NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

REGULAR MEETING

 

MINUTES

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2002 AT 10:00 AM

 

WILLITS CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

111 East Commercial Street,

Willits, California

 

A.                CALL TO ORDER

 

B.                 ROLL CALL

 

Present:           Chair, David Ripple

Vice Chair, Allan Hemphill

Second Vice Chair, Leo Sears. 

Director, Daniel Opalach

Director, Budge Campbell

Director, Robert Simonson

Director, Bruce Burton

 

Also Present:   Executive Director, Max Bridges

                        Assistant Executive Director, Douglas Christy

                        Administrative Assistant, Andrea Darlington

                        General Counsel, Christopher Neary

 

C.                AGENDA APPROVAL

 

Board approved Agenda.        

 

      D.       PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

William Ray, expressed his opposition of the Neimeyer offer. 

 

Mr. Cram,  Voiced his support of the Neimeyer offer. 

Fred Carmichael,   Eel River Canyon can be made rail worthy.  He feels that Neimeyer should be allowed to try.

 

John Diamante,   Feels that the Board should not waste time on the Neimeyer offer.

 

David Drillis, Expressed to the Board that the Neimeyer offer should be on the Agenda and discussed in public session.

 

Max Bridges, Executive Director: Read into record, at the request of, Kaye Strickland, a letter written by William Bertain, Attorney at Law, regarding the North Coast Railroad as a National Defense Asset.

 

E.           CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

 

E.1.      Minutes

 

The minutes from the last Board of Directors meeting were approved with minor changes.

 

Dir Simonson moved to approve the minutes with minor changes, Vice Chair, Hemphill seconded, motion carried unanimously.

 

E.2.      Change in next meeting date to avoid conflict with CTC Meeting

 

As to not conflict with the CTC meeting , the Board agreed and approved to changing the next regular Board of Directors meeting to the following date:

                                    Date:               Tuesday, August 13, 2002

                                    Time:              10:00 AM

                                    Location:        To Be Announced

                       

Dir Sears moved to change the date of the next meeting, Dir Simonson                   seconded, motion carried unanimously.

 

E.3       Financial Issues

 

a.                  Adoption of revised budgets for FY 2001-02 and 2002-03

b.                  Status of revenues, expenditures, and cash on hand

c.                   Outstanding debt

 

a. Board approved adoption of revised budget for FY 2001-02.  The Board also approved the adoption of the revised preliminary budget for FY 2002-03 and to accept the changes to this budget format by the Sonoma county Auditor’s office. 

 

Items b & c were referred to the Finance Committee.

 

Dir Opalach  moved to approve revised budget for FY 2001-02 and the revised preliminary budget for FY 2002-03, and to accept the changes to this budget format , Dir Campbell  seconded, Vote taken, motion carried .

 

Dir. Campbell was appointed to the Finance Committee, and Dir. Burton will replace Dir. Opalach on the Finance Committee.

 

E.4       Status of Assessments and Railroad Re-Opening Strategy /Project Management/Willdan

 

a.                  Consent Decree Assessment

b.                  Capital Project Assessment

c.                   Financial Feasibility Analysis

d.                  Future Funding Opportunities

 

Presentation by:

Doug Christy, Linda Bohlinger, Mort August, and Dave Anderson.

 

5-year Re-Opening Timeline handout by Doug Christy.  By the end of the month, Board will have 3 reports to review.  Next Board meeting the Board will be asked to approve the NCRA’s Strategic Plan.

 

Mort August, Vice President of Willdan,  and Dave Anderson presented information they will be including in their final reports and providing by the end of the month. 

 

Linda Bohlinger presented and explained the NCRA Capital Improvement Project Funding Strategy and the deadlines that would have to be met in order to obtain funding that is available.

 

E.5.      Funding for Interim Consultant Services

 

Executive Director Bridges discussed funding for the financial strategy and the urgency of obtaining funds to pay for those consulting services, in order to move ahead with the Funding Strategy.

 

Board approved $135,000.00 to be added to the 2002/2003 Preliminary Budget for Board consideration and authorize expenditure of up to $50,000.00 prior to the adoption of the Final Budget and subject to the conditions in your recommendations.

 

Dir. Hemphill moved to draw from the Cash Reserve,  earmarked for Administration  in order to pay for consultant services  Dir. Sears seconded.  Vote taken and motion carried.

 

 

 

 

            E.6.      Status of AB 2224

 

                        Received report.

 

E.7       Property Management Committee Re: Disposition of Eureka Depot

 

Board discussed what to do with the vacant depot in Eureka.  Suggestion was made to have volunteers help with maintenance and security.

.

Dir. Campbell moved to lease the Eureka Depot   Dir. Simonson seconded, motion carried unanimously.

 

E.8.      Removal of Debris at the Novato Creek Bridge

 

Discussion was made concerning the removal of the debris at the Novato Creek Bridge and whose responsibility it is under the current lease.  The two options presented to the Board were:  1) NCRA has work done, or 2)  the property owner has the work done and sends the bill to  NCRA. The Board approved to have NCRA be responsible for the removal of the debris. 

 

Dir. Sears moved to have work done by NCRA – Dir. Hemphill seconded, vote taken, motion carried.

 

E.9       Agenda Posting Locations

 

The Board approved that the Agenda for the Board of Directors Regular Meeting would be posted at the Eureka and Cloverdale NCRA offices, and at the Willits Public Library.

 

Dir Sears moved to approve the locations where the Agenda would be posted, Dir Opalach seconded, motion carried unanimously.

 

F.         PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Mr. Quinn:  Asked the Board to get permission to do emergency work since maintenance is being held up because of the environmental clearance needed, and his hopes for a better inspection of the railroad ties.

 

Dana Fuller:  Has Board considered the California Conservation Corps for the needed maintenance of the railroad tracks?   Executive Director Bridges responded that the CCC had been considered.

 

G.   LIASON REPORTS

 

No additions or comments.

 

H.        COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Passenger Committee:    Bids for the passenger car sale will be opened on July 26, 2002 at the Cloverdale Depot. 

Property Committee:       Eureka Depot to be leased.

Car-Hire Committee:       Awaiting UP response.

Permanent Operator/Ad-Hoc Committee:   Committee to meet with Woodside     Consulting.

 

I.     CLOSED SESSION

 

J.     ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION:

 

            Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Legislation, one case

            Government Code § 54956.9 

 

            Board provided guidance to Legal Counsel.

 

Conference with Legal Counsel-Existing Litigation

Government Code Section 54956.9(a) Harden Cook et al vs. NCRA; Alameda                                                          Superior Court Case # 020762

 

Board  provided guidance to Legal Counsel.

 

K.        STAFF REPORTS:

 

Nothing to report at this time.

 

L.    MATTER FROM BOARD MEMBERS

 

 Vandalism at Tunnel 38 continues.  FBI investigated and determined that they have no   jurisdiction. 

 

M.   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING:

 

Tuesday, August 13, 2002.  Location: TBA

 

N.    ADJOURNMENT