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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

REGULAR MEETING
GREATER HARTFORD TRANSIT DISTRICT
Hartford, Connecticut
June 26, 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

REGULAR MEETING
GREATER HARTFORD TRANSIT DISTRICT
Hartford, Connecticut
June 26, 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 at the Holiday Inn Express, 440 Asylum Street, Hartford, CT 06103.  The meeting was held in the 2nd Floor, Capitol Room.  The following Directors were present: Joan Gamble, Bloomfield; Peter J. Bonzani and Marilyn Pet, East Hartford; Gilbert Hayes, East Windsor; Stephen F. Mitchell, Enfield; Russell G. St. John, Granby; Frank Lord, Hartford; James R. McCavanagh, Manchester; Ferguson R. Jansen, Jr., Simsbury (arrived at 7:02pm); Gary Pitcock and Bruce Snow, South Windsor; Mary A. Oliver (arrived 7:06pm), Vernon; A. David Giordano and Richard F. Messenger, West Hartford; Peter Gardow, Wethersfield; David Raney and Ricardo Quintero, Windsor. District staff present were Vicki L. Shotland, Executive Director; Kimberly A. Morton, Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services; DJ Gonzalez, Operations Administrator, Sandra Sheehan, Director of Contracts & Grants, and Sandy M. Fry, Grant & Procurement Program Coordinator.

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 May 29, 2014 meeting minutes, which was seconded by Mr. St. John.  Acceptance of the minutes was approved by a vote of 29.71 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

The Chairman next asked for presentation of the financial report. Ms. Morton reminded the Directors that in her first report to them in March she used a new format to present the financial picture of the District.   She stated that she is looking to make the process more transparent in FY 2015 to reflect where we are at each point in time and to make it an effective management tool.   She stated that all budgets approved by the Board at the Annual Meeting in May have been input into the accounting software system.  She also mentioned that if revenue falls short of the budgetary projections a revised budget may be prepared at mid-year for Board consideration. Ms. Morton also discussed the three major statewide operating programs that the District administers:  ADA Paratransit, the Statewide Insurance Consortium, and the Statewide Drug and Alcohol Program. She said that these programs are funded 100% by CTDOT, and as we near the end of the fiscal year, it is imperative to closely monitor any and all deficits that we may encounter. Ms. Morton stated that the ADA program on the expense side was significantly under budget in regard to fuel.  This was a result of CNG savings and an over-projection in fleet maintenance costs. She stated that the program can anticipate approximately $13 million in expenses by year end.  This projection may leave the program with a one million dollar shortfall, but once again the State will fund the difference through an amendment.   Ms. Shotland explained that the State was responsible to pay for all costs associated with service in respect to the ADA Paratransit Program under federal requirements. Ms. Oliver wanted to know if the budgets matched, and Ms. Morton responded that at the fiscal year’s end that the budget gap will be fully funded.

Regarding the Statewide Drug and Alcohol Program, Ms. Morton mentioned that revenue was where it should be, however the one line item over budget is the professional services line item. She stated that this is the line item that contains fees paid to the consortium’s contractor Occupational Drug Testing.  She noted that this is a direct result of the higher fees paid for tests performed with on-site mobile testing units.  However, she stated that the overage in this line item was anticipated by CTDOT and the District. She stated that the higher cost in adding the mobile testing units will be offset by significant manpower savings.  The third program, the Statewide Insurance Consortium exhibits wide swings, but that is due to large loss claims and settled liability claims.  Once again the state will pay all outstanding expenses, and at the end of the year the budget in this program will balance.    Ms. Morton mentioned that the Audit committee meeting is scheduled for July 9th at 5:30 pm at the District’s offices.  She stated that the Auditors commented on the fact their preliminary field work went smoothly and in fact they were ahead of schedule.     

Ms. Morton addressed the issue of operating expenses for the 148 Roberts Street location. Those expenses include; utilities, lawn care, security, etc… The FTA has acknowledged that we can use formula funding for 80% of those operating expenses, but to date the State has taken the position that since they pay our expenses at Wawarme Avenue that they cannot pay for two locations.  We have requested that the State allow us to use our restricted fund for the other 20% due.  Ms. Morton next stated that the $38,000. in taxes that was not previously reimbursable is now under strong consideration. It now appears to be a reasonable expense reimbursable under the property acquisition capital grant.  We are anticipating a response from CTDOT shortly in regard to their approval of local match through the restricted fund. Ms. Morton said that this will eliminate the need to charge these expenses to the General Fund as initially thought.  Ms. Oliver asked if our ADA budget gets before the state legislature.  Ms. Shotland responded by saying that the District provides a budget a year in advance to CTDOT in regard to the three state programs that we oversee.  The state then finalizes their operating budgets and provides all transit systems throughout the state with their final numbers.

Ms. Morton addressed the issue of operating expenses for the 148 Roberts Street location. Those expenseMs. Morton noted we just received notification that that the State has provided the District with its commitment to matching funds for our FY ’14 5307 formula funding:

  Total Federal State
Replacement of Paratransit Vehicles $2,850,000 $2,280,000 $570,000
Misc. Support Equipment $50,000 $40,000 $10,000
Total $2,900,000 $2, 320,000 $580,000

In her final comment she stated that FY‘14 revenue is up 16.71% in regard to the Spruce Street Parking Lot over FY’13.  Mr. Mitchell inquired if there were any questions or comments on the financial report. As there were none, Ms. Oliver motioned acceptance of the report, which was seconded by Ms. Gamble and passed unanimously by a vote of 29.71 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Mitchell then asked for Program Presentations. DJ Gonzalez next addressed the Board and noted that the ADA Operating Performance Report was in the board packets. He then stated that six (6) new replacement buses were anticipated to arrive on Friday, June 27th. He also mentioned that he will be attending a CTTRANSIT Service Review Committee Meeting that addresses fixed route service and possible proposed schedule changes.  If local bus service is changed it can have a direct affect on ADA paratransit. Ms. Oliver asked if everything went smoothly with the Vernon bus transfer and sale.  Mr. Gonzalez responded that it did and Ms. Shotland noted that the payment for the vehicle was received.  Ms. Oliver also inquired about the CTfastrak project.  Ms. Shotland stated that she would send Ms. Oliver the CTDOT website link to learn more about the busway project program.

Ms. Fry then presented her report.  She indicated that the Passenger Information Display
subcontractor has installed the monitor display rack at the Transportation Center as well as the server rack and its components.  One information display sign was installed at Bay #1 for the District to review.  The District has approved its installation and the contractor will be installing the balance of the signs within the next few weeks. She then talked about Sigourney Street.  She said that full design has commenced by TPA.  It is scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer with construction documents being delivered to allow for the District to issue an Invitation for Bids during the fall.  In regard to New Britain the modified scope of work and budget for this project has been approved by FTA and executed by the District.  The City will be going through the procurement process of selecting an A&E firm to design the project and prepare construction documents.  She moved to the subject of the bike share program and said that the Consultant will deliver the Regional Bike Share feasibility study this week.  The next steps will include identifying funding opportunities and setting up an implementation structure.

Mr. Mitchell then called upon Ms. Sheehan to present her report.  She said that the District has awarded a contract to Brasco International for the regional passenger shelter program.  Staff from CRCOG, CTTransit and the District will be meeting soon to discuss the placement of an initial order.  Steps are being taken for the preparation of a solicitation for a general contractor to install concrete shelter pads and assemble the shelters.  She then stated that District is in the process of finalizing a vehicle joint procurement request for proposal package that includes four transit districts in Connecticut as a consortium for the purchase of vehicles.  This will allow only consortium members to purchase vehicles on an annual basis or as funding become available for the next five years.  The District will serve as the lead agency in the procurement process. She discussed the two intermodal transportation centers and stated that in Mansfield that the HV/AC temperature discrepancy between the various spaces of the center is being addressed. Other minor items are being addressed as part of the punch list and warranty period. She also noted that there was a picture in the Director’s packet that shows the exterior of new Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center.  In regard to Enfield the DEEP has indicated that they would sign off on a Discretionary Enforcement letter.  Access to the properties can now be obtained from NU.  However, NU now wants a sales agreement in place prior to signing an access agreement for the Town.  The FTA’s PMOC has recommended that appraisals be revised once results from the assessments are available and that any sales agreement have contingencies regarding environmental conditions.  The next item she discussed was TIGER IV and that construction activities for the Transit Center are at 50% complete.  Currently, work continues in the ADA waiting area and replacement office area.  The installation of drywall is complete including patching, taping and sanding.  Construction activities are on schedule in regard to Union Station.  In regard to the other three phases of the project: construction activities continue for all the street components with required contract submittals and actual construction started on Asylum Street.  Union Place construction activities will start on July 7th.  Bushnell Park North construction will started on June 23.  A public hearing took place on June 16th regarding the trees to be removed along Bushnell Park, and the City Forrester has approved the proposed tree removal.  A City Council meeting took place on June 23rd which included four resolutions regarding the project.   A public hearing will take place in July.  Lastly she discussed 148 Roberts Street.  The schematic design phase has commenced.  An application submission for the Inland/wetlands application and a P&Z application will take place over the summer if meetings at the town are held.  The architects and engineers are preparing site plans, footprint and elevation plans that will be part of the application submissions.   

Mr. Mitchell then asked Mr. Gonzalez for his operations report.  Mr. Gonzalez stated that Union Station experienced electrical outages on two days during the past week.  The electrical problem was found and resolved. He also stated that he has prepared an action plan to continue to replace all non-LED lights with LED lights in the building.  Mr. Gonzalez next explained why monthly parking passes were shut off, but then noted that a problem with the software application had been resolved. Lastly he explained that he is working with Hot Tomatos ownership to assist them with a parking solution that will help in regard to their concern for losing patrons during the upcoming construction on Union Place which will temporarily affect their entrance. Mr. Quintero inquired about new furniture at the station.  District staff noted that new benches were installed on the outside of the transportation center and inside the center’s vestibule area where none had existed before.

Ms. Shotland reported that she was asked to become a member of the Capitol Region Partnership. The Partnership will provide a permanent formal forum to enable independent regional organizations to take collaborative action to solve problems and seize opportunities that will enhance the overall “quality of life” within the Hartford region so that it is recognized as a premier place to live and work.  The other members of the Partnership will include; CRCOG, CREC, CCRGC, MDC, and CRWDB.  The Greater Hartford Chamber of Commerce will serve in the capacity of providing staff support to the Partnership.  The first meeting will be held in early July.  Ms. Shotland stated that there were two issues regarding the taxis that she wanted to elaborate on.  The first had to do with additional New Freedom funds that the District was awarded to assist Ace Taxi with the purchase of five new ADA accessible vehicles.  The second issue was to notify the Board that there was going to be a meeting to address cab company concerns due to the proposed relocation of their taxis to Allyn & High Streets from Spruce Street.  Mr. Lord wanted to be sure that signage is placed in strategic locations in the station to redirect passengers in need of cab service.  Ms. Shotland acknowledged that this would be done.  She next stated that CTDOT has asked her to meet to discuss the completed rail design plans which will affect Union Station.  She mentioned that there are some issues that must be satisfied before any construction can begin, and she has kept our attorney apprised for several reasons, but mainly to protect our indemnification and other rights.  Lastly, she mentioned to the Board that there was going to be a formal “Groundbreaking” to be held at Bushnell Park on June 27th for the Hartford Intermodal Triangle Project (TIGER IV).  Ms. Shotland is on the agenda to speak. 

Next Mr. Mitchell requested that Mr. Hayes provide the CRCOG Transportation Committee Report.  Mr. Hayes said that approval was given for hiring two consulting firms; Nelson Nygaard and Transystems to prepare a Comprehensive Transit Service Analysis.  Nelson Nygaard will conduct the transit analysis and recommend improvements.  Transystems will develop a transit data repository.  The projects will begin in late summer and take 12 to 18 months to complete.  An Advisory Committee will be formed for the studies. He then stated that by a close vote the Board did not approve transferring funds from the Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding to the Federal Transit Administration CMAQ funds.  The funds are to be used for marketing CTfastrak. After one of the Directors asked why it was turned down, Ms. Fry responded that it will come up for a re-vote at a future meeting.  Mr. Hayes then mentioned that there were formal regional boundary revisions, and that seven towns were officially accepted into CRCOG.  Those towns included; Berlin, Columbia, Coventry, Mansfield, Plainville, Southington, and Willington.  New Britain is expected to be added in January. Lastly he said that Hedy Ayers of CRCOG and Paul Schreyer of the Gordian Group explained the job order contracting system available through the CRCOG purchasing council.  This EZIQ program can allow for more efficient procurement of services for facility repair or capital projects. 

Mr. Lord stated that there was a public meeting held on June 17th to address tthe I-84 Hartford Project which is an effort by CTDOT to address the deteriorating condition of the elevated sections of I-84 through Hartford. Ms. Shotland stated that she represents the District on the Public Advisory Committee for that same project.  For more information you can visit www.i84hartford.com.  Mr. Lord then stated that discussion also focused on the long term plan to move the rail viaduct to grade level along with the elevated portion of I-84. 

Mr. Mitchell then discussed that the next four agenda items are re-engagement items for contract extensions.  Upon motion by Mr. Messenger and seconded by Mr. Quintero, the board voted unanimously to re-engage the firm of Blum Shapiro as the District’s Auditor for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2015 by a vote of 31.02 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Bonzani next made motion to re-engage the firm of Day Pitney, LLP as the District’s Legal Counsel for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2015, which was seconded by Ms. Gamble and approved by a vote of 31.02 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Upon motion by Mr. Giordano and seconded by Ms. Gamble, the board voted unanimously to engage the firm of Occupational Drug Testing as the District’s Third Party Administrator for the Drug and Alcohol Testing Program for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2015 by a vote of 31.02 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention. Mr. Snow made inquiry regarding the increased costs that Ms. Morton had mentioned during her financial report. She responded by saying that the initial RFP did not have the mobile testing units in the package, only in-clinic testing.  However, the modification to utilizing mobile units will show significant saving over the course of the contract based on manpower savings.  Mr. Hayes asked if the mobile testing units come on site.  Ms. Morton said that they do.  Mr. Messenger stated that the railroad had been doing it that way for years as a cost saving measure. Ms. Pet inquired as to whether a supervisor was available to oversee the testing process.  The answer to the question was affirmative, and that a professional from the ODT was on site and overseeing that aspect of the sampling.

Mr. Raney next made motion to re-engage the firm of The Lexington Group as the District’s Employee Assistance Program Service Provider for the Drug and Alcohol Testing Program for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2015, which was seconded by Mr. Lord and approved by a vote of 31.02 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

At 8:02 p.m. the Chairman invited a motion to continue in Executive Session to discuss the Performance Review and Compensation of the Executive Director. Ms. Oliver made motion, which was seconded by Mr. Hayes and passed by a vote of 31.02 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Ms. Gamble made motion to reconvene the Regular Meeting at 8:50 p.m. Upon seconded by Mr. Bonzani, the motion passed unanimously by a vote of 31.02 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Upon motion by Mr. Lord and seconded by Ms. Gamble, the Board voted to adopt the matters discussed in Executive Session by a vote of 29.71 yea, 1.31 nay and 0.00 abstention.

There being no further business brought before the Board, Ms. Gamble moved that the meeting be adjourned.  Upon seconded by Mr. Messenger, the motion passed by a vote of 31.02 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention. The Regular Meeting was adjourned at 9:04 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

James McCavanagh
Secretary  

 

Draft Posted: 07/2014