Governor announces transportation conferences
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has scheduled a series of meetings throughout Idaho to solicit input from local elected officials, business leaders and the public about alternatives to address the quarter-billion dollar revenue shortfall confronting Idaho’s transportation system.
“Building Roads, Building Bridges, Building Consensus” will address the funding gap for infrastructure improvements throughout Idaho. The goal, according to the governor’s office, is to “make a compelling case in every corner of Idaho for the need to immediately address our growing backlog of transportation infrastructure maintenance and improvements.
"Rising construction costs, improving fuel economy and a significant drop in how much people are driving as a result of higher gas prices all are cutting into our user- fee-based revenue stream, reducing our ability to keep up with the needs of our aging and deteriorating highways and bridges,” according to the governor’s announcement.
Cities, counties, highway districts and citizens throughout Idaho rely on the user fees to provide public safety, stimulate economic opportunity, ensure access to Idaho’s share of federal transportation matching funds and maintain highways and bridges.
Gov. Otter made transportation funding one of his legislative priorities this year and hopes to return to lawmakers in 2009 with revenue recommendations.
The series of transportation conferences will begin with a number of preview meetings in southwest Idaho starting next week with a presentation to the Association of Idaho Commissioners and Clerks in Boise. The Wednesday session begins at 8:45 a.m. at the Red Lion Downtowner Hotel. ITD Director Pam Lowe will give the presentation.
Six other preview meetings are planned in Boise this month:
“Building Roads, Building Bridges, Building Consensus” meetings will expand to day-long sessions with opportunities for public participation in each of ITD’s six administrative districts next month. They begin July 14 in Caldwell (District 3), at the College of Idaho’s Simplot Dining Hall - Fireplace Room.
Other dates and locations include:
The district meetings will include discussions with legislators, city and county officials, local business and industry representatives and the public. Each of the six conferences will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude with a public open house from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.