Transportation Committee Meeting Minutes May 15, 2009

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Meeting Notes
Transportation Committee Meeting, -LCI-Library
Saturday, May 9th continued to May 15, 2009

Notes prepared by Axelrod & Fernald

Attendance: Barbara Meyers, Skip Stevens, Dan Lief, Katy Morse Fernald, Eric Dyer, Phil Whitney, Sally Rowan, Karin Whitney, Ron Axelrod, and Erica Merrill and Frank Reece by phone. Action Items in Bold
1. The Transportation Committee Mission Statement was read to focus on the Committee’s original charge. Sustainability means the year round community as well as being as green as possible.
The Meeting Notes of the April 16, ’09 Joint Transportation, Harbor MAC were missing the action items. Nan Hadlock forwarded them and they are:
Barb Meyers will speak with GCI Harbor Master about attending meetings
• Ron Axelrod will add MAC and Harbor Committee to circulation list
• MAC could help with a business plan (Section III of Nan’s notes)
• Harbor Committee could help with implementation of any needed ordinance changes (Section IV of Nan’s notes)
• Nan will make a list of Harbor Committee needs and plans (Done, Section II of Nan’s notes)

II. The work done since last meeting was:
1. Ron contacted MEDOT Barbara Donovan, Director of Intermodal Transportation and she said $11,000 available to TCI for potential subsidy of early morning and late boat schedule. This would be a yearly allocation going directly to the Town. She asked to know the cost of the service, how much the school department would provide for student ridership, and estimated revenue from passengers.
2. The mail contract for TCI was procured. It is yearly, self renewing for four years starting July 1, 2008. The contractor can continue it if no increase in price is requested. Beal & Bunker are the contractors for the mail service.
3. The Town Attorney, Mathew Worthen of Eaton/Peabody Attorneys sent his reply to our questions for rights to our docks. It was received the day before the meeting. Please review the memo and send all questions to Ron by May 27th so he can compile them and send to Worthen for a response.
4. Katy met with Town of Mt. Desert (TMD) Shaun Murphy to get specific questions before they go to the town’s Harbor Committee. Murphy was receptive to TCI interests. TCI group should first detail questions to TMD Harbor Committee who will then forward recommendations to TMD BOS for ratification. Phil will liaison with the Town of Southwest Harbor (TSWH) Harbor Committee and Barbara to coordinate meeting with Murphy. Barbara, Phil, Katy, and Sally will comprise the group that will meet on behalf of TCI at TSWH and TMD meetings.
5. Ron and Dan met with Steve Pagels of Cranberry Cove to understand his operation and ridership.
6. Jeremy Alley will replace Richard Howland on the Committee.
7. The site visit for the Safety Study tentatively planned for May 20 has been postponed to mid June. Norman Sanborn will be added to the email list.
III. The “TCI Municipal Ferry Service Contract Options” emailed to all May 2nd was discussed and revised. It is attached to these Meeting Notes, and some of the comments include:
Water taxis should not be subject to a use tax
There should not be a monopoly of service
A use tax should be charged for boats other than the preferred early morning and late afternoon boats. (Please review this document- it is the basis for presentation to the Town in June)
IV. The “Process for Implementing TCI Transportation Committee’s Recommendation for New and Improved Service was discussed. The process was revised as follows:
A. The potential operators for the service options noted in the spreadsheet should be interviewed individually before we present the options to the Town. Skip, Barbara, Kate, and Ron will interview Beal & Bunker, Cranberry Cove (Ron to contact them), Allen Brother, and Carl Bruner (Skip to contact them) June 1st and 2nd.
B. The Town presentation of service options was tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 21. ’09 but will be rescheduled due to a conflict that day.
C. The Transportation Committee will meet Friday, June 26 at 4:30pm to follow-up from meetings with the operators and Town presentation.
D. The Transportation Comm. will meet with Board of Selectmen July 7, ’09 to present results of meetings with Town and operators.

A revised “Process……” plan is attached to these Meeting Notes reflecting decisions of the meeting.
V. Financial subsidies for the new ferry service were discussed including potential State, school, user tax, and Town subsidies.
A. A potential MEDOT yearly subsidy of $11,000 is currently available based on information to the State on school ridership and their potential for subsidy, and ridership estimates.
B. The Transportation Comm. Needs to liaison with the School Comm. To determine potential for ridership and subsidy. Skip will formulate questions and Barbara, Katy, and Ted Spurling will discuss total subsidy and ridership with TCI School Committee by June 5, ’09.
C. A user fee for ferry service other than the early morning (6:30am) or late afternoon (5:30pm) “commuter boats” is possible to subsidize the commuter service. A fee per person, quarterly fee per operator, yearly fee were some options discussed.
D. A Town subsidy is another potential support for the new service.
V. Next Meeting: June 26th 4:30pm 8:15 AM

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