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September 22, 2014

4:00 p.m.


Conference Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street

State College, PA 16801


BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:     John Spychalski, Chairman

                                                            Joe Davidson, Vice-Chairman

                                                            Richard Kipp, Treasurer

                                                            Tom Kurtz

                                                            Tammy Gentzel                                  


STAFF PRESENT:                             Louwana Oliva, General Manager

                                                            Ryan Harshbarger, Director of Transportation

                                                            Eric Bernier, Director of Information Services

                                                            Sylvia Rosa-Ortiz, Director of Human Resources

                                                            Joe Soloski, Financial Analyst

                                                            Greg Kausch, Senior Transportation Planner

                                                            Ken Morder, Operations Supervisor

                                                            Marsha Kyper, Assistant to the General Manager


OTHERS PRESENT:                         Ed Roethlein, CDM Smith, Inc.


I.                   CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:01 p.m.



There was no public comment.



            Ken Morder, CATA’s new Operations Supervisor, was present and introduced to the board. 




A.        Approval of Minutes of August 25, 2014 Regular Board Meeting

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the August 25, 2014 regular board meeting, with one copy edit and the following revision to New Business, section A, last paragraph, second sentence revised as follows at the request of Tom Kurtz: “Tom Kurtz stated that any requested changes in the plan that would deviate from the approved budget be communicated to the board and shown as such in the adjusted budget if approved by the board.”


Tammy Gentzel moved and Richard Kipp seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.


B.        Receipt of August 2014 Finance Report

Joe Soloski referenced the reports. Tom Kurtz requested that the recommended action required to cover the budget error in the Driver FICA line item, listed in # 12 within the Adjusted Budget section of the CATABUS Statement of Revenue and Expenditures, be added to the next meeting agenda for action by the board.  Joe Davidson requested that the staff keep sight of the unit cost for the production of an apartment bus pass.  Tom Kurtz recommended the establishment of an annual hourly rate for mechanic/maintenance salary and benefits for internal account efficiencies.


Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to receive the August 2014 Finance Report.

Tom Kurtz moved and Richard Kipp seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.


C.        Receipt of August 2014 Performance Reports

Ryan Harshbarger referenced the performance reports and reported that the cover memo included last month’s notes for CATARIDE and CATACOMMUTE, which he will correct, and called attention to the addition of goals to Riders Per Revenue Miles and Hours and Fare Box Recovery Reports, and clarified that the number of departures on the Operational Status report is from timed stops with the focus being on cutting down on early departures.


Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to receive the August 2014 performance reports.  Tom Kurtz moved and Richard Kipp seconded. The motion carried unanimously.


D.        Facility Expansion- Bids

Louwana Oliva reported that the bids for the facility expansion project exceeded the project budget by $2 million, and that the construction managers cannot pinpoint what caused the overage; Kimberly Fragola and our construction managers have reviewed all of the bids and have found them to be responsive and all forms in order.


Louwana Oliva went on to report that under Pennsylvania laws concerning construction project primes, there were five (5) different contracts out for bid: General Contractor, Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing and CNG and that the one CNG bid arrived after the deadline and had to be returned unopened. 


Louwana Oliva reported that there were 11 bid alternates or deducts as follows: not building a designed covered walkway over bus travel lanes connecting the parking and office structures , postponing the construction of one row of bus storage which would reduce bus storage from 102 buses to 84 buses, postponing the repaving of our auxiliary lot that will be a travel lane leading into bus storage in the new design, four alternates that would have updated some of our aging CNG infrastructure, postponing the installation of one of the vehicle lifts in the maintenance area, eliminating an overhead crane for removing CNG tanks from the tops of buses, removing LED lighting in favor of fluorescent lighting in the office and work areas, and the final bid alternate was the ability to construct the parking/operations structure using a precast design.


Louwana Oliva went on to report that the project team has made the decision that the only bid deduct that will not be taken is for the reduction of bus storage from 102 buses to 84 because  it would not be cost effective or efficient to future bus operation to postpone that portion of the project.


Louwana Oliva further reported that she had been in contact with PennDOT Deputy Secretary Toby Favre and Director, Public Transportation, Laverne Collins, to request an additional $2 million in funding over the life of the project, while explaining that staff, CDM Smith and the construction managers all believe that there is nothing else that can be cut from the project without detrimental effects.


Louwana Oliva also reported that she had informed Favre and Collins that staff had submitted both federal and state grant applications to attempt to infuse more funding into the project, which could reduce the amount of additional funding needed, and that the money will not be needed until fiscal years 15/16 and 16/17.  Louwana and Ed Roethlein went on to provide some possible scenarios if PennDOT does not provide additional funding for the project.


Louwana recommended postponing action on the bid awards until a response is received from PennDOT regarding the request for an additional $2 million in funding for the project, and that once a response is received a special board meeting be scheduled. 


Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to postpone action on the bid awards for the facility expansion project until a response is received from PennDOT regarding the request for an additional $2 million in funding for the project. Joe Davidson moved and Richard Kipp seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.


E.        Additional Staff Position

Ryan Harshbarger reported that at the August Board meeting, staff had made a presentation regarding several new positions and a timeline to fill them over the current fiscal year, with the exception of the Maintenance Supervisor position which was planned to be filled in July 2015.  During the discussion several questions were raised and staff was asked to report back to the board on the concept of filing this position during the current fiscal year.


Ryan Harshbarger further reported that based on existing need for a Maintenance Supervisor and the great value in having that position filled for the start of Spring Semester so he or she is able to learn the processes and priorities before construction on the new maintenance facility begins staff is recommending the filling of the Maintenance Supervisor position by November 1, 2014. Ryan stated that if started on November 1, it is estimated that the position would cost a little more than $41,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year, and could be absorbed into the budget using revenues from the worker’s compensation refund for the current year. 

Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the hiring on November 1, 2014, of an additional Maintenance Supervisor and the appropriate budget adjustments to accommodate the financial impact of that decision.  Joe Davidson moved and Tom Kurtz seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.


Tom Kurtz and Tammy Gentzel expressed the need to track and report the effect on the budget of the error in Driver Benefits - FICA and the addition of the Parts Clerk, ADA/Compliance Manager and Maintenance Supervisor.


F.        Strategic Plan Update – Chapter 2 – Current CATA Operations

Greg Kausch referenced the Draft of Chapter 2 of the strategic plan which had been provided in the board packet and includes a description of CATA at the overall agency level, as well as of all services provided; the presentation and analysis against 12 like transit systems in regard to key operating and capital indicators for fixed route, paratransit, and ridesharing services as well as 10-year trends in operating performance measures.


Greg provided an overall project status update.  It was agreed that the board would provide comments and questions regarding Chapter 2 to Marsha Kyper by Monday, October 13, 2014.   


This item was for information and discussion only; no Board action was requested at this time. 




A.        Proposed DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Goal for Federal Fiscal Year 2014/15 to Federal Fiscal Year 2016/17

Joe Soloski reported that as a recipient of federal transit funds, CATA must calculate and determine a goal for expenditures of federal funds with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.  FTA requires that a goal is to be established every three years, and justification must be submitted to document how the goal has been calculated. 


Joe Soloski went on to report that for the previous three years our goal has been 1%, adjusted upward from the calculated goal of 0.4%.  Given the upcoming construction project, the calculated goal for the coming three years is being set at 2.5%.  As in the past, the goal can be adjusted as necessary during the period in question based on actual expenditures and contracting opportunities.


Joe Soloski further reported that the proposed goal was advertised to allow for the required 45 day comment period prior to submission to FTA.  No comments were received and it is therefore recommended that the proposed goal of 2.5% for the three year period be adopted by the Board.



Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt a DBE goal of 2.5% for federal fiscal years 2014/15 through FY 2016/17, and authorize the staff to submit the goal to FTA for approval.  Tom Kurtz moved and Joe Davidson seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.




B.        Resolution - Contract Authorization

Louwana Oliva reported that while CATA’s current practice regarding contracts includes the signature, and thus execution, of actual and what could be considered contracts by personnel at all levels within the organization, CATA’s bylaws permit contracts to be signed only by the Board Chairman, Board Secretary (currently the General Manager), or Board Assistant Secretary (currently vacant).  However, CATA’s bylaws also include the provision that the Board may designate by resolution that additional individuals may sign contracts.  After having consulted with CATA solicitor John Baker, Louwana Oliva made the recommendation that the Board enact a resolution permitting contracts under $50,000 to be signed by a CATA Department Director either at the direction of or in the absence of the General Manager. 


In addition, Louwana Oliva recommended that any contract of $50,000 or greater be brought before the Board prior to execution as a protection for both the Board and the General Manager.  Implementing this as a standard procedure is not a requirement of CATA’s bylaws or FTA regulations, but it would provide staff with clear direction as to the spending level at which the Board wishes to have input and notification regarding contracts. 


The board requested that the resolution be revised to clarify/include:

·         that the intent is to allow Directors to sign individual contracts of a total annual value of less than $50,000;

·         wording to the effect that in the absence of the general manager, the board chairman must concur with the execution of such a contract;

·         the addition of $50,000 as the threshold at which contracts must be brought before the board for approval.

·         that items must be approved in the budget


Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to postpone action on the resolution until the requested clarifications and additions can be made.  Tom Kurtz moved and Joe Davidson seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.


It was agreed that a draft revised resolution would be provided to the board for comment prior to the meeting.


Tammy Gentzel left the meeting at 5:40 p.m.




A.       General Manager’s Report

Louwana Oliva reported that:

·         The U.S. House and Senate had approved another funding continuing resolution and that the tax extenders legislation is still alive.

·         She has been elected to membership on the APTA Small Operations Committee.

·         The traffic flow during the expanded Customer Service Center hours is being monitored.

·         PennDOT has asked for an updated presentation on CATA’s five year operating/capital plan.


B.      Information Services Report 

Eric Bernier referenced his written report.  Richard Kipp referenced Jackie Sheader’s written report regarding the Art Installation at the Customer Service Center and provided a recap of the project and his involvement.  Tom Kurtz recommended the addition of a plaque to the art piece.  



            Chairman Spychalski declared the meeting adjourned at 5:55 p.m.



The board reconvened in Executive Session to discuss personnel matters.




Louwana S. Oliva, Secretary