NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING

 

MINUTES

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2002 AT 10:00 AM

 

EUREKA CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

531 K STREET, EUREKA, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, USA

 

 

 

A.                 CALL TO ORDER

Chair Ripple called the meeting to order at 10:00 am.

 

B.                 ROLL CALL

Directors Present: Chair David Ripple, Vice Chair Allan Hemphill, Leo Sears, Robert Simonson, John Woolley and Bruce Burton

Director Absent: Budge Campbell

Also Present: Executive Director Douglas Christy, Max Bridges, General Counsel Chris Neary and Administrative Assistant Louise Evans

 

C.                 AGENDA APPROVAL

Director Woolley moved to approve agenda with modifications; 2nd by Director Sears.

 

The following changes were approved:

Item F.2. was pulled from the agenda.

Item F.4. was added to the agenda: Crossing at Ford Road, Ukiah

 

None opposed, motion carried.

 

D.                MINUTES APPROVAL

Director Woolley moved to approve Regular Board Minutes of October 16, 2002; 2nd by Director Sears.

 

None opposed, motion carried.

 

E.                 PUBLIC COMMENT

Kaye Strickland commented on CTC letter regarding insufficient support in Humboldt County.  She stated there is support in this area.  She supports and agrees with Jim Quinn’s concerns, a former PUC attorney.

 

 

 

 

F.                  CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

1.            Independent Single Year Audit of FY Ending June 30, 2000

On the September 19, 2001 meeting the Board approved the independent audit for FY 1999-2000 with a request that staff report back to the Board with responses to the items identified in the Management Comments section.  Unfortunately that response was never completed.

Director Sears moved to accept the staff report and distribution of audit; 2nd by Director Hemphill.

Director Hemphill requested a progress report  within 60-90 days.

None opposed, motion carried.

3.            CTC Action Items for January 2003 Meeting

(a)         Revised Q-Fund Repayment Strategy

(b)         Updated Financial Status

(c)          Debt Reduction Status

Items a-c should be resolved through the Finance Committee.  Executive Director Christy presented updated information.  The Finance Committee will meet 11/20/02 at 4:00 pm in Willits to discuss the repayment strategy, along with updated financial and debt reduction status.

(d)         Local Funding Strategy

Short and Long term needs were discussed.  Director Sears suggested that the Ad Hoc Funding Committee consist of one representative from each county.  The selected Directors are: John Woolley from Humboldt, Bruce Burton from Mendocino and Allan Hemphill from Sonoma.  Doug Christy will meet with Linda Bohlinger of HNTB (funding consultant) to arrange a future meeting and team expansion.

(e)         FEMA Funds/MOU

The environmental process, along with future consent decree clean up, will be funded through a FEMA/OES $8.3 million revised damage survey report (DSR).  An MOU is in the process of review  and finalization between the Federal parties involved, along with the California DOT, that outlines a clear path of responsibilities throughout the entire EIR/EIS process.  Separate from the MOU will be a process that identifies individual task order approvals that meet the criteria of the revised DSR. The goal is for the MOU and the task order process to be finalized, and work stared on the PEAR, by the first of the year.

(f)           Operator Status

NCRA has a formal stand still agreement in place with the NWPY.  Staff and Counsel will negotiate directly with the NWPY and regularly report to the Board progress throughout.

4.            Crossing at Hollow Tree Road, Ukiah

NWP Historical Society requested for permanent loan of the Crossing Wigwag on Hollow Tree Road, for the museum.

Director Simonson moved that the Crossing Wigwag be on permanent loan to the NWP Historical Society; 2nd by Director Hemphill.

 

Director Burton suggested that the Wigwag be loaned to Mendocino County.

 

Director Woolley suggested the decision be held over until next meeting to decide who would be the best custodian.

The Property Committee will meet to prepare a policy to protect NCRA historical artifacts.

Vote taken 5-1, motion carried.

 

G.                LIASON REPORTS

1.            Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority (NWPRA)

The next meeting is 11/18/02; major agenda item is transition into SMART2.

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

Environmental teams from SMART and NCRA will work together between Ignacio and Cloverdale in an effort to share information and not to duplicate efforts.  This will most probably result in an MOU between the NCRA and SMART.

 

H.                COMMITTEE REPORTS

1.            Property Management Committee – Directors Sears, Campbell and Simonson

Subjects covered at last meeting: Policy and Roster updating; easement at I Street in Eureka; illegal encroachment at Farley; and easement at Alton and Carlotta branch.

2.            Finance Committee – Directors Simonson, Burton and Campbell

No report.

3.            Passenger – Director Hemphill

Trying to assist the purchasers of the passenger equipment that was sold and moving the NCRA equipment to a safer location in Cloverdale.  Awaiting update on actual cost of the move and who participates.  RREDC has liens against some of the cars.  Approval from CTC is needed for use of the State funds that were used to purchase some of the cars.

 

I.                   STAFF REPORTS

1.            Executive Director Douglas M. Christy

The Board of Directors had authorized spending not to exceed $10,000 for updating the Economic Impact Report and Rail Feasibility Study.   We had scoping session with technical advisory committee last month and after narrowing the scope down it came to over $20,000.  The Harbor will assist by funding the balance. 

Depot Project at Petaluma, 10:00 a.m. meeting on 11/14/02 that Chris Neary will attend with Doug Christy.  They will meet with the NWPY, City of Petaluma and NWPRA to create an MOU on the NWPY relocation plan from the current depot site.

2.            Max Bridges

Will be attending C-SAC annual conference in Pasadena next week, Wednesday thru Friday.  Will attempt to get all information of funding opportunities that are available to NCRA.

3.            General Counsel Christopher J. Neary

No report.

 

J.                  MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMBERS

The NCRA is still awaiting a counter offer from the Union Pacific as it relates to car hire.  The UP has all the information created by NCRA’s car hire consultant.  Executive Director Christy will follow-up.

Adjourned for closed session at 11:05 am

 

K.                CLOSED SESSION

1.            Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation Initiation of Litigation, Government Code Section 54956.9 One Case (Blackpoint Bridge)

2.            Conference with Labor Negotiator.  Board of Directors negotiations with unrepresented employees: Assistant Executive Director and Executive Director.

3.            Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation

Government Code 54956(a)

Mass Electric vs. Rail-Ways; Cal Carbon vs. NCRA

 

L.               ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION

Reconvened at 12:20 pm

1.            The Board met with Counsel and is authorized to protect the districts interest with respect to the collision at Black Point Bridge on June 10, 2002.

2.            The Board met with Counsel and gave direction concerning Mass Electric vs. Rail-Ways and Cal Carbon vs. NCRA.

3.            The Board approved, by unanimous vote, the Contract with Executive Director Christy, subject to one minor clerical change, which will be incorporated in the final draft.

4.            The Board met and negotiated with Max Bridges and reached a tentative agreement, which will be produced Friday and announced at the meeting in December.

M.            ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING ­

Regular Board Meeting – December 18, 2002 – 10:00 am (PST)

Healdsburg City Council Chambers, 401 Grove Street, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, CA

 

N.              ADJOURNMENT – 12:30 pm