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June 23, 2021 Minutes

Published 2021-09-29 08:27:00

1902 – Serving Our Community for over 115 Years – 2021
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 2021 AT 7:00 P.M.
1. Call to Order
President Dehn called the meeting to order at 7: 02 PM
Roll Call
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: President Dehn, Secretary Walker, Treasurer Thiele-
Sardiña, Director Moritz, Director Otte
STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Ramirez, Reese, Condotti by Zoom
Others Present by Zoom: Jeremy Dennis – Town of Portola Valley Town Manager;
Portola Valley residents – Chris Buja, Rebecca Flynn, Nan
Shostak, Mary Hufty and Brian Cairney; LAFCo – Martha
Poyatos, Rob Bartilo
2. Communications from the Public: None.
3. Consent Calendar
Motion to Approve Minutes as Revised by: Thiele-Sardiña 2nd by: __Moritz__ Vote:
AYE: 5 NAY: 0 Abstain: 0
Comments: None.
A. Approval of Minutes for Regular Meeting June 9, 2021
4. District Manager’s Report
Comments: District Manager Ramirez summarized his report by stating the District
experienced two sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). The last SSO had occurred over 24
months ago. The causes of the SSOs were primarily due to scheduling. He continued to
report that two new temporary employees will be hired soon to help with the maintenance
schedule. District Manager Ramirez also reported on the status of the metal storage building
being constructed at the Flow Equalization Resource Recovery Facility site, as well as on
the contractor’s progress performing the pipeline work on Ringwood Road. The complete
report is in the June 23, 2021 agenda packet.
5. Discussion and Direction on Annexation Reimbursement Agreements
Comments: District Manager Ramirez reported that District staff is currently managing over
twenty-one reimbursement agreements and there are no legal requirements to enter into
new agreements moving forward. These agreements can last twenty-five years and
consume considerable staff time. Most of these costs have not been recovered in the past.
When payments are due to the original property owners or developers, who extend the
public sewer main to serve their property, reimbursement checks are mailed out without
charging appropriate fees, until recently. In some cases, over ninety people require
reimbursement without paying a processing fee. Additionally, at times the District is
reimbursing for old pipes which have reached approximately fifty percent of its useful life.
Staff is currently managing over twenty reimbursement agreements with hundreds of people
requiring reimbursement, as other connect to these public sewer main extensions.
Portola Valley resident Rebecca Flynn commented that she and her neighbor financed the
construction of the sewer main on her street about 10 years ago that cost approximately
$36,000. She stated she would have preferred to stay on septic. Resident Chris Buja
commented that he believes residents shouldn’t be building sewer mains and/or pump
stations for the District. He suggested the District consider buying out the agreements after
some period of time. Resident Nan Shostak commented that the District needs to find a
way of simplifying the reimbursement process. She asked the District to hold a zoom
meeting for the residents of Portola Valley to discuss reimbursement agreements and
annexation of territories. She asked that the District plan the meeting at a time that does not
conflict with the Town’s council meetings. Resident Mary Hufty commented that she also
believes there is a need to have another meeting to discuss this item when the Town
Council meeting is not in session.
District Manager Ramirez continued by reporting that the Board may consider not entering
into new agreements or delaying new agreements until the Board studies the matter. The
Board may also consider limiting the duration of agreements to five to ten years and
consider having the agreements remain with the parcel, rather than transfer out of the
District or to other individuals.
President Dehn opened the discussion to the Board to provide direction on the item. After
some discussion, Staff was directed not enter into new agreements at this time and to
establish a workshop where the matter could be discussed further. During the discussion
period staff received direction to address the following items:
 Concerns about the accounting in the agreements and lack of deprecation which
makes it harder for new connectors to join.
 Consider including deprecation in any future reimbursement agreement.
 Consider limiting the duration of agreements to five to ten years.
 Consider having the agreements remain with the parcel, rather than transfer out of
the District or to other individuals.
 Look at the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) number for new homes in
Portola Valley.
 Consider the impact on ADUs.
 Study how many homes are on each agreement and what initiated these agreements
(i.e. new construction, failing septic tanks, etc…).
 Look into the age and value of the twenty-one reimbursement agreements and how
many more agreements are expected.
 Discuss if existing agreements be transferred to the parcels.
 Staff to work with the Town of Portola Valley on how they would like to participate in
the financing of extending the public sewer mains in their area.
 District Council Condotti to report on limiting the duration of the agreements.
6. Discussion and Direction on Annexing Certain Territories of the Town of Portola
Valley into West Bay Sanitary District
Comments: District Manager Ramirez reported that the individual annexation process is
not efficient and uses considerable District staff time. He continued to report the process
regularly uses LAFCo resources. Several public hearings are held throughout the year for
every parcel that is annexed at both agencies. LAFCo Executive Director, Martha Payatos,
gave a presentation on LAFCo’s background and made recommendations on how to annex
areas at one time, if the Board should decide to move forward. LAFCo’s Rob Bartilo
outlined the three potential areas which could be annexed. They include Los Trancos
Woods, Westridge, and Wayside Road, near the Town of Woodside.
Portola Valley resident Nan Shostak asked, if the Board decides to move forward with
annexing certain territories, they consider not requiring residents to connect. She stated she
is happy with her septic system and would like to remain on it. Resident Chris Buja
commented that he would like to see the annexation process simplified.
President Dehn opened the discussion for comments from the Board. Director Otte
expressed his concern on how costly the process may be without a known outcome and that
he doesn’t see a compelling reason to annex entire territories at this time. After further
discussion the Board’s consensus was to have staff gather the requested information and
bring it back to the Board in a workshop. Topics of discussion should include:
 Understand how many annexations have been done per year, in the last five years.
 Conduct a risk analysis on the costs to annex territories.
 Provide the costs for annexations and legal fees that are involved in the current
 Study the details of the outstanding twenty-one reimbursement agreements and
compare them to the three potential areas.
 Work with the Town of Portola Valley to determine how much they are willing to
participate in the annexation process.
7. June 23rd Update Report on District Response to Corona Virus
Comments: District Manager Ramirez reported that the District has made no changes to
the existing COVID-19 policy but it is currently under review for updates. He also reported
that staff is now 90% vaccinated.
8. Report and Discussion on Sharon Heights Recycled Water Plant
Comments: District Manager Ramirez reported that the flow study is now complete and
data shows approximately 95,000 gallons per day flow through the area of Avy and Altschul.
He also stated that 8 million gallons of recycled water were delivered to SHGCC in May.
9. Discussion and Direction on Bayfront Recycled Water Project and Status Update
Comments: District Manager Ramirez reported that the District’s recycled water code is
currently under review by the City of Menlo Park. He continued to report that staff has begun
talks with developers on developer agreements. President Dehn directed District Council
Condotti to begin drafting a template developer agreement for the Bayfront area.
10. Report & Discussion on South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA)
Comments: President Dehn reported that the next meeting will be held on June 24th.
11. Report, Discussion & Direction on Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW) and Discussion
on SVCW CIP Program and Financing
Comments: Director Otte reported that the Tunnel Boring Project (TBP) is nearing
completion and should be completed soon. He also reported that the final SRF loan for the
plant’s CIP, in the amount of $169M, should be finalized in the next few days.
12. Closed Session
Entered closed session at 9:17 p.m. Left closed session at 9:54 p.m.
Agency designated representatives: District Manager/Legal Counsel
Unrepresented & Exempt employees: Exempt Staff
Agency designated representatives: Board President/Legal Counsel
Unrepresented employee: District Manager
(Cal. Govt. Code §54956.9(d))
Name of Case: 1740 Oak Avenue, LP v. West Bay Sanitary District, et al. – SMCSC
Case No. 18CIV02183
Reportable action: District Counsel, Tony Condotti, reported the Board of Directors
discussed and considered establishing the rates of pay for FY21/22 and performed the
evaluation of the District Manager. The Board approved to Restate and Amend the
Employment Agreement between the West Bay Sanitary District and Sergio Ramirez
(District Manager). The Board of Directors approved an annual base salary
compensation adjustment of two hundred seven thousand dollars per year, payable bi-
13. Consideration to Adopt Resolution Establishing Rates of Pay and Related
Compensation Provisions
Motion to Approve by:__Moritz___ 2nd by: Thiele-Sardiña Vote: AYE: 5 NAY: 0 Abstain:
Comments: None.
14. Consideration of Resolution Authorizing the President and Secretary of the District
Board to Restate and Amend Employment Agreement Between the West Bay Sanitary
District And Sergio Ramirez (District Manager)
Motion to Approve by:__Otte___ 2nd by: _Walker___ Vote: AYE: 5 NAY: 0 Abstain: 0
Comments: None.
15. Comments or Reports from Members of the District Board and Consider Items to be
Placed on Future Agenda
Comments: President Dehn stated the Board of Directors would like to discuss items 5 and
6 further in a Board workshop.
16. Adjournment Time: The meeting was adjourned at 9:57 PM
David A. Walker
(Email to the Board of Directors)
To the Board of Directors:
We are 33-year residents of Westridge, in Portola Valley, who rebuilt our house six years ago. We are on septic, on a
2.5-acre parcel with a large area for a primary drain field and another large area set aside for an alternate drain field.
San Mateo County required a new, larger septic system for the new house. This system has been working perfectly
and is expected to last another 50 years.
We understand that a substantial amount of new building will be taking place in Portola Valley over the next 10 years
and many of the new residences will require connections to the District’s sewer lines. We also understand why the
District would want to consider annexing large parts of Portola Valley in advance of construction. We feel very strongly,
however, that individual owners who do not want or need sewer connections should not have to incur sewer fees.
Parcels with septic systems in good operating condition should remain on septic as long as the owners choose to keep
these systems. Initial costs of installing a new septic system are high; owners should not have to pay double if sewer
annexation is required.
The District Manager’s analysis states, “There may be a mechanism to annex certain territories of Portola Valley into
the District without requiring those properties to connect to the public sanitary sewer system.” We urge the Board to
investigate and adopt this mechanism, in order to avoid double sewer assessments (original septic plus ongoing
sewer) for many property owners.
Nancy and Robert Shostak
Portola Valley, CA