MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
July 17, 2019
The following were present:
DIRECTORS: SANDS FIGUERS
ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
MICHELLE SMITH MCDONALD (via Conference Call)
DIRECTORS ABSENT: NONE
ZONE 7 STAFF: VALERIE PRYOR, GENERAL MANAGER
OSBORN SOLITEI, TREASURER/ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, FINANCE
COLTER ANDERSEN, PRODUCTION MANAGER
JARNAIL CHAHAL, ENGINEERING MANAGER
CAROL MAHONEY, INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGER
MONA OLMSTED, ASSOCIATE ENGINEER
ELKE RANK, ASSOCIATE WATER RESOURCES PLANNER
KERRI SMYTH, ASSISTANT ENGINEER
ALEXANDRA BRADLEY, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
DONNA FABIAN, ACTING EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE GENERAL MANAGER
COUNSEL: DAVID ALADJEM, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 1 - Call Meeting to Order
President Ramirez Holmes called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and the Board immediately went into Closed Session.
(a) Government Code section 54957(b); Public Employee Performance Evaluation: Title: General Counsel
(b) Conference with Labor Negotiators pursuant to Government Code section 54954.5:
Agency Negotiator: Valerie Pryor/Osborn Solitei
Employee Organizations: Alameda County Management Employees Association; Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council, Local 342, AFL-CIO; International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21, AFL-CIO; Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union, CTW; Unrepresented Management
(c) Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing litigation pursuant to Government Code §54956.9(d) (1): 3 cases. (1) Edwin Belshe and Ginger Belshe v. Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Zone 7, et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG17868354; (2) City and County of San Francisco v. City of Dublin et al., Contra Costa County Superior Court Case No. CIV MSN18-0928; (3) Genesee Friends et al. v. County of Plumas, Plumas County Superior Court Case No. CIV17-00152 (currently on appeal to the Third District Court of Appeal).
(d) Conference with Legal Counsel - Potential initiation of litigation pursuant to Gov't Code section 54956.9(d) (4): 2 cases
(e) Conference with Legal Counsel - Anticipated litigation pursuant to Gov't Code section 54956.9(d) (2): 2 cases
Item 2 -
Open Session and Pledge of Allegiance
President Ramirez Holmes called the meeting back into session at 7:15 p.m. She stated that Director Smith McDonald would be participating via Conference Call from Washington, D.C. President Ramirez Holmes led the pledge of allegiance.
Item 3 -
Report Out ot Closed Session
President Ramirez Holmes said that in Closed Session, they began the review of the General Counsel and had nothing to report, but that they would resume Closed Session after the Regular Board Meeting.
Item 4 -
Reorganization of the Board
President Ramirez Holmes made a motion to nominate Olivia Sanwong for Vice-President for 2019-2020. There were no other nominations. Director Sanwong was chosen Vice-President by a voice vote of 7-0. Director Quigley nominated Vice-President Sandy Figuers for President. There were no other nominations. Vice-President Sandy Figuers was chosen as President for 2019-2020 by a voice vote of 7-0.
Item 5 -
There were no public comments.
Item 6 -
Minutes-Regular Board Meeting of June 19, 2019
Director Palmer made a motion to approve the revised minutes and Director Quigley seconded it. The minutes were approved by a voice vote of 6-0, with Director Ramirez Holmes abstaining.
Item 7 -
Director Ramirez Holmes moved that the item on the Consent Calendar be approved, and Director Quigley seconded it. The item was approved by a voice vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 19-56 Authorization for Out-of-State Travel to Attend the WaterSmart Innovation 2019 Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada
Item 8 -
Informational presentation by Kathryn Mallon, Executive Director of the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA)
Valerie Pryor, General Manager, introduced Kathryn Mallon, Executive Director of the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA). The DCA was directed by the Department of Water Resources to engage in engineering planning activities in support of the environmental review for the Delta Conveyance solution.
Kathryn Mallon thanked the Board and Valerie for the invitation to speak. She expressed gratitude to the Board and the State Water Contractors for supporting the project. She said the DCA Board approved a newly amended Joint Powers Agreement that included a budget of approximately $350M over the next three years. They also approved close to $100M for the current fiscal year, which included a contingency. She said about three-quarters of the budget is targeted for engineering design and fieldwork. There were numerous comments and issues in the past that were not resolved, but the DCA understands where those gaps are. They have also included a fairly healthy budget for public engagement. She said in the short time she has been in California she has met with many of the stakeholders in the community, and the DCA will continue to do so. She said that they expect a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the fall of 2020, and the final document in the summer of 2021. She said that the DCA will focus on five key areas; safety, keeping their word, respect of the Delta and all who live and work in the area, they will walk the walk on climate change, and they are world-class problem solvers.
Director Ramirez Holmes thanked Ms. Mallon for coming out and sharing the timeline and the new way they are going to approach the project. She asked if this was a restart on the whole project in terms of alternatives for the two tunnels. Ms. Mallon replied that the Governor and the State believe that a single tunnel is needed, and a range of flows will need to be analyzed. There will probably be a couple of corridors for routing the tunnel. Director Ramirez Holmes asked if there was a variation other than a single tunnel and Ms. Mallon replied no. The Governor stated he only wants a single tunnel. Director Quigley asked if there would be any possible different sites for the areas of the intakes, and Ms. Mallon replied that obviously the initial intake site is a viable location, but Congressman Garamendi suggested a ship canal that could be a corridor route that would be reviewed at in the next round. Director Quigley asked if Freeport was a potential intake, and Ms. Mallon replied that she has not heard anything about Freeport. Director Quigley asked for the projected timeline for completion of the entire project, and Ms. Mallon replied it would probably be kept close to the original schedule. Director Gambs also thanked Ms. Mallon for sharing her time with the Board and he was happy to see that the State had plans to engage with the public and that there will be focus on the water quality aspect due to climate change and protection of the Delta levees. Director Gambs said he believes Zone 7's customers would be interested in the cost of this program. Ms. Mallon replied that there was an estimate for the initial project, but since it is going to be a single tunnel they do not know what the final cost will be until the final project is selected. Ms. Mallon stated that when the draft EIS is finished they will have a good idea of which way the project will be leaning in the fall of next year. Director Palmer and President Figuers also thanked Ms. Mallon for her time.
Item 9 -
Valerie Pryor announced that a new employee started on July 1st. Valeriy Anisovets was assigned to the Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant as a Water Plant Operator II. The Board welcomed him in absentia.
Ms. Pryor also mentioned that Harold "Hal" Hughes retired on June 29th after 30 years of service with Zone 7. The Board congratulated Hal in absentia.
Item 10 -
Nominate and Support Sarah Palmer for the Position of ACWA Vice President
Director Quigley made a motion to nominate Director Palmer for the position of ACWA Vice President, and Director Gambs seconded it. The motion was approved by a voice vote of 7-0. Director Ramirez Holmes asked about the timing of the voting. Director Palmer confirmed that the election process begins in November but the actual vote will take place in December. She also stated that agencies that attend the meeting in December would have a vote. President Figuers stated that the Board, if it wishes to nominate someone who is going to the meeting, would carry the vote for the Board at the meeting.
Resolution No. 19-57 Nominate and Support Sarah Palmer as a Candidate for the Position of ACWA Vice President
Item 11 -
PPWTP Upgrades and Ozonation Project Quarterly Progress Presentation
Mona Olmsted, Associate Engineer, provided the first quarterly progress report on the construction of the Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant Upgrades and Ozonation Project. She stated that the project had four key objectives. It would increase plant capacity from 12 million gallons per day (MGD) to 24 MGD, increase treated water storage by an additional 5 MGD, replace or upgrade many major plant components that are reaching the end of their useful lives, and improve treated water quality and production reliability. The project is scheduled for completion by spring of 2022. Director Gambs asked if there have been any problems thus far, and Ms. Olmsted replied that the only challenge has been dewatering. Director Sanwong asked for a review on the algae issue, which is partly the reason for the project. Ms. Pryor responded that because we are importing surface water that is exposed to the sun we do get algae and inorganic matter that grows, especially during the summer months. Currently that water is treated with chemicals including carbon-activated powder but it is not going to be as effective as ozone. She added it should help with taste and odor problems. Director Quigley asked if there have been any noise or air quality complaints from any of the neighbors and Ms. Olmsted replied there has not.
Item 12 -
Environmental Support Services for the Assessment of Mitigation Potential on Zone 7 Properties
Elke Rank, Associate Water Resources Planner, gave a presentation on the need for a Contract for Environmental Support Services for an Assessment of Mitigation Potential on Zone 7 Properties. Ms. Rank stated that mitigation is required to offset project impacts, such as impacts to creeks, habitat, and other special resources. Ms. Rank said that Zone 7 owns two properties that may hold mitigation potential for future maintenance and capital projects, the Walker Ranch Conservation Easement and the Patterson Ranch Property. Ms. Rank recommended that the Board authorize the General Manager to enter into a Professional Services Contract with ICF to provide environmental support services for Habitat and Mitigation Assessments.
Director Ramirez Holmes asked if the next step would be to try to get all of the mitigation opportunities both for Zone 7 and for others into a single document and Ms. Rank responded that yes, at some point we are going to compile the data and have an inventory, but not through this particular contract.
Director Palmer noted that the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was in 2016 and since then, what has ICF done for Zone 7. Ms. Rank responded that Zone 7 has had a couple of contracts with ICF and we have been satisfied with their work. Ms. Pryor stated that the 2016 RFQ process was to get a pool of eligible consulting firms and then project by project choose from the qualified and previously selected firms to identify the best firm for each project.
Director Quigley asked how has the ownership of the Walker Ranch easement been beneficial to Zone 7 and how will it be beneficial to Zone 7's constituents. Ms. Pryor said that once the consultant gets out to the properties and does inventories, we would see exactly what the potential benefit would be to the agency and others.
Director Gambs mentioned there was discussion on a potential trail at the Patterson Ranch and asked if that was a consideration. Ms. Pryor stated that this would be compatible with the trail project, and Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD) is working on one now and Zone 7 is cooperating with them.
Director Smith McDonald asked for a timeline of the assessment. Ms. Rank said she is anticipating they start as early as August and is hopeful for a report by the end of the year. Director Sanwong asked for a quick summary slide to see what other water agencies do.
Director Palmer moved that the item be approved and Director Quigley seconded it. The motion passed by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 19-58 Environmental Support Services for Habitat and Mitigation Assessments
Item 13 -
Environmental Support Services for the PPWTP East Parcel Improvements Project
Elke Rank gave a presentation regarding a new contract for Environmental Support Services for the Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant (PPWTP) East Parcel Improvement Project. She stated that Zone 7 is planning to expand operations of the PPWTP on the east side of the existing plant. Potential activities and facilities considered are maintenance, storage, sludge handling and a photovoltaic system. However, today's request is only for environmental services. Ms. Rank went over the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and regulatory requirements and the scope of work. She asked the Board to approve a Resolution to authorize the General Manager to negotiate and execute a professional services contract with Environmental Science Associates (ESA) to provide environmental support services for a maximum contract value of $150,000.
Director Ramirez Holmes asked why we are asking for a Mitigated Negative Declaration now before knowing what we want to do with the property. Ms. Rank responded that it is appropriate to start the process at this time and they made sure they talked with ESA about the parcel to discuss what the agency might want to do with it and that this CEQA process would apply. She said we know we want to use the whole parcel for water treatment plant activities, whether it be solar panels or a building, etc. Ms. Pryor added that the majority of CEQA analysis would focus on impacts to the streams, wetlands and environmental species, those would not change. Jarnail Chahal, Engineering Manager, stated that we have a few projects in the Capital Improvement Plan that could utilize the property, and by keeping this open for all of those options, it would provide more flexibility when we implement those projects. Director Palmer said she understands that the findings from doing the evaluation now may help the decision-making process of what projects could be completed on the property. Director Ramirez Holmes said she thinks going forward with the CEQA portion now is too soon. Ms. Rank stated that CEQA does allow you to change your project, but the key is your impacts and mitigation would need to change as long as they are more protective, not less protective. Ms. Rank added that even in the simplest projects, getting in queue to have a conversation with the regulators takes six to twelve months.
Director Gambs moved for approval and Director Quigley seconded it. The item was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 19-59 Environmental Support Services for the PPWTP East Parcel Improvements Project
Item 14 -
Status of 2017 Flood Damage Repairs
Kerri Smyth, Assistant Engineer in the Flood Protection Section, presented the status of the 2017 flood damage repairs. Ms. Smyth stated that ten sites were repaired in 2017, 39 sites were repaired in 2018 and by the end of 2019, we will have repaired 47 sites. Additionally, we have identified an extra 25 sites that will be evaluated for potential repairs in 2020. Director Ramirez Holmes asked about the banks that were covered in plastic and whether they be covered in the winter. Ms. Smyth responded that all slides currently covered in plastic would be repaired by the end of this year. Director Ramirez Holmes asked about sites marked for trail safety. Ms. Smyth responded that the sites that were cutting into the trail have been repaired. Director Gambs asked about the funding in terms of federal assistance and grants. Ms. Pryor responded that in all aspects of agency operations, if it is an unsafe situation, our first priority is to repair and address, and the second is worrying about the funding. Director Sanwong asked who was responsible for the trail maintenance at the Arroyo del Valle in downtown Pleasanton. Ms. Smyth responded that trail maintenance is maintained by the City, but it is Zone 7's responsibility if it affects the bank or flood control that is on the agency's property.
Item 15 -
Presentation of GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
Valerie Pryor stated that for the third year in a row Zone 7 received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. Director Gambs asked if it is unusual for an agency to receive the award three years in a row, and Ms. Pryor responded that the criteria is very strict. A very detailed application needs to be completed and peer-reviewed by very stringent reviewers. She added that receiving the first award is the biggest level of achievement, but you have to keep it up year after year, and every year there are new rules that apply so it is not a stagnant process.
Item 16 -
a. Finance Committee Meeting - June 3, 2019 - notes
There were no comments or corrections.
Item 17 -
a. Verbal comments by President
b. Written reports
c. Verbal reports
Director Palmer commented that the community is talking about water rates on the Nextdoor app and that we should be aware. She also mentioned that the ACWA Committee process is coming up and for those Board members who wish to be on a committee, the consideration forms are due to ACWA in September. Director Quigley said he attended the Alameda County California Special District Association (CSDA) joint chapter meeting with Contra Costa County where they discussed the 2020 census. Director Gambs stated he attended the dedication of the John Shirley Livermore Council Chambers. In September, the City will be moving out of their triple-wide trailer that they have occupied for 30 years. Director Ramirez Holmes thanked the Board for the opportunity to serve as President over the last year. She wanted to mention some of her accomplishments; one being the first briefing for elected officials, the streamlining of the General Manager review, the first-ever General Counsel review, and having regular Finance Committee meetings. She is excited about the year ahead serving as a regular director.
Item 18 -
Items for Future Agenda-Directors
Director Ramirez Holmes would like an update on the Patterson Ranch property. She said there are a number of acres that are outside of the watershed and there was discussion about selling that piece of property. Ms. Pryor responded that the lease is up in 2020 and they have tentatively scheduled a Water Resources Committee meeting in the fall of this year to discuss the matter. Director Quigley would like staff to share with the Board what is going on with the discussions that are going on with LARPD on the trail to the Patterson Ranch property.
Item 19 -
a. General Manager's Report
b. Legislative Update
c. June Outreach Activities
d. Monthly Water Inventory and Water Budget Update
e. Annual Flood Protection Report
f. Verbal reports
Ms. Pryor reported that the Zone 7's Alternative Groundwater Sustainability Plan has been approved by the Department of Water Resources. She added that it is a tremendous achievement that this community and this agency have sustainably managed the groundwater for a number of years. She also acknowledged the staff who put the plan together. There were 15 plans submitted, and nine were approved.
Item 20 -
The Board went back into Closed Session at 9:00 p.m. and returned at 9:31 p.m. President Figuers reported that the Board completed the General Counsel review. The meeting was adjourned at 9:32 p.m.