June 2017 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Hartford Connecticut
June 22, 2017

Stephen F. Mitchell, Chairman

At 7:04 p.m., a quorum having been 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; Marilyn Pet (2.30), East Hartford; Stephen F. Mitchell (2.00) and Kevin Mooney (2.00), Enfield;  Mark Lockwood (1.01), Granby; Frank Lord (2.79), Jennifer Cassidy (2.79), Nicholas Addamo (2.79), and Kevin R. McKernan (2.79), Hartford; James McCavanagh (2.61), Manchester; William Hall (1.37), Newington; Peter Gardow (1.19), Wethersfield; Richard F. Messenger (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 Services; and, Mary Poesse, Manager of Grants and Planning.  (The numbers represented in the parenthesis of this paragraph equate to the weighted vote for each Director in attendance.)

The Chairman asked if there was any member of the public who wished to address the Board. There were none.  Mr. Mitchell gave the Directors a moment to look at the draft Minutes of the May Annual Meeting.  Mr. Raney indicated that there was a misspelling of his name in two places.  Ms. Pet asked a question regarding the manner in which the Minutes addressed a specific situation.  Ms. Gamble then moved adoption of the May 11, 2017 Annual Meeting Minutes, which was seconded by Mr. Raney and approved with revision by a vote of 28.71 yea, 0.00 nay and 2.20 abstention by Mr. Gardow and Mr. Lockwood.

The Chairman next asked for presentation of the financial report. Ms. Vo-Le stated that this would be an abbreviated financial report as there was a comprehensive budget and financial presentation provided at the Annual Meeting in May.

A summary of the District’s financial report for the period ending April 30, 2017 was presented as follows:

The Special Revenue Fund has generated $36.7 million in revenues and incurred the same amount in expenditures.  Comparing actual result to budget, this fund is nearly $6.1 million over the FY2017 budget.  This occurred primarily due to a timing associated with the ADA Facility, vehicle procurement, and TIGER projects – expenses were incurred in FY2017 that were budgeted in the prior fiscal year.

The General Fund has generated $94,684 in actual revenues, incurred $18,502 in actual expenses, and yielded $76,182 in excess of actual revenues over actual expenses.  The General Fund is anticipated to generate between $40,000 and $50,000 in excess of revenues over expenses by the end of the fiscal year.

Parking Lot actual revenues, actual expenditures, and excess of actual revenues over expenses are:  $300,832, $104,990, and $195,842, respectively.  Also comparing actual to budget, the Parking Lot yields a net unfavorable of $48,175 in excess of revenues over expenditures mainly due to the impact of lower daily parking revenues, partially offset by lower professional services and indirect cost allocation than was originally budgeted.

Union Station actual revenues and expenditures totaled $1,404,847 and $1,411,728, respectively, and yielded $6,881 in excess of actual expenditures over actual revenues.  Comparing actual result to budget, the Station yields a net unfavorable variance of $8,183 in excess of revenues over expenditures.  The Union Station is budgeted to yield nearly $2,000 in excess of revenues over expenditures by the end of the fiscal year.

The Chairman then asked for acceptance of the financial report as presented. Mr. Messenger made a motion for acceptance of the financial report which was seconded by Ms. Gamble. Mr. Quintero noted that he liked the format of the financial report.   Mr. Mooney inquired as to the reason for the loss of daily parking lot revenue.  Both the Executive Director and Chairman stated that the reduction of train service could be a reason for the loss.  The motion was passed unanimously 30.91 yea 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

The Chairman next asked for consideration of approval of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. Upon motion by Mr. Raney and seconded by Ms. Gamble, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. The motion was passed unanimously 30.91 yea 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Lord provided an overview to the Directors on the RFP and selection process that took place in regard to the final decision on a legal firm.  Mr. Lord 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, 2018 with direction given to the Executive Director to enter into negotiation with the firm regarding their proposed hourly rates.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Messenger.  The Chairman asked if there were any questions.  Mr. Gardow inquired about the budget line item for legal service costs.  Ms. Vo-Le explained that it fell within the line item of professional services. At this point Mr. Mooney addressed the Chairman and asked for clarification on a specific Robert’s Rule of Order.  The vote passed 30.91 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Upon motion by Mr. Mooney 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, 2018 by a vote of 30.91 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Quintero 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, 2018, which was seconded by Mr. Lockwood and approved by a vote of 30.91 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Mitchell then asked for Program Presentations.

Mr. Gonzalez provided the ADA Paratransit report:

He stated that substantial completion of the new ADA Paratransit building is getting close.  Paving has been done, furniture has been delivered and installed, the tire carousel and fuel tank have been installed, the IT system for computers and phones is being installed, and landscaping work is being done.  Fiber for the phone system has yet to be run into the building, but Frontier is trying to expedite the process.   Conduits, pull boxes, and under slab boxes have been installed for our radio contractor.  Fencing and the gate need to be completed.  Bit curbing at the rear is to be completed.

Mr. Gonzalez also noted that all buses that have met their useful life have been sold at auction, and all replacement buses are on the road.  He also stated that he is preparing for an eligibility appeal and just completed another appeal.

Mr. Gonzalez then provided his operations report:

The welcome wall on Spruce Street is finally complete as the lighting has been installed.  The lighting for Asylum and Church Streets will go out for RFP shortly.  The District completed a pot hole repair project at the end of the bus exit way on the District property.  Mr. Gonzalez that the he is currently in the midst of interviewing for a Security Supervisor as there is a high need for such.  He also stated that the District is increasing parking lot revenue based on the new restaurant tenant.  Chango Rosa has hired over 70 employees and the District is pre-validating parking tickets for the new staff and being reimbursed by restaurant management for all of the pre-validations.  (Chango Rosa is in turn being reimbursed by its employees.)

Mr.  Lockwood inquired about the possibility of the Spruce Street Parking Lot being maxed out with the onset of rail next year and how would the District would prepare for this.  Ms. Shotland stated that the District is working with Propark to come up with a strategy to capture the additional cars and revenue.  Ms. Cassidy asked why the Peter Pan bus signs are still up in the drop off area.  Mr. Gonzalez said that he is addressing this.   She also asked when the down spouts will be fixed.  Mr. Gonzalez stated that he knows that this is an ongoing issue, but there were other major grant projects which took precedent.

Ms. Poesse was called upon to present her procurement and grant report and she began by discussing:

Sigourney Street
All of the contract work in the City signal contract has been completed. However, problems were found during the communication testing. The City will have the contractor install new communication cable as part of the project.  The streetscape project is complete.  The contractor has completed the punch list items.  Work is continuing on closing out the construction project books.

New Britain
The City of New Britain received bids from three contractors and prices ranged from $4.6M to $9.3M. The low bidder withdrew its bid and the two other bids were well above the budget of $5.8M. The City of New Britain is analyzing the bids to determine why certain items were bid so high, and to value engineer the project to get bid prices for the re-bidding down to the budget.

Brownstone Repairs
The District continues to work with the firm of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger to prepare the construction documents needed to conduct the Phase I repairs to Union Station.  The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) determined that the undertaking constitutes no adverse effects to historic resources.


For Bushnell Park North, the crew has been working to complete all the items on the punch list. One major issue, the efflorescence along the wall, has not been resolved. The city is reviewing options with the designer and contractor.

Asylum/Pearl/SHS is completed.  The contractor has submitted as-built documents and signal plans are being overlay on these documents to be placed at traffic signals.  The District continues to participate in monthly construction meetings, provide monthly reporting to FTA, and coordinate close out activities with the City of Hartford.  A cost proposal for the repair of the Union Station steps and replacement of the damaged bollards has been received and the City is currently reviewing them.

Ms. Shotland presented her administrative report by discussing the following:

An “Option to Amend” document was forwarded to Greyhound for approval.  In consideration for the District granting this Option, Greyhound will make a $2,000.00 payment monthly for up to (6) months to hold the space that they will be eventually renting in the Transportation Center.

Mr. Mitchell and Ms. Shotland signed a Joint Representation Letter so that the District’s attorneys can assist Ms. Shotland in providing a Victim’s Impact Statement in the Bradshaw Smith matter.

Ms. Shotland stated that she is coordinating the comprehensive Triennial Review process with the staff as the site review will be coming up on July 10th and July 11th.   The District has been preparing for this audit for several months.  The FTA will be on-site with the Reviewer.  The Triennial process determines whether a grantee is administering its FTA-funded programs in accordance with federal regulations.  It assesses grantee management practices and program implementation to ensure that the programs are administered in accordance with FTA requirements and are meeting program objectives.

She noted that there will be a grand opening at the new 148 Roberts Street facility, and that she will try to coordinate the next board meeting to be held at 148 Roberts Street.

Ms. Shotland also stated that both Mr. Gonzalez and she are in discussion with First Transit for possible cost savings within the current operating contract.  The move to East Hartford provides opportunity for future savings which would be passed back to the CTDOT.

Mary Poesse has been promoted to Manager of Grants & Planning, and the interview process is underway for her replacement.

Mr. Gardow inquired regarding the boxing match in the Great Hall.  Ms. Shotland stated that it was a successful event.

Ms.  Shotland provided an update on the CRCOG Transportation Committee meeting held on May 22nd.  She mentioned that the TIP Amendments were discussed, including the amendment to fund the continuing improvements and repairs to maintain Union Station in a state of good repair.  Some of the funding is for replacing the concrete on the third floor stairs for emergency egress, maintenance on the electrical system, replacing the battery light system, replacing tramper switches for fire protection valves, providing a third floor accessible lift and installing a fence on the north side of the building underneath the tracks.  There is supplemental funding provided to complete the restoration of the Brownstone.  Also noted was that Ms. Shotland and the new Transit & Rideshare Administrator for CTDOT were appointed as the transit representatives on the MPO’s Transportation Policy Board.

At 8:18 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. Mooney and passed by a unanimous vote of 30.91 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Lord made motion to reconvene the Regular Meeting at 8:51 p.m. and upon second by Mr. Messenger, the motion passed by a unanimous vote of 30.91 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Upon motion made by Mr. Messenger and a second by Mr. Quintero, the Board voted to adopt the matter discussed in Executive Session regarding the FY 2018 compensation for the Executive Director as amended by a vote of 30.91 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.

Mr. Mitchell next asked if there was any new business to be brought before the Board.  There being no further business brought before the Board, Ms. Gamble moved that the meeting be adjourned.  Upon seconding by Mr. Quintero, the motion passed unanimously by a vote of 30.91 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention. The Regular Meeting was adjourned at 8:53 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Peter J. Bonzani
Assistant Secretary

Adopted: 09/14/17