CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
October 27, 2003
STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING
Conference Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
Don Sherman, Vice-Chairman
Richard Kipp, Treasurer
Hugh Mose, General Manager
Joseph Gilbert, Director of Transportation
Judith Minor, Director of Administration
Jacqueline Sheader, Marketing Manager
Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager
Terri Quici, Executive Assistant
Richard McCarl, State College Borough Liaison
Tim Geibel, CRPA, Transportation Planner
Tom Zilla, CRPA, Transportation Planner
Frank Schwab, Consultant to Schlow Library
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:08 PM.
II. PUBLIC COMMENT
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. Approval of September 22, 2003 Board Minutes
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the minutes as distributed. Richard Kipp moved to approve the minutes of the September 22, 2003 Board Meeting.
Chairman Spychalski noted two changes: Page 4, last paragraph under General Manager’s report should read “Small Operations Steering Committee”, and on page 3, line 14 Chairman Spychalski’s name needs to be corrected. Donald Sherman seconded the motion to accept the minutes with noted corrections; they were approved unanimously.
B. September 2003 Finance Report
Hugh Mose indicated one noteworthy item is Safety and Training. We offered all employees refresher training this summer and spent a little money to provide it.
Joe Davidson questioned the expenses for the paratransit buses and asked if we provided maintenance in-house. Judi indicated yes, we do provide the maintenance, and the expenses reflect a lot of brake work, plus the workers’ pay and fringes are included.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to receive the September 2003 Finance Reports. Joe Davidson moved to accept, Gary Powers seconded. The motion was carried unanimously.
C. Schlow Library Transit Center Update
Hugh Mose introduced Frank Schwab, an independent consultant under contract to the Schlow Library Board of Trustees, who is the project manager for construction of the new library. Hugh stated that Frank is present today to provide an update to the Board. He also brought with him updated plans of the facility. Hugh indicated that an area of 1400 sq. ft. has been designated for a CATA office on the Beaver Avenue end of the building. This area will include office space, storage area, a janitorial closet, staff restroom, sales counter, waiting room, public restrooms and a room for bus drivers to take meal breaks. There is also an enclosed vestibule and parking spaces for two CATA sedans. The office will be open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; after which the reception area will be closed but the vestibule would remain open. It is envisioned that a gate would come down at the reception area, but bus drivers could still be able to enter and use the restroom and break room. In addition to the space inside, there will be an improved bus waiting area outside. Plans are for a waiting area for three buses, which is about 50% more space than we have currently. Hugh stated that we wanted to create (1) a presence for CATA in the best location we could hope to have in terms of accessibility to public, visibility from the street, and convenience to a bus stop; and (2) a project that would allow the library to capture some of the transit funding. We need to find a way to use some of the federal dollars to support the common areas within the library. These plans are still being worked through, but some of the areas could be the elevator lobby, public restrooms, and the community room that could serve as a future Board meeting room for CATA.
Hugh stated that another aspect is to try to use some of the federal dollars to enhance pedestrian access across Beaver Avenue and across Allen Street. Because it really is part of the project, we think we can use some of the federal dollars to support pedestrian amenities such as the pedestrian node, the “countdown” walk signals, as well as audible signals that have become more and more commonplace for people with sight impairments. The last piece worth noting is CATA parking stalls for relief vehicle parking.
Frank indicated that Hugh gave a pretty good description. He added that there is a door that will give access from the CATA space to upper floors of the library through the elevator area. Hugh stated that one of the unknowns is how closely tied together do the common areas have to be in order to take advantage of federal dollars.
Don Sherman asked if there has been any discussion about signage for CATA on the exterior of the building for CATA. Frank replied that there is a spot on the Beaver Avenue side and asked if the Board is interested in signage. Additional discussion regarding signage on the Allen Street side and an informational kiosk is needed.
In terms of a timeframe, Hugh indicated that a meeting is scheduled with Delta Development Associates, a group that Hayes Large has retained to put together a proposal to go to the Federal Transit Administration. There isn’t a lot we can do until the Transportation Appropriations bill is passed. Frank Schwab stated that the Library Board is scheduled to talk with the COG General Forum next month. The presentation was originally scheduled for tonight at COG but there was a general feeling that it wasn’t ready yet for the General Forum to see.
D. MPO Expansion
Hugh announced that earlier today he had received a request for reaffirmation of CATA’s support for the MPO expansion. About a year ago, the Board voted to support the expansion of the MPO. The new proposal is a slight departure from what the Board has seen in the past. Projected CATA contributions are $13,055 in 2003 and $16,000 in 2004, with increases each year through 2008, at which time the contribution would be $18,350. Bellefonte and PSU are not participating at present; however there is the expectation that PSU will contribute through the in-lieu tax agreement. Tom Zilla, CRPA, discussed issues regarding shared costs, benefits, budget deficits and politics among MPO members. He apologized for this last minute agenda item. Tom noted that this is not an additional amount being requested, but an adjusted share based on those municipalities who are supporting MPO at present.
Hugh encouraged the Board to support the expanded MPO, stating that lots of work has gone into this effort for the past 6 years, and that this is probably the best solution possible. John Spychalski reminded the Board that they have already voted to support the MPO expansion and that the only change is the increased contribution, which is about $2,500 more than the original figures.
Joe Davidson moved that CATA support the MPO expansion with the increased contribution as outlined in the attachment provided by Mr. Zilla. Don Sherman seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
A. FY 2002-03 Audit Reports
Hugh stated that Judi Minor had to leave the meeting early, and noted that each of the Board members received in their board packets a letter from Reinsel & Co. and the final Audit Reports. Basically, there is nothing within the audit reports that was out of order. The Single Audit is designed to assess our compliance with federal regulations. The auditors came back with a clean report stating that we are in compliance with the requirements of the various grants we received. There were no findings in regard to internal control matters, and previous issues have been sufficiently resolved. Hugh noted that there was one thing that caught his attention – how we booked the value of the facility expansion. The value of the building itself hasn’t changed at all, because that line includes only federally-funded construction.
Hugh indicated that no action is required tonight, and if anyone has questions for Judi Minor the Board can wait until the next meeting to accept the audit reports.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion that the Board receive the Audit Reports. Richard Kipp moved; Joe Davidson seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. Board Work Session
Hugh recapped the recommendations that were made in the state-mandated Management Performance Review earlier this year. Five items were identified as areas of consideration for the Board, one being that the Board schedule a work session or planning retreat. Hugh’s recommendation is that in the early part of December the Board members meet in a planning session to address the issue of adding a PSU liaison to the Board and to talk about general budget items in preparation for FY 2004-05. Chairman Spychalski suggested that the time slot of December 15th be budgeted for a planning session. The Board members agreed to Monday, December 15, 2003 at 4:00 PM. Hugh indicated that food and beverage will be provided. Terri Quici was asked to provide a reminder to Board members in early December.
V. Other Business
A. General Manager’s Report
Hugh noted that January 2004 is the next opportunity to make changes in our services. The August changes have worked uncommonly well, so very little corrective work is necessary. However, in anticipation of the theatre opening near Shiloh Road, we will need to reconfigure the M route to make the bus go around from Wal-Mart to Shiloh Road. There is also a timing change on the RE Route to make it correspond better with the R Route trips in the morning.
Hugh stated that the State House of Representatives has passed a budget amendment that restores $16 million in operating assistance from the original State budget. The Senate has yet to act and is moving very slowly. A second House budget bill removes the current cap on Act 3 funding for one year only to provide some relief for transit systems. Unfortunately, neither bill will amount to a lot of money for CATA because the state funding structure doesn’t work well for growing systems like ours.
We again provided service to the Haunted Granary and Haunted Reserve. Although about 600 people rode the buses, the ridership was down slightly from last year.
The semi-annual Centre Ride Community Meeting will be held on October 29, 2003. It is a State requirement to provide an opportunity for community members to address their concerns about the Shared Ride service.
Joe Davidson asked if there was any word on the bus power issue. Joe Gilbert indicated that he doesn’t have any good news. A bus is at the Detroit Diesel facility now and has been through some testing. Bob Colton has indicated that they think the problem is in the computer programming but they don’t know how to fix it at this time. Chairman Spychalski inquired how many units were affected. Joe Gilbert reported that two or three are performing poorly now, but eventually ten or more will be impacted. Joe Davidson asked if there is anyone else who has reported the same problem. Joe Gilbert indicated that MARTA in Atlanta appears to have some problems.
Don Sherman inquired about Joe Gilbert’s trip to California to prepare for the new buses. Joe stated that they haven’t yet started to build our buses, but he did tour their new facilities. Joe also indicated that the schedule might change due to all the recent fires near the plant.
Chairman Spychalski and the Board congratulated Hugh for his election to the Chairmanship of APTA’s Small Operations Steering Committee.
B. Service Development Report
Eric indicated that there were 600 riders this weekend for the shuttle to the Haunted Granary and Haunted Reserve. Although last year’s ridership was 900, nonetheless it was the 3rd highest amount we have ever had ride. The sponsor pays us and offers the service free to the public. It is a fundraiser, so we only charge the actual cost.
Service changes in January will include expanded information about our Board members on the CATA website. Jackie Sheader will send members an email asking a few more questions about personal information to include.
Richard Kipp asked when the shelter was going in on Curtin Road. Eric indicated that the shelters should be arriving shortly. The new shelters will be doubles for Curtin and Pollock Roads, and a single near the bus station.
With no further business to transact, Richard Kipp moved to adjourn the meeting. Don Sherman seconded the motion. The motion was carried and the meeting adjourned at 5:38 PM. Joe Davidson noted that the Board would re-convene in executive session.
VI. Executive Session
The Board re-convened in executive session to discuss personnel matters.