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Shirley Marquardt - 1:31:02 PM
Thank you. We'll go ahead and then call the meeting of the Alaska Marine Highway Operations board for April 8th to order at 1 31pm. And Katherine, if you would please do the roll call.
Tera Ollila - 1:31:16 PM
I'll go ahead with doing roll call, this is Tera, Alan Austerman, Cynthia Berns, Captain Keith Hillard, Norm Carson,
Norm Carson - 1:31:37 PM
Present.
Tera Ollila - 1:31:39 PM
Paul Johnsen
Paul Johnsen - 1:31:41 PM
Here.
Tera Ollila - 1:31:43 PM
Deputy Commissioner, Rob Carpenter.
Rob Carpenter - 1:31:46 PM
Here.
Tera Ollila - 1:31:47 PM
Shirley Marquardt
Shirley Marquardt - 1:31:49 PM
Here.
Tera Ollila - 1:31:51 PM
Wanetta Ayers
Wanetta Ayers - 1:31:52 PM
Here.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:31:55 PM
Okay. Thank you. We do have a quorum and for the record, Cynthia is not able to join the meeting today. She has a strategic planning commitment already, so we'll be missing her and hopefully Alan will call in a little later. Okay, folks, you have the agenda before you, are you, are there any additions or anything to be removed for the agenda today? Any changes I'm unaware of any so Katherine,
Katherine Keith - 1:32:32 PM
Yeah, just one comment. We thought it would be appropriate for Captain Falvey to provide an operational update, just a brief update of events. And that could happen either after public comment, if there's time or after one of our presentations.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:32:52 PM
Okay. Why don't, why don't we go ahead and take Captain Falvey right after public comments then.
Paul Johnsen - 1:33:00 PM
I have a comment on the agenda, at last public meeting we set an agenda that, that included drafting a letter on budget recommendations. I don't see it on the agenda here, so
Shirley Marquardt - 1:33:19 PM
Right. Yeah, that, that is in the minutes. And, and I'm just gonna go out on the limb and guess that with everything going on there just, hasn't been a chance to shift kind of shift the path and get that letter. But I'm, I, I will work with Katherine and, and we can work on that. Make sure that's for the April 11th meeting, but you're correct, Paul.
Paul Johnsen - 1:33:41 PM
Okay. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:33:42 PM
Thank you. And, and in the future, when, if you see things that are an issue with the agenda, a problem, please, please make sure and let Katherine know before the meeting. Because we might be able to address that a little heads up. Okay without objection, shall we consider the agenda adopted as amended? Hearing no objections we will accept the adopted or adopt the, the changed agenda. You have the minutes we were just speaking briefly of, of our last meeting in March. Are there any needs for clarification or changes to those minutes? Hearing none and without objection, we will consider the minutes of our last meeting adopted. So was that March 23rd, 25th. Okay. We'll move on to opening remarks by any, any board members and Wanetta, I can't see you, but do you have anything?
Wanetta Ayers - 1:35:10 PM
No. Shirley don't have any additional comments at this time.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:35:13 PM
Okay. All right. Well let's just go ahead and move right to public comments. It's a little ahead of schedule, but we might have some folks who are online ready to make some comments and then we can discuss written comments as well.
Katherine Keith - 1:35:29 PM
And, and one thing if possible for the public there is online a document it's marked 2.1 and that's a written comment submitted by a board member, Paul Johnsen regarding long term planning as this is a big topic for today's discussion. Paul, would you try to take a minute to describe the comments or summarize them?
Paul Johnsen - 1:35:56 PM
These are comments I thought we would be looking at in Ketchikan for our big meeting, but I tried to make some general things to start the process off of some possible guidelines. We may, we may want to recommend to, to the administration, but this there's nothing that, that I think needs to be discussed right now. I think this is all long term.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:36:30 PM
Okay. And, and I agree, Paul, I think we will be discussing and hopefully coming to some foundational decisions in the meeting in Ketchikan, so thank you.
Katherine Keith - 1:36:53 PM
Great. So for the public, anyone participating online or on the phone system, please call 1 855-925-2801 and use meeting code 5612, in order to request to speak please press star 3 and that'll signal to us that you're ready to comment.
- 1:37:23 PM
You are unmuted.
Katherine Keith - 1:37:25 PM
I'm gonna unmute the phone number ending in one zero five, three.
Speaker 1 - 1:37:33 PM
You are muted. You are unmuted. You are muted.
Seth Stewart - 1:38:28 PM
Yeah. Hi, I own Yakobi Fisheries out here in Pelican, and I know that there have probably been some public comments on our behalf by some of the other community members, but I thought I should call in and just, I don't know if it's really been stated that Yakobi, you know, we ship a lot of product in and out of Pelican. supplies and product out, people in and out on the ferry system. And we depend on that, you know, as a business, but also as a business, it's not only about, you know, the money that's coming in and out, but it's also about the people and to do what it is that we do out in Pelican. We need the infrastructure of Pelican there and that takes people. And there often in the wintertime, it's hard to get supplies in and outta Pelican without some kind of a roll on roll off service.
Seth Stewart - 1:39:19 PM
I mean, we've, I was born and raised in Pelican and I know that there were many times, you know, Christmas came on the ferry because the planes couldn't make it in advance. So I think it, obviously there needs to be some kind of a, a hybrid or some kind of a system that would allow for freight in and out of Pelican, not just for our business, a in the summertime, but also for our business in the wintertime. And, you know, we understand that it can't be every month, but some sort of in and out so that people can get supplies to continue living and in the community in Pelican to support what's going on in the infrastructure out there. So I just thought that I, I would like to state that. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:40:08 PM
Thank you.
Robert Venables - 1:40:21 PM
I believe that is me. This is Robert Venables Southeast Conference. Good afternoon.
Robert Venables - 1:40:30 PM
Excellent. Just quickly wanted to thank you all for the work that you're doing. I love the direction that it's going in. I did wanna make notes that it looks like the house has put in general funds for the Marine highway system operating budget to this next year. It looks like the Governor is, is supportive of the mechanism to not have it swept. So I think largely wanna continue to support that, move that forward. So that is good news. When I was looking at the presentation materials today, slide nine talks about the family of plans, conspicuously missing from our vantage point is the deep body of work that the AMHS reform group did it. And I think that I just wanna make sure that that was noted for the record and for maybe inclusion as if that gets brought back to you, to make sure that that's included as the state substantially participated in that as did all the coastal communities.
Robert Venables - 1:41:27 PM
So just wanted to make mention of that. And you know, the fact that when you go through the presentation today is what I'm looking forward to for very much is I, I love the directions it's going in, but the thing that concerns me is just the, the sheer pace of time that goes in. I hope that part of the discussion today will be to also ask the question, what would it take to quicken the pace of that 18 to 24 months? If it's more dollars let's advocate for that, if it's a partnership with folks like myself Southeast Conference, we're very willing to assist and look forward to engaging you all at future meetings, to talk about some of those things, but really, you know, at what point can recommendations be made to construct more ferries. I see $3 million for a design to start next year. I don't see any, any construction of new ferries and our obsession should be new holes in the water because you have a billion dollars to make recommendations on it. And I hope it goes towards new ferries soon. So with that, thank you. And I'll stand by.
Patricia Phillips - 1:43:01 PM
Be hello. This is Patricia Phillips.
Patricia Phillips - 1:43:11 PM
Thank you, Patricia Phillips from Pelican, Alaska, and, and my number actually is 2, 2, 4. 0. But I, I it's saying my number's 2, 2, 5, 3. Okay. So, you know, I sent in written comments last, last go round, and I hope you got to read those, so about the replacement ferry, because the LeConte on the end of its midlife, I would hope that there would be conversations about a similar size vessel, maybe slightly smaller, but not too much smaller because of the conditions that a boat would have to go through to get to Pelican that there, you know, that there be some preliminary discussions about, you know, designing a new vessel, or maybe you already have a design, but it would service the small, small, rural communities of the Icy Straight and, and the villages along the Chatham Straight corridor. So I just wanted to reiterate that I hope that a smaller and more efficient vessel is being considered for the long term planning. Thank you very much.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:44:30 PM
Thank you.
Katherine Keith - 1:44:41 PM
Great. Thank you. And the full line ending in 7 75, you should be unmuted momentarily.
Larry Johansen - 1:44:51 PM
Hi there. Larry Johansen, many
Katherine Keith - 1:44:55 PM
Great Larry. We can hear you.
Larry Johansen - 1:44:58 PM
Good. Larry Janson. I submitted some written comments and I of the two standby for questions on that, and also suggest that do tend to be spent on establishing the standards that could identify that we want to have for entire ferry system. I think identifying standards such as minimum number of, of docks or other standards that would reinforce the expectations we have, we go onboard the vessels would be important to transcend different administrations, different thought processes. So we don't get caught up with making mistakes to recover from every every four years. Seems like unfortunately been on there a lot. Recently I was on the Bellingham to Haines run. I've been to Haines, you know, I've been on three, the vessels within the last month, everyone, you expected entirely different experience. Mainly the galley on each one of them is quite different. And I think in order to the board needs to, to establish these, I would say objectives or standards that could transcend the different divisions. Also the different time spans administrations. It's highly important. And I hope that a long range plan, you guys consider establishing some standards that could be by everybody, everybody we agree on, thank you very much.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:46:42 PM
Thank you, Larry. And for the record, Alan Austerman has joined the meeting.
Judy Debose - 1:47:47 PM
Hi, this is Judy Debose from, go ahead. Hello From Texas with Thrust master. And I was wondering with the RFP out for the Tustamena replacement, why foreign parts are being allowed since it's FHWA funding, because one of the parts that is being called out as a possible part is made in China.
Katherine Keith - 1:48:21 PM
Thank you. This is Katherine Keith for the record and we'll have our procurement team follow up.
Rob Carpenter - 1:49:33 PM
Madam chair. If I could comment on the last comment please? Yes, please. Go ahead, Rob. Okay. Yeah. I just wanted to say, I mean, she makes a great point. Our Buy America issues, obviously with constructing the Tustamena replacement vessel and we're fully aware of them and we'll be complying completely with the rules that federal highway has in place. It's certainly one of the challenges with the, the, the, with the vessel, but we are working to make sure that we fully comply. So stay tuned as the final design for the TRV commences, with the CMGC process. That's about it. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:50:18 PM
Thanks Rob.
Judy Debose - 1:50:34 PM
Thank you for the response. I was just concerned and curious because the ABB APOD is made in Shanghai. So that was my question. And numerous other ones that were listed as potential opportunities or like kind are made in Europe. So that's why I bring it up. I appreciate your response and look forward to the response. And if there's another amendment to the, or another document to the RFP, look forward to getting it.
Keith Hillard - 1:52:01 PM
Is that go for me? Yeah. I just wanted to, you know, Wanetta touched on this last time at the end of the meeting. And I wanna reiterate it again about like the long term planning and where we're at. I, I still believe that we need to adopt some kind of bare bone, minimum level of service. That's acceptable to the communities and then go from there. They can always expand on that and I can speak, secondly, I,
Keith Hillard - 1:52:35 PM
The made in America aspect of, of building a vessel and things like that for percentages and items that are allowed based on whether the items are available in this country or not. So a certain percentage of the components can be foreign made. It's it's, it's into the
Keith Hillard - 1:53:09 PM
It's into the, I dunno, know what I'm trying to say. It's in there, can't be there, can't be too much foreign stuff or it doesn't comply with the federal Rules for building vessels. So that's all got
Shirley Marquardt - 1:53:25 PM
All right. Thanks, Keith. And if anyone wants a little more information on that, I'm sure Captain Falvey he's been working on this for a very long time with these issues. Can, can fill us in on that as well. So we will go ahead and move to our, the item that we added onto the agenda, which was an operational update from Captain Falvey.
Captain Falvey - 1:53:46 PM
Thanks, Madam chair, Captain Falvey here. I will try to go quickly. Madam chair as you know, I probably could go on all afternoon. I won't, I won't do that. But what I'll do is I'll run down through the ships, run down through some of the, you know, federal projects we got going on on the ships, some of the stuff going on in the terminals, you know, some of the high points, etcetera. And I like the Deputy Commissioner said, you know, when we started the TRV design, we had over a thousand line items that no go with with, with federal dollars. And, you know, we've still got a little ways to go here. Once we get our CMGC shipyard partner aboard to fine tune this design. And as the contracting officer, we will not be doing thing that we shouldn't be doing as far as federal money, because that's my responsibility.
Captain Falvey - 1:54:36 PM
So yeah, just please be assured that we'll be, we'll be following all the federal guidelines, you know, while we proceed through it. So, and, and I'll get to that in a few minutes. So lemme run down through the ships, the Kennecot, she is finishing up pretty extensive, you know, state, you know, overhaul project. Let me just say that with all of the projects we've had this winter, there's been supply chain issues. Okay. As we all know, the, you know, stuff is sometimes hard to get, slow to get. We've been battling that stuff all winter. We battling one last one, quite honest with everyone on the Kennecot we need to replace the, the running gear, the, the, the wires, wedges and gear that you know, are attached to the life boats, the rescue boats and things like that. And all that stuff was, was, or is proven to be, be very, very difficult to get ahold of.
Captain Falvey - 1:55:35 PM
We've been on this since last January, February, stuff's coming out of Norway. We finally got the equipment into Louisiana just within the last day. Now I'm gonna air freight it to Ketchikan to get it as quickly as we can. And then we've gotta get our contractor back to install it, weight test it, and certify it. So we are scrambling really scrambling because of supply chain issues to get the Kennecot outta here on April 21st. And that's still our, our goal on time. Everything else is basically on track on time, pretty well on budget, on the Kennecot. So she'll be ready to get rolling. Hopefully, April 21st, Columbia's been in, have you, you know, CNAs operating plans are very extensive. You know, we call it a layup, but it's been in a, it's been in a, a state overhaul for quite some time. We've had a lot of work to do on that boat where we're basically getting to the end of it.
Captain Falvey - 1:56:33 PM
We've we we've had some discovery work, some steel discovery work in the galley to tune of about a million bucks. Well, it's been close to 6 million on that ship before we're done, and we should be, you know, COI and ready to go by the end of May, and I'll talk about crewing here later in my little presentation, but anything stopping that boat from running right now is, is, is lack of crew, which we had desperately trying to, you know, bring aboard, the Matanuska she's out and running. We had a little bit of an issue with a CCP clutch pump. We're having some intermittent issues with it. We've been allowed to use the electric pump while we're waiting for the rail pump to arrive, but otherwise, you know, she's, she's running pretty well. She, she was stuck in the fog this morning in the Wrangell narrows for awhile.
Captain Falvey - 1:57:24 PM
So we had to readjust her schedule. And within the last hour, we've had a COVID outbreak aboard that ship. Three engineers are COVID positive and a few more crew. So what we're doing is we are stealing crew out of the shipyard to get onto the Kennecot. When she comes to Ketchikan at 7:30 tonight on her adjusted schedule. So far, the rest of the crew is tested negative. So I am dealing with COVID on the Matanuska and trying very hard to keep the boat running. The Aurora, she is up in prince William sound, just doing her thing, very dependable. She's she's just running her routes up there. And she came out of a, a little over two month overhaul in December. And she's doing real well. Letuya the same way, she had three or four week overhaul. She's doing well, had a little bit of a problem this morning with some steering gear, some issues, we were able to fix it over at Metlakatla, came across with passengers
Captain Falvey - 1:58:22 PM
aboard, proved it to the coast guard, rode off at 8:35 and she's continuing to run. LeConte came out of her overhaul, got a lot of worked done on the LeConte. She's been running since the 30th of March in the Northern panhandle. Tustys doing well up in Seward on the, on the federal CIP it's about a 9 million project. We're doing a lot of work on the vehicle elevator that needs major, major work. So that's, that's well underway. It's everything is everything's on track. We hope to have the Tusty running by, by the middle of July. I'm not getting any, you know, any, any, any red flags there. The Hubbard is, well, I'll talk about the Hubbard separately from the rest of the federal CIP but she is at vigor ship yard, getting crew cabins installed again, supply chain issues, believe it or not. And we're looking to have her done by the 1st of October and, and then work towards, you know, getting, getting that ship put online.
Captain Falvey - 1:59:24 PM
The Tazlina is physically here at, at the shipyard in Vigor, going through its annual winter overhaul. We should be done with that by May 23rd. The only thing that would stop that boat from running again is crew. We've got the money we're just desperately trying to get crew. And if we can get the crew, we'll get it running. So that's, what's, you know, happening with the ships, as far as things that I didn't mention, you know, as far as federal CIP stuff, I mentioned Tusty, I mentioned the ACF, the Columbia CCP project. Let me just start off by saying the CCP system on that ship is, is, is, is operating. I mean, it's, it's it's okay. But, you know, we, we did have a major failure on one of those hubs a few years ago and put the ship down for almost a year because parts are not available.
Captain Falvey - 2:00:16 PM
They had, they literally had to manufacture the parts in Europe and took quite some time. So, you know, it's, it's an original system. It's, it's, you know, it's old, it could fail and if fails, mm that's a problem. So we are wanting to put a complete new CCP system in there. Unfortunately we've put that project out twice to bid and had had no bidders twice for, you know, quite a few months. So what we're doing now is, you know, as a contract and officer, I'm working with Jeff Jenkins, you is our DOT contracting officer. And we are attempting to negotiate a sole source with one of maybe a few different shipyards. We're gonna try that to see if we can come to some sort of a sole source agreement. That's something that the Commissioner approves and we're, we're, we're, we're doing that.
Captain Falvey - 2:01:10 PM
The Letuya has got her first federal project. We're gonna completely paint the Letuya from top to bottom. I mean, complete from the keel to the bridge and, you know, do whatever work you know is needed mechanically. It's not a, it's not a big complex ship, but there's stuff that needs to be to done. And that bidding process closes April 12th. So we're getting ready to open bids on that to, you know, get the Letuya into a and into a federal project that, that that's needed. The IFA will come in and fall in, you know, and pick up the service, you know, while, while the Letuya is down, that's probably a three, three and a half month project. That'll hopefully start in June. That's, that's the best time of year to try to, you know, paint a ship. You know, if we end up somewhere besides figure and can't get inside a shed that the, you know, the weather's much better if it's down, down south somewhere.
Captain Falvey - 2:02:07 PM
So, so the service will continue. The IFA just, you know, kind of picks that up for us. The Kennecot where in the final design stages of rebuilding the generation system, the emergency generators on the, on, on the ship, when, when the ship was built, it was built with, you know, a lot of different money, but some oil spill money, and it was built as a response ship. And it was built back in the days where there was zero tier emissions coming off those generators, which means they smoke a lot in part. And we had finally gotten to a point with DEC where we had to do something about the smoking, those of very large generators. When you get import there, isn't a lot of load on those generators and they tend to smoke once the ship gets out to sea, and those generators are running, you know, there's a lot of load on 'em and they, and they settle down, they, they stop smoking.
Captain Falvey - 2:02:57 PM
So we're, we're gonna, we're gonna put some new generators in there, you know, with like a tier three, I think it's tier three emissions. So we'll be having no trouble with, you know, the DEC and, and smoking. When, when, when we're in port, you know, as far as some of the terminal projects with we're, we're finishing a multiyear, we did multiple things in, in Ketchikan. We're, we're finishing that within the next year. We've got, you know, we've got the, we've got the barge up at Skagway and out of an abundance of caution, we've got a project going to replace the, the anchor chains. You know, they've, they've been down there a long time and we want to be sure that the barge doesn't float away. It was bad enough that it sunk a few years ago, but I don't don't want it going down the canal.
Captain Falvey - 2:03:50 PM
So, so that's a, that's a project we got going, we've got major cathartic protection on, on all the state owned terminals we've got, we've got, we've got that. We've got that going. We've got just in general on all the, the facilities, we own system wide bridge and float painting B modifications, bridge, bridge, floor B modifications. It's all, you know, you know, looking out that, you know, if there's any cracking or anything like that, we'll get that repaired. You know, well, fractures, things like that, be looking for that repairing and then doing some single lift improvements, key, key things that we know we need to get after right away. And we are getting after right away is, is upgrading a series of facilities to accommodate the ACF hall. And that is, you know, the first one is Pelican and we're working on we're working on that, Tatitlek, Chenega Bay,
Captain Falvey - 2:04:50 PM
Those are about, those are gonna be rebuilt to accommodate an ACF, the Cordova dock up in Prince William Sound that needs some modifications. We're very concerned about an ACF and the captains are too the way the dock and arrangement is up there in the wintertime when the wind gets blowing. So that's on the list. Angoon needs some modifications, nothing major, but, but modifications. And we've got, you know, a fairly major project going on in Auke Bay, Katherine and I are actually working on separate, you know, grant funding for Pelican and Aukey Bay. So, so we're, we're, you know, we've, we've, we very much know that to, you know, to accommodate the ACFS. There's some docks that, that need attention here pretty quick. And, and, and we're, we're doing that. So that's, that's kind of the overview of, you know, the terminals, the ships Prince Rupert.
Captain Falvey - 2:05:44 PM
It is on track. It's on time. It's been, I could, I could talk for probably a couple days about that. What we've had to do to, you know, meet the, meet the requirements of both US and Canadian customs. We had, we had quite a few things to do. We've got that done. Last, we, we had a, we had a walkthrough, Deputy Commissioner was down there for that. I, I missed that one, but he, he was there along with one of our engineers from Juneau who has been assigned to the project and our terminal manager and us and Canadian customs. And basically that was, you know, you know, a check of quite a few things that needed to be done with finishing those things up now. And now, now what's gotta happen is what we call diplomatic notes. I've gotta pass between the two countries, Canada, United States at very, very high levels to agree that we're gonna restart under, well, I wanna use the word kind of a quasi preclearance and, and we will, and we'll get running.
Captain Falvey - 2:06:46 PM
It, it looks like June 23rd. Not because we're not ready, but because we think it may take close to that long to get the diplomatic notes agreed to at very high levels between the two countries. So we're pretty confident that we're gonna make that June 23rd and then keep rolling. We are spending a fair amount of state money, state capital money down there to, you know, the, the facility hasn't run in two years and need needed some attention. So we are spending some money on the, on, on the physical building itself, the infrastructure and the building I'm rep paving the keep parking lot and re striping that on the American side, anyone that's been there within the last two years when we stopped running the road will know that basically we're driving on dirt. So we re paving that, and we're spending, we're spending a fair amount of money on the actual docking structure so that we know that's gonna be good and safe, you know, for us to use the thing that Deputy Commissioner and I will have to start working through is, you know, whatever long term items we've gotta do to, you know, you know, to, to continue running there.
Captain Falvey - 2:07:57 PM
You know, we've got, we believe a few years to do some more things, that those things really haven't been defined to us yet. And we're kind of waiting to work through that process once we get running. And we're also seriously considering building a, a Causeway from our facility inside the Canadian railroad tracks over the BC ferry docks. That's a, that's basically a brand new dock, four or five years old. And we, we probably use that dock customs, us and Canadian are aware of that. We'll have to kind of readjust some of the plans to do that, but it avoids us, you know, having to try to rebuild our, our dock because can't use federal money there. So a Prince Ruperts looking up we're committed to it. And, you know, it's been, I've, I've personally taken on that project myself. I've, I've been kind of, you know, pushing that one along, you know, and we've, we've met every actually I've met every, every week between two different working groups, a subgroup, and then a main group.
Captain Falvey - 2:09:00 PM
I, Deputy Commissioner has been the main group and I've been on both groups. So we're gonna get Rupa going again. And I know everybody's very happy about that. I'm hearing a lot of positive stuff down here in Ketchikan, even from the community, the TRV we're moving along, the RFP is out looking for our CMG shipyard partner that closes May 26th. We did have an outreach meeting. We have a, we have a very, you know, a very strong team put together. We've got a project manager who is incredibly capable. We've got, we got a good team put together and, you know, to drive, you know, this project forward. So we're very hopeful that, you know, we'll, you know, see what, what happens on May 26th to get partnered up with the shipyard. And then, then we can really roll from there and push hard to get to construction.
Captain Falvey - 2:09:51 PM
So that's, that's exciting. You know, the I'll just touch briefly on the crew shortage situation. We've, we've lost people and we're not the only ones, all of the state ferry systems in the United States, including BC ferries, Washington state ferries, Staten island, Cape May, they're all hurting. They're all hurting really bad. There's was a Mariners shortage in this country from the unlicensed through the license. And we know it and, you know, kind of goes hand in hand with the shortage everywhere that even you see Alaska airline just got problems, but since we've started, we've got a pretty aggressive program going right now. I don't wanna go into a lot of it, but we are advertising in print instate around the country in magazines, social media, working with DOL. We've actually got a working group put together. Deputy Commissioner is, you know, leading us with that. We met last week, we meet again at four o'clock this afternoon, we've got a head hunter on board.
Captain Falvey - 2:10:52 PM
That person has already found a couple able bodied seaman and, you know, a few others. So, so we're, you know, we're being very hopeful that the head hunter's gonna be able to help with, to we're making some adjustments to minimum qualifications for the unlicensed IBU folks. So they can, especially in the passenger services area where we're, where we're really shorthanded to get them moving through the various ranks quicker. So as we, as we move new hires in, we can, we can get 'em flowing quicker through the ranks, up into the higher passenger services, cooking stewards and pursors positions. We have hired 51 new employees since we started our program four or five months ago, and we got about a hundred working on documents right now of that a hundred. We, we figure we'll lose half of 'em and it does take about four months to get all the documents that, that they may need for us to actually hire them.
Captain Falvey - 2:11:46 PM
We've also got a $5,000 hiring bonus in place for the IBU union. And, and, and we are, you know, with this working group, we're gonna start, you know, being very aggressive with job fairs, getting to high schools, we've got a lot of different ideas. So we, we, we are working really hard to try to get, you know, employees back so we can get the Columbia and, and, and hopefully the Tazlina running as soon as we can. So Madam chair, that's, you know, that's 10,000 foot look. And I dunno if there's any questions I don't want to take up a whole lot of time, but anyhow, that's, that's what I got for right now.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:12:28 PM
So thank you, Captain. That's, it's actually really quite helpful there. I don't think people really understand how many moving, how many elements and how many moving parts and how complex, just what say like would be the simple operations fleet really actually is.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:12:51 PM
So thanks specific questions to Captain Falvey, Captain Hillard?
Keith Hillard - 2:12:59 PM
Yeah. Good, good afternoon, Captian Falvey, this is Captain Hillard, what I'm, I'm just kind of curious on the diplomatic issues, is that with customs or free clearance for the boat or what's the higher level that's
Captain Falvey - 2:13:14 PM
Going well? Yeah. Yeah. Captain, what it is is what, what started all, this is an agreement between the United States and Canada called the land, rail, Marine and air agreement. And it has to do with border crossings, not just Marine crossings, but everything from railways to airports and Y you know, it, it, it, it, there's, there's, we've been running to Rupert for a long time. Okay. And the way this was explained to me not being a customs expert is I, we, we've never really been following like, like, like full pre-clearance rules and requirements. And it's something that we, I just wanna use the word grandfathered into, and it was just, it, it just is the way it was. Okay. And now what has happened because of this, this major agreement between these, these two countries, which number one will allow US customs officers to be armed with, with sidearms on our property amongst, you know, quite a few other things.
Captain Falvey - 2:14:14 PM
It, it, it is tightened up security and, and there's, there's been a lot of things that have been tightened up, you know, and I don't wanna get into a lot of it because as I don't, but, but, and, and we've done that and we, we're gonna have to do a little bit more. We just don't know how, how much more, but there'll probably be a little bit more. And, you know, now that we've done that, and us customs has, has agreed that we've done that. And Canadian customs has agreed that we've done that now, what happens? And it's out of, it's out of our purview, it's out of our control. Now, these diplomatic notes pass between the two countries to agree that yes, this has all been done and we're good to restart. Maybe Deputy Commissioner Rob, could he, he may be living with more of that than I, but I, but, but I think that's kind of what's going on here with the diplomatic notes. I, we don't see any, any problem with that. It's just a lot of red tape. It just takes a little bit of time to, to get these agreements the way I understand. Yeah. I just,
Keith Hillard - 2:15:16 PM
Thank you. I just wanted to understand that. And then we, you guys were shooting for, was it 150 new employees by April 1st to get the Columbia up and running this summer? Is that,
Captain Falvey - 2:15:31 PM
That was, that was, that, that kind of was the number, but we, we need to understand, you know, who, who all those employees are. And it's a, it's a cross section. We, we really are okay. For the most part I'm sitting on, on, on 34 mates, like mates applications right now. And we think that, you know, we could, we could, you know, of, of, of, of, of those ones, I'm sitting probably gonna hire about 10 right now, now, and that's, that's more than enough to keep the, the six ships running with extras so they could start, you know, of course getting their pilotage, which you know all about that. And we've still got plenty in addition, when you're looking at 34 and we may hire 10, if we needed 'em, we probably get 'em pretty quick, you know, Meba hires through the, through the, through the union all down there.
Captain Falvey - 2:16:20 PM
What, what I've asked human resources to, to kind of look at is, you know, is, can we go out and look for Marine engineers also? So we're, we're, you know, just trying to kind of think about that a little bit. And, you know, the rest of them are everything from passenger services to, you know, Oilers, junior engineers, ADs things like that. Those are, those are the ones that are like the skilled unlicensed positions that, you know, were, were in desperate need of and as I say that our, our head hunter found two ADs just the other day. So, I mean, so that, that was good, but, you know, I mean of that 150, it's not just all new hires. It's some, some skilled unlicensed still.
Keith Hillard - 2:17:05 PM
Oh, okay. That sounds, that sounds great. I was just to hoping. Maybe we can slow the departure rate down, which would help us out a bunch by not having so many jobs available. Is there, have you guys looked at bringing into some retirees back in or offering summertime employment?
Captain Falvey - 2:17:28 PM
I think captain, these are all things that yes, that we are, that we are actually are looking at with our, with our working group, that we've just are now are putting together amongst the Marine highway system and then the Commissioner's office, Katherine is helping us with that too. And yeah, we're looking at a lot of different options, you know, potentially bringing retirees back is an option. Absolutely.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:18:03 PM
Real quick. Wanetta and then we're gonna need to move on fairly quickly to the next presentation, because he's on a tight time schedule. So we'll go with Wanetta real quick and then, and then move on.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:18:15 PM
Oh, thanks Shirley Captain Falvey, You did I understand correctly that you said that the processing time to onboard a new employee is four months.
Captain Falvey - 2:18:26 PM
That's correct. On average three to four months that to get the MMD card, the transportation worker's card, which is a security background check, you know, physical drug tests and TAMs or taps cards, which are, you know, the certification to serve alcohol, But the big one's the MMD, it's just a, it's a paperwork thing. And COVID has slowed that down. It's a coast guard thing. And we, we, we, we, we do have a team put together at the headquarters building that, that assists these folks that, that, that help 'em through the red tape and, and we're doing the best we can to, to help 'em as they, as they, you know, you know, get these documents, but it's a, it's a, it's a, it's a slow process to get 'em.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:19:17 PM
Okay. So it really sounds like the process is external to AMHS as opposed to some internal processes.
Captain Falvey - 2:19:25 PM
Totally external, it's all federal, it's all federally controlled it's coast guard and, and Homeland security, the two big ones. Right. But we help 'em. We, we do everything we can to help 'em, you know, go as quickly as they can. All right. I've got, I've got staff as signed to that specifically. Yeah.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:19:45 PM
Thanks Wanetta. Thanks Captain Falvey. Appreciate the insights and if folks have questions maybe closer to the end of the, the meeting can maybe have, have chance for another go around with Captain Falvey.
Captain Falvey - 2:20:02 PM
Okay. Madam chair. My pleasure. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:20:05 PM
Thanks sir. Okay. Katherine, you'd like to start.
Katherine Keith - 2:20:11 PM
Yeah. We'd like to introduce James Marks the DOT Program Development and Statewide Planning Director, and for reference those online meeting material at 4.1, it's a reference document available that Mr. Marks will be touching on. So we do have until you know, about 2:45 for this discussion and with that, James, are you online?
James Marks - 2:20:41 PM
Hi, I am. Can you hear me?
Katherine Keith - 2:20:43 PM
Yes.
James Marks - 2:20:44 PM
Excellent. Yeah. Thank you. Good afternoon. And thanks for the opportunity to coordinate with the board. My name's James Marks. I am the Director of Planning and Program Development. In my role at the department, I oversee all the planners, the development and execution of long range, intermediate and short range plans. We also develop and provide oversight for state transportation programs, such as the community transportation program, transportation alternatives, safe routes to schools, just to name a few, you know, we're moving towards plans that are, are more actionable and clearly communicate how they are to be implemented. Even our long range plans such as our state's long-range transportation plan should serve as an authority and provide direction. Not some, some ivory towered plan that that is, is kind of detached from action. So we're moving forward that that's a lot, a lot of effort is making those plans both transparent and accessible, but also actionable. So I only have a few slides here because I was, I wanna encourage discussion. And if there's any questions from the board along the way, I am gonna kind of talk through each one of these, but feel free to, I'll make some natural pauses and check to see if there's any questions along the way, if that's all right.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:22:01 PM
Okay. Yeah. Thank you, James.
James Marks - 2:22:06 PM
So this, this slide, firstly, wanted to touch on briefly the concept of the DOT family of plans and to address Mr. Venables comments, there are some things missing. This is not an exhaustive list. There are many, many other plans. And in fact, many new plans that we need to make in implementing IIJA that that are not represented here. This is just meant to demonstrate the hierarchy. These plans exist in layers, or that at hierarchy that I described kind of starting at the top with our statewide multimodal long range transportation plan, also known as the LRTP. That's kind of the umbrella document that oversees and provides guidance and direction to all the other plans. This plan is being updated right now. It has been in development for the past year and a half set to be finalized in August, moving over one, one lane, we get into our systems or some may call our Mo plans.
James Marks - 2:23:02 PM
There's also investment plans here. These plans begin to take, you know, a finer look at transportation systems with a finer lens, focusing on a particular aspect of the system. This is where the AMHS long range plan exists as does the state rail plan, freight plan, transportation plan, and some of these other ones that you see here. moving over again, we start to see our capital and operating plans programs. This is where some of the more familiar ones that folks see the statewide transportation improvement program, or the step, our transportation asset management plan, or the STIP. And, and to, to govern all of this, we need performance measures. You know, we need to have some measure of success that, you know, we, we made a plan, we made a program, is, are we successful in implementing it? So, so performance measures that that should be a feedback loop all the way back up to those long range plans. Any questions on, on the family of plans?
Shirley Marquardt - 2:24:01 PM
James, I have one just real quick, please. Thank you. So does the, does DOT have a long range plan for the AMHS now?
James Marks - 2:24:13 PM
Going back in, in history? You know, it's the, you know, it's difficult to say there's the Southeast for a long time has been regarded as the, the plan for AMHS, but when you go back, the most recent version of that plan was I think 2004. And that plan was not like I was mentioning kind of actionable deliberate. It called out, you know, broad areas. There was an attempt to update it in 2014 that never made it past draft. And that was starting to go in the right direction, was it was getting to level of service and starting to talk about, you know, what would happen through, you know, that, that, that component of developing plan, scenario planning, if this happens, what, what are the, what are the consequences and what are the consequences for each area within the system? So, you know, the, the, the, the plan, you know, the, the path forward for us is we need to, to get that more actionable plan so that we can yeah, absolutely Captain Hillard, and see your comment there. Can those plans be provided to the board? Those are published. I, I believe, but I'll also email them all directly just that they're at the top of your list for sure.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:25:44 PM
Okay. Thanks. So just to be clear, so going forward, DOT will always have the AMHS system in it sites when it talk, looks at long term planning.
Alan Austerman - 2:26:01 PM
Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. I'm assuming that things like the aviation improvement plan is a yearly function so that they can figure out what they're doing along with the surface transportation plan. Is it your anticipation that the long range plan for AMHS is a yearly thing or not?
James Marks - 2:26:25 PM
So these plans are, are usually like on a four, they, they, let me back up, the planning horizon for these types of plans or, or long range, usually in the 15 to 20 year range, the update is usually on the order of every four to five years.
Alan Austerman - 2:26:46 PM
Okay. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:26:49 PM
And Wanetta.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:26:51 PM
Thanks, Shirley. James, could you a address where docks are addressed in the planning matrix? Because it's an area that has been problematic for the system. And my understanding is that at, at least for the state owned docks, if this is still the case, I'm not sure have always been considered bridges. And we're there for in the surface transportation plan and the STIP, as opposed to any specific modal plan for the Marine highway.
James Marks - 2:27:31 PM
Yeah, absolutely. I can answer the, the, you know, the, you, you are, are correct in the past, you know, there there's been there, there has, there's a demarcation line somewhere. I, I think that, you know, when, as we're moving forward, we do want to consider terminals and docks and things as part of the system, there there's some nuance there in terms of which teams are working with it, it, but working on it. But, but I'm not sure that that would necessitate that it's in a separate plan per se, but that would be part of the scoping discussion that I'll talk about when we talk about scheduling some of the major steps in developing the plan.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:28:13 PM
Well, can I do a follow up Shirley?
Shirley Marquardt - 2:28:15 PM
Yes.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:28:16 PM
Just, just to comment, I, I guess what I would hope to see again, because there have been long range issues and misalignments between shoreside and Marine operations, that, that there is some planning document that addresses holistically what is needed for the Alaska Marine highway.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:28:44 PM
Good point, Rob.
Rob Carpenter - 2:28:48 PM
Thank you, Madam chair. And just question for James, you know, I know you're, we're just nearing the end of the initial draft of the LRTP. Where do you see the timeline for, are the Marine highway planning to start beginning the long range planning in your shop?
James Marks - 2:29:09 PM
Well, I think we, that that's a discussion point and, you know, we'll think that is probably we'll touch on that on the last, or maybe second to last slide where it's, we're gonna be talking about what does a reasonable timeline take and where can things be shortened, you know, start, start time. You know, there is a benefit to aligning with the long range plan, but we also have a draft in hand also. So, so we wouldn't necessarily have to wait until that plan's, you know, fully, fully complete
Rob Carpenter - 2:29:53 PM
Follow up.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:29:55 PM
Yes.
Rob Carpenter - 2:29:56 PM
So, so James, I guess one of the reasons and Madam chair, committee members that we, I was hoping to bring this topic forward is, you know, to, to kind of show, you know, the statute that's guiding the board here is providing advisory type consultation on this, this planning, this long range planning for the Marine highway for, you know, as it's fitting into the overall DOT planning. And I, I guess James, you know, we've got the new planner, if not on board very soon, I think for that will be, be dedicated to Marine highway system. And that, you know, as you've said, the old Southeast plan is, is years old and obsolete, but do you see, I mean, are you looking at a year process or what are we, what are we thinking? Or you have a draft put together or even be, you know, begun?
James Marks - 2:31:02 PM
Well, beginning I think certainly with, within the next, I mean, this is, this is all for discussion and I'm, and that, that's, it's a great question. And I'm looking for input when we start talking about schedule, you know, I, I don't see that, that, that start of that going much longer than when the, the next four to six months, ideally sooner. And can we accelerate? Yeah. I mean, we're getting ahead in the slide deck, but you know, that's the point is that there's a lot of work on, has already been done on this. It's the synthesis of this plan. It's the, of all of those, I, other studies, it is defining level of service. It is, and that's a whole gray area, but yeah, there's, you know, minimum, we're probably looking at, you know, anywhere from 12 to 14 months in terms of development timelines, because of the necessary public involvement components we need to, to factor in, but we'll, we'll work through all that.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:32:03 PM
Yeah, man, I have a quick question. Sorry, James. Then. So for the work that this board is doing in terms of long term planning strategy for the system, that work that we do will be incorporated into this, this total combined planning?
James Marks - 2:32:23 PM
Yeah. Madam chair, absolutely. You you'll see, we're we're gonna do my whole presentation before I even get to this slide. Yeah, absolutely. The, the, you know, each one of these, oh, here we go. So, you know, this is a, a, our typical kind of long range planning effort, you know, on the order of 24 months, our LRTP is being updated, like I said now, and it is gonna go probably about 24 months. Most of our, our big modal plans are on the order of 18 to 24 months. But there's a lot of things that have already been done. A lot of this has been studied. There's a lot of good work that we can build on. So we're not starting from scratch each one of these blue boxes that you see here. You know, the, the, the reason why I wanted to put this together, we, we just put these, these schedules together within the past couple of months, I sat down with the planning chiefs and the, the, the focus was, you know, I'm, I'm looking for three things.
James Marks - 2:33:25 PM
I want transparency. We need to know when things are gonna be happening and what type of activity, resourcing, so that we can schedule our resources to know when to participate in these events. So to Mr. Venables point, you know, can we accelerate these things? Can we throw resources at them? We can, but we need to know when those resources are needed so that, you know, that kind of factors into this piece. And then there's the executive coordination, to your point madam chair is, you know, these, these plans shouldn't be made in a box and, and, and they're not, but there needs to be some executive alignment. Now, some of these plans, long range transportation plan, it's, it's, you know, coordination with the commissioner's office. The, I believe is probably, you know, a quarterly, either meeting or working session or an adjunct to your existing schedule, where we're working through some of these things pre scoping, identifying what is the scope of the, of the long range, transportation plan, establishing goals, and objectives, of coming up with project recommendations, and draft plans. And there's gonna be a lot of work in between that, but I don't see, you know, the full board having to get involved at each phase, but perhaps members of the board, a small working group to coordinate and help align could be in order.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:34:48 PM
And, and I, I guess, I think maybe some of the reason that we are most curious about the timing on this and, and trying to get it done a little quicker is that there are, there are recommendations and in long term planning that need to happen for the Alaska Marine Highway system. Well, well, before two years goes down the road and the concern would simply be at least from my end that the legislature or administration would wanna wait and see what this model long wage planning is, how it, how it brings on the element of a H, which is just putting us even further behind. So I guess, I guess I would just wanna be sure that, that the development of this plan, which is gonna happen, whether we like it or not, doesn't stop the Alaska Marine highway system from making needed changes and being able to present those changes to the legislature, to the administration.
James Marks - 2:35:44 PM
Yeah, absolutely. Madam chair, you know, we we've had that, that very conversation with the Commissioner's Office and that's, you know, there there's things that have to happen now, Captain Falvey knows them all too well, enlisted off many of them. And there's many more, you know, part of that I think is a strong strategy. I think I heard mention of a, a developing a, a shorter range or something. That's, that's more succinct things that we know we need to do. I would just caution, you know, going too far down with major capital investments outside of those things that we just know for a fact that need or needed to stabilize the system, trying to get too far ahead of, of the long range plan. But I, I think that there's, there's a balance there. Absolutely.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:36:41 PM
Okay. Thank you, Rob call on you. And then Alan, if you still have a question, I'll go to Rob first.
Rob Carpenter - 2:36:50 PM
Thanks, Madam chair, and great statements by James there. And it brings to the point, you know, there's certainly, to your point, Madam chair, strategic, shorter term investment that can happen or shorter term planning that plays right into the long term planning. And like you said, we don't wanna delay some shorter term decisions or recommendations waiting for a long term plan. I, and I was, I guess I was hoping that we could, you know, James could present this, his process to, to get to that long term plan, the board working with his shop to get there. But in the, in the short term, you know, we're, we are to come up with short term plans as well, which those shorter term plans can be strategic and play into the long term planning as well. So there's nothing to say, you know, we're making decisions here in my office now that play into long term planning, but they're short term. And, you know, if you know what I mean, so thanks.
James Marks - 2:38:09 PM
So this slide gives you, you know, the high level, this is what, what a typical process takes. You know, I mentioned, you know, pre scoping, that's where there's a working session where we're going through and from the projects formally initiated we're, we're putting out public notices for comments, agency meetings, coordination with this board to identify what is the scope of this. And that's where, you know, a lot of, you know, talking, I know there's concern with, with schedule and timing, and that that's where, you know, we would be talking about what do we want to include and what do we not wanna include in that? And then, and then we're getting a contractor on board because the facilitation of these, these, or it's a monumental task, lots of public involvement, lots of comments and remediation. So it's resources as Mr. Venable said. So we, we, we wanna throw, you know, as many resources to make this go as quickly as possible at the process.
James Marks - 2:39:19 PM
And then we're getting into transportation system analysis. This is where I, I think we're gonna see a lot of time savings depending on what, what the contractor that's brought on board says, a lot of this has been done. The Northern Economics report did a pretty good job of diving into some of these details. There's also some the number of different governance studies and things getting into mission, vision and goals in phase three might be another area where we might be able to see some time savings. I think that some folks have a lot of, you know, already have ideas about what some of these goals and objectives should be. It's really gonna be coming to consensus about what are the shared goals and, and getting that list down to those vital few, moving into phase four, we're getting into the economic and demographic. This is another area where we're gonna able to see some time savings, the, the want, some of the areas that, that have not been done very well or, or let me say, maybe not very well, but very com fleet is the synthesis of all of these different studies at bringing them all together, doing projections of what what's gonna be happening in the future doing.
James Marks - 2:40:38 PM
And those projections, depending on, you know, going back to vision goals, objectives, whether or not it's population or food or freight or access to critical services or hubs or all those things that could be important. What is the level of service? And it's not a, a, a one number. It is a gradient, so there's a baseline level of service. And then there's kind of an upper level of service that we are, we need to kind of define once we get to that point, that is where we're gonna be getting into investment and getting into project recommendations. Once we know the level of service, then we can start to say, all right, these are the capital projects that are necessary to meet that level of service. Maybe I'll pause there. Cause I think I
Shirley Marquardt - 2:41:29 PM
Okay. Captain Hillard.
Keith Hillard - 2:41:32 PM
Yeah, just reiterates my, my point. I've been trying to beat home about gaining the public trust back and providing a certain level of service that keeps everybody happy. We can provide more service and, you know, expand on the service. That's why personally I think that for a tight budget or lean years, you have to define the minimum level of service is to keep the communities happy and supplied for, for medical, just having a ship touch basis with them, you know, whether it be on a monthly or a biweekly basis. I think, I really think we need to look at that and, and to help formulate that long term plan.
Keith Hillard - 2:42:25 PM
That's all I got.
James Marks - 2:42:30 PM
Yeah. Captain Hillard. I, I couldn't agree more. That's one of the most critical pieces that, that I think is missing from all of the work that's been done is that definition of level of service. And I think that, you know, even I don't, I wouldn't want to, to, to rush that piece, we want to look focus on that and that's gonna be give this plan defensibility when future generations come and talk about funding or defunding it's at X service level, you know, at this investment level, this is the level of service that we can expect. So it it's, it's laying the groundwork, not just for, for our investments now, but for future investments.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:43:15 PM
Great. Thank you. Juanetta and then Allen.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:43:20 PM
So I just wanted to confirm what is the timeframe of, of this long range plan.
James Marks - 2:43:31 PM
So that, to answer your question Wanetta, that that part is up for discussion. There are advancements and things that we can get through that that would have to be defined at the scoping meeting. So when we start talking about, what's gonna be included, what is not gonna be included in the development of the plan that would dictate how long the plan would take based off of our review of the plans and the studies and things that have been done. We could probably get this down to, you know, the better ball park of 12 to 14 months.
Speaker 20 - 2:44:07 PM
Mm.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:44:08 PM
So let me clarify. not how long to develop the plan, the timeframe for the plan itself, what is a long range plan timeframe?
James Marks - 2:44:19 PM
Sure. Sorry. My confusion typically, so like our long range transportation plan has a 20 year planning horizon, but again, we, we can define what that is. We probably don't want to go too much shorter than 15 years.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:44:37 PM
What know I, one of the things, again, this is sort of the inconsistency of government issue that having resources to do planning
Wanetta Ayers - 2:44:52 PM
And the nature of the work of the Marine highway is that it's a long live complex system with, with long live assets. And so 20 years, honestly, doesn't really seem long enough in, in the sense of some aspects of the system. Because again, I, I think that it, the, the nature of the assets needs to inform the, the planning processes, whether they're a one year operations plan or a, you know, a, a five year longer range plan or a, you know, a 20 year plan, the fact that you may have a, a 40 or 50 year live asset, but I, I think that the replacement of those assets and the timing of that, I think always needs to be informing those near term planning processes. And so there, there needs, in my mind needs to be some, again, an integration or an alignment of, of, of certainly these long range, capital planning processes, which may be outside what the recommended long range planning time horizon might be.
James Marks - 2:46:17 PM
Yeah. Thank you for those comments. And maybe just to respond briefly, we've got many assets that, that extend far beyond that, that planning horizon bridges, or, you know, in 50 to 60 year planning, you know, asset life, usable life, you know, our, our airplanes and things. So, you know, there, there's the, the challenge, you know, kind of going back up in this timeline, when we're looking at transportation system analysis, it's what you're basing all of your investment decisions on are, are based off forecasts. And what, what, you're, what you're kind of envisioning is gonna happen down the road. And after 20 years, you know, 20 years seems to be the, the typical kind of planning level for long range plans. Is it those, those get to be too speculative in terms of what's gonna happen from, in terms of a population or an economy or freight. So, you know, it, you're what you're the reason for the 20 year is really more about your ability to accurately forecast
Wanetta Ayers - 2:47:24 PM
And just a brief follow up. Thank you for that, James. I do understand that. I'm just saying that there needs to be a, a something beyond in the 20 year timeframe. That's looking at the system assets and establishing milestones that future managers, boards, legislatures, all the people that are involved in the, that have to be brought along in the process of managing this system need to be cognizant of and keep in mind, because I, I feel that one of the things that has been challenging for the system has been trying to manage from near term budget approach, as opposed to a long term asset utilization approach. That's what I, I, I, I just wanna try and make that point that as we move forward in, hopefully providing some guidance in terms of performance it's in short term and longer term plans that it needs to extend beyond some of the, the time horizons that I think we've been thinking about historically, in order to keep in mind what the needs of the system are, what the assets that are needed in order to achieve the levels of service that might be described in shorter term documents.
James Marks - 2:49:03 PM
Yeah. Thank you for those comments. And I, I, I, I completely agree with you. I, I think that, you know, part of this, there, there's a number of plans that need to be developed for the Alaska Marine highway system, the long range AMHS plan would be looking at it from a systems perspective. What I heard you describe is more of an asset management plan. You know, we, we, on the, you know, highway side, for example, every facility, whether it's a road or a bridge or a culvert, we look at life cycle costs and life cycle planning and, you know, planning for that, that, that long range, you know, management of that asset. So there, you know, the long range plan is for AMHS would be more looking at what, what do we see happening in the, you know, in the, in the system as a whole, not necessarily individual vessels, even though it would call out projects and then we, but, but to your point, we do need those other plans, those other pieces that let look at, you know, total lifecycle costs and asset management and things you're absolutely right there.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:50:20 PM
Thank you. Thank you, Wanetta, Alan.
Alan Austerman - 2:50:25 PM
Yeah. Thank you. Just, I, this was more of a comment rather than a question, but I feel right now that that I'm feeling a bunch of pressure in reference to setting a level of service through the amount of ships that we're going to have. If we continue on with this 20 year plan to reduce the ships in half. And I, the pressure that I'm feeling is I don't think I, we have a full picture of what that means with the comes down to how many ports, will we lose any ports, how many days service will they lose? And, well, I fully appreciate the fact that we're moving towards a more efficient fleet, having a very hard time, because I, I feel that the level of service is something we should be deciding first. And so, James, you indicated that with no rush, don't wanna rush into setting that level of service, but that, that makes me even more uncomfortable because I seems to me, that is the kingpin of what we're doing.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:51:45 PM
Yeah. I understand your concerns there. Alan. I think my hope is when we are in Ketchikan and we have everyone we can bring to the table to talk about such things we can, we can talk to the scheduler, say and, and ask, you know, go over prior levels of service up that meant. We have to remember to, with the, the vessel, whatever the fleet makeup is going to be. It's not going to be simply removing some vessels. It's gonna be replacing some of the routes with different vessels that, that are either more capable for that route or more efficient to run. So I think that that is something that we need to all have on our list that we, we need to put that down in Ketchikan. So we need to, to really start thinking about that. Thank you.
James Marks - 2:52:45 PM
Yeah, sure. And, and, you know, I, I, I do, I do hear you, and I do understand, you know, the, the sense of urgency that both you and Captain Hillard expresses, I'm sure others do. And there, there may be some stop gaps there. You know, I would leave it to the board to come up with, you know, your own recommendations. I would, you know, I'm able to stop my comments there, but I, I, I am a little bit limited on time, so I'm gonna move through if you, sorry, if you can go back, I just wanna touch on those last couple phases. So there's, you know, getting into the project recommendations, draft plans, and, you know, the whole point with, with this structure is that there are regular check-ins and everybody knows exactly what's gonna be happening in aligning with board activities. You know, we, we can absolutely get these on your regular calendar or, or an additional meeting to make sure that we've got regular touch points. And it's just really clear to the board when we're gonna be coming to you and on what point of the project.
James Marks - 2:53:59 PM
So maybe I'll just breeze through these last two slides, you know, there, there's a lot of documents that have been done and studied and a lot of good work, and we can, you absolutely provide those if folks don't know where those are. And maybe, maybe we'll just go, go on past this next slide. So this gives you, you know, one possible demonstration of, of what that timeline could look like. You know, this is looking at, you know, the better part of 14 months, the system analysis you know, if we get a contractor, we go through our scoping with the board and, you know, our, our planners and analysts, and, you know, is the system analysis is, do we need a full six months? Or can it be back down to four or three? And really, we're just talking about synthesis of existing data, mission, and vision and goals, you know, does it have to be run consecutively or could there be some concurrent activity thinking about and developing this? So, you know, to Robert's points earlier it's it's resources and time, if we have access to more resources, then yes, absolutely. We can do some of these things, but very often it's the same people working on each step of the process.
James Marks - 2:55:31 PM
I'm not gonna run, run through each one of these things. Like I said, you know, in the beginning it really gets down to the scope. What I think I'm hearing from the board is a desire to get to level of service faster. And, you know, there there's, I think some discussion that could be had in terms of what is, how, what is the, the most expeditious way to get there? You'll notice here that level of service would be getting to in about seven to eight months on this schedule, for example. So there's, there's things that we can do, but it, it really takes that pre scoping, you know, effort. And, and I'm greatly looking forward to, you know, initiating this project. I did hear a mention of the AMHS planner. Katherine. I have asked Katherine and, and a few others to sit on that hiring committees. So I think we're, we're getting very close with some really good applicants. So I'm really happy to be, see that moving forward. And yeah, absolutely. You know, Katherine and our new AMHS planner would be happy to, you know, continue to coordinate with the board. And, you know, to the extent that I, my presence is, is helpful or wanted, I'd also be able to participate.
James Marks - 2:56:56 PM
And maybe I'll just stop there. We're I'm already about 10 minutes over. I apologize for taking the board's time and thank you for the opportunity.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:57:04 PM
No need to apologize, James. This is important stuff for us. We kinda, we, we made an addition to the agenda. So I just, just going back to, you know, looking at AMHS long range planning, the, the tighter we are able to make. Cause like you said, we've got so much information. There have been so many studies done already. And so many consultants we've got so much that it feels like, I think it feels like to most of us that, that the is, could be done in less than a year in a year or less than a year. This portion of it. I'm not talking about your larger statewide motor transportation plan, but just keep that in mind that that's all, that's all
James Marks - 2:57:53 PM
I, yeah. Ma Madam chair, I hear you loud and clear and, and I I'm greatly looking forward to, you know, talking about what, what that scope looks like and, you know, if we can accelerate it with, without compromising it, I, I, I say we go for it.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:58:08 PM
Okay. Thank you much, James.
Katherine Keith - 2:58:16 PM
Great. Thank you, James. So the next item on the agenda is a discussion about the AMHS evaluation. RFP. This is a continuation of a conversation from the previous meeting
Katherine Keith - 2:58:36 PM
And the online materials that this corresponds to is item number 5.1, which reads as a, a draft scope of work for discussion. And so as shared at the last meeting, DOT is seeking professional services to conduct this comprehensive review and support to data analysis within AMHS operations. And so the draft that's provided is a more in-depth breakdown of what was shared last week. And it's set to include six tasks. This is draft. We look forward to a discussion. If there's anything in additional that we may wanna look at as, as part of this, the tentative advertising date for this solicitation is April 13th. So we would like to be able to post it next week. The six tasks under discussion are, you know, preliminary survey and project work plan. The second task is reviewing operational resiliency and efficiency, information Technology analysis is the third.
Katherine Keith - 2:59:50 PM
This is an IT review of data integrity, data integrity, three, Ugh, sorry, data integrity and protection. Along with looking at, if our services are, are cloud-based and protected, task four is a suite maintenance evaluation, task five is financial vitality and resiliency looking at financial planning, budgeting modeling, task six is system analysis, technical support, which is basically support as needed for like performance metrics, Degeneration, et cetera. So these paths we have provided them bulleted out to give some general sense of what we're looking for. Along with some deliverables that may be asked for in useful to AMHS management and the board. And also we look forward as this goes out to hearing from the consultants that may propose on this, what their ideas are, what they've seen. They're looking for industry experts in this exact topic. So this is similar to what Washington state ferries provides to their legislature on an annual basis. And while this isn't intended to be annually, it's intended to be a tool which will give us greater information and data could feed into any operation planning or for the work that James and the planning department will ultimately be doing. And with that, I think I'd like to open it up for comments given the time that we're at so we can make sure to listen to any suggestions.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:01:33 PM
Thank you, Katherine. Paul, would you like to start us up?
Paul Johnsen - 3:01:37 PM
Yes, I was looking at it. I'm thinking under task four, I would like to see an evaluation of the coordination between the ship crew, the port engineers, federal projected engineers and procurement, and maybe the software programs that they use to coordinate. I, I think that's an issue that needs to be looked at.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:02:06 PM
Thank you, Paul. Alan.
Alan Austerman - 3:02:12 PM
Yeah. Thank you. I'm I'm trying to get a better feel for the overall scope of the work that that we're asking here and in task two, the operational and efficiency and analysis, and is that the whole total operation of Alaska Marine highway system you're asking them to do
Katherine Keith - 3:02:41 PM
It's intended to break out by section or department. Some of these are, are overall system wide. For example, communications would be system wide. Operations is looking at things like authority and levels of responsibility, governance recommendations, and some of this has been done before, but the staffing challenges would be systemwide. So I guess to answer your question, yes, that is a systemwide task, more focused on, I would say the operations rather than the fleet or the, the finances are a more discreet part of operations.
Alan Austerman - 3:03:28 PM
One of the reasons I raised that question is when I look at the one through six information technology fleet maintenance and financial system and analysis, technical support, and
Alan Austerman - 3:03:44 PM
We've been lacking a bit of information about income from fare boxes and those kind of things that we don't know what the system is doing with that at this point in time, for lack of information from, from the department, and it seems to me that's a component of the overall operations that we need to delve into a little bit more to understand what's going on there. We understand COVID we understand why the, the fare box fell off so, so rapidly, but I don't see anybody talking about let's let's do an analysis on when COVID is gone. Does that fare box start climbing up again? And so I, I'm kind of curious as to whether this performance evaluation that we're talking about includes things like that, so that we have something to work from.
Katherine Keith - 3:04:38 PM
Yeah. Thank you for pointing that out. We'll consider that whether that's a, to task five, financial task, or if that is operations, but revenue analysis and projections would have good information and, and, and perhaps that's something we certainly haven't touched much on, but that is something that we could offer a presentation on that Matt McClaren would have information to share.
Alan Austerman - 3:05:05 PM
Thank you. And I, I do think it's operational myself because for years I used to do contract sales and do all kinds of other things. I'm not sure they're doing them now, so
Shirley Marquardt - 3:05:19 PM
Thanks Alan. Captain Hillard.
Keith Hillard - 3:05:22 PM
Yeah. It just seems to me that, I mean, what we're hiring this outside person to do is lot of what we've been asked to do to. So my, my point would be when can we put this person to work for us as the board and, and have someone cause it's just gonna be for Marine highway, get these people on board and get them up to date. When will we maybe see some of the answers of these go forth?
Katherine Keith - 3:05:56 PM
It would be our intention that the board is a direct recipient and beneficiary of this information and providing that feedback with the selected consultant on a regular basis to provide updates and provide guidance on scope of work as well. So this, this is definitely just the first part of the conversation and you are correct. These are your overarching objectives, and this will be providing information to help meet those.
Keith Hillard - 3:06:23 PM
And, and the chair, Madam chair made a good point about that. Well, do you think you'll have somebody hired that could be present for our meeting in Ketchikan by then or, or not? Not.
Katherine Keith - 3:06:35 PM
Okay. I don't think that given the procurement requirements with how long it needs to be posted and I'm going to say no, but
Keith Hillard - 3:06:49 PM
Probably not. Yeah. That's okay. All right. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:06:55 PM
I, you know, I'm looking at this list and I, and a lot of these things, you know, in terms when consultants come in and, you know, all the different studies that have been done, a lot of this has, has, has been looked at. And the first thing that AMHS has to do is basically educate this, the new consultant or the team to the system so that they can ask the right questions. And, and that information that they get directly from the AMHS team is, is structured in a way that, where it really makes sense. I mean, I, I think we've all seen it before and, you know, somebody comes in as a consultant and they, they really don't know the system that they're working with and they might, you know, it's, it's easy to kind of modify some of the information that you've seen and turn it into a finding that later on, you know, you hear your, your manager of your system saying, no, no, that's actually not why that occurs. You didn't, you didn't know about A, B and C. So, you know, I there's, there's so much in-house knowledge right now in AMHS for all of these. I I'm, I'm just hoping that we're just not going down the same kind of the same road that we've been down multiple times before with gathering information, all this, this is a little bit different. This is more of a deeper dive into the actual operations and
Katherine Keith - 3:08:32 PM
Yeah, thank you, Madam chairs. I think that's an excellent point. And one of the things that we're up against is just time and capacity and availability of our shoreside staff that Captain Falvey can speak to everyone is extremely busy. So it's not easy always to provide the analysis at the level that is needed for the boards decision making. So some of this it'll definitely require some time on behalf of our shore staff to provide that information, but we're hoping that this is a way to be a support there without overwhelming our staff with information requests and the stats that the processing of information or formatting of raw data into a usable knowledge for decision making. And I think our criteria needs to carefully consider consultants that would have its in firms that have experience with this. So that that learning curve is not their responsibility and not AMHS staff to educate that firm.
Alan Austerman - 3:10:11 PM
Yeah, just back on the financial, for example, this is where that I get a little bit concerned. You're asking one question there, identify cost savings as a specific issue. And Again, going back to the fare box, how do we increase money coming in as well? So I I'm, if you are only identifying how they can say how you guys can cut a cost, then this thing is meaningless to me. So I need to see something that's got a little more broader spectrum to it.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:11:03 PM
Thanks Shirley. I I'm, I'm still a little Skeptical about the timing of this particular project And concerned about the sound bite nature that is likely to come out of it and what that might mean in, in the future, As we're trying to, you know, refocus and move the system towards a sustainable operating profile. Some of, some of these kind, the answers to these questions, I don't think are going to be the direction that we're headed in. So I just remain a little quizzical about the timing of this. Katherine Keith - Definitely, I think to address that comment, that the way to make that to successful. I think it's through continued engagement between this firm and the board and other parties that are involved as well. But I think that that will have to be a pretty ongoing dialogue to get something that is, is useful to, to everyone. Is that your question? Wanetta Ayers - Well, I mean, it might might help just to like focus in on one thing, which let's just take fleet maintenance as an example, fleet maintenance with an aging fleet and a challenged budgetary scenario is going to look different, then fleet maintenance with newer assets and a, a more stable budget scenario.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:13:10 PM
And so If, if, if this consultant is gonna do what all consultants have done in the past is go back and look at historical, they get a data set, they mine it and they reach conclusions based on it. I'm not sure how instructive it's going to be even to present day circumstances.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:13:39 PM
Okay. Norm
Norm Carson - 3:13:44 PM
Thank you. Yeah, I agree with the last comments. One of my areas of interest has in the last few years has been Southeastern economies and history, whatnot. As you look to the future, that is there. I hate to see we get too focused on what's happened in the past because you can go to the past and say, look, just look, how many cans have closed in Southeast Alaska over the years, what's gonna happen in the future? What are the resources available in an area that might be come into play, such as mining. But if you have a area where you have very stringent government restrictions, if you have to have a, a federal reserve park national monument around you that may affect your ability to increase the population, what is the influence of dynamic pricing, for example, on fare rate recovery, I think it's been a, a very negative one.
Norm Carson - 3:15:01 PM
That's my opinion, but let's see, I have a whole bunch of notes here. What's going to be the unexpected influence if we get this infrastructure bill passed? You're gonna see some federal dollars into some communities, they're going to change our outlook. So I, I just think we have to be careful. Another one just thought of today when I was driving. I'm still in Juneau. And look at what Search is doing here with the hospital, I think is a, I'd like to know more about that. I mean, I think we're gonna see more demand of our local or our near communities out here for ridership coming to Juneau to go to the hospital. Anyway, that's just some of the comments I have. Right. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:15:49 PM
Thank you, Norm. Any more questions on the performance evaluation? Alan.
Alan Austerman - 3:16:06 PM
Yeah, thank you. All right. One of the other concerns that I had in reading over this is I section two, where they're gonna review the resource. We, and we use the resource and procedures and practice to determine if the goals and objectives have been met. I don't know what the goals and objective for each one of these department is. So it's hard for me to say that that's a fair statement. I know that at one point in time, we were looking at trying to compare Washington ferries to how they set up their goals and objectives and, and trying to meet certain objectives, which are way outta line from some of the stuff that I would use as a, to try to figure out what you're doing and why is how you ask that question and what those goals and objectives are, whether you really get an answer or not. And it's hard for me to understand. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:17:14 PM
Thanks, Alan. I, you know, I, I everybody's made some, some good points. I, what I believe that the intent of this performance evaluation to do is to, is to just actually just dive into the system itself. We already are aware of the, you know, the need for the new vessels. We're aware that, that the maintenance schedule on the vessels probably need some upgrading, some changes to make it maybe more simplified, allow for maybe some more, you know, more of that work to be done by the crews themselves on the vessels onboard vessels. There's a lot, but I think this is the first time that that's, someone's tried to, that's someone tried to get into the actual operating structure of the system and, and look, and be able to say, you know, I'm hopeful that good information is gonna come out on this, like folks at AMHS.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:18:14 PM
The managers there have been saying for years, it's very difficult for us to perform element A because of this type of interference or unknown. You know, we don't know about our funding. We don't get forward funding. And I think that is going to be a lot of what I hope that this evaluation is able to pinpoint. And I think it's going to give legs to the, to the folks in the system working shore side, working on the vessels, working at management who have been trying to, to change some of these things all along, but due to a lot of factors outside of their control they can't. So that's what I'm hopeful at. This is, that's what I, I think it's intent.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:19:04 PM
And, and, and I appreciate that, that they would be working, keeping, keeping the board up to date of, of what they're looking at, what they're finding, et cetera, because we're, we're kind of in a, you know, in the middle of an ongoing operation. And if you will trying to get some concrete ideas and recommendations down. So I think this will be helpful. I hope that it, it's not, doesn't create a difficulty really for the staff, but I hope that they look at this as a tool that finally is going to be able to help them to prove their point.
Katherine Keith - 3:19:51 PM
Thank you for your time on this. And if there's any other comments or things to include, please reach you out.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:20:00 PM
I guess the only question I'd have then Katherine, on this is for the, the evaluation, the items on the evaluation, was that put together in conjunction with Captain Falvey and, and the folks at KTO. Did they have a hand in the work?
Katherine Keith - 3:20:18 PM
The items on the scope of work? Yes. Yeah. Captain Falvey's been involved.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:20:27 PM
Okay. Yeah. So if there are no other questions for Katherine on RFP review, thank you, Katherine. Now we had got 10 minutes on modernization plan, decision points.
Katherine Keith - 3:20:51 PM
Yes. And, and maybe we can see from Matt McLaren, if there's any update that you may wanna provide or anything right now, and this is something that we could circle back with cause we'll be digging into in more detail as well in person.
Matt McClaren - 3:21:15 PM
Yeah. I don't have any updates I guess, but I won't be here for the in person if it's May 2nd and third. So I guess the decision points for today were on that bulleted list. I guess we talked about the first four items on there
Shirley Marquardt - 3:21:39 PM
And I, I guess I,
Matt McClaren - 3:21:40 PM
We can answer any questions on those or whatever we need.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:21:44 PM
Okay. And, and I'm just curious as to, you know, we we've looked at these before and talked and, and I'm just kind of curious to know what the board at this point, if, if they think they can move through a couple of these decision points with, with some confidence like the Tazlina getting crew quarters to create the flexibility in the system for the ACF basically, Norm,
Norm Carson - 3:22:23 PM
Here we go. You asking me specifically the number one or all of them?
Shirley Marquardt - 3:22:29 PM
Number one,
Norm Carson - 3:22:31 PM
I'd say yes, you should get crew quarters. I don't think it should have been built without em
Shirley Marquardt - 3:22:37 PM
Alan
Alan Austerman - 3:22:38 PM
Yes.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:22:39 PM
Rob.
Rob Carpenter - 3:22:46 PM
Good question. So I'm fully supportive conceptually. I think it has the necessary redundancy. I I'm on the record many times saying we need Swiss army knife type boats. We're juggling money right now, obviously a lot of needs. So we'll have to funding side. Isn't quite ironed out or the timing of it, but you know, I'm a conceptual yes. Thanks.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:23:14 PM
Thank you, Wanetta.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:23:18 PM
Well, I I'm, I'm not, is this our decision making process?
Shirley Marquardt - 3:23:25 PM
No, I'm just trying to, to give Matt and, and the group, the crew kind of a little heads up of, of the way the, you know, the board is leaning towards recommendations based on their recommendations to us of what they think is the best thing to do, you know, for the fleet and for, and Tazlina crew quarters is, is I just wanted to start with that one since the Hubbard is already getting her crew quarters, and if the Taz is going to get them, they need to start planning that pretty darn soon.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:23:55 PM
Well, I, I I'm of two minds here, the, the, my first we reaction to this is I can't believe that we're still sitting here asking ourselves this question about the Tazlina at this point in time, because when this whole dust up occurred, I, I thought that decisions were made and funding was secured. And, and the decisions about the ACF were made. Since that is not the case. I guess what I have to come back to is
Wanetta Ayers - 3:24:33 PM
I agree that we should have a standardized set of vessels that our purpose built out was the original intention of the ACF was to be purpose built and why it didn't have crew quarters. And if the decision set was wrong, that led up to that. Then I, I really see, I think once again, we're getting ourselves into a position of making a decision that isn't op isn't really truly operations based because tell me where the Talina is going to be used and what the justification for crew quarters is. I understand that I, I, I know what all of the issues were with the, as we know when it came online and with the hub, but I just, I I'm uncomfortable with what feels like again, just sort of a haphazard decision making process, as opposed to clearly making a decision about a system where the vessel is going to be used or what purpose and how it optimizes the system.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:25:55 PM
I feel like we're headed down the road to I'll, I'll just say this because it's been on my mind. I think we're headed down the road of doing the same thing that we've always done, which is over building large vessels and not really thinking about smaller, more flexible vessels. And so I'm not, I don't really feel like I'm in a position to say yes or no about the Tazlina and the crew quarters, because I, I need to hear more discussion about what routes it's going to be on how it's going to be used and how those crew quarter are justified because of it. We, we are challenged with our system in terms of not being entirely comparable, for example, with Washington state ferries. Although I appreciate the, the longevity and the, the, of Washington state ferries, they have very different operating structure than Alaska does. They have much shorter routes and much different operating conditions. And so when it comes to a question like this with the Tazlina, I just, I feel like we're just we're, we we're gonna make more bad decisions because we're following in a long line of suboptimal decisions about particularly the Alaska class ferries. That's my perspective.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:27:24 PM
Okay. Thanks Wanetta. Matt, do you think, could you put out a, a white paper on the Tazlina crew quarters answering the questions exactly as Wanetta asked, cuz I know that information definitely exists. This has been, this has been talked about since 2015, I think, or 16. So, but that would help. Wanetta is right. Everything that we're doing needs to, you know, is gonna have long term impacts. So we need to make sure that we clearly understand them. And, and I, and I wanna be clear too. I'm not there's, there's no formal motion that I'm gonna ask to be put on the floor today to do this. I'm just trying to kind of get a feeling of where people are on these decision points and what kind of information, more information you may need so that when we're sitting down in Ketchikan we can really, we can really start to get somewhere. So before I go on, I'll just ask, oh, sorry, go ahead, Matt.
Matt McClaren - 3:28:24 PM
Well, I was just gonna say, yeah, we can, we can do that. I've got numbers analysis of the ACFs with and without crew orders and where they would run. We've got operating plans shown where they'd run. We do port calls, service levels and all that in there as well. And it also ties in a little bit to like the next bullet with the Aurora and LeConte what we do with them. We probably have to keep them around for a while longer, especially to cover summer, you know, in Southeast until we can get some docks fixed and done, especially, especially Pelican. So we can make sure we keep a 235 running to, to that port until the dock is fixed and, and to be able to accommodate the ACFs, but we can certainly show the numbers analysis and answer Wanetta's questions there.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:29:16 PM
Thank you. And if you could also looking at the Aurora and the LeConte put together comparison between the two vessels, because if, if the board is going to recommend that, that possibly one of those vessels stays on a little bit longer in the system, it would be very helpful to know which, which of those vessels would, would be that vessel to stay. So Captain Hillard has his hand up and then Alan.
Keith Hillard - 3:29:50 PM
So I just respond to this whole Slide here. One, I think we should put this slide on our next meetings agenda, stop
Keith Hillard - 3:30:01 PM
It, it, it's a very important one. The Tazlina should definitely get crew quarters, so it can be used anywhere. There's not many places it can be used in efficiently in the system without crew quarters and retiring the LeConte, Aurora. A lot of this stuff I would say, absolutely not. Cuz it's just putting us right back to where we were, where we're gonna be having a unacceptable level of service with, with the community. And, and we're gonna have, we've had comments on here already Pelican from Angoon, Kake, from other places they want the service. And part of the reason I joined this board was, is to try to get the public's trust back and people don't ride the boat, dynamic pricing, just things are too expensive. And, but I think this slide is, you know, we're, we're already over time here today. I don't want to keep going, but I think this, this slide should definitely be on our next presentation and we should talk about it more upfront because the basic level of service is one thing I keep coming back to and keep coming back to because that's what people are calling in and complaining about right now.
Keith Hillard - 3:31:25 PM
People are not getting the service they need to get places. And until we figure out what are basic basic level of services, what we need to ask legislators for money, what they need to provide year after year after year, cuz this is the bare minimum. It's hard to talk about the, you know, keeping the LeConte or Aurora or keeping a both or getting rid of them unless, you know, we know what's coming on line and, and other things. So I'll, I'll just stop there.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:31:58 PM
Okay. Alan
Alan Austerman - 3:32:00 PM
Yeah, basically the same. I think that the level of service that we're talking about and those numbers that they're throwing out on how many weeks and how many calls are things we need to take a, a stronger look on. And as far as the vessels are concerned, I, I agree. I don't want to see something today or for the, that just talks to about the Tazlina. I want see the overall discussion about all the ships. And I want to have a conversation about which of the ports that they all have, are being affected by moving them or losing them. And I don't see how we're gonna really get that kind of a conversation until we're in Ketchikan in May.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:32:53 PM
Okay. So Matt's not gonna be in the Ketchikan meeting. We're gonna miss him by day. So what I would request from, from all of the board members is when you look at these plan decision points and we we've seen them three times now, that we make sure that if, if have specific information that you're looking for, that you get that to Katherine. And so that when we, when we next, see this again, we, we start putting those pieces together that, that you're looking for. And, and so there's a lot of information that that would be helpful for us, but a lot of this information, these decision points are based on the modernization plan that we've looked at. So they, so they all tie together. So in terms of getting information, I'll email my thoughts to, to you Katherine, to gather information. And I would just really recommend the other, all board members do the same thing, whatever issue you wanna know about, make sure we have that information recording. You know, we meet again so we can start putting it together. Keith is your hands still up?
Keith Hillard - 3:34:14 PM
Nope. Sorry.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:34:15 PM
Okay. Wanetta.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:34:17 PM
So it, it would be helpful. I recognize that we've seen those questions before and we've see seen other information about vessels, but like for example, to have a really wholesome discussion on any one of those points, you know, I think we need to simultaneously be looking at all of that information much. What Alan's point was is to understanding systemically what the impact of a single decision is. And so for example, I'll go down the, the list to the question about the Matanuska We all know that that vessel is close to the end of its usable life.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:35:03 PM
And so, you know, the question that the things that I would really feel more comfortable about making some sort of a decision or recommendation about the Matanuska is, how much time does it truly buy us to do that project holding all of the things constant and that, and knowing that that's never the case. And likewise for, you know, is, is it extending the usable life? Are there other, you know, Coast Guard or regulatory issues that could possibly be impacting the vessel and how will the vessel spending that money is not going to change is my understanding the, you know, the operating capacity or the, the revenue potential of the Matanuska. And so that that's an important decision. So if, if we were a corporate board sitting here actually making these kinds of decisions, you know, those are the kinds of things that I, I think that we would be wanting to consider before we made any kind of a recommendation about something like that.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:36:22 PM
Yes, that's exactly what, what I'm looking for Wanetta, just exactly what you just asked about the Matanuska for all board members, get those questions, get those queries in to Katherine. So we can get this all tied together. Cause Wanetta is a hundred percent, right, Paul.
Paul Johnsen - 3:36:46 PM
Yeah. I thought I'd to throw my 2 cents in and I think the Tazlina definitely needs crew quarters. Otherwise, it's a kind of worthless ship. The retirement of the Aurora and LeConte. I think we retire at least one of 'em at the point that the Tazlina and the Hubbard can fill in when they're ready, then we should retire at least one, two mainliners follow the TRV design. Absolutely keep 'em up as, as, as much as we can, the same. And for the, the last proposal for the timeline they showed for the second mainliner to go through a, a process of developing specifications, I think the one and mainliner one and two should be identical. And as for the basic service levels and age of Kennicot retire, I don't think we we're ready to answer any of those. That's all I have.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:38:12 PM
Well, I think Katherine, you you'll know what we're looking for and kind of get that information to us so we can start going over that, going over that process on how they all connect. And again, if anyone comes up with any other questions or thoughts, make sure you get Katherine sooner than later, so she can have time to get that, get that wrapped up for us. Thanks, Matt. So I think Katherine, we are at, unless you have something you'd like to finish this out with.
Katherine Keith - 3:38:51 PM
I think, I think that wraps us up. The only decision point I would say is on April 22nd, does the board want a meeting that is technically our two weeks out it's spaced pretty evenly. It, it would, it would give you about a week of a break between the next in person meeting. So would you like to have this meeting? Would you like to skip it for the in person meeting? Wow. You have some working really hard at this and if you do want the meeting, what would you like to focus on?
Shirley Marquardt - 3:39:26 PM
Okay, thank you. I, I would, I would say yes. And I'd like for us to go to a couple things that we haven't really talked about yet, but, but it keeps coming up in, in the board discussion and that is pricing, fare pricing where we've been in the past, you know, what what works, what hasn't, and workforce development. I think we really need to, we need to put our workforce development and retainment of our employees up higher on the list, you know, no use having nice new vessels if we can't Chrome. So that would be my recommendation, Captain Hillard.
Keith Hillard - 3:40:10 PM
I, I would suggest that we, we definitely come up with a good agenda for the two day meeting on the next planned meeting, cuz we should know exactly who's gonna be there and who's not gonna be there on the 18th, I would think. And come up with a good agenda and all the questions and stuff that we are expecting to answered. So like you're suggesting if we're, if we're bringing in responses and, and, and questions to Katherine about tying all this stuff together and what it's all about, what we kind of want to see in Ketchikan isn't that correct?
Shirley Marquardt - 3:40:48 PM
So adding a draft agenda for the Ketchikan meeting Keith
Keith Hillard - 3:40:52 PM
Yeah, I think we should definitely sit there so we have a very focused two day meeting and it it's, there's a lot of commentary between us and like the last slide where we need to make some decisions and start making some recommendations and talking about drafting a letter to legislature and, and some of the points that we've we've had, I would like to see some follow through by the end of the two day meeting in Ketchikan, some progress forward.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:41:23 PM
Okay, Paul?
Paul Johnsen - 3:41:28 PM
Yes. I'm in favor of the meeting in two weeks. And as we discussed last week, I still think we should get the pros and cons of, of, from the administration for Hyder as replacement for Prince Rupert in the long term,
Shirley Marquardt - 3:41:49 PM
May, may I suggest that we ask staff to, to look into a white paper on that and provide it to the board members. And then we can decide if that's something that we, we want to spend time talking about. I, I think it would be helpful to get some background information on why AMHS is not an Hyder and what, what we're doing with Prince Rupert before we make a decision, we would, we wanna sit down and actually talk about making an operational change like that. And we might want to, I don't know, but I, but I'd like to see the information first. Alan.
Alan Austerman - 3:42:34 PM
Yeah. Thank you. At the next meeting we have on our schedule right now is the TRV and discussion about it. And I'm getting more and more feedback from places like Kodiak that are concerned about the width of it, the length of it, and the Tustamena barely fitting on the current dock complaints from both the oil company on one side of the dock and the can on the other side of the dock about interference with the Tustamena. So I'd like to make sure that we have that full discussion next meeting.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:43:23 PM
Can I jump in, ask Captain Falvey, can you just speak to this very briefly cuz I know this keeps coming up. It, it keeps just, it continues to come up, but, but it's not the case. So if, if Captain Falvey, if you wouldn't mind.
Captain Falvey - 3:43:39 PM
Yeah, sure. Madam chair. Yeah, no, the new TRV will fit, back when we were, oh gee, I think it was back in 2013 or 14. We, we also commissioned, you know, a study of, you know, the dock that exists the new dock that was gonna be built that wasn't done yet, but we had the design, we modeled both those ships sitting there, discussions were had at the time with Kodiak. They probably forget it's a long time ago. You've you've got, the new ship sits, you know, in, in, in a little different configuration than the current ship.
Captain Falvey - 3:44:26 PM
Actually the fuel dock behind has more room than the current ship and on the bow it's about the same. If you look at the, the two models side by side, but what we can do is we can bring that report with us. That's a documented report. And, and, and we actually studied every single dock that the new TRV would go to, all of them, Homer, Kodiak, all the way down the chain, every single one of 'em were modeled including Kodiak. And it was agreed that this will work per the design of what we were plan to build. And what we plan to build is what, what actually we built there. So yeah, we can do that, but we're, we're, we're confident that the TRVs gonna fit. And I think there's maybe some concerns that maybe, hopefully we can alleviate with modeling that we have in existence for quite some time.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:45:26 PM
Okay. Thank you. Sure. Then can I ask Alan, if you, if you get this information, if the, if the entire board gets this information and, and you can see for yourself, is that something that you still wanna leave on? Our, our schedule, that's getting kind of crowded. Uou're you're muted, Alan.
Alan Austerman - 3:45:51 PM
Sorry. I just went back original schedule and saw that it's on there and I just brought it up the subject, but yeah, any more information I get would be very helpful whether, whether we discuss it next week or whether we discuss it in Ketchikan doesn't make any difference.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:46:07 PM
Okay. Maybe we can take it off the agenda for our next meeting since we're getting pretty crowded. And thank you, Katherine, for the dock study and information there, That's a, that's a pretty full agenda again, but do we wanna leave the presentations for a service level for our in-person meeting part two days and clean this up a little bit for past practices and fares, staffing solutions or workforce development and the agenda planning for that meeting for our next zoom meeting.
Keith Hillard - 3:46:59 PM
I I'm gonna jump in here. This Captain Hillard. I, I thought that's what I made a motion for is, is just on the next meeting to finalize the, the agenda for the in person meeting.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:47:14 PM
Yes. And it, and it is on the agenda for the next meeting to do that. Those three items actually not just the agenda planning for the May meeting. Okay. Okay. If that's it for business, any closing comments from the board? I'll start with Captain Hillard.
Keith Hillard - 3:47:57 PM
No, I'm I'm good. Thank you,
Shirley Marquardt - 3:48:01 PM
Paul.
Paul Johnsen - 3:48:02 PM
Yeah, no comments
Shirley Marquardt - 3:48:05 PM
Norm.
Norm Carson - 3:48:08 PM
I'm looking forward. The next meeting you seem to be picking up steam here. Thank you,
Shirley Marquardt - 3:48:14 PM
Alan.
Alan Austerman - 3:48:15 PM
Just to thank the staff for all the information to keep on providing us and the more we get the better informed we become. Great meeting. Thanks.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:48:27 PM
Gosh, where am I, Wanetta.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:48:32 PM
Thanks Shirley. Yeah, just to add my appreciation to the AMHS team for providing all the information and to the board for the meeting. And I, I do hope that we can move towards, a, an informed, you know, business like approach to some of these decisions that will be or recommendations that we'll be in the future.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:49:02 PM
Great. Thank you. All right. I haven't missed anyone else. Thank you, Captain Falvey. Thank you, Matt. Thanks Katherine. And thanks Tera. Oh, you're welcome. Madam chair. Okay. Motion to adjourn. Move. Move. Second. We are adjourned at 3:49. Thank you. Goodbye.