August 23rd 2018 Norwalk Transit District Commissioner's Meeting

Thursday August 23rd, 2018 at 9:30 AM

At the offices of the Norwalk Transit District

275 Wilson Avenue, Norwalk, Ct. 06854

Minutes: (For downloadable copy (CLICK HERE)

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Special Meeting Minutes

 

 

August 23, 2018 at 9:30 AM – Norwalk Transit District

 

 

 

 

 

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

Lori Richards, Procurement and Grants Manager

Richard Meyer, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

Dennis O’Connor, Manager of Planning and Marketing

 

The meeting was called to order at 9:36 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 June 4, 2018

The minutes of the June 4, 2018 Meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

FINANCE REPORT

June 2018 Financial Report

FY 18 Preliminary Financial Statement by service was presented. On the fixed route side, the Coastal Link incurred a $408k deficit, which was mostly covered by Norwalk Core service operating a $382k surplus, resulting in a net deficit of $26k 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 services operated within budget; funding was adequate due in part to the increased Stamford ADA TOD received during the year. For Norwalk ADA, without local funding, the service incurred a $296k deficit, and the Coastal Link ADA incurred a $35k deficit. NTD has continued to communicate the additional funding needs required to support Norwalk and Coastal Link ADA services.

Audit Update 

The Steward and Monde audit team is scheduled to be on-site the week of September 10th – 14th. Finance has begun sending audit requests electronically in advance.

Cash Flow Analysis

Cash flow analysis through September 30th was presented – As of August 23rd NTD has not received first quarter funding. The cash flow analysis illustrated that without first quarter funding, the credit line will be exhausted at the end of September. NTD has escalated this matter to the state and expects feedback with resolution before then.

Union Pension Bank Account – Intention to fund

Due to cash flow constraints, NTD will be funding the full-year 2017 union pension commitment upon receipt of the first quarter state operating payment. Due to historical cash flow constraints, NTD has requested a separate bank account to reserve union pension funding in the period the liability is incurred. The goal is to fund the pension closer to the beginning of the calendar year going forward. Commissioners unanimously approved and executed bank signature cards to create the new pension reserve account.

 

OPERATIONS REPORT

Ridership

Mr. Liotta presented the attached Ridership report.

Status of Route Changes

 

July 18th ran consistent to last year at this time, showing a modest 1.49% increase over previous year.  Counting in the night shuttles, there was a 1.03% increase per day over previous year.  Commuter shuttles looked good for Norwalk and Westport.  For production, the numbers overall for wheels show good ridership per hour for the month.  Greenwich has a major decline on one run due to businesses relocating. 

 

Wheels 3, 10, 13, and the Coastal Link continue to show great ridership per hour and per mile.  Wheels 1, 8, and 12 all are showing poor ridership, and all were adjusted effective July 29th with the run changes.

 

Norwalk shuttles show decent ridership per hour (7-9 riders per hour), and Westport has shown a small boost in their numbers.  Westport will be putting out surveys, and looking at possible alternatives to the very low producing routes, including considering Micro Transit.

 

The Westport shuttle service is running at 5.6% better than July last year.  Of particular note, the G-2 is running very well, while the G-1 and S-3 are not.  Westport Door to Door trips are running at 11% less than last year at this time. Very hit or miss this time of year due to vacations.

 

All new routes went into effect – Sunday Beach service started in July – low ridership to start, but also due to weather.  Highland Ave Express service to SNRR also low, but we are continuing to promote it to help inform riders.  Wheels 1 reduced, Wheels 8 and 12 eliminated, and Wheels 9 reconfigured.  Many concerned riders from Woodward Avenue voiced their opinions just prior to the changes to the 9 – a tweak was made after the first week in the route to serve a larger portion of Woodward Avenue.  This change was well received.  Ms. Morton disseminated a copy written customer correspondence on the subject that was addressed to the Commissioners.

 

Door to door services running lighter than last year by 8.22%.  Operations are making some new adjustments to scheduling to help improve production through the use of bus zones dedicating vehicles specific to zones.

 

Micro Transit Update

Micro Transit slated to start September 13th.  Hours of service will be Thursday – Saturday 5:00 pm to Midnight, Sunday 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Actual simulation training is scheduled for Monday August 27th and Tuesday August 28th.  Trips will be simulated and mock pickups will be performed.  Prior to the start of the Pilot, the staff will promote the service at a vendor booth at the Norwalk Oyster Festival.

 

Norwalk Board of Education

Mr. Liotta reported that several meetings have been hold with Norwalk Board of Education representatives regarding a potential partnership which would utilize the existing transportation infrastructure for student transportation and ultimately generate budget savings for the Board of Education.  Conversations are ongoing and may not be possible this school year due to contracted transportation commitments.  

 

Drug and Alcohol Policy Update

Mr. Liotta presented the attached Policy, Commissioners Glickson and McQuaid unanimously accepted the policy changes as presented and attached. 

MAINTENANCE AND FACILITIES

 

Introduction of Tom Chieppo, Shop Manager

Mr. Meyer made the introduction including a brief narrative of Mr. Chieppo’s professional background. 

 

Yankee Doodle Garage Update

Ms. Morton advised that the lease for the District’s utilization of the Yankee Doodle Garage bathrooms had expired.  She requested that the Commissioners consider extending the agreement for a five year maximum term at the cost of $400 per month as insurance in the event that the lease for the existing drivers’ room is not extended for some reason down the road.  It also allows us to extend the use of these to CTTRANSIT, HART and GBTA.  The Commissioners concurred and agreed to the lease extension as presented and attached.

 

PROCUREMENT

DBE Goal Submission

Ms. Richards advised the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Triennial Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Goal and Methodology for FY2019-FY2021 submission was due August 1st, 2018 and was submitted as required.  Norwalk Transit District’s overall goal is set at 6.1%.  A public forum was held at NTD on July 25th to review our overall goal methodology and allow for public comments; see attached Powerpoint Presentation for details. 

 

Approve Bus RFP Award

RFP #NTD 2018-01; 30’, 35’ and 40’ Low Floor Diesel Fuel Buses was evaluated by a cross-functional team of participating agencies, which included Norwalk Transit District, Southeast Area Transit District and Housatonic Area Regional Transit.  The evaluation concluded Gillig, LLC, to be the recommended awardee with the best overall value.  Ms. Richards requested that the Commissioners make a formal motion to approve a contract award to Gillig, LLC.  Motion was made and unanimously approved. 

 

Final Approval Procurement of Support Vehicles

Ms. Richards requested final approval to award a Purchase Order in the amount of $55,660 for the two replacement support vehicles to Crowley Auto Group.  NTD will purchase two 2018 Nissan Murano with capital grant funds.  The Commissioners’ unanimously approved the purchase.

 

Approval Procurement of Support Truck

Ms. Richards requested and received approval to award a Purchase Order in the amount of $68,892 for the replacement support truck to Crowley Auto Group.  NTD will purchase one 2018 RAM 5500 Chassis Truck with capital grant funds.

 

Paratransit Bus Procurement Update

Ms. Richards advised all 25 new Paratransit vehicles have been received and are in-service.

 

Architectural, Engineering and Construction Management Services RFQ Update

Proposal submissions were due on July 31st, 2018.  Six proposal submissions were received by the following: Wendel Companies, Antinozzi Associates, DeCarlo & Doll, Inc., Silver/Petrucelli and Associates, H2M Architects and Engineers, and Michael Baker Engineering, Inc.   All submissions are currently under evaluation by a cross-functional team, which include Rich Meyer, NTD; Lisa Tilum, CTDOT; and Alan Lo, City of Norwalk.  Evaluations are to be complete by August 28th.

 

PLANNING AND MARKETING

 

Mr. O’Connor presented the status of the following Advertising contracts.

·         Maritime Aquarium is wrapped and on the road (Photo attached)

·         Center For Vein Restoration is wrapped and on the road (Photo attached)

·         CT Lottery and CT VNA under discussion.

HR UPDATE

Authorization of FY 2019 maximum annual performance increases for administrative employees and corresponding exceptions

Ms. Brayboy requested Commissioner approval for maximum annual performance increases applicable for FY 2019 in the amount not to exceed 2.5% which is consistent with the Union contract for the same period.  Two exceptions were noted in the report at the request of the CEO as two employees who were hired at the end of the two year freeze period should be exempt from the freeze to avoid others hired after them from jumping over their frozen baseline salaries.  The Commissioners’ approved the administration increases not to exceed 2.5% and the exemptions as discussed. 

Harvest Health Festival

Ms. Brayboy invited the Commissioners to the annual festival that will be held on October 11, 2018 from noon to 4:30 PM. 

Affirmative Action Update

Ms. Brayboy presented an updated EEO report based on the current workforce make-up.  Her conclusions of the attached report were:

Ø  NTD is following within our expected goals for the Affirmative Action Plan.

Ø  The chart provided is a comparison of the employee make-up as of January 2016 vs. January 2017 Workforce Analysis and Goals.

Our 2017 current percentage shows there was 0.2% less for minorities and a 4.2% less for females compared to our 2016 workforce analysis.

Ms. Morton asked Ms. Brayboy if we remain on track for compliance with our submitted goal and Ms. Brayboy responded affirmatively.

CEO Update

Creation of Foundation

Ms. Morton discussed the possibility of creating a foundation as an arm of the Norwalk Transit District.  She said as a non-profit a new pool of funding opportunities may exist.  She advised legal counsel will research the potential opportunity.

 

Press Release/Event

Ms. Morton thanked the Commissioners for attending the press event on Monday introducing the new logo and the fleet of new vehicles.  She provided copies of the formal press announcement. 

 

By-Laws

Ms. Morton advised that she received a copy of proposed by-laws developed by legal counsel this week.  She will review and present a draft for review by the Commissioners at the next meeting.

APTA Annual

Ms. Morton advised she would be attending the 2018 APTA Annual Conference in September.

 

Organizational Changes

Ms. Morton reported that potential organizational changes were under consideration and would be presented at the next meeting for consideration by the Commissioners.

 

CACT Awards

Ms. Morton informed the Commissioners that Norwalk Transit District employees Lynette Brayboy, HR Manager, Lenton “Rome” Holley, Driver, and Rich Aldo, Mechanic A and Union President were the recipients of the 2018 Connecticut Association of Community Transportation Annual awards of excellence.

 

Miscellaneous

Greenwich Meeting.  Ms. Morton reported that she and Mr. Liotta met with First Selectman Peter Tesei and staff to discuss potential future needs of Greenwich.  She advised that their existing services will be evaluated from an operational perspective for any potential efficiencies.

Pending Union Matters.  Union matters pending a September 1st implementation date are Light/Duty/Managed Care Program, Attendance Policy and Memorandum of Understanding regarding Microtransit. 

Ms. Morton reported that CTDOT continues to pursue the concept of a statewide WC insurance consortium.  It will operate under principles similar to the Automobile Liability and Drug and Alcohol Consortia.  A light duty policy inclusive of managed care is with the Union for consideration.

In accordance with the Union Contract the District convened a labor/management committee to address an attendance.  The Committee was successful in moving an Absentee Policy out of Committee to present to the Union membership. 

A MOU is under review by the Union which will provide Management with the ability to include Sunday Microtransit work as part of a full-time work schedule.  The collective bargaining agreement provides for Sunday to be excluded from all regular full-time work week schedules for all fixed route (Wheels) and ADA, paratransit, shuttle drivers.  As a result of the demonstration project the District will add Sunday as a part of the full-time regular work week schedule for three additional full-time positions. It is understood that these three new positions may be assigned work schedules consisting of Shuttle, ADA or "Microtransit" work but under no condition will the schedule include Sunday work other than "Microtransit" work. It is understood that in the event the demonstration project ends without a continuing agreement for the inclusion of Sunday "Microtransit" work as a part of a full-time work week schedule then the three newly created full-time pieces which include Sunday will be eliminated.  Those three (3) Local 1303-186 members who are awarded the new positions will have the right to move back to their previous position (full or part-time) in seniority order without penalty by bumping or new bid selection.  It is understood that nothing in this agreement prohibits the District from performing the "Microtransit" work with its current ADA, Paratransit, Shuttle workforce in accordance with the existing CBA as long as it abides by the Sunday restriction.

The Parties additionally agree that the appropriate driver classification for the on-demand "Microtransit" project is the ADA, paratransit, shuttle classification.

WC Settlement.  Ms. Morton advised that the previous authority that was given to settle a WC claim was accepted within the parameters of the authority prior to the close of the fiscal year, June 30th.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

It was determined that an executive session was not needed and Mr. Pentz would cover the findings in his following report.

 

Pension FICA Benefit Change

Mr. Pentz reported the tax review is final, corrective mapping changes made with ADP, agreed upon procedures for engagement with accounting firm for year-end W-2 reporting.

Medical Opt-out Change

Mr. Pentz proposed medical opt-out benefit change to a taxable fringe benefit effective for new hires starting in FY 2019.  The change was unanimously approved by the Commissioners.

Any Other Business Properly Brought Before the Board

No further business was brought before the Commissioners.

 

Next Meeting September 27, 2018 at 9:00 AM Cancelled

The next regularly scheduled meeting for September 27, 2018 was cancelled.  A special meeting will be scheduled and noticed if determined it is needed.  In the event no meeting is scheduled the regularly scheduled meeting as noticed for October 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM will stand. 

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 10:50 AM. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kimberlee A. Morton

 

Kimberlee A Morton, CEO

Norwalk Transit District