Idaho Transportation board members discussed and refined a draft of the FY06 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) – the department’s five-year roadmap for construction activities – during the first day of a three-day meeting last week in Idaho Falls and Rigby.
Meeting in the Idaho Falls Public Library, the board also considered the proposed budget for FY07, based on the most current information available. Estimated federal funds in the appropriation request total $253.4 million, and state revenues are estimated at $204 million.
A 1 percent change in employee compensation (CEC) has been added for permanent positions and group costs, while a 4 percent “reserve” for CEC has been included in Contract Construction. The full-time equivalent positions remain at the FY06 level of 1,833.5. Operating expenses are being increased 1.9 percent, capital facilities total $3.9 million, and the out-of-state travel request is $413,620.
The budget proposal includes three program enhancements totaling $11 million:
ITD staff will continue to refine the budget proposal and present it to the board for approval in August before submitting it to the Governor’s Office.
The FY06-10 STIP includes highway, public transportation and aeronautics projects. The FY07 appropriation request is $483.5 million: $188.3 million for operations and $295.2 million for capital investments and trustee and benefit payments. Funding for capital investments includes $325.5 million (which represents 89 percent of the budget) for highways; $28.4 million (8 percent) for aeronautics; and $9.3 million (3 percent) for public transportation.
The regular Board meeting followed in the District 6 office at Rigby on June 16.
Public Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC)
The PTAC was created by Idaho Code to advise the transportation department on public transportation issues and policies. The council is composed of six members appointed by the board, with one member representing each of ITD’s six districts. Board members expressed their appreciation to all PTAC members for their service, saying they rely heavily on the council for recommendations and guidance to address the state’s numerous transit issues.
GARVEE Program management
The present highway construction program is between $250 million and $300 million annually, encompassing 100-150 projects. The Connecting Idaho Initiative, a $1.6 billion program, will increase the department’s workload by about 50 percent. The GARVEE Program includes 13 highway segments, representing 35-70 projects scheduled for completion over a 10-15-year period.
Services within ITD that will need to be supplemented to bring those projects in on time and budget include design, right-of-way, environmental, materials, traffic and construction.
ITD has explored options for a new program management approach. Based on research and discussions, Chief Engineer Steve Hutchinson believes the best approach for ITD to deliver on-time and on-budget projects is through a manager-owner agent consultant.
The board authorized staff to develop a request for proposals (RFP) for the services of a program manager-owner agent consultant to assist in the implementation, delivery and reporting necessary to successfully achieve the Connecting Idaho program objectives.
District 6 board tour
The board also met with local officials during the day.
Representatives from the city of Rexburg discussed completion of their downtown revitalization plan. Staff members in the District 6 office assisted the city because Main Street in Rexburg also is part of Idaho 33.
A number of options are being explored to address growth-related issues and parking concerns. The board encouraged the city to assume jurisdiction of the portion of Idaho 33 that traverses through town. This system action would result in the city’s exclusive control of the route and provide more flexibility in addressing its transportation needs.
For system continuity, a portion of nearby U.S. 20 also would become Idaho 33 because the two highways intersect at the south end of Rexburg and also extend a couple of miles north of the city.