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DRAFT Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

Monday, November 13, 2017

The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) Advisory Board met on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 10:30 am, at 15 Blandin Avenue, Framingham, MA, at the call of Joseph Nolan, Advisory Board Chair/Wayland.

A roll call of members present was conducted. In attendance were:Joseph Nolan/Wayland - Chair, Ed Burman/Ashland - Clerk, Cheryl Tully Stoll/Framingham, Jack Hunter/Hudson, Nick Milano/Marlborough, James Errickson/Natick, Debra Galloway/Sudbury, James Gorman/Sherborn, William Kingkade/Milford, Jean MacQuiddy/Weston and Susan Stocker/Disabled Community.

Not in attendance: Craig Hughes/Dover, Jay Marsden/Holliston, Brian Herr/Hopkinton, Kathleen Bartolini/Southborough, Ellen Gibbs/Wellesley

Also in attendance: Edward Carr/Administrator, Eva Willens/Deputy Administrator, Patrick Moynihan/General Counsel, John Glynn/CFO.

MWRTA Staff: Carl Damigella/Outreach Coordinator, Ieshia Price and Joy Glynn/Admin Assistant.

Kiessling Transit, Inc.: Chuck Curran/General Manager.

Additional Attendees: Carole Mullen/COA Director and representative from the Town of Hopedale.

Chairman Joe Nolan, presiding, declared a quorum was present, and the meeting was called to order at 10:30 am.

Mr. Nolan requested that Advisory Board Members fill out the information sheet provided with the requested contact information. He commented that it was good to have so many local member towns in attendance, and congratulated Cheryl Tully Stoll of Framingham on her recent election as City Councilor-at-Large.It was noted that Harold Rhodes of Milford has been appointed to the Architectural Access Board by Governor Baker, and that the Town of Milford would have a new designee soon. In the meantime, Mr. Kingkade, as Chair of the Board of Selectmen, would serve.

Minutes of the previous meeting:

A motion was made by Joe Nolan: Approval of minutes from the last Advisory Board Meeting of June 29, 2017.

Second.The vote was unanimous

Public Questions/Comments:

A request was made by Mr. Nolan for any public comments from the audience. With no comments being expressed, the meeting continued.

Administrator’s Report:

Mr. Carr provided the following report:

The primary purpose for today’s meeting is to accept the request from the Town of Hopedale to join the MWRTA. Mr. Carr welcomed Carole Mullen, Hopedale COA Director.

The FYE June 30, 2017 audit is available, which Board Memebrs will receive electronically from Eva WIllens.If there are any questions from Board Members, CFO John Glynn will be available to respond.

The opening of the CNG Fueling Station is being held up by Eversource, which needs to provide wires to the facility. It is now anticipated that we will be able to pump by 12/30/2017.

The Solar Project RFP should be in the Central Register by December for the solar canopy. MWRTA has received start-up funding from the State for the project.We are currently working with Tetra Tech, our design consultant, on preparation of the project docs.This is Phase I of our solar effort. We intend to expand the system once this phase is complete and more funding is identified.It was noted Framingham would be interested in purchasing excess electricity.

The project to replace the stairs at the Framingham Intermodal is completed. The overall takeover of the Framingham facility has continued to be a success, as witnessed by the parking lot being full on a daily basis during the week. For the benefit of new Board Members, Mr. Carr explained that MWRTA partnered with State DOT to improve this facility with added parking, lighting and security. The results to date have been impressive, including a significant reduction in the crime rate and much improvement to the downtown neighborhood. The next anticipated improvement is to bring water service to the station in the spring, which will open up additional revenue opportunities with potential vendors.

Following in the wake of the Framingham Station success, Ashland has reached out to us in the hopes that the relationship between the MWRTA, MassDOT and the MBTA Commuter Rail which resulted in a much better passenger experience in Framingham for both MWRTA and Commuter Rail users, can be replicated in Ashland.Every community is different, yet we believe that improving the intermodal relationship between bus and rail passengers by providing first and last mile service is an important regional role for the MWRTA to play.

Echoing Mr. Nolan’s earlier comments, Mr. Carr offered congratulations to Cheryl Tully Stoll on her recent election as Framingham’s City Councilor-at-Large. He further stated that the MWRTA would look to Councilor Tully Stoll’s guidance as Framingham transitions from a town to a city.

Discussion of Board Reorganization:

The Chair indicated that there should be an annual reorganization of the Board officers. If any Member is interested in any of the Board officer positions of Chair, Vice Chair or Clerk, Ms. Willens will be emailing a memo to all Board Members requesting that you make your interest known.

Hopedale Request to Join MWRTA

Carl Damigella discussed the request from the Town of Hopedale to join the MWRTA. Mr. Damigella stated that he met with Hopedale officials on several occasions to review the opportunity to transition people to the Fixed Route. Hopedale has agreed to utilize the MWRTA Central Reservations System.Hopedale used a leased van from the Town of Milford for various purposes, with limited access to the disability community.The Town and its Council on Aging were not aware of the opportunities available through the MWRTA. Ms. Carole Mullen, Hopedale COA Director expressed the town’s enthusiasm in becoming the MWRTA’s newest member. While she stated that there was some trepidation in embarking on this collaboration, she and the Selectmen are excited about the opportunity and the service that will be provided to Hopedale’s residents, most especially the elderly and disabled.Mr. Carr pointed out that the MWRTA Call Center provides personal attention to each call received. He went on to state that nearly 50% of our Call Center staff have disabilities and as a result have empathy for many of the callers they interact with. He expressed how proud the MWRTA is of what they do for us and our passengers. He also pointed out that the MWRTA Travel Training Initiative is working daily to improve our services to all customers.

Mr. Milano of Marlborough asked whether adding Hopedale would impact the MWRTA finances.Mr. Carr and Mr. Glynn stated that Hopedale will pay their own way for service and that there will be no impact on MWRTA operating costs. The MWRTA will be providing the vehicle. Mr. Nolan stated that if any proposed service to be provided the Town of Hopedale was to have an effect on assessments, the matter would be brought before the Advisory Board for approval.

A motion was made by William Kingkade: That the MWRTA Advisory Board under provisions of MGL c. 161B, § 3, approve the request of the Town of Hopedale to join the MWRTA.

Second. The vote was unanimous.

Board Member Comments:

Mr./ Gorman of Sherborn stated that he was a member of his town’s safety board and that the community has a cellular communication problem within the town, and inquired whether the MWRTA communication system could assist in eliminating some of the gaps. Mr. Carr stated that the MWRTA IT consultant will reach out to Mr. Gorman. Ms. Tully Stoll of Framingham mentioned her town uses repeaters to resolve the problem.

Sgt. Burman of Ashland thanked the MWRTA for a replacement vehicle to be received in Dec 2017. With regard to emergencies, the MWRTA will provide vehicle assistance (wheelchair lifts) to evacuate nursing homes and schools. We are developing a flow chart with 24 hour coverage and plan to have a call in number, a designee from each town, and 24 x 7 coverage. MWRTA is on our school evacuation list. We utilized them last year for a successful evacuation. Once we have the flow chart in place, we will invite the MWRTA member Police/Fire Chiefs and Emergency Managers to integrate the program.

Mr. Errickson announced that the Town of Natick was one of the first recipients of a Municipality Vulnerability Grant, and that they are working through how to move people around depending on the type of emergency. Natick’s Sustainability Coordinator will be inviting MWRTA to participate in the process. Natick consultants are expeditiously working with the Town of Framingham on the 13 Study (a transportation study within a congested area).

The Administrator indicated that the Solar Project will require an Advisory Board vote to proceed at the next meeting, which he anticipates will take place in January 2018.

A motion was made by Mr. Nolan: To adjourn the meeting.

Second: The vote was unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:02 am.

________________

Ed Burman, Clerk



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