12. CONSIDER AUTHORIZATION OF CONTRACT WITH CONSULTANT TO ASSIST WITH WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM PERMIT PROCESSING ASSOCIATED WITH ORDINANCE NO. 105
Staff Contact: Henrietta Stern Cost Estimate: $51,000
General Counsel Approval: not reviewed
Committee Recommendation: The Administrative Committee reviewed this item at its March 11, 2003 meeting and voted 2-0 to concur with the staff recommendation. Additional clarification was requested for the staff note for the Board meeting and to one question regarding the consultant client list.
CEQA Compliance: N/A
SUMMARY: The Board will consider whether or not to retain Idias Consulting to assist staff with implementation of regulations governing water distribution systems as most recently amended by Ordinance No. 105, effective January 15, 2003. Specifically, the Board will consider the scope of work and fee schedule shown Exhibit 12-A for a not-to-exceed amount of $51,000. The term of the contract is April 1 through December 30, 2003 as funds are available. Please see the December 16, 2002 information packet for Ordinance No. 105 for more detailed background information.
The key consultant tasks include:
Ø With oversight of staff and legal counsel, help set production and connection limits for current water distribution systems that need a case-by-case review; identify systems that can be addressed as a class. Consultant will focus on technical, well-related information.
Ø With oversight of staff and legal counsel, help process and evaluate the expected influx of new applications for a water distribution system permit. Consultant will use templates of letters, notices and other materials to ensure consistency and a standardized procedure.
Ø If time and resources allow, provide organizational assistance of well-related data that includes database management and a geographic information system (GIS). Assist Water Resources Division Manager in writing technical procedures guide for applicants and their consultants to use regarding well-related testing and data requirements.
Ø Help assess workload impacts and procedures, and make recommendations to improve ordinance implementation.
RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends that the Board authorize the General Manager to contract with Idias Consulting for a not-to-exceed amount of $51,000 pursuant to the scope of work and fee schedule shown as Exhibit 12-A.
BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION: As part of the District Board’s adoption of Ordinance No. 105 at the December 16, 2002 meeting, the Board directed staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to local consulting firms to assist in the implementation of water distribution system regulations. An RFP package that included 11 questions was mailed to four local consulting firms on December 23, 2002, and all four submitted proposals in January 2003. Staff made a recommendation to retain one firm at the Administrative Committee at its January 21, 2003 meeting. The Committee recommended, and the Board concurred on January 29, 2003, that the RFP should be mailed to a broader mailing list and that a twelfth question should be added regarding litigation and permit violations. An extensive effort was made to contact jurisdiction planning staff as well as local agency staff regarding consultant lists. The revised RFP (without attachments) dated February 10, 2003 (Exhibit 12-B) as well as Ordinances No. 96 and 105 was transmitted via e-mail to the firms listed in the tables shown in Exhibit 12-C. Responding firms received a complete hard copy package.
As of the deadline of February 28, 2003, three proposals were received from firms that had previously proposed. Despite interest expressed by a few out-of-area firms, no new proposals were received. The three proposals were from:
Ø EMC Planning—No change to proposal. Responded to new Question #12 regarding litigation and permit violations.
Ø Golden State Environmental/CapRock Geology—Proposal by Golden State amended by adding CapRock as its hydrogeology partner. CapRock responded to all 12 questions and Golden State responded to Question #12 on litigation and permit violations.
Ø IDIAS Consulting-- No change to proposal. Responded to new Question #12 regarding litigation and permit violations.
Three members of District staff reviewed the proposals and discussed their conclusions with the Administrative Committee at its March 11, 2003 meeting. Staff reviewers concurred that Idias Consulting would best meet the needs of the District for the tasks described in the RFP. The second choice is Golden State Planning/CapRock. Idias Consulting was considered the first choice because of the firm’s extensive field experience with wells within the District, extensive local agency experience (Health Department employee), positive comments by references (including two local agencies), previous experience working with MPWMD staff, knowledge of MPWMD regulations and related issues, and lowest average cost per hour ($70).
At the request of the Administrative Committee, Idias Consulting provided more detailed information regarding the client list within the District boundaries for the past three years. Clients included local agencies (including MPWMD) and law offices; Idias Consulting also subcontracts to another local consulting firm for specific technical tasks. Staff does not believe the client list impedes the ability of Idias Consulting to assist the District to implement water distribution system regulations in a fair and impartial manner. If a concern ever arose regarding a specific application, staff always has the option of pulling the consultant off that particular application or task. It should be noted that the entire permit process includes oversight by staff division managers and legal counsel at many steps along the process. Also District Rules and Regulations and the associated Implementation Guidelines that guide the process have been carefully reviewed by the Board through the Ordinance No. 96 and 105 discussions.
The Administrative Committee asked that staff clarify the type of tasks carried out by legal counsel, staff, and the consultant. Globally, staff is currently working with the District legal team to develop specific legally defensible procedures; templates for communications (letters, forms, notices, requirements of applicants); and resolution of permit processing questions posed by applicants. This legal guidance forms the basis of all staff and consultant activity relating to regulation of water distribution systems and wells within the District boundaries.
Legal counsel is also involved with each individual specific permit application that is received at several junctures. These include but are not limited to:
Ø review water rights documentation (especially for properties within the Carmel River alluvial aquifer);
Ø review and assist writing findings and suggested conditions of approval (or denial) pursuant to Rule 22, especially as they relate to CEQA;
Ø review staff note for public hearing; attend public hearing to advise hearing officer;
Ø assist staff with legal and other questions that may arise.
The consultant will focus primarily on technical tasks to assist the Water Resources Division staff, with oversight from the Water Resources Division Manager. Examples of consultant tasks include but are not limited to:
Ø field visits to well sites;
Ø evaluating well logs and related data to assess the physical capacity of the water system;
Ø helping to write findings related to capacity of the system;
Ø helping to write technical procedures for well testing and other related data requirements.
Ø help staff with well-related data base management and record-keeping
Ø assist the Project Manager in routine tasks such as writing completion letters, issuing public hearing notices, assisting applicants and other logistical tasks.
March 11, 2003, revised based on AdCom 3 pp Exhibits in separate files