2000 Measure A Revenue and Expenditure Plan
Mr. Burns stated that staff has been following direction provided from the Board of Directors regarding reaching a consensus on the Expenditure Plan, which included the assumption of revenue equivalent to a quarter-cent sales tax.
Mr. Burns noted that the Expenditure Plan was never contingent on the passage of the County of Santa Clara’s sales tax measure.
Mr. Burns reported that per the Board of Directors' request, the Project Advisory Committee was formed, which had six meetings throughout the County of Santa Clara. The meetings were held at the VTA Campus, City of Gilroy, City of Santa Clara, City of Milpitas, and City of Mountain View in the evening to allow public input. The meetings were advertised in newspapers, local publications in areas where the meetings were held, VTA’s website, as well as discussed at the Advisory Committee, Standing Committee and Board of Directors Meetings.
Mr. Burns provided a summary of changes the Project Advisory Committee recommended as follows: 1) South County - full double tracking to the City of Gilroy by 2011, 2) Defer South County Electrification – move the completion date of electrification to 2036 to fund the double tracking to the City of Gilroy and other potential improvements, 3) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – combine four BRT corridors into one budget of $166.6 million, 4) Nieman Light Rail Extension – shift the Nieman Light Rail Extension from Eastridge to start final design in 2018 and completion of construction by 2024, and, 5) Caltrain Improvements – advance $100 million in capital improvements from Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 through FY 2015. Mr. Burns stated that it was the Project Advisory Committee’s recommendation that staff look to advance design and maintain flexibility to move projects based on their readiness. The Project Advisory Committee also recommended regular reviews of the Expenditure Plan. The Projects in the Expenditure Plan are 80 percent funded and there are other possibilities for funding the 20 percent unfunded balance, including the infrastructure bonds.
Vice Chairperson Chu acknowledged the Project Advisory Committee Members, Forrest Williams, Dolly Sandoval, Don Gage, Liz Kniss and himself. Vice Chairperson Chu stated that the Project Advisory Committee held six meetings with each meeting focusing on different elements of the Expenditure Plan.
Chairperson Chu stated that the Project Advisory Committee emphasized the need for regular reviews of the Expenditure Plan.
Chairperson Chu stated that while VTA is in receipt of funding from the State of California there is still a need to find additional revenue and to work with VTA’s State and Federal Representatives to obtain additional funding to complete projects.
Board Member Perry requested information on what pools of funding could be used to fund the unfunded balance of the Program. Mr. Burns advised that other sources of revenue could include infrastructure bonds, Benefit assessment Districts, private partnerships and joint development opportunities.
Board Member Perry queried how much land is available for joint development. Mr. Burns responded that per the Board of Director’s approval, staff is conducting a study that is looking at the potential for joint development around existing and future station sites. David Miller, Commercial Development Manager, stated it would be premature to start make projections about funding, but at this time staff is working on approximately 16 sites. Some of the more recent information received stated that whether the property is sold or leased, the first two projects with a ground lease agreement VTA would receive approximately $2 million to $4 million per year.
Board Member Perry expressed concern that the sources of revenue mentioned by Mr. Burns would not cover funding shortfall. Mr. Burns stated that another option is for VTA to go to the ballot if the Board of Directors gives direction for a quarter-cent sales tax in 2008 that would cover the 20 percent shortfall.
Board Member Kennedy thanked the Project Advisory Committee for their work. Board Member Kennedy stated that while he is satisfied to move forward with the Expenditure Plan,but his one major qualification is restoring bus service.
Board Member Gage stated he is very comfortable with the fact that the Expenditure Plan will be reviewed every year during the lifetime of the Measure which will provide the opportunity to reprioritize or push a project back or off of the list. Board Member Gage also stated that it is important for the Board of Directors to adopt the Plan because without a plan there are no goals and without any goals nothing will be accomplished.
Board Member Kerr queried where the DeAnza Transit Center and the potential for doing a similar project at Foothill College fit into the Expenditure Plan and further inquired what category the DeAnza Transit Center is funded under. Jack J. Collins, Chief Construction Officer, responded that VTA’s Capital Budget and 2000 Measure A Expenditure Plan will fund the DeAnza Transit Center Project. In response to Board Member Kerr’s query, Mr. Collins responded that the DeAnza Transit Center Project improvements are scheduled to commence Fiscal Year 2008 so VTA will start putting money aside at the next budget cycle. Mr. Collins advised that the PE is nearly finished and the estimates have been prepared and reviewed by DeAnza College. Board Member Kerr queried if VTA can find a way to fund a similar but smaller improvement at Foothill College. Mr. Collins responded that the Operations Planning Group studies various transit facilities and performs the studies on necessary improvements.
Board Member Kerr referenced Attachment 3., VTA 2000 Measure A Program – Project Advisory Committee Recommendations – June 2006, Item 30., Pavement Management, County Expressway, and Bicycle & Pedestrians and queried if it is the appropriate time to contemplate this Project considering VTA’s financial situation. Mr. Burns responded that the Project is not currently funded under the 2000 Measure A and would be part of the 20 percent that staff needs to find funding for.
Board Member Nguyen expressed concern regarding answers provided to questions raised by Board Member Perry. Board Member Nguyen queried what the impact would be if the Expenditure Plan was not approved. Mr. Burns responded that the most current need for the Expenditure Plan is to use it as part of the package to refund and refinance the bonds in order for VTA to get the best financial terms as part of that transaction.
Board Member Cortese stated it is important that there be a more frequent discussion and regular review of the Expenditure Plan. Mr. Burns stated that discussions were held with regard to continuing the Project Advisory Committee, about expanding the Project Advisory Committee to include the Policy Advisory Committee, outside VTA Members, and the business community. Mr. Burns advised that recommendations and options will be provided to the Board of Directors at the August 31, 2006 Board of Directors Meeting for how to structure the Board review of the Expenditure Plan. Board Member Cortese stated it is not necessary to have a full-pledged Ad-Hoc Committee but there needs to be something that has an equivalent amount of Board scrutiny as an Ad-Hoc level or full Board level.
Chairperson Chavez stated that the Ad-Hoc Financial Stability Committee was actually one of the best committees in terms of what it produced and the Board Members who participated in the Ad-Hoc Committee have been helpful to the rest of the Board in terms of helping them to understand the big picture.
Chairperson Chavez stated that the Ad-Hoc Committee’s work would be considered as part of the Audit of the overall Organization and queried when a report will be provided to the Board of Directors. Mr. Burns responded that staff expects to present the outcome of the audit to the Board of Directors. Chairperson Chavez recommended reviewing the results of the audit, results from the Ad-Hoc Financial Stability Committee Meetings and the Expenditure Plan together.
Chairperson Chavez explained to Board Member Nguyen that the Board of Directors have been holding discussion regarding the Expenditure Plan for 18 months. Action has not been taken to date because every time the Board of Directors are ready to vote on it representatives from different parts of the county had issues, thus, there was a need to revisit the Expenditure Plan again.
Board Member Kerr stated he has concerns regarding supporting the Expenditure Plan because adequate funding is not available to do one-third of the necessary Caltrain Projects. Board Member Kerr expressed concern regarding funding availability to complete building BART and Downtown East Valley Projects.
Board Member Kerr stated that Caltrain dollars are inadequate and Caltrain is an existing transportation system that works. The reasons more people are not utilizing Caltrain service is because the parking lots are full, there is a need for at-grade separations to have increased frequency, and there is a need to continue to improve the stations to support the increased ridership and community buses feeding into the stations to service the communities.
Board Member Nguyen thanked Chairperson Chavez for her thoughts and information. Board Member Nguyen concurred with Member Cortese’s suggestions and is hopeful that the committee and workshop meetings will continue. Board Member Nguyen expressed concern that the numbers do not really coincide with the service and programs that VTA can provide.
Ex Officio Board Member McLemore stated he has defended and will continue to defend the Expenditure Plan to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and that he would like to see more funding for Caltrain upfront because Caltrain is one of the major transportation programs in the County of Santa Clara.
Ex-Officio Board Member McLemore advised that the County of San Mateo is prepared to start spending funding they received in 2011 through 2014. Ex-Officio Board Member McLemore advised that the Caltrain Board of Directors has done an analysis due to the increase of gasoline prices and the sooner electrification is completed there will be $1 million in savings per year.
Vice Chairperson Chu explained to Board Member Kerr that there may be other funding available for the Rengstorff Crossing that VTA may be eligible for.
Board member Perry suggested shifting funding from the Pavement Management Program to fund Caltrain. Board Member Kennedy suggested that Pavement Management be shifted to a much lower priority on the list, below Caltrain. Mr. Burns stated at the Pavement Management allocation is based on input received from cities and the County of Santa Clara.
Board Member Sandoval stated that as a representative of the West Valley Cities she need to say that while the Pavement Management line is unfunded, the West Valley Cities would like to see it stay in the Expenditure Plan because that is all they will be receiving from the Expenditure Plan other than bus service.
Board Member Gage left the meeting at 1:48 p.m.
Board Member Campos left her seat at 1:49 p.m.
M/S/F (Sandoval/Williams) on a vote of 7 ayes, to 5 noes to 0 abstentions to end debate and call for the question. Board Members Cortese, Kennedy, Kerr, Nguyen, and Perry voted no.
M/S/F (Perry/Cortese) on a vote of 3 ayes to 9 noes to 0 abstentions to approve sunsetting the Expenditure Plan on June 15, 2006. Board Members Campos, Chavez, Chu, Gage, Kerr, Kniss, Nguyen, Sandoval, and Williams voted no.
M/F/C (Chu/Williams) on a vote of 11 ayes to 1 no to 0 abstentions to approve the 30-year Revenue and Expenditure Plan as recommended by the Project Advisory Committee. Board Member Perry voted no.