Idaho law requires that local highway jurisdictions annually report to the Idaho Transportation Department the number of improved miles in their highway system. Funds from the Highway Distribution Account are apportioned to local agencies based on the number of improved highways miles within their respective jurisdictions.
The ITD director is required to certify the number of improved miles to the State Controller every year.
Because of reductions in the Division of Transportation Planning and Programming staff and new work priorities, administrator Matt Moore reported that efforts are under way to allow local entities to map and certify improved highways. Local jurisdictions can use ITD’s State Planning and Research funds and in-kind staff resources.
The Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC) approved a cooperative agreement with ITD to establish a Local Highway Inventory Program. The transportation board followed suit by approving the agreement.
The proposed budget is $202,000 for the first year, followed by an average of $169,000 per year for years 2-5. An average of $176,000 per year in State Planning and Research funds will be used. In the third year, ITD and LHTAC will begin to develop a plan for funding the inventory process at the local level after the initial five-year period.
Other board discussion
Interagency Regional Operations Center (IROC)
The board also recognized the potential to consolidate public transit operations. A state-of-the art facility could help meet the growing demands of the region and improve statewide intelligent transportation system capabilities.
Mobility Services Engineer Bob Koeberlein requested – and received – board concurrence to continue participating in the multi-agency partnership and to further define the proposed IROC.
One of the next steps will be to secure commitments to the project from other agencies.
Options for participation include:
Other work will include identifying potential capital funding sources, negotiating for a site, and reporting to the board on a periodic basis while seeking additional approvals as needed.
Development Impact Fees
Bruce Mills, deputy director for the Ada County Highway District’s Technical Services Division, provided an overview of impact fees in Idaho. State law defines impact fees as a payment of money imposed as condition of development approval to pay for a proportionate share of the cost of system improvements needed to serve new development.
Only local government jurisdictions with ordinance authority can collect impact fees to pay for capital public facilities that serve new growth.
Although ITD cannot receive impact fees, Mills said the department can receive right-of-way, system improvements and possibly funds through a voluntary private agreement with a developer or the land-use agency requiring those items as a condition of development approval.
Mills discussed ways to work together within the existing statutes and suggested ways to revise the state law to allow ITD to collect impact fees. He also volunteered to work with ITD in pursuing the revenue option. ACHD believes that helping ITD obtain impact fee collection authority is a “win-win” situation because everybody benefits from a good, improved transportation system.
Board members expressed their appreciation for the informative presentation and accepted Mills’ offer of assistance. ITD staff members will work with ACHD to address impact fee options.
Extension of Idaho 46
In 1997, ITD entered into memorandums of understanding with the impacted local jurisdictions to develop the route as an extension of Idaho 46. The Wendell Highway District completed the right-of-way appraisals and negotiations. On the southern end of the route, the city of Buhl and the Buhl Highway District continue their right-of-way activities.
Because the local jurisdictions do not have funds to complete right-of-way acquisitions, the transportation board approved $1 million from the State Board Unallocated Account to acquire right-of-way for the project.