Norwalk Transit District Commissioners' Meeting Minutes
Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM
At the offices of the Norwalk Transit District
275 Wilson Avenue, Norwalk
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:
Norwalk Transit District Staff:
Kimberlee Morton, CEO
Britt T. Liotta, Chief Operating Officer
Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources
Grace Zweig, CFAO
Richard Meyer, Director of Maintenance and Facilities
Lori Richards, Procurement and Grants Manager
The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM 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 OCTOBER 26, 2017
The minutes of the October 28, 2017 Special Meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented.
The financial report was tabled.
Mr. Liotta reported that ridership for November is showing close to last year's number for the first time in over a year. The ridership had been trending at 10% lower than previous year for the past year; it appears that ridership is leveling off. Passengers per mile and passengers per hour show 9% better than previous year for all fixed routes. Commuter services still are operating well below last year's numbers. Door to Door services are down from the previous year. All of Westport services continue to be an issue with poorly producing runs and trips.
Mr. Liotta reported that the letter of termination of services was sent to TAG effective January 29th. All Greenwich shuttles will be operated in house effective that date.
Mr. Liotta noted that effective January 1st; changes will take effect for federal drug testing rules and regulations. A summary explanation is attached.
Safety & Security
Mr. Liotta reviewed two recently implemented safety changes. Memos about seat belts and post trips were distributed to all drivers. Seat belts, specifically harness restraints, are now policy for all NTD drivers. Orange neoprene sleeves were purchased for the harness belts to reinforce utilization. Mr. Liotta also changed the policy for post trips to ensure that every driver is performing a walk around on the bus prior to parking it for the day. Previously, this was done by a supervisor, but it is noted that this is a mandated Federal DOT item for all drivers, so the responsibility has been pushed back to the drivers.
Mr. Liotta noted that recently it was observed that there were some security issues with parking of vehicles at night. The practice was immediately corrected.
Mr. Liotta noted that we received a complementary letter from the NFD in regards to the 100 Richards Avenue fire. We supplied two vehicles to the residents to stay warm during the fire event. Notes were placed in employees files as well.
MAINTENANCE AND FACILITIES UPDATE
All major construction is complete
- Electrical is complete
- HVAC is complete
- Ceiling is complete
- Painting will be done this week
- Building Department Inspection next Wednesday
- January 1, 2018 occupancy on schedule
Temporary Gasoline Storage Tank
- Building Permit has been obtained
- Building Department has been notified that construction will begin
- Soil was surveyed for underground utilities
- Temporary Gasoline Storage Tank was delivered today
- Electrical installation to begin first week of January 2018
- Temporary Gasoline Storage Tank will be operational mid-January.
Permanent Gasoline Storage Tank
- Obtaining three quotes for a permanent Gasoline Storage Tank – 1st tank quote $11k, 8 to 12 weeks lead time after purchase requisition
- Will coordinate with Wendell Associates for location and integration into overall site development and refurbishment.
Ms. Richards presented the following project status report.
Ticket Vending Machine Contract Award. A recommendation to award the Ticket Vending Machine System was presented to the Commissioners for approval. A motion to award the contract for the base and options depending on FTA funding by grant amendment was unanimously approved.
Award of Annual Audit Option A recommendation to award/exercise the one additional two year renewal option for auditing services was presented to the Commissioners for approval. The award was unanimously approved.
30’, 35’ and 40’ Bus RFP. RFP pending determination of quantity of buses needed which is under review based on recent service changes and cuts. Finalization will be made by the next meeting.
Procurement of 35 Paratransit Vehicles. 15 vehicles have been built and expected delivery is mid-January 2018. Ten additional vehicles have been ordered and anticipated delivery is March 2018.
PLANNING AND MARKETING UPDATE
Mr. Liotta reported that after conducting public hearings, the following route changes were recommended for board approval. He further advised that there were only minimal comments received in response from the public on the proposed changes.
· Elimination of 7 Link service
· Removal of Gregory Boulevard on Wheels 11 Saturday
· Removal of Rowayton section on Wheels 12 M-F
The Commissioners voted unanimously in support of the recommended changes.
Mr. Liotta reported as a reminder that as a result of the 2016 public hearings the elimination of the Norwalk ADA discount was delayed with and effective date of January 1, 2018.
The following fare changes were discussed with a possible July 1, 2018 implementation date.
· Fixed route increase to $2.00 per single ride
· ADA ride increase to $4.00 per single ride
It was recommended to table this discussion until such time more information regarding the FY 2019 State budget is known. The Commissioner voted unanimously to table the matter for further discussion.
Ms. Brayboy reported the following activity during the previous month.
Ø Procurement/Inventory Control Specialist
Ø Mechanic B
Ø Part-time Cleaner
Ø Manager of Planning and Marketing– start date January 2, 2018
Ø 7 Part-time Trainees – (2) Wheels and (5) Drivers – the training started on December 11th
Ø Procurement/Inventory Control Specialist - last day of employment will be January 5th
Ø Full-time ADA Driver to Part-time – employee accepted a full-time position at CT Transit
Ø A Part-time ADA Driver to Full-time in November
Ms. Brayboy explained the recommendation to change Guardian Life Insurance benefit to 1 times salary from its current structure of varying benefit by job classification. This change will ensure that the benefit is fairly distributed to all employees. The incremental cost for the change was nominal and only impacts non-union employees.
We conducted our 3rd Annual Employee Appreciate Breakfast and Lunch on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
Ms. Morton reported we continue to pursue these matters with CTDOT. This week we received notification that our FY 2017 audit was approved by the State so hopefully
FY 2018 and FY 2019 Operating
CTDOT advised that funding will be flat for the current 2018 fiscal year. Ms. Morton advised that we will be fine for this year but next year may be challenging giving the potential for an additional 15% decrease for FY 2019.
At this time DOT has requested that we give full consideration to spending current contracted state capital dollars whenever possible. Future funding is on hold including our facility rehabilitation that held $12.5 million dollars in FFY 2018. However if NTD is awarded the competitive grant that it applied for earlier this year the State will match the grant as committed and it will move forward on receipt of federal dollars.
Ms. Morton advised that she discussed the SONO Shuttle/Express concept with the State who received the idea positively. Circulator remains on hold.
The State is considering a variety of options that would allow transit systems to utilize surplus State funds to offset debt from previous year cost overruns. This would be significant to NTD in paying down our deficit.
ADA Budgetary Concern
Ms. Morton noted that the Norwalk ADA program anticipates a $300k deficit at year end. Our goal is tighten service parameters in this program as much as possible as it eats significantly into our local Norwalk funds which are needed to pay the rolling deficit from previous years. Other options for reducing our expenses are, billing by time not trip, subscription service with premium fare, and financial burden waiver.
Continued Payment of ADA Stamford and Coastal Link
The State will continue to support these two programs at 100%,
Discussions with the State continue and another meeting is scheduled for mid-January. The State is pleased with our progress and believes we are moving in the right direction.
Ms. Morton advised the Union and Management reached an agreement regarding the operation of 30 foot shuttle buses. The terms were outlined in a side letter approved by legal counsel that clearly defines that the shuttle rate as defined in the collective bargaining agreement is driven by the type of service operated not the size of the vehicle.
Ms. Morton noted that tickets for the Mayor’s ball were currently on sale. Ms. Morton would inquire regarding a table for NTD.
Ms. Morton informed the Commissioners’ that she would be attending APTA’s CEO conference in February.
Consideration to Continue in Executive Session
At 10:15 AM Commissioners’ Glickson and McQuaid unanimously supported the continuance of the meeting in Executive Session.
No formal action was taken in Executive Session which concluded at 10:35 AM. A motion to immediately reconvene the Regular Meeting was unanimously passed.
Consideration of the Performance Review and Compensation of the CEO
The Commissioners voted to adopt the matter discussed in Executive Session relative to the performance review of the CEO. The Commissioners unanimously supported the recommendation made by the Commissioners’ as contained in her performance review with an effective date of January 1, 2018.
The Public Meeting resumed at 10:35 AM.
Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
No further business was brought before the Board.
Next Meeting January 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM
The next regularly scheduled meeting is January 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 10:40 AM.
Kimberlee A. Morton
Kimberlee A Morton, CEO
Norwalk Transit District