Transportation board endorses $510 million FY10 budget
The Idaho Transportation Board approved the transportation department’s proposed FY10 budget during its Aug. 20 meeting in District 6.
Minimal changes were made to the draft budget since it was first presented to the board at the June workshop. Among the provisions of the $510 million budget are:
1833.5 full-time equivalent positions
3 percent increase in change in employee compensation
$1.9 million increase for employer costs for health insurance
$21.6 million for replacement equipment, and
$291.5 million for construction
The FY10 revenue forecast is $225.3 million from state sources and $303 million in federal revenue. No new GARVEE bonding authority was included in the request, however, ITD staff expects to seek the board’s direction in September on the GARVEE Program.
Other board discussion:
Highway Safety Performance Plan FY09
The Office of Highway Operations and Safety presented the Highway Safety Performance Plan for FY09. The goal of this grant program is to reduce deaths and serious injuries resulting from traffic crashes by implementing programs to address driver behaviors. The program provides grant funding at both the state and local levels for highway safety programs that address Idaho’s unique circumstances and highway safety needs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants total $4.2 million. Based on Idaho’s problem identification, some of the focus areas will be: planning and administration, impaired driving, occupant protection, police traffic services, paid advertising and emergency medical services. The Idaho Traffic Safety Commission approved the plan before submission to the board. The transportation board approved the plan.
Revised Six-Year Capital Facilities Program
The facility program has been revised using the philosophy “best value” within the available budget. The board heard about the revisions that were made by collaborating with district staff. The goal is to achieve a sustainable design that maintains and extends the useful life of the department’s buildings.
A major change in the program is the removal of the bonding requests for a new District 3 location and a new Headquarters building that totaled $63 million. The alteration and repairs and statewide preventative maintenance budgets have been increased so the districts can update or replace higher maintenance or inefficient facilities or make needed safety revisions.
New sand sheds will remain a priority to meet environmental and efficiency commitments. In FY10, sand sheds are scheduled at Marsing, Midvale, and Sage Junction. A reduction of $77.2 million was realized from the August 2007 board-approved six-year building program to the current proposal.
District 6 tour
The board started its District 6 on Thursday (Aug.21) by meeting with representatives from the city of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County. The groups provided a thorough overview of improvements to the Sunnyside Road corridor.
Through a partnership involving Bonneville County, the cities of Idaho Falls and
Ammon and ITD, more than $46 million in improvements were made to the important arterial in several phases, starting in 1999, when a design contract was issued, to October 2007 when construction was completed.
Some aspects of the overall project included construction of an interchange at Interstate 15, 4.6 miles of urban reconstruction, construction of sound barrier walls and installation of five new traffic signals. Although significant right-of-way was acquired, it was emphasized that right-of-way acquisition costs were minimal because of earlier local efforts to preserve the corridor and require setbacks.
The board traveled Sunnyside Road and viewed various phases of the completed project.
At the Idaho Falls Airport, the board was briefed on the extensive plans to reconstruct the main runway. Repairs also will be made to the secondary runway and new lights and signs will be installed.
The main runway will be closed during September to complete the improvements. The project is expected to cost nearly $10 million, with the Federal Aviation Administration providing 95 percent of the funding. More than 140,000 airline passengers pass through the airport each year, and about 55,000 planes take off and land at the facility annually.