HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES
40-709A. petition for highway maintenance. (1) Any county or highway district may petition the Idaho transportation board to take action, as provided in this section, to provide for the maintenance of a highway or portion thereof under the jurisdiction of a county or highway district.
(2) The petition and supporting materials shall establish the following facts:
(a) That the subject highway or relevant portion thereof provides the only practical access to a city, town or other developed area;
(b) That the county or highway district with jurisdiction over the subject highway, or relevant portion thereof, is obligated to maintain the highway or relevant portion thereof;
(c) That said county or highway district historically has provided maintenance to the subject highway or relevant portion thereof sufficient to allow safe motorist access to the city, town or other developed area; and
(d) Said county or highway district is now failing to provide maintenance sufficient to allow safe motorist access to the city, town or other developed area.
The petition shall not be based on failure to improve the highway or to expand maintenance beyond what historically has been provided. The petition shall also document the petitioner’s efforts to communicate its concerns to the subject county or highway district and explain why the issue could not be resolved. The petitioner shall provide notice to the subject county or highway district, including a copy of the petition and all supporting materials.
(3) The Idaho transportation department shall publish notice of the petition as set forth in section 40-206, Idaho Code, and shall provide the subject county or highway district a reasonable opportunity to respond to the petition, to take corrective action, to explain any extenuating circumstances or to otherwise address the concerns presented in the petition. Based on all information available to it, including such independent investigation as it deems appropriate, the Idaho transportation department shall make a recommendation for action to the Idaho transportation board.
(4) The Idaho transportation board shall review the petition and the recommendation of the Idaho transportation department.
(5) If the Idaho transportation board determines that the petition is without merit, it may deny the petition without hearing and issue written findings and conclusions stating its reasons therefor.
(6) If the Idaho transportation board determines that the petition may have merit, it shall hold a hearing on the matter and allow all affected entities and interested persons an opportunity to be heard.
(7) Following the hearing provided in subsection (6) of this section, the Idaho transportation board shall either grant or deny the petition and issue findings and conclusions stating its reasons therefor. The petition shall be granted only upon a finding that the public safety, health or welfare would be endangered because the subject county or highway district is inappropriately and unreasonably failing to maintain a highway or portion thereof that it is obligated to maintain and that the facts set out in subsection (2)(a), (b), (c) and (d) of this section have been established. In determining the reasonableness of the subject county or highway district’s actions with respect to the highway, the Idaho transportation board shall take into account the authority of the county or highway district to temporarily close a highway, the availability of funding and other considerations addressed in sections 40-1311 and 40-1315, Idaho Code. The Idaho transportation board shall not approve a petition with respect to a highway or portion thereof that has been vacated or is subject to an ongoing vacation or validation proceeding.
(8) If the petition is granted, the transportation department may undertake itself the maintenance of the highway or portion thereof or it may contract with another political subdivision to undertake the maintenance. In either case, the transportation department shall certify to the state controller the actual cost of maintenance undertaken by the transportation department or by the contracted political subdivision. The state controller shall pay into the state highway account of the Idaho transportation department or directly to the contracted political subdivision the actual costs incurred as certified by the transportation department. Such funds shall be deducted from the funds that would otherwise have been allocated pursuant to section 40-709, Idaho Code, to the county or highway district that failed to provide adequate maintenance.
(9) Political subdivisions that acquire funds for roadwork of any type either pursuant to this section or by separate voluntary agreement with another political subdivision or the state are hereby authorized to expend such funds outside of their jurisdictional boundaries notwithstanding any other provision of law.
(10) A county or highway district that has been the subject of a petition granted pursuant to this section may request a termination or modification of the arrangement authorized by the Idaho transportation department for maintenance by the Idaho transportation department or another entity. A request for termination shall be accompanied by appropriate documentation showing that the requesting entity is prepared to resume its maintenance responsibility for the highway. The Idaho transportation board shall consider the request for termination or modification, taking into account the information presented by the requesting entity and any other information available to the Idaho transportation board. If the Idaho transportation board determines that the concerns giving rise to the petition have been addressed and the entity is committed to resume maintenance of the highway, the Idaho transportation board shall terminate its prior action and allow the entity to resume responsibility for maintenance of the highway upon the beginning of the next fiscal year. The Idaho transportation board may also modify the existing arrangement for funding of maintenance.
(11) A decision by the Idaho transportation board granting or denying a petition or request under this section is a final agency action for purposes of section 67-5270(2), Idaho Code.
[40-709A, added 2014, ch. 214, sec. 2, p. 563.]