ITEM:

CONSENT CALENDAR

5.

Meeting Date:

June 20, 2005

Budgeted:  Yes

From:

David A. Berger,

General Manager

Program/

Line Item No.:

Riparian Mitigation 2-1-3 C

Aquatic Resources Fisheries 2-3-2 B &C

Prepared By:

Cynthia Schmidlin

## Cost Estimate:Up to $58,962 General Counsel Approval: N/A Committee Recommendation: The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on June 9, 2005 and recommended approval. CEQA Compliance: N/A SUMMARY: The District has funded several limited-term positions to assist District staff in the completion of field activities for the past several years. The schedules for these positions are part-time and largely seasonal in nature. Funding for these positions is included in the 2005-2006 Fiscal Year (FY) proposed budget. Authorization is requested to hire two limited-term Field Biology Assistants, for up to 1,000 hours each, during FY 2005-2006. They will complete riparian habitat mitigation tasks and assist in a variety of Carmel River resource monitoring activities. Authorization is requested to also hire one limited-term Water Resources Assistant, for up to 1,000 hours during FY 2005-2006. The incumbent of this position will assist with the Districts fisheries and aquatic resources program, as well as assist staff in groundwater and surface water monitoring programs. Additionally, authorization is requested to hire two limited-term Fish Rescue Workers, for up to 480 hours of work each, during FY 2005-2006. They will assist staff in the intensive rescues of steelhead juveniles, smolts and adults in the lower Carmel River that take place during the summer season. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the expenditure of funds to hire two limited-term Field Biology Assistants and one limited-term Water Resources Assistant for up to 1000 hours of work each, between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006, at an hourly wage of$13.75 to $14.75, according to their experience. Also authorize funds to hire two Fish Rescue Workers for up to 480 hours each between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006, at an hourly wage of$11.50 to $12.25, depending on experience. The Administrative Committee considered this item at its June 9, 2005 meeting and recommended approval 3 to 0. IMPACTS TO STAFF/RESOURCES: The proposed budget for FY 2005-2006 includes funds to pay for these limited-term field positions in the Project Expenditures section.$35,800 for the two Field Biology Assistants is listed in the Riparian Mitigation Program as line item 2-1-3 C. The Aquatic Resources Fisheries Program lists $17,600 for the Water Resources Assistant in line item 2-3-2 B, as well as$13,700 for the two Fish Rescue Workers as line item 2-3-2 C.  A similar amount was budgeted for these limited-term positions during FY 2004-2005. The Board should note that other than an hourly wage, these employees receive no District benefits except for those required by law (e.g. workers compensation coverage.)

BACKGROUND:

A.        Field Biology Assistants: Since the summer of 1992, the District has hired Field Biology Assistants to conduct biological monitoring tasks for riparian mitigation projects.  In addition to assisting with vegetation monitoring tasks, these limited-term employees support staff in all aspects of the irrigation and erosion protection programs. It is important that these positions are continued through FY 2005-2006. The cumulative impact of shifting their duties to other District staff, or not being done at all, would limit the District’s ability to acquire grants, obtain permits for river activities, analyze and report District data related to riparian monitoring, pursue ordinance violations in the Carmel River corridor, and conduct outreach work with the public and other agencies and organizations.  These effects would adversely impact the scope and quality of work required by the District’s Mitigation Program.  The duties of the Field Biology Assistants are listed in the job description attached as Exhibit 5-A. These employees work in the Planning and Engineering Division and will be supervised by the Riparian Projects Coordinator.

B.         Water Resources Assistant:  This position was created in December 1998 to assist staff in the Water Resources Division with field and administrative tasks, including rescuing of juvenile steelhead in the lower Carmel River, surveying of steelhead spawning habitat, and monitoring of groundwater and surface water resources within the Monterey Peninsula Water Resources System. It is needed to help ensure that tasks for the District’s Fisheries Mitigation Program are completed on schedule. The Water Resources Assistant position has been instrumental in getting data on groundwater level and quality entered into the District’s databases and manipulating the data for analysis and report presentation. The position has been integral in conducting the California Stream Bioassessment Procedure (CSBP), developed by the Department of Fish and Game as a rapid bioassessment protocol and method to track overall stream health. Without this position, the ability to conduct these tasks would be severely impacted.  The duties of the Water Resources Assistant are listed in the job description attached as Exhibit 5-B. The Assistant works in the Water Resources Division and will be supervised by the Senior Fisheries Biologist.

C.        Fish Rescue Workers:  During the past ten years, District staff has initiated rescues when streamflow receded below ten cubic feet per second at Highway One.  This has occurred anytime between April 1 and September 3.  Rescues of steelhead are anticipated to begin this year in June or July.  The District will be rescuing and transporting three groups of steelhead, including smolts, kelts (spawned-out adults) and juveniles. The smolts and kelts will be transported downstream to the lagoon or ocean, while juveniles will be transported upstream to the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility or permanent habitats above the Narrows.  Additional help will be needed to successfully complete rescues. If staff attempted to conduct rescues with fewer workers, more fish would be lost because a smaller 3-person crew cannot effectively keep up with the number needing rescue and cannot work fast enough to keep up with the retreating river front. Shifting staff to rescues would compromise the maintenance and operations schedule at the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility, particularly on weekends and holidays.  It would also increase the risk of on-the-job injuries for people working too strenuously as they attempt to complete two critical jobs in the same period of time. The duties of the Fish Rescue Worker are listed in the job description attached as Exhibit 5-C.  These positions work in the Water Resources Division and will be supervised by the Senior Fisheries Biologist.

### EXHIBITS

5-A      Field Biology Assistant Job Description

5-B      Water Resources Assistant Job Description

5-C      Fish Rescue Worker Job Description

U:\staff\word\boardpacket\2005\2005boardpackets\20050620\ConsentClndr\05\item5.doc