NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING

 

 Wednesday, Dec 15, 2004   10:00 AM

Healdsburg City Council Chambers

  Sonoma County

 

 MINUTES

 

A.                 CALL TO ORDER

Chair Woolley called the meeting to order at 10:15 am.

 

B.                 ROLL CALL

The roll was called with the following members present; La Vallee, Ripple, Ollivier, Simonson, Hemphill, Chair John Woolley. Directors absent:  Ellinger. Also present: Executive Director Mitch Stogner, Legal Counsel C. J. Neary, and Recording Secretary Heather Newell

 

C.                 AGENDA APPROVAL

 

ACTION: Upon motion by Director Simonson, 2nd by Director Ripple, and carried (6-0) the board approved the agenda as presented;

 

D.                CONSENT CALENDAR

 

            1.                Approval of Minutes – November 2004

                2.                Approval of Financial Statements – November 2004

                3.                Approval of 2005 Board Meeting Schedule

                4.                Approval of TCRP Budget

                5.                Approval of FEMA Budget

 

ACTION : Upon motion by Director Hemphill, 2nd by Director Ripple, and carried (6-0), the Consent Calendar was approved as presented.

 

E.                 PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Mike Pechner – Mr. Pechner commented about track damage reimbursement from Caltrans and the removal of tracks near Farley Station. Counsel Neary responded that he needs further information. Mr. Pechner also complained that barge operators continue to damage the Blackpoint Bridge. He reported that the former bridge operator had recently noted that the operators used to be able to negotiate the bridge without striking it. Counsel Neary reported that one of the closed session items would address the issue.

 

F.          CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

 

1.              Adoption of Property Policy Amendments

 

A)    Trespassing Enforcement Policy

 

Mr. Neary presented a draft version of a Trespassing Enforcement Policy in direct response to complaints of frequent encampments on the right-of-way.

 

ACTION: The board directed legal counsel to make two changes to the policy as presented. The first change is under Section 9.501 – “Railroad Property “ to include the addition of the words “and/or operated” The second change is under Section 9.505. “Enforcement” and should include “acting within the scope of authority” after the words “Any public officer or public official”.  The final change was to add a “Hold Harmless” clause to the document.

 

B)   Maintenance Volunteering Policy

 

Counsel Neary reported to the board that the NCRA is frequently contacted by volunteer groups interested in assisting in maintenance and clean-up along the right-of-way. He stated that the Operator should have a safety Plan for volunteers developed and approved by the FRA. Director Hemphill suggested that any volunteers be directed to John Darling. Mr. Darling stated that his safety plan is already in place and approved by the FRA and that he would be happy to work with volunteers.

 

ACTION: The board directed staff to forward all volunteer requests to the Operator    

 

G.        STAFF REPORTS

 

            1.            Executive Director Mitch Stogner

 

A            FEMA/OES Alternate Project – Update

 

Mr. Stogner reported that OES approved in principle a plan to spend $60,000 of Alternate Project funds to inspect the Black Point and Haystack Bridges in Sonoma County. He further reported that both bridges will require repair work eventually, and that the inspection will determine what repairs are needed. NCRA on-call engineer, HNTB, will be doing the inspection.

 

Mr. Stogner also reported that there is a deadline of January 10th to submit a final scope of work to OES for the Alternate Project – that date precedes the next board meeting and he requested that the board authorize the Operator Committee to finalize the Scope of Work. 

 

ACTION: Upon motion by Director Hemphill, 2nd by Director Simonson, and carried (6-0), the board authorized Mr. Stogner to issue a Notice to Proceed to HNTB for the inspection work on the bridges.

 

ACTION: Upon motion by Director Ollivier, 2nd by Director Ripple, and carried (6-0), the board authorized the Operator Committee to finalize the list of equipment and materials to be submitted by January 10th and to report back to the board at the January board meeting on the 19th.

 

            2.         Legal Counsel Chris Neary

 

Mr. Neary reported that one of the dolphins at the Black Point Bridge was struck on December 11th  and destroyed. It was found floating in the Port of Sonoma.

 

   

H.             COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

1.             Ad Hoc Operator Committee – Director Ripple

Director Ripple reported that the committee is continuing discussion with the Operator and moving forward on finalizing the list of equipment and materials for the Alternate Project.

  

I.                   MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMEBERS

 

Director Ollivier handed out some information regarding marketing efforts being pursued by the Humboldt Bay Harbor and Recreation District. The district is working with the Harbor Commission, Oscar Larson and Associates, and the Port of Oakland on this effort.

 

Chair Woolley reported that there is a local activist group in Humboldt County very involved in the Port of Humboldt. He also stated that Mr. Ken Davlin of Oscar Larson and Associates is working on this project and also worked on NCRA’s Capitol Assessment a few years ago.

                       

J.            CLOSED SESSION

                                                                The board convened into closed session at 11: 20 am

 

1.                   Conference with Legal Counsel – Potential Exposure to Litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 (b) (1 case) 

 

2.             Conference with Legal Counsel – Initiation of Litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 (c) (1 case) 

 

3.             Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 (a) (1 case) – U.S. Coast Guard Administrative Proceeding, Case # 2026382

 

The board reconvened into open session at 12:45 pm

 

K.             ANNOUNCMENT OUT OF CLOSED SESSION

 

            Mr. Neary made the following announcement out of Closed Session:

 

J.1            The first case is in regard to NCRA vs Jerico Barge Company. The board met with counsel and gave direction. Director Ripple recused himself prior to the discussion, and from any participation in the decision, due to a conflict of interest.

 

J.2 In the second case, Cal Western vs NCRA, the board met with counsel and gave him authorization to consult with the law firm of Baker and Miller in Washington DC, Surface Transportation law specialists. The board put a spending cap of $5,000 on this expenditure.

 

J.3            The board unanimously approved the Extension of the Standstill Agreement with the NWPY until March 30, 2005.

 

L.               ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

            January 19, 2004

            Willits City Council Chambers

            111 East Commercial Street

            Willits, Mendocino County

                       

M.                ADJOURNMENT

                                                       

                Chair Woolley called the meeting adjourned at 12:50 pm.