Meeting Minutes

February 18, 2009





Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Wayne Bonesteel, representing Fred Howard, Rensselaer County

Steve Feeney, Schenectady County

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Robert Hansen, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Doug Melnick, representing Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Michael Morelli, Town of Bethlehem

Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

Bill Roehr, City of Troy

Phil Serafino, representing Bill Rinaldi, NYS Thruway Authority

Bernie Sisson, City of Schenectady

Michael Valentine, Saratoga County

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority (Vice-Chair)




Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Rob Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Joe Cimino, Clough Harbour Associates

Jim Digioia, NYS Office of General Services

Jim Gaughan, Mayor, Village of Altamont

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Authority

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Nelson Ronsvalle, Town of Halfmoon

Mike Wieszchowski, Laberge Group

Karen Williams, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Cathy Woodruff, Times Union





Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:35 am.




Jim Digioia addressed the Committee with a follow up to previous comments he had made regarding the recent emergency on I-90 in East Greenbush when the NYS Police had to shut down the Interstate due to a shooting.  Mr. Digioia noted that he spoke with a representative from NYSDOT Region 1 who explained, in detail, the circumstances that led to the detour confusion and was satisfied with the information he received. Bob Hansen had previously reported to this information to the Committee at its January 21, 2009 meeting.



Action Items




Approval of the February 4, 2009 Meeting Minutes


The minutes were approved without any modifications.





Bob Hansen reviewed various aspects of the Stimulus bill signed by the President.  Of note is that 50% of the stimulus funds must be obligated within 120 days. He reported that there are sub-allocations within the stimulus funds for transportation enhancements (TEP), small and large urban, and rural, etc.   Stringent reporting/auditing requirements will be required for each project receiving stimulus funds, with emphasis on number of jobs created by each. Furthermore, maintenance of effort, for both state and federal funds will need to be demonstrated.


Dave Jukins continued the discussion by drawing the group’s attention to Tables 1, 2 and 3 previously e-mailed to the Committee.  He pointed out that back in December, it was expected that the eight counties in Region 1, including the CDTC and AGFTC areas, would receive roughly $127 million (about $100 million for the CDTC area). Dave reported that the current allocation target is much less, estimated at $87 million for Region 1 ($70-75 million for the CDTC area). An additional $14 million is expected for transit. Additional funds will be made available for airport and port projects.  Bob Hansen indicated that these estimates are subject to change.


Dave reminded the group of previous discussion on the 11” x 17” table entitled Draft List of CDTC Candidate Stimulus Projects dated 1/21/09 and that the committee had agreed to a process that: (1) focused on current TIP projects that could be ready to go (which would allow us, at a later date to back-fill the void left by soliciting for new projects potentially); (2) looked at “upscoping” projects that have previously been pulled back on due to funding constraints; and (3) look to potential “ready-to-go” new projects if funds remain unspent.


Since development of that "candidate" table, NYSDOT Region 1 staff has worked to identify “deliverability”, now within the 120 day timeframe contained in the stimulus legislation.  In addition, comments from the public and agencies have been considered. As a result, CDTC staff, in collaboration with NYSDOT Region 1 staff, produced “Table A, Revisions to CDTC’s Draft Stimulus List Based on Information Provided by NYSDOT Region 1 at a Meeting Held at CDTC on February 11, 2009 (For Projects Expected to be Shovel-Ready in 120 Days)”. This table reflects revisions now shown in Tables 1 and 2 dated February 13, 2009.  Table 3 has since been revised and is entitled “Table 3, Projects From Public Outreach and Other Comments as of February 18, 2009”. 


Overall Project Selection Process


The Committee reviewed Table A line by line.  The Table’s listing of projects for proposed removal from Table 1 (Draft List of CDTC Candidate Stimulus Projects) reflects: deliverability issues; the fact that some projects were tagged as “1R” projects (i.e. pavement resurfacing) on roadways requiring more extensive repairs, or are otherwise ineligible for federal funds. 


As part of this discussion, several projects were added back into Table 1.  These include TIP projects S190/S176 Rehab of Existing Canalway Trail/Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail/Canalway Trail-Schenectady Segment and SA195 Zim Smith Trail Contract 2.  These enhancement projects were initially pulled off Table 1 to be applied against the TEP (Transportation Enhancements) set-aside in the stimulus legislation.  The group indicated it makes sense to have one list from which the appropriate stimulus funds can be tapped, while providing flexibility to account for the likelihood that some projects will be able to be delivered as envisioned and others may not be. 


Some discussion followed about S170, Schenectady Intermodal (Western Gateway) where Kristina indicated the cost should read $4.5M versus the $2.5M shown.  Apparently the $2.5M amount relates to stabilization of the rail platform only while $4.5M is the estimate of the amount needed to complete the project. It was agreed to keep the project cost at $2.5 million for now until the cost issue can be resolved.


Mayor Gaughan of Altamont asked for a follow-up staff consultation, to discuss how projects can be moved, even if they are not on the current table(s). 


Dave Jukins indicated that staff would eventually respond to each of the public/agency comments received. 


Highway Programming Action


Dave Jukins then referred to the narrative in the Planning Committee mail-out dated February 3, 2009 and entitled “Project Selection for Projects Funded with Economic Stimulus Funding” which provides a written record of the selection process used by CDTC for identifying stimulus funded projects.


Dave reminded members that one element of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires that “economic distress” of an area, as defined by the Public Works Act of 1965, be used to help prioritize projects.  Projects located within an area of low per capita income and/or unemployment rates above the national average are defined as economically distressed.  CDTC and CDRPC identified and mapped economically distressed census tracts within the CDTC area as well as stimulus projects located within economically distressed census tracts (previously distributed).  NYSDOT is working to develop a better understanding of the Congressional intent of this requirement.


The Planning Committee recommended the following programming action:


  1. For the projects on the Stimulus List that are on the 2007-12 TIP, allow NYSDOT to use its existing authority to select projects and designate stimulus funding.


  1. For New Preventative Maintenance and Paving Project Initiatives, create regional set-asides.


  1. For other New Local and State Projects, not already on the TIP, and not included in the preventative maintenance set-asides, select these projects only if the funding available exceeds TIP projects that are ready to be obligated by April 30, 2009.  Projects in this category which do not receive stimulus funding will not be included on the TIP.  They may be eligible for future rounds of stimulus funding, and they may apply for TIP programming in future TIP project solicitations.


A discussion ensued regarding how the Planning Committee would have oversight with respect to the progress of stimulus funded projects.  This would allow the Committee to have a handle on the amount of funds that would then become available for future TIP programming on potential new TIP candidates.  Bob Hansen indicated that because PS&E packages need to be done mid-May, NYSDOT should have good information on the projects and amounts that will be truly deliverable within the 120 day timeframe and the corresponding amount of TIP funds this would free up by the next Planning Committee meeting in April.  As stimulus funds are used, the Planning Committee would adjust the budgets for the setaside to respect fiscal constraints.




Transit Programming Action


The Planning Committee considered the transit projects contained in Table 1.  Kristina Younger indicated that the four projects listed are ready to go and that CDTA anticipates receiving $15M initially in stimulus funds.  The CDTA Board will decide on how to program the $15M at their 2/20/09 meeting, but the CDTA staff recommendation is to use the funds for the four projects listed in Table 1. These projects are currently on the TIP. 


The Planning Committee approved the CDTA staff recommendation to add the four transit projects in Table 1 to the stimulus list, contingent on the CDTA Board’s approval.  This would add $15M in stimulus funds with $9M of Section 5307 funds being moved from T17 to T57.  Also, $4.5M of contingent discretionary stimulus funds would be added to T69, $10M to T70, and $22.5M to T17. 





A395 & S150 Rensselaer to Schenectady Double Track


This proposed project was discussed at the February 4, 2009 Planning Committee meeting and is a NYSDOT/Amtrak Rail Initiative requiring Planning Committee and Policy Board approval to be added to the TIP.  This project was previously on the TIP and was removed due to lack of funding.  The project involves providing a double-track between the Rensselaer Rail station and Schenectady to address the Amtrak/freight train conflicts occurring along that segment.  Funding would be stimulus monies coming out of the $8 billion in rail funds available nationwide under the stimulus legislation.  A motion was approved to add this project to the TIP under stimulus funding.


SA104 Batchellerville Bridge Replacement


The state did not accept the bids for this project as the lowest came in greater than $20M more than the amount currently funded on the TIP.  In addition options for filling the funding gap are still being explored.  As a consequence this proposed amendment was withdrawn. 


Stimulus Project List Action


The Planning Committee considered and approved a motion to send the stimulus project list as approved and noted above to the Governor’s office and to incorporate the appropriate language and stimulus funding amounts into the TIP pending Policy Board consideration and approval at its March 2009 meeting.






Dave Jukins reported on the TIP Update Schedule.  At the last NYSMPO Directors/NYSDOT RPPM meeting it was decided that TIP/STIP updates will be delayed for 3 to 6 months.  This will provide time to work out available funds for update programming as the stimulus projects work through the process and a determination is made regarding what will be available for future project candidates.   The update discussion will be revisited at the April Planning Committee meeting. 



Discussion Items




Due to the hour, the status of planning activities was not reported.



There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:43 p.m. 


Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman