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REGULAR MEETING OF THE IDAHO TRANSPORTATION BOARD

 

January 18, 2012

 

The Idaho Transportation Board met at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at the Idaho Transportation Department, Boise, Idaho. The following principals were present:

            Darrell V Manning, Chairman

            Gary Blick, Vice Chairman – District 4

            Jim Coleman, Member – District 1

            Janice B. Vassar, Member – District 2

            Dwight Horsch, Member – District 5

            Lee Gagner, Member – District 6

            Brian W. Ness, Director

Scott Stokes, Chief Deputy

            Sue S. Higgins, Executive Assistant and Secretary to the Board

            Larry Allen, Lead Deputy Attorney General

 

Board Minutes. Member Gagner made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular Board meeting held on December 14, 2011, the minutes of the special Board meeting held on December 23, 2011, and the minutes of the special Board meeting held on January 11, 2012 as submitted. Member Vassar seconded the motion and it passed unopposed.

 

Board Meeting Dates. The following meeting dates and locations were scheduled:

            February 8-9, 2012 – Boise

            March 14-15, 2012 – Boise

            April 18-19, 2012 – District 2

 

Consent Calendar. Member Gagner questioned the proposed changes to Board Policy B-14-06, Approval of Plans/Specifications/Estimates and the Award of Construction Projects, eliminating Board approval for all construction contract awards. Currently, the Board is required to approve the award of current year construction contracts when the total cost of the project is greater than $5 million, the engineer’s estimate is exceeded by more than ten percent, and the costs exceed the programmed amount. Chief Engineer (CE) Tom Cole said it is very rare that those three conditions exist, requiring Board approval. Requesting Board approval for those projects would delay the process approximately one month. Due to the infrequency of projects requiring Board approval and because of the time-consuming process, staff recommends removing that requirement. The award of all Idaho Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP) projects will still be presented to the Board for information.

 

Member Coleman made a motion, seconded by Member Horsch, and passed unopposed, to approve the following resolution:

RES. NO.        NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Idaho Transportation Board

ITB12-01        approves the addition of Ada County Highway District Overlays to FY12 of the Transportation Management Area Program; the addition of Statewide Road-Weather Information System Installation, Phase 2 to the Safety Program; the scope redefinition of five projects within FY12 of the Bridge Program; revisions to Board Policy B-01-09, Authority to Sign Agreements; retention of B-05-16, Maintenance of State Highways; deletion of B-06-42, Bidding and Contracting Rental Equipment; retention of B-12-16, Traffic Control Devices; and revisions to B-14-06, Approval of Plans/Specifications/Estimates and the Award of Construction Projects and has received and reviewed the contract award information, the professional services agreements and term agreement work task report, the report of speed minute entry changes for October through December 2011, and the administrative and legal settlements of right-of-way acquisitions.

 

1) Addition of Ada County Highway District (ACHD) Overlays to FY12 of the Transportation Management Area Program. The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho requested the addition of the ACHD District Overlays project to the FY12 Transportation Management Area Program. The $1.75 million project would be funded through savings.

 

2) Addition of Statewide Road-Weather Information System (RWIS) Installation, Phase 2 to the Safety Program. Staff requested the addition of the Statewide RWIS Installation, Phase 2 project for $450,000 to the FY12 Safety Program. The project, which will gather road and weather condition data and broadcast the information to consumers, would be funded by the removal of the FY12 Regional Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Architecture Update, key #11205, and FY12 Highway Advisory Radio Installation, key #11210 projects. Staff believes RWIS installations and upgrades throughout the state are a higher priority than the ITS projects.

 

3) Scope Redefinition of Five Projects within FY12 of the Bridge Program. Staff requested the redefinition of five bridge rehabilitation projects in the FY12 Bridge Program to more efficiently utilize funding by repairing and rehabilitating multiple structures within a region within one contract. The changes will downgrade the original scope of work to add repairs to additional structures. This will result in reduced mobilization, advertising, and bidding costs while addressing the most critical bridge asset needs in a more timely fashion.

 

The I-90, SH-41 Overpass Interchange #7 project, key #12985, was programmed for $420,000. The re-scoped project will be FY12 District 1 Bridge Repairs to add seven structures in the general vicinity with no change in total cost. The $420,000 I-84, Mayfield Road Interchange #71, key #13038, project will be expanded in scope as FY12 District 3 Bridge Deck Rehabilitations, Elmore and Ada Counties to add seven decks at a total cost of $3.01 million. The additional funding will be provided from savings. The US-93, Perrine Bridge, Near Twin Falls, key #12863, was programmed for $6.35 million. The revised project, FY12 District 4 Bridge Deck Rehabilitations, adds eleven decks in the region at the same cost. The $2.4 million I-84, Snake River Bridge Westbound, Near King Hill, key #12877 project is being re-scoped as I-84, King Hill to Wendell Overpass Repairs to repair five more bridges along the corridor at the same total cost. The I-84, Snake River Bridge Eastbound, Near King Hill, key #12876, was programmed for $2.45 million. This project is being re-scoped as I-84, Glenns Ferry to Power Plant Road Bridge Decks with deck rehabilitations at four locations for the same total cost.

 

4) Revisions to Board Policy B-01-09, Authority to Sign Agreements. This policy was updated to reflect the current organizational structure.

 

5) Retention of Board Policy B-05-16, Maintenance of State Highways. This policy was reviewed because it was signed in 2003. Staff believes the policy is still relevant and recommends retaining it with no changes.

 

6) Deletion of Board Policy B-06-42, Bidding and Contracting Rental Equipment. Staff recommends deleting this policy because the procedures for equipment rental are documented in the Maintenance and Purchasing Manuals.

 

7) Retention of Board Policy B-12-16, Traffic Control Devices. This policy was reviewed because it was signed in 2003. Staff believes the policy is still relevant and recommends retaining it with no changes.

 

8) Revisions to Board Policy B-14-06, Approval of Plans/Specifications/Estimates and the Award of Construction Projects. Staff recommends revising the policy to allow staff to award all current-year projects in the ITIP. The requirement for the Board to approve the award for projects that are over $5 million, over 10% of the engineer’s estimate, and the costs exceed the programmed amount and when a Board member has requested to review the project are being removed. The bid status of highway projects will continue to be provided on a monthly basis. The requirement for Roadway Design to produce the obligation chart is also being removed because this information is being provided by the Division of Administration as part of the monthly financial statements.

 

9) Contract Awards. Key #11526 – Government Way; Dalton to Hanley Avenue, District 1. Low bidder: M D M Construction, Inc. - $2,478,503.

 

Key #11012 – US-2, Moyie River Gorge Bridge, Moyie Springs, District 1. Low bidder: Razz Construction Inc. - $1,929,871.

 

The low bid on key #12296 – I-90, FY12 District 1 Bridge Deck Life Extension, was more than ten percent over the engineer’s estimate, requiring justification. The two bid items that differed significantly from the engineer’s estimate were Superpave and Superstructure Jacking. The small quantity and multiple locations of paving are hard to estimate for the Superpave item. Staff believes it underestimated this item by not providing enough weight to the minimal quantity and remote location of the paving. Headquarters recommended increasing the price for the Superstructure Jacking in the engineer’s estimate; however, the District did not get that change incorporated. Staff did not discover any obvious errors. Low bidder: West Company Inc. - $640,081.

 

Key #12388 – I-84, Junction SH-81 Interchange #228 to Milepost 239 Eastbound, Cassia County, District 4. Low bidder: Knife River Corporation - Northwest - $2,879,270.

 

Key #12068 – SH-75, Junction US-20 to Milepost 105.6, Blaine County, District 4. Low bidder: Knife River Corporation – Northwest - $707,092.

 

Keys #11601 and #12077 - US-20, Poison Creek to Milepost 181.1, Blaine County and Big Wood River Bridge, District 4. Low bidder: Knife River Corporation – Northwest - $2,038,142.

 

Key #11600 – SH-77, SH-46, and US-93, FY12 District 4 Districtwide Sealcoats. Low bidder: Knife River Corporation – Northwest - $1,741,559.

 

Key #11090 – I-84, FY12 District 4 Sign Upgrades. Low bidder: Amerigo Construction, Inc. - $95,691.

 

The low bid on key #11676 – US-20, Sheep Falls Road to Pine Haven Drive, Fremont County, District 6, was more than ten percent over the engineer’s estimate, requiring justification. The High Strength Pavement Geotextile item accounted for the majority of the difference between the low bid and the engineer’s estimate. Staff believes it underestimated this item, partly because it has never used this particular specification and had no accurate estimating basis to judge the unit cost. Low bidder: Western Construction, Inc. - $4,432,032.

 

Key #12125 – SH-31, Culvert Replacement Milepost 12.6 to Milepost 13.2. Low bidder: Depatco, Inc. - $993,755.

 

Key #11146 – US-20, FY12 District 6 Districtwide Bridge Preservation. Low bidder: Braun-Jensen, Inc. - $887,000.

 

Key #12468 – US-20, South Fork Teton River Bridge to North Rexburg Interchange #337, District 6. Low bidder: H-K Contractors, Inc. - $2,860,700.

 

Key #11666 – SH-33, Canyon Creek Bridge to Junction SH-32, Teton County, District 6. Low bidder: H-K Contractors, Inc. - $3,316,889.

 

Key #11663 – US-93, Cow Creek to Rattlesnake Creek, Lemhi County, District 6. Low bidder: H-K Contractors, Inc. - $4,996,629.

 

Key #11144 – US-20, FY12 District 6 Sign Upgrades, Phase 1. Low bidder: Beco Construction Company, Inc. - $91,844.

 

10) Professional Services Agreements and Term Agreement Work Task Report. From November 29 through December 30, $3,489,582 in new professional services agreements and work tasks were issued. Five supplemental agreements to existing agreements were processed in the amount of $345,300 during this period.

 

11) Report of Speed Minute Entry Changes for October through December 2011. The speed limit on SH-79 near Jerome, milepost 0.00 to milepost 0.26 was reduced from 55 miles per hour to 45.

 

12) Administrative and Legal Settlements of Right-of-Way Acquisitions. From July 1 through December 25, 2011, the Right-of-Way Section processed 66 parcels. There were 19 administrative settlements and 5 legal settlements during this time frame. 

 

Board Items. Chairman Manning mentioned his retirement at the end of this month. He noted the expertise and professionalism of the ITD employees and believes ITD is a great organization. He thanked the Board members for their service and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to work with the Board and ITD staff.

 

Director’s Report. Director Ness reported that the Legislative Services Office completed its audit for FY11. It concluded that ITD has complied with all laws, regulations, rules, grant agreements, and contracts that were audited for compliance. There were no findings or recommendations to report.

 

Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Jon Pope has left the Department. Strategic Funding Specialist Dave Tolman will be the acting CTO until the position is filled.

 

ITD’s presentation to the Joint Germane Committees will be on January 26 and the budget presentation to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee will be on February 10. Director Ness said he will meet with the chairs of the Senate Transportation Committee and House Transportation and Defense Committee on a regular basis during the legislative session.

 

Upcoming activities include the Idaho Future City competition, with many ITD employees assisting the students competing in the event, and meetings with other state agencies and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

 

The Idaho Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Consultants selected the replacement of two bridges over the Portneuf River on US-30 as the best project in the structural systems category. Director Ness also announced that a number of employees were honored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials for 25 years of service in the transportation industry, including District Engineers Ed Bala, Jim Carpenter, and Devin Rigby, CE Cole, Bridge Engineer Matt Farrar, Resource Center Manager Nestor Fernandez, Assistant District Engineers Scott Gurnsey and Andrea Storjohann, Chief Human Resource Officer Mary Harker, Highway Safety Manager Brent Jennings, and Highway Program Oversight Engineer Loren Thomas.

 

ITD co-sponsored a traffic management workshop with FHWA, according to Chief Deputy (CD) Stokes. Some of the participants included personnel from law enforcement, State Communications, and ITD maintenance crews. He believes it was a valuable and successful event.

 

CD Stokes distributed the dashboard report, highlighting some of the performance measures. Idaho’s decrease in fatality rate in 2011 was the best in the nation. Idaho’s rate declined from 1.53 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2010 to 1.38. He added that ITD has a lot more work to do to continue the downward trend in fatalities. The Department will continue its emphasis on this important issue with its various partners.

 

The percentage of ITD’s pavement in good or fair condition was 87% in 2011, which exceeded the goal of 82%. CD Stokes noted that the new management systems will forecast pavement conditions, which will be a valuable tool as the Department struggles with maintaining the current system with limited resources. The average time to process titles in 2011 was six days, which exceeded the goal of a seven-day turnaround time frame.

 

Director Ness reviewed the vision he established for ITD when he was selected as director in January 2010. He believes the first two years, focusing on building the foundation for the future, were successful. The Department is more transparent, accountable, and efficient. Its customer service has improved and it leverages effective partnerships. There is a high value on employees and their retention and development. Additionally, relationships with other entities have improved. Last year the Department was realigned to place more employees on the front line, reduce supervisory layers and the number of supervisors that only oversee one employee, and eliminate duplication of efforts. A total of $3.5 million in salary savings and $2.2 million in insurance savings were realized. With realignment completed, efforts on the employee classification study are underway.

 

This year, Director Ness will demonstrate the need for an adjustment in employee classification and compensation based on the results of the classification study. The cost of employee turnover at ITD is over $5 million annually. He gave examples of losing ITD employees to other public and private entities for salary increases, sometimes up to 40% more pay. Additionally, over 50% of employees will be eligible to retire over the next five years. He would like to invest the salary and turnover savings in employees. Other initiatives for 2012 are to strategically align the Department through implementation of the Strategic Plan and release the culture survey results and identify strategies to close the gap between the current culture and the ideal culture. Communication with employees will also continue to be a high priority.

 

Director Ness believes the 2012 initiatives will position the Department to seek additional revenue in 2013. Earlier, he said he would not ask for additional revenue until he could assure the taxpayers of Idaho that the Department is spending its revenue as efficiently, effectively, and wisely as possible. Director Ness believes he is close to meeting that promise.

 

Member Gagner asked about aligning individual performance plans with the Department’s goals. Director Ness acknowledged the difficultly of that task. A facilitator will provide assistance and Human Resources staff will provide training.

 

Member Horsch cautioned that if positions are vacant too long, the legislature may eliminate full-time equivalent positions. He also expressed concern with employee turnover, particularly the number of employees that will be eligible to retire in the next five years. He encouraged Director Ness to inform legislators of the current situation as well as the potential for significant turnover in the near future. Director Ness concurred with the importance of sharing that information. Vice Chairman Blick added frustration with the Department’s inability to provide competitive wages and noted that a number of local agencies pay more than the state.

 

Chairman Manning thanked Director Ness for the report and for his efforts and accomplishments.

 

Legislative Report. Government Affairs Manager (GAM) Mollie McCarty said ITD’s legislation to codify ITD as the recipient of Federal Transit Administration funding has been sent to print. Staff is monitoring the proposal to eliminate the differential speed limit for trucks and is providing assistance and answering questions on a number of other proposals. GAM McCarty added that the Idaho State Police submitted an emergency rule to prohibit texting and the use of cell phones by Commercial Drivers’ License holders while operating motor vehicles.

 

Member Coleman said the Access Review Committee met yesterday. The Committee intends to inform the legislature of its activities and potential remedies, including rule changes for next year.

 

Chairman Manning thanked GAM McCarty for the report.

 

Relinquishment of US-95 Spur to the City of Payette. District 3 Engineer (DE) Dave Jones reported that the City of Payette is willing to assume jurisdiction of the 1.4 mile US-95 Spur in exchange for ITD funding a new traffic signal at the US-95 and SH-52 intersection. The estimated cost of the signal is $200,000, which can be made available from project savings within District 3. The City has done some preliminary work on the project. DE Jones added that the Board Subcommittee on State Highway System Adjustments has approved the road closure and maintenance agreement.

 

Vice Chairman Blick said the Subcommittee recommends proceeding with this transfer. He commended DE Jones for this innovative approach. The Subcommittee encourages District Engineers to relinquish routes that do not function as state highways.

 

Vice Chairman Blick made a motion, seconded by Member Gagner, and passed unanimously, to approve the following resolution:

RES. NO.        WHEREAS, the City of Payette is willing to assume jurisdiction of the US-95  

ITB12-02        Spur in Payette in exchange for the Idaho Transportation Department funding a new traffic signal at the US-95 and SH-52 intersection; and

 

WHEREAS, the estimated cost of the signal is $200,000, which can be made available from current District 3 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program project savings; and

 

WHEREAS, the City of Payette and District 3 have negotiated a Road Closure and Maintenance Agreement as provided in Idaho Code, Section 40-203B; and

 

WHEREAS, during its January 18, 2012 meeting, the Board Subcommittee on State Highway System Adjustments approved the District’s request to transfer this segment of US-95 Spur to the City of Payette pending Board approval.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, as directed in the agreements, jurisdiction of the US-95 Spur can be transferred to the City of Payette and hereby is removed from the State Highway System effective immediately, in accordance with the Official Minute, as shown as Exhibit 412, which is made a part hereof with like effect.

 

Delegation – Cache Miller. Mr. Miller thanked the Board for its time. He expressed concern with the right-of-way acquisition process and questioned the Board’s oversight.

 

Chairman Manning replied that the Board has control of ITD and establishes policy. He emphasized that the federal and state regulations need to be followed.

 

Mr. Miller asked for the schedule to construct various phases of the SH-16 extension from SH-44 south. He expressed frustration with the time frame for ITD to acquire property, as the process is time-consuming. He believes compensation should take into consideration future projects that will impact an individual’s property. He also has issues with the definition of “just compensation” as outlined in the Department’s Right-of-Way Manual. He questioned the definition of “good faith” and believes it should include a fair design process, a reasonable time frame, and consideration.

 

Chairman Manning encouraged Mr. Miller to submit his questions on the construction schedule and proposed changes to the right-of-way acquisition process in writing. Staff will provide answers on the schedule and the Board will consider the procedural changes.

 

Vice Chairman Blick acknowledged Mr. Miller’s concerns and stated that the Board also has frustrations with the right-of-way acquisition process. After ITD announces plans to construct a new road, the value of property along the corridor often increases significantly, resulting in considerable cost increases to the Department. There are issues on both sides, but just compensation is the principal goal.

 

Mr. Miller said he will provide a list of concerns and requested the Board’s consideration. Chairman Manning thanked Mr. Miller for his remarks and said the issues will be looked into.

 

Overview of How Speed Limits are Established. First Lieutenant Thad Peterson with the Michigan Department of State Police Traffic Services Section presented an overview on establishing speed limits. He emphasized the importance of setting realistic speed limits. Speed limits that are established based on the speed that motorists drive results in good compliance, minimized crash rates, and less severe crashes when crashes occur. Speed limits should be set based on the 85th percentile: the speed at which 85% of drivers are traveling at or below.

 

Member Jerry Whitehead joined the meeting at this time.

 

First Lieutenant Peterson noted that Michigan had a higher crash rate when all of the work zones were posted at 45 miles per hour than when the speed limit was 60 except when workers were present.  Most of the crashes in Michigan occur in advance of the work zone, when traffic backs up because of the lower speed limit.

 

The Board thanked First Lieutenant Peterson for the informative presentation.

 

Tour of Business and Support Management (B&SM). The Board toured the B&SM Section and learned more about its responsibilities.

 

Executive Session on Personnel and Legal Issues. Vice Chairman Blick made a motion to meet in executive session at 11:55 AM to discuss personnel and legal issues as authorized in Idaho Code Section 67-2345(b) and (f). Member Gagner seconded the motion and it passed 6-0 by individual roll call vote.

 

A discussion was held on legal and personnel matters.

 

The Board came out of executive session at 1:05 PM. No final actions or decisions were made.

 

Monthly Financial Statements. Manager, Transportation Investments Dave Amick reported that net cumulative obligations were $71.2 million as of December 31, of which $76.5 million had a budget scheduled on October 1. The current total cost associated with the scheduled obligations is $96.3 million. Net cumulative obligations are slightly higher than the historical trend of $60.5 million for December.

 

Controller Gordon Wilmoth said the FHWA Indirect Cost Allocation revenue through November was $21,500,000, which exceeded the projected amount by $7,225,000. Revenue from the Equipment Buy Back program was $889,000, which was the projected amount. Miscellaneous state funded revenue of $14,342,000 was $1,514,000 above the forecast. Highway Distribution Account revenue, excluding ethanol exemption elimination, was $74,200,000. The projected revenue was $74,960,000. Revenue from the ethanol exemption elimination was $6,750,000, which was 6.7% below the projected amount. Revenue to the State Aeronautics Fund from aviation fuels was $698,000, or $48,000 below the forecast; however, he expressed optimism that the revised forecast will be realized.

 

Total expenditures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Title XII Fund for highway projects were $167,853,000, while $178,800,000 had been appropriated. Expenditures for public transportation were $7,660,000 of the $9,200,000 available. Controller Wilmoth noted that all of the Title XIV ARRA funds have been expended and there will be no more reports on that category.

 

Trucking Advisory Council (TAC) Membership Recommendations. Motor Vehicles Administrator Alan Frew said a statewide press release was issued in October seeking applications for the TAC. The applications were reviewed to ensure that each applicant had the required current participation in the trucking industry, either through ownership or employment. The seven-member council is comprised of one member from each ITD district, plus a chair selected from the state at large. The Council was established to assist and advise the Board on issues related to the trucking industry, such as safety, mobility, and freight transportation policies. The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will provide administrative support to the council.

 

Member Gagner made a motion, seconded by Member Whitehead, and passed unopposed, to approve the following resolution:

RES. NO.        WHEREAS, the Governor’s Motor Carrier Advisory Committee (MCAC) existed

ITB12-03        for many years as an important tool to provide the Idaho Transportation Department with valuable information regarding trucking and freight issues; and

 

WHEREAS, the Governor’s Office, in close consultation with stakeholder agencies, determined not to renew the Governor’s Executive Order, disbanding the MCAC in February 2010; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department recognizes the ongoing need to stay involved with the Idaho trucking industry as partners in highway transport, safety, operations, and freight management; and

 

WHEREAS, the Idaho Transportation Board has authority to establish internal structures deemed necessary for its duties; and

 

WHEREAS, the Motor Vehicle Administrator, in consultation with the trucking industry, recommends persons to terms as chair and members of the Trucking Advisory Council as follows:

                        Council Chair              Bill Moad             January 2012 – December 31, 2014

                        District 1 Member       Jack Buell             January 2012 – December 31, 2014

                        District 2 Member       Bill Stellmon        January 2012 – December 31, 2013

                        District 3 Member       Tony Black           January 2012 – December 31, 2012

                        District 4 Member       Kevin Iverson     January 2012 – December 31, 2014

                        District 5 Member       Evan Hayes          January 2012 – December 31, 2013

                        District 6 Member       John Pocock         January 2012 – December 31, 2012

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Idaho Transportation Board accepts the recommendations of the Motor Vehicle Administrator, establishing the Trucking Advisory Council with members and terms of service; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board appoints these persons to positions and terms of service on the Trucking Advisory Council as follows:

                        Council Chair              Bill Moad             January 2012 – December 31, 2014

                        District 1 Member       Jack Buell             January 2012 – December 31, 2014

                        District 2 Member       Bill Stellmon        January 2012 – December 31, 2013

                        District 3 Member       Tony Black           January 2012 – December 31, 2012

                        District 4 Member       Kevin Iverson      January 2012 – December 31, 2014

                        District 5 Member       Evan Hayes          January 2012 – December 31, 2013

                        District 6 Member       John Pocock         January 2012 – December 31, 2012; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOVLED, that the Board directs staff to provide the necessary administrative support to the Trucking Advisory Council for the efficient and timely disposition of their duties to the Board.

 

Annual Aeronautics Report. Aeronautics Advisory Board (AAB) Chairman Rodger Sorensen reported on some of the state’s aviation activities. The Environmental Impact Statement for relocating the Hailey Airport has been suspended due to issues with the Endangered Species Act and costs. Options to make the current airport viable are being considered. The City of Burley is continuing efforts to relocate its airport. A new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill is under consideration. The current extension will expire on January 31, 2012. A $100 fee for general aviation flights is being discussed to help pay for some of the associated costs, which is of major concern to the AAB and the aviation industry. 

 

AAB Member Mark Sweeney reported on charter and corporate aviation. The volatile nature of fuel costs continues to be a concern; however, there is optimism that business will increase in 2012. AAB Member Chip Kemper summarized the firefighting and agriculture-related activities. Both of those industries are seeing an increase in activity.

 

Aeronautics Administrator (AA) John DeThomas shared concerns related to meteorological test towers. The towers are difficult to see, creating a hazard. There has been some discussion on possible legislation to address that. Staff has been working with other entities on the comprehensive airport land use planning legislation. It appears there is broad support for the legislation. Although the Governor did not allow the proposed legislative changes to aircraft  and pilot registration, AA DeThomas believes the legislation should be submitted again next year. The DMV modernization project has a component for aircraft and pilot registrations. He believes it would be efficient to have DMV assume the registration responsibilities. In closing, he said that usage of the King Air was down in 2011, partly due to some misunderstandings. The King Air’s flight hours decreased 11% from the previous year and the number of passengers transported declined 24%.

 

The Division of Aeronautics’ staff provided reports on the various programs. Funding for the Idaho Airport Aid Program is $660,000, but is expected to decrease to $475,000 in FY13 due to declining revenue. The Division has established a process to use term agreements. Twelve firms have been selected for planning and/or developing projects. Pavement condition inspections were conducted at 32 airports. The five-year statewide Capital Investment Program is being developed in partnership with the FAA. This will help prioritize aviation projects. A 2010 Airport System Plan concluded that Idaho’s aviation industry generates $2.1 billion in economic activity and supports tens of thousands of jobs. The volunteer program continues to provide valuable assistance to the Department, as 1,300 man hours were recorded in 2011 performing activities such as mowing, painting, rodent control, and repairing fences at the 31 state-owned airports. Efforts are underway to update and enhance the volunteer network for search and rescue efforts. In 2011, there were 34 aviation accidents with 14 fatalities in Idaho.

 

In conclusion, AAB Chairman Sorensen recognized Chairman Manning and Vice Chairman Blick for their extensive service on the Transportation Board and to ITD.

 

Chairman Manning thanked the group for the report and the AAB Members for their assistance and dedication to the Department.

 

Old Business. Staff reviewed the legislative proposals presented to the Board last month allowing interest from the Rural Economic and Integrated Freight Transportation Program Fund (REDIFiT) to be used for periodic rail plan updates and the proposal to extend the expiration date on identification cards and drivers’ licenses for persons who will be out of state for an extended period of time. Staff has no concerns with the intent of the REDIFiT proposal and has no technical issues with the drivers’ license concept.

 

Member Gagner made a motion to accept staff’s review. The motion was seconded by Member Horsch and passed unanimously.

 

 

            WHEREUPON, the Idaho Transportation Board’s regular monthly meeting officially adjourned at 2:40 PM; however following adjournment, a program was held in recognition of Chairman Manning’s service on the Board and his extensive service to the State of Idaho.

 

 

   _____________signed_______________

JERRY WHITEHEAD, Chairman

Idaho Transportation Board

Read and Approved

February 9, 2012

Boise, Idaho

Page Last Modified: 2/10/2012 2:11:12 PM

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