The Board of Directors of Brooktrails Township Community Services District met in Special Session on April 30, 2001 in Brooktrails Community Center. Vice President Charles Orth called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.
A. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
B. ROLL CALL
Roll call showed the following Directors present: Whitney, Monteleone, and Orth. Also present were General Manager Chapman and District Counsel Neary.
C. ADDITIONS/ ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
D. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
April 6, 2001 - Deferred.
April 10, 2001
Director Orth asked that on page 3135, number 2b, in the fourth paragraph, the phrase "to discuss the GIS system, spheres of influence and district boundaries" be struck, and "to adopt its 2001/2002 Budget" be inserted, and on page 3136, in the sixth paragraph, the phrase "Brooktrails issues" replace the phrase "Specific Plan" at the end of the sentence. Also, he asked that on page 3138, in the third paragraph from the top of the page, the phrase "to make comments on" be inserted after "He concurred that Alternative 3 is the preferred alternative."
Director Whitney moved to approve the minutes of April 10, 2001 as amended. The motion was seconded by Director Monteleone and passed unanimously by the members present.
E. SPECIAL PRESENTATION
F. PUBLIC HEARING
2a CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION FIXING WATER AVAILABILITY CHARGE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001-2002
Director Orth opened the public hearing at 7:15 p.m. Hearing no protests, he closed the public hearing at 7:16 p.m. Director Whitney asked that the Board be given the opportunity to look at the list and cross check it with a map of the District to assure that each parcel is correctly assessed.
Director Whitney moved to adopt Resolution 2001-5, A Resolution Fixing Water Availability Charge for Fiscal Year 2001/2002. The motion was seconded by Director Monteleone and the vote was taken as follows:
AYES: Directors: Whitney, Monteleone, Orth
NOES: Directors: None
ABSENT: Directors: Venturi, Estabrook
Resolution No. 2001-5 Adopted.
2b RESOLUTION ORDERING THE ABATEMENT OF A PUBLIC NUISANCE ON CERTAIN PRIVATE PARCELS LOCATED WITHIN THE DISTRICT
Director Orth opened the public hearing at 7:17 p.m. No property owners were present to protest the abatement of their parcels. Director of Emergency Services, Daryl Schoeppner, came forward and updated the Board on the status of parcel number 55. Board members agreed to delete it from the list. General Manager Chapman commented that the completion date on the contract to abate the lots had been moved back one week. Director Orth then closed the public hearing at 7:18 p.m.
Director Monteleone asked that a key to the letter codes used on the Board list be provided for reference in the future.
Director Whitney moved to adopt Resolution No. 2001-6, A Resolution Ordering the Abatement of a Public Nuisance on Certain Private Parcels Located Within the District, excluding lot number 55 on the list. The motion was seconded by Director Monteleone and a vote was taken as follows:
AYES: Directors: Whitney, Monteleone, Orth
NOES: Directors: None
ABSENT: Directors: Venturi, Estabrook
Resolution No. 2001-6 Adopted.
G. PUBLIC COMMENTS
H. ACTION AGENDA
3. CONSIDERATION OF AWARD OF CONTRACT TO ABATE 13 LOTS OF PUBLIC NUISANCES (WEEDS, GRASSES AND OTHER COMBUSTIBLE VEGETATION.)
General Manager Chapman noted that out of the 68 lots declared as a nuisance, only 13 lots were bid on by the sole bidding contractor, Thompson Timber Falling. Now that number 55 has been removed, 12 lots are scheduled to be abated.
Mr. Schoeppner explained that the reason only one bid was received was because the other contractors in the area were busy clearing damaged trees. In response to Director Orth's inquiry, Mr. Schoeppner confirmed that he would prefer to accept bids from unlicenced contractors, as long as they can provide the necessary liability insurance.
Directors Orth explained that the bids are accepted on a lot-by-lot basis to assure that the lien placed on the property bill of the owner is the lowest possible cost. Director Whitney suggested using the average costs to abate all lots, and placing an equal assessment on each property tax bill. District Counsel explained that such a fee would be considered a tax, and therefore would be subject to Proposition 218. However, as a condition of consideration of the bid, the District could require the contract to bid on all lots, or a certain percentage of all lots.
Director Whitney voiced concern that the Board has identified hazards and declared a public nuisance on certain parcels. However, private contractors have refused to bid on the necessary work, leaving the hazards unabated. He suggested the District hire additional help, administer the abatement process on its own, and charge the property owners accordingly.
Discussion ensued concerning the District's policy in the past advising property owners to contract only with licenced contractors. Director Orth asked that staff come up with a set of standards for workers that do abatement for the District versus workers that do abatement for private individuals, and asked for District Counsel's guidance to establish minimum requirements for contractors hired by the District. He spoke against hiring additional staff to abate lots, and in favor of requiring contractors to bid on all lots.
Director Monteleone asked that a list be compiled and made available at the District office and Fire Station of workers willing to provide abatement services to the public. She also asked that an article be written and published in the paper concerning the abatement work available in Brooktrails, and that a training day be held to provide a review of the abatement standards to the interested parties. Each person who attends the training day would be given a certificate and added to the list provided by the District office.
Director Whitney made a motion to approve the contract with Thompson Timer Falling for the 12 lots that were bid on, that the District develop an in-house temporary employee program to abate the remaining lots on the list prior to the fire season as determined by the Director of Emergency Services, and to establish a training program as suggested by Director Monteleone. Director Orth declined to support the motion, as he was hesitant to establish a major program at a special meeting without the presence of a full Board. He also voiced concern about funding for additional employees prior to passage of additional fire tax.
Director Whitney spoke against simply awarding the contract to abate the 12 lots, and leaving the others unabated.
Ginger Pohlson spoke in favor of awarding the contract, pointing out that the contractor may not be able to accomplish all of the lots by the deadline.
Noting that Director Whitney's motion died for lack of a second, Director Orth asked for a simple motion to either accept or pass on the bid from Thompson Timber Falling, and continue the discussion of proposed changes to the abatement program at a future Board meeting.
Director Whitney suggested the award of contract be deferred to the meeting of May 8, 2001. The three Board members present unanimously agreed to do so.
Mike Aplet, of Hawk Drive, encouraged the Board to continue charging absentee lot owners for abatement charges, and placing liens on the tax bill.
Director Monteleone voiced concern that by accepting the bid, the Board would be sending a message to the contractors that they can continue to pick and choose just the lots they want to do. She pointed out that the bid for 20% of the lots came to over 50% of the funds that were budgeted, and questioned where the funds would come from if all the lots were bid on. Director Whitney agreed, and questioned the logic of going through the process if the District can't afford the cost.
General Manager Chapman informed the Board members that current cash flow in the Fire Department would not be sufficient for additional staff for abatement of lots, but offered to research the costs involved in establishing such a program.
A break was called to change the tape.
BREAK at 8:40 p.m. - RECONVENE at 8:45 p.m.
4. DISCUSSION AND RESPONSE TO NOTICE OF INTENT TO HARVEST TIMBER, JOHN M. MAYFIELD PROPERTY.
General Manager Chapman called attention to page 75 of the Timber Harvest Plan (THP), which indicated that a letter was sent to the District office on January 30, 2001. However, the letter was actually dated February 8, 2001, copies of which were provided for the Board's reference. He also noted that a letter voicing the District's concerns was sent to John Burns on February 20, 2001 which was omitted from the THP.
Director Orth explained that a THP is comparable to a CEQA document, for purposes of forest practices. Based on the findings of the inspection in 2000, he felt that "No" was an inappropriate answer to question 2 on page 57, section 4, concerning "continuing significant adverse impacts from past land use activities that may add to the impact of the proposed project"
Director Whitney voiced agreement with Director Orth's comment, adding that a watershed assessment should be done.
Director Monteleone read two paragraphs from page 157 concerning the impact on the Brooktrails reservoir, in which the Hydrologist states that the amount of sedimentation and eutrophication is minimal, and that the storage capacity and quality is essentially intact. She questioned the accuracy of that statement.
Director Whitney suggested the District retain a watershed expert in hydrology, with qualifications equal to the Hydrologist quoted in the plan, to say that there may be significant adverse cumulative impacts to Lake Emily, and therefore there should be a more thorough watershed assessment. He recommended researching the Regional Water Quality Control Board for information on watershed assessments. He voiced concern that most of the forest cover would be disturbed, and felt that there was insufficient assessment of that disturbance in regards to Brooktrails' watershed. He recommended "uneven age" forest management standards be used above the reservoir, which would result in less vegetation impact.
He commented that the proposal to construct a new road in the watershed should be more thoroughly analyzed. He also noted that there was no summary analysis showing how the mitigations and recommendations by the experts were incorporated into the plan. He spoke against the provision to extend the operation into the winter months.
Director Monteleone voiced concern that on page 3, item e, it states that the THP will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment, a statement that she did not agree with. She also voiced concern that the plan did not adequately address additional sediment in Lake Emily.
General Manager Chapman commented that the plan states there will be no adverse effect on salmon and steelhead, but neglects to mention 3,700 people.
Director Whitney voiced concern that the plan calls for "seed tree removal" which is actually clear-cut. He suggested the District's response include relative sections of the Specific Plan.
Director Orth commented that the proposal was contradictory to the water quality management the District is trying to accomplish through Proposition 13 grant funding.
General Manager Chapman voiced concern about the negative answer to question 28c on page 22. Director Whitney suggested attaching the District's comments to the previous year's THP to the letter of response to this THP.
General Manager Chapman pointed out the unknown factor of sedimentation into Lake Emily and the ultimate cost to the taxpayers of Brooktrails to fund dredging of the lake. District Counsel Neary reported that the last dredging of the lake occurred about four years after the last logging operation in the 1980s.
Director Orth pointed out that page 10 of the THP indicates that ground based equipment will be used in unstable and slope areas, which further justifies a watershed assessment. Director Whitney agreed, adding that one of the requirements of CEQA is that alternatives be investigated to avoid the use of ground based equipment in those areas.
Director Orth also pointed out that the erosion hazard rating on page 11 shows "Moderate," which he felt should be "High," as indicated in the EIR for the Willits Creek Reservoir, and voiced concern about the proposed logging roads in sloping and unstable soil areas. He suggested that a copy of the THP from the 1980s be obtained to assure that the work required was actually performed. District Counsel Neary commented that reference to that plan should be included in the current document, and is not.
Director Orth commented that on page 15 reference is made to culverts made of PVC plastic pipe, which does not meet the standard for culverts. He would request that all PVC culverts be removed and replaced with appropriate culverts.
As to page 22, item 28c, Director Orth questioned as to whether proper notification procedures were followed. General Manager Chapman confirmed that he had sent a letter on February 8th to John Burns requesting a copy of the THP, and sent a copy to CDF in Willits and in Santa Rosa. He read aloud a letter received from CDF dated April 19, 2001, wherein they stated that they had researched his request for a copy of the THP and could not come up with a match. Director Whitney suggested that the District request an extension.
Director Orth called attention to page 35, concerning the Analysis of Project Alternatives. He noted that the property was offered to the District in the past, although funds were not available at the time. He spoke in favor of continuing to seek a conservation easement or purchase of the property, stressing that the proposed THP area is the headwaters of Willits Creek, and suggested Proposition 13 funds be pursued for that purpose. District Counsel Neary confirmed that development fees could be used for the purchase of a conservation easement.
Director Whitney suggested the District begin the negotiations for a conservation easement. He asked that the General Manager be authorized to enter into real estate negotiations on a confidential basis with the property owner, specifically with regards to acquisition of a conservation easement. He noted that such a conservation easement would not preclude harvesting of trees.
To summarize the Board discussion, Director Orth directed the General Manager to draft a letter requesting extension of the time to comment, based on the issues noted by the Board, and to begin negotiations with the property owner for acquisition of a conservation easement.
I. SPECIAL REPORTS - GENERAL MANAGER
i. Significant Correspondence received since last meeting:
a) General Manager Chapman reported that the District's grant application for funds to purchase the 12.29 acre Redwood Grove property had been denied.
b) The District has been approved for receipt of $30,000 from the Department of Parks and Recreation for capital items relating to recreation programs.
Director Orth provided copies of the minutes from a prior Board of Supervisors meeting noting that they had moved improvements to the Birch Street/Sherwood Road intersection into their five-year road plan.
v. Possible upcoming agenda items
J. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Director Monteleone moved to adjourn and Vice President Orth declared the meeting of April 30, 2001 closed at 10:00 p.m.
CHARLES A. ORTH
MICHAEL V. CHAPMAN
Secretary to the Board of Directors