Meeting Minutes

February 4, 2009





Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Wayne Bonesteel, representing Fred Howard, Rensselaer County

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Frank Commisso, Albany Port Commission

Rocco Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Stephen Feeney, Schenectady County

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Robert Hansen, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Barbara McHugh, Town of Clifton Park

Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem

Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet

Bill Roehr, City of Troy

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, representing Bill Rinaldi, NYS Thruway Authority

Bernie Sisson, City of Schenectady

Mike Valentine, Saratoga County

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

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




Yan Babichenko, NYS Department of Transportation

Cory Barringer, NYS Department of Transportation

Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Rob Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Mayor Jim Gaughan, Village of Altamont

Jonathan Golon, NYS Department of Transportation

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning Engineering

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Doug Melnick, City of Albany

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Mary Ann Mariotti, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jeffrey Oswald, NYS Department of Transportation

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Deborah Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Amy Varia, NYS Department of Transportation

Michael Wieszchowski, Laberge Group

Karen Williams, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1







Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:35 am.  There were no visitor’s issues. 


Action Items




Approval of the January 21, 2008 Meeting Minutes


The meeting notes from the January 21st meeting were approved.  Mike Valentine mentioned after the meeting that his name was left off the attendance list in the meeting notes.  This will be corrected.


Election of Officers


Members nominated Mike Franchini for the chairperson position and Kristina Younger as vice-chair.  Nominees accepted and were unanimously approved by members.




Dave Jukins reviewed the policies that govern the UPWP development and adoption.  The UPWP is revised and adopted every two years, and amendments to the two year UPWP are typically presented to the committee in February of the “off” year.  Several transportation planning and programming activities are proposed for addition to the 2008-10 UPWP, these are described in member’s packages.  In addition, the Mitigation Cost Shared Cost Initiative has been deleted from the NYSMPO program (and CDTC’s UPWP) due to current statewide budget constraints.  Members approved the addendum to the 2008-10 UPWP.




A440--Delaware Avenue Reconstruction


Due to budget constraints, the limits of this project were previously shortened (ending at Morton Ave rather than Madison Ave).  The city would like to extend the project limits to their original limits, in hopes that the Federal Stimulus Package will fund the $2.99M incremental cost to do so.  This project is currently out for Bid.  NYSDOT Region 1 fully supports this project (at it’s original limits) because it is a major bus route that serves the corridor and the extension of the project limits is through the most depressed section of the corridor, which addresses Environmental Justice concerns.  Members approved the amendment with the understanding that the extension would only be funded with stimulus funds, not STP-Flex if stimulus funding is not available.





A437—Hudson Mohawk Bike Trail Bridge


The City of Cohoes requested an increase of $66,000 in funding for TIP project A437 to cover inspection and design costs of the Black Bridge which provides a bike/ped connection between Cohoes and Green Island.  This project, when programmed on the 2007-12 TIP was capped at $530,000.  Members discussed the implications of removing the cap on this project and were not comfortable with the precedents it might set.  Consequently, members recommended that the city shift $66,000 from the construction phase to the engineering phase of the project to determine the actual

construction cost of the project.  Members indicated that this issue could be revisited if the remaining construction funds are not adequate to complete the project.


Economic Stimulus Package


Mayor Gaughan from Altamont attended this Planning Committee meeting in response to the draft list of stimulus candidates that was released for public review subsequent to the January 21st Planning Committee meeting.  The Mayor acknowledged the difficulty that the Committee has had in responding to the immediate call for projects under the Stimulus Program in an environment where rules and funding amounts are in a state of constant flux.  That being said, the Mayor questioned how a small entity, like the Village of Altamont, would be able to get a project on the final stimulus list. The Mayor indicated that the village had several candidates, one which was a recommendation of a recent Linkage Study.  Dave Jukins responded that the Mayor should submit a letter in response to the public review notice that was placed on CDTC’s website.  Several members reminded the Mayor that projects must be shovel ready and must follow strict federal guidelines in terms of environmental and ROW review. The mayor responded that he thought his project would meet federal criteria.  The Mayor will submit a formal letter which will be reviewed by Committee members at the February 18th Planning Committee meeting.


David Jukins distributed a list of seven “Economic Stimulus program Unresolved Issues” to be discussed.


1.    Public Outreach: as promised, CDTC placed the draft list of stimulus candidates on their website for public review on January 22nd.

2.    Re-programming STP-Enhancement Projects:  At the last meeting, a question was raised regarding the feasibility/desirability of funding STP-Enhancement projects with stimulus funds.  Dave reported that if an enhancement project is funded with stimulus funds, the Enhancement Funds that are “left on the table” will not necessarily be re-programmed for projects located in the Capital District. The only benefit would be to localities, since they would save the 20% match.  But giving back enhancement dollars could affect future enhancement funding for the region.  Projects costing a lot more than what was programmed in the enhancement program could, however, be good candidates for stimulus funds.

3.    Batchellerville Bridge Funding Deficit: The options for this project will be discussed at the next Planning Committee meeting.  It is hoped that more information from the FHWA regarding mixing core and stimulus funds; there is also a possibility that there will be a separate pot of money for large statewide projects, such as the Batchellerville Bridge.

4.    What Happens To “Regular” Federal Funds Replaced By Stimulus Money?: Preliminary Stimulus information suggests that the region needs to spend this year’s committed federal program in addition to any Stimulus monies that we receive. This means that projects programmed in the TIP’s second and third year will likely be accelerated, assuming that many of the first year projects will remain on the Stimulus list.  The house bill requires states to spend at least 50% of their stimulus dollars by August 14th.  If some states do not reach this threshold, then their remaining stimulus dollars will be re-distributed to states that do meet the threshold.

5.    TIP Programming-Project Prioritization: Members discussed how the stimulus projects could be shown in the TIP.  One option would be to prioritize the list and include a combination of projects that would not exceed available stimulus funds.  A second option would establish a stimulus set-aside from which projects that are ready to go are funded.  Drawing down on the set-aside would require Planning Committee action, but not Policy Board action.  The options will be discussed further at the February 18th Planning Committee meeting.

6.    Stimulus Project Selection Documentation: Glenn Posca distributed documentation of how the Committee has gone about project selection for projects funded with economic stimulus funding.  Committee members perused the document and suggested that Item 7 be re-worded, since many projects on the list were on the TIP and had “merit” as such.

7.    Amendment to add AMTRAK Double-tracking Project: CDTC’s policy is to provide information about TIP amendments prior to the date that the Committee meets, so this amendment will be voted on at the next Planning Committee meeting.  However, as background, this project was on CDTC’s TIP and was removed because of the lack of funding.  The Federal Rail Road Administration will also be distributing stimulus funds for RR projects, so this is a good candidate to put back on the TIP.  The double tracking between Albany and Schenectady would alleviate the majority of delays that AMTRAK faces in this stretch of their Empire Corridor.


David Jukins distributed a summary of the rules of the Stimulus program regarding economically distressed area.  CDRPC and CDTC staff prepared maps displaying economically distressed census tracts within the region and overlaid the candidate Stimulus projects located within these areas.  The results of this exercise and implications will be discussed at the February 18th Committee meeting.




Two new handouts were distributed to members to aid in the discussion of the TIP update.  These handouts are in addition to the tables that have been distributed during the last few Planning Committee meetings.


Table 4, distributed for the January 7th Planning Committee meeting was discussed.  Table 4 was approved with no corrections.


The handout summarizing Regional Projects was prepared to make Table 5 easier to assimilate. It was recommended that RG23, RG27, RG29, RG31, and RG40 should be fully replenished.  RG102 is correct as it appears in the TIP. It was recommended to treat RG96 in the TIP listing similar to the Section 5310 program. Discussions on RG37, RG37A and RG101 will be deferred until February 18th.  Table 5 was approved with the changes noted above.


Discussions moved to Table 6, Interstate Maintenance (IM) projects, in the previously distributed material. Project A370 has been completed and should be removed from the TIP.  All projects listed in Table 6, except project A370 were approved for inclusion in the TIP.


Table 7 lists the region’s HBRR projects.  Several changes were noted: Project 2 (SA104) is based on old data and should be removed from the table.  This project will be discussed at the mid-February meeting.  Project #47 (A476) will be funded with DEMO funds, so this project should be removed from Table 7.  Projects #48 and #52 are both rolling off the TIP and should be removed as they are complete.  Project #51 should be placed back on the TIP at its original cost.  Members approved Table 7 with these changes noted.


CDTA distributed a handout identifying proposed changes to programming of transit projects.  This handout, and the previously distributed Table 15, provides a snapshot of CDTA’s projects.  Table 15 was approved, with the noted changes in the transit projects (T prefix) in the handout.


Table 8 was reviewed.  Since the changes to the Transit (T) projects were taken care of using Table 15 and the handout from CDTA, these projects were ignored in Table 8. Discussion regarding use of CMAQ funds for project #8, SA133—replacement buses for CDTA’s NX service centered on the appropriateness of programming CMAQ funds for the portion of the project that was initially programmed in the post TIP.  CDTA made the case the NX service on the Northway fulfills many transportation objectives, and that the buses to be replaced are at the end of their useful life (12 years).  Replacement of the buses is essential to continue the service.  Members approved projects, #1, 5, 8, 12 and 16.  Project #15 rolls off the TIP, and action on Project #11 (SA 133—South Broadway/Ballston Avenue) was deferred, pending additional information. 


Time ran out to discuss the remaining tables (Tables 9-14).  These will be discussed at the next Planning Committee meeting.  Options for funding the Batchellerville Bridge will also be discussed, as will any comments received on the candidate list of stimulus projects.


The mid-month February Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday February 18th at 9:30am. 

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m. 


Respectfully submitted,







John P. Poorman