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File #: 16-387    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Staff Report Status: Passed
File created: 5/20/2016 In control: City Council
On agenda: 6/1/2016 Final action: 6/1/2016
Sponsors: Edith Ramirez
Attachments: 1. Reaffirmation of HST Alternate Alignment Reso_revised(!)_FINAL, 2. 2009 Gilroy Morgan Hill Resolutions, 3. HSR Agreements Resolution, 4. Apex Strategies Consultant Agreement, 5. David Powers Review San Jose-Merced EIR-EIS Proj Docs 5-23-16, 6. Budget Scorecards CHSRA, 7. Morgan Hill Reimbursement Agreement, 8. City of Morgan Hill RA Budget, 9. 15 Presentation

CITY COUNCIL STAFF REPORT                       

MEETING DATE: June 1, 2016


PREPARED BY:                     Edith Ramirez/Economic Development Manager/ Community Development

APPROVED BY:                     City Manager                                          








1.                     Receive presentation by High Speed Rail Staff regarding status of project;

2.                     Adopt resolution reaffirming the City of Morgan Hill's position that Highway 101 is the preferred alignment for High Speed Rail (HSR) through Morgan Hill;

3.                     Adopt resolution:

a.                     Approving a Consultant Agreement with David J. Powers and Associates for technical support services related to environmental review of High Speed Rail, including a budget amendment of $64,810;

b.                     Directing the City Manager to negotiate and enter into a Reimbursement Agreement with the California High Speed Rail Authority in substantially the same form as the Agreement attached to the report for reimbursement of staff time and consultant work related to the City’s review of the High Speed Rail project;

c.                     Directing the City Manager to negotiate and enter into a Consultant Agreement with Apex  Strategies for policy and advocacy support with regional and state agencies regarding High Speed Retail project and other regional transportation initiatives, including a budget amendment of $97,125; and

4.                     Direct Morgan Hill team to coordinate a group of cities and governmental entities to advocate for South County-related regional issues associated with High Speed Rail and other regional transportation initiatives.





Ongoing Priorities

Protecting the environment

Maintaining fiscal responsibility

Preserving and cultivating public trust


2016 Focus Areas

Planning Our Community

Developing Our Community

Participating in Regional Issues


The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is the State Agency responsible for the planning, design and construction of the California  high speed rail system that will connect the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles (eventually from Sacramento to San Diego) with a train system that will run at speeds of over 200 miles per hour. The envisioned San Francisco to Los Angeles High Speed Rail (HSR) connection will offer users an alternate transportation mode connecting northern and southern California via a three hour train ride. Additionally, the HSR will have train stations in Gilroy and San Jose, providing Bay Area residents with an additional local transportation option, further connecting the region, alleviating pressure on local freeways and roads and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


The project level Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) evaluated two potential rail alignments through Morgan Hill including an alignment adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) through the center of town and Downtown,  and a second alternative along Highway 101. The first alignment from San Jose to north Morgan Hill is envisioned to be at-grade. The alignment south of Cochrane Avenue is envisioned to utilize an aerial structure that would have a minimum 17 foot clearance at the intersections of Main,  Dunne, San Pedro and Tennant Avenues.  The second alignment option along Highway 101 is envisioned as an aerial structure located on the east side of the freeway from the Coyote Creek Bridge to south of Dunne Avenue. This alignment is proposed to run diagonally across the outdoor sports fields, and east of the Aquatic Center, continuing southeasterly toward Murphy Avenue.


The City of Morgan Hill has expressed support for the High Speed Rail project and issued a joint resolution with the City of Gilroy in support of a preferred alignment along Highway 101 through Morgan Hill and Gilroy, with Gilroy as the preferred station location. 


Construction for the HSR is already underway in Central Valley with a 32-mile stretch between Madera and Fresno Counties. Scoping meetings are underway for the San Francisco to San Jose project section and open house meetings recently took place in Gilroy and San Jose to discuss and get input on the San Jose to Merced Project Section.


The 2016 Business Plan for HSR sets forth a plan to connect the Central Valley and Silicon Valley by 2024. The Business Plan provides a path forward to complete the San Francisco to Central Valley segment of HSR. The CHSRA is offering the City of Morgan Hill and any other impacted communities an opportunity to enter into a reimbursement agreement to assist with the cost of evaluation of the project.


Attached for Council's consideration is an agreement between the CHSRA and the City of Morgan Hill that will reimburse the City for staff and consultant time associated with technical engineering review support for a total amount not to exceed $409,641.22. The estimated amount is based on a scope of work framework provided by CHSRA and includes consultant services. The Agreement assumes the City will pay the costs upfront, and be provided monthly reimbursements.


In order to adequately provide feedback regarding project alternatives, it is recommended that the City of Morgan Hill retain the services of David J. Powers & Associates(DJP&A) to provide technical support associated with the analysis of the San Jose to Merced Project Section review that will include the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Draft Environmental Impact Statement. DJP&A will help review the preliminary engineering documents and help assess potential impacts. Attached, for the Council's consideration is a contract in the amount of $64,810 with DJP&A, which is anticipated to be reimbursed by HSR as part of the HSR Reimbursement Agreement.


In addition to DJP&A technical support, it is recommended that Council approve an agreement with Apex Strategies to assist with strategy and policy advocacy to ensure Morgan Hill is engaging in the regional conversations taking place regarding the HSR project. Apex Strategies will help monitor the project and help coordinate with regional stakeholders. Eileen Goodwin, President at Apex Strategies has thirty years of leadership experience in transportation projects.  Attached, for the Council's consideration is a contract for $97,125 for a total of 335 hours.  The scope of work for Apex Strategies is fairly broad in nature, allowing for support services with HSR as well as other related  regional transportation issues, including monitoring and identifying opportunities with MTC, ABAG One Bay Area, CTC, Caltrans and other relevant regional bodies. It is important to note that only HSR-related work can be reimbursed per the HSR Reimbursement Agreement. Any other work outside of HSR, would be financed by the City's Long Range Planning Fund (Fund 207).


Finally, it is recommended that the City approve the attached resolution, restating its position on the City of Morgan Hill preferred alignment along Highway 101 and Gilroy as a station location.  Additionally, it is recommended that City Council directs the Morgan Hill team to work toward creating a group of cities and governmental entities to advocate concerning South County-related regional issues associated with High Speed Rail and similar projects of regional impact. This group should include key City representatives of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, County of Santa Clara and San Jose.


COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:                     Inform

HSR has held community open houses in Gilroy and San Jose to present the project and get input on the San Jose to Merced Project Section. The City of Morgan Hill has a HSR web page that provides basic information on the project and links to HSR staff and website for additional information. 



The Council may choose not to approve the reimbursement agreement and any of the consultant agreements for technical review and policy support on HSR.



There have been no previous actions on a reimbursement agreement for HSR. On December 2, 2009, the City Council approved a Joint Resolution with the City of Gilroy stating that the Cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill oppose the preferred corridor alignment adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way through Downtown Morgan Hill, suggesting that the CHSRA consider alternate alignments using the Highway 101 corridor and supporting a Gilroy station location.  On April 26, 2010, the City issued a letter to CHSRA commenting on the Revised Draft Project Level EIR/EIS for the project section from San Jose to Merced. The letter stated concerns about the visual/aesthetic impact and potential displacement of commercial property and loss of heritage trees for the alignment along the UPRR corridor. The letter also asked for a more complete visual analysis of the impact of the aerial structure.



The Reimbursement Agreement with CHSRA provides a total of $409,641.22, for work which is expected to be completed during a 24 to 36 month period of time.  Staff time as well as consultant contracts with DJP&A ($64,810) and Apex Strategies ($97,125) will be reimbursed by HSR but monies will have to be paid up front by the General Fund. However, it is anticipated that about a third of the Apex Strategies contract, or approximately $31,000, will be paid by Fund 207 and is not eligible for reimbursement by HSR.


CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act): 

Not a Project


By the definition provided in the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines Section 15378 this item does not qualify as a "project" and is therefore exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act requirements.



a)                     Resolution reaffirming the City of Morgan Hill's position on HSR

b)                     2009 Joint Resolution on HSR

c)                     Resolution for three contracts

d)                     Apex Strategies Contract

e)                     David J. Powers and Associates Contract

f)                     CHSRA Reimbursement Agreement,

g)                     City of Morgan Hill RA Budget

h)                     Budget Scorecards