NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2001 AT 10:00 A.M.

 
HEALDSBURG CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
401 GROVE STREET, HEALDSBURG, SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, USA

 

 

 

A.        CALL TO ORDER 

            The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m.

 

B.        ROLL CALL

Directors present:  Chair David Ripple, Vice Chair Allan Hemphill, Max Schlienger, Robert Simonson, Jake Mackenzie, Daniel Opalach, and Leo Sears.

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

 

C.        MINUTES

1.                  Approve Minutes of August 15, 2001 Regular Board Meeting

2.                  Approve Minutes of September 7, 2001 Property Management Committee Meeting     

3.         Approve Minutes of September 7, 2001 Property Management Committee Meeting

 

Chair Ripple said one set of Minutes needs to have the month corrected.

 

Dir. Sears moved approval of the corrected Minutes; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken – Dir. Mackenzie abstained as he was absent; motion carried.

 

D.        AGENDA APPROVAL

                 

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

 

E.         PUBLIC COMMENTS

Chris Burkhardt spoke to issues involving the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission.

 

James Quinn, retired Public Utilities Commission attorney, presented a list of questions Mr. Bridges said he would answer by posting to NCRA’s web site.

 

Mike Pechner, member of American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, recommended promptly notifying media contacts as a solution to battling negative rumors.  

 

F.        CLOSED SESSION - Continued from September 7, 2001 Special Meeting - Convened at 10:23 am

 

G.        ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION – Reconvened at 11:38 am

Conference with Legal Counsel Neary – Anticipated Litigation

Government Code § 54956.9(b)

Significant Exposure to Litigation

The Board unanimously decided to serve a notice of material default on all parties to the Operating Agreement and directed staff to make all necessary filings.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved to open up the Agenda to add two items; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved to direct staff to explore avenues towards interim operations; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved to direct staff to prepare a Request For Proposal for a permanent operator; seconded by Dir. Sears.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

H.        CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

1.                  Consider Date Change of November 21, 2001 Regular Board Meeting

Mr. Bridges explained the third Wednesday in November is the day before Thanksgiving.

 

Dir. Simonson moved to change the November Regular Meeting date to November 14; seconded by Dir. Schlienger.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

2.                  Request for Property Title Change to City of Eureka

At the direction of the Property Management Committee, Ms. Logan recommended changing title to approximately 156 square feet requested by the City of Eureka.

 

Dir. Sears moved to advise Legal Counsel to transfer interest in the property as recorded November 5, 1984 in Book 1751 of Official Records, Page 875 under Recorder’s Serial No. 20731, Humboldt County Records, as it pertains only to the approximately 156 square foot piece of property requested by the City of Eureka: the City to bear any incidental costs including, but not limited to; recording, legal description, transfer taxes, and title insurance if purchased; seconded by Dir. Schlienger.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

3.                  Approve Independent Single Year Audit of Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2000

Mr. Fulton recommended adoption of the audit and offered to prepare responses to the auditor’s recommendations for next month’s Meeting.  He also reported a new the audit for the year ended June 30, 2001 is expected to begin in November.  Dir. Opalach announced a public commendation for Aycock and Edgmon, CPAs for their excellence and hard work.

 

Dir. Mackenzie moved approval of the single year audit of Fiscal Year End June 30, 2000 with a request that staff report back to this Board at the October Meeting with responses to the Management Concepts section; seconded by Dir. Opalach.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

I.          LIAISON REPORTS

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

Mr. Bridges reported the NWPRA met last Monday to:

·        Receive a presentation from Sonoma County Transit (SCT) on various transit facilities in place and planned by their agency.

·        Receive a report from the private non-profit group that wants to re-establish the Petaluma Trolley.

·        Hear a report by NCRA on the status of the Haystack Landing Bridge.

·        Discuss governance issues including membership in SMART.

Dir. Mackenzie reported being asked to serve on an ad-hoc committee to address congestion in Marin and Sonoma Counties, and it has been suggested that NWPRA governance of the Railroad fold into SMART. 

 

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

Mr. Bridges reported he will attend today’s 2 pm meeting.

 

3.                  Legislation – Mr. Bridges

No report.

 

4.                  Web Site

Chair Ripple reported 5322 visits through August and there are 262 subscribers.

 

5.         Cities – Dir. Mackenzie

Nothing further to report.

 

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

Dir. Hemphill reported the passenger equipment was broken into with significant damage to the interior.  A police report was filed and suspects apprehended.  The Railroad operator was asked to get a waiver from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to moved the equipment out of Willits.  Additionally, he reported there is much interest regarding the passenger equipments sale, and he encouraged coordination of a meeting by the Committee to handle the matrix for service requests.   Mr. Bridges requested approval to pay California Redwood Coast Company (CRCC) for wood purchased to secure the equipment.

 

Dir. Hemphill moved to add to the Agenda a discussion on the question of damage control; seconded by Dir. Mackenzie.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

 

Dir. Hemphill moved to authorize payment of up to $2500 for repair of damage to passenger equipment; seconded by Dir. Schlienger.  Vote taken; motion carried.

 

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

Ms. Logan reported MCOG set aside in 2000 and 2001 enough funds for repair and upgrade of all crossings in the County.  The State Regional Infrastucture Program (STIP) contains an additional $600,000 in rail funding, of which, she asked $250,000 be held as a contingency fund.  In the next 60 days 2001 STIP funds will be spent on crossings selected by the Cities and County.

   

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

John Darling, NWPY Chief Executive Officer/ Chief Financial Officer, wrote a memo to Mr. Bridges asking this Item be removed from the Agenda.

 

J.         STAFF REPORTS

1.                  Executive Director Max H Bridges

Regarding the Environmental Assesment, Mr. Bridges reported he will be working with Willdan/HNTB once the contract is finalized and a pre-award audit is completed by Caltrans.  Photos of the Eel River Canyon taken by the Department of Fish and Game are required.  Dir. Opalach asked Mr. Bridges to create a time line with specific actions required by each agency. 

 

            2.         Assistant Executive Director Douglas Christy

Mr. Christy reported:

§            Primary work on the Haystack Landing Bridge is complete under budget and extending the bumpers will be reviewed. 

§            The Rehabilitation Re-Opening project may be complete by the end of the year between Windsor and Willits. 

§            There will be an assessment of the grade crossings and the ability to upgrade to Class II/III.

 

3.         General Counsel Christopher J Neary

Mr. Neary reported filing a response in Bankruptcy Court to the Rail-Ways, Inc. preference action filed against Steve Benson and NCRA to be heard October 12.  On September 14, Mendocino County Superior Court turned down a request by NWPY for a dissolution of the injunction prohibiting NCRA from making any payments to NWPY pending resolution of the Mass Electric v. Rail-Ways, Inc. lawsuit in place since March.  

 

            4.         Property Manager Cyndee Logan

                        Nothing further.

 

5.                  Accountant Wade Fulton

Mr. Fulton reported:

§            Presenting the final June 30, 2001 financial statements and budget reports

§            Presenting the August, 2001 financial statements and budget reports

§            The Q-fund investment account has been funded

§            In the Liabilities and Equity section the title Total Capital Deficit should read Total Equity

§            Premises Liability insurance is in place: Errors and Omissions insurance for the Board and Staff will be in place as riders.

 

K.        MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

            None.

 

L.         ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

            Regular Board Meeting – October 17, 2001 10:00 am

            Willits City Council Chambers, 111 East Commercial Street, Willits, Mendocino County, CA

 

M.       ADJOURNMENT

            The Meeting was adjourned at 12:38 pm.