AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
REGULAR BOARD MEETING
January 22, 2007
STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING
Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street, State College, PA
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
Joseph L. Davidson, Vice Chairman
Richard Kipp, Treasurer
Hugh Mose, General Manager
Judith Minor, Director of Administration
Joe Gilbert, Director of Transportation
Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager
Amanda Jones, Asst. Director, Administration
Jacqueline Sheader, Marketing Manager
Craig Humphrey, State College Borough Liaison
Greg Kausch, CRPA Sr. Transportation Planner
Jolly Harris, Interested Citizen
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:02 PM.
II. 2007 ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS
A. Election of Officers
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion from any Board member for Election of Officers. Gary Powers nominated:
Chairman - John Spychalski, Ferguson Township
Vice-Chairman - Joseph Davidson, College Township
Treasurer - Richard Kipp, Harris Township
Asst. Treasurer - Judith Minor, CATA Director of Administration
Secretary - Hugh Mose, CATA General Manager
Kathryn Bittner seconded. There were no other nominations. The motion carried unanimously.
III. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Craig Humphrey asked Eric Bernier what impact Parkway Plaza has had on our ridership since they stopped operating their private bus. Eric explained that we have a contract with them and that ridership has increased by 450-500 riders per day. Hugh Mose stated that ridership is a little higher than we had expected.
IV. OLD BUSINESS
A. Approval of Board Minutes 11/27/06
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Joe Davidson moved to approve the November 27, 2006 Board minutes. Kathryn Bittner seconded. Richard Kipp referenced typos under Section II, Public Comment, lines 5 and 6; and Section III, Old Business. Mr. Kipp also asked that a change under Policy Review and Adoption, last paragraph be changed to read “Mr. Kipp questioned why…” Motion carried unanimously with suggested changes.
B. Approval of Work Session Minutes 12/20/06
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the December 20, 2006 minutes. Richard Kipp moved to approve the Work Session minutes. Joe Davidson seconded. Richard Kipp recommended that Section V, Fares, line 4 read “but he thinks it may be somewhat less of a problem to …”; Section VII Local Shares, line 2 should be “sell” and not “sale,” and line 3 should read “increased funding on routes with decreasing ridership…” The motion carried unanimously with the noted changes.
C. November and December Financial Reports
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to accept the financial reports. Gary Powers moved to accept the November and December 2006 Financial Reports. Richard Kipp seconded. Judi Minor provided a review of the line items. Gary Powers commented that the CNG purchase line looks good. Judi said that many months were purchased below budget; and that currently the price is up a little but it is still under what we budgeted. Joe Davidson asked if our Solicitor’s fees were included under Professional Fees. Judi Minor affirmed and said that other items such as payment to the Regional Technology Coalition is also included under Professional Fees. Hugh Mose said that paratransit ridership is about the same as last year, and that Centre Line included an extra week of full service in December, which explains an increase in ridership for that month. With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.
D. Policy Review and Adoption
Hugh Mose stated that the policies reviewed at the November meeting were included in the Board Packet, and they include the Board’s request to modify the Jury Duty policy. Amanda Jones stated that she had researched other employers’ policies regarding jury duty provisions. Ms. Jones found that some didn’t require repayment when wages were paid and some paid the difference between the day’s wages and jury duty pay. Ms. Jones noted that only $90 has been paid to CATA as a result of jury duty in the last three years and that documentation was not itemized. Ms. Jones didn’t find it common to be reimbursed for meals and recommended that only mileage reimbursement not be required as part of the payback. Kathryn Bittner agreed with the recommended changes and moved to accept the policies with stated revision. Joe Davidson seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Amanda Jones then delivered proposed changes to the final sections of the Personnel Manual up for review this month (Sections XVI – XXV). Mr. Mose noted the change in life insurance from $20,000 to $35,000. Joe Davidson asked if our attorney, Bob Martin, had reviewed these policies, specifically the Lay Off Policy. Mr. Davidson’s concern was that the reference to “permanent termination” in this policy could be misinterpreted as being a layoff, when someone is being terminated from employment for another reason. Mr. Davidson asked that this be reviewed and additional suggestions be brought back to the next meeting. Chairman Spychalski asked Board members to send suggestions directly to Amanda.
Joe Gilbert provided a summary of the Substance Abuse Policy that is required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Mr. Gilbert noted minor revisions with no content changes. Changes occur on page 2, 3.0 (reference to safety sensitive positions); page 9 (new medical review officer) and page 10 (added safety-sensitive positions). Joe Davidson asked why the level of alcohol concentration is at .04 and not 0.00 (zero tolerance). Discussion continued as to what types of everyday products may cause a reading of .02 - .04 (such as mouthwash). Richard Kipp asked if the Board members should be included in this policy. Judi Minor suggested that a Board Member Conduct Policy might be considered and it could be included there. Eric Bernier stated that since the municipalities appoint the Board members, perhaps they already have something in place that covers this matter. Mr. Gilbert indicated that the policy did not need to be approved at this meeting. Staff will return to the next meeting with suggested revisions.
E. Centre County Transportation Office Update
Hugh Mose stated that the County Commissioners have continued to assess their transportation program and for the short-term have brought in a paratransit expert to help until a new Director is hired. Mr. Mose further stated that the County Commissioners have asked the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) to request additional PennDOT planning funds to conduct an evaluation of the issues involved bringing the two organizations together. Mr. Mose said that no action is required at this time.
F. Mission Statement
Hugh Mose stated that at the December Work Session staff were directed to come back to the Board with a revised version of the Mission Statement that reflected ideas that were discussed. Discussion continued regarding wording and length of the statement. Judi Minor stated that she felt it was too long, yet it does need to be inclusive. Gary Powers suggested that the statement be stopped right after the word “transportation” so that it reads, “To provide safe, reliable, accessible, affordable and courteous transportation.” Chairman Spychalski suggested that staff and Board members think about what has been discussed and come back to the February meeting with “final” recommendations.
V. NEW BUSINESS
A. Adoption of 2007 Meeting Dates and Location
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the 2007 Board Meeting Schedule as presented. Joe Davidson moved to adopt the 2007 Board Meeting Schedule and publicize it as required by law. Kathryn Bittner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. 2007/2008 Budget Timetable
Chairman Spychalski stated that, as required by the Authority’s Articles of Agreement, a proposed Budget Timetable is to be reviewed and adopted by the Board each January. Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the 2007/2008 Budget Timetable as presented. Hugh Mose noted that five municipalities will have their meetings on May 7th to discuss the budget and that this will present a challenge to attend all of them to answer any questions. Mr. Mose also noted that a Work Session should be planned for the week of March 19th. The Board tentatively scheduled 3/22/07 at 4:00 PM but indicated that it may need to be adjusted. With no further discussion, Gary Powers moved to adopt the 2007/2008 Budget Timetable. Richard Kipp seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
C. 2007/2008 Budget Update
Hugh Mose stated that he and Judi Minor have continued to refine what CATA’s financial status will be by the end of the year. Mr. Mose stated that currently the carry-forward estimate is approximately $600,000. In addition, the bus rehabilitation project can be postponed if additional funding is needed to maintain service.
Mr. Mose stated that the Operations Committee had begun looking at service planning recently and realized that service out to the airport would be more costly to provide than originally thought. Mr. Mose stated that the staff would not be making any recommendations for new service in the coming year. Mr. Mose said that if any funding does become available, additional service on the N, V, and R routes would be considered.
Judi Minor and Hugh Mose reported that they had met with the Council of Governments (COG) Finance Committee after the December work session to tell them of CATA’s financial situationmake them aware of our intent to raise fares, and request additional local shares. Individual Committee members expressed disappointment at a possible fare increase, indicated possible resistance to increased local share requests, and encouraged CATA to re-negotiate higher rates with our purchase-of-service contract holders.
VI. OTHER BUSINESS
A. General Manager’s Report
Hugh Mose reported that he is still not sure about what will happen with the federal “earmark” program and that bids have been received for the CNG compressors.
B. Service Development Report
Eric Bernier reminded the Board that the February meeting will be held in the Council Chambers and will include the Annual Public Hearing. Mr. Bernier also said that he hopes to have an analysis of the Apartment Contracts for the February or March meeting. Mr. Bernier reported that the A Route is now complete with new bus stop signs and the W Route will be completed shortly.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:34 PM.
No Executive Session was held.