Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes
June 27, 2019 at 2:00 PM – Norwalk Transit District
For downloadable Copy: CLICK HERE
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners:
Norwalk Transit District Staff:
Kimberlee Morton, CEO
Britt Liotta, Chief Operating Officer
Lori Richards, Procurement and Grants Manager
Richard Meyer, Director of Maintenance and Facilities
Matt Pentz, Director of Finance
Dennis O’Connor, Manager of Marketing
Andrew Gallagher, Manager of Safety and Security
The meeting was called to order at 2:02 PM 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 MAY 10, 2019
The minutes of the May 10, 2019 Meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved.
May Financial Update
Mr. Pentz presented the May Financial Statement by service. He reported on the Fixed Route side, for the 11 months ended May ’19. The Norwalk Core Service surplus is $329,876, while a $413,010 deficit from Coastal Link Services has been incurred. Mr. Pentz highlighted that the net deficit for total Fixed Route Services is $83,135 which is in line with expectation. He noted that due to the funding shortfall resulting from operating the Coastal Link, funding responsibility for the overall Fixed Route deficit lies with the State, which will be invoiced as part of year-end reporting.
On the Paratransit side, Stamford ADA services are operating within budget. State funding has remained adequate due to the increased Stamford ADA TOD received at the end of FY 18. For Norwalk ADA, Mr. Pentz reported that without local funding, the service has incurred a $229,445 deficit through May. He also reported that the Coastal Link ADA service has incurred a $41,936 deficit. He mentioned that the responsibility for adequately funding the Coastal Link ADA Services lies with the State, and the deficit will be reported and invoiced at year-end. Meanwhile, Norwalk Transit has continued to communicate the additional State funding needs required for Norwalk ADA services. Without additional State funding, the Norwalk ADA deficit will be covered by Norwalk City funds, which although sufficient, hinder the District’s ability to paydown prior debts.
Mr. Pentz mentioned that cashflow is projected to be adequate through July at which point the district will have funded two months of operations through the credit line. He expects to receive June funding in early August and will be carefully monitoring cashflow until then.
FY 2020 Budget Update
Mr. Pentz reported that the FY 20 Budget was submitted to the State on the June 3rd deadline. He mentioned that the District took the approach of addressing all funding needs, including those of the Coastal Link in effort to secure funding up front. The overall request was for a 7.4% increase, which would eliminate the Coastal Link deficit issues. A response on State funding is pending.
Pension Plan Trustee Update
Mr. Pentz mentioned that the Amendment items previously addressed with the Commissioners received legal review with minor language modifications that were updated in the plan documents. He mentioned that there were a few discussion points to be evaluated with Ms. Morton prior to adopting the amendment.
Additionally, Mr. Pentz mentioned that Ms. Morton has reached an agreement with the Union and resolved an outstanding pension grievance, which included employer contributions to eligible participants who worked over 500 hours in the 2017 plan year. As part of the settlement, Norwalk Transit will adhere to the 1,000-hour service requirements for the 2018 plan year going forward. The Union has accepted the agreement and employer contributions to the 2017 participants involved were made in the current payroll processing.
FY 19 Financial Audit Timing Update
Mr. Pentz mentioned that the Seward & Monde audit team has completed their preliminary on-site testing and that Norwalk Transit is working on closing the books for FY 19. The finance team will be providing audit requests electronically prior to the next scheduled audit visit in September.
Mr. Liotta commented that the May ridership was very consistent with the April ridership, but that in looking at the ridership from May 19 versus May 118, it showed a huge decline. Mr. Liotta commented that when looking closely at the data from May 18, the month prior and the month after May 18 were more in line with May 19’s ridership, so that there were anomalies to the May 18 data. Ms. Morton asked if there were any changes done at that time last year, such as route changes or driver changes, to which Mr. Liotta commented there were not. Mr. Liotta pointed out that the trips per revenue hour for door to door has shown a great improvement from over a year ago, with trips now at 2.36 per hour for May 19.
Mr. Liotta commented that the Microtransit continues to grow month over month, and that May had over 900 trips for the month. Mr. Liotta felt that June would hold strong, and that we should see over 1,000 for the month. Mr. Liotta stated that the RFP was completed, and the District has made a recommendation for a Microtransit vendor, which would be spoken presented by Ms. Richards’ under the Procurement Update.
Mr. Liotta stated that the project of the tablet conversion to Route Match was successfully completed, and that the District will be able to go “paperless” as projected. Mr. Liotta stated that the District has already seen much cleaned data since the conversion.
MAINTENANCE AND FACILITIES
Mr. Meyer reported that the following projects are near completion.
✓ Re-tubing the boiler for the Admin Building heat
✓ Rear Security Gate
He further reported the following project has commenced under the direction of the Wendell Architects.
✓ Fueling Project
On-Demand Transportation Solution RFP (MicroTransit) Award Recommendation
Ms. Richards presented the attached recommendation memorandum highlighting the evaluation process. The evaluation team unanimously recommended Via Mobility, LLC for contract award. Ms. Richards requested the Commissioners to endorse the recommendation of award to Via for the first year of a five-year possible term in the baseline amount of $33,700 for 1-5 vehicles. Each additional option year will be exercised individually and were evaluated at the time of this initial award. Potential total contract cost over the five-year period is $155,500.00. The Commissioners unanimously approved the contract award as presented. Commissioners McQuaid and Glickson voted in support of the award.
Bird Netting Procurement – Award Recommendation
Ms. Richards presented the attached award recommendation the supply and installation of bird netting in the storage, maintenance and bus wash areas. She requested approval to award the contract to the low bidder, Retokil North America, Inc. dba Ehrlich, in the amount of $98,735.50. The Bird Netting project was unanimously approved by Commissioners McQuaid and Glickson.
TSI Camera System for Contractor Vehicles - Award
Ms. Richards presented the attached recommendation for award of a sole source procurement to Transit Solution, LLC for (TSI) Mobile Digital Video Systems for camera installation in Contractor and non-equipped NTD vehicles in the amount of $60,256.00. In a request for approval of the award the Commissioners unanimously supported the project award.
Ms. Richards presented the attached Gillig bus build schedule. Eight new vehicles will arrive between August 26th and September 11th.
Ms. Richards reported the use GovSpend as a new resource that allows us to search through a database of government purchase orders. This information is used t see competitor’s information, to see what governments are purchasing to assist us with Independent Cost Estimates (ICE), determine fair and reasonableness and to find potential leads for future procurement needs.
There is no report to be made as Ms. Brayboy is attending the Biennial NEPTA Conference in Rhode Island.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY UPDATE AND RESOLUTION
Mr. Gallagher reported the recent changes to the Drug and Alcohol Policy proposed by the D & A Consortium. He highlighted the changes as outlined in the attached. After his presentation he requested the Commissioners consideration of formal approval of the policy changes and execution of a formal resolution. Commissioners McQuaid and Glickson unanimously approved the Drug and Alcohol policy changes.
PLANNING AND MARKETING INITIATIVES
Proposed revisions to pricing for Full Wraps and Full Side Wraps with production/installation & removal costs removed.
Mr. O’Connor presented the attached modification to the current bus wrap advertising fee structure. Ms. Morton advised that this will be a guideline in negotiating any changes as may be in the best interest of the District.
Proposed new shelter locations
Mr. O’Connor advised that we recently had a meeting with Signal Outdoors regarding the existing contract and future potential option renewals. Mr. O’Connor presented the 15 potential sites that are being investigated by Signal Outdoors (see attached). In addition, he noted they are in the process of power washing all shelters and putting our new logo inside the shelter perimeters.
Ms. Morton commented that the new run bids will have 18 hours less for ADA in them than in previous bids. She advised that Mr. Liotta was able to achieve this by removing the 10-hour schedules and making them all 8-hour schedules. The Union was looking at the run posting schedule created and wanted an opportunity to try to put back some of the 10 hour runs. The opportunity granted but the Union was unable to create anything different from what was proposed by Management. Management posted the bids as originally presented. When it came time to bid Union leadership instructed union members not to participate in the bid. This was ultimately resolved with involvement from the Union headquarters in New Britain. Although the Union has concerns they have agreed to the run pick and management has agreed to work with the Union prior to the next run pick to see if changes can be made.
Capital Grant Execution FFY 2020
Ms. Morton reported that she executed a federal capital grant award on June 1, 2019, grant # 2019-004-00, in the total amount of $1,950,000 (80% federal, 20% State). Funding is allocated for a replacement radio system and ongoing support for our MicroTransit Program capital expenses.
Capital Grant Application FFY 2020 Award
Ms. Morton reported she is in the process of securing State and MPO approvals necessary for the submittal of the FFY 2020 federal capital grant application. Total grant application in the amount of $15,500,000 (80% federal, 20% State) for the following items:
➢ Ten Paratransit Vehicles - $1,250,000
➢ Administrative Capital and Miscellaneous Support Equipment which includes replacement supervisor vehicles, replacement fareboxes, and equip vehicles with a useful life with cameras - $1,000,000
➢ Facility Rehabilitation 5307 formula funds - $8,750,000
➢ Facility Rehabilitation Competitive FFY 18 Discretionary Funds - $4,500,000
Special District Program Northeast Summit Technology Innovation and Improvement of Service to Citizens Award
Ms. Morton presented the award to the Commissioners which was awarded by Government Technology, in a partnership program sponsored by AT & T. The Special Districts Program is the first program designed for special district leaders across the United States. This is an annual event and is focused in five regions: West, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast. The awards program has three categories to recognize technological innovation and leadership. NTD’s Wheels 2U program was recognized at the Northeast summit for its technology innovation and improvement of service to citizens. A special thank you to the Commissioners for supporting the NTD Team and empowering us to step outside of the box and take on this challenge.
2019 Transportation Partnership Award from Minority Construction Council (MCC)
The mission of the Minority Construction Council is to advocate, support, and create development opportunities for minority contractors throughout the State of Connecticut. They also members in their efforts to source with minority construction contractors. Our other focus on building relationships between MBE Members, Corporate Members and partners in the public and private construction industries. The major objective for District participation is to increase DBE participation.
Ms. Morton presented the award to the Commissioners which was awarded by the Minority Construction Council which was accepted by Ms. Richards. Noteworthy is that the District was one of many nominees. Ms. Morton thanked Ms. Richards for the extraordinary effort in bringing NTD’s Disadvantaged Business Program into proactive compliance through her involvement and partnership in programs such as MCC resulting in a program exemplified by major industry leaders in the State.
State Budget Update
Ms. Morton reported contracts were signed and received by DOT, but we still are waiting for the Transit Operating Documents (TODs) which will be indicative of funding for the upcoming year.
Ms. Morton wanted to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts of the entire NTD that participated this year. She reported that everyone did an outstanding job. The complete results are attached, and she highlighted the following:
➢ 40-foot Transit Bus
• 11th place 1st time participant – Maurice Williams
• 7th place - Johnny Langley
• 3rd place – Howard Stultz
➢ 35-foot Transit Bus
• 10th Place - Gerald Jean-Louis
• 5th Place 1st time participant - Tony Sierra
• 4th Place - James Smith
• Rookie of the Year – Tony Sierra
➢ Body on Chassis Bus
• 8th Place – Harry Sarathy
• 1st Place and representing the State of CT at the United States Roadeo in May 2020 - Dolores Pagan
• Overall Combined Team Award – Dolores Pagan & Harry Sarathy
Ms. Morton offered a special thank you to our training team Britt Liotta, Christina Harrison and Andrew Gallagher.
Commissioner Glickson Reappointment Approved
Ms. Morton made note that Mr. Andrew Glickson was approved for another term as Commissioner for the District. Commissioner Glickson has added that he has not been formally sworn in under oath by Mayor Rilling. Ms. Morton noted that the City website is updated with the current information.
✓ Connecticut Association for Community Transportation 2019 Annual Meeting
Ms. Morton and Mr. Liotta presented awards to Mary Frabrizio, Junior Accountant, Larry Grayson, Lead Mechanic A, and Howard Stultz, Transit Operator, with 2019 Excellence in Transportation Awards. These awards are given by CACT members to recognize the people within their agency who excel at their jobs in transportation but rarely have a formal recognition of their efforts by those in the public transportation industry. These individuals have been honored for their hard work and dedication to their jobs. Not only have they succeeded in their daily tasks, but they have also made a difference. Their diligence has not gone unnoticed and this is an opportunity to honor their hard work. Congratulations from all of us at NTD Mary, Larry and Howard.
✓ Mr. Softee
Ms. Morton advised the Commissioners we were going to hire Mr. Softee to visit the District during the month July as a low-cost employee appreciation for participation in many of the technology projects underway.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS PROPERLY BROUGHT BEFORE THE COMMISSIONERS
No other business was noted.
NEXT MEETING JULY 25, 2019 AT 2:00 PM
The next regularly scheduled meeting was scheduled for July 25, 2019 at 2:00 PM. It was agreed that the August 22, 2019 meeting is cancelled and would be rescheduled as needed.
The meeting adjourned at 300 pm.
Kimberlee A. Morton
Kimberlee A Morton, CEO
Norwalk Transit District