|The next order of business was the Idaho Transportation Department’s
Annual Report and Budget Briefing. Chairman Wood introduced Chuck
Winder Chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board of Directors,
who gave a brief presentation on the ITD Board members and the Board’s
role. Mr. Winder explained that the are six board members from around
the state who represent their districts. The chairman serves at large at
the pleasure of the governor. Each director serves a six year term. The
board deals with not only highways but they have some oversight of
aviation and back country airstrips that are operated and maintained; they
are involved in railroad planning and maintaining shortline hauling into the
rural communities. Idaho has the only inland seaport in Lewiston. The
Board gets involved in the budgeting process and the legislation that
comes before the Transportation Committee. The budget that comes
before the committee today has the full endorsement of the ITD Board.
Jim Ross, Interim Director, gave a financial overview of the department
including trend indicators, revenue/distribution, hold back strategies that
have been implemented and a summary of the FY03 and 04 budgets.
ITD has been tracking trend indicators since 1978. Fuel tax assessments
are taxed on gallons consumed and not on the price at the pump. So
when the price at the pump goes up this does not generate more revenue
for the state. The slowing economy and world events have a factor in
how much revenue comes into the department.
A question was asked regarding reverting prior-year encumbrances and
what those mean. Mr. Ross stated that they had a $2.3 million program
expansion on their campus and it had not been spent and so it has been
reverted back. It was then asked what the $12.6 million reductions were.
Mr. Ross explained that those were from personnel, equipment, capital
facilities, contract construction, and aeronautics divisions. There was also
a question regarding the difference in the trend 2003 and the 2004 total in
the HDA revenue. Mr. Ross said that the forecasts are taken a year in
advance of the budget being prepared so it may not reflect some of the
trends. Federal funds represents about 50% of the budget. Idaho
receives more federal funds that we collect.
The FY04 Governor’s revised recommendation budget is $432,583,200.
Susan Simmons, Management and Administrative Services, gave an
overview of her department. The core responsibilities are executive
management and legal services; internal services; information services;
financial services; employee services; and facilities management. The
Management and Administrative Services and Capital Facilities FY04
Budget request is $23,026,900.
Charles Rountree, Division of Planning, this division is coordinating the
development of an integrated statewide transportation vision with traffic
monitoring and analysis, GIS and mapping services, intermodal
transpiration planning and pavement management. The Division of
Planning FY04 budget request is $3,642,000. A question about the
department’s vision for the Indian Valley cutoff was asked. Mr. Rountree
said it had been a vision of his for 28 years. He said when they begin, it
will be an open and public process.
Morris Detmar, Division of Motor Vehicles, the core responsibilities of
the division are driver licensing and identification; vehicle registration, title
issuance, and dealer licensing; motor carrier/truck registration and
mileage audit; Port of Entry weigh stations; and revenue collection.
Proposed legislation for 2003 are proof of financial responsibility and first
class mail for DMV notifications. The Division of Motor Vehicles FY04
budget request is $17,944,800.
Mr. Detmar was asked to explain “no new enhancements” to the
committee. Mr. Detmar stated that they are not asking for any increases
in special programs as FTP’s or large expenditures of any kind. The
question of how many notifications were sent out for license suspension
was asked. Mr. Detmar said he did not have a breakdown but would get
it for the committee.
Steve Hutchinson, Highway Operations, discussed population growth,
program priorities, performance measures, partnering, and process
improvement. The division’s core responsibilities are planning, design,
construction, and maintenance. The Contract Construction and Highway
Operations FY04 budget request is $380,437,300. Mr. Hutchinson was
asked why District 6 had the largest chunk of lane miles. He stated that in
that 10-year span additional lanes were added on Interstate 15 between
Dubois and the Montana state line. That was the biggest share of the
lane miles and that was completion of the interstate system which were
mainly federal funds. Chairman Wood asked about the type of guardrails
that are now being constructed. Mr. Hutchinson stated that they now
have guardrails that meet the new safety standards required by the
federal highway administration, and are concentrating on the ends of
guardrails. Mr. Hutchinson said besides rounding the ends of guardrails
there are a number of ways to make them much safer. A question was
asked about the rural congestion solution. Mr. Hutchinson said that in the
next 5-year program they will add 79 miles of passing lanes and slow
Bob Martin, Division of Aeronautics, the core responsibilities of the
division are to encourage development of commercial and general
aviation, support improvement of airports and air navigation facilities, and
promote safety in aviation. Division of Aeronautics FY04 budget request
is $3,333,100. Mr. Martin was asked a question regarding back country
airports and the figure that was asked for last year. He said the figure
was $350,000 and was received from the state highway account. In fiscal
year 02, the governor had two holdbacks; in 03 the airports were Bear
Lake, Cottonwood, Mt. Home and Rigby. It was asked if the primary
entitlement program would continue. Mr. Martin said that they anticipate
that it will. It was also asked if there has been any discussion about the
state getting out of the airplane business. Mr. Martin stated at this time
there has been no discussions. Mr. Winder also replied to this question.
Larry Falkner, Division of Public Transportation, stated that the public
transportation services in Idaho are provided by local agencies. The state
does not directly operate transit services. The core responsibility is to
oversee federal transit administrations grant programs for the rural
program and the elderly and persons with disabilities. Idaho receives just
over 2.2 million dollars for these programs. The Division of Public
Transportation FY04 budget request is $4,199,100.
A question was asked how this division interacts with the Department of
Health and Welfare with programs for the disabled and elderly. Mr.
Falkner stated that they currently have the interagency group where all
the state agencies that are involved in public transportation work together
to coordinate services.
Mr. Winder, stated that he had heard a couple of questions that he didn’t
think got an answer. One was on Touch America which was part of
Montana Power and they have sold off all their power interest and are in
the process of declaring bankruptcy, so this could have some impact.
The other question had to do with the Blue Ribbon committee having any
recommendations or impact on the numbers and they did not.
It was asked if the department was flexible with the budget with everything
going on in the world. Mr. Winder said the staff is on top of things.
Chairman Wood thanked ITD for their presentation.