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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
GREATER HARTFORD TRANSIT DISTRICT
Hartford, Connecticut
February 6, 2014

Stephen F. Mitchell, Chairman

Presiding........................... Welcome to the Greater Hartford Transit District's new website

About GHTD
ADA Paratransit Service
Board of Directors
Business Opportunities
Drug & Alcohol Testing Consortium
Employment
Going Green With GHTD
Grant Activity
Grantee Reporting
Insurance Consortium
Meeting Information
Member Towns
Recent GHTD Initiatives
Spruce Street Parking Lot
Transportation Links
Union Station

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

NOTICE OF REGULAR MEETING
GREATER HARTFORD TRANSIT DISTRICT
Hartford, Connecticut
February 6, 2014

Stephen F. Mitchell, Chairman

Presiding...........................

At 7:00 p.m., a quorum determined to be present; Mr. Mitchell called the Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Greater Hartford Transit District (the "District") to order in the District's Multipurpose Room at the Union Station Transportation Center (the "Center"), One Union Place, Hartford, Connecticut. The following Directors were present: Joan Gamble, Bloomfield; Marilyn Pet and Peter J. Bonzani, East Hartford; Gilbert Hayes, East Windsor; Stephen F. Mitchell, Enfield; Russell G. St. John, Granby; Frank Lord and Jennifer Cassidy, Hartford; James R. McCavanagh and Paul McNamara, Manchester; John M. Kelly, Newington (arrived at 7:08); Ferguson R. Jansen, Simsbury; Bruce Snow, South Windsor; Mary A. Oliver, Vernon; Brendan T. Flynn, Wethersfield; and Ricardo Quintero and David Raney, Windsor. District staff present were Vicki L. Shotland, Executive Director; Kimberly A. Dunham, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services; Sandra E. Sheehan, Director of Grants and Contract Administration; Sandy Fry, Grants and Procurement Program Coordinator; Patricia M. Williams, Director of Paratransit; Abram Aviles, Transportation Coordinator; Silvana Vardhami, Senior Accounting Associate; Valerie K. Ellis, Paratransit Coordinator; and Katherine D. Shea, Paratransit Assistant.

Mr. Mitchell made note that many members of the District staff were present at the meeting and he also introduced Kimberlee Morton, who has been hired as the future Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services. Ms. Morton retains extensive experience in the transit industry and the board bade her welcome.

The Chairman asked if there was any member of the public who wished to address the board. There were none.

Ms. Gamble then moved adoption of the December 12, 2013 meeting minutes, which was seconded by Mr. Raney, and approved by a vote of 29.61 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

The Chairman next asked for presentation of the financial report. Ms. Dunham provided a matrix of the various funding combinations for the agency’s twenty two cost centers. Although most capital projects are funded with 80% federal funds and 20% CTDOT or municipal funds, there are many other complex funding formulas for the various programs. She then reported on the volume of transactions handled by the Accounting Department and the noted increase as GHTD has sought new funding opportunities. Silvana Vardhami was commended for her outstanding efforts, handling nearly 6,000 accounting transactions during FY2013. National Transit Database information for FY2013 was also provided including financial, service and energy consumption data.

Ms. Dunham relayed that CTDOT had recently agreed to allow use of some restricted transit asset funds to use as local match for a FTA Alternative Fuel grant, 90% of which is funded by FTA. Spruce Street Parking Lot revenue continues to increase and installation of the automated parking revenue system has produced a significant increase in credit card transactions and cost savings by decreasing the monthly Propark management fee. The average monthly fee had been $15,000 and the past two months invoices were for $8,500 and $5,800.

The Spruce Street Parking Lot revenue bond is scheduled to mature this month and a payoff figure will be requested. The bond originated in 1982 in an amount just over $377,000. An update was provided related to Union Station leasehold activity and the mortgage release request.

There being no further discussion, Ms. Oliver motioned acceptance of the monthly financial report, which was seconded by Mr. Bonzani, and accepted unanimously by a vote of 30.98 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Mitchell then asked for Program Presentations. Ms. Shotland reported that the new paratransit vehicles are slated for delivery within the next four weeks. Mr. Jansen inquired if there is any information available regarding energy efficiency, maintenance, and cost benefits of CNG vehicles over diesel. Mr. Mitchell commented on his recent discussion with a local taxicab company that has purchased numerous CNG vehicles evidencing the positive benefits. Mr. Aviles provided information on the increased MPG and cost benefits of the CNG fleet. Discussion ensued regarding the proposed disposal plans for the excess fleet vehicles.

Ms. Fry reported that the agency recently issued a Request for Proposals for Janitorial Services at Union Station. A pre-proposal conference was held on January 15th, two addenda have been issued and proposals are due on February 14th. International Display Systems (IDS) provided design submittals for the District’s review and approval. Various submittals were approved and some will require additional review by the IT Consultant. The schedule provided indicates completion of project by the end of September 2014. The District is coordinating with Amtrak and Peter Pan for the location of equipment within their leased space.

The District finalized contract negotiations with TPA for the complete street design services associated with the Sigourney Street station and Capitol Avenue. The City of Hartford will provide the funds for the portion of Capitol Avenue and the agreement between the City and The District has been executed.

Finally, Ms. Fry relayed that the District had just executed a contract with the City of New Britain. The contract established the District as the grantee for the Bus Livability funds awarded to the City of New Britain for their multimodal connectivity project that connects local bus service to CTFastrak. The District has submitted a grant application to FTA for the project.

Ms. Sheehan provided an update on the Regional Bus Shelter program. The District continues to work with CRCOG and CTTransit on the regional shelter program. Meetings have been held with some of the communities to confirm the local contribution, zoning requirements, any need for a Town resolution and shelter requirements. CTTransit has facilitated the preparation of conceptual plans to provide each of the communities as they finalize the project logistics for their communities. A RFP for the purchase of the shelters will be released this month.

FTA has assigned a Project Management Oversight Consultant to assist the Town of Enfield with property acquisition activities. With regard to the Mansfield Intermodal Center, Wilbur Cross Road is substantially completed, and there are a few punch list items that need to be addressed when the ground thaws. Construction of the Intermodal Center is for the most part completed. An interior and exterior punch list has been created. Completion date has been revised to February as some of the canopies needed to be redone due to color matching issues,and the roof unit requires an approved screening in order to obtain the occupancy permit. Plans are underway for a Grand Opening celebration that will occur in April.

The District executed a contract with Cutter Enterprises for TIGER IV activities. Two pre-construction meetings have taken place and activities will start in full next week. The schedule calls for substantial completion by the end of the year. Final construction documents were approved for the other components of TIGER. The District has provided a final draft of the Project Management Plan and the final Safety and Security Plan, and the Quality Assurance/Quality Control Plan is currently being worked on. The City of Hartford will be issuing a RFR to previously qualified firms for construction management services. Construction oversight for the project roadway work is the responsibility of the City of Hartford. A consultant will be selected to assist the City with this task. Mr. Lord had several inquiries about the City of Hartford projects including the proposed coordination and communication plans. Ms. Sheehan indicated that would be the responsibility of the City and that she would make recommendations based on the matters discussed.

A contract was executed with the team of Wendel and GWG Architects for work related to 148 Roberts Street. An immersion session took place to perform the needs analysis phase of the project as well as an in depth structural analysis of the property and the mechanical operations at Wawarme Avenue. In the meantime the geotechnical testing was conducted and the design team has met with town officials as well at representatives from CL&P. The District is waiting for the report of the findings and recommendations to be issued.

Ms. Shotland discussed an issue with the Town of East Hartford Tax Assessor in which GHTD has been advised that the property at 148 Roberts Street is not considered a tax-exempt property. Staff will be working with legal counsel to file for the appeal process. Discussion ensued regarding many issues that exist, the proposed appeal process and strategy.

Mr. Snow inquired about the municipalities that are involved in the regional bus shelter process. Ms. Shotland then relayed that the Vernon funding has been de-obligated as no viable project had been identified. Ms. Oliver shared some history related to the project.

Ms. Shotland reported that CTDOT had met recently with GHTD to propose that we serve as a facilitator between that group and Amtrak related to the impending commuter rail expansion construction activity. At the advice of legal counsel, the District must move cautiously to ensure its indemnification status. Mr. Lord inquired whether access to the Transportation Center will be limited at any time during the upcoming construction activities at Union Station. Ms. Sheehan replied that the construction has been strategically phased to minimize any inconvenience and maintain access at all times.

Mr. Hayes provided an update on the recent CRCOG Transportation Committee meeting. He noted that with the introduction of the Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LOTCIP), which will provide state funding for local projects that have formerly been funded by federal dollars, CTDOT has indicated a desire to spend a portion of those federal dollars (STP Urban funds) on CTDOT sponsored projects. CRCOG makes all decisions on the expenditure of STP-Urban funds and has decided that they will not permit them to be spent on interstate highway projects. CRCOG will review CTDOT requests for STP urban funds as they are submitted by CTDOT.

He then noted that TIP amendments approved at the meeting included $6.3 million dollars (federal) to GHTD for construction for the Intermodal Triangle project. Rich Armstrong of CTDOT made a presentation on the I-84 Project during which he noted that the elevated portion of I-84 in downtown Hartford was built in the 1960s and is nearing the end of its intended lifespan. This section of roadway carries approximately 175,000 vehicles per day – more than any other segment of highway in the state. Costly repairs have already been required to keep the viaduct sections serviceable. The DOT has created the I-84 Project to develop plans to address deficient bridge structures, make operational and safety improvements, reduce delays and enhance mobility as well as connectivity within the corridor. This project provides the opportunity to correct some of the damage done to city neighborhoods when I-84 was built.

Mr. Mitchell relayed that the March meeting date has been changed to the 27th which will be a Special Meeting. He requested that board members contact Ms. Shotland with any proposed agenda items prior to that meeting. He then stated that GHTD had been awarded “Employer of the Year” by the Connecticut Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar. WTS promotes the advancement of women in the transportation industry and the District has been recognized for supporting the core goals of WTS. The award will be presented in April.

Mr. Mitchell acknowledged Ms. Dunham’s departure from the District and her considerable contributions to the agency. He wished her well in her new endeavors and presented an honorary plaque recognizing her twenty years of service. Ms. Shotland presented gifts from the staff as well. Ms. Dunham thanked the board for their noteworthy professional and personal support throughout her tenure and recognized the staff for their loyalty, dedication and continuously upbeat spirit.

There being no further business brought before the Board, Ms. Gamble moved that the meeting be adjourned. Upon seconding by Mr. Bonzani, the motion passed by a vote of 30.98 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention. The Regular Meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

James McCavanagh
Secretary  

 

Adopted: 3/27/14