October 27, 2016 Meeting

10-27-16 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Public Comment
  2. Approval of minutes of September 22, 2016
  3. September 2017 Ridership Report
  4. September 2017 Financial Update
  5. Marketing and Planning Update
  6. Maintenance and Facilities Update
  7. Approval of A & E Contract for Facility Improvements
  8. HR Update
  9. Westport Update
  10. Approval of Health Insurance Renewal
  11. State Update
  12. Report of Service Reduction/Modification Plan and Fare Increase Hearings
  13. Staff recommendations for Fare and Service Changes
  14. Approval of Fare and Service Changes
  15. CEO Update
  16. Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
  17. Next Meeting November 17, 2016
  18. Adjournment

MINUTES

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources; Britt Liotta, COO in transition; Steven Burka, CFAO; and, Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

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

Approval of Minutes of September 22, 2016
The minutes of the September 22, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

September 2017 Ridership Report
Ms. Carroll reviewed in detail the attached Operations Report highlighting the continuing downward trend. 

September 2017 Financial Update
A motion was made and unanimously approved to add to the agenda, Approval of the FY 2017 Operation Budget.  It was determined that the budget prior to service cuts would be adopted and our measurement against the budget would be used as the benchmark for tracking NTD progress.  The FY17 budget has been refined and it accounts for the expected increase in medical premiums and some attrition. Mr. Burka stated the deficit is expected to be lower than was originally anticipated when the preliminary budget was discussed in early August.

The budget was unanimously approved as presented in the attached FY 2017 Budget Estimate Report. 

September FY 2017 Financial Statement - Mr. Burka presented the September FY 2017 financial Statement.  He pointed out that the results reflect deficits in a number of services as expenses are running high relative to assistance received to date. Our projection for the year is consistent with the FY17 budget.  Neither the budget or the results to date have incorporated expected service cuts or rate increases.

Mr. Burka mentioned the Fiscal Year 2015 audit starts on October 31st.

Marketing and Planning Update
In Ms. Scavelli’s absence Ms. Morton reported the following.

The FY2016 National Transit Database Annual Report will be submitted at the end of the month. 

Passenger Miles data collection is on-going. Discussions are underway with IT and Operations staff regarding how the service reductions and modifications will impact this year-long survey. 

Upon final approval of service and fare changes, schedules, maps and other materials will be updated. 

Looking ahead, a discussion to prepare the Automatic Passenger Counters for the fixed route operations analysis are underway. 

Maintenance and Facilities Update
Mr. Alvord reported the following.

The Body on chassis procurement has been prepared and is being finalized for release. He explained that we may will seek pricing for both diesel and gas engine vehicles as it appears that diesel engines will no longer be offered as an option for body on chassis vehicles.  Ford has already discontinued the diesel engine and Chevrolet soon will follow suit.  Currently our facility is only equipped to dispense diesel fuel.  A facility modification will be necessary.  

Currently we have two open mechanic positions.  One position will be filled and interviews are underway.

NTD’s Transit Asset Management Plan is complete.  Mr. Alvord is working with the State as a resource to the consulting firm hired to handle this for CTDOT.  He also continues to work with FTA as a beta tester of the reporting documents.  

Approval of the A &E Contract for Facility Analysis
Mr. Alvord presented the recommendation of the evaluating committee to award the Facility Wendell Architecture, PC in the amount of $215,000.  The project will commence November 14th with a kick off meeting.
 
Motion was made and unanimously approved.

HR Update
Ms. Brayboy reported we currently have two open mechanic positions.  One position will be filled and the other will be on hold as part of the current reduction plan. 

NTD held its second annual Harvest Festival on Tuesday, October 4th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  There are approximately 16 vendors that are coming and flu shots were available.  Harvest Festival that was held on October 4thwas a success. We had 16 vendors participated in the event.

Ms. Brayboy is also in the process of revising the Employee Handbook and working on open ADP issues.

Westport Transit District – Ms. Carroll reported that the Westport Transit District Board of Directors continues to be proactive addressing their budgetary problems.  November 1, 2017 the Westport Commissioners will meet with the Board of Finance to seek an additional appropriation for FY 2017.  Final service recommendations will be made shortly after this meeting.  

 

Approval of Health Insurance Renewal
Ms. Morton reported that our insurance broker reported final negotiations concluded with Connecticare and the result was a 10% premium increase.  Given our current experience he felt that this was a good offer and was recommending the contract extension. 

 

A motion was made to accept the renewal rates of Connecticare with a 10% increase in premium for the period January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

State Update
Ms. Morton reported that she and Mr. Burka met with State representatives including the Bureau Chief, Richard Andreski regarding the financial standing of the District.  Ms. Morton reported that they have agreed to pay for Coastal Link for FY 2017 at 100% and the current backlog of amounts due is onging. 

Service Reduction/Modification Plan and Fare Changes Hearings Report  
The Public Participation Process as applied to the fare and service changes was a success. Notices were posted on-board vehicles, on the website and in local newspapers informing the public of the changes and inviting comment. Information sessions were held the week of October 10th and public hearings were held the week of October 17th. Over 120 written comments were received, 1,000 signatures in petitions and about 50 people testified at the hearings. Comments were reviewed and considered during the final planning stages of the changes.

Staff Recommendations for Service and Fare Changes
Mr. Liotta presented the attached final recommendations and fare changes.  Ms. Morton advised that these represent the worst case scenario.  As final planning and run cuts are developed modifications may be made and proposed eliminations may be reinstated.

Approval of Fare and Service Changes
A motion was made and approved unanimously to move forward with the fare and service changes as presented with minor modifications to the service changes as part of the final planning and development implementation process. 

CEO Update
Ms. Morton advised that there appears to be some unrest among the Union leadership.  The current President was removed from office and the Vice President will serve in that capacity pending the outcome of the Union elections which will be held on November 10, 2016. 

Ms. Morton stated that there was a showing of drivers at the hearings and informational meetings showing interest in the proposed changes.  They voiced dissatisfaction that they were not informed of the changes prior to the formal release.  Ms. Morton explained that she presented the information to the union leadership who indicated they would share the information at a meeting.  There appears to be confusion whether this occurred or if the meeting was adequately noticed.  As a result Ms. Morton offered an internal informational session which occurred at 7:00 pm on October 25, 2017.  The meeting was highly attended.  As rightfully expected the concern is the extent of layoffs resulting from the service reductions.  Unfortunately at this point we do not know what the final number will be and will only know this after the runt cuts are performed.  Ms. Morton stated that the District engaged the services of the run cutting software company (TMS) to assist in this effort to ensure it results in the best case scenario possible.  They will be at the District on November 7, 2016 to begin the task.

Ms. Morton informed the Commissioners at the recent meeting employees requested if they were faced with a layoff situation would the Company consider payout of sick time to help ease the transition.  After further review Ms. Morton advised that it is anticipated that the cost would be negligible as most employees would choose to use their vacation in anticipation of the impeding layoff and that time would be filled with regular full-time operators at time and one half.  As a result she will extend this as part of the layoff process as a one-time offer without the setting of a future precedent.  Also employees would need to know that in the event of recall after a layoff that they would return with no sick time in the bank. 

Ms. Morton reported that she has received two step three grievances.  One pertains to overtime and the other regarding the process to move from Mechanic B to a Mechanic A rating.  She met with the Union and she is currently waiting for them to respond to her inquiries based on feedback the Union wishes to obtain from the entire maintenance department. 

Lastly Ms. Morton advised that her last offer remains on the table and the next meeting is scheduled for November 4, 2006 at 11 am. 

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
No further business was brought before the Board.

Next Meeting November 17, 2016
The next regularly scheduled meeting is November 17, 2016 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 9:00 a.m. 

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:25 am.