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Minutes


REGULAR MEETING
Greater Hartford Transit District
Hartford Connecticut
June 16, 2016

Stephen F. Mitchell, Chairman
Presiding...........................

At 7:02 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 Conference Room of the District at One Union Place, Hartford, Connecticut.  The following Directors were present: Joan Gamble (1.84), Bloomfield; Peter J. Bonzani (2.30) and Marilyn Pet (2.30), East Hartford; Stephen F. Mitchell (2.00) Enfield; Mark Lockwood (1.01), Granby; Jennifer Cassidy (2.79), Hartford; James McCavanagh (2.61), Manchester; John M. Kelly (1.37) and William Hall (1.37), Newington; Ferguson R. Jansen, Jr. (2.11), Simsbury; Gary Pitcock (1.15) and Bruce Snow (1.15), South Windsor;  Mary A. Oliver (1.31), Vernon; David Giordano (2.83)),West Hartford; Ricardo Quintero (1.30) and David Raney (1.30), Windsor.  District staff present were Vicki L. Shotland, Executive Director; DJ Gonzalez, Operations Administrator; Nhan Vo-Le, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Service; and, Sandy Fry Grant and Procurement Program Coordinator.  (The numbers represented in the parenthesis of this paragraph equate to the weighted vote for each Director in attendance.) 

Ms. Cassidy arrived at 7:04pm. Ms. Oliver joined the meeting by conference call at 7:05pm, which was noted by Mr. Mitchell.  Mr. Giordano arrived at 7:07pm.   Mr. Kelly arrived at 7:09pm.

The Chairman asked if there was any member of the public who wished to address the board. Mr. Mitchell called upon Bradshaw Smith who commented on the notice and the agenda for the meeting. Mr. Mitchell confirmed that notice was provided as required by statute. Mr. Smith also commented on the Personnel Committee Meeting held June 1st where a review of the Executive Director’s performance was discussed in Executive Session.  Mr. Mitchell said he could not comment since he did not attend that meeting.

Mr. Mitchell than asked for a motion to be made regarding acceptance of the May 26, 2016 Annual Meeting Minutes.  Ms. Oliver requested that the agenda be emailed to her. At this time a motion was made by Ms. Gamble to suspend the order of the Minutes to take up the monthly financial report while Ms. Oliver was being supplied with the agenda. Upon seconding by Mr. McCavanagh the motion passed by a unanimous vote of 24.54 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention

Mr. Mitchell then asked for presentation of the monthly financial report. Ms. Vo-Le stated the following:

The financial report reflects fiscal year 2016 budget and actual through May 2016.  Certain line items of revenues and expenses are based on estimates due to invoices that have not been received and processed at the time the reports were prepared.

ADA PARATRANSIT
Page three presents budgeted and actual revenues / expenses for the ADA program.   This program has incurred approximately $14.5 million in total expenses which is 96% funded by CTDOT and 4% generated from other program revenues.  It is 5% or $730,000 under the budget primarily as a result of lower contracted rate for ADA service and diesel pricing and falling gas prices.

The chart on page four reflects revenues and expenses in percentage through May 2016.  Performance standard penalties have decreased significantly since October 2015 – an average of approximately $18,000 a month during the first four months of fiscal year 2016 and nearly $5,000 per month since February 2016. 

GENERAL FUND
Page six - General Fund has generated $85,000 in revenues, incurred $25,000 in expenses, and yielded $60,000 in excess of revenues over expenses.  Comparing actual result to budgeted, the General Fund shows a total favorable variance of almost $17,000.

PARKING LOT
The Spruce Street Parking Lot operating revenues and expenses totaled approximately $384,000 and $128,000; respectively, and has yielded $256,000 in excess of revenues over expenses.   Also comparing actual to budgeted, the Parking Lot yields a net favorable variance of $24,000 mainly due to lower professional services than was originally budgeted.

The Propark monthly management and operating charge from FY2011 – 2016 is presented on page eight. The monthly charge has been decreasing at an average of 7% since April 2016 due to a new agreement with Propark.

UNION STATION
Union Station has yielded approximately $197,000 in excess of revenues over expenses with $1.2 million reported as operating revenues and $969,000 as operating expenses.  Comparing actual results to budgeted, Union Station yields a total favorable variance of nearly $80,000 mainly due to a new lease agreement between the District and CTDOT for the Passenger Rail Service Improvements.

 

CASH FLOWS REPORT
The Cash Flows report presents cash activities from July 2015 – May 2016.  Cash ending balance as of the end of May totaled approximately $2.8 million with cash inflows and outflows at an average of $2.9 million and $3.0 million per month; respectively.

The Audit Committee met June 8 and the auditor presented the audit process:  Mr. Risteen provided an overview of the audit process for the fiscal year 2016 including objective of the audit, responsibilities, audit scope and materiality, audit approach, engagement timing and team, fraud risk assessment, as well as current and future accounting standards.   Blum Shapiro will audit the financial statements of the District, and prepare both of the State and Federal Single Audit Reports. The interim and final audit will be commenced the week of July 5th and August 15th; respectively.  A review of several GASB Statements was noted; however, none were determined to have a significant impact on the District.

Mr. Mitchell asked if there were any questions in regard to the report.  Mr. Jansen asked why the actual administrative costs on pages seven and nine appeared to be higher than the budgeted amounts.  Ms. Vo-Le attributed both of those to the work that was performed by staff in respect to both the parking lot management proposal and the Great Hall retail space kiosks.  Mr. Mitchell then asked for any other questions, hearing none Mr. Jansen made a motion to accept the monthly financial report, which was seconded by Ms. Gamble, and approved unanimously by a vote of 28.47 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

At this point in time, Mr. Mitchell asked Ms. Oliver if the board could now consider adoption of the Minutes from the Annual Meeting of May 26th.  She acknowledged that she was ready. Before asking for any questions Mr. Mitchell asked for a motion to adopt the Annual Meeting Minutes.  Mr. Raney moved adoption which was seconded by Mr. Bonzani.   Mr. Mitchell asked for comments.   Mr. Kelly noted that he had an edit.  He stated that he was at the Annual Meeting, but his name was missing from the first paragraph on page one as an attendee.  He also noted that on page ten, the penultimate paragraph (2nd to last paragraph) that the fragmented sentence should be stricken from the minutes.  Mr. Snow noted that on page three, in the second to last paragraph, the comment regarding Tiger funds should have been attributed to Mr. Pitcock not to him.  Mr. Pitcock noted that on page four, the 4th line should read Mr. not Ms. Snow. 

Mr. Mitchell than asked for adoption of the May 26, 2016 Annual Meeting Minutes as amended. The motion was passed by a vote of 25.62 yea, 0.00 nay, and 2.85 abstention.

Mr. Mitchell then called on Mr. Gonzalez to present his ADA Paratransit report and Operations Report.  He stated the following:

 

ADA PARATRANSIT
The new ADA Paratransit buses should arrive shortly. The District is also in the process of acquiring five (5) additional diesel buses (for total of 25 buses). Originally another transit agency had placed the order, but could not follow through based on a financial decision, so we were provided with the opportunity and we have the funds in our budget.   

Try Transit week was held which is an event hoping to get more people to take fixed route (local bus) service.  The event was not as successful as we had hoped.

He announced that the statewide bus roadeo took place on Sunday, June 12th.  First Transit placed 4th, received a “Rookie of the Year”, and led all other transit agencies with team points.  Great showing overall for the team of drivers who participated in the event.   

UNION STATION

The District continues work on the different projects mentioned at the last Board meeting:

  • Repair of the “Welcome Wall” on the corner of Spruce and Asylum Streets
  • Still awaiting the City of Hartford’s help on replacing the lights under the tracks on Church Street.
  • Replacement and repair the bollards behind the bus bays
  • Working on refinishing the external wooden doors
  • Met with the events coordinator for Bears Barbecue to provide her with guidelines on holding events in the Great Hall.

Ms. Cassidy asked when will Bears open.  Ms. Shotland replied that the opening is expected in September.

After interviewing several candidates for the open position of ADA Fleet and Facility Coordinator, an offer was made and the open will be filled by a well-qualified individual.  The new person will officially start on June 27th.  

There being no additional questions, Mr. Mitchell then called on Ms. Fry to present the report for her department. She stated the following:

Retail Space – Great Hall
A Request for Quotes was issued on Friday June 3rd for construction work to ready the understair spaces for the new tenant.  A pre-proposal meeting was held on June 9th and quotes are due on June 17th.  We expect to have a contractor engaged the week of June 20th with work to commence immediately. 

Sigourney Street
Construction is progressing rapidly.  Most of the work on the north side of Capitol Avenue, between Laurel Street and Park Terrace has been completed.  Progress has been made on the south side of Capitol Avenue from Columbia Street westward.  The intersections at Columbia and Park Terrace which will have curb bump outs are taking shape.  The City of Hartford has signed a contract with Paramount Construction, the Contractor for the Sigourney project, to replace traffic signals at 2 intersections (Laurel/Hawthorn and Capitol/Park Terrace) as the bus livability project progresses.  That work is now underway in parallel with the streetscape project.  Regular biweekly meetings are held with the Contractor, field inspection staff, designer, GHTD, and the City.  The bulk of the construction work will be completed by the end of the summer.

New Britain
Preliminary design for the improvements to the Main Street Bridge over Route 72 have been completed and value engineering has been completed to keep the costs in line with the budget.  The project has received the final piece of funding via OPM.  The project is being closely coordinated with the CTDOT since the improvements will be made on a City street which is located on a CTDOT bridge.  The project is on track to go to bid in February 2017.

Station Master Plan
The consulting team, led by STV Inc., is completing data collection and we are reviewing the initial technical memos - Station Building Assessment, and Initial Public Outreach.  We expect to receive the Station Area Characteristics and Usage Technical Memo within a week.  The project is on target for completion in the fall.

DBE Goal Setting
We have updated our DBE goal and advertised it for public comment.  It will be submitted to the FTA by August 1.

TIGER IV
Bushnell Park North construction is progressing rapidly.  The median at Wells Street has been removed and Gold Street realignment is significantly completed.  The construction crew continues to work at Fox Gate and the sidewalks along the edge of the park.  The City has discussed with the Contractor remediation of the efflorescence along the park wall.  The City is also finalizing negotiations for a contract extension for Station 20+ on.

Asylum/Pearl/SHS is significantly complete.  The sidewalk at 266 Pearl Street has been completed, trees are installed and decorative light foundations are in.  Must punch list items have been addressed and the bench testing for the contra flow took place today.  The main issue pending is the 55’ mast arm at American Row. 

148 ROBERTS STREET
Banton Construction Company continues construction activities at the site.  Steel erection is taking place very rapidly; the site now looks like a building structure.  Backfilling of the interior and exterior as well as the electrical conduits.  Construction meetings are now held on a weekly basis.  Terracon continues to provide special inspections and testing services.  VHB has a resident engineer and a construction inspector overseeing the construction of the building on behalf of the District.

Mr. Jansen asked why Gold Street was being realigned.  Ms. Fry replied that the realignment will allow Bushnell Park to be extended to Main Street, making Main Street an entrance to the park.

Mr. Pitcock asked about the new DBE goal.  Ms. Fry replied that the new goal has been calculated to be 5.6%.  This is based upon the type of work the District expects to undertake over the next three years and the relative availability of DBE firms for these types of work.  The calculation was made following guidance from the FTA.

Ms. Shotland was then asked to provide her administrative report for the Board.

She is finalizing a new lease with Propark to move into the space being vacated by Crosskey Architects.  It is anticipated that the agreement will be effective for September 1, 2016.  The current tenant would like to move into their new building as soon as possible.

Ms. Shotland also stated that the transportation center will display the CTfasttrak Kiosk which was previously located at the Westfarms Mall.  Mr. Lockwood asked what is its purpose.  Ms. Shotland stated that it was a means to advertise the service for CTDOT.

She announced to the Board of Directors that Sandy Fry will be leaving the District to pursue a new and exciting opportunity with the City of Hartford in their planning department.  Ms. Shotland noted that Ms. Fry was a tremendous asset to the District and she will be missed.

Mr. Mitchell noted that there was no CRCOG Transportation Committee meeting to report on.

Mr. Mitchell reviewed the statutory notice requirements for District meetings and the District’s procedures.  Ms. Shotland stated that meeting notices are distributed to the municipalities for posting and filing purposes, and the calendar of regular meeting dates is sent to the Secretary of State annually.

At 7:55 p.m. the Chairman invited a motion to continue in Executive Session to discuss the Performance Review and Compensation of the Executive Director. Ms. Gamble made motion, which was seconded by Mr. Hall and passed by a unanimous vote of 28.47 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Kelly made motion to reconvene the Regular Meeting at 8:51 p.m., and upon second by Mr. Lockwood, the motion passed by a unanimous vote of 28.47 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Upon motion made by ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Mr. Jansen and a second by Mr. Quintero, the Board voted to adopt the matter discussed in Executive Session regarding the FY 2017 compensation for the Executive Director by a vote of ­­­­­­26.01 yea, 2.46 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Mitchell next asked if there was any new business to be brought before the Board.  Ms. Cassidy provided examples of issues that she had in the Spruce Street Parking Lot.  Mr. Gonzalez will address these with the Propark management and get back to Ms. Cassidy.  Ms. Cassidy also asked Ms. Shotland if the District was going to participate in offsetting costs to fund the banner that advertises Union Station on the Asylum Street rail overpass.  Ms. Shotland noted that she will speak to Jordon Polon, the Business Improvement District’s Executive Director regarding the District’s continuation of financial support for the banner.

There being no further business brought before the Board, ­Ms. Oliver moved that the meeting be adjourned. Which was seconded by ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Mr. Raney, the motion passed by a unanimous vote of 28.47 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention.  The Regular Meeting was adjourned at 8:58 p.m. 

 


Respectfully submitted,


James McCavanagh/Secretary

Adopted: 9/1/2016