ITD Director Pam Lowe outlined the department’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget proposal and requested authorization for an additional $134 million in GARVEE bonds when she and department leaders met with the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee Thursday.
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter recommends a $681.8 million budget for the state’s transportation system for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The budget includes $305 million in federal funds, $235.9 million in state funds, $6.9 million from other sources and the $134 million GARVEE bond request.
More than three-fourths of the federal sources ($235.8 million) and 17.5 percent ($41.4 million) of the state sources in the FY 09 budget would be used for contract construction, according to ITD’s proposal.
A slowing economy prompted ITD to revise revenue projections for both the current fiscal year and FY 09 downward by $10 million, Lowe told JFAC members.
She also outlined a comprehensive efficiency report the department prepared in late 2007 at the governor’s request. The report focused on key indicators, efficiencies in 2008 and forward, winter maintenance, customer service, partnerships and innovative solutions.
Information on Practical Design, which the department adopted in 2007, generated a number of questions from JFAC members.
Other questions from legislators touched on congestion, the federal REAL-ID Act, highway maintenance, allocation of revenue from a proposed increase in registration fees and the use of contractors.
Lowe’s presentation of nearly three hours was equally divided between budget discussions and the department’s request for additional GARVEE bonds.
In the second part of her presentation, Lowe outlined progress on the six corridors funded by GARVEE bonds:
Lowe also discussed how much of the previous two bonding authorizations have been spent or are ready to spend, provided an overview of services rendered by the GARVEE Program management partners, ITD participation in the management process and the benefits of bonding. Benefits include:
JFAC members will consider the presentation and meet March 3 to set the department's FY09 budget. JFAC'sbudget recommendation must be formally approved by the full Legislaure.