Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes
October 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM – Norwalk Transit District
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Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:
Norwalk Transit District Staff:
Kimberlee Morton, CEO
Britt Liotta, Chief Operating Officer
Lori Richards, Procurement and Grants Manager
Richard Meyer, Director of Maintenance and Facilities
The meeting was called to order at 2:07 PM and a quorum was determined to be present.
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so. There were none.
Approval of Minutes of August 23, 2018
The minutes of the August 23, 2018 Meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented.
1st Quarter 2019 Financial Report
September Financial Statements by service were presented. On the fixed route side, the Coastal Link has incurred a YTD deficit of $118.6k, which is offset by Norwalk Core service operating a YTD surplus of $87.3k; resulting in a net deficit of $31.3k for fixed route. Due to the States obligation to fund the Coastal Link, NTD expects the overall deficit to be funded.
On the paratransit side, Stamford ADA service is operating within budget. For Norwalk ADA service, without local funding, the service has accumulated a $60.6k deficit, and the Coastal Link ADA has incurred a $19k deficit. NTD has continued to communicate the additional funding needs required to support Norwalk and Coastal Link ADA services.
FY 2018 Audit Update
The FY 18 financial statements have been audited, results have been finalized; there are no material changes compared to the preliminary results that have been reported. Seward and Monde is working on their wrap-up, the final presentation is expected in the 2nd Quarter of FY 19.
FY 2019 Budget Update
Mr. Pentz reported that the FY 19 operating agreements were received in September and the NTD budget has been finalized. The final budget was published in the Norwalk Hour and will be presented in the next commissioners meeting.
Ms. Morton noted that TOD’s were received and funding is now flowing.
Union Pension Funding
The 2017 Union Payment has been paid, additionally 2018 funding has been reserved through September.
Ms. Morton noted that the Union file a grievance regarding the timeliness of pension payments and while the contract is not specific regarding the payment date it does state as soon as possible. She noted that the reserving of the funds should expedite an earlier payment.
SBE Results and Goals
Mr. Pentz reported that the 2018 SBE goals were achieved.
Mr. Liotta commented that September was an unusually low month for ridership. He noted that the Wheels routes were low, but that we had made major changes to the system two months ago. He stated that when checking back to 2017 when we previously made major changes, a similar pattern occurred until the route stabilized, and riders knew the schedules. Ms. Morton note that the month only contained 19 weekdays which is probably the major contributing factor.
Mr. Liotta drew attention to the trips per revenue hour report, noting that several of the routes now were high producing, Wheels 10 in particular. It was questioned by Ms. Morton as to whether there’s too much ridership on that route, and if there’s overcrowding, which Mr. Liotta commented that there have not been any reports of that.
Weapons Policy Update
Mr. Liotta noted that there was a recent complaint of a driver carrying a “weapon” on them. Upon interviewing the driver, the weapon turned out to be pepper spray. Mr. Liotta checked with the NTD legal team, and while it was determined that this could be considered a type of weapon, and Norwalk Transit can include it into their company policy. Mr. Liotta asked the Commissioners for approval to change the handbook wording to include “pepper spray” and “mace” in the listing of weapons. The Commissioners approved the change.
Mr. Liotta commented that the Microtransit has shown promise in the first six weeks. He reminded the group that this was a true start up with no previous clientele for this. He noted that there has been a lot of “grass roots” recruiting done by the district as well as the City, using word of mouth the raise awareness. Reviewing the charts, Mr. Liotta noted that the ridership has shown increase in each week from the inception, and that the TransLoc group was very encouraged by the start up. He commented that as of Thursday the 25th, the zone was expanded to include the following areas: Westport Avenue to Strawberry Hill, Strawberry Hill down to Winfield Street, Avalon East, East Norwalk down to the beach, Sunset Grille, and the Cove Avenue area.
Norwalk Board of Education
Mr. Liotta commented that the District will be running “trippers” from the SNRR to Brien McMahon High for the Norwalk Public Schools. These “trippers” will be one leg of current routes and will transport approximately 100 students per day twice per day.
TAG – Mr. Liotta commented that TAG (Transportation Association of Greenwich) has been downsizing their operation. The Town of Greenwich has now met twice with Ms. Morton and Mr. Liotta on taking on any of the work that TAG provides for the town – employee transportation to a nursing home, senior activities, safe rides, food delivery to elders, and non ADA elderly transportation. The District is currently reviewing all of the data supplied to them by the Town in order to assess what services they may be able to help Greenwich with.
MAINTENANCE AND FACILITIES
Replacement Service Truck
The new truck has just been built and is 8 weeks out from delivery.
Bird Netting Project
RFP is under development
Upgrade Fleet Watch
The system requires upgrades to accommodate newer technology to take direct reads from the vehicle mileage, instead of using Hub meters.
Approval of A & E and Construction Management RFQ Award Recommendation
RFQ# NTD-RFQ-2018-02; On-Call Architectural, Engineering and Construction Management Services has been evaluated by a cross-functional team of individuals, which included Richard Meyer, Director of Facilities and Maintenance; Lisa Tilum, CTDOT; and Alan Lo, City of Norwalk. The evaluation concluded Wendel Companies to be the recommended awardee with the best overall qualifications. The Commissioners’ unanimously approved a contract award to Wendel Companies.
Sole Source GFI Vault and Coin Validator Upgrade
Ms. Richards request approval to award a sole source procurement in the amount of $40,000 for the farebox collection system – upgrade vault components and replace coin validators to GFI. The request was unanimously approved by Commissioners Glickson and McQuaid.
PLANNING AND MARKETING
Preparation of possible 5 to 7 percent funding reduction
Ms. Morton advised that at the recent CTDOT quarterly meeting Districts were advised in preparation for a worse case FY 2020 budgetary scenario plans for five to seven percent funding cuts should be visited. Mr. Liotta advised that the operational team has already had preliminary discussions in preparation.
Organization Changes and Salary Adjustments
In Ms. Brayboy’s absence Ms. Morton presented the attached organization changes and corresponding adjustments. All changes were unanimously approved by the Commissioners.
National Transit Database Reporting
Ms. Morton report development was underway and timely submittal was anticipated.
Ms. Morton presented the Commissioners’ with a revised revision of the draft By-laws prepared by legal counsel who took into consideration two Commissioners and several hypothetical circumstances resulting in only two member votes. Commissioner requested that the item be tabled so he had further time to review. The item was tabled.
APTA Annual Meeting
Ms. Morton advised that the MicroTransit panel discussion that she participated in went extremely well and was well received as it is one of the new hot topics within the industry.
Fuel Bid Repricing
Ms. Morton advised that we locked into a diesel fuel price contract in the amount of $2.6414 for a four month period covering November through February. She explained we will keep our eye on the market as to future out year pricing as the market was currently higher than we would like and it is with hopes the blended rate can come down over the remaining period March through October 2019.
Memorandum of Understanding between HNS Management Company and Norwalk Transit District for Workers’ Compensation Administration
Ms. Morton explained the WC administration process and the need for a licensed adjuster to assist staff in claim handling. She presented contract and fee structure of $1,000 per month. Commissioners’ Glickson and McQuaid unanimously confirmed the relationship and endorsement of the contract between the parties.
MOU between Union and Management for Microtransit Project
Ms. Morton informed the Commissioners that the parties have come to a temporary agreement (attached) expiring at the end of March 2019 allowing the District to include Sunday MicroTransit service as part of a regular full-time work schedule. The Commissioners acknowledged the temporary agreement.
Workers’ Compensation and Managed Light Duty Policy
Ms. Morton presented the attached policy that was approved by the Union. The Commissioners’ voted unanimously in support of the policy.
STF Lockbox Ballot
Ms. Morton presented copies of several flyers that were being circulated to riders statewide on vehicles to educate riders on the Surface Transportation Fund lock box measure that would appear on the voting ballot on Election Day.
Ms. Morton reported that we received a CHRO complaint filed by an employee that has been turned over to legal counsel for review and response.
Absentee Policy Grievance
In accordance with the Union Contract the District convened a labor/management committee to address an attendance policy. A policy emerged from the Committee which was disseminated and executed by all employees. After several months of implementation the Union grieved the policy which is currently at Step II in the grievance process.
Ms. Morton advised that there have been significant disciplinary issues during the past several months. She advised in the past employees were not receiving the appropriate discipline for warranted actions. At her direction she has advised the operational team that all actions in violation of the contract and disciplinary code must be documented and discussed with each employee. Ms. Morton advised this action is not intended to create a difficult work environment but to bring consistent conformance to necessary policies and procedures that are currently negatively impacting our operations and customers. The ultimate goal is for an efficient and reliable transportation system.
FY2019 Commission Meeting Calendar
Ms. Morton presented the attached calendar of meetings for consideration of the Commissioners. The calendar was unanimously approved.
Any Other Business Properly Brought Before the Commissioners
No other business was noted.
Next Meeting NOVEMBER 15, 2018 at 2:00 pM
The next regularly scheduled meeting for November 15, 2018 was cancelled and the regularly scheduled meeting for December was additionally changed. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be December 19, 2018 at 2:00 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 3:18 PM.
Kimberlee A. Morton
Kimberlee A Morton, CEO
Norwalk Transit District
Held at Norwalk Transit District Office
275 Wilson Avenue, Norwalk, CT