars, a percentage of which will be the District's obligation.

Moving on to the Golf Fund, he pointed out the deficit of $26,000 for the last fiscal year and the anticipated deficit of $24,000 this fiscal year, which includes the principal payment of $17,500 to the Sewer Fund as well as $5,000 in interest. His forecast predicted that if no increases were adopted in the Golf rates and fees, the Golf Fund would incur another loss of $20,000 in the next fiscal year. He proposed a 30% increase in Annual Green Fees as well as increases in the dailies, with elimination of the Weekend/Holiday rate.

General Manager Chapman opened the floor for public comment.

With regards to the Mayfield property, Superintendent of Utilities Wendell Wilson asked the Board if they intended to use reserves to purchase the land or a conservation easement. Director Orth responded that the District intends to obtain grants to provide that funding.

Assistant Parks Superintendent, Doug Pohlson, pointed out that the projected loss in the golf fund for the fiscal year may not actually occur, and answered questions concerning the anticipated expenses for the Golf Course.

Director Whitney asked the General Manager to calculate the effect on the Golf and Sewer Funds of extending the loan for the irrigation system for an additional 30 years, and to adjust the proposed golf rates and fees accordingly.

Director Orth made a motion that the Golf rates be removed from the discussion, based upon further review of the proposed rates and fees by the Green Committee, and that it be brought back at the next Board meeting. The motion was seconded by Director Whitney, and passed unanimously by the members present.

Moving on to the Water Fund, General Manager Chapman reviewed the revenue sources and proposed an 8% increase in rates, which would bring in an additional $44,000 per year bringing the total revenue to $738,000. He confirmed a forecast of a $126,000 budget surplus, which he hoped to segregate into a separate bank account for water fund reserves.

President Estabrook suggested restructuring the proposed rates by lowering the base rate and increasing the usage rates. General Manager Chapman offered to research the availability of a report of revenues by tiers.

General Manager Chapman reported that the sewer estimate had been reduced from$268,500 to $212,000 for the next fiscal year, and that he had based his proposed increase on a break-even scenario. Director Whitney asked for clarification of the calculations used to determine the payments to the City for operations and capital costs.

Director Monteleone voiced concern about the effect of the proposed increase on residents in the District living on fixed incomes.

Bill Jack urged the Board to look at ways to reduce expenses.

Director Orth recalled the recent reduction in staff, and the capital items that have been deferred, and stressed the need for rates to cover costs. He voiced support for the increased rates and voiced his appreciation to the General Manager for his honesty in reporting the facts.

President Estabrook commented that the rates charged for water and sewer in the surrounding area indicates that the District's operations are efficient. He reluctantly agreed to support the increases recommended by General Manager Chapman.

Director Monteleone commented that she would support the increases with the exception of the proposed sewer rate. Director Whitney moved to schedule public hearings for June 26th and July 10, 2001 on the proposed rates, with the exception of the golf rates and fees. The motion was seconded by Director Orth and the vote was taken as follows:

AYES: Directors: Whitney, Orth, Estabrook

NOES: Directors: Monteleone

ABSENT: Directors: Venturi

Motion Carried.


7. SELECTION OF ACCOUNTING FIRM TO PROVIDE ANNUAL AUDIT AND MANAGEMENT REPORT

Deferred to the meeting of May 22, 2001.

8. CONSIDERATION OF A DRAFT LETTER TO CDF IN RESPONSE TO A TIMBER HARVEST PLAN FILED FOR A 233 ACRE PARCEL ABOVE LAKE EMILY

Director Orth asked that the response to Page 11-24 concerning roads and landings be struck from the draft letter, and that in the response to Page 15-4, the phrase "inadequate for drainage measures" be changed to "inadequate for road culverts as drainage measures." Hearing no other comments, Director Orth moved to approved the letter as amended. The motion was seconded by Director Monteleone and passed unanimously by the members present.


I. SPECIAL REPORTS - GENERAL MANAGER


i. Significant Correspondence received since last meeting:


ii. Personnel


iii. Finance


iv. Planning


v. Possible upcoming agenda items

Director Orth asked that an agenda item be scheduled to review a recent letter from LAFCO concerning funding.


vi. Other

General Manager Chapman reported on the tremendous amount of trash that was picked up by volunteers during the recent cleanup day sponsored by the BPOA. Director Monteleone, who participated, provided a detailed account of the event.


J. PUBLIC COMMENTS


K. ADJOURNMENT

Director Orth moved to adjourn and President Estabrook declared the meeting of May 8, 2001 closed at 11:40 p.m.


MICHAEL V. CHAPMAN

Secretary to the Board of Directors


RICHARD ESTABROOK,

President


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