NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2000

WILLITS CITY HALL

WILLITS, CALIFORNIA

  1. CALL TO ORDER

    Chair Jehn called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m.

  2. ROLL CALL

    Directors present: Chair Robert Jehn, David Ripple, Allan Hemphill, Robert Simonson, and Max Schlienger. Director absent: Jack McKellar and Daniel Opalach. Also present: Executive Director Max H. Bridges, General Counsel Christopher J. Neary, and Property Manager Cyndee Logan.

  3. MINUTES

Motion to approve the Minutes of December 15, 1999 Regular Meeting by Dir. Schlienger; seconded by Dir. Ripple. Vote taken. Motion carried.

D. AGENDA APPROVAL

Legal Counsel Neary reported Agenda Item L.1. was not necessary because a settlement was reached, however, a Closed Session Item needs to be added regarding litigation with L & M Renner. Mr. Bridges recommended adding a presentation by Williams Communications. Chair Jehn added the presentation to the Agenda after the Legal Report. Motion by Dir. Ripple to approve the agenda with the noted changes; seconded by Dir. Simonson. Vote taken. Motion carried.

  1. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Kay Strickland, Citizens for Port Development, reported on the distribution of a petition drive in support of the Railroad. In addition, she presented the Board with a publication by the Mendocino County Rail Society which chronicles the Railroad through articles published in Mendocino County’s newspaper.

    Jon Green, Greens Right O’Way, expressed anger over money he is owed by NCRA.

  2. LIAISON REPORTS
    1. NWPRA – Max H. Bridges

No report as NWPRA had not met since NCRA’s meeting in December 1999.

2. Legislation – Max H. Bridges

Mr. Bridges reported AB 1093, sponsored by Assembly Member Strom-Martin to provide monies to 28 California short line Railroads, has moved out of the Assembly’s Transportation committee. The bill also addresses the flexibility of State Transportation Improvement Plan funds for use by freight rail.

3. Passenger – Robert Jehn

No report.

4. Cities – Jack McKellar

No report.

5. Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission (SMART) – Robert Jehn

No report as SMART has not met since the December meeting.

    1. Contractor – Rail-Ways, Inc.

John Darling, President of Rail-Ways, Inc. provided the Board with a written report and spoke of the status of roadway rehabilitation, environmental remediation, and financial conditions. In addition, Mr. Darling indicated the Southern portion of the line could be open within weeks if an estimated $100,000 was available for signal repairs.

  1. COMMITTEE REPORTS
    1. Finance Committee – Robert Jehn, Daniel Opalach, Robert Simonson

      Chair Jehn reported the Finance Committee met January 12, 2000 to discuss anticipated revenues and how they will be distributed. The next meeting is scheduled for February 8, 2000 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cloverdale Depot.

    2. Organizational Committee – Robert Jehn, David Ripple

Mr. Bridges reported a draft of revised Bylaws has been prepared and a new meeting date for this committee needs to be set.

  1. Study Session of January 8, 2000

    Mr. Bridges reported the meeting went well and for those that could not attend, he provided information. Dir. Ripple felt the meeting was beneficial, stimulating a discussion regarding creation of a systemized public outreach effort to gain public support. Chair Jehn volunteered to create a standardized slide show presentation.

  2. Status of NCRA Web site

Chair Jehn announced NCRA has obtained a domain name: northcoastrailroad.org. NCRA’s Agenda and Minutes will be available on the web site. Dir. Ripple volunteered to help prepare an outline for presentation at the next Board meeting specifying the parameters of the web site.

  1. STAFF REPORT

Executive Director – Max H. Bridges

  1. Disaster Relief Funds

    Mr. Bridges reported NCRA received approximately $250,000 of Disaster

    1203 which was paid to Rail-Ways, Inc. as they provided the repairs.

  2. Consider Contracting with Consulting Services to Maximize Reimbursements

Mr. Bridges inquired of the Board their view in regards to hiring a consultant for grant administration because he had received a proposal from R.O.S.S. to provide such services. The Board was not interested.

Application to the Sonoma County Transportation Agency for $400,000 of Transportation Enactment Act – 21st Century funds was denied because their Regional Transportation Improvement Plan did not address freight rail.

A 20-Year Rail Transportation Development Plan for the North Coast is in progress with the aid of CalTrans District 1. With support from the districts along the corridor, a discretionary grant may become available.

Mr. Bridges is participating in the development of the State Rail Plan; CalTrans is the lead agency.

Business cards are available from Mr. Bridges by request.

A meeting is scheduled with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) regarding development of a Request for Proposals and bid documents for the North End repair work. Rail-Ways, Inc. will be developing the scope of work.

Representatives from NCRA and Rail-Ways, Inc. met with the Governor’s office to ask for funding under the Natural Disaster Assistance Act, to air concerns regarding the need for significant resources, and to establish contacts. A helicopter tour has been arranged for April 7, 2000 to include: Jose Medina, Director of California Department of Transportation; Mary Nicoles, Governor’s Environmental Resources Director; Senator Chesbro; and Assembly Member Strom-Martin.

OES met with CalTrans to provide information regarding NCRA and to address the Railroad’s need for use of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Enactment Act funds.

  1. LEGAL

    General Counsel Neary reported settlement of the Van Meter Logging case.

  2. PRESENTATION BY WILLIAMS COMMUNICATION

Mike McCann encouraged the Board to consider contracting with his firm to allow for the installation and use of fiber optic cable along the right of way. There was some concern by the Board that Union Pacific may interpose.

  1. MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

    None.

  2. ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

    Regular meeting to be held on February 16, 2000 at 10:00 a.m.

    Eureka City Council Chambers, 531 K Street, Eureka, Humboldt County.

  3. CLOSED SESSION

    1. Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation

    Government Code Section 54956.9 (Pacific Rail Services)

    2. Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation

    Government Code Section 54956.9 (L & M Renner)

    3. Conference with Real Property Negotiator

    Government Code Section 54956.8

    Negotiating Parties: Pacific Bell, etc.; NCRA

    Under Negotiation: Longitudinal Easement

    4. Conference with Real Property Negotiator

    Government Code Section 54956.8

    Negotiating Parties: Williams Communications; NCRA

    Under Negotiation: Longitudinal Easement

  4. ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION –

RECONVENED AT 12:00 P.M.

    1. Conference with Legal Counsel – Pacific Rail Services

      Chair Jehn announced direction was provided to General Counsel Neary and the item is continued to the next Regular Meeting.

    2. Conference with Legal Counsel – L & M Renner

      Chair Jehn announced direction was provided to General Counsel Neary and the is will be coming back to the Board at the next Regular meeting.

    3. Conference with Real Property Negotiator – Pacific Bell

      Chair Jehn announced direction was provided to Property Manager Logan and staff and the item will be coming back before the Board at the next Regular meeting.

    4. Conference with Real Property Negotiator – Williams Communication

Chair Jehn announced direction was provided to Property Manager Logan and staff and the item will be coming back before the Board at the next Regular meeting.

O. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 12:01 p.m.