January 2008 Transporter highlights
Governor includes transportation among top priorities for legislative session
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced his priorities for the 2008 Legislative session when he presented the annual State of the State/Budget Address Monday from Boise State University.
As expected, transportation issues assumed a prominent place in Gov. Otter’s address and will be among the key legislative topics discussed this session.
Gov. Otter offered his support for increasing automobile registration fees as a way of generating additional resources for improving Idaho’s highways. He also asked Legislators to approve an additional $134 million in bonding authority for ITD as part of Idaho’s GARVEE bond program and urged lawmakers to give local government authority to assess local option taxes for infrastructure improvements.
He also outlined a strategy to move funding for the Idaho State Police from the Highway Distribution Account to the general fund, which would make almost $17 million annually available for transportation projects.
Acknowledging the record-high gas prices that “squeeze the working men and women of Idaho,” Gov. Otter said he would not recommend an increase in state gas taxes to help fund the widening gap between available resources and demands on the system.
New 'Support Our Troops' special license plate to go on sale Monday at assessor's offices
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter will join sponsors of Idaho’s newest special license plate at a Wednesday news conference to formally introduce the Support Our Troops plate. The event is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. in the governor’s office.
Proceeds from the special plate will provide support and assistance to the children, dependents and spouses of military service members and armed forces of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, Air National Guard and Reserves.
The license plate, featuring an image of a soldier and a young boy with an American flag as a backdrop, will go on sale at assessor’s offices statewide beginning Monday (Jan. 14). It joins four other special plates that are produced digitally in a flat format rather than in stamped/embossed format.
Corporate IT changes name to better reflect nature of services
In an effort to better reflect its core functions and responsibilities, Corporate Information Technology made a transition this month to Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), announced John Pope, Chief Technology Officer.
The name change more accurately captures the services ETS delivers – professional technology services, Pope explains.
“Along with this change there will also be a minor reorganization of the ETS group that is intended to provide a more logical, efficient and functionally aligned structure.”
Homeland Security approves ITD's extension request
The federal Department of Homeland Security this week approved ITD’s extension request for compliance to the REAL-ID Act.
Alan Frew, administrator of the Division of Motor Vehicles, sent the formal request Friday (Jan. 11), the same day DHS issued a 284-page document that outlines federal requirements for implementing driver's license security measures.
“Without a final rule in place to guide implementation efforts, Idaho has insufficient time to consider and act upon the final rules, and will not be in a position to comply with the Act and final rules by the deadline of May 11, 2008,” Frew said in his request.
Richard C. Barth, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at DHS, indicated in a letter dated Wednesday (Jan. 16), the extension had been granted.
ITD, fire marshal work on plan to battle car fires
The Idaho Transportation Department’s is committed to providing a cost-effective transportation system that is safe, reliable and responsive to the needs of Idahoans.
Congestion is becoming a part of daily life in many places of Idaho as traffic continues to increase on the highway system. Contributors to this congestion are motor vehicle fires that sometimes occur outside the jurisdiction of an organized fire department.
According to the state fire marshal, there were 1,007 vehicle fires reported in 2001, of which 108 were on interstate highways. In 2005 there were 1,025 fires, including 111 on interstates.
Jack Combo announces retirement from transportation board
After nearly two decades and more than 200 regular transportation board meetings the time has come
Jack Combo to leave behind legacy of compassion, reason
… From coaching Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball, to debating highway construction projects and arguing before the Idaho Supreme Court, Jack Combo has enjoyed the respect of his peers. Last week he was genuinely humbled while enduring the accolades of fellow transportation board members and an auditorium filled with ITD employees who assembled on the advent of his board retirement.
Through six terms on the board, Combo has consistently elevated the well-being of ITD employees ahead of other considerations. He pressed hard for salary increases when funds were scarce and has been a strong advocate of additional training and professional development opportunities for ITD workers.
DMV Modernization's next step will be development of new software solution
ITD’s Division of Motor Vehicles will take the next major step in its modernization process Thursday when it begins a $2.8 million, one-year software upgrade.
The introduction of a new software solution from Saber Corp. will stabilize county computing systems, making them more efficient and improving security, explains project manager Tyler Zundel.
“The new software solution will add to the security and quality of information we collect and store related to driver’s licenses, motor vehicle registrations and motor vehicle titles. It will provide a more secure environment, both at the county end and at ITD," Zundel says.
“Users in county offices will have a modern, Web-based user interface that acts more like Internet transactions.”
Last year, ITD phased out a bank of antiquated Data Point computer terminals and began using a new streamlined conduit that connected with the State Controller’s office, but the Data Point software remains in use. It will be replaced with the new software solution by Saber Corp. by this time next year.