NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING

 

 Wednesday, July 21, 2004   10:00 AM

Willits City Council Chambers

111 East Commercial St. Willits, Mendocino County

 

MINUTES

 

A.                 CALL TO ORDER

 

Vice Chair Allan Hemphill called the meeting to order at 10:01 am.

 

B.                 ROLL CALL

 

The roll was called with the following members present; Burton, Ellinger, Ripple, Ollivier, Simonson, Vice Chair Hemphill. Members absent; Chair John Woolley.

 

C.                 AGENDA APPROVAL

               

ACTION

Upon Motion by Director Ollivier, 2nd by Director Ellinger, and carried (6-0) the agenda was approved with the addition of item H.5:

Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation pursuant to Gov. Code Section 54956.9 (one case – Hight vs NCRA).

 

            Vice Chair Hemphill stopped briefly to thank outgoing member Bruce Burton for his

            contributions to the NCRA. He was also presented with a plaque.

 

D.                CONSENT CALENDAR

 

1.            Approval of Minutes – 6/16/2004 Regular Board Meeting

 

Removed for discussion. Director Ripple asked that the following changes be made to the minutes;

 

1.)               Change the name “Sears” to “Ollivier” under the Roll Call

 

2.)               To note under Item I.1, Conference with Real Property Negotiator, Negotiating Parties: Tyris Corp and NCRA, that Director Ripple recused himself due to a conflict of interest.           

 

ACTION

Upon motion by Director Simonson, 2nd by Director Ellinger, and carried (6-0), the Consent Calendar was approved with the changes recommended by Director Ripple.

 

E.            PUBLIC COMMENT

 Hannah Burkhart Ms Burkhart provided the NCRA with an electronic version of an historical essay on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad created by the Mendocino County Railway Society. She further stated that it has been suggested to her that the NCRA post the document on its website.

 

Bruce Evans – Mr. Evans is a Roots of Motive Power Board Member. He informed the board of its upcoming annual Steam Festival event and passed out complimentary tickets for the Barbeque to the Board.

 

 

F.             CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

 

1.                  Approval of Q-Fund Proposal

 

Mr. Stogner went over the draft proposal. He explained that under the proposal $3.48 million would be obligated to the Environmental Remediation Project 32.5 (Consent Decree Compliance) under the TCRP program, and $2 million to NCRA to fill two staff positions and fund the agency budget deficit from Fiscal Year 04-05 – 07-08.

 

There was a discussion regarding obtaining Environmental Consent Decree (ECD) concurrence on this issue, as directed by the CTC. Mr. Stogner pointed out that the ECD agencies have suggested that the $2 million the NCRA would like to obligate to the Agency would instead be held in abeyance for possible increased compliance costs.

 

Mr. Neary reported that the two biggest components of the ECD - the Willits Yard and Island Mountain - would fall under a potential environmental indemnification by the Union Pacific.

 

Director Ripple stated that the NCRA is willing to use this money to pay for ECD compliance outside of TCRP. In his view it would be less expensive to obligate the $2 million to the NCRA so that the agency can hire the two staff people necessary to comply, than to pay a consultant for those services. He stated his concern with the ECD agencies position – if the NCRA does not have the funds necessary, who would comply with the ECD?

 

Mr. Stogner stated that by adopting the proposal as presented it would not shut the door on the ongoing concurrence discussions with the ECD agencies - the NCRA’s success in obtaining the $2 million will be much greater if concurrence is reached. He further stated that the proposal is before the board today because Sen. Chesbro’s office suggested board approval be obtained and he concurred.

 

ACTION

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

 

2.                  Approval of CEQA Adoption

 

Mr. Stogner briefly stated that CEQA adoption will eventually be necessary as part of the FEMA grant. No further discussion or action taken.

 

G.        STAFF REPORTS

           

            1.            Executive Director Mitch Stogner

 

A)                Update on FEMA Alternate Project

 

Mr. Stogner stated that the NCRA is at critical juncture in the FEMA process. OES sent a list of equipment and materials to FEMA and have requested approval and categorical exclusion. He further stated that the NCRA could expect a response by the end of July.

 

B)                  PSC NTP Consent Decree Clean-Up

 

It was reported by Mr. Stogner that PSC was given notice to proceed. They were instructed to provide “submittals” outlining their protocols and procedures to the ECD agencies for approval. They are now awaiting approval.

 

C)                Eureka Waterfront Extension Project             

 

Mr. Stogner reported that approximately three or four years ago the City of Eureka applied to the NCRA for approval of its Waterfront Drive extension pending some environmental clearance processes. The City is now ready to move forward on this project and Chair Woolley has asked that it be agendized for next month’s meeting in Fortuna.

 

2.            Legal Counsel Chris Neary    

           

            No report.

 

                                                                                                The board adjourned into closed session at 10:35 am.

H.             CLOSED SESSION

 

1.         Conference with Real Property Negotiator pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8. Property Location: Northern Sonoma County

Negotiating Parties: Tyris Corp and NCRA

Under negotiation: Terms and Conditions of Lease

 

Director Ripple recused himself from this item only due to a conflict of interest.

 

2.         Conference with Real Property Negotiator pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8. Property Location: Cahto Peak and Pratt Mountain

Negotiating Parties: Johannesen and NCRA

Under negotiation: Terms and Conditions of Sale of Interest in BLM License and NCRA Lease

 

3.            Conference with Legal Counsel - Anticipated Litigation pursuant to Government Code     

            Section 54956.9 (two cases). 

 

4.             Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation pursuant to Government Code     

            Section 54956.9 (one case – Mass Electric vs NCRA).

 

5.            Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation pursuant to Government Code     

            Section 54956.9 (one case – Hight vs NCRA).  

             

                                                            The board reconvened into open session at 12:20 pm

 

I.            ANNOUNCEMENT OUT OF CLOSED SESSION

                 

1.         Conference with Real Property Negotiator pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8. Property Location: Northern Sonoma County

Negotiating Parties: Tyris Corp and NCRA

Under negotiation: Terms and Conditions of Lease

 

ACTION: The board (Dir. Ripple recused) received information and gave direction to staff.

 

2.         Conference with Real Property Negotiator pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8. Property Location: Cahto Peak and Pratt Mountain

Negotiating Parties: Johannesen and NCRA

Under negotiation: Terms and Conditions of Sale of Interest in BLM License and NCRA Lease

 

ACTION: The board received information and gave direction to staff.

 

3.            Conference with Legal Counsel - Anticipated Litigation pursuant to Government Code     

            Section 54956.9 (two cases). 

 

ACTION: The board received information and gave direction to legal counsel.

 

4.             Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation pursuant to Government Code      

            Section 54956.9 (one case – Mass Electric vs NCRA).

 

ACTION: The board received information and gave direction to legal counsel.

 

5.            Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation pursuant to Government Code     

                         Section 54956.9 (one case – Hight vs NCRA).

 

ACTION: The board received information and gave direction to legal counsel.

            

 

J.             MATTERS FROM THE BOARD

 

            None

 

K.               ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

            August 18, 2004

            Fortuna City Council Chambers

            Fortuna, Humboldt County

                       

L.                ADJOURNMENT

                                                       

                Vice Chair Hemphill called the meeting adjourned at 12:22 pm.