Today's Law As Amended


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SB-1029 North Coast Railroad Authority.(2017-2018)



As Amends the Law Today
As Amends the Law on Nov 08, 2018


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares that the North Coast Railroad Authority’s railroad tracks, rights-of-way, and other properties provide an opportunity to create a Great Redwood Trail for hiking, biking, and riding, that may be in the public and economic best interests of the north coast.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13978.9 is added to the Government Code, to read:

13978.9.
 (a) Upon the appropriation of moneys by the Legislature for these purposes, the Transportation Agency, in consultation with the Natural Resources Agency, shall conduct an assessment of the North Coast Railroad Authority to provide information necessary to determine the most appropriate way to dissolve the North Coast Railroad Authority and dispense with its assets and liabilities. The Transportation Agency shall report to the Legislature before July 1, 2020, on its findings and recommendations from the assessment. The report shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) An assessment of the North Coast Railroad Authority’s debts, liabilities, contractual obligations, and litigation.
(2) An assessment of the North Coast Railroad Authority’s assets, including property, rights-of-way, easements, and equipment.
(3) An assessment of the North Coast Railroad Authority’s freight contractor lease, including the contractor’s assets and liabilities to the extent that information is available.
(4) A preliminary assessment of the viability of constructing a trail on the entirety of, or a portion of, the property, rights-of-way, or easements owned by the North Coast Railroad Authority, and recommendations relating to the possible construction of a trail, including both of the following:
(A) Options for railbanking and the governance structure or ownership structure for a new or successor entity that is necessary to railbank property, rights-of-way, and easements along the rail corridor.
(B) A preliminary assessment of which portions of the terrain along the rail corridor may be suitable for a trail.
(5) An assessment of the options for transferring the southern portion of the rail corridor to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District and recommendations on the specific assets and liabilities that could be transferred, including rights or abilities to operate freight rail.
(b) The Transportation Agency and the Natural Resources Agency may request the Department of General Services, the Department of Finance, or any department within their agencies, or contract with other entities, to perform the work the agencies deem necessary to carry out the duties described in this section. Any work done by the Department of General Services, the Department of Finance, or any department within the agencies pursuant to such a request may be conducted using the power and authority of the requested department.
(c) The Transportation Agency shall prioritize the assessment of the southern portion of the rail corridor and may separately report information related to the potential transfer of the southern portion of the rail corridor to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District. It is the intent of the Legislature that information and recommendations regarding the potential transfer of the southern portion of the rail corridor to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District be provided as expeditiously as possible and not be delayed due to the potential complexity of assessing the northern portion of the rail corridor.
(d) (1) A report to be submitted pursuant to this section shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5, this section is repealed on January 1, 2024.

SEC. 3.

 Section 93000 of the Government Code is amended to read:

93000.
 (a)  This title shall be known and may be cited as the North Coast Railroad Authority Closure and Transition to Trails  Act.
(b) This section shall become inoperative on March 1, 2022, and, as of January 1, 2023, is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 93001 of the Government Code is repealed.

SEC. 5.

 Section 93002 of the Government Code is repealed.

SEC. 6.

 Section 93003 of the Government Code is repealed.

SEC. 7.

 Section 93003 is added to the Government Code, to read:

93003.
 The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to dissolve the authority, and to transfer its rights-of-way to other entities for the purpose of potentially developing a trail that could include railbanking and continuing freight where it was operational on January 1, 2018.

SEC. 8.

 Section 93010 of the Government Code is amended to read:

93010.
 (a) The North Coast Railroad Authority  authority  is hereby created, having a service area comprising  comprised of  the Counties of Humboldt, Marin,  Mendocino, Sonoma, and Trinity.
(b) On March 1, 2022, the North Coast Railroad Authority shall be renamed the Great Redwood Trail Agency.
(c) Whenever the term “North Coast Railroad Authority” appears in a law, the term means the “Great Redwood Trail Agency.”
(d) (b)  Existing supplies, forms, insignias, signs, logos, uniforms, emblems, and other materials shall not be destroyed or changed as a result of renaming the North Coast Railroad Authority as the Great Redwood Trail Agency, and those materials shall continue to be used until exhausted or unserviceable. The County of Marin may elect to join the authority and, if that election is made, the authority is expanded to include that county. 

SEC. 9.

 Section 93020 of the Government Code is amended to read:

93020.
 (a) The authority has all of the following powers:
(1) To acquire, own, operate, and lease real and personal property reasonably related to the furtherance of the purposes of this title.  title, the planned transfer of all of its assets, and its dissolution.  Any sale, easement, or lease entered into by the authority after August 1, 2018, shall be approved by the California Transportation Commission.
(2) To operate railroads along the rights-of-way where they were in operation on January 1, 2018.
(3) To accept grants or loans from state or federal agencies.
(4) To employ an executive officer, other staff, and consultants deemed appropriate for support of the activities of the authority, to further the purposes of this title.
(b) The authority shall do all of the following:
(1) In coordination with state agencies, immediately begin planning for the transfer of all of the authority’s assets and liabilities and for the dissolution of the authority.
(2) Cooperate with its freight contractor to continue freight operations along the rights-of-way where they were in operation on January 1, 2018.
(b) (3)  The authority shall cooperate  Cooperate  with, and provide information upon request to, the Transportation Agency, Natural Resources Agency, or other state or local agencies or contractors working at the direction of the Transportation Agency or Natural Resources Agency.
(c) (4)  This section shall become inoperative on March 1, 2022, and, as of January 1, 2023, is repealed. Cooperate fully with the assessment conducted pursuant to Section 13978.9. 

SEC. 10.

 Section 93021 of the Government Code is amended to read:

93021.
 (a)  The authority may acquire, own, lease, and operate railroad lines and equipment, including, but not limited to, real and personal property, tracks, rights-of-way, equipment, and facilities, to further the purposes of this title.
(b) This section shall become inoperative on March 1, 2022, and, as of January 1, 2023, is repealed.

SEC. 11.

 Section 93022 of the Government Code is repealed.

93022.
 (a) To the extent funding is available, the agency shall do all of the following:
(1) Initiate, complete, or initiate and complete the federal Surface Transportation Board’s railbanking process on its rail rights-of-way. The federal Surface Transportation Board’s railbanking process may be initiated, completed, or initiated and completed by segment of the rail rights-of-way.
(2) Inventory any parcel, easement, or contract related to its rail rights-of-way.
(3) Complete an environmental assessment of the conditions of the rail rights-of-way for purposes of trail development.
(4) Plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain a trail in, or parallel to, the rail rights-of-way.
(5) Conduct a thorough community engagement process that includes landowners, trail advocates, environmental groups, and the community at large. Items to be discussed during this process include, but are not limited to, trail configurations in, and parallel to, the rail rights-of-way, including those on public lands, connecting the trail to other trails, and rail-crossing access and fees.
(6) Honor existing trail licenses and work with local and state governments, tribal governments, and community groups to expeditiously provide new trail license agreements that meet the goal of this title.
(7) Use the services of the California Conservation Corps or certified community conservation corps, as defined in Section 14507.5 of the Public Resources Code, wherever feasible, for projects related to trails, environmental enhancements, and restoration, and other improvement projects.
(8) Use the services of conservation organizations, wherever feasible, for projects related to trails, fishing access, fish passage barrier restoration, and other environmental enhancement, restoration, and improvement projects.
(9) Prepare and implement a master plan for the rail rights-of-way, including any environmental analysis required pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).
(10) Before January 1, 2024, and annually thereafter, submit a report to the Legislature, in compliance with Section 9795, describing the agency’s progress towards fulfilling the requirements and goals relating to the rail rights-of-way.
(b) To the extent funding is available, the agency may do any of the following:
(1) Contract with public and private entities for trail management.
(2) Contract with an operator to operate excursion rail service, except that the excursion rail service shall not interfere with or harm the rail rights-of-way. The operator shall pay all expenses associated with rail construction, maintenance, and operation, including equipment, track safety, bridges, trestles, and pedestrian safety applicable to the excursion rail service.
(3) Work with landowners, fishing organizations, and others to locate and provide fishing and river access along the rail rights-of-way and to discourage and prevent trespassing on private property.
(c) This section shall become operative on March 1, 2022.

SEC. 12.

 Section 93022 is added to the Government Code, to read:

93022.
 The authority shall cooperate with the assessment conducted by the Transportation Agency and Natural Resources Agency pursuant to Section 13978.9, and shall provide access to all authority records, files, documents, accounts, reports, correspondence, and financial affairs to the agencies, and any entity conducting the assessment for the agencies, pursuant to Section 13978.9.

SEC. 13.

 Section 93023 of the Government Code is repealed.

SEC. 14.

 Section 93024 of the Government Code is repealed.

93024.
 (a) The agency shall have and may exercise all rights and powers, expressed or implied, necessary to carry out the purposes and intent of this title, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) To enter into and perform all necessary contracts pursuant to Article 53.5 (commencing with Section 20815) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code. For purposes of Article 53.5 (commencing with Section 20815) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of the Public Contract Code, the agency is a recreation and park district.
(2) To fix and collect fees for the use of any land owned or controlled, or for any service provided, by the agency. This subdivision does not authorize the agency to fix or collect a fee for public access to the land owned or controlled by the agency.
(3) To make grants.
(4) To acquire any real or personal property within or outside the agency, to hold, manage, occupy, dispose of, convey and encumber the property, and to create a leasehold interest in the property for the benefit of the agency.
(5) To lease, rent, sell, exchange, or transfer interests in real property if doing so is both consistent with the potential full restoration of railroad use upon an order of the federal Surface Transportation Board without cost to the agency, and would not interfere with the continuous use of the rail rights-of-way pursuant to trail standards recommended by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
(6) To undertake or fund projects and programs implementing this title or relating to the rail rights-of-way.
(7) To provide for the management of the rail rights-of-way.
(8) To apply for and accept grants, gifts, donations of money and property, subventions, rents, royalties, or other assistance from public or private sources.
(9) To recruit and coordinate volunteers and experts to conduct interpretive and recreational programs, and to assist with construction projects and the maintenance of facilities.
(10) To enter into contracts and joint powers agreements pursuant to the Joint Exercise of Powers Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of Title 1).
(11) To sue and be sued.
(12) To contract with the State Coastal Conservancy, a state agency, or another organization to staff the agency. A state agency may contract with, and provide services to, the agency consistent with Section 11256. Upon a state agency contracting with the agency, the state agency may contract for professional services on behalf of the agency pursuant to Section 4526 and the state agency’s regulations.
(13) To hire and appoint necessary employees, to define their qualifications and duties, and to provide a schedule of compensation for performance of their duties.
(14) To engage counsel and other professional services.
(15) To borrow money, give security therefor, and purchase on contract.
(16) To adopt a seal and alter it at pleasure.
(17) To adopt ordinances following the procedures of Article 7 (commencing with Section 25120) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 2 of Title 3.
(18) To adopt and enforce rules and regulations for the administration, operation, use, and maintenance of trails, excursion rail service, and other recreational facilities and programs implemented pursuant to this title.
(19) To provide insurance pursuant to Part 6 (commencing with Section 989) of Division 3.6 of Title 1.
(b) This section shall become operative on March 1, 2022.

SEC. 15.

 Section 105095 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

105095.
 The district may provide a rail transit system for the transportation of passengers and their incidental baggage by rail and provision of freight service by rail.
SEC. 16.
  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SEC. 17.
 The sum of four million dollars ($4,000,000) is hereby appropriated to the State Transportation Agency from the Public Transportation Account for rail improvements on the corridor owned by the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District and the North Coast Railroad Authority. These moneys shall be allocated to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District for the acquisition of freight rights and equipment from the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company to ensure efficient provision of goods movement requirements in the corridor in the context of growing passenger service. Following a signed baseline agreement between the State Transportation Agency and the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District that articulates deliverables, the anticipated expenditure schedule, and reporting requirements, the Secretary of Transportation may transfer these moneys to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District pursuant to the provisions of the baseline agreement. These moneys shall not be transferred to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District for the acquisition of freight rights and equipment from the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company unless the terms and conditions of the baseline agreement have been approved by both the Secretary of Transportation and the Director of Finance. If these moneys are not transferred to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District within two years of the chaptering of this act, these moneys shall be returned to the Public Transportation Account.