GENESEE TRANSPORTATION COUNCIL
SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
February 18, 2009
GTC BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT
Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Executive (GTC Chairperson)
Theodore Fafinski, Ontario County
Mary Pat Hancock, Genesee County (GTC Vice Chairperson)
Edward Marianetti, Monroe County At-Large
George Weidemer, Monroe County Supervisors Association
Wayne Zyra, Monroe County
ALTERNATE REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT
Richard Beers, Jr., Federal Highway Administration, representing Jeff Kolb
Chris Bollin, Monroe County At-Large, representing Dan Hogan
David Cook, Roch. Gen. Regional Trans. Authority (RGRTA), representing John G. Doyle, Jr.
Angela Ellis, Livingston County, representing James Merrick
Tom Goodwin, Monroe County Planning Board, representing Linda A. Faubel
E. Joseph Gozelski, Wyoming County, representing A. Douglas Berwanger
Richard N. Hannon, City of Rochester, representing Robert Duffy
Edward G. Muszynski, Empire State Development Corporation, representing Marisa Lago
Kevin OBuckley, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), representing Astrid C. Glynn
Kevin Rooney, Wayne County, representing James Hoffman
William Sullivan, Rochester City Council, representing Gladys Santiago
David Zorn, Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (G/FLRPC), representing James Hoffman
GTC BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT AND UNREPRESENTED
Brigid Hynes-Cherin, Federal Transit Administration
Michael Fleischer, NYS Thruway Authority
Pete Grannis, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Paul E. Haney, Rochester At-Large
Chuck Lafler, Seneca County
Robert Multer, Yates County
Henry Smith, Jr., Orleans County
Steven Urlass, Federal Aviation Administration
David L. Watson, Rochester City Planning Commission
OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE
Daniel Ciszek, Congresswoman Slaughters Office
Ed Houseknecht, Orleans County
Scott Leathersich, Monroe County
Charles Nesbitt, Orleans County
Richard Perrin, GTC Staff
Rich Quodomine, NYSDOT Main Office
Rob Slaver, NYSDOT Region 4
Jill Terreri, Democrat & Chronicle
John Thomas, City of Rochester
Robert Torzynski, GTC Staff
Chris Zeltman, Congresswoman Slaughters Office
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
Chairperson Brooks called the meeting to order at 10:06 a.m.
Richard Perrin, GTC staff, called the roll; a quorum was present.
2. Public Forum
No one from the public spoke during the Public Forum.
3. Action Item
a. Recommendation to the GTC Board concerning amending the 2007-2012 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to include projects that will benefit from funding provided via The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 / Proposed Council Resolution 09-10.
Richard Perrin discussed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and outlined the process for identifying the candidate projects that were considered as part of the process for selecting projects to benefit from finding provided via ARRA. Richard stated that GTC staff, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Region 4, counties in the GTC TIP area, City of Rochester, and the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority began working to identify candidate projects in November 2008.
The GTC process for selecting projects has included a 30-day public review from January 9, 2009 to February 9, 2009 that allowed for the provision of comments on projects included on the list compiled for the public review document and the submission of additional projects for consideration. All projects submitted, regardless of type or by what agency, had to be federal-aid eligible and able to be advanced to construction by Summer 2009 (without the waiver of any federal-aid requirements).
Each of the proposed highway and bridge projects were evaluated using criteria that assessed the readiness of the project (i.e., could it be ready for obligation by June 2009), the physical condition of the road or bridge, the current use of the road or bridge (based on the most recent traffic counts), and the cost-effectiveness of the project as measured by the cost relative to how long before additional repairs would be needed. Consistent with ARRA, a criterion was included to give priority to those projects located either wholly or partially within an economically-distressed area.
Each of the proposed public transportation projects were evaluated based on the degree to which they would improve the convenience and attractiveness of the transit system and what level of operating cost efficiencies would be gained.
Each of the proposed bicycle and pedestrian projects were evaluated based on the degree to which they would improve the convenience and attractiveness of the network and what level of improved accessibility would be gained
Richard discussed the TIP Development Committees use of these preliminary rankings based on the previously mentioned criteria and other considerations, including geographic balance, in developing the proposed list of projects for Planning Committee consideration and recommendation to the GTC Board.
NYSDOT Main Office provided planning targets of funds to be provided to the GTC TIP Area as part of ARRA. The planning targets for the GTC TIP Area are $72.9 million for highway, bridge, bicycle, and pedestrian-eligible projects and $11.2 million for public transportation-eligible projects. These planning targets represent the maximum amounts that GTC can use to program projects with ARRA funds and maintain federally-required fiscal constraint. Projects programmed with these funds are contained on the Selected list.
Richard discussed the inclusion of a prioritized list of Illustrative projects that can be programmed in the TIP if and when additional ARRA funds become available to the region. These projects would be added to the TIP in the order provided without further action and total approximately 50 percent of the planning targets used to develop the Selected list. Inclusion of a project on the Illustrative list does not represent a commitment of future federal funds from either ARRA or federal formula programs.
Richard stressed that during the solicitation for prospective projects, GTC made clear that every involved agency must commit to advancing its projects with all deliberate speed in order to ensure that timelines can be met and to maximize the benefit to the region from the use of the funds. Richard also discussed the provisions of Resolution 09-10 that would allow for the flexibility to program ARRA funds to existing TIP projects under specific conditions, including that projects selected to benefit from funds provided via ARRA be funded fully with federal funds.
Richard summarized the GTC process as being optimal for meeting the intent of ARRA (to create jobs quickly), selecting projects that will have a lasting benefit to the transportation system and are cost-effective, and using federal funds in a manner that fully recognizes that the transportation system connects all of our local communities and serves as the backbone of our regional economy. He stated that GTC did not cut corners, including holding a full 30-day public review period when many other MPOs relied on a shortened public review period.
Mary Pat Hancock requested clarification on the provision in the resolution that would allow ARRA funds to be used for existing TIP projects. Richard responded that this would allow the region to spend the ARRA funds as expeditiously as possible while still requiring that all projects selected to benefit from ARRA funds would be 100 percent federal funded.
Edward Muszynski asked if there was a concern that projects would not be able to be advanced in such a short timeframe given that there would be no waiver of federal-aid requirements. Richard responded that most of the projects selected will require minimal design and permitting activities and, as such, selected projects should be well-positioned to advance quickly.
E. Joseph Gozelski moved for approval of Proposed Council Resolution 09-10; William Sullivan seconded the motion. The motion passed unopposed.
Chairperson Brooks complemented Richard and the GTC staff on their work and the member agencies for coming together to cooperatively identify and select the projects that would have the most regional benefit in such a short period of time.
Richard Perrin informed the Board that due to an oversight on his part he incorrectly informed the Board at the December 11, 2008 meeting that election of officers would need to be held at the March 12, 2009 meeting. Upon review, it was determined that elections were last held at the March 13, 2008 meeting and Chairperson Brooks and Vice Chairperson Hancocks current term ends in March 2010. Richard apologized for the error and any confusion it may have caused.
4. Next Meeting
The next GTC Board meeting will be held Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Henrietta.
The meeting adjourned at 10:38 a.m.