NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, August 25, 10:00 am

Eureka City Council Chambers

501 “K” Street, Eureka

Humboldt County

Approved MINUTES

 

A.CALL TO ORDER

 

Chairman Woolley called the meeting to order at 10:03 am.

 

B.ROLL CALL

 

Directors Present: Ollivier, LaVallee, Simonson, Wagenet, Hemphill, Chairman Woolley.

Directors Absent: None

Also Present:  Executive Director Mitch Stogner, Legal Counsel Christopher Neary, and Recording Secretary Heather Newell.

 

C.AGENDA APPROVAL

 

The Agenda was approved unanimously (6-0) with the following change:

Upon recommendation by Legal Counsel, Item # G.2 – Consideration of Resolution to SMARTregarding Preservation of Corridor was moved until after Closed Session.

 

D.CONSENT CALENDAR

 

Director LaVallee made the motion to approve the Consent Calendar, seconded by Director Ollivier, Carried (6-0).

1.Approval of 04/05 Year End Financial Statements

2.Approval of Minutes - Regular Meeting - July 2005

 

E.PUBLIC COMMENT

 

No Public Comments.

 

F.PRESENTATIONS

 

1.Moss Bittner of Eureka made a Power Point presentation of his 38 mile hike along the railroad from Alderpoint to Shivley.   Chairman Woolley thanked Moss and told him how much the Board appreciates his presentations.  Moss will be presenting the Power Point show to different agencies involved with the railroad. 

 

2.Marcus Brown of the Timber Heritage Association presented the Board with his Business Plan for an Excursion Train from Arcata to Samoa.  The first step in his plan is to create a volunteer group to provide weed abatement along this section of track.  He also expressed his desire to make sure that the public is aware that NCRA does own the tracks and is moving forward to resume operations.  Legal Counsel stated that the business plan goes a great distance in establishing the basis for independent CEQA review for this project.  Director Hemphill suggested that the technical issues surrounding volunteer coordination be handled by staff, and that a formal volunteer policy be adopted. 

 

3.Phillip Denny representing Growth Options for the 21st Century (GO21) presented the Board with a Power Point presentation introducing his national nonprofit group GO21.  Mr. Denny explained that the goal of GO21 is to build support for increasing the hauling capacity of rail systemsthroughout the United States.  He said his group is interested in learning more about the connection between NCRA and the Port of Humboldt. 

 

G.CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

 

1.Approval of Resolution Regarding California State Lands Commission Lease.

 

Director Wagenet made the motion to approve the Resolution with the California State Lands Commission seconded by Director LaVallee, carried (6-0).

 

2.Consideration of Resolution to SMART regarding Preservation of Corridor.

 

Director Hemphill made the motion to approve the Resolution with SMART seconded by Director Wagenet, carried (6-0).

 

3.Approval of Timber Heritage Association use of tracks.

 

Director Wagenet made the motion to approve use of tracks by the Timber Heritage Association seconded by Director LaVallee, carried (6-0).

 

4.Status Report regarding comments for inclusion in the Mendocino County Regional

Transportation Plan “Rail Element.”

 

No Action

 

5.Joint NCRA/Port Committee to promote Rail/Port connection.

 

The Board unanimously appointed Director LaVallee, Director Wagenet and Director Ollivier to form an Ad HOC Committee to promote Rail/Port connection.

 

6.Appointment of NCRA Vice Chairman.

 

Director Hemphill was appointed to the vacancy of NCRA Vice Chair. 

Director Wagenet was appointed to the vacancy on the Operator Committee.

 

 

HCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

1.Property Committee Report – Chairman Woolley updated the Board on the August 24 Property Committee meeting.  The following items were discussed:

 

a.)Presentation Rick Bennett – City of Eureka Fire Marshall – The Board directed staff to work with the City of Eureka on development of a MOU to facilitate clean-up of the ROW through that City of Eureka.  Motion approved unanimously (6-0).

 

b.)Lisa Shikany – City of Eureka - Palco Marsh Enhancement – The Board directed staff to work with the City of Eureka to facilitate clean up of Palco marsh and facilitate the City of Eureka’s long term Palco Marsh enhancement plans. Motion approved unanimously (6-0).

 

c.)Brian Morrissey – Security National Properties – Eureka Balloon Track – Board directed staff to begin negotiations with Security National Properties keeping in mind the needs of NCRA.  Motion approved unanimously (6-0).

 

I.STAFF REPORTS

 

1.                    Executive Director Mitch Stogner

 

a)OES/FEMA Alternate Project – Dave Anderson gave the Board an update on the FEMA Alternate Project.  HE said the $7.9 mil Alt. Project is expected to be completed by November 3, 2005.  He went on to say that the Black Point and Haystack Landing repairs were well underway and going along smoothly, and that the railcars that were purchased have been manufactured and are in transit to the storage facility and will be inspected along with the signal equipment. He concluded by saying the update to the 2002 Assessment Report will begin shortly. 

 

b)HR  3 – Mitch Stogner updated the Board on HR 3 which was signed into law on August 10. He explained that HR 3  forgives the $12 million Q-Fund loan to NCRA, and makes NCRA the lead agency for $8.6 million in ISTEA funding.

 

c)SB 792 – Mitch Stogner updated the Board on SB 792 which will give the NCRA $4 mil to finish the Environmental Consent Decree that was Court Ordered in 1999, and $1.5 mil to manage the capital funds, manage the consent decree and do what is necessary to prepare for an operator.  He stressed the importance of letters of support sent to the Governor. 

 

2.Legal Counsel Chris Neary

 

J.MATTERS FROM THE BOARD

 

Director Wagenet stressed the importance of a Goods Movement plan that incorporates rail. 

 

The Board convened into Closed Session at 12:15 p.m.

 

K.CLOSED SESSION

 

1.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 SMART N.D. (Cal.) 05-210

Michael Meyer vs. NCRA STB # 34337

 

2.                    Conference with Legal Counsel – Significant Exposure to Litigation pursuant to Gov. Code 545969 (b) (1 case)

 

3.Conference with Real Property Negotiators

 

Property:  336 N. Lenore Ave, Willits Ca

Agency Negotiator:  Mitch Stogner

Negotiating Parties:  G & S Milling

Under Negotiation:  Terms, Price

Government Code Section 54956.8

 

The Board reconvened into open session at 1:25 pm.

 

 L. ANNOUNCEMENT OUT OF CLOSED SESSION

 

The Board met with Legal Counsel regarding NCRA vs. Jerico Products and Jerico Products vs. SMART. Legal Counsel received information and gave direction.

 

The Board met with Legal Counsel regarding NCRA vs. Jerico products and unanimously voted to reject a settlement proposal from Jerico Products in the amount of $13,000.00 (6-0).

 

The Board met with Legal Counsel regarding 1 item of significant exposure to litigation, no action was taken.

 

The Board met with Real Property Negotiator and unanimously agreed to lease terms and price for property located at 336 N. Lenore Street in Willits. The Board approved a lease commencing on January 1, 2005 for $7000.00 per year (5-0). Director Wagenet abstained.

 

The Board met with Legal Counsel on one item not on the agenda, NCRA vs. USCG, regarding the Freedom of Information Act.  The Board received information, no action was taken.

 

 

M.   ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

 

September 22, 2005

Willits City Council Chambers

Willits, Mendocino County

 

N.    ADJOURNMENT

 

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 pm.