ITD director Pam Lowe and the department’s executive team presented the annual report and Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposal to the Legislature’s House and Senate transportation committees on Jan. 22.
Each of ITD’s division administrators gave reports accompanied by a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation and video display. Presenters included:
They gave Legislators an overview of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s FY10 transportation budget request and department efficiencies, as well as a response to the recent Office of Performance Evaluation audit and a peer review by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
“I think it went extremely well,” Lowe said after the meeting. “The Legislators asked good questions and in turn, our administrators gave good answers.”
Sen. John McGee complimented ITD Technical Writer Rik Hinton on how fast he brought up relevant PowerPoint slides to better illustrate some of the administrator’s answers.
Legislators were most interested in ITD’s management structure, which the OPE audit suggested should be more centralized, especially when implementing new highway projects.
Lowe responded that most transportation departments are decentralized as a way of being more responsive to the needs of local jurisdictions such as cities, counties and highway districts.
She told the 25 attending Legislators that ITD is working on a list of performance measures that would allow the department an improved overview of project scheduling and management.
The Legislators also asked about projects in the proposed federal economic stimulus package. Lowe emphasized that “preservation and restoration” are the department’s traditional priorities.
In his GARVEE presentation, Stokes showed how approximately 20 construction and support jobs are created with every $1 million invested in highway construction. He said those jobs are spread throughout the state, based on location and scheduling.
The governor’s recommended transportation budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is $667.2 million. The budget includes $404 million in federal funds, $232.4 million in state funds, $6.8 million from other sources and the $125 million in GARVEE bond request.