April 10, 2009
House approves GARVEE bill, rejects gas tax hike
Members of the Idaho House this morning (April 10) approved issuing an additional $82 million in GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds to continue projects on six major Idaho corridors. By a 10-vote margin (39-29), the House approved sending SB 1186 to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter for signing. Approval this morning followed about two hours of debate and came almost exactly one day after House members rejected a proposed two-cent increase in the state’s motor vehicle fuel tax.
Gov. Otter responds to House vote on gas tax increase
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter issued the following statement in reaction to [Thursday's] 32-37 vote against a proposal to raise Idaho’s fuel tax by 2 cents per gallon. “First let me thank the 32 House members who showed today that they understand the issue and the stakes. I appreciate their patience, leadership, and commitment to doing the right thing. That being said, I am very disappointed by the outcome of today’s vote...
2009 Project Development Conference
Conference focuses on latest design, construction strategies
ITD and the transportation community gathered to celebrate exemplary design and construction projects Tuesday night at the mid-point of the bi-annual Project Development Conference in Boise. The two-day conference included five formal “plenary” presentations Tuesday and more than 30 breakout sessions Wednesday, organized into four concurrent tracks: planning/traffic, design/traffic, environmental and materials.
Excellence in Transportation Awards
Rep. Simpson outlines special funding requests
This week, I will submit a list of Idaho-based projects to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration in Fiscal Year 2010. I am keenly aware that these project, or earmark, requests are seen by some as an example of wasteful federal spending and I understand fully that too many federal projects are indeed wasteful.
Patrols target aggressive driving
Tailgating, changing lanes without warning, speeding, running yellow lights, or ignoring traffic signs or signals makes you an aggressive driver and ITD wants you to know that law enforcement patrols will be watching for you. ITD is partnering with law enforcement agencies across Idaho to make highways safer by funding increased aggressive driving enforcement patrols through April 19.
John 'Jack' Combo, retired Transportation Board member
John “Jack” Xavier Combo passed away April 3 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, from an ongoing battle with cancer. Jack was born July 3, 1922, in Butte, Montana, to James Emmett and Mary Edmunda Fleming Combo. A family visitation took place Tuesday, April 7, at Wood Funeral Home, followed by a rosary. A celebration of Catholic Mass followed Wednesday, April 8, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls Youth Hockey or a favorite charity.
Keep looking ahead during tough times
Americans know Abraham Lincoln as the emancipator of slaves, the man who held the nation together in its darkest days. But few know the Lincoln who battled suicidal thoughts and at times called himself “The loneliest man in the world.”
News to Share
Please share information about your accomplishments or those of your colleagues with the ITD community. Send contributions to the e-mail link above.
Views to share
Do you have a question related to ITD processes, policies or projects? Has something been puzzling you about why we do what we do? Share your questions using the e-mail link above and let us find the answers.
Department heads in best position to make salary decisions
As Governor, I have been drawing on my experience at the state and federal levels but most importantly in the private sector to bring greater efficiency and accountability to our state government – to run it more like a business. That means providing our customers – Idaho citizens – with services and programs within their financial means and consistent with our Constitution, laws and the proper role of government.
Former board member Jack Combo passes away
ITD joins family members of Jack Combo in mourning his passing early this morning (Friday, April 3). The long-time transportation board member, public servant, civic leader and friend lost a hard-fought battle with cancer at home in Idaho Falls. Mr. Combo retired from the transportation board early in 2008 and received a festive farewell during a March 2008 ceremony at Headquarters. An advocate of ITD employees and their continuing education, he served on the board 18 years (six terms), from 1990 to 2008.
ITD extends its deepest condolences to Mr. Combo's family. Information about formal services will be provided when it becomes available. Please see the 2008 Transporter for more about Jack's many contributions to the department and state of Idaho.
Retirement gives McClure chance to reflect on 'satisfying' tenure
Monte McClure was in a familiar environment last week, returning to the Idaho Transportation Department’s Headquarters to complete employee exit papers. But the access badge hanging from his shirt pocket was different than he was accustomed to… It was a visitor’s badge checked out from the security desk.
McClure formally ended more than 13 years as a member of the Idaho Transportation Board last month.
Jerry Whitehead named new board member
Idaho native Jerry Whitehead joined the Idaho Transportation Board in March as the representative for District 3. He replaces Monte McClure who finished his second full term on the board earlier this year. Whitehead established a trailer manufacturing business in Boise four decades ago and continues to serve as President and owner of Western Trailers. He has been a member of the Idaho Motor Carrier Advisory Committee.
Headquarters ceremony launches organ donor month
Veronica Calton-Hughes joined ITD Director Pam Lowe, Alex McDonald from the Intermountain Donor Services organization in Salt Lake City and two other speakers for a brief organ donor awareness ceremony. Following formal presentations and a bagpipes rendition of “Irish Eyes are Smiling,” participants raised an organ donor flag on the ITD flagpole. It will remain on display throughout April, organ donor month.
New ITD guidebook will help organizations plan requests
Interest in designating new Idaho Scenic Byways or expanding existing byways led to creation and publication this week of a comprehensive program guide that will organizations plan their efforts. The Idaho Byways 2009 Program Guide complements the award-winning Idaho Scenic Byways brochure and Web site that opens the state’s highway vistas for the world to experience.
Commuters share the road, not the vehicle
A survey of commuting practices conducted last summer reveals that more than three-fourths of ITD’s district employees made the trip to and from work by themselves. The survey began in June and concluded in September; the final results were discussed this week at a meeting of ITD’s Green House Gas Reduction Team. The 2008 survey indicated employees in districts 1 and 3 were the least likely to share the commute; 80.5 percent of the District 1 workers drove alone, and 80 percent of those in District 3 had no passengers