Washington Association of Rail Passengers Board of Directors Meeting April 12, 1997 Old Spaghetti Factory, Seattle, WashingtonAttendees:
The meeting was called to order at 12:50 pm by Chuck Mott, President. The agenda was approved with the deletion of item 5, as no presentation was scheduled, and the addition of an item on King Street Station.
The motion to approve the meeting minutes for February 8, 1997, was approved unanimously. Meeting minutes for the March Regional meeting for the National Association of Rail Passengers were not filed as WashARP business was not conducted at that meeting.
The treasurers reported a positive cash flow despite a sizable outlay for the regional meeting in March. WashARP received a foundation donation in memorandum in the amount of $1,000 to be used for equipment.
Vice President West Dennis Fait attended the Commuter Passenger Rail Coalition meeting and reports that the process of consolidating that group into WashARP is underway with financial details being worked out.
Puget Sound Regional Council meets on April 24 to discuss implementation and location of rail lines for RTA. Director for the RTA project has been hired to start in June and contract finalization is on schedule. Of note, a Redmond "Citizens for Public Transportation" group was formed during the RTA campaign to counter the lack of support evident in neighboring Bellevue.
Executive Director Lloyd Flem reported on possible station sites in Leavenworth, Ellensburg and Harrington. WashARP's George Benson and Lloyd met with the Transportation reporter from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer who showed strong support of the rail issue.
The rail budget as it stands will maintain programs but offers no improvement and nothing for King Street Station. Karen Schmidt has come around to support the transportation budget though she and Senator Prince are "banking" on the unlikely-to-pass gas tax.
Due to popularity of rail routes and subsequent higher revenue, a $2 million "profit" may be allocated to a partial Pioneer route replacement: unlikely allies Karen Schmidt and Ruth Fisher both support that option.
Transportation Secretary Sid Morrison is singing rail's praises as Secretary of State Ralph Munro meets with representatives of the Spanish firm selling trainsets to Washington.
Support for the gas tax brings us into coalition with highway interests, a tactical maneuver which will gain rail support.
National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP) President Jack Martin, featured speaker at the March Regional meeting, complimented WashARP on our informative and well-run meeting.
Amtrak's Flexliner will be in Oregon for a demonstration run on May 5th. The equipment is in high demand around the country.
Interesting cost comparison: the cost of shutting down Amtrak would be greater than the amount allocated to keep it running for the 5 years of the budget appropriation, due to on-going expenses for retirement, severance, equipment and replacement transport.
The June meeting will be held at The Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant located at 2801 Elliott Avenue, Seattle, from noon to 3:05 pm. Entrees must be selected and paid for as you enter. In preparation for the December meeting, three location options were voted on in the following order of preference: (1) The Iron Horse, (2) The Old Spaghetti Factory, (3) Tony Roma's. The meeting coordinators will research availability.
The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m. A tour of the waterfront trolley barn followed the meeting.
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