NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING

 

 Wednesday, Oct 20, 2004   10:00 AM

Ukiah City Council Chambers

  Mendocino County

 

MINUTES

 

A.                 CALL TO ORDER

 

Chair Woolley called the meeting to order at 10:05 am.

 

B.                 ROLL CALL

 

The roll was called with the following members present; Ellinger, Ripple, Ollivier, Simonson, Hemphill, Chair John Woolley. Directors absent:  LaVallee. Also present: Executive Director Mitch Stogner, Legal Counsel Chris Neary, and Recording Secretary Dina Polkinghorne

 

C.                 AGENDA APPROVAL

               

ACTION

The agenda stood as presented.

 

D.                CONSENT CALENDAR

 

ACTION

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

 

E.            PUBLIC COMMENT

Jim Quinn – Mr Quinn stated that he is a retired CPUC employee and has a long association with the NCRA. He urged the board to continue working on obtaining the FEMA money, and working with elected officials. He further stated that the NCRA should remind the Governor that an operational railroad would provide jobs.

 

 

F.             ANNOUNCEMENT OUT OF CLOSED SESSION ( From the Special Mtg of Sep’t 27)

 

Mr Neary reported that the Board met with counsel, gave direction, and received information. In regards to item E.1, the board unanimously extended the Standstill Agreement with NWPY to December 31, 2004.   

 

G.            CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

            1.            Consideration of Proposal – City of Healdsburg

 

Andy Gustafson from the City of Healdsburg reminded the board of its presentation back in June regarding a bike and pedestrian path, known as the Foss Creek Pathway, on the right of way. He asked the board for agreement that the installation of the Pathway was within the City of Healdsburg’s Beautification Lease with the NCRA. He also requested that Mitch Stogner be authorized to amend the lease to include more area on its right-of-way.

 

Mr. Gustafson assured Director Hemphill that a reversionary clause would be included in any agreement. Members of the public raised questions about the necessity of the path and the use. Director Hemphill stated that those issues should be directed at the Healdsburg City Council, as the NCRA has no opinion on the need or validity of a municipal path.

 

ACTION

Upon motion by Director Hemphill, 2nd by Director Ellinger, and carried (6-0) the Board confirmed that the development of the Foss Creek Pathway was within the language of the Beautification Lease, and directed staff to work with Mr. Gustafson on any amendment to the lease.

 

            2.            Consideration of Proposal – City of Ukiah

 

Mr. Rick Seanor of the City of Ukiah reminded the board that he made a presentation to the NCRA Property Committee back in March of 2003 in regards to a bike and pedestrian path along the railroad right-of-way.  The Property Committee unanimously agreed with the project in concept, but recommended safety issues be addressed before it came before the full board.

 

Mr Seanor explained that they have not yet addressed safety issues, and at this point the City is just looking for the full board to agree with the project in concept so that funding could be sought.

 

Members of the public were invited to address the item.

 

Hannah Burkhardt stated that she agreed with the project in concept, but urged the board to look at redeveloping the depot first.

 

Chris Burkhardt did not believe that the project was worthwhile, but if it was to be pursued, to look at the Sacramento Bike Path Project as a good example of how it could be done.

 

Mr. Roger Graeber stated that he prefers the right-of-way as it is.

 

ACTION

Upon motion by Director Ripple, 2nd by Director Ollivier, and carried (6-0) the board directed staff to send a letter of concurrence, subject to concurrence from the Operator, stating that the project should be compatible with future rail service, include a reversionary clause, address liability issues, and brought back to the full board for final approval.

 

3.                  Consideration of Surplus Declaration and Donation – Roots of Motive Power

 

Mr Stogner advised the board that the Roots of Motive Power have requested that the Board donate an old, valueless, concrete railroad telephone booth to their organization for display in the County museum.

 

ACTION

Upon motion by Director Ellinger, 2nd by Director Simonson, and carried (6-0), the board approved the donation of the telephone booth to the Roots of Motive Power, subject to clarification from Caltrans District 1.

4.            Award of Contract for Audit Services

.

Mr Stogner reported that the NCRA received two bids for audit services and based on a point system, staff is recommending the contract be awarded to Aycock and Edgmon.

 

ACTION

Upon motion by Director Ripple, 2nd by Director Simonson, and carried (6-0), the board awarded the Audit Services Contract to Aycock and Edgmon.

 

5.         Ratification of Comments to City of Eureka; Notice of Preparation, Waterfront Drive Extension Project, Draft Environmental Impact Report

 

Without any objections from the Board, Chair Woolley stated that the letter stood as approved.

 

H.        STAFF REPORT

 

1.             Mitch Stogner, Executive Director

 

Upcoming CTC Meeting

 

Mr Stogner reported that NCRA is scheduled to make a CTC presentation on October 28th. He has been working with CTC staff on the materials and context of the presentation. He will focus on the NCRA’s Strategic Plan for 2005, and address the potential forgiveness of the Q-Fund loan. Chair Woolley and Director Ripple will also be attending.

 

Mr Stogner stated that the he has been reassured by FEMA and OES staff that the award of grant is forthcoming in the next 2 – 3 days. The delay in award was related to the hurricane season. He also reported that the Waste and Debris Cleanup Project of the Environmental Consent Decree is well underway and should be finished by the next meeting.

 

Mr Mort August of Willdan, a sub contractor of the NCRA’s Prime On-Call Engineer HNTB, reported that 80% of the clean up has been done and that there is a bin of unexpected debris at the Island Mountain site. A change order for $2000 will need to be addressed to remove this unexpected debris, which is contained in a bin. He also offered to work with staff on any press releases at the completion of the project.

 

Chair Woolley reported that the loan request by the NCRA from the Humboldt Bay Harbor District was approved. He thanked the District and Mr. Ollivier for all his assistance. 

 

2.                  Chris Neary, Legal Counsel

 

No Report

  

 

I.            MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMEBERS

Chair Woolley reported that a group of attorneys in Humboldt County are looking into the possibility of forcing an abandonment of the line within the county. 

 

                                                           

J.            CLOSED SESSION

                                                                The board convened into closed session at 11:15 am

 

1.       Conference with Legal Council – Potential Litigation pursuant to Gov. Code 54956.9 (b) 1 case.

 

2.       Conference with Legal Council – Existing Litigation pursuant to Gov. Code 54956.9 (a) 1 case. Hight vs NCRA; Mendocino County Superior Court Case #80240

 

The board reconvened into open session at 1:10 pm

 

K.             ANNOUNCMENT OUT OF CLOSED SESSION

 

            Mr. Neary announced that the Board received information and gave direction.

 

L.               ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

            November 17, 2004

            Fortuna City Council Chambers

            621 11th St.

            Fortuna, Humboldt County

                       

M.                ADJOURNMENT

                                                       

                Chair Woolley called the meeting adjourned at 1:22 pm.