NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2000 AT 10:00 A.M.

 

WILLITS CITY HALL
111 E COMMERCIAL STREET, WILLITS, MENDOCINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

 

 

A.        CALL TO ORDER

            Chair Jehn called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

 

B.        ROLL CALL

Directors present:  Chair Robert Jehn, David Ripple, Daniel Opalach, Robert E. Simonson, Max Schlienger, and Jake Mackenzie.

            Directors absent:  Allan Hemphill.

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

            Manager Cyndee Logan, and Administrative Assistant Pamela Fishtrom.

 

C.        MINUTES

            Approval of Minutes of the September 20, 2000 Regular Board Meeting

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved approval of the Minutes with the following corrections: Item G.5; the amount from AB2928 for the SMART Commission is $37 million; and, Item F.6; extend the start-up date to the October Meeting;  seconded by Dir. Ripple.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

D.                AGENDA APPROVAL

 
            Executive Dir. Bridges requested an Emergency Item be added for Dir. Hemphill:  Disposition of 
            Meechem Cars; and, Mr. Neary corrected Closed Session Item M.2 to include NCRA v. California
            Western (CWR).

 

                Dir. Hemphill arrived at 10:03 am.

 

Dir. Mackenzie motioned approval of the Agenda with the changes suggested;  seconded by Dir. Ripple.  Vote taken;  motion passed unanimously.

 

E.                 PUBLIC COMMENTS

            None.

 

F.                  CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

1.         Consider Amendment to Herzog Contracting Corp Contract for Track Repair to

            Petaluma

Executive Dir. Bridges asked to delay this Item until John Darling, Rail-Ways, Inc.

      President arrives.

 

2.         Adopt Revised Scope of Work for Re-opening Project Between Willits and Samoa

General Counsel Neary suggested in response to an Office of Emergency Services letter demanding a scope of work for the North End repair by November 10 that NCRA write to request a meeting before the deadline to clarify the issues.     

 

Dir. Hemphill moved approval of the scope of work prepared by Executive Dir. Bridges and originally contained in the Environmental Assessment with the addition of repair of the tunnel near Island Mountain;   seconded by Dir. Mackenzie.  Vote taken;  motion passed unanimously.           

 

John Darling arrived at 10:30 am.

 

Item F.1.         Consider Amendment to Herzog Contracting Corp Contract for Track Repair to Petaluma

Executive Dir. Bridges announced Herzog Contracting Corp’s reluctance to agree to contract amendments required by CalTrans in conformance with a sole source procurement.  Mr. Darling offered to re-open the Line to Mile Post 63 to Federal Railroad Administration Class 1 standard free of charge in approximately 60 days.  

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved approval to memorialize and confirm acceptance of the offer by Mr. Darling; seconded by Dir. Simonson.  Vote taken;  motion passed unanimously.     

                       

3.                  Report on California Transportation Commission (CTC) Meeting and Consider Approval of Creditor Relief Letter

Executive Dir. Bridges reported he will attend the CTC meeting in San Diego on November 1 & 2.  General Counsel Neary reported the CTC requires each creditor sign a release, and NCRA has informed the CTC that all creditors will receive interest; however, the money available satisfies only a portion of the interest.  Mr. Bridges suggested the money available after judgments and principal amounts be divided as a percentage for interest at one rate among all non-judgment creditors, and the release should reflect that percentage.     

     

4.         Discuss Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) Plan

Executive Director Bridges reported a Federally required DBE Plan establishes goals to attract disadvantage business enterprises to provide services to public agencies.  Mr. Bridges is preparing a plan for approval by the Board as all bidding processes must contain reference to the plan including the recently requested proposals for engineering services.   

 

5.         Resolution to Elect Public Employees Medical and Hospital Care Act

Executive Dir. Bridges explained a resolution is required to join CalPers Health Care.  

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved approval to adopt the Resolution;  seconded by Dir. Ripple.  Vote taken;  motion passed unanimously.

 

6.         Adopt California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Policy

            See 7 below.

 

7.            Appoint Executive Director Bridges as Environmental Office to Comply with CEQA  

            Policy

General Counsel Neary recommended formalization of a CEQA policy appointing an environmental officer.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved approval to establish as policy in terms of implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act by appointing Executive Director Bridges as Environmental Officer;  seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken;  motion carried.

 

8.            Extension of Start-up Date for Northwestern Pacific Railway Co. LLC (NWPY) and   

            Northwestern California Railway Engineering Corp.  (NorCare) Permanent Operation

            Agreement

General Counsel Neary proposed continuing this item until the day after the November Board Meeting.

 

Dir. Simonson moved approval to extend the start-up date for the NWPY and NorCare Permanent Operation Agreement until the day after the November Board Meeting; seconded by Dir. Mackenzie.  Vote taken; motion carried.

           

9.            Disposition of Meechem Cars

Dir. Hemphill reported negotiating with Mr. Meechem to accept $444,000 total on his note paying $320,000 now with a note for the balance at 7% interest due when the cars are sold.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved approval to sell the cars known as the Meechem bunch and accept the deal as negotiated by Dir. Hemphill;  seconded by Dir. Ripple.  Vote taken; motion passed unanimously.

 

G.                LIAISON REPORTS

            1.         Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority (NWPRA) – Executive Dir. Bridges

Mr. Bridges reported at the NWPRA Meeting:

 

  2.        Legislation – Executive Dir. Bridges

Mr. Bridges reported AB1093 was vetoed.  He will be working with the CTC because a bill was approved that allows flexibility with Transit Capital Improvement money.

 

             3.        Passenger – Dir. Hemphill

Dir. Hemphill reported informing Carl Meyers of California Redwood Coast Company of his appointment to the Passenger Committee.

 

  4.        Cities – Dir. Mackenzie

Dir. Mackenzie said he gave a short report to the Sonoma County Mayors and Council Members Association.  Also, he reported a process has not been decided regarding disseminating information to representatives of each city on the Line, and, as work progressed to Mile Post 63, he recommended informing affected cities.  Mr. Bridges recommended notifying county representatives also.    

 

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

Chair Jehn reported action was taken to amend their consultant’s agreement to begin engineering and environmental work, and to hire a full time staff person to begin the process to access funds, hopefully, managing to start commuter service in 2005 or 2006.    

 

 6.        Mendocino Council of Governments Technical Advisory Committee – Ms. Logan

Ms. Logan reported missing the last meeting, however, she received a call complaining of frustration over the slow release of funds by the Business, Housing, and Transportation Agency grant for the Long-Range Plan.  Also, she reported the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (GGBHTD) is meeting on November 3 to discuss their role in rail-related issues.                      

       

  7.        Web Site – Chair Jehn

Chair Jehn reported visitation to the site remains about 4,000 hits per month.  In increasing the utility of the site, he recommended the Board consider a webmaster.

             

             8.        Contractor – Northwestern Pacific Railways Company, LLC (NWPY)

Michael Upton, Business Manager, reported constant electronic surveillance of the Haystack Landing Bridge will, hopefully, be complete within 48 hours of receiving the equipment ordered.  Additionally, NWPY is studying GGBHTD’s security recommendations for protection of the Brazos Bridge. 

                     

H.        EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT – Mr. Bridges

Mr. Bridges presented the brochure announcing the recruitment of the project manager: resumes will be received through November 22.  Additionally, a salary survey will indicate a potential pay scale, and the position will be filled no sooner than 90 days.

 

I.                   PROPERTY MANAGER REPORT – Ms. Logan

Ms. Logan presented a written report including an encroachment for review by the Property Management Committee for potential adoption at the next Board Meeting.  She requested eviction of both Baker and Burgess.  

 

J.         LEGAL REPORT – General Counsel Christopher J. Neary

            No report.

 

K.        MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

Dir. Opalach reported the Citizens for Port Development continue to be enthusiastic supporters.  Charles Ollivier, Harbor Commissioner, spoke in passionate support of the synergy between the Port and Railroad in terms of economic development, and he requested Mr. Bridges attend the October 26 Harbor District meeting and workshop where a port development committee will be discussed.

 

Dir. Mackenzie reported at the last Sonoma County Transportation Authority Meeting, he was unsuccessful in obtaining access to excess State Transportation Improvement Program funds for rail-related projects.     

           

L.        ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING – PLEASE NOTE CHANGES

           

Dir. Simonson moved approval to change the next Regulat Board Meeting to Tuesday, November 14, 2000 at 10:00 am;  seconded by Dir. Schlienger.  Vote taken; motion carried.

           

Fortuna City Council Chambers, 621 11th Street, Fortuna, Humboldt County, California, USA

 

M.       CLOSED SESSION – Convened at 11:55 a.m.

 

N.        ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION – Reconvened at 1:25 pm

            1.         Conference with Real Estate Negotiator – Ms. Logan

                        Government Code Section 54956.8

                        a.         Sale of the Ukiah Depot

b.         Fiber Optics

I.          Pacific Bell

                        II.        Qwest Communications

c.         Baker Beverages      

                        Chair Jehn announced the Board received information and provided direction to Ms.                             Logan on all Items.

 

            2.         Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation – Mr. Neary

                        Government Code Section 54956.9

            a.         Claim of CWR

                        b.         NCRA v. CWR

                                    Chair Jehn announced the Board received information and provided direction to Mr.                                          Neary. 

 

3.         Personnel Issue

Government Code Section 54956.7

            Employee Performance Evaluation – Executive Director

                        Chair Jehn announced the Board provided feedback to Mr. Bridges.

 

O.          ADJOURNMENT 

              Chair Jehn adjourned the meeting at 1:30 p.m.