Blakely Island Maintenance Commission, Inc.

Minutes of February 27, 2007 BIMC Board Meeting

A meeting of the Board of Director of the Blakely Island Maintenance Commission was held on February 27, 2007 via conference call.

John Madden President & Fire
Jane Loura Treasurer
Ben Dole Water
Ellen Roth BCF and Vice President
Anne Malmo Secretary
Jim Davis Facilities Manager
Jeff Fegert Roads
Charlie Mills BCF Board President

Meeting called to order at 7:38 PM.

Marina Report: 7:38 PM
John Madden gave a brief history of the BCF LLC (Blakely Community Facility) before introducing Charlie Mills. Charlie Mills is the president of the BCF board. The BCF leased the Marina facility for 25 years. The community funded the BCF with approximately $100,000 in notes. In June, 2006 the Marina store was sub-leased to Ken with a review scheduled for December 31, 2006. In early February, 2007 Ken provided a revised lease proposal to the BCF board. That proposal was discussed by the BCF board at a meeting held on February 15, 2007. Negotiations continue for this summer’s marina operation. As of February 27th there is no agreement on the marina sub-lease to Ken. Charlie Mills and our BIMC representative Ellen Roth presented Ken’s proposal to the BIMC board. After much discussion the BIMC board has voiced its support for the direction the BCF is proposing. Charlie Mills departed from the BIMC meeting at 8:14 PM

Minutes: 8:15 PM
The minutes of September 2, 2006 were approved unanimously as written.
Motion made by Ben Dole, seconded by Jane Loura.
The minutes of October 2, 2006 were corrected. The word “upgraded” is to be inserted before “CAFS truck” on page 2 under the Fire paragraph. Unanimously approved as amended. Motion by Ben Dole, seconded by Ellen Roth.
The November 15, 2006 minutes were unanimously approved as written. Motion made by Ben Dole, seconded by Ellen Roth.
Minutes of January 25, 2007 were corrected. The CCC plan is the “Cross-Connection Control” plan not as written in the minutes. On page two, Marina; the wording was

corrected from Ken Parker… “made little money” to “reported that he lost money.” The minutes were unanimously approved as amended. The motion was made by Ben Dole and seconded by Jane Loura.

Treasurer’s Report: 8:23 PM
Jane Loura complimented BIMC Bookkeeper Cheryl Burkhart for a professional and smooth transition for our bookkeeping. We have about $110,000 in our checking account, about $22,000 in receivables and under $200.00 in liabilities. Our cash position is fine. We do have several “outstanding payers” for annual dues.

Fire Truck: 8:30 PM
John Madden reported that the new fire truck is on island. Title in hand. The truck is paid for. The sales tax will be paid in San Juan County (with a low sales tax rate). The fire truck was a capital expense, with $75,000 approved in the budget. Additionally, $29,000 came in the form of contributions which brought the cash available for the truck to $104,000. The cost of the sales tax will bring the total to approximately $1,500 more than we had budgeted. Additionally a few more items will need to be purchased for the new truck. The old fire truck will be retained for now for our fire fighting ability. The new truck should be operational sometime soon.

Caretaker’s Report: 8:34 PM
Jim Davis’s report is attached.

Water: 8:38 PM
Cross Connection Control:
Ben Dole gave a complete update regarding the water system. A long discussion with Jim and Ben followed explaining how and what might contaminate our water system. The board has approved the approach that the Consultant, Steve Cade and Ben Dole have crafted. The implementation of the BIMC CCC (Cross Connection Control) plan will be spread out over approximately three years starting with the higher risk situations such as the Marina in the first year. The current working assumption is that each lot owner will pay for any required assemblies and installation on their lot, but that administrative management costs will be in the BIMC general budget. While individual lot owners will be free to make their own installation arrangements our expectation is that in most cases, if not all cases, BIMC through Jim Davis, will coordinate and direct the work to keep costs down by combining work into convenient packages for completion by a selected contractor. Transportation costs on and off the island alone could be prohibitive if this kind of coordination is not implemented. It is expected, that if we have a Memorial Day weekend information briefing, we will provide information on this subject. Ben Dole and Jim Davis may field general questions.

Tent Policy: 9:00 PM
Anne Malmo outlined the beginnings of a “tent policy”. Currently the policy is very loose and will be on a trial basis. The assumption is that the community would rather have tents, neutral in color, with neighbor’s approval, on a short term basis, at the least visible part of the lot rather than blue and brown tarps flapping in the wind. Community input is encouraged.

Nominating Committee: 9:05 PM
Jane Loura volunteered to find two members from the community to serve with her as the nominating committee. Three board positions are open. Two 3 year terms and the remaining one year vacancy left by DL Fitzpatrick.

General Business: 9:10 PM

The radio system for activating sirens has been purchased. It is still being tested. The radio transmitter reaches the marina, and the lots on the West side of the island. However, it does not reach to the BIRD. A longer/higher antenna has been ordered and may solve the problem.

Capital items: The budget still has money for the replacement of two main distribution water meters to allow more flow. It was agreed to replace one meter as soon as weather permits.

Meeting adjourned at 9:16 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Anne Malmo

Misc. things:

big consideration during this BIMC board meeting was the discussion on how to minimize the cost to the community.

Filter to Waste System:
The filter to waste requirement is part of the original requirements by the state that must be met before we can obtain more water hook ups. The design to remove waste water (filter start up water and sediment) is almost complete. The cost will be about $10,000. The system must be automatic; it must start any time the reservoir pump goes on. It will take 15 to 25 minutes to flush the filter. The waste water will be sent to the backwater pond.  An automatic shut off valve will be installed so that the system can not malfunction and drain the reservoir. A big valve (and the bulk of the expense) is made to order for each specific plant. It takes 30 to 60 days to be manufactured. The valve can be installed this summer.  Right now the water content of the ground is too high to dig and install equipment at this time of year.

Written Water Plan:
The CCC documentation must be integrated into the written water plan and be posted and available in the water plant.

The Board thanked Ben and Jim for their hours and hours of work and research regarding the water system.

Fire Truck:    7:55 PM
John Madden reported that it is time to make the final payment on the fire truck. The down payment was $34,000. The remaining $64,050 is due now, plus tax. The truck is due for delivery within the next week and John Davidson, will be fitting it with a few extra items. In about 3 to 4 weeks the truck will be barged to the island. Insurance for the fire truck was discussed at length. We carry liability, but we need to know the options and cost of full coverage, collision, comprehensive. One option is a policy for “mobile equipment”. Our current insurance policy expires near the end of March. Research is to be completed and suggestions made to the Board for Fire Truck coverage.

Fire Truck training:    8:08 PM
The company that sold the fire truck will conduct training. Members that are on the island the most will take the initial training course. Community training events will be planned

A siren was ordered. The radio transmitter was available, but a receiver is on back order. Only one set is being purchased at this time to see if the system will work.

Treasurer's Report:    8:11 PM
John Madden reported for Jane Loura. The bookkeeping was successfully transferred to Cheryl Burkart. The basic balance sheet and preliminary books are complete. We are under budget, including storm clean up.

Marina Report:    8:13 PM
The status of the marina operation for the upcoming year is unclear. Blakely Island Services (BIS) (Ken Parker) made little money during last season’s shortened operation. Ken is preparing a modified proposal for the BCF board’s review. Money is still owed to Blakely Community Facility (BCF) from last season’s fuel sales, approximately $15,000.

Mark Droppert met with BC Crowley (as representative for the Crowley family) regarding insurance. Many options are under discussion for insurance. Ken Parker would also like to improve the kitchen in the marina store and to enclose some space at the rear of the store. Fuel dock repairs are completed and have been paid for by Crowleys.  The Crowleys will bill BCF for the half to be paid. It was noted that the lights are out on the fuel dock.

General Business:    8:20 PM
Capital items: BIMC funded the BCF (marina). The first payment is due June 1, 2007 . Discussion followed on when and how to retire the debt. The maturity date is June, 2009. It is unknown how much money is in the BCF account at this time. Other capital items include road repair. Jeff Fegert will provide options.

The next meeting will be in 45 to 60 days unless there is something needing attention.


Meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Anne Malmo

Water Commissioner Report, 2/27/07

The primary item I need to get before the Board at the 2/27 meeting is concurrence with our approach to implementation of a domestic water cross-connection control plan (CCCP) for the plat. While I do not want to have the program officially approved by the Board until we get the green light from the State, I do want a clear signal from the Board that we will move ahead assuming State approval.

The latest draft CCCP was distributed to Board members two weeks ago for review and comment. Questions and assumptions for the Board consideration are:

  1. Is the approach that Jim and I have worked out with Steve Cade on track? Any comments or input?
  2. Our assumption is that we will be able to spread out the implementation of the CCCP over two or three years, starting with higher risk situations such as the Marina in the first year.
  3. The working assumption that Jim and I are using is that each lot owner will pay for any required assemblies and their installation on their lot, but that all administrative and management costs will come out of the BIMC general budget.
  4. While individual lot owners will be free to make their own installation arrangements, our expectation is that in most if not all cases, BIMC through Jim will coordinate and direct the work to keep costs down by combining work into convenient packages for completion by a selected contractor. Transportation costs on and off the island alone could be prohibitive if this kind of coordination is not implemented.
  5. If we have a Memorial Day weekend information briefing for interested members, we would plan on providing additional information on this subject and also fielding questions.

If the Board concurs with our approach, I am hopeful that I can bring the CCCP to the Board for acceptance at our next meeting.

QUESTION: Are we ok to proceed to get State approval of the CCCP?

Ben Dole
Water Commissioner

Jim Davis
Board Meeting Report
February 27th, 2007

Water Systems

Water Treatment Plant
We have had a few corrosion related issues in the water plant recently. Even the fluorescent light fixtures are failing as the ballasts rust through and oil leaks out. The filter plant itself is working well and the water produced continues to surpass all state and federal requirements. All of our monthly treated water samples have tested negative for coliforms, indicating no active bacteria present. We also analyze untreated samples from Horseshoe Lake. These samples routinely test positive for coliforms and sometimes fecal coliforms. This information confirms that our treatment system is protecting us from possible pathogens in the lake water. For many years we have been using the services of a lab in Redmond. Our samples must be cultured within 24hrs of collection and the US Mail between Blakely and Redmond seems to be slowing down. Without assurance that the samples will arrive in the allotted time, we decided to switch to a lab in Bellingham. We can hand carry our samples to the new lab when we make routine trips to town. They are less expensive and we also save the cost of mailing the bottles of water.

Domestic Water Use/leaks
Water use is at normal levels for the off season. We continue to track leaks occasionally. With only a few homes occupied, even a small leak makes a big difference in the daily flow. We recently diagnosed leaks at several connections. Some of these leaks related to freeze damage/broken pipes. In several cases, folks simply did not get their service valves at the street or at their homes shut off all the way when they left the island. The water meters have been invaluable in finding and resolving these problems.

Water System Improvements
We had a visit from our State Department of Health Engineer last fall. This was a normal visit which happens approximately every two years. However, with many changes to our system recently and our application for additional connections, the inspection was especially detailed. As a result, the Engineer requested that we make additional changes/improvements to our system.

After our filter is backwashed, the turbidity of the water produced is elevated for a few minutes until the filter media settles and becomes “seasoned” with a few flocculated particles. For this reason, new filter plants are required to divert the initial water production flow to waste, rather than allowing it to enter the storage/distribution system. Our filter “seasons” very quickly and the State has never pushed this issue as a requirement in the past. However, with our request for additional connections, we have been asked to bring our plant up to current requirements. I have designed an automatic control system. The system will use an electrically actuated diverter valve and a waste line will be installed to carry the diverted water to the backwash pond. The expense for this project will be included in the ‘07/’08 budget.

In many small systems calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite are used instead of chlorine gas for disinfection. Sodium hypochlorite is liquid and is 12% chlorine by weight. Calcium hypoclorite is a dry, granular product (swimming pool chlorine) and is 68% chlorine by weight. Because transportation is an issue, we have always used calcium hypochlorite. Over the years, I have transported thousands of pounds in hundred pound containers in our airplane. We mix the material with water so that it can be easily metered into the water flow through the plant. The downside of this process is that the calcium in the mixture precipitates out of solution and clogs metering pumps, valves and intakes. By judicious maintenance and cleaning of the injector pumps, we have kept this problem to a minimum in our system. However, our State Engineer frequently

encounters disinfection problems in systems that use calcium hypochlorite. With our new reservoir and chlorine contact pipeline, it is imperative that the water flowing from the water plant receives a constant, steady dose of disinfectant. For this reason, the Engineer has requested that we change our disinfectant to sodium hypochlorite. We will be making the switch this spring when we have used our current stock of calcium hypochlorite. There will be an increase in cost as we will need to have the large drums of liquid disinfectant transported to the island by a commercial carrier.

Finally, the State has asked that we comply with statute requirements to formulate and implement a State approved Cross Connection Control program. In the past, we have tried to handle these issues on a case by case basis with no formal policy and the State has sort of let us slide. Our small size, clean sample history and simple system put us at minimal risk. However, our system has expanded and many of our connections have become much more complex. With the addition of many new irrigation systems, untreated water distribution, in-house treatment and hydronic heating systems, the potential for unwanted backflow into our treated water has increased. As with the above items, the State wants us to bring our system into full compliance with regulations. Ben and I are working with a Cross Connection Control Specialist to formulate the plan. After State approval it will likely be implemented in phases over the next couple of years.

With the completion of the items above and the use records of the last few summers, we will meet all the requirements for additional connections that could be needed in the foreseeable future.



Our roads have taken a bit of a beating this winter. Heavy runoff, freezing temperatures and snow removal have all taken a toll. Many areas of our roads are crumbling along the edges and we are simply loosing pavement width along many of the corners. Please try to avoid driving on the edges of the roads.

Fire Response

Siren Improvements
The offer to share one of the Counties assigned radio frequencies dissolved when the person we were working with left the Eastsound fire department. With no hope for our own FCC approved frequency, I went back to researching alternative methods of activating the sirens. After a lot of internet research, we recently purchased a long range radio transmitter and receiver that may fill the bill. This system does not require FCC licensing and is actually less expensive than the siren control system we had been previously considering. Margo and I have tested the system and it has worked well at all the proposed locations except the recycle center. The topography between the fire hall and the recycle center precludes line of site signal. The company is sending long range antennas and this should significantly increase the range. It may be necessary to elevate the antennas but they feel sure that the system will work for our needs. We will do further testing as soon as the new antennas arrive. If the system proves reliable we are prepared to go forward with the installation of two additional sirens.


Fire Truck
The new fire truck arrived on the island last week. It is not yet outfitted with hose, nozzles or the other equipment necessary to be put in service. The needed equipment should be acquired soon and we hope to begin training on the new truck this spring. Meanwhile the old truck has been moved to the middle bay and it will remain as our primary response vehicle until the new truck is ready to go.


Storm Damage

The winter storm season arrived early with a severe snow storm that began on November 26th. By the end of the day the very heavy snow load was shearing off huge branches and in many cases bring down whole trees

all over the island. The storm also left us without power for more than a day while temperatures dipped to the high teens. With the low temperature and no heat, several homes suffered broken pipes. Unfortunately, mother-nature was just getting started! Over the last few months we have had record rainfall, record winds, more snow and more power outages. The amount of storm fall this winter is nearly unprecedented. The only comparison might be the winter of ‘89/’90, though that was a single storm. We had just started to clean up from the November snow storm damage when the first of many windstorms hit. Unfortunately, I was scheduled for double hernia surgery the first part of December and this rendered me nearly useless in the storm cleanup department. Margo and I were just able to keep the plat roads passable. Ken made a crew available for several days to pick up and burn the majority of November/December storm fall on the BIMC road right-of-ways. I have recovered from the surgery and am still cleaning up storm fall around the recycle center and additional material that has come down around our home and elsewhere since the initial clean-up. Of the thousands of trees and large branches that came down, we were extremely lucky regarding structure damage. One home had significant damage to the roof, several homes had damaged decks or railings and a few roofs were pierced by the sharp ends of falling branches. Unfortunately, two cars and one boat/trailer also fell victim to very large falling trees. Many roads on the upper island are blocked with trees down. Even the main roads still have logs and branches jutting out from both sides. All and all, there is a lot of clean-up left to be completed. Many lots and driveways are blocked with fallen branches and trees. We are hoping that the remainder of the winter will be a little more benign.


To limit our time away from Blakely we have been using only a few days of vacation at a time. We currently (end of February) have 16 days of vacation accrued.


Sincerely, Jim Davis