NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 1999

EUREKA CITY HALL

EUREKA, CALIFORNIA

  1. Call to Order

    Chairman Allan Hemphill called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

  2. Roll Call

    Directors present: Chairman Allan Hemphill, Ruth Rockefeller, Robert Jehn, David Nelson, and David Ripple. Also present: Executive Director Max H. Bridges, Administrative Assistant Pamela Fishtrom, Legal Counsel Christopher Neary, and Property Manager Cyndee Logan.

    Director absent: John Stokes and Jack McKellar.

  3. Minutes
    1. Approval of Minutes of the July 21, 1999 Regular Meeting. Motion by Mr. Jehn. Seconded by Ms. Rockefeller. Vote taken. Motion carried.
  1. Introduction of New Board Member

    Chairman Hemphill welcomed Humboldt County Representative, Director David Ripple.

  2. Agenda Approval

    Motion by Ms. Rockefeller. Seconded by Mr. Nelson. Vote taken. Motion carried.

  3. Announcement of Action Taken in Closed Session

    Mr. Neary reported the Board of Directors authorized its Real estate Negotiators to negotiate with Pacific Bell concerning a real property interest. No action taken.

  4. Consent Agenda
    1. Designation of Max Bridges as Board Secretary
    2. Authorize Addition of Max Bridges as signator on all NCRA Bank Accounts
    3. Designation of Max Bridges as OES Agent
    4. Approval of Agreement with Herzog

      Mr. Neary reported NCRA’s approval would formalize an agreement between Rail-Ways and Herzog based on a formula for disbursement of FEMA funds as secured by the NCRA.

    5. Approval of Mileage Reimbursement to coincide with IRS rate
    6. Receipt of Crossing Signal Funds and Authorization for Direct Disbursement to MEC RAIL for Signal Work Performed in 1998-1999

      Motion by Mr. Nelson to approve consent agenda. Seconded by Mr. Ripple. Vote taken. Motion carried.

      H. Conduct of Business

    7. Acceptance of Proposal for Audit Services for year ended June 30, 1999 to Aycock & Edgmon

      Mr. Bridges recommended approval. Motion by Mr. Jehn. Seconded by Ms. Rockefeller. Vote taken. Motion carried.

    8. Approval of Security Agreement with Rail-Ways implementing action taken February 23,

      1999

      Item omitted from the Agenda packet, therefore, tabled.

    9. Lease Arrangement for Geyserville Park and Ride – Sonoma County

      Ms. Logan reported the lease is under review with the Sonoma County Legal Department. Motion by Mr. Jehn to authorize Mr. Bridges to sign the lease upon review by NCRA General Counsel. Seconded by Ms. Rockefeller. Vote taken. Motion carried.

    10. Consider Request of NWP Historical Society to Improve Overpass at Citrus Fair Drive, Cloverdale

      Mr. Jehn reported NWPRRHS requests approval to aesthetically improve the overpass at Citrus Fair Drive, Cloverdale. Mr. Bridges was given authority to approve the project after consultation with CalTrans and Sonoma County.

    11. Direction to Staff Concerning Passenger Agreement
  1. Maintain present agreement; or
  2. Authorize RFP

NCRA received a proposal from California Western Railroad to operate passenger service on the NWP. Chairman Hemphill requested Mr. Nelson and Mr. Jehn review and prepare a recommendation to present to the Board for action at the next meeting concerning NCRA’s options under the RFP with California Redwood Coast. No action required.

Chairman Hemphill honored Dennis Wood, former Director, with a plaque.

  1. Public Comments

    Fred Carmichael, volunteer advocate for the Railroad, spoke of Measure J, the previous nights Eureka City Council meeting as televised, and his opinion that public meetings should begin with prayer.

    Larry Henderson, Planning and Development Consultant in Eureka, requested an emergency action by the Board as to their position on Measure J and clarification that it is Union Pacific, not NCRA, that owns the "Balloon Tract."

    Harry Marnell, resident of Humboldt County and supporter of the Railroad, asked if the "Balloon Tract" is needed by the Railroad. Rail-Ways representative, Glen Babcock, responded that it is not needed.

    Don Leonard, Convention and Visitors Bureau of Humboldt County, urged the Board to continue to consider passenger service in Humboldt County.

    Kaye Strickland, Chairman of Citizens for Port Development, spoke of the Eureka City Council meeting, that most everyone said that they were not opposed to WalMart, only the location.

  2. Liaison Report
    1. Technical Advisory Committee Report

      Mr. Bridges reported the Business Plan will be ready for adoption next month.

    2. NWPRA Report – John Stokes/Allan Hemphill

      Chairman Hemphill reported he and Mr. Stokes attended the August 9, 1999 NWPRA Board Meeting where there was discussion on Ms. Logan’s role in the negotiation of fiber optics easements. In addition, a committee was formed to explore NWPRA’s future role as a more active partner in terms of track rehabilitation, fund matches, etc.

    3. Legislation – David Nelson

      Mr. Nelson reported Assemblywoman Strom-Martin’s bill AB74, Freight Rail Plan, went to committee and will be on the Senate floor on Thursday shepherded by State Senator Wes Chesbro. Chairman Hemphill recommended Mr. Nelson update Mr. Bridges on legislative issues.

    4. Passenger – Robert Jehn

      Mr. Jehn reported previously. Chairman Hemphill reported Pacific Locomotive Association expresses interest in running a restored locomotive on NWP in collaboration with NCRA’s franchise operator.

    5. Cities – Jack McKellar

Mr. McKellar was not in attendance.

18. Contractor’s Report – Rail-Ways, Inc.

Glen Babcock, Rail-Ways, Inc. Environmental Officer reported on: 1) Consent Decree compliance; Rail-Ways completed the first 30 day report to the Department of Toxic Substance Control with substantial compliance with one exception, a site visit for the Island Mountain Characterization Study. 2) FEMA Categorical Exclusions; a) South End; biologists working for the Railroad proved the Clapper Rail bird was not present at a site that US Fish and Wildlife considered marginal habitat for that species. FEMA allowed work to continue through that site. b) North End; Rail-Ways received verbal categorical exclusions to complete Phase 1 activities that include no environmental permitting. 3) Improving the long term environmental vision of the NWP by; a) instituting preventative hazardous waste measures, and b) retaining, for future reference, all environmental reports which address endangered species issues.

  1. Discussion Items
    1. MTA Suggestion for Joint Application for Rehabilitation of Ukiah Depot

      Mr. Bridges reported Mendocino Transit Authority requests NCRA consider jointly applying for a Federal Transportation Enhancement Activities Grant administered by Mendocino County Association of Governments to make improvements to the Ukiah Depot. Motion by Mr. Nelson to add this item as an emergency item to the agenda and to support the joint application for the refurbishing of the Ukiah Depot. Seconded by Mr. Jehn. Vote taken. Motion carried.

      L. Staff Reports

    2. Executive Director’s Report

      Mr. Bridges reported FEMA agreed to expedite an environmental clearance of the North End allowing Phase 1 work to proceed.

      Insurance is required before presenting the Cloverdale Depot lease at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting. Mr. Bridges is negotiating an office in Willits.

      Mr. Bridges incurred expenses for office equipment. More equipment will be purchased when the Cloverdale office opens.

      In addition, Mr. Bridges reported the bookkeeping position will be established at the Cloverdale office when it opens.

    3. Status of FEMA Issues
  1. Clearance of Environmental Issues on Southern Division
  2. Commencement of Environmental Work on Northern Division

Previously reported.

    1. Property Management Report – Cyndee Logan

Ms. Logan reported all billings for lease payment fees have been sent.

23. Track Restoration Project – Rail-Ways, Inc.

Previously reported.

24. FEMA Resolution – Christopher Neary, Dennis Wood, Allan Hemphill

Mr. Neary reported funds received were billed only 60 days ago.

 

 

  1. Legal
    1. Environmental Compliance

      Previously reported by Mr. Babcock, however, Mr. Neary reported he and Mr. Babcock will meet to discuss the delegation of responsibilities for the remaining items of the Consent Decree.

    2. Report on Ukiah Depot Status
  1. Ukiah Depot Use Permit Application to City of Ukiah

    Mr. Neary reported the use permit has been filed.

  2. Mayor Mastin’s Letter of July 30, 1999

    Mr. Neary reported he is available to answer questions about the letter that is included in the Agenda packet.

  3. Mr. Baker’s Objection to MTA Proposal

    Mr. Neary reported Mr. Baker, a long term lessee of Ukiah Depot property, sent a letter to NCRA and his Congressional Representatives because he feels the MTA proposal does not consider his position in regard to the sale of the Ukiah Depot.

  4. Status of Investigation on Eastern Portion

Mr. Neary reported MTA received an additional grant toward their Federal Transit Administration Inter-City Bus Grant for partial construction of the Ukiah Transit Center. MTA requested the Regional Board require UP perform a Phase II study on the Eastern Portion of the property. UP forwarded that study to NCRA which shows no environmental concerns which may halt the granting of the Eastern Portion to the NCRA.

    1. Passenger Agreement

      Previously reported.

    2. Union Pacific Termination of CMA; General Indemnity

      Mr. Neary reported this item will be discussed in Closed Session under Item 33.

    3. Grant for Removal of Fish Barrier at Bridge Creek

Mr. Neary reported NCRA received approval for this project from the Fish and Game Department. However, Mr. Bridges reported this grant is a reimbursement program and difficult to fund initially.

  1. Other Matters from Board Members

    Mr. Nelson inquired of Tom Denny, Herzog, the status of work performed. Mr. Denny responded that the tie crews are North of Hopland and the surfacing crews are near Santa Rosa.

    Mr. Jehn reported that at the July 28, 1999 meeting of the Sonoma-Marin Rail Transit Commission an item was passed to hire a consultant to look at types of rolling stock. The Commission is a JPA formed to initiate commute rail service between Larkspur and Cloverdale.

    Mr. Jehn recommended review of the structure of future Agenda preparation.

  2. Announcement of Next Meeting

    30. September 15, 1999, 10:00 a.m. – Sonoma County

  3. Closed Session
    1. Conference with Real Property Negotiators - Cyndee Logan, Christopher J. Neary

Government Code sec. 54956.8

  1. Negotiating Parties: Pacific Bell, NCRA

    Property Interest: 5’ Longitudinal Easement, Rio Dell, Ukiah

    Subject: Price, terms, location, relocation

  2. Negotiating Parties: NCRA, Williams Communications, Sprint, Pacific Bell

Property Interest: Longitudinal Easement, Cloverdale to Healdsburg

Subject: Price, terms, location, relocation

    1. Conference with Legal Counsel Government Code sec. 54956.9

Consideration of Initiation of Legal Action (1 case)

The Board gave direction to its real property negotiators; authorized

retaining the firm of Troutman and Sanders of Washington D.C. as Special

Surface Transportation Board Counsel with respect to interchange issues

with Union Pacific Railroad; and on a unanimous vote of the Board added

negotiations with MTA for price and terms to the Closed Session Agenda

due to information surfacing after the posting of the Agenda, and the

need to act immediately and appointed Max Bridges as its negotiator to

make contact with MTA.

  1. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 1:25 p.m.