NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2001 AT 10:00 A.M.

 

WILLITS CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
111 EAST COMMERCIAL STREET, WILLITS, MENDOCINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, USA

 

 

A.        CALL TO ORDER

            Chair Ripple called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.

 

B.        ROLL CALL

Directors present:  Chair David Ripple, First Chair Allan Hemphill, Max Schlienger, and Jake Mackenzie.

            Directors absent:  Robert Simonson and Daniel Opalach.

Also present:  Executive Director Max H Bridges, General Counsel Christopher J Neary, Property Manager Cyndee Logan, Accountant Wade Fulton, and Administrative Assistant Pamela Fishtrom.

 

C.        MINUTES

Approve Minutes of March 21, 2001 Regular Board Meeting

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved approval of the Minutes; seconded by Dir. Schlienger. Vote taken; motion carried.

 

D.        AGENDA APPROVAL

 

Dir. Hemphill moved to approve the Agenda with the addition of Item F.8 Haystack Landing Bridge; seconded by Dir. Mackenzie.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

E.         PUBLIC COMMENTS

Chris Burkhardt, presented a map of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad through Marin County. 

 

F.         CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

1.                  Discuss Update of 5-Year Plan

Mr. Bridges stated the 5-Year Plan needs to be updated and recommended hiring a consultant.

 

Dir. Hemphill moved that staff be directed to develop a RFP, or negotiate if a RFP is not necessary, a revision to the Plan not to exceed $10,000; seconded by Dir. Mackenzie.  Vote taken; motion carried. 

 

2.                  Consider Contract to Provide Web Site-Related Services

Mr. Bridges presented a contract from Robert Jehn to provide services as webmaster at $50 per hour not to exceed $6,000 per year.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved to approve the contract subject to examination by Counsel; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

3.                  Adopt Resolution 2001-02 Approving Caltrans Master Agreement No. 64A0045 and Authorize Executive Director to Execute Agreement, All Subsequent Program Supplements, and Any Amendments

Mr. Bridges explained the Master Agreement is the new format for what was termed Fund Transfer Agreement.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved approval of Resolution 2001-02; seconded by Dir. Schlienger.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

4.            Consider Secondary Programmatic Agreement with Federal Emergency Management  

            Agency (FEMA) and State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO)

Mr. Neary presented a letter from FEMA/OES denying NCRA’s requested changes to the proposed Programmatic Agreement. 

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved the Board authorize the preparation of a letter to send to the Regional Director of FEMA and copied to our elected officials which outlines the chronology of dealings with FEMA in this matter and which contains recognition of the results of a separate motion that proposes NCRA sign a Secondary Programmatic Agreement with two changes as recommended by Counsel; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved the Board authorize the execution of the Secondary Programmatic Agreement containing two adjustments recommended by Counsel: 1) that this agreement does not apply to any portion of the Re-opening Project scope of work which is entirely in the footprint of the existing Railroad right of way with the exception of Tunnel 23, and 2) the last sentence of Paragraph X(C) be changed as follows:  “In the event the Agreement is terminated, FEMA will meet its responsibilities by complying with the 1203 Agreement;” seconded by Dir. Schlienger.  Vote taken; motion carried.                  

 

5.            Consider Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Consent Decree Agencies

Mr. Neary presented the final draft of the MOU.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved the Board authorize the execution and transmission to the Consent Decree agencies; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

6.            Claim 2001-01 – Richard Martin

Mr. Neary explained Mr. Martin’s tires were torn by a spike at Hookton Road and he is requesting $154.75 two replace the tires.

 

Dir. Hemphill moved to refer the matter to the Executive Director; seconded by Dir. Mackenzie.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

7.            Approve Amendment to the Operating Budget

Mr. Bridges presented a revised Operating Budget which included funding for the Project Manager as required by the CTC before NCRA’s Administrative Expenditure funding from the TCRP will be released.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved to approve the revised operating budget; seconded by Dir. Schlienger.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

8.         Approve Agreement with NWPRA for the Loan to Repair the Haystack Landing Bridge

Mr. Neary reported NWPRA has agreed to allow NCRA 5 years to repay a loan for emergency repairs to the Haystack Landing Bridge 

 

Dir. Schlienger moved to approve the loan noting that the matter arose after subsequent posting of the Agenda and was properly added to the Agenda by a vote of the Board; seconded by Dir. Mackenzie.  Vote taken; motion carried. 

 

G.         LIAISON REPORTS

1.                  Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority (NWPRA) – Mr. Bridges

Mr. Bridges reported the NWPRA meeting was cancelled. 

 

2.         Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission (SMART) – Mr. Bridges

Mr. Bridges reported SMART is recruiting for an engineering consultant and working with Caltrans and the CTC to access TCRP funds.  Also, he reported a meeting is scheduled with Lillian Haynes, SMART’s project manager, in May to discuss joint activities between agencies.

 

3.         Legislation – Mr. Bridges

Mr. Bridges reported a legislative agenda is needed.  Dir. Hemphill reported reading of a short line tourist railroad accessing community development funds for tie replacement indicating there may be other funds available besides those specifically earmarked for railroads.

 

4.                  Web Site

Mr. Bridges reported this Item was covered.  

 

5.                  Cities – Dir. Mackenzie

Dir. Mackenzie reported Sonoma County Transportation Authority is proceeding to execute a County-wide transportation plan and approval is expected in May.  The Plan, which includes rail as an alternative to widening the highway, is the basis for funding considerations by an ad-hoc committee of which he is a part.  He said that State Transportation Improvement Program funds may be used as a guarantee to obtain bonds, however, operating capital for passenger operations is still at issue.  Mr. Bridges asked Dir. Mackenzie to consider goods movement within the formulation of the Plan.

 

Kaye Strickland, Citizens for Port Development, reported Humboldt County is similarly updating the General Plan and rail is also considered as an alternative to widening the highway.    

 

6.         Passenger – Dir. Hemphill, Dir. Opalach, and Dir. Schlienger

The Committee meeting was postponed, however, Dir. Hemphill discussed considering the hiring of a consultant to develop policy regarding passenger operations.  Additionally, he reported graffiti on the tarped passenger cars and the Willits police were notified.  

 

 

 

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

Ms. Logan recommended hiring a grant writer when opportunities to access funds become available.  

 

8.            Contractor – Northwestern Pacific Railway Co. LLC (NWPY)

John Darling, NWPY Chief Executive Officer/ Chief Financial Officer, reported:

·        reaching a target of 113 revenue car loads with a train running almost every day,

·        encouraging market sectors by Union Pacific,

·        disappointment in the progress of repair to Windsor because the track is ready for inspection but three crossing signals are still in need of repair,

·        the Haystack Landing Bridge pivot repair work will begin at the end of next week, and

·        the washout under Mr. Golden’s property is repaired. 

                 

H.        STAFF REPORTS

1.         Executive Director Max H Bridges

Mr. Bridges reported:

·        completing the Strategic Plan for the CTC Meeting of May 2 and 3, where several applications will be considered for funding under TCRP for preliminary engineering and initial assessment of the line to re-open from Willits and Arcata, upgrade of the line to Class 2 and 3, and for stabilization,   

·        working on a Request for Proposals for an environmental consultant,

·        working on a Request for Qualifications for an engineering consultant,

·        the quarterly meeting with Caltrans will be changed based on criticism received at the last NCRA Board meeting – the meetings will now be run completely by NCRA and will be open to the public; the web site may be used to disseminate information about the contents of the meeting – the next meeting will be held in Healdsburg on April 25, and

·        Boyle Engineering is working on the scope of work between Windsor and Willits so that a Request for Bids can be issued in several weeks, and it will be several months before a contractor is hired.

 

2.         General Counsel Christopher J Neary

                        No report.

 

3.         Property Manager Cyndee Logan

Ms. Logan presented a draft lease ledger representing documents sifted through and does not indicate a current accounting of lease revenue.  Also, Ms. Logan requested the Board consider developing the Ukiah Depot into lease income.  Ms. Ellard of MCOG informed the Board that grant funds are available for that project.  Chair Ripple recommended Ms. Logan contact Mr. Bridges to arrange a Committee meeting to review an application.

 

4.         Administrative Budget Report and Monthly Financial Statements

Mr. Fulton reported:

·        the Office of Emergency Services is reviewing records to finalize projects for the Schellville and Burdell Blocks and retention may be released as a result,

·        Caltrans is auditing NCRA’s Proposition 116 allocations,

·        $540,000 of TCRP funds will disperse today leaving only 7 firms left to pay out of the debt reduction money,

  

I.         MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

None.

 

J.         ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

            Regular Board Meeting – May 16, 2001 at 10:00 a.m.                         

Eureka City Council Chambers, 531 K Street, Eureka, Humboldt County, CA, USA

 

K.        CLOSED SESSION – Convened at 12:08 pm

 

L.        ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION – Reconvened at 12:15 pm

            Conference with Real Estate Negotiator – Ms. Logan

            Government Code § 54946.8

            Fiber Optics – Pacific Bell

            Chair Ripple announced the Board received information and provided direction to Ms. Logan.

 

M.       ADJOURNMENT 

            Chair Ripple adjourned the meeting at 12:16 pm.