MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ALAMEDA COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
July 21, 2021
The following were present:
DIRECTORS: SANDY FIGUERS
ANGELA RAMIREZ HOLMES
MICHELLE SMITH MCDONALD
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
RHETT ALZONA, PRINCIPAL ENGINEER
JEFF TANG, ASSOCIATE ENGINEER
JESSICA TRAYNOR, ASSISTANT ENGINEER
ALEXANDRA BRADLEY, COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST
LIRA WALTER, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
COUNSEL: REBECCA SMITH, DOWNEY BRAND
Item 1 - Closed Session
The Board went into Closed Session at 6:00 p.m. and came out of Closed Session at 6:16 p.m.
Item 2 -
2. Open Session and Report Out of Closed Session
President Sanwong reported that the Board discussed an agreement between Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District Zone 7, and the Alameda County Management Employees Association (ACMEA). The parties agreed to add section 4.15, Lead Water Facilities Supervisor to Appendix A, Footnotes to Zone 7 salary schedules to allow for an additional 5% compensation for the role of Lead Water Facilities Supervisor. This agreement shall be effective on July 25, 2021. President Sanwong made a motion to approve the resolution and Director Palmer seconded the motion. The resolution passed by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 21-57 Amendment to Appendix A, Footnotes to Salary Schedule - New Footnote
Item 3 -
3. Call Meeting to Order
President Sanwong called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., roll call was taken and all Board members were present.
Item 4 -
4. Reorganization of the Board
President Sanwong nominated Vice President Angela Ramirez Holmes to serve as the next President of the Board of Directors and Director Palmer seconded the motion. There were no other nominations. Director Ramirez Holmes was voted President by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Director Smith McDonald nominated Director Palmer for Vice President. There were no other nominations. Director Palmer was voted Vice President by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 5 -
5. Public Comment - none
Item 6 -
Director Palmer stated that several items from the June 16, 2021, minutes were approved by a roll call vote of 6-1 with Director Ramirez Holmes absent. She believes it should be 6-0 with Director Ramirez Holmes absent.
Director Green had a comment on Item 10, the Desktop Groundwater Contaminant Mobilization Study, that she wanted reflected in the minutes. She said she supports it for two reasons. One was that these studies could stand on their own, and she liked the way the study related to potable reuse was being financed.
The minutes will be revised and presented to the Board at the next Regular Board Meeting.
Director Palmer moved to approve the minutes of the Special Board Meeting of July 7, 2021, and Director Smith McDonald seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Item 7 -
7. Consent Calendar
Director Palmer moved to approve Items 7a through 7e. Director Figuers seconded the motion. Items 7a through 7e were approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 21-51 Award of Contract for As-Needed SCADA/Control System Engineering Services
Resolution No. 21-52 Award of Contract for As-Needed Hydroseeding Services
Resolution No. 21-53 Award of Contract for As-Needed Horizontal Drilling and Drainpipe Installation Services
Resolution No. 21-54 Personnel Action: Government Relations Manager, Zone 7
Item 8 -
8. Adoption of Guiding Principles for Flood Management
Valerie Pryor, General Manager, introduced Mike Inamine of HDR, the project manager of the consulting firm hired to develop the new Flood Management Plan. Mr. Inamine provided a presentation on the seven guiding principles that guide all the ensuing work. The consultant recommended a few minor wording changes, which were presented to the Board.
The Directors reviewed and discussed each guiding principle and made suggested changes and corrections. They agreed on the following guiding principles:
1. Align with Zone 7's Strategic Plan
The flood management plan will be consistent with the agency's integrated water resource goals and initiatives.
2. Foster proactive public engagement
The flood management plan will promote open communication with community partners and stakeholders.
3. Do what is needed and practical to manage risks associated with flood management in the Zone 7 service area
The flood management plan will be developed with an approach that prioritizes projects in the Zone 7 service area that can be funded, implemented, and sustained.
4. Incorporate climate change uncertainty
The flood management plan will be based on well-supported analysis of future watershed conditions.
5. Be risk informed
The flood management plan will support risk-informed decision making and communication through evaluation of both a flood's likelihood of occurrence as well as its consequences.
6. Advance collaboration within the watershed
Successful implementation of the flood management plan is dependent on active participation among multiple agencies with flood management responsibility and/or impact.
7. Consider Multi-Benefit Solutions
The flood management plan will support the implementation of multi-benefit projects where flood risk reduction can enable the accomplishment of compatible water resource goals.
Director Palmer moved to approve Item 8 as modified and Director Green seconded the motion. Item 8 was approved by a roll call vote of 7-0.
Resolution No. 21-55 Adoption of Guiding Principles for Flood Management
Item 9 -
9. Appointment of Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority(ACWA/JPIA) Board Representative and Alternate Board Representative
As a member of the ACWA/JPIA, the agency is required to appoint a Director and an Alternate Director to the ACWA/JPIA Board.
After a brief discussion, Director Gambs nominated Director Green as Director and Director Palmer nominated Director Gambs as Alternate Director.
Resolution No. 21-56 Appointment of Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority (ACWA/JPIA) Board Representative and Alternate Board Representative
Item 10 -
10. Outreach and Communications Program Update
Alexandra Bradley, Communication Specialist, gave a presentation and update on Zone 7's Communications program which included the six-month progress on organization-wide communications highlighting the strategic plan, website redesign, Zone 7 schools' program, virtual outreach, performance metrics and focus area specific campaign updates. She also went over the achievements of the communications plan which covered the subsequent points: following the strategic communications plan, branding reinforcement, newsletter, legislative briefing, and water conservation campaign.
Director Green asked about the future growth expectations of the views on YouTube and if it could plateau. Ms. Bradley anticipated more growth and said there were social media platforms that have not yet been leveraged as it is ever-changing, so the agency is always adapting. Paid reach and partnering with retailers to share content have helped to gain more traction. Director Smith McDonald stated the importance of board members sharing Zone 7 materials on social media to increase engagement.
Director Smith McDonald suggested using LinkedIn for employee recruitment. She also pointed out the importance of measuring the engagement metrics of the recipients viewing newsletters in the preview pane.
Director Sanwong asked about program partnerships with Las Positas College for recruitment and career path opportunities. She suggested creating a section for career opportunities and pathways in the agency newsletter. Ms. Bradley stated that Las Positas College does not currently have a program; however, staff are working on the possibility of the college creating them. Baywork was also a great resource for the youth, as their website offers career resources, and the organization constantly held webinars.
Director Sanwong asked if Ms. Bradley was in correspondence with Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley for the drought town hall as he represented Pleasanton. Ms. Bradley confirmed.
Director Green asked Ms. Bradley to explain the difference in the phases "total opens" and "unique opens". Ms. Bradley explained that total opens was the total number of times an email may have been opened which could be numerous times, whereas unique opens only counted the first time it was opened.
The Board took a 5-minute break.
Item 11 -
11. Channel Bank Repair Construction Projects Progress Presentation
Jessica Traynor, Assistant Engineer, reviewed the item for the board and gave a presentation on the construction progress of the Rehabilitation of Flood Control Channels, Phase 3 Project. Ms. Traynor went over the information which included how the project supports Strategic Plan Initiative 9, project overview, status, public outreach, typical damages and repairs, and project progress summary to date. She also provided images of the repairs.
Director Green asked how de-watering was done. Ms. Traynor stated that only two sites have been de-watered and explained how a cofferdam was built for one and a long diversion pipeline pumping water out from a concrete structure upstream of the repair and releasing it at a downstream structure that is also concrete was built for the other.
Director Gambs stated that the typical repair Ms. Traynor showed was impressive. He asked if knowledge from past repairs was incorporated in this project and if those old repairs have held up well over time. Ms. Traynor explained that repairs are monitored yearly for five years after completion. The ones that have been completed in her four years with the agency have held up. She provided the example of how undersized rocks tend to re-fail as one of the lessons that were carried over from past repairs done before engineering standards changed.
President Ramirez Holmes asked if the 18 sites address all the current bank failures. Ms. Traynor explained that they have addressed all the 2017 bank failures, except the ones that have been moved to the maintenance or monitoring programs.
Jeff Tang, Associate Engineer, reviewed the second part of the item for the Board and gave a presentation update on the Arroyo Mocho Stanley Reach Stabilization Project. Mr. Tang went over how the project is related to Strategic Plan Initiative 9, an overview, status, public outreach progress, project sites, and work to be addressed. He also provided photos of each site.
Director Figuers shared his disapproval of projects like these and said that routine repairs would need to take place every 50 years. He felt that a natural stream with the proper slope was cut off and replaced with one that was unsuited for the area, which would become more costly over time.
Director Gambs asked if the new channel would look less trapezoidal and more natural after the erosion and repairs. Mr. Tang explained that rock is placed, then voids are filled with an engineered soil mix above it to give it a more natural appearance. Certain areas will have some grounded rip rap upstream in the Site 2 area due to a cut-off wall that needs to be reinforced. Everything will be covered and hydroseeded afterward, so the rock will not be as visible as previously shown.
Item 12 -
12. PPWTP Upgrades and Ozonation Project Quarterly Progress Presentation
Rhett Alzona, Principal Engineer, gave a status report on the Patterson Pass Water Treatment Plant Upgrades and Ozonation Project. Mr. Alzona presented slides that consisted of the following information: project overview, how the project supports Strategic Plan Initiatives 3, 4, and 5, project status, and an overview with images of the construction site.
Director Sanwong remembered approving the project which would be an entirely new water treatment plant with ozonation. Mr. Alzona indicated that it was essentially a new treatment plant with redone chemical systems and new filters. Storage tanks still had a lot of useful life. The 5 mg clearwell works as a shock absorber and with the extra volume whenever shifts in supply and demand occur in the system. It allows more time to adjust the treatment plant processes because the clearwell absorbs the shock to the changes in the system. Everything was tied together to work more efficiently as one large plant with ozone as the primary means of disinfection since the old UF plant was demolished.
Director Gambs thanked Mr. Alzona for the update was pleased that the project remained on schedule. He added that operation personnel must be happy to have the flexibility and more time to make adjustments. Mr. Alzona agreed.
Director Smith McDonald expressed her appreciation for the slides making connections to the Strategic Plan. She felt this was important for the Board and the public to see.
Item 13 -
13. Committees - no comments were received from the Board
Item 14 -
14. Reports - Directors
President Ramirez Holmes asked each board member to email her their top three choices for committee assignments, as well as any notes regarding their time restrictions. Committees would be publicly announced at the next meeting in two weeks. She added that there may be a new committee regarding legislation will be discussed in August.
Director Sanwong asked if committee meetings would continue to be held virtually or hybrid, as it provides flexibility. President Ramirez Holmes stated that committees will meet in person as soon as the board is back meeting in person for business. Questions and suggestions could be sent to her or the General Manager. A hybrid option may not be available for committees.
President Ramirez Holmes reminded the public about the current voluntary conservation stage and encouraged everyone to conserve 15% of their 2020 usage. Rebate and conservation programs were also posted on the agency's website. President Ramirez Holmes attended the ACWA webinar on drought messaging on June 30th that provided messaging from the state. She also attended a Valley Water Meet and Greet with several representatives from the Valley Water elected Board discussing collaboration projects in the future. She hoped to expand the agency's relationship with Valley Water as both agencies were interested in the South Bay Aqueduct, particularly Los Vaqueros coming to completion or the next phase.
Director Palmer pointed out some of the useful links in her report. She highlighted information about the Department of Water Resources (DWR) putting on a series of programs on the Delta Conveyance. She also provided a link to the Los Vaqueros website. Director Palmer said she received a notice that the California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) would be announcing the PFOA and PFOS health public health goals. She was put on the slate for Region 5 Board for ACWA, elections would start in August, and the results will be reported on September 30th.
Director Gambs attended the joint meeting of the Alameda County and the Contra Costa County Special District Association. One of the presentations listed water quality as a benefit but felt that it is not a benefit to Zone 7 or the South Bay Aqueduct contractor at this point. In the future, there may be potential, but for now, the agency has storage and conveyance there. The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) executive director mentioned that an investigation was taking place on more background and understanding of Measure D, the voter-approved limits on the development. The Livermore valley specific plan and the sewer that would connect vineyards along Tesla to the City of Livermore would need approval.
Director Green said the local Sierra Club had asked for help connecting with someone from the Poseidon Water Plant about desalination. She worked with Ms. Pryor to make meeting arrangements and found it to be very interesting. Director Green suggested having a speaker share information with the agency since she felt there was limited discussion about desalination. President Ramirez Holmes stated that she and Director Sanwong were at the plant during the last in-person ACWA conference in San Diego and spoke with some folks who told them it could not be built the same way today because environmental regulations have increased. Factors like the distance from the ocean or the bay are also important distinctions.
Director Green was intrigued by the information she received and suggested it as an informational item for a future agenda or workshop for reliability purposes. President Ramirez Holmes indicated that there was no current effort to do a bay desalination plan for clarity. She stated that the agency was already part of a desalination group that has been stalled for other priority items, but she would speak with the General Manager about how to get the information that is needed. She would also share the reports, information on the partners, and where desalination was covered in the Water Supply Evaluation with Director Green.
Director Sanwong said this topic was mentioned at the Valley Water meet and greet and added that ongoing discussions were taking place about desalination; however, these were still in the very early stages. It would be impossible for Zone 7 to do it on its own, so regional partnerships such as Valley Water and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) were important. She felt that it would be appropriate to have a meeting once details of it become more formalized.
Item 15 -
15. Items for Future Agenda - Directors
Director Gambs suggested that the Board receive an update and a future meeting on the implementation of the South Livermore Valley area plan. There have been several efforts recently to implement the plan. Winegrowers are having UC Davis develop a study on the vineyard viability, which will recommend that it is a good area to increase vineyard planning.
He previously mentioned a sewer line along Tesla Road that would connect to the city and Zone 7 water would be needed to fully implement the plan. Untreated water customers represent 10% of the agency's sales. He suggested looking into the Winegrowers Association and the Tri-Valley Conservancy for an update. He asked for this to take place prior to the workshop, as he felt it was important to understand the economic health of the Tri-Valley. Ms. Pryor stated that it is a City of Livermore process and not something that Zone 7 is actively involved in participating in.
Item 16 -
16. Staff Reports
Ms. Pryor reiterated what President Ramirez Holmes said about the need to conserve water, stating that Zone 7 is asking for voluntary conservation of 15%. This aligns with Governor Newsom's Executive Order from a week prior. She added that all the water saved this year will be available next year and she appreciated the community trying to achieve conservation targets.
Item 17 -
President Ramirez Holmes adjourned the meeting at 9:36 p.m.