NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 ~10:00 a.m.

Healdsburg City Council Chambers ~ 401 Grove Street

Sonoma County

DRAFT Minutes

Subject to change by action of the NCRA Board of Directors

 

A.         CALL TO ORDER

 

                Chairman Hemphill called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m.

 

B.        ROLL CALL

 

            Directors present:  Wagenet, Woolley, LaVallee, Ollivier, Simonson, Kelley, and Chairman Hemphill.

                Directors absent: none

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

 

C.         AGENDA APPROVAL

 

            Legal Counsel advised that the NCRA Board will be meeting as a whole on agenda item K.2.  Motion to approve Agenda made by Director Wagenet seconded by Director Ollivier and carried unanimously (7-0).

               

                Item I.1 moved until after Closed Session.

 

                Motion to approve the Agenda made by Director Ollivier seconded by Director Wagenet, carried unanimously (7-0).

 

D.        MATTERS FROM THE BOARD

 

            Chairman Hemphill reported that at the May 30, Special Meeting, the NCRA Board of Directors announced out of closed session that the Board directed its staff to commence negotiations with NWP Inc. for a lease and operating agreement of the NWP line for freight service for the Southern Division from            Lombard to a point North of Willits, with an option for the Humboldt Bay Division from South Fork to Samoa; an option for the Northern Division; and an option for excursion service.  The vote was 6-0 with Director Woolley absent.

 

                Chairman Hemphill explained that the process began in January with the RFP.  There were 5 respondents to the proposal and a committee was appointed to make a recommendation to the full board.  The            committee met on numerous occasions and scored all of the respondents.  After meeting in an all-day session with the 3 finalists, Director Hemphill explained that the field was narrowed to two proposals: Sierra Northern and NWP, Inc. The Board directed the committee to hold additional meetings because of the closeness of the scores.  The Committee met again with both Sierra and NWP, Inc. and after a very                deliberative process, NWP, Inc. was selected.  Chairman Hemphill also said that all of the Proposals were available by written request to the Executive Director.

 

E.         COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

            1.         Finance Committee - Director LaVallee

 

                        Director LaVallee recommended approval of the final Agency Budget and TCRP Budget for FY 06-07.

 

            2.         Operator Committee - Chairman Hemphill – No Report

 

F.         CONSENT CALENDAR

 

             1.        Approval of Minutes – May 2006

             2.        Approval of Minutes – Finance Committee Meeting – May 2006

             3.        Approval of Minutes – Special Meeting – May 2006

             4.        Approval of Financial Statements – May 2006

             5.        Approval of Resolution Approving Agency and TCRP Budgets for Fiscal Year 06-07

 

                        Director Kelley moved for approval of Item F. 1 through 5 - Consent Calendar, seconded by Director Ollivier and carried unanimously (7-0).

           

G.        PUBLIC COMMENT

           

            John Williams – President of NWP, Inc. Mr.  Williams said that that NWP, Inc. will be changing its name to Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company.  He thanked the Board, Committee, and Staff for selecting his company to be the Operator on the NWP line.  He said that he and his partners, Berg Holdings, and Evergreen National Resources appreciate NCRA’s efforts as well. 

 

                Doug Bosco – General Counsel for NWP, Inc. – Mr. Bosco thanked the Board and NCRA Staff.   He said that he along with his NWP, Inc. will be working diligently to effectuate a contract, and that he is looking forward to working with everyone involved.  

 

                Erik Iderious – Ukiah Resident -  Mr. Iderious expressed interest in the Ukiah Depot property and said that his group will work to bring a community oriented downtown project toUkiah.

 

                Mike Pechner – Friends of the NWP – Mr. Pechner thanked the Board and Staff for the hard work that has gone into making the final Operator selection.  He also explained that there may be grant money that can be obtained through the National Historic Preservation Act to restore the Fort Seward station. 

 

                Mike Hanson California Geological Surveyors (CGS).  Mr. Hanson expressed and interest in working with NCRA to address any geological issues that may be present along the NWP line.  Chairman Hemphill suggested that Mr. Hanson talk with Dave Anderson, NCRA’s project engineer.

 

           

H.        PRESENTATIONS

 

                1.         Dave Anderson – TCRP 32.4, TCRP 32.5, ISTEA

 

                                Mr. Anderson presented the Board with an overview of TCRP 32.5.  NCRA was allocated   $289,000 to complete the site remediation outlined in 32.5.  He noted that Bradley Erskine from Kleinfelder Inc. was setting up meetings with the resource agencies to begin the site                                        characterization process.  Mr. Anderson explained that Kleinfelder Inc. will begin with the production of the plans within the next month and NCRA will be going to the CTC in the fall to apply for an additional allocation of the $2.9 that has been programmed so that the site               characterization can begin this fall. 

 

                                Mr. Anderson said that he and Mr. Stogner had met with Caltrans District 1 on May 25 and discussed the general work plan and fund transfer agreement for TCRP 32.4 – Urgent Repairs.   He said that NCRA was given notice by CalTrans to proceed as long as the work conducted is related to the 32.4 allocation outlined in the funding application approved by the CTC on April 27.

 

                                Mr. Anderson said that the Phase I Program is defined from Lombard to Windsor. He said that Phase I calls for the restoration of this section of the line to class III to met the operator’s goal to serve Sonoma County and other clients in that area, and also to connect this section of the Russian River Division to the national rail interchange at Lombard.  

                               

            2.         Moss Bittner – PowerPoint Presentation

 

                        Moss Bittner presented the Board with a PowerPoint presentation of his hike along the NCRA Right-of-Way over a 3 day period.  He traveled 43 miles between Alderpoint to Dos Rios.                     

 

I.          CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

 

            1.         Adoption of Conceptual Strategic Plan – Phase 1

 

                        Item moved until after Closed Session

                       

 

J.         STAFF REPORTS

 

1.                   Executive Director Mitch Stogner

 

                        Mr. Stogner updated the Board on the following issues:

           

            a)  CTC Update

            b)  FEMA/OES

           

2.         Legal Counsel Chris Neary

 

            No report.

 

K.         CLOSED SESSION

 

            1.         Conference with Legal Counsel-Anticipated Litigation

                                Significant Exposure to Litigation pursuant to Gov.Code 54596.9

                                (One Case) ; NWPY vs. NCRA

 

                2.             Conference with Real Estate Negotiators

                                NWP Railroad

                                Agency Negotiators:  Allan Hemphill; Bob Simonson; Hal Wagenet; Mitch Stogner; C.J. Neary;  Gov Code 54956.8

                                Parties to Negotiation:  NCRA; NWP, Inc.

                                Under Negotiation: All Terms of Lease and Operating Agreement.

 

                3.             Public Employee Performance Evaluation and Contract Renewal

                                Gov Code Section 54947

                                Position: Executive Director

 

                Director Kelley left meeting at 1:00.

 

L.         ANNOUNCEMENT OUT OF CLOSED SESSION

 

            The Board met with legal counsel, received information and gave direction on the matter of NWPY vs. NCRA. 

 

            The Board unanimously approved a 3 year extension of the contract with the Executive Director.

 

            The Board met as a whole as the negotiating party with the new Operator and received information.

 

            Motion to adopt the Conceptual Strategic Plan (Agenda Item I.1) and direct staff to work with the Operator and CTC Staff to accelerate the timeline for the Conceptual Strategic Reopening Plan         (Agenda Item I.1) in every possible way made by Director LaVallee, seconded by Director Wagenet and carried unanimously (7-0).

 

M.        ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEXT MEETING

           

            July 12, 2006

                Eureka City Council Chambers

                825 5th Street

                Eureka Humboldt County

           

N.        ADJOURNMENT

                                               

            The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m. to the July 12, 2006 Regular Board Meeting in Eureka at 11:00 a.m.