MOUNTAINEER TRANSIT COMPANY
BOARD OF DIRECTORS QUARTERLY MEETING
May 24, 2023
Palisades Tahoe Lodge, 201 Shirley Canyon Road, Olympic Valley
DRAFT ending Board approval
1. Call to Order
Chair Mike Martin called today’s meeting to order at 9:01 AM. A quorum was established.
Roll Call and Establishment of Quorum
Board members present:
Danielle Poret (appointed today)
Board members not in attendance:
Judy Friedman (Recording Secretary)
2. Adopt Agenda
It was moved by Martin and seconded by Stepner to adopt today’s agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
3. Approval of February 8 Quarterly Meeting Minutes
It was moved by Pendleton and seconded by Fountain to approve the minutes of the February 8, 2023 Quarterly Board Meeting as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
4. Public Comment
There were no comments on items not on today’s agenda.
5. Board Member and Adviser Comments
Fountain noted the Town of Truckee has received a $1.4 million grant for transit. He asked how the funds will be used. Romack said the grant is primarily to purchase zero- and low-emission vehicles as required by State mandate and EV charging infrastructure, and technology for microtransit systems.
Romack reported the Truckee Town Council approved a contract for year-round TART Connect service.
6. Chairman’s Report
Martin noted this is the last weekend Palisades Tahoe will be operating on the Olympic Valley side. It is closing to get summer work underway. Winter operations on a limited schedule continue on the Alpine Meadows side through Freedom Fest July 4th weekend. Martin commented that Mountaineer operations were very successful this winter, despite historic snows.
a. Appointment of Alpine Meadows Board Seat
Martin reminded that Bob Tetrault resigned his MTC Board position several months ago. Danielle Poret, River Ranch Lodge Manager, has been interviewed by a Committee of the Board, which recommends her appointment. Poret addressed the group describing her background and interest in serving as the Alpine Meadows representative.
It was moved by Martin and seconded by Fountain to appoint Danielle Poret to fill the remainder of the current term of the Alpine Meadows Board seat. Motion carried unanimously.
b. Review board seats up for reelection/redesignation at Annual Meeting
Martin reported the Board seats held by Keith Fountain, Rick Pendleton, Danielle Poret, and Lindsay Romack terms are up for re-election September 30, 2023. He asked those holding these seats to let Doyle know if they are not interested in running for re-election by August 30. Doyle shared a spreadsheet indicating Board seats and terms. Those held by Palisades and Placer County are appointed, not elected. Doyle was thanked for her great organizational skills in keeping track of this information.
c. Winter 2023-24 Palisades Tahoe Shuttle and parking update
Martin reported communication will be released on June 1 announcing plans for a paid reservations-based parking system on weekends and peak periods next winter. A lot of details are still being worked out, but the objective is to address traffic congestion and keep guests advised of the parking situation with real-time information.
Some of the strategies and technology will be used during July’s Freedom Fest at Alpine Meadows to see how they work. Additional plans include increasing Park & Ride. The overall goal is to try to change behaviors by encouraging more people per vehicle and use of public transit.
Discussion followed as the programs were clarified and other options to be considered. Doyle noted Palisades Tahoe has not decided whether they will operate the shuttle between the two base areas. That decision could impact Mountaineer service. Fraser said the Palisades Tahoe Shuttle provides a valuable service and there is a strong chance it will continue.
7. Treasurer’s Report
Doyle has confirmed with Civitas that per the agreement with Placer County, a formal financial audit or review is not required unless requested by the County. The Board will continue to approve financial reports as the body that oversees financial activities. It was noted McClintock Accountancy does oversee the monthly financials. Martin and Doyle will investigate the pros, cons and costs of having an audit or review conducted annually or biannually. This item will be on the next agenda.
It was moved by Stepner and seconded by Martin to approve the March 2023 and April 2023 financial statements as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
b. Rev Expense Summary / Cash Flow & Revenue Projections
Pendleton presented the financial forecast which is favorable to budget and touched on cash flow changes month to month caused by fluctuations in when revenues are received. Given high occupancies this spring, Pendleton anticipates good revenues through June.
8. Executive Director’s Report
a. Unbudgeted Expenses since February 8 Board meeting
Doyle reported $5,600 in unbudgeted expenses since the February Board meeting. The full amount was for driver bonuses previously approved by the Finance Committee. A brief conversation followed regarding whether driver bonuses should be a standing line item in the budget. It was agreed that driver bonuses will be considered by the board annually considering seasonal and financial variations.
b. Delinquency Report April 2023 and Historical Delinquency Report by Month
Doyle reported $31,648 in delinquencies from 92 assessed businesses, which is nearly 30 more delinquent assessed businesses than the previous report. 13 assessed businesses are delinquent by $300 or more. The Finance Committee suggests that as long as Doyle continues to work with Placer County Revenue Services, not much more can be done. Discussion followed. The delinquency amounts are based on estimates from the County and may, may partially, or may not ever be collected. An increase in delinquent assessed businesses could be that not all businesses have caught up with the new District assessment amount or fewer STR permit holders rented this winter.
c. Winter 2022-23 Season Recap
Doyle sent the Recap out prior to this meeting and answered some questions via email. She said it was a phenomenal season and thanked Downtowner for all they did to keep the service rolling during a difficult winter.
d. Winter 2022-23 Survey Results Summary
Doyle, referencing the summary in the board packet, said the survey results did not reveal any surprises. There was a good response rate. The Net Promoter Score dropped from 93 to 80, which is still very good; Downtowner thinks that is as a result of the longer or inaccurate wait times, which was largely uncontrollable. That said, Downtowner is recommending additional vehicles, increased driver hours and pool, and technology improvements in its winter 2023-24 proposal to improve the wait time issues. According to Downtowner unreliable cell service substantially impacted Downtowner’s ability operate properly for the first time ever.
Discussion followed regarding cell service challenges and Doyle’s recommendation about changing how wait times are marketed to set realistic expectations for customers. Gleason noted there is no penalty for people cancelling and that adds to the issue as the van shows up anyway. Martin will lead the effort to solving the cell service challenges before December 2023, keeping the Board apprised, and at the next meeting, Doyle will include marketing of wait time to the agenda.
9. FY23-24 Budget and Winter 2023-24 Operating Plan
a. FY23-24 Budget Assumptions & Truths
Pendleton presented the draft budget, noting assumptions made as it was being compiled, most importantly MTC’s ability to throttle back services and reduce expenses based on a decrease in demand. Revenue is based on an “average” winter using past assessment data, removing anomalies to the best of our ability. Discussion followed as specific line items were clarified.
b. Winter 23-24 Mountaineer Cost Overview & Operating Plan
Doyle presented a Cost Overview and Operating Plan for Mountaineer winter 2023-24 as included in the board packet. The plan mirrors winter 2022-23 service levels, however it does not include the April service extension. The plan does include expanded services as recommended by the Operations Committee (add Thursday, 5-day per week, service in Alpine Meadows, add 60 minutes to end time in Alpine Meadows and 30 minutes to end time in Olympic Valley) and supported by Downtowner and winter 2022-23 survey responses including additional vans and drivers, and adding an Assistant Manager. The main change to the Downtowner proposal is the 12-month vehicle leases rather than five-month leases we’ve historically had. Vehicle insurance cost may go down during non-winter months when the vans are not being operated and estimated cost to store of vans during non-winter months may not be necessary if fleet can be parked at Palisades Tahoe at no charge.
Gleason explained the appropriate and requested by MTC low-profile roof, all-wheel drive vans are only available on a year-round lease. Also because these vans are in short supply and at high demand, Downtowner wants to begin securing the fleet as soon as possible, thus moving up the timeline for development and adoption of our next winter’s operating plan and fiscal year budget. The Finance and Operations Committees have reviewed the proposal and support it.
c. Workforce Transit Meeting with Civitas
Martin reported that further to the discussion at the last board meeting, Martin and Doyle met with Civitas about MTC potentially developing an Olympic Valley Alpine Meadows workforce transit program; a summary of the meeting is in today’s meeting packet. Board members were asked to review the summary prior to the next board meeting. This item will be discussed in more detail at the next Bord meeting. Romack suggested that MTC talk to TMA about their plans in the workforce transit space.
d. FY23-24 Budget Draft
Pendleton presented the FY 2023/24 draft budget recommended by the Finance Committee. Discussion followed.
It was moved by Martin and seconded by Fraser to approve FY 2023/24 budget as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
e. Authorize Executive Director to execute 2023-24 Downtowner agreements
Doyle reviewed the process typically followed for approval of Downtowner agreements prior to her execution of them including negotiations with Downtowner, Civitas for legal review and input, then Contract Committee for final approval. Discussion followed regarding the required deadline for agreement execution to authorize Downtowner to move forward with securing the van fleet quickly. Downtowner said that they had what they needed to start immediately and asked for a June or July agreement execution deadline. Downtowner was requested to submit a draft Mountaineer operating agreement to Doyle as soon as possible to get the process started.
It was moved by Martin and seconded by Stepner that upon conclusion of necessary reviews and approvals, the Executive Director is authorized to execute the FY 2023/24 Downtowner agreements according to the operating plan outlined in agenda item 9b. Motion carried unanimously.
10. NTCA Community Vitality & Economic Health Community Investment Program
As the meeting had exceeded two hours, Board members were asked to review the summary included in the Board packet and it was agreed that this would be a topic of discussion at the next board meeting.
11. Upcoming Meeting - MTC Quarterly Board Meeting scheduled for Wed., August 9 at 9 a.m.
Doyle noted the next meeting date. Board members are requested to attend all future board meetings in person according to the Brown Act, however all future meetings will be hybrid meeting for those that can’t attend in person. She thanked Pendleton and Fountain for the use of Palisades Tahoe Lodge meeting space for today’s and future board meetings.
Martin thanked all Committees and the Board for their hard work and commitment to this project.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 11:27 AM.