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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ANNUAL MEETING
GREATER HARTFORD TRANSIT DISTRICT
Hartford, Connecticut
May 29, 2014

Frank Lord, Vice Chairman
Presiding...........................

At 7:01 p.m., a quorum determined to be present; Mr. Lord called the Annual 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, East Hartford; Kevin Mooney, Enfield; Russell G. St. John, Granby; Frank Lord, Hartford; Paul McNamara and James R. McCavanagh, Manchester; William G. Hall and John M. Kelly, Newington; Gary Pitcock and Bruce Snow, South Windsor; Mark S. Etre and Mary Oliver, Vernon; A. David Giordano (arrived 7:02pm), West Hartford; Brendan T. Flynn (arrived 7:12 pm) and 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 Vice Chairman asked if there was any members of the public who wished to address the board. There were none.

Ms. Gamble then moved adoption of the March 27, 2014 minutes of the special meeting, which was seconded by Mr. St. John, and approved by a vote of 29.44 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Lord next requested the Nominating Committee report be presented. The Committee Chair, Mr. McCavanagh, reported the proposed slate of Officers as follows:

Chairman
Vice Chairman
Secretary
Asst. Secretary
Treasurer
Asst. Treasurer
Stephen F. Mitchell
Frank Lord
James R. McCavanagh
Peter Bonzani
Brendan T. Flynn
Mary A. Oliver

Mr. McCavanagh stated that the entire slate of officers was to be voted on by express nomination which requires a 2/3 majority vote by the Directors. . Mr. McCavanagh moved the election of the entire express slate as proposed by the Committee, which was seconded by Mr. Quintero, and approved unanimously by a vote of 36.08 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention. Due to the unanimous vote, ballot voting was not necessary.

The Vice Chairman next asked for presentation of the financial report. Ms. Morton reported that the intent of the financial report this month was to provide an indication of where we will be at the fiscal year’s end. She felt that this information would also serve as a good transition to the FY15 budget presentation that would follow later on the agenda.

Ms. Morton reported the Special Revenue Fund is expected to net out to zero at the end of the fiscal year. As for the Enterprise Fund, she reported that the FY 2014 budgeted position was forecasted to be $67,727. This projection was comprised of a positive standing of $197,377 in the Spruce Street Parking Lot fund, $25,781 in the USTC Public fund and a current loss of $155,931 in the USTC Private fund. Ms. Morton updated the District’s position based on financial statements through April 30th. She projected an additional $30,000 in regard to the Spruce Street parking lot, and an additional $20,000 in the USTC Public fund revenue. She reported that snow removal, miscellaneous legal fees and some miscellaneous service expenses were slightly over budget. She also stated the actual Great Hall Rental projection was high and that the District has not met the projection. She clearly stated that even with the overages mentioned above, that she still anticipated the Enterprise Fund at the end of the year to be $60,000 over the original projection from last year.

In regard to the General Fund Morton reported that the FY 2014 budget anticipated an increase of $74,076. She explained two facets of the fund; the restricted portion which encompasses revenue derived from disposed vehicle sales and the second being the unrestricted portion of the fund which represents town contributions, interest income and other miscellaneous business activity revenue. She stated that we just added approximately $38,000 in vehicle sales to the restricted fund.

Morton stated that the unrestricted portion of the fund was projected to be $5,424 under budget as a result of unmet interest income revenue, $38,000 in unplanned tax expenses for Roberts Street, and significant legal expenses primarily attributed to the handling of FOI filings. She stated that while the fund was currently projected to be slightly below budget, that there is an inquiry into CTDOT to consider allowing for use of our restricted fund account to absorb the Robert Street tax payment.

Morton noted additional activity reported in the unrestricted fund was the purchase of a bond investment at $300,000. Shotland elaborated on the Federal Home Loan Bank bond that was purchased on May 21st. She reminded the Directors that they approved both the Chairman and the Executive Director the ability to direct the investments of the District’s funds into a vehicle permitted by law. She stated that this bond has a yield of 1.30% vs. the current rate of .14% on the State Treasury Investment Fund where most of the District’s money is held. Shotland also stated that there is no penalty for early withdrawal and the maturity date is November 2017 even though it can be called early. Mr. Lord asked for clarification of where the funds reside for the District’s investments. Morton explained that she is working with the auditors to provide a clearer picture on our investment account. At the end of Morton’s report she anticipated the year end retained earnings to be $656,382 in the restricted account and $382,225 in the unrestricted account. Morton in ending her report stated that the Board would be pleased to know that the Spruce Street Parking Lot revenue is up almost 13% this year.

There being no further discussion, Mr. McCavanagh motioned acceptance of the monthly financial report, which was seconded by Mr. Quintero, and accepted unanimously by a vote of 30.63 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

At 7:21 p.m., Mr. Lord called to order the Public Hearing regarding the Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget.

Ms. Morton provided a comprehensive overview of the FY2015 budgetary projections by program and fund. Significant activity in the Special Revenue Fund includes program administration of the ADA, Insurance Consortium, Drug and Alcohol Testing Consortium, Dial-A-Ride Municipal Grant, and New Freedom Taxicab Voucher Programs on behalf of CTDOT. Major FTA funded projects include TIGER IV (City of Hartford), Paratransit Operations Center Property Acquisition, Vehicle Procurement, Union Station and Sigourney Street Livability projects, and Enfield Intermodal Centers and the Regional Bus Shelter Program.

General Fund unrestricted activity will include Member Town Contributions and Interest Income and Inter-fund transfers. Restricted activity will include Disposed Vehicle Revenue. Unrestricted fund expected revenue over expense totals $52,531 and restricted fund revenue is expected to total $50,000. The projected retained earnings balance is likely to exceed $1.1 million as of June 30, 2015 in addition to a $300,000 bond investment.

With regard to the Enterprise Fund, all revenue sources are predicted to increase including parking revenue and rental revenue. The Installation of the automated parking fee collection system continues to result declining management fees and annual parking revenue is expected at $419,082. Leasehold income includes scheduled increases and is projected to be over one million dollars. Capital projects slated for FY2015 include Brownstone repairs, installation of a Passenger Information Display System, and ongoing state of good repair projects. A review of major operating expense accounts was provided with notation that cost containment efforts continue to yield noteworthy savings for the agency. An expected increase in the Enterprise Fund is expected in the amount of $249,509.

There is no federal subsidy of operating costs expected in FY2015. Overall agency net revenue is expected to total $352,031 and includes surplus funds from activity in the General (restricted and unrestricted) and Enterprise Funds.

Mr. Lord asked if there were any comments or questions from the public regarding the FY2015 Proposed Budget. Hearing none, he then inquired if there were any members of the board having comments or questions. Ms. Oliver inquired about the means in which the District determines how they are going to calculate what they take for the administration of a grant. Shotland explained that it was based on the type of grant and the number of hours that are anticipated and warranted to cover the entire cost of staff in regard to each specific grant. Oliver wanted to know if there is an average % taken to make that determination. Shotland stated that this has occurred in the past, but it is not the best way to cover the District’s expenses in regard to administration and oversight. Morton also stated that a more formal analysis process is needed to make sure that the District’s allocation is accurate. Mr. Gardow also made an inquiry as to the total amount of dollars that are specified for each grant. Shotland stated approximately $30ml. Gardow also asked what the figure was before the stimulus funding was implemented. Shotland stated that it had been fairly consistent for the previous five years, and approximately $15ml-$18ml prior to that. Gardow asked if District staff could present a chart exhibiting the current grants and a breakdown of the actual funding sources. Morton will provide this at the next board meeting on June 26th.

At 7:59 p.m., Mr. Lord closed the Public Hearing and reconvened the Annual Meeting. Ms. Oliver moved acceptance of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, which was seconded by Mr. McNamara and approved unanimously by a vote of 30.63 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Before the next agenda item Mr. Lord introduced Gary Pitcock the District’s new appointee from the Town of South Windsor. The Board recognized Mr. Pitcock and welcomed him graciously. Lord also mentioned that if possible he would like to have District staff provide some pictures of the new Nash-Zimmer (Mansfield Transportation Center) for distribution at the next meeting so those that have never been there can view it through pictures.

Next on the agenda Mr. Lord next asked for consideration of Resolution No GHTD-15-FTA-1 Authorizing Filing and Acceptance of Federal Grants. Upon motion made by Ms. Gamble and seconded by Mr. Giordano the motion passed unanimously by a vote of 30.63 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention. The Vice Chairman then asked for consideration of Resolution No. GHTD- 15-STATE-1 Authorizing Filing and Acceptance of State Grants. Upon motion made by Ms. Gamble and seconded by Mr. McNamara, the motion passed unanimously by a vote of 30.63 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Lord then asked for Program Presentations and a Procurement Update. Mr. Gonzalez provided the ADA Paratransit update, and noted that the ADA statistical performance report was located in their board packets. He also stated that the District was in the midst of preparing a Request for Proposal for ADA paratransit vehicles. Gonzalez told the Directors that the ADA staff moved back into their old office area which has now been renovated as the first phase of the TIGER IV construction at Union Station. He mentioned that currently a small number of fleet vehicles are experiencing problems with the Ford engine; however that is being addressed with

the manufacturer. Gonzalez also stated that the software for the MDT’s on the vehicles will be upgraded in regard to mapping. He also stated that the District sold ten vehicles at auction, and that First Transit bought nine of them for ADA paratransit service that they are providing to New Britain. Gonzalez stated that six replacement vehicles will be coming shortly, but cannot be placed into service until radios, drivecam and MDT units are installed. Finally he said stated in his report to the Board that there will be another safety training presented by Transit Safety Institute in July for statewide insurance consortium members.

Ms. Fry was called upon to present her report and she began by discussing Janitorial Services. She stated that an award of this contract took place. Sun Services Inc. will continue to provide janitorial services to the District. The contract start date was May 1, 2014. This contract has a two year term with three-one year options. Mr. Quintero had a concern and expressed that he used the public mensroom before the board meeting and it was very dirty. Mr. Gonzalez stated that he would look into that immediately. Ms. Fry than spoke about the Passenger Information Display System being installed in the transportation center. She explained that (IDS) has installed most of the conduit and the electrical and data wires required for the project. The server rack is on site as well as the rack’s components. A Change Order Request is being processed for additional speakers to be installed at the Great Hall. The monitor display rack arrived today and installation of equipment is estimated to be completed at the beginning of July, with training and full operation complete by end of August. Regarding Sigourney Street, the District has held various meetings with the project consultant, TPA, the City of Hartford and the CTDOT for the initial design phase of the project. A public meeting was held to get input from residents and businesses in the area. A preliminary design has been reviewed by all parties involved. Full design will now commence and it is scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer with construction documents being delivered to allow a fall Invitation for Bids. With regard to New Britain, the District at the request of the City of New Britain has modified the scope of work and the budget for this project. The City received additional funding for the overall project and needed to revisit the use of the transit funds to specifically include improvements along Main Street. The FTA grant is being revised accordingly and will be resubmitted once FTA’s initial review is finalized. The District should be executing this grant soon. Finally Ms. Fry spoke briefly about the Bike Share Study. The Consultant for the Bike Share Study, Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning, is wrapping up their work with a final report to be issued within a month. The final Advisory Committee meeting was held in April and the participants endorsed the conclusions developed. Additionally, a focus group for potential bike share sponsors was conducted. The final report will summarize the plan for implementing bike share in the region, including phasing and operations model. At this point, the District and the Capitol Region Council of Governments are proposed as the potential owner for the system. There will only be one owner so both agencies need to assess their interest in overseeing this system. The final document will be a resource that can be used to “sell” the proposal and line up funding. Both capital and ongoing operations funds will need to be raised.

Ms. Sheehan was then called upon to present her report. She first discussed the topic of Transit Enhancements. She said that the District continues to work with CRCOG and CTTransit on the regional shelter program. An RFP for the purchase of the shelters was released by the District. An award of a contract has been approved. Town resolutions have been approved and the in-kind services for design documents are being completed. The next steps include; placing an order for the first set of shelters, finalizing the solicitation for a general contractor to install concrete shelter pads and assemble the shelters and issuing an IFB. A matter of extremely important significance to the District is the upcoming Triennial Review. The District staff prepared the required two step submission for the desk review of the District’s grant management practices. The on-site review will take place in September. Ms. Sheehan next discussed the Mansfield Transportation Center. She stated that a certificate of occupancy was issued with two stipulations. One is the installation of a screening for the rooftop unit. The other has to do with addressing the issues of the HV/AC unit. There was a Grand Opening on April 14th attended by State officials as well as FTA. Next she discussed the Enfield Intermodal Center. As mentioned before, access to the property cannot be obtained from NU as the DEEP reporting requirements go in effect if consultants find reportable conditions. The Town continues to work with NU lawyers to allow access. The Town also received $200,000 of state Brownsfield funds for clean-up activities at the site. She moved onto the TIGER IV project. She said that a grant application for the FHWA STP funds awarded to the City of Hartford are being finalized with the inclusion of both awards into one FTA grant. It is expected that grant approval will be done shortly. Construction activities for the Transit Center are at 44% complete. The first phase, the ADA paratransit office space has been completed. This space is now being occupied by the staff. Currently, they are working on the ADA waiting area and the replacement offices that are going where the conference room used to be located. Demolition has taken placed, framing of offices is completed, HVAC units installed and, the installation of drywall has started. To allow for the proper operation of the AC system the District has relinquished some ceiling space in the open space. Construction is still on schedule. Contracts have been signed with the three contractors. Construction activities have started for all the street components with pre-construction meetings and required contract submittals. Bi- weekly meetings are being held to ensure the project stays on schedule. Monthly meetings are held with the PMOC and monthly reporting is provided. She moved to the subject of 148 Roberts Street whereby the District negotiated the fee for the design services for the option selected that includes the demolition of the pavilion structure and that of the main Elks building. The City of East Hartford has indicated that in order for the District to move ahead with this design concept an amendment is needed to the approved P&Z application and an amendment is needed for the approved inland and wetlands application. Since demolition is required, a notice of intent to demolish was sent to the East Hartford Director of Inspections and Permits. The East Hartford Historic Commission has sent out a letter to the District indicating their acceptance to our filling without comment or objection. The next step is to prepare demolition plans and bid out the work as well as start the 30% design and the geotechnical testing of the clay.

Ms. Shotland made mention of two additional items that have a significant impact on the District. The first was the news that we received final approval from Cornerstone Advisors regarding the release of the open-ended mortgage & security agreement after lengthy and difficult discussions. She stated that there are some additional steps that must be performed to finalize the process, but the complicated phase is behind us. Shotland’s second item of immediate relevance is that CTDOT completed the 100% rail design for Union Station and the work is to begin shortly. There are three items that affect the District, the level boarding construction, the south side stairwell, and the new electrical room. The first item listed is the one that must be watched vigilantly. Shotland has had ongoing discussions with both CTDOT and our attorney to make sure that the indemnification is not jeopardized.

Ms. Fry reported on the combined meetings held in April and May. She stated that FTA and FHWA reviewed CRCOGs planning process and gave high marks in most areas. They did ask the agency to develop a regionally based freight planning effort. Fry spoke about the regional boundary revisions and stated that the new towns coming into CRCOG will be added as of July 1, 2014. The new towns are Berlin, Columbia, Coventry, Mansfield, New Britain, Plainville, Southington, and Willington. At the actual transportation committee meeting Fry gave a report on the status of the bike share study being undertaken jointly by CRCOG and Greater Hartford Transit District. She than mentioned that CRCOG has developed two planning studies which it expects to be approved for funding by CTDOT. The first will identify and address transportation issues associated with intense planned development in the UConn Health Center Area in Farmington, and the proposed relocation of the UConn Greater Hartford Campus to downtown Hartford. The second study will identify and address transportation issues along the Route 195 and Route 44 gateways to UCONN’s Storrs campus.

Mr. Lord asked if there was any new business for discussion. Ms. Gamble mentioned that on Saturday, May 31st the Town of Bloomfield was going to hold its 1st Annual Grub Crawl on the Bloomfield Town Green. She said that the event kicks off a month of dining discounts at the town’s various restaurants and the chance to win prizes.

There being no further business brought before the Board, Ms. Oliver moved that the meeting be adjourned. Upon seconding by Mr. McNamara, the motion passed by a vote of 30.63 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention. The Annual Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

James R. McCavanagh
Secretary   

 

Adopted: 06/26/14