February 22nd 2018 Norwalk Transit District Commissioners' Meeting Minutes

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes

 

February 22, 2018 at 2:00 PM – Norwalk Transit District

downloadable copy click here

 

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:

Andrew Glickson

Alice McQuaid

 

Norwalk Transit District Staff: 

Kimberlee Morton, CEO

Britt 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 2:05 PM 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 JANUARY 25, 2018

The minutes of the January 25, 2018 Meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

 

FINANCE REPORT

January 2018 Financial Report

Ms. Zweig reported we continue to maintain within expected budget projections as indicated in the attached report. 

Cash Flow

No cash flow issues were noted.

Approval of the Revised FY 2018 Adjusted Budget

Ms. Zweig presented the attached revised budget for approval by the Commissioners.  The changes primarily reflected the service cuts made in January as a result of the flat State funding in FY 2018.  She reminded the Commissioners that the budget was adopted prior to the notification of flat funding.  The Commissioners unanimously adopted the revised FY 2018 budget as presented. 

City of Norwalk FY 2019 Grant Application

Ms. Zweig advised that the City grant application was made and the budgetary process has begun. 

Pension Plan Update

Ms. Morton requested the Commissioners consider a minor change to the Pension for the part-time non-union classification.  The change would eliminate part-timers (money counters and maintenance clerical) from potential participation in the plan.  At the time of the change no employee qualified for any benefits under the plan.  The Commissioners unanimously approved the changes effective February 22, 2018. 

 

OPERATIONS

January Ridership

Mr. Liotta gave the ridership report for January 2018 (see attached).  Mr. Liotta specifically noted ridership is slightly down from this time last year overall, the 7 Link has officially been suspended, and ADA ridership is slightly up in Norwalk versus last year.  Mr. Liotta commented that the U-Pass usage has now totaled approximately $51K in lost revenue. Ms. Orton added that the State has engaged the services of UCONN to analyze the impact it has had on transit systems that did not previously have a U-Pass program and the impact on ridership so that they can develop an equitable formula for reimbursement.

 

Commissioner Glickson asked why we thought the ridership was down.  Mr. Liotta commented that there are a couple of contributing factors:  Uber / Lyft, payment technology, and commuter shuttles.  Ms. Morton commented that Uber is now testing public pickup points for shared transit service that would compete with local bussing.  Mr. Liotta commented that NTD will need to address the technology side sooner than later.

 

Potential Service Cuts

Mr. Liotta presented the Board with a package of slides presented to management, staff of NTD, and the local legislators about what a 15% cut would mean to the district (see attached).  Mr. Liotta highlighted several slides and routes that could be cut if the funding scenario became reality.  He advised he was seeking approval to move the cuts to public comment along with a restatement of the fare increase this Spring to ensure public notification.  The Commissioners approved moving forward with the public hearing process. 

 

MAINTENANCE AND FACILITIES UPDATE

 

Temporary Gasoline Storage Tank

  • All inspections have been performed (Electrical, Fire Marshal, Building)
  • Waiting for Final Building Permit Certificate
  • Temporary Gasoline Storage Tank is operational.

PLANNING AND MARKETING UPDATE

Planning

  • Mr. O’Connor reported focus was on the response to the proposed budget cuts.  Notices were posted on our website, in vehicles and at the HUB.
    • Directed riders to “Your Voice Matters” and to contact legislators
    • Conducted interviews at the HUB to get their testimonies

 

Ms. Morton added that the Transit District collaborative across the State stand in unison in sending the message to our legislators the sufficient and equitable distribution of the Special Transportation Fund needs to happen now not later.  The prospect of tolling as a revenue source is a good one but will not resolve the immediate need.  As thigs stand now a 15% further reduction on top of years of inadequate funding will be devastating to Norwalk and across the State.  An interim plan must be adopted now.  The #SOSTF (Save Our Special Transportation Fund) is in full swing and we are an active participant. 

 

Marketing

  • Working on ramping up advertising efforts;
    • for vehicle interiors
    • bus shelters at the HUB
    • Exterior wraps; two potential customers at this point;
      • Norwalk Maritime – May advertising
      • Norwalk Now (will be running event in April “Norwalk Hunt” involving several locations in City, promoting taking the bus as part of the event.
      •  
  • Revenue potential of $100k+ based on comparing Milford’s revenue per # of vehicles prorated to NTD’s # of vehicles.

 

Ms. Morton added the District approach would be to attempt to introduce the advertising initiative by using our in-house personnel (Manager of Planning and Marketing) as a demonstration project instead of outsourcing the endeavor to a third party.  It is with hopes that the endeavor would cover in part the salary of the internal position.  Mr. O’Connor will prepare a market analysis which will serve as the basis for a fee structure to be charged for numerous types of exterior/internal bus advertising.  This will be brought back to the Commissioners’ for formal approval.  In the interim we are seeking approval to move forward with a Maritime Aquarium and Norwalk Now bus wrap as part of the demonstration.  Based on these discussions with our business partners the plan for a fee structure going forward can be finalized. 

 

PROCUREMENT

 

Ms. Richards presented the following project status report. 

February Bus RFP Release

Conducted meeting with the mechanics to review specifications.  Gathering data and input to include in specifications.  Anticipated release of RFP document is the week of February 26, 2018. 

 

BOC Delivery Status

Eight (8) buses have been delivered to date.  ETA on 5 more is the week of 2/26/2018. 

 

Ms. Morton added that the Ticket Vending Machines that were recently approved was placed on hold as the State is looking at issuing a procurement that may lend itself to a regional procurement that may be a step towards uniformity of equipment across the State. 

HR Update

Ms. Brayboy reported the following activity during the previous month.

Recruiting:

Ø  Director of Finance

Ø  Part-time Cleaner

Hired:

Ø  Procurement/Inventory Control Specialist – started January 22, 2018

Ø  Rehired Part-time ADA/Shuttle Driver – started February 19, 2018

Ø  Helper/Mechanic -  will be starting on March 26, 2018

Ø  Part-time Money Counter (backup) – will be starting soon to cover vacation

Separations

Ø  Part-time Fixed Route Driver

Ø  Part-time ADA/Shuttle Driver

Ø  Part-time Fixed Route Trainee Diver

Ø  Two Part-time Money Counters

Ø  Chief Financial Administrative Officer

Ø  Day Foreman

Ø  Part-time ADA Driver

 

Transition

Ø  Part-time ADA/Shuttle Driver to Full-time in January

Ø  Part-time Fixed Route Driver to Full-time in February

 

Promotion

Ø  Mechanic B promoted to Mechanic A in January

Retirement

Ø  After 35 years of service with the District a Transit Supervisor decided to retire – last day of employment will be June 29, 2018

 

Other Business

The Connecticut FMLA does not apply to public-sector employers. The District is quasi-public and it does not apply to our agency.  Effective March 1, 2018, Family and Medical Leaves will be administered by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America on behalf of the District.

 

CEO UPDATE

5310 Grant application

Ms. Morton advised that the District will submit a timely application but it remains unclear if we will be able to use the funding awarded as the recent cuts and proposed future cuts will leave no local money to serve as match for this program.  She advised she conferred with the State and they encourage submitting for the next round of funding in the event things may change. 

 

CEO Panelist

Ms. Morton advised she was participating panelist with her fellow State colleagues hosted by CTDOT.  The panel is intended to address divides, future coordination and any and all issues that may arise requiring better communication and mentoring between the DOT and the Districts.   

Outstanding Payments

Ms. Morton reported we received two revised TOD’s representing full and final payment for the Stamford ADA deficits for FY 17 ($207,090) and FY 16 ($14,038).  The repayment of these overruns will result in a positive change to our bottom line financial deficit as these amounts were not recorded as outstanding receivables on our financial statement as we had no formal written commitment for their resolve.  This receipt of these funds will be reflected on the FY 2018 financial statement.  Remaining items include FY 2016 and 2017 Coastal Link payment and June FY 2016 retainage at a minimum. 

 

Consideration to Continue in Executive Session

At 2:40 PM 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 3:00 PM.  A motion to immediately reconvene the Regular Meeting was unanimously passed. 

 

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board

No further business was brought before the Board.

 

Next Meeting March 22, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The next regularly scheduled meeting is March 22, 2018 at 9:00 AM.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 3:05 PM. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kimberlee A. Morton

 

Kimberlee A Morton, CEO

Norwalk Transit District