Transportation Committee Meeting Minutes December 27, 2008

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Transportation Committee Meeting, LCI -Kate Fernald’s Kitchen
Saturday, December 27, 2008

Notes prepared by Axelrod & Fernald

Attendance: Phil Whitney, Skip Stevens, Katy Morse Fernald, Dan Lief, Barbara Myers, and Ron Axelrod, Richard Howland by phone
There were no comments on the Nov. 29, ’08 Meeting Notes. The work done since last meeting was:
1. Phil Whitney’s safety report ( sent to all) and subsequent talk with Paul Pottle MEDOT
2. Barge & Ramp fee information given to Eric Dyer
3. Norris Memo 11-26-08 revision focusing on our process ( sent to all)
4. Letters with survey results sent to Beal & Bunker and Cranberry Cove
5. Barbara reported on four families / individuals that have recently moved off said that if transportation needs met would have had an impact on decision to move and probably would have stayed.

Discussion of Phil’s Safety Memo: minor comments about prevailing wind directions were noted. Recommendations of the Transportation Committee (TC) must be coordinated with the Harbor Committee (HC) and the HC have not been considering the safety improvements that would be generated by TC. It was suggested that joint meetings be held of the two committees to coordinate planning and improvements. Richard and Phil are current members of the HC. Other items of note:
1. Phil’s discussion with Paul Pottle, MEDOT, mentioned Pottle would help in developing scope of work for infrastructure improvements and assist with Kleinschmidt in costing and identifying new infrastructure methods now being employed in other Maine and Canadian harbors.
1, A Master Plan of all TCI harbors and wharfs should be considered as part of the safety study. Why not take a long look at what we want and prioritize the items, focusing on those items that will benefit the operation of early morning and early evening ferry boats. Committee members felt this was too much to propose at this time but is worthy to develop.
2. Some long term projects include creating clear channels through existing mooring fields for the ferry, extension of the LCI dock, building a year round permanent dock at Manset, breakwaters at harbors, and new vessel(s).
3. The schedule priority from the survey impacts the safety by having a late winter boat which would be in the dark for five months.
4. Medical concerns need consideration in planning improvements for easy accessibility.
5. Maintaining the existing steps and floats were noted as important to making accessibility safely in the dark and snowy and freezing weather.

The proposed warrant for the Transportation Committee was reviewed. Many felt the proposed $8,000 for the safety study was not adequate and suggested $10,000.
Action item: Skip will revise the warrant based on information discussed at the meeting and subsequent information on the proposed cost of the safety study. Phil will discuss with Kleinschmidt Consultants about cost of study based on evening and early morning landings.

Discussion about TCI ownership of docks and infrastructure as part of legal restrictions on potential single operator rights to ferry operation raised the following Action items:
1. Contact with Town legal counsel, Matt Wurthen is necessary and probably should come from a Selectman.
2. Barbara and Katy to discuss with Town Manager of Town of Mt. Desert about docking rights, costs, etc. Could the right for the operator of TCI ferry be shifted to TCI?

Discussion about our process going forward lead to the following points:
1. Once agreed on the Performance Specification for service, do we need to bring this to the Town or Board of Selectmen? Maybe in the reverse sequence?
2. Are we just going to propose a schedule change as a first step?
3. Should there be hearings on both islands what is planned?
4. Do we have a full fledged Request for Proposals from potential operators and select one? This will take a well orchestrated process of working with the Town members to agree and move forward.
5. Target April as getting our plan in order to present to operators and Town? We need to think through the sequence and plan workshops and public meetings.

Skip will draft the “Transportation Committee’s Annual Report” for inclusion in the TCI Annual Report. His draft will be circulated before being sent to Town

Next meeting: Jan 24st, 8:15 am LCI – In the future, meetings should start just after the boat arrives at the island.

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