PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
October 5, 2011
Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes
Susan Barden, representing Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga
Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Wayne Bonesteel, Rensselaer County
Paul Cassillo. City of Schenectady
Robert Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam
Sarah Crowell, City of Rensselaer
Steve Feeney, Schenectady County
Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission
Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)
Steve Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority
Joseph LaCivita, Town of Colonie
Patrick McCarroll, representing Michael Loftus, NYS
Mike Morelli, Town of Bethlehem
Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet
John P. Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee
Paul Reuss, Village of Menands
Dede Rudolph, City of Albany
Mike Valentine, Saratoga County
Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon
Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority
STAFF AND OTHERS
David Ardman, The Chazen Companies
Richard Benko, Town of East Greenbush
Ann Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Joe Cimino, Clough Harbour Associates
Fred Erickson, Town of Sand Lake
Chris Franklin, Capital District Transportation Committee
David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee
Monica King, Town of Bethlehem
Joseph Lanard, The Chazen Companies
Matt Mastin, Town of East Greenbush
Fred Mastroianni, Greenman Pederson
Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee
Bill Neeley, Town of Colonie
Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee
Jeff Pangburn, Creighton Manning
Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee
Heidi Romines, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1
Barb Tozzi, City of Troy
Mike 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.
CDRPC/CDTC Report on Governor’s Regional Council
Rocky Ferraro gave a presentation on the Capital region Economic Development Council. Rocky is a member of the Strategic Planning Workgroup and Chris O’Neill is a member of the Project Planning Activities Workgroup. CDRPC and CDTC have been assisting the Council in developing data sets and existing conditions. The deadline for submitting Consolidated Funding Applications (CFAs) is October 31. So far there is a strong recognition of planning principles consistent with the CDTC New Visions Plan. October 15th is the deadline for the Draft 5 Year Strategic Plan to be completed. November 15th is the deadline for the Final Strategic Plan to be submitted to the Review Committee.
Jen Ceponis gave a presentation on the Statewide Regional Council Conference hosted by Governor Cuomo. Former President Bill Clinton gave a presentation at the conference. As presented at the conference, Albany is the leading clean economy metro area in U.S. The state and region need an “energy makeover”.
Rocky reported on the Cleaner, Greener Communities Program, which is a multi-stage competitive grant program to encourage communities to develop regional sustainability growth strategies. The first stage is the Regional Sustainability Planning program which will provide up to $1 million in funding to each of the ten Economic Development Council regions created by the Governor to develop a comprehensive regional sustainability plan. The next phase is implementation, with $90 million statewide. The City of Albany has volunteered to take the lead in organizing a regional application for this planning grant, which is due by October 31.
Approval of the August 3, 2011 Meeting Minutes
Members approved the August 3rd minutes as submitted.
UNIFIED PLANNING WORK PROGRAM AMENDMENT
Members approved the UPWP amendment as presented.
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM ADJUSTMENTS
Summary of County Oriented TIP Meetings
John Poorman stated that the recent county-oriented meetings summary was self-explanatory and required no discussion or action. Members were asked if they had any questions or comments. It was stated that the purpose of the county-oriented TIP meetings was to produce accurate updated cost and schedule information for possible fiscal update of some or all of the remaining years of the STIP and NYSDOT’s program. Frank Bonafide stated that these meetings should be held more often. It was pointed out that project A433 is for the Jericho Road Bridge, not the Old Ravena Road Bridge as shown. Also, in the summary for A473, design was misspelled.
Region One Priority Network
Frank Bonafide explained the mandate to Region One to produce a network of priority roads to be maintained at a higher level than other state roads. In the CDTC area it consists of the NHS roads, with some additions. Regarding bridges, the Region looked for low-volume bridges with good detour alternatives for candidates for closure, rather than repair, should the need arise.
Region One Program Update Status
Frank Bonafide explained how Region is meeting the mandate from the Main Office to adjust the current program to be balanced and fiscally constrained against new budget estimates. He said that the new allocations leave the Region with substantially less HBRR funds due to a change in the formulas. He said that the Region has not yet been able to produce sub-allocations for the CDTC area.
He also expounded on the strategies the Region is required to follow. The key theme is preservation, which includes maintenance, but not rehabilitation or replacement.
John Poorman commented that this is not boring, but is depressing; that questions and concerns may be raised about how this relates to the TIP; and that Region One is in the hotseat between the Main Office and the MPO.
Budget Estimates Vs. Current Programming
The members were directed to the table in the mailout comparing new funding estimates to current programming. It was stated that Region One has not yet reviewed the table, and so the information in it is preliminary and needs further examination. For clarity, Glenn Posca pointed out that the table does not compare new budget estimates to old budget estimates.
NYSDOT Proposal to Delay Engineering for Projects Added in the 2010-15 TIP Update
At its previous meeting, the Planning Committee deferred action on this item until this meeting. John Poorman summarized the issue by asking that since the funding for the 2010-15 TIP, assumed during the 2010-15 Update, have not materialized, should we delay the design for projects added on the assumption that the funds
would arrive in year four or five? Frank Bonafide added that we can use these design funds to deliver existing projects and that these design funds could be moved back to the current year, should funding suddenly increase. Steve Feeney said that the five options seem similar. Kristina Younger moved to adopt option one, which was subsequently approved.
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENTS
R196 (1754.68), CR 111 Bridge over the Hoosick River: Bridge Restoration and R241 (1755.31), CR 49 over Wynantskill Creek: Bridge Replacement
These two amendments largely offset each other financially, and were approved.
(1941.19), Western Gateway
No action was necessary. Rail Stimulus funds were added to the TIP as a condition of project approval from FRA. Funds were secured in a higher amount than showing on the TIP. However, after project approval by FRA, these funds are no longer required on the TIP and show for information only.
(1758.02), Meads Lane/Van Dyke Road Intersection
Since the project does not qualify for STP-Flex funds, Steve Feeney pointed out that if the project does not qualify for HSIP funds at the proposed scope and cost, then the amendment request cannot be approved. After some discussion, members agreed to table the request and NYSDOT Region One agreed to obtain an answer from FHWA as to whether or not the project will still be eligible for HSIP funds.
(1757.99), US 4/Mannix Road Roundabout
Glenn Posca pointed out that most of the CMAQ program had been deferred in 2010. This request seeks to increase funding and advance the schedule two years. But, at this point, the Budget Estimates versus Current Funding table is too preliminary to know if it is possible to pass this amendment without deferring other projects to make room for it. Frank Bonafide commented that the funding increase may be insufficient. John Poorman stated that the linkage study indicated that the roundabout was the preferred option. After additional discussion, the committee decided to table this amendment until the new CMAQ funding situation was better understood. Jeff Pangburn suggested that HSIP funds be considered.
Federal Transportation Bill Reauthorization Report
Members discussed the lack of progress on a multi-year reauthorization bill.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:50 PM. The A & F meeting has been postponed. The next Planning Committee meeting is scheduled for November 2, 2011. The next Policy Board Meeting is scheduled for December 1, 2011.