NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES

 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2000 2:00 p.m.

 

501 ASTI ROAD

CLOVERDALE DEPOT

CLOVERDALE, CALIFORNIA

 

 

A.                 CALL TO ORDER

            Chair Robert Jehn called the meeting to order at 2:04 p.m.

 

B.                 ROLL CALL

            Finance Committee Directors present:  Chair Robert Jehn, Robert E. Simonson, and        

            Daniel Opalach by phone. 

            Also present:  Executive Director Max H. Bridges, General Counsel Christopher J. Neary         

            by phone, Russ Mustola, CPA.

            Additional attendees:  Daniel Fuller, Mark Pollock of Rail-Ways, Inc., Jim Lendy of   

            Senator Chesbro’s office, Gary Boots of Pacific Rail Services, with John Darling, 

            President of Rail-Ways, Inc. arriving at 2:15 p.m.

 

C.                 AGENDA APPROVAL

            The Agenda stands approved by Chair Jehn.

 

D.                PUBLIC COMMENTS

            None.

 

E.                 CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

1.            Disbursement of anticipated reimbursement revenues

                        Executive Director Bridges reported that a Federal Emergency Management        

                        Agency (FEMA) payment for approximately $296,000 was received on Monday, 

                        January 10, 2000 of which Rail-Ways, Inc. performed a large portion of the work 

                        and received a check for $200,000. 

                        

                        In determining a policy for distributing payments a discussion ensued regarding      

                        receipt of past FEMA funds, Rail-Ways, Inc. UCII agreement, FEMA appeals, the          

                        advance of AB2782 monies, and the urgency to submit Proposition 116 billing. 

 

                        Direction was given to NCRA’s consulting Accountant Russ Mustola to work on

                        a schedule with John Darling to reach agreement as to money owed Rail-Ways, 

                        Inc., to continue work on a consensus regarding an inventory transfer, and to write

                        to the Chair regarding his understanding of the offsets levied by the State in  

                        regards to past audit exceptions.           

 

 

          2.         Status of FEMA/Office of Emergency Services (OES) Payments

                      Executive Director Bridges reported that some $184,000 is expected which is the  

                      Small Project Cost Overrun from Disaster 1044.  The next monies available will 

                      come from repair of the North End after the environmental work is complete.  

 

                      Chair Jehn indicated Natural Disaster Assistance Act monies may become 

                      available in lieu of FEMA funds.   Mr. Bridges reported the state share of the    

                      supplemental appeal Disaster Survey Reports (DSRs) is expected.

 

3.                Prior Audit Exeptions

                      Covered under Item 1.  In addition, Executive Director Bridges reported he spoke 

                      with the OES regarding Russ Mustola’s assertion that regular time labor should be 

                      reimbursed because, although NCRA is a public agency, our regular time personnel

                      costs are not budgeted and paid through a tax subsidy.  The State indicated the time

                       frame for raising the issue as an audit exception had expired.  General Counsel

                       Chris Neary reported that during Disaster 1044, the Railroad was shut down and

                       without revenue, lay-offs were issued and the people who were re-hired were

                       considered emergency personnel only, therefore, their regular time wages were

                       eligible.  In addition, he discussed applying for a Community Disaster Loan.  Mr.

                       Mustola was given direction to speak to the State regarding this issue.

 

4.                 Status of payments to contractors for Disaster 1203.

                       Covered under Item 1.

 

         5.           Revenue available for North End repair project

                       Executive Director Bridges reported Nancy Ward, OES, indicated that of the $8.5          

                       million dollars available for North End repairs, none is to be spent on South End  

                       DSRs.  Mr. Darling indicated he believed based on discussions with FEMA that

                       the “improved project” status for the Railroad served the entire line as long as all

                       of the work indicated in each DSR is complete.  Mr. Neary said his understanding

                       is that there is a split between the North and South end in order to allow work to

                       proceed on the South End while environmental issues are addressed on the North

                       End.  Mr. Darling reported the signals need to be repaired before the South End

                       can be opened at a cost of approximately $100,000. 

 

6.                  Intermodal Surface Transportation Enactment Act (ISTEA) funds utilization

                        Executive Director Bridges reported that the ISTEA project needs project  

                        management, project monitoring, and a competitive bid process.  Mr. Neary      

                        recommended that due to NCRA’s limited staff perhaps allowing CalTrans to

                        administer the contract.

 

F.         ADJOURNMENT

            Chair Jehn adjourned the meeting at 3:40 p.m. and the Finance Committee was scheduled   

            to meet again at the Cloverdale Depot on February 8, 2000 at 2:00 p.m.