April 11, 2009 Transportation Committee Minutes

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Meeting Notes
Transportation Committee Meeting, GCI -Cranberry House
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Notes prepared by Axelrod & Fernald

Attendance: Katy Morse Fernald, Eric Dyer, Phil Whitney, Sally Rowan, Richard Beal, Karin Whitney, and Ron Axelrod by phone. Action Items in Bold
I. There were no comments on the March 5,’09 Meeting Notes.
II. The work done since last meeting was:
1. Phil updated the Committee on communications with Steve Ruell of Kleinschmidt Engineers (KE). Phil said proposed scope of items F through M in his Safety Memo would be undertaken with a team of Ruell, a consultant Captain Jerry Morrison, Paul Pottle, representatives of TCI (Bruce Fernald and Phil Whitney) with Ron Axelrod taking notes. Report will be drafted by Axelrod and reviewed and commented by each participant before a final report will be presented. This process was deemed most cost effective due to limited funds granted from the 2009 Town Warrant.
2. Proposed draft questions to the Attorney were sent to the Committee members beforehand and there were no comments. We will wait for Town Meeting reaction before we take action with BOS and then attorney. Once the attorney starts his work, which expected within the next week, he expects a report in two weeks.

3. The Committee was reminded of the free services provided by the Maine Municipal Association. A log in can be obtained a line. Barbara Myers is also researching other off shore islands situations.

III. Discussion on “Process for Implementing TCI Transportation Committee’s
Recommendations for New and Improved Service” date 2-11-09 and previously emailed to the Committee raised the following points:
1.There was discussion on focusing on a name for our new service so would all be focused on one topic and not be confused on what many people may call our new service. The Committee agreed on a title to call our new and improved ferry service: TCI Municipal Ferry Service Contract.
2. Discussion of options for new service included:
A. Phased in service would include an early morning 6:30 AM boat weekdays year round. The return boat would leave NEH at 3:30 PM during the dark months (late October through March daylight savings time start) with full service late boat 5:30 PM phased in a year later. Service would be evaluated to see ridership numbers on all boats over the first service contract, estimated at 3 to 5 years.
B. Preferred service provider system could be based on bidding service with winning contractor providing required Town service ( early and late boats) while others wishing to serve TCI would pay a landing/user fee to TCI for privilege. Water taxis may be considered differently as ferry service.
C. One service provider- one operator allowed serving TCI for all ferry operations. This may need to consider water taxis as not ferry service, say boats carrying six or less.
Considerations that there is back-up service if the selected operator went out of business, others are available. It was agreed that Ron and Kate would draft options for service and email to Committee members before next meeting for discussion and refinement at that meeting.

IV. Agenda items for Joint Harbor and Transportation Committees Meeting April 16th were presented:
A. Review of Safety Improvement Study to be done by Transportation Committee and involvement of Harbor Committee
B. Harbor Ordinance changes to policy as a result of new ferry service operations- including shore side operations
C. Enforcement provisions and how to enforce.
D. Emergency phone at each municipal dock
E. Long term harbor, docks, ramps, etc. master plan for GCI, LCI, and Manset.
F. Update of each Committee on what they are doing and mutual considerations to each other.
Ron and Kate will contact Richard Howland to prepare the agenda for the April 16th meeting.

Phil reported that Selectmen authorized the Transportation Committee to meet with the Town of Mt. Desert to discuss new ferry service operation. A Selectman should attend each discussion and a member of the Harbor Committee should be present as they will most likely follow when the new ferry service is implemented and the Transportation Committee will disband. BOS did not favor a separate committee to work with destination harbors of SWH and NEH. Eric will look into how NEH enforces rules and how they allocate boat operations.

The mail service contract must be understood as it has bearing on the ferry service. Someone needs to find terms, length, and other factors of the contract. Joy Sprague would be the first person to start in this investigation.

V. Next Meeting: May 9th at 8:15 AM- LCI Library with agenda: 1. Review of draft ferry service options; 2. Review joint meeting with Harbor Committee.