September 24, 2015 Meeting

9-24-15 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Open Press Conference introducing New Gillig Buses in Main Lobby with Honorary Guests
  2. Public Comment
  3. Approval of Minutes of August 26, 2015
  4. Introduction of Director of Maintenance and Facilities
  5. August Financial/Budget Related Items
  6. August Ridership Related Items
  7. FY' 2015 Grant Application
  8. CTDOT Correspondence Update
  9. Manager of Planning and Service Development/Marketing
  10. Gillig Bus Update
  11. Procurement Updates
    » Fuel Bid
    » Paving Bid
    » Group Health Insurance Broker Update
    » Supervisory Vehicles and Support truck
    » HR Systems
  12. Health Fair
  13. CEO Report
  14. Executive Session
    It is anticipated that the Commissioners will vote to go into Executive Session to discuss the engagement of the current audit and potential legal actions. 
  15. Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Commissioners
  16. Next Scheduled Meeting (October 22, 2015)
  17. Other Business
  18. Adjournment

 

MINUTES

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO, Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer, Richard Bangs, Director of Finance and Administration; Tia Gordon, Manager of Human Resources and Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

The meeting was called to order at 9:02 AM and a quorum was determined to be present.  The meeting was temporarily recessed for the purpose of conduction of an open press conference introducing the fleet of new Gillig buses.  The meeting reconvened at 9:40 a.m. immediately following the conclusion of the event.

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none.   

Approval of Minutes of August 26, 2015
The minutes of the August 26, 2015 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved. 

Introduction of Director of Maintenance and Facilities
Ms. Morton introduced Hal Alvord to the Commissioners.  Hal briefly thanked the Commissioners for the opportunity to serve the District. 

August Financial/Budget Related Items
Bottom line is negative at this point in time, but was expected due to higher costs in first few months.  Bottom line showed a loss of $72,735 versus expected loss of $61,549 for the two month period.  Difference is primarily in revenues which are 11,000 below expected.

Loss is expected to reverse in upcoming months due to fuel costs dropping substantially on October 31 and the new workers comp package coming in at $120,000 below prior year.

When questioned about health care costs by Mr. Miller, it was noted that the current policy has been extended until December 31 at a 3.5% increase and that we have a pre bid meeting for a new broker today to rebid the healthcare for January 1.

It was also discussed on the status of the funds form the revised TOD’s for the prior year and noted that all have been billed, but not received at this point in time.

It was also noted that the state has not completed its normal operating increases and these may not be received until somewhere between December and February.

August Ridership Related Items
Mrs. Carroll reported on continuing declines in fixed-route ridership with the largest decline occurring in commuter shuttle services. It is hoped with the hiring of a Manager of Planning and Marketing more outreach can be done to encourage better utilization of existing services. Also, the introduction of the new fleet of Gillig vehicles should serve as an opportunity to attract riders, as reliability and comfort will be greatly enhanced with these vehicles. Ridership continues to increase on door-to-door services.

FY 2015 Grant Application
It was noted that the grant has been completed and will be submitted this week for the 2015 capital grants.  This grant includes replacement for the 19 Orion busses, body on chassis vehicles, AVL funds, a facility study and an operational study.

CTDOT Correspondence Update
Ms. Morton reported that we received the TOD’s corresponding with the recent State correspondence.  Revised billing has been submitted accordingly.  Payment has yet to be received.  Year-end final projections were not ready for this meeting and will be addressed next month. 

Manager of Planning and Service Development/Marketing – Maintenance Position
Ms. Morton presented Phase III of her reorganizational plan which included the above referenced positions.  She explained that the Planning/Marketing positon was the last primary piece in the plan to cover the specific job duties of the retiring COO.  This position is essential given the declining ridership and upcoming COA study.  The position would be a full-time manager level position.

Currently there is a very big hole in the maintenance department pertaining to the purchasing of parts and inventory protocols and practices.  This needs to be brought up to acceptable inventory practices and standards.  The new full-time position will be a mid-level management positon.  The full position duties and title are not yet finalized.

The current restructuring has left us budget neutral.  These two new positions will be in place for approximately one year prior to the departure of the COO.  We have asked for funding from the State for Planning/Marketing positon but will probably not get a response until at least January.  However savings realized from fuel and W/C premiums will allow us to support these positions with in the budget until the departure of the COO.  Ms. Morton reminded the Commissioners that at this time there is no plan to replace the COO and this salary plus the benefits should nearly cover the complete cost of these positions.

The Commissioners unanimously approved the addition of the new positions and authorized Ms. Morton to begin the hiring process.

Gillig Bus Update
Mr. Alvord reported that 9 of the 12 new Gillig buses have been delivered and all have passed the District’s acceptance inspection. Seven are registered. Two more will arrive Friday September 25, with the final bus about to leave the Gillig plant. We anticipate having all the buses on the property by September 30. Representatives of Gillig, Avail and Northeastern Communications are here this assist in getting the units ready for service. TSI will be here for camera calibration the week of October 12. We should have at least four buses ready to be put into service by week’s end. We have received approval to dispose of the Thomas buses and will do so as soon as we receive the appraisals; appraiser is here now. Those that run will be taken to Central Auto Auction. Those that do not run will be scrapped.

Procurement Update
Fuel Bid:  Mr. Bangs reported that we repriced our fuel bid and extended our contract to February 2017 at 2.15 per gallon.

Paving Bid:  Mr. Alvord reported bids are due September 30, 2015. Three firms attended the pre-bid meeting and a fourth visited after the meeting. In this process we found that we lack as-built drawings for the property. Mr. Alvord has contacted Ray Sullivan, project architect, to assist in finding as-builts and Gannett Fleming, project engineer, in attempt to gain answers to other facility questions.

Group Health Insurance Broker Update:  Ms. Morton reported that RFP for Broker Services for employee group insurance is on the street.  The pre-proposal conference is scheduled for 11:00 am September 24, 2015 and proposals are due October 7, 2015.

Supervisory Vehicles and Support Truck:  Supervisory vehicles and support truck. The two Ford Interceptor SUV have arrived. They have passed acceptance inspection and NTD decals are being affixed. Ms. Morton anticipates delivery of the new support truck in about a week.

HR Systems:  M. Morton reported that we were unable to come to successful negotiations with ADP and have moved on to the second highest ranked proposer. 

Health Fair:  
We will be hosting our first annual Health and Financial Wellness Harvest festival for all employees and their families on October 27th from 11am-5pm. We will have vendors from ConnectiCare, Cigna, Voya, Patriot National Bank, Norwalk Public Library, Occupational health services and the list is continuously growing. We will also be hosting a cook-out, raffle prizes and various give-a-ways. There will be free flu shots with insurance and biometric screenings.

CEO Report
Ms. Morton had nothing additional to report at this time. 

Executive Session
Ms. Morton reported it was anticipated that an executive session may be needed to discuss the engagement of the current audit and potential legal actions however she opted to report in public session.  Ms. Morton informed Commissioners regarding a potential contract dispute between Levitsky & Berney and Clermont & Associates regarding the performance of the District FY 2015 audit.  Ms. Morton advised that she believes that the correspondence sent to Clermont & Associates should clarify the District’s positon and the telephone conversation that she had with Levitsky & Berney will bring closure to any outstanding matters.  She noted that there were no signed contractual documents with any of the parties inclusive of letters of engagement.  Ms. Morton stated an RFP seeking proposals from auditing firms would be issued next week and that an audit extension request with OPM was filed. 

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Commission
No other business was noted. 

Next Scheduled Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for October 22, 2015 (Thursday), at 9:00 am.  

Adjournment      
The meeting adjourned at 10:25 am.