BEAR VALLEY RESIDENTS INC.
Board Meeting Minutes for September 1, 2009
Dave Morley presiding
Board Members Attending
In Bear Valley: Dave Morley, Paul Petersen, Eric Jung
By Phone: Gordon Ritter, Ron Rossi, Brian Neth, Randy Mancini, Ron Murphy, Jack Wedgwood, Sue Garratt, Mitzi Nelson
Guests: Barbara Goodrich, Pamela Knorr, Terry Woodrow, Morley Singer, Brian Peters, Joyce Stillman, Tom Stillman, Dave Ritchie, Kathy Snyder, Daniella Karo, Art Silvers, Bob Kuechler, Gloria Dralla, John Dralla, Phil Coffman, Susan Imig, Marilyn Ruch, Julio Guerro
Sewer Rate Increase Proposal
Morley read a list of assumptions: the last discharge was in 1999; the District hired new General Manager Julio Guerro; the District discontinued its relationship with EcoLogic; the District has hired a new engineer, Gary Ghio; the state has mandated a tertiary plant by October 2010 to allow further discharges; the state has a "no backsliding" rule which may prevent relaxation of the terms of the NPDES permit; we could be fined for discharges outside the terms of the permit; the proposed plant would serve current needs only; fines may be passed along to the county; we should lobby the state for more time and better terms on the permit.
The Board discussed a motion at its August 23rd meeting, although the motion is not fully approved yet. The motion was to oppose temporarily the rate increase for a tertiary facility, and work with the state for 3 to 5 years, or 1 year after the next discharge.
Paul Petersen reported on his conversations with various people. He talked with Ken Landau, assistant head of staff for the Sacramento Regional Water Quality Control Board and the main state contact person for Bear Valley. Paul asked him what happens if we oppose the increase, or if we support it? Landau said our negotiating position will be stronger if we don't protest. We are allowed to discharge secondary effluent until October 2010, with a 20 to 1 dilution factor. We may be better off if we don't upset the state people.
Rossi asked whether the proposed plan would be a "done deal" if there is not a sufficient protest. Paul said no. Garratt asked if we will be able to explore other plant designs. Paul said yes. Paul said Clean Filtration Technology would need to start by February 1 to have the proposed plant operational by October. Julio Guerro will meet Thursday with Ken Landau.
Ritter said the goal is to come up with the least expensive alternative.
Barbara Goodrich said we shouldn't have to treat all the effluent, only what we discharge. Brian Neth said the District Board discussed the option of a smaller plant that only runs when we need to process effluent for discharge. He said intermittent operation of a plant can lead to reliability issues for machinery that likes to run continuously.
Gloria Dralla said she has no confidence in the current District Board, and would like to wait until the new Board members are seated.
Morley Singer said nobody's going to die and we should not be rushed into an inappropriate solution.
Phil Coffman said we should protest and square off against the bureaucrats.
Pamela Knorr, Alpine County CAO, said the state controls the purse strings. She suggested that a legislative approach might be needed, and offered the county's assistance with that. She will meet with County Counsel to explore legal implications for the county.
Dave Morley said it appeared that there was a consensus for asking the District Board to hold the Prop. 218 protest period open until January 15. Dave Ritchie said he could call for a special meeting of the District Board with 72 hour notice, for Monday, Sept. 7.
Jung said that this approach should include an "exit strategy" in case the state doesn't budge.
Guerro said that the District must file a report with the state 180 days before expiration of the NPDES permit, stating the District's intent on how it will comply. He suggested that this might be a vehicle for negotiation with the state.
Rossi moved to ask the Bear Valley Water District Board to extend the Prop. 218 protest period to January 15. If the District Board does not do so by noon on September 7, BVRI will advocate protesting the District's rate increase proposal. Murphy 2nd.
In Favor: Rossi, Murphy, Morley, Nelson, Mancini, Wedgwood, Ritter, Jung
Opposed: Petersen, Neth, Garratt
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