September 2017 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Hartford Connecticut
September 14, 2017

Stephen F. Mitchell, Chairman

At 7:04 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; Marilyn Pet (2.30) and Peter J. Bonzani (2.30), East Hartford; Gilbert Hayes (1.00), East Windsor; Stephen F. Mitchell (2.00) and Kevin Mooney (2.00), Enfield; Kevin R. McKernan (2.79), Nicholas Addamo (2.79), Frank Lord (2.79) and Jennifer Cassidy (2.79), Hartford; Ferguson R. Jansen (2.11), Simsbury; David Giordano (2.83), West Hartford; Brendan Flynn (1.19) and Peter Gardow (1.19), Wethersfield; 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 & Administrative Services, Mary Deppe, Manager of Grants and Planning, and LaShaunda Drake, Procurement and Contract Coordinator. (The numbers represented in the parenthesis of this paragraph equate to the weighted vote for each Director in attendance.)

Mr. Mitchell made an introduction of LaShaunda Drake who joined the District last month in the Grants and Procurement Department.  He then asked if there was any member of the public who wished to address the board. There were none.  Mr. Mitchell than asked for a motion to be made regarding acceptance of the June 22, 2017 Regular Meeting Minutes. Ms. Gamble moved adoption of those Minutes. Upon seconding by Mr. Raney, the motion passed by a vote of 30.22 yea, 0.00 nay, and 1.00 abstention.  (Mr. Hayes.)

Mr. Mitchell then asked for presentation of the monthly financial report. Ms. Vo-Le summarized the District’s financial report for the period ending June 30, 2017:

Special Revenue Fund
As of the end of June 2017, the Special Revenue Fund had generated approximately $44.6 million in revenues and incurred the same amount in expenditures.  Comparing actual result to budget, this fund is approximately $7.8 million over budget.  This occurred primarily due to timing associated with the ADA Facility, vehicle procurement, and TIGER project.  She stated that certain expenses were incurred in FY2017; however those expenses were budgeted in the prior fiscal year.

Mr. Mooney asked what the yellow category on the spreadsheet stood for. Ms. Vo-Le reported that it represented actual costs. Mr. Mooney inquired about the special revenue expenses and revenues being the same. Ms. Vo-Le reported that the special revenue fund always balances at the end of each fiscal year because each expense must be charged back accordingly to a grant or program in that fund.

General Fund
The General Fund had generated $209,600 in actual revenues, incurred $34,400 in actual expenses, and yielded $175,200 in excess of actual revenues over actual expenses.  The $175.2K represents proceeds of sales from sixty-one (61) vehicles totaling $111,400 which was credited to the General Fund’s restricted revenue, and the remaining $63,800 was credited to the General Fund’s unrestricted revenue.

Spruce Street Parking Lot
Parking Lot actual revenues, actual expenditures, and excess of actual revenues over expenses are:  $358,700, $117,000, and $241,700; respectively.  Also comparing actual to budget, the Spruce Street Parking Lot yielded a net unfavorable balance of $51,120 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
Union Station actual revenues and expenditures totaled $1,620,600 and $1,642,900; respectively, and yielded $22,300 in excess of actual expenditures over actual revenues.  This occurred due to higher legal fees incurred during fiscal year 2017 in association with an on-going lease eviction issue.  Comparing actual result to budget, the station yielded a net favorable variance of $23,862 in excess of revenues over expenditures.

Mr. Jansen asked what the Hartford Livability project was.  Ms. Deppe reported that it was a federally funded project that tied into the TIGER IV project in Hartford and included; sidewalks, stairs, bollards, and landscaping on Union Place. He also inquired if the Spruce Street Parking Lot fills up?  Ms. Shotland stated that the lot is approximately 80% full on a daily basis, but the vacancy space rate varies based on many factors.  Some spots have been lost to due to the ongoing I-84 viaduct rehabilitation project. Mr. Gardow questioned how much the legal fees were in relation to the Hot Tomatos eviction litigation?  Ms. Shotland reported that it had cost the District approximately $70k.

Mr. Mitchell then asked for any other questions, and hearing none Mr. Flynn made a motion to accept the monthly financial report, which was seconded by Mr. Bonzani, and approved unanimously by a vote of 31.22 yea, 0.00 nay and 0.00 abstention.


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

  • Completed the very complicated, but successful move to the new ADA Paratransit & Maintenance facility on July 20th.  The move from Wawarme Avenue to Roberts Street went very well considering the massive undertaking and coordination efforts.   There was really no effect on the service from our passenger’s standpoint and fairly transparent.
  • Received a verbal on the full Certificate of Occupancy (CO), as we previously had the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. The town’s inspector and fire department provided a verbal authorization that all requirements have been met. The contractor is just waiting for the certificate to be mailed and then it will be turned over to the District.  There are still some “punch list” items that have to be addressed prior to releasing the contractor from their obligations, but that does not have any bearing on the CO.
  • Preparing to order the next round of buses.  Based on the funding for this year we are scheduled to procure twenty-five (25).

Ms. Pet commented that the “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony” was beautifully run and the ceremony and tours were very impressive.

Mr. Mitchell asked Mr. Gonzalez to continue with his operations report.

  • Once a contractor is chosen to perform the brownstone repairs by the procurement department he will become the project manager for the District to oversee the work of the contractor.
  • The District has worked with Chango Rosa for their employee parking, and it appears that additional revenue is being generated based on the number of Chango Rosa restaurant staff parking in the Spruce Street Lot.
  • CTDOT seems to be making progress on the I-84 viaduct, but the District has lost significant parking in regard to the construction even though the contractor is trying to minimize the impact.  He also noted that on large events the District is working with ProPark to have one of their employees in the parking lot to get vehicles in and out more easily.

Mr. Hayes inquired about the number of parking passes and rates for Chango Rosa.  Mr. Gonzalez noted that passes are being sold at a fixed rate of $5 which equates to our event rate.   An inquiry was also made of Mr. Gonzalez regarding the length of time that the construction may last?  He stated that we are not sure, but it appears that good progress is being made.  Most likely it will not be completed by the Eversource Marathon, but we will be prepared to take in as many cars as possible to generate revenue on that day.

Mr. Mitchell then called on Ms. Deppe to present the report for Administration. She stated the following:
New Employee 
Ms. Deppe also provided an introduction to Ms. Drake who joined the District at the end of July as the new Procurement and Contract Coordinator. She stated that she was previously the Contracts Manager at the City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services for the Ryan White Program. She also noted that she has been a great addition to the team and the staff is very happy to have her on board.
Sigourney Street 
All contract work in the City signal contract has been completed. Problems were found during the communication testing and the City has since had 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.  GHTD has closed expended all of the FTA funds and closed out the grant for this project.
New Britain
The City is working with their consultant, Fuss & O’Neill and submitted revised bid documents to CTDOT’s the week of 9/8/17. The city solicited pricing for the Pedestrian Enclosure, Lighting, and Sculptures and will be executing a contract with Sign Pro for that work soon. These items had been taken out of the larger project to reduce costs and to have the re-bidding coming in closer to the project cost.
Brownstone Repairs
The District has been working with the firm of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger to put out an Invitation for Bids for the Phase I repairs to Union Station.  The bid opening was on 9/6/17 and 5 bids were received, ranging in price from $748,400 to $1,649,000.  The lowest bidder, a DBE, was determined to be responsive, submitting all of the required documents and certifications.  SGH is now reviewing the bids(s) to determine if the specifications in the IFB are also met.
In regard to Bushnell Park North the major remaining issues are the wall and the landscaping.  The city has hired a contractor to clean a section off the wall to remove the efflorescence, remove the stone caps, install new membrane flashing, and install the stone caps with caulk on the joints.  This will help to determine if the efflorescence issue can be repaired, or if it is going to continue to show up.  There are a number of dead trees that will be replaced this fall as well as the replanting of bulbs throughout
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.  A cost proposal for the repair of the Union Station steps and replacement of the damaged bollards has been received and approved by the City. Repairs will take place before the end of the construction season and will be paid for by the City of Hartford.

Roberts Street 
The department is working on procurement for the necessary preventative maintenance contracts at the new facility.  Some of contracts we needed include: the bus wash, HVAC system, security cameras, porous pavement cleaning (front parking lot), and the elevator system.  Banton Construction will be providing District staff with all of the warranty information and specifications needed to put together the Requests for Quotes for these services. Services contracts already underway include: landscaping, sprinkler system, tree limb cutting, fire alarm monitoring and security alarm monitoring.
The current contract with Blum Shapiro for Auditing Services expires on December 31, 2017.  A Request for Proposals is being developed for these services currently.  District staff will request participation from the an “ad hoc” committee selected by the Chairman which most likely will include Audit Committee members to review and evaluate proposals and to provide a recommendation to the Board of Directors at the November or December meeting.
Mr. Hayes asked if the porous parking lot has loose gravel.  Mr. Mitchell responded by explaining that porous pavements enable stormwater to drain through a stone base layer for on-site infiltration and filtering purposes. He also stated that these pavements must be vacuumed at least annually.
Mr. Mitchell than called on Ms. Shotland to follow up with her administrative report. In her report she mentioned:

  • Executed $4.3 ml of Section 5307 Urbanized Area formula funds for FY’17.  Activities to be funded include:  replacement of ADA paratransit vehicles that have met their useful life, preventive maintenance necessary to keep Union Station in a state of good repair, and the purchase of capital equipment and services to support the paratransit operations.
  • Set up the new meeting and conference center in the Transit Center for hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly rentals.
  • Had an excellent outcome from the FTA Triennial Review and had only one finding. The deficiency was found with the FTA requirements for Title VI.  The GHTD has four subrecipients that are implementing FTA-funded projects.  These are:  the City of Hartford, the Town of Mansfield, the Town of Enfield, and the City of New Britain.  Although the GHTD has collected Title VI Policies and Complaint procedures from each of these subrecipients, other general reporting requirements of FTA Circular 4702.1B, Chapter III are missing, including the submission of a Title VI Program that has been approved by each entity’s governing board. At this time Ms. Drake also explained in detail the process for clearing up the finding based on the work that she was doing with each subrecipient.
  • It was also noted that the District has actually come in underbudget in regard to the entire construction project at the Roberts Street location.
  • The turnout for the “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 148 Roberts Street, East Hartford took place on 9/13/17 and was well-attended and an overall success.
  • Met with Peter Pan management to discuss their marketing strategy for Union Station.
  • Pursuing additional land acquisition adjacent to the new site in East Hartford.
  • Met with the new rail operator of CTrails as they familiarize themselves with Union Station.
  • Met with the City of Hartford to discuss an erroneous tax increase, and was granted a Certificate of Correction for the error.
  • Will be meeting with the District’s insurance broker within the next few days to finalize the upcoming renewals.

Mr. Gardow asked if the new conference room follows all of the pertinent zoning requirements. Ms. Shotland reported that it does and all was reviewed by Day Pitney for concurrence.
Mr. Mitchell then asked for a Transportation Committee report.  Ms. Shotland stated that a meeting of
the CRCOG Transportation Committee took place on July 24, 2017. It was noted that Ms. Shotland will serve as one of the transit representatives on the Policy Board in its capacity as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Information was presented that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released the Record of Decision and Selected Alternative for the Northeast Corridor (NEC) Future project. The selected alternative acknowledges the ongoing CTrail initiative between New Haven and Springfield, but does not incorporate enhancements between Springfield and Boston. The Selected Alternative also eliminated the controversial diversion through a historic section of Old Lyme and instead calls for further analysis of capacity and service options between New Haven and Providence, which could include analysis of a route from Hartford to Providence via Storrs.

Mr. Mitchell reported that the District has been very fortunate for several years that Mr. Hayes has volunteered to be the District’s representative on the CRCOG Transportation Committee. However, Mr. Hayes has requested to step down from that position based on many other commitments that take up significant time.  Mr. Mitchell asked that if any member is interested in stepping into this position to please email Ms. Shotland or himself and he will select Mr. Hayes’s replacement.

Mr. Mitchell asked if there was any new business to be brought before the board. Mr. Lord noted that he received a notice about I-84 Multimodal Station planning meetings to be held on 9/25/17.  However, those meetings are being postponed until late October. Mr. Mitchell than went on to explain that both Mr. Pitcock and Ms. Oliver have been unable to join us recently, and he asked that everyone keep them in their thoughts and hoping that they can rejoin us soon.

Mr. Mitchell then asked if there was any other business to be brought before the Board.  There being no further business brought before the Board, Ms. Gamble moved that the meeting be adjourned. Which was seconded by Mr. Mooney, the motion passed by a unanimous vote of 31.22 yea, 0.00 nay, and 0.00 abstention.  The Regular Meeting was adjourned at 8:18 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

James R. McCavanagh/Secretary

Adopted: 11/09/2017