Zone 7 Meeting - May 17, 2023
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
May 17, 2023
The following were present:
Directors: Dawn Benson
Angela Ramirez Holmes
Staff: Valerie Pryor, General Manager
Heath McMahon, Assistant General Manager - Engineering
Osborn Solitei, Treasurer/Assistant General Manager - Finance
Carol Mahoney, Government Relations Manager
Ken Minn, Groundwater Resources Manager
Lizzie Foss, Financial Analyst
JaVia Green, Financial Analyst
Alexandra Bradley, Communications Specialist
Donna Fabian, Executive Assistant
General Counsel: Rebecca Smith, Downey Brand
Item 1 - Call Zone 7 Water Agency Meeting to Order
President Palmer called the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors to order at 7:20 p.m.
Item 2 - Closed Session
The Board went into Closed Session at 6:01 p.m. and came out of Closed Session at 7:11 pm.
Item 3 -
There was nothing to report out of Closed Session.
Item 4 -
A member of Girl Scout Troop 31253 led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Item 5 -
All Directors were present.
Item 6 -
Public Comment was received from Olivia Sanwong, a resident of Pleasanton.
Item 7 -
Director Narum made a motion to approve the minutes of April 19, 2023, and Director Ramirez Holmes seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 8 -
Director Ramirez Holmes made a motion to approve Items 8a and 8b and Director Benson seconded the motion. Items 8a and 8b were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 9 -
President Palmer recognized the Girl Scout Troop for their exceptional efforts in the Book Box Project, which offers free books promoting literacy and sharing, highlighting the importance of water in the local community. The troop collaborated with staff, secured resources, and spent many weekends learning new skills to construct and decorate the little free library. The troop gave a presentation to share their process in completing the project. The board members commended the troop on the Book Box Project, President Palmer presented the Girl Scouts and their Leaders with Certificates of Appreciation, and the troop took a photo with the full Board.
Item 10 -
Carol Mahoney, Government Relations Manager, briefly reviewed six bills that could impact Zone 7's mission or its operation, and the Legislative Committee's recommended position on each of them.
Director Ramirez Holmes explained that the Committee was not in favor of AB 1573 due to the hastened timeline and the very specific lack of definition.
Regarding SB 23, Director Green asked about the resources put towards accelerating the timeline, and Ms. Mahoney explained that the decision-making process would come from the state.
Director Green made a motion to approve Item 10 and Director Narum seconded the motion. The Item was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 11 -
Lizzie Foss, Financial Analyst, presented background information on the Policy. On January 1, 2017, SB 1029 became effective, which required local government agencies to adopt debt management policies when issuing debt. In issuing the 2018 bonds, the Agency adopted a Debt Management Policy on June 21, 2017. On January 18, 2023, the Board adopted a reimbursement resolution, which authorized up to $30 million for the Chain of Lakes PFAS Treatment Facility Project and provided direction to staff to start pursuing bond financing. Staff and the Agency's Municipal Advisor, PFM Financial Advisors, LLC, reviewed the Debt Management Policy to ensure compliance with SB 1029 and current market best practices. Ms. Foss stated that the Finance Committee's recommended changes were incorporated into the draft amended Debt Policy.
Director Ramirez Holmes made a motion to approve Item 11 and Director Narum seconded the motion. The Item was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 12 -
JaVia Green, Financial Analyst, presented background information on the item. In January, the Board authorized staff to begin the bond financing process to fund the Chain of Lakes PFAS Treatment Facility Project, and the Agency requires the assistance of a financing team to issue the debt. Ms. Green went over the competitive bidding process in selecting the proposed finance team; Municipal Advisor, PFM Financial Advisors, LLC; Bond Counsel and Disclosure Counsel, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, PC; and the underwriter will be determined at a future date. Ms. Green reviewed each of the descriptions of services, and the Request for Proposal (RFP) process involved in selecting the best qualified firms.
Director Green made a motion to approve the Award of Professional Services Agreement for Municipal Advisory Services to Issue Joint Powers Authority Revenue Bonds and Director Narum seconded the motion. The Resolution was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Director Green made a motion to approve the Award of Professional Services Agreement for Bond and Disclosure Counsel Services to Issue Joint Powers Authority Revenue Bonds and Director Benson seconded the motion. The Resolution was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 13 -
Ken Minn, Groundwater Resources Manager, presented the commercial septic tank application that was brought before the Water Resources Committee on May 3, 2023. Mr. Minn gave brief background information on the site and land use changes that require the Zone 7 Board approval. Zone 7 analyzes applications for commercial use of a septic system, and the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health (ACDEH) is responsible for reviewing/approving the design and issuing the annual operating permit. Mr. Minn displayed the facility schematic and shared the updated wastewater loading based on land use changes. He presented staff considerations and asked for Board approval of the site.
Director Green asked if the vintner doing wine tastings was producing grapes for another location. Mr. Minn explained that the property would be used as a venue and for hosting events. Director Ramirez Holmes added that the site is owned by another winery in the valley.
Director Ramirez Holmes moved to approve Item 13 and Director Benson seconded the motion. The Item was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 14 -
Valerie Pryor, General Manager, stated that the City of Pleasanton has historically met about 20% of its water supply needs through its groundwater pumping quote of 3,500 acre-feet per year; but due to PFAS contamination in their wells, the city began designing a PFAS Treatment and Wells Rehabilitation Project. However, the project has been suspended due to increasing costs, regulatory uncertainty, and operational implications. The city has since then engaged consultants to further evaluate other alternative water supply options with some possibilities of collaborating with Zone 7. The city met with staff about working together to explore the various concepts and review various proposals. The Water Resources Committee met on May 3, 2023, and recommended pursuing the concepts and options based on the following principles: input from all three retailers; no adverse operational impacts to Zone 7 regional water supply; no adverse impacts to water quality; no adverse impacts to the PFAS plume; financial equity to Zone 7 and all the retailers; and a schedule that aligns with the Agency's ongoing planning processes, specifically around the groundwater model update. The Board will have the opportunity to weigh in before decisions are made.
A discussion took place about the concept of a regional PFAS treatment facility that was included in the city's consultant Brown and Caldwell's report, but Ms. Pryor reassured the Board that this was currently only a conceptual option.
Director Ramirez Holmes indicated that Zone 7 continues to deliver all the water the City of Pleasanton has asked for, and the Agency's involvement was specifically because the city had recently conducted a study.
Public comment was received by Pamela Ott, Assistant City Manager of the City of Pleasanton.
Item 15 -
There were no comments on the Committee meeting notes.
Item 16 -
President Palmer provided a written report.
Director Ramirez Holmes spoke about the Los Vaqueros JPA that meets in the Zone 7 boardroom each month. She encouraged everyone to attend the Los Vaqueros Reservoir's 25th anniversary celebration the following weekend. Los Vaqueros hosted an open house at the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Conference which was well attended. Director Ramirez Holmes also mentioned attending the following: Region 5 meeting, the Sites Reservoir Construction Open House, and the Women in Water. Additionally, the State Water Contractor's policy breakfast, several meetings on the Bureau of Reclamation, and the State Legislative Committee for ACWA.
Director Benson attended the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) Contra Costa County's 30th anniversary. She also announced that East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) was having its 100-year anniversary and encouraged everyone to attend. She thanked Ms. Pryor and Donna Fabian, Executive Assistant, for their participation in the BAYWORK Administrative Professionals Webinar.
Item 17 -
There were no requests for items for a future agenda.
Item 18 -
Ms. Pryor highlighted the 2023 State Water Project (SWP) allocation increasing to 100% for the first time since 2006. The Agency plans to recharge the groundwater basin and refill banking programs in Kern County.
Item 19 -
President Palmer adjourned the meeting at 8:53 p.m.