NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING

 

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 10:00 AM

Fortuna City Council Chambers

621 11th Street, Fortuna

Humboldt County

 

DRAFT MINUTES

 

A.        CALL TO ORDER

 

            The meeting was called to order at 10:05 am

 

B.        ROLL CALL

 

            Directors present:  Directors Simonson, Ellinger, Ollivier, LaVallee, and Chairman Woolley. 

                Absent:  Ripple, and Hemphill

 

C.        AGENDA APPROVAL

 

                The agenda stood as submitted. 

                Outgoing Director Doug Ellinger was presented with a plaque in appreciation for his dedicated service to the NCRA.  Director Ellinger noted that his only regret was leaving the NCRA prior to the restoration of rail service.

 

D.        CONSENT CALENDAR

           

            Motion was made by Director Ellinger, seconded by LaVallee to approve the Consent Calendar as follows: 

                Approval of Financial Statements – April 2005

            Approval of Minutes – April 2005

                Motion carried (5-0)

                               

E.        PUBLIC COMMENT

           

            Kaye Strickland of the NWP Support Coalition addressed concerns regarding railroad vandalism in Humboldt County.   Ms Strickland submitted a document in support of her concerns which is hereby made part of the record by reference.

 

                John Webb agreed with Ms. Strickland’s observations and indicated that he, too, would like to see the Board defend the NCRA right-of-way against vandalism and trespassing that negatively impacts future rail service.

 

                The Board agreed that NCRA Counsel would draft a letter to send to property owners along the right-of-way, who are guilty of trespass or vandalism on railroad property.

 

 

 

 

 

F.        PRESENTATIONS

 

                Stacey Edgmon, Aycock and Edgmon, presented the Board with the Audit findings for FY 03/04.  Chairman Woolley made a motion to receive and file the findings, seconded by Director Ellinger, and the motion carried (5-0).

 

                Ken Davlin, representing the Port of Humboldt Bay Harbor Conservation and Recreation District, presented the Board with an update on the efforts to develop a work plan between the Ports of Oakland   and the Port of Humboldt Bay. 

 

G.           CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

 

      1.             Agreement with Passenger Carrier  

                  

            NCRA Legal Counsel made a brief presentation regarding a Termination Agreement with the California Redwood Coast Company Ltd., the excursion operator under contract with NCRA in 1997, prior to the FRA termination of service.  Attorney Neary indicated that a draft contract would be developed over the course of the next month.  Chairman Woolley referred the contract and any related issues to the Operator Committee.

 

2.                   Volunteer Procedure

 

                NCRA legal counsel presented the Board with a proposal regarding volunteer policy to be inserted into the   Policy and Procedures Manual under Property Administration.  The policy states that volunteers need to be    licensed by NCRA’s Operator in accordance with FRA policies when the railroad is operational.  In the absence of an operational railroad, the Executive Director would be empowered to license volunteers. Chairman Woolley asked that legal counsel develop a policy for liability insurance applicable to such volunteers.

 

                3 & 4      Appointments to Property and Finance Committee

 

                Director LaVallee was appointed to the Finance Committee and Director Ollivier was appointed to the Property Committee.

 

                5.             NCRA Board Meeting Schedule

               

                Since both SMART and NCRA Board meetings are scheduled on the third Wednesday of the month, Mr. Neary requested that NCRA meetings be rescheduled so that NCRA staff and Board Directors can attend the SMART Meetings on the third Wednesday of the month.   It was decided that the June 15 Board meeting be rescheduled to June 23 in Willits to accommodate all NCRA Board members.  Mr. Neary asked the Board to consider moving future meetings as well.  Chairman Woolley directed staff to propose a new Board meeting schedule for consideration at the June Board Meeting.

 

H.        COMMITTEE REPORTS

                                                                         

                Finance Committee Chairman Ellinger gave an update on the Finance Committee meeting that was held on May 17.  Director Ellinger recommended approval of the Draft Budget for FY 05-06 seconded by Director Simonson, and the motion carried (5-0).

 

I.          STAFF REPORTS

 

            1.             Executive Director Mitch Stogner

 

Executive Director Mitch Stogner updated the Board on SB 792 (Chesbro).  The measure has passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly Transportation Committee.  It was also reported that the US House and Senate have approved competing versions of HR 3.  The bill is now under consideration by a Joint Conference Committee.  Mr. Stogner also reported that Gov. Schwarzenegger’s May Budget revision has committed the entire $1.3 billion in gas sales tax proceeds to the Traffic Congestion Relief Program, which is good news for everyone who has a project under that program. 

 

He also reported that the advertisement for bid has gone out for repairs to the Black Point and Haystack Landing bridges. NCRA hopes to award the contract for the bridge repairs at the June 23 meeting.  The advertisement for procurement of rail-cars and crossing signals will be published in June. 

 

            2.             Chris Neary Legal Counsel – no report

 

 

The Board convened into Closed Session at 11:30 am

 

K.        CLOSED SESSION

 

                Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation pursuant to Gov. Code 54596.9 (a)

                               

                                Coast Guard Proceeding, Activity 20226382

                                NCRA vs. Jerico Products, Sonoma County # 235961

                                Jerico Products vs. NCRA N.D. (Cal.) 05-210

                                Michael Meyer vs. NCRA STB # 34337

 

                Conference with Legal Counsel – Significant Exposure to Litigation pursuant to Gov. Code 545969 (b) (2         cases)

 

                Executive Director Performance Review

 

                The Board reconvened into Open Session at 12:45 pm

           

L.         ANNOUNCEMENT OUT OF CLOSED SESSION

 

            The Board received information and gave direction relative to four cases of existing litigation and one             case of significant exposure to litigation.  No action was taken.

 

                The Executive Director Performance Review was continued until the June meeting.

           

M.        ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

           

            June 23, 2005

                Willits City Council Chambers

                Willits, Mendocino County

           

N.        ADJOURNMENT

 

                The meeting was adjourned at 1:46 p.m. to the regular Board Meeting of June 23, 2005.