CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

REGULAR BOARD MEETING

MINUTES

 pdf version

September 27, 2010

4:00 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING

Conference Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street

State College, PA  16801

 

 

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:                      John Spychalski, Chairman

                                                                        Joe Davidson, Vice-Chairman

                                                                        Richard Kipp, Treasurer

                                                                        Gary Powers

                                                                        Kathryn Bittner

 

STAFF:                                                            Hugh Mose, General Manager

                                                                        Louwana Oliva, Assistant General Manager

                                                                        Judith Minor, Director of Administration

                                                                        Mark Kutzer, Director of Maintenance

                                                                        Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager

                                                                        Greg Kausch, Transportation Planner

                                                                        Marsha Kyper, Assistant to the General Manager

                                                                        Ryan Harshbarger, Transportation Analyst

                                                                        Nick Soccio, Facilities Manager

 

 

I.          CALL TO ORDER

            Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:03 p.m.

 

II.        INTRODUCTIONS

            Mark Kutzer introduced Nick Soccio, CATA’s new Facilities Manager.

 

III.       PUBLIC COMMENT

            There were no public comments.

 

IV.       OLD BUSINESS

           

            A.         Approval of July 26, 2010 Regular Board Meeting Minutes.

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the July 26, 2010 Regular Board Meeting Minutes as presented.  Gary Powers moved and Joe Davidson seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

            B.         Receipt of the June, July and August 2010 Finance Reports

The June report was presented.  Judi Minor commented that:

·         A $125,000 reduction in state operating assistance for FY 2009-10 was made up for with federal operating funds which reduced the carry-over to FY 2010-11 by that amount.

·         An additional reduction of $125,000 in state funding and the non-renewal of the federal fuel tax credit in the amount of $250,000 were not accounted for in the FY 2010-11 Budget.

·         The Draft Audit will be available at the October meeting.            

 

           

                       

Joe Davidson inquired about Driver Benefits being 114% of Budget.  Hugh Mose responded that the overage is a result of overtime, added service and more Drivers than budgeted for on the payroll. Hugh reported that ridership grew just under 10%; OnePass and Ride-for-Five sales were collectively up 8.5% and paratransit ridership continues to decline.  Judi Minor commented that the decline may be a result of program participant’s displeasure with Handy Delivery transporting more people by group trips in vans than as single passengers in a taxi. 

 

The July and August Finance Reports were presented.  Joe Davidson inquired about the Line of Credit.

Judi Minor responded that the Line of Credit had been paid back but money had to be borrowed again because cash flow is low in July and August during Reduced Service.

 

Hugh Mose stated that there was one more Full Service day in August this year than last year which affects the numbers; Community Service ridership was up by 11% while Campus Service ridership was up by 6%; paratransit ridership was down; OnePass sales experienced a sharp increase; Ride-for-Five sales were off 7.7% and park and ride sales of 12 were the highest in recent years. Louwana Oliva stated that staff is being more proactive in the management of the day-to-day operation of the paratransit program. 

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to receive the June, July and August Finance Reports as presented.  Richard Kipp motioned and Kathryn Bittner seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

            C.         Policy Review and Adoption

Copies of the Sunshine Act, Right to Know Law, Joint Articles of Agreement and By-Laws were presented for review and comment.  Judi Minor suggested adding the Right-To-Know Policy and Procedures to the Policy Review Schedule.  Hugh Mose agreed that it should be added. 

 

Hugh Mose suggested that amendments to the By-Laws which reflect the addition of an Assistant Manager position at CATA might be considered.  Chairman Spychalski suggested and it was the consensus of the Board that the By-Laws be reviewed for both editorial and content amendments; Board members were asked to bring suggestions to the October meeting and staff is to forward suggestions to Marsha Kyper, who will prepare those suggestions for the Board’s consideration at the October meeting.

 

Since these items were for review and discussion only, no action was required.

 

            D.        Old Fort Park and Ride Lot Project

Greg Kausch provided a verbal overview of the history of the Old Fort Park and Ride Lot Project and stated that the preferred lot location will not receive environmental clearance from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), because of impacts to a historic resource that cannot be mitigated.

Specifically, an Adverse Effect determination has been made by the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission (PHMC) because of the proposed lot’s impact on the Penns Valley/Brush Valley Rural Historic District.

 

Greg further reported that the two options under consideration by Centre Region Planning Agency (CRPA) staff and the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) Coordinating Committee regarding the fate of the project are:

           

1.  No build and terminate.

2.  Place the ten year old project on hold and request a time extension from FHWA.

 

Greg stated that the CRPA staff and CCMPO Technical Committee’s recommendation to the CCMPO Coordinating Committee will be the no build and terminate option.  Either option would not require that any of the $325,000 federal funds invested in the project be repaid. However, termination of the project does eliminate the possibility of receiving any Federal funds for similar projects in that area for the foreseeable future, a time period which is not defined in the funding guidelines.  Greg further stated that a new project could be pursued for a different purpose with non-federal funds and therefore would not fall under PHMC guidelines.   

 

Joe Davidson inquired whether an endorsement from CATA’s Board of Directors of the no build and terminate option would be a help in encouraging the CCMPO Coordinating Committee to decide to terminate the project.  Consensus was that it could help.   

 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion that the Centre Area Transportation Authority Board go on record as endorsing  the termination of the current Old Fort Park and Ride Project, but also supporting the pursuit of a park and ride lot without federal funds or an alternative that will meet PHMC guidelines.  Joe Davidson moved and Kathryn Bittner seconded.  With no further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.

 

IV.       NEW BUSINESS

            A.         Service Planning

Hugh Mose stated that due to the lack of extension of the Federal Fuel Tax Credit which provides $250,000 annually to CATA, a cut of $125,000 in state operating assistance two years in a row, and a new staff position requiring $60,000 which was not included in the FY 2010-11 Budget, CATA’s existing level of service will not be sustainable beyond this current fund year.  Eric presented for Board consideration a general list of possible service reductions, some of which could take effect in January.

 

Gary Powers inquired whether service changes affect what the member municipalities pay for service.  Hugh Mose responded that CATA does not typically make such adjustments when service changes are made during the current fund year.  Chairman Spychalski inquired whether a Public Hearing would be required before the service changes could be placed into effect.  Hugh responded that if 25% of a specific route’s route mileage were to be cut, a public hearing would be required, however, the reductions being offered for consideration at this point fall below that threshold.  

 

Joe Davidson expressed his opposition to eliminating Saturday service to Bellefonte, citing public relations concerns.  Eric Bernier responded that much of the Saturday service under consideration for elimination from various Community Routes was added more recently as funding allowed, and therefore, among the first to be considered for elimination.  Hugh Mose further responded that he felt it was important to make some reductions in January to develop public awareness of CATA’s funding situation.   

 

Chairman Spychalski suggested that a Public Hearing be held regarding the proposed service reductions.  Gary Powers suggested a Work Session be held prior to a Public Hearing, and there was a consensus to do so.  Chairman Spychalski requested that staff prepare for consideration at the Work Session, a list of possible service reductions in rank order, excluding any political ramifications, and that staff also provide statistics to support its recommendations.

 

The Work Session was scheduled for Friday, October 15 at 2 p.m. in the CATA Board Room at the main office.

 

V.        OTHER BUSINESS

            A.         General Manager’s Report

Hugh Mose referenced his Bi-Weekly Memo that was included in the Board packet mailing and highlighted:

 

·         Greg Kausch’s application for a grant under the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative (PCTI) for a study of the effects of Universal Access on CATA.

 

·         The proposed sale of 0.15 acres of CATA property fronting on Whitehall Road which is needed for the upcoming road widening project and otherwise would be taken by Eminent Domain.  In response to a question about the impact of such a sale, Nick Soccio commented that he had spoken with Jeff Russler, Code Office for Ferguson Township, who did not recommend that we seek a Zoning Variance in advance of the facility expansion.

 

·         Two Drivers having been promoted to Operations Supervisor: Austin Novstrup and Jack Honetor.

 

            B.         Service Development Report

                        Chairman Spychalski referenced the written report provided by Eric Bernier.

 

VI.       ADJOURNMENT

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Gary Powers moved and Kathryn Bittner seconded.  The meeting was adjourned at 6:13 p.m.

 

VII.     EXECUTIVE SESSION

            Chairman Spychalski stated that an Executive Session would not be necessary.