NO. 56.  AN ACT RELATING TO THE STATE’S TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM AND PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

(H.454)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM FOR 2004; PROJECT

             DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR 2005-2008; APPROVAL OF

             PROJECT CANCELLATIONS

(a)  The transportation capital program for fiscal year 2004 and project development plan for fiscal years 2005-2008, appended to the agency of transportation’s proposed fiscal year 2004 budget, as amended by this act, are adopted to the extent federal, state, and local funds are available.  The transportation capital program and project development plan hereby adopted supersede all previous transportation capital programs and project development plans.

(b)  As used in this act, unless otherwise indicated, the term “agency” means the agency of transportation and the term “secretary” means the secretary of transportation.  As used in this act, the table heading “As Proposed” means the transportation capital program and project development plan referenced in subsection (a) of this section; the table heading “As Amended” means the amendments as made by this act; the table heading “Change” means the difference obtained by subtracting the “As Proposed” figure from the “As Amended” figure; and the term “change” or “changes” in the text refers to the project- and program-specific amendments, the aggregate sum of which equals the net “Change” in the applicable table heading.

* * * Transportation Buildings Program * * *

Sec. 2.  TRANSPORTATION BUILDINGS PROGRAM

The following modifications are made to the transportation buildings program:  The schedule for the Ludlow Rail Station, page 7, is amended to read:

Transportation Buildings:  Ludlow Rail Station, pg. 7

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

200,000

0

-200,000

Other

0

0

0

Total

200,000

          0

-200,000

 

 

 

 

State

200,000

0

-200,000

Federal

0

0

0

Local

0

0

0

* * * Rail Program * * *

Sec. 3.  RAIL PROGRAM

The following modifications are made to the rail program:

(1)  The Burlington-Essex Corridor New Starts Development project, page 4, is modified as follows:  Notwithstanding the description of the project, federal New Starts funds in fiscal year 2004 shall be used exclusively for the following activities:

(A)  acquisition or long‑term lease of the railroad right‑of‑way for use as fixed guideway public transit service, intercity passenger rail service, or freight service; and

(B)  engineering work with respect to the potential use of the railroad right-of-way for a fixed guideway public transit service, intercity passenger rail service, or freight service.

(2)  The Middlebury-Charlotte project, page 6, is amended by striking the description and comments.  The project description shall read:  The project is for the rehabilitation of the condition of the track and rail infrastructure between Middlebury and Charlotte.

(3)  In the event of traffic congestion resulting from construction of the Shelburne-South Burlington NHEGC FEGC 019-4(19) (US 7/Shelburne Road) highway project, the secretary may, with the approval of the general assembly, if in session, or if not in session, with the approval of the joint fiscal committee and the chairs of the House and Senate committees on transportation, resume operation of the “Champlain Flyer” passenger train service between Vergennes and Burlington, with the operating expenses of the passenger train charged to the highway project.  The secretary is directed to seek the maximum participation of federal aid funds in meeting such expenses.

* * * Public Transit Program * * *

Sec. 4.  PUBLIC TRANSIT PROGRAM

The following modifications are made to the public transit program:  The schedule for statewide public transit operating assistance, page 4, is amended to read:

Public Transit: State Operating Assistance, pg. 4

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

0

0

 0

Other

8,306,041

8,606,041

300,000

Total

8,306,041

8,606,041

300,000

 

 

 

 

State

4,501,200

4,801,200

300,000

Federal

3,343,891

 3,343,891

0

Local

460,950

460,950

0

The additional funds are authorized for use as follows:

(1)  $150,000.00 shall be used by the agency to provide guidance, training, and technical assistance to public transit providers to implement the provisions of Secs. 36 through 41 of this act;

(2)  $100,000.00 shall be divided equally among all public transit providers receiving operating assistance under the state’s public transit operating assistance program for support of public transit operations; and

(3)  $50,000.00 shall be used as matching funds to access the federal earmark made available under the 2001 federal department of transportation appropriations for central Vermont buses and bus facilities.

* * * Program Development–Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities Program * * *

Sec. 5.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN

              FACILITIES PROGRAM

The following modifications are made to the program development - bicycle and pedestrian facilities program:

(1)  The schedule for the Burlington-Colchester bike/ped bridge project over the Winooski River, page 1, is amended to read:

Program Development – Bike/Ped:  Burlington-Colchester, pg.1

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

1,150,000

3,000,000

1,850,000

Other

0

0

0

Total

1,150,000

3,000,000

 1,850,000

 

 

 

 

State

135,000

35,000

 -100,000

Federal

920,000

2,824,875

 1,904,875

Local

95,000

140,125

 45,125

The state’s share of this project shall not exceed $300,000.00, including all state funds expended on the project through fiscal year 2003.  The secretary is authorized to use toll credits to satisfy federal matching requirements with respect to the project.  The project may proceed in fiscal year 2004 only upon satisfaction of the following conditions, as determined by the secretary:

(A)  The agency of transportation, the city of Burlington, and the town of Colchester agree on a design, the total cost, and a financing plan within the limits of the cap on the state’s share;

(B)  The Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization agrees to the proposed use of any federal aid funds to fund the project;  

(C)  If the project is redesigned and the total cost is less than $3,000,000.00, the state’s share shall remain $300,000.00 and the local shares shall be reduced accordingly.

(2)  The schedule for Dover STP Bike (25)(S), page 3, is amended to read:

Program Development - Bike/Ped:  Dover Bike, pg. 3

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

10,000

10,000

0

Construction

200,000

42,500

-157,500

Other

0

0

0

Total

210,000

52,500

-157,500

 

 

 

 

State

21,000

5,250

-15,750

Federal

168,000

42,000

-126,000

Local

21,000

5,250

-15,750

This change is due to a delay in the project’s construction schedule.  When the project is ready for construction, the agency shall prioritize funding for the project within the limits of total funding allocated to the bicycle and pedestrian facilities program.

(3)  The schedule for Montpelier-Berlin ST Walk ( ), page 3, is amended to read:

Program Development - Bike/Ped: Montpelier-Berlin Walk, pg. 3

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

200,000

0

-200,000

Other

0

0

0

Total

200,000

0

-200,000

 

 

 

 

State

200,000

0

-200,000

Federal

0

0

0

Local

0

0

0

This change is due to a delay in the project’s construction schedule.  When the project is ready for construction, the agency shall prioritize funding for the project within the limits of total funding allocated to the bicycle and pedestrian facilities program.

* * * Program Development – State Highway Bridges Program * * *

Sec. 6.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – STATE HIGHWAY BRIDGES

              PROGRAM

The following modifications are made to the program development – state highway bridges program:

(1)  The schedule for Fayston BHF 0200(9) bridge project, page 10, is amended to read:

Program Development - State Bridges:  Fayston, pg. 10

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

819,091

819,091

0

Other

0

0

0

Total

819,091

819,091

0

 

 

 

 

State

819,091

163,818

-655,273

Federal

0

655,273

655,273

Local

0

0

0

(2)  The schedule for Shelburne BRO 1445(30) is amended to read as follows.  Funds for the project shall be allocated from the state bridge development and evaluation budget:

Program Development - State Bridges: Shelburne BRO 1445(30)

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

0

0

ROW

 

30,000

30,000

Construction

 

497,746

497,746

Other

 

0

0

Total

 

527,746

527,746

 

 

 

 

State

 

105,549

105,549

Federal

 

422,197

422,197

Local

 

0

0

* * * Program Development – Paving Program * * *

Sec. 7.  PAVING LEVEL AND SEAL PROGRAM

The schedule for the statewide paving level and seal program is amended to read:

Program Development:  Paving – level and seal

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

 0

0

0

Construction

 0

0

0

Other

 1,000,000

1,210,000

210,000

Total

 1,000,000

1,210,000

210,000

 

 

 

 

State

1,000,000

1,210,000

210,000

Federal

0

0

Local

0

0

* * * Program Development – Roadway Program * * *

Sec. 8.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – ROADWAY PROGRAM

The following modifications are made to the program development - roadway program:

(1)  A new project, Woodstock ST 020-2(34), is added to the roadway program.  The new project starts on U.S. 4 at MM 3.06 and extends easterly along U.S. 4 for 1,220.60 feet (0.210 mile), to end at MM 3.27.  The work to be performed under this project includes improvement of sight distance at the intersection of U.S. 4 and TH #35 and installation of a left-turn lane.  The new project is authorized for construction in the amount of $70,000.00, from the federal fiscal year 2003, 23 U.S.C. § 164 fund.

(2)  Due to the unusual circumstances of the collaborative project between the towns of Pittsford and Brandon and the state, the local share for project Brandon NH 019-3( ) shall be five percent, notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 309a.  To reflect this change, the schedule for roadway statewide development and evaluation is amended to read:

Program Development - Roadway: Statewide D&E, pg. 27

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

 

0

ROW

 

 

0

Construction

 

 

0

Other

5,591,500

5,591,500

0

Total

5,591,500

5,591,500

0

 

 

 

 

State

860,782

873,282

12,500

Federal

4,694,218

4,694,218

0

Local

36,500

24,000

-12,500

(3)  The Springfield STP 0136 ( ) project shall be placed on the development and evaluation list and advanced within the roadway statewide development program in fulfillment of the state’s obligations with respect to the southeastern Vermont correctional facility.

(4)  Sec. 5 of No. 141 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) is amended by adding a new subdivision (9) as follows:  (9)  The fiscal year 2003 schedule for Riverside Avenue MEGC 5000(15), page 3, is amended to read:

Program Development - Roadway:Riverside Ave., FY03, pg. 3

FY03

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

73,500

73,500

0

ROW

105,000

105,000

0

Construction

2,205,000

205,000

-2,000,000

Other

0

0

0

Total

2,383,500

383,500

-2,000,000

 

 

 

 

State

71,505

11,505

-60,000

Federal

2,264,325

364,325

-1,900,000

Local

47,670

7,670

-40,000

The state and federal funds resulting from this reduction in authorized spending shall be utilized in the fiscal year 2004 transportation capital program.

(5)  The schedule for Riverside Avenue MEGC 5000(15), page 5, is amended to read:

Program Development - Roadway:  Riverside Ave., pg. 5

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

2,625,000

2,700,000

75,000

Other

0

0

0

Total

2,625,000

2,700,000

75,000

 

 

 

 

State

78,750

60,000

-18,750

Federal

2,493,750

1,900,000

-593,750

Local

52,500

740,000

687,500

The changes made in this subdivision (5) and subdivision (4) of this section with respect to the Riverside Avenue project are due to a delay in the project’s construction schedule.  The additional local funds were added at the request of the city of Burlington.  When the project is ready for construction, the agency shall prioritize funding for the project within the limits of total funding allocated to the roadway program.

(6)  The schedule for Kennedy Drive NH 121-1(1), page 25, is amended to read:

Program Development - Roadway:  Kennedy Drive, pg. 25

 

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

36,203

36,203

0

ROW

300,000

300,000

0

Construction

1,000,000

130,000

-870,000

Other

0

0

0

Total

1,336,203

466,203

-870,000

 

 

 

 

State

119,190

41,586

-77,604

Federal

1,083,393

377,997

-705,396

Local

133,620

46,620

-87,000

This change is due to a delay in the project’s construction schedule.  When the project is ready for construction, the agency shall prioritize funding for the project within the limits of total funding allocated to the roadway program.

(7)  The schedule for Bennington-Hoosick DPI 0146(1), page 3, is amended to read:

Program Development-Roadway: Bennington-Hoosick, pg. 3

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

100,000

250,000

150,000

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

10,500,000

10,350,000

-150,000

Other

0

0

0

Total

10,600,000

10,600,000

0

 

 

 

 

State

320,000

320,000

0

Federal

10,280,000

10,280,000

0

Local

0

0

0

(8)  The Rutland City - Rutland Town ST 019-3() project shall be administered under the agency’s local transportation facilities program and shall be subject to applicable local match requirements.  The schedule for the project, page 21, is amended to read:

Program Development - Roadway: Rutland City/Town, pg. 21

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

0

0

ROW

 

0

0

Construction

 

0

0

Other

 

300,000

300,000

Total

 

300,000

300,000

 

 

 

 

State

 

30,000

30,000

Federal

 

240,000

240,000

Local

 

30,000

30,000

(9)  A new project for the reconstruction of the Route 30 causeway on Lake Bomoseen near Hubbardton is added as follows:

Program Development - Roadway:  Hubbardton Rt. 30, new

 

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

25,000

25,000

ROW

 

0

0

Construction

 

0

0

Other

 

0

0

Total

 

25,000

25,000

 

 

 

 

State

 

25,000

25,000

Federal

 

0

0

Local

 

0

0

(10)  The schedule for Grafton-Rockingham, STP - 126(4)S, page 13, is amended to read:

Program Development - Roadway: Grafton-Rockingham, pg. 13

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

50,000

50,000

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

3,500,000

3,299,800

-220,200

Other

0

0

0

Total

3,550,000

3,349,800

-220,200

 

 

 

 

State

710,000

669,960

-40,040

Federal

2,840,000

2,679,840

-160,160

Local

0

0

0

(11)  The schedule for Williston-Essex, IR 089-2(12) and NH 033-1(), page 34, is amended to read:

Program Development - Roadway: Williston-Essex, pg. 34

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

11,098,000

11,535,500

437,500

Other

0

0

0

Total

11,098,000

11,535,500

437,500

 

 

 

 

State

2,219,600

2,307,100

87,500

Federal

8,878,400

9,228,400

350,000

Local

0

0

0

* * * Town Highway Bridge Initiative Program * * *

Sec. 9.  TOWN BRIDGE INITIATIVE PROGRAM

The town bridge initiative program is hereby created as a subprogram under the agency’s town highway bridge program.  All town bridge projects that received grants pursuant to Sec. 250(c) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2001 are enrolled as active projects in the program.  Funding for the program is authorized as follows:

Town Highway Bridges:  Initiative program, new

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

0

0

ROW

 

0

0

Construction

 

0

0

Other

 

937,500

937,500

Total

 

937,500

937,500

 

 

 

 

State

 

93,750

93,750

Federal

 

750,000

750,000

Local

 

93,750

93,750

The funds shall be used to advance the projects in the program with fund allocation among the projects based upon the following factors:  (1) the structural condition of the bridge; (2) the readiness of the project to go to construction; and (3) the ability to complete as many projects as possible with the funding provided.

* * * Cancellation of Projects * * *

Sec. 10.  CANCELLATION OF PROJECTS

Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 10g(f) (legislative approval for cancellation of projects), the general assembly approves cancellation of the following projects:

(1)  program development – bicycle and pedestrian facilities:

(A)  Reading STP WALK(6);

(B)  Weathersfield STP BIKE(31)S; and

(C)  West Windsor STP WALK(3)S.

* * * Highway Safety; Federal Funds Transfer * * *

Sec. 11.  FEDERAL FUNDS TRANSFER

Any federal funds transferred to the 23 U.S.C. § 402 (highway safety) program, pursuant to 23 C.F.R. § 1270.6 (failure of state to enforce open container laws) or 1275.6 (failure of state to enact and enforce repeat intoxicated driver laws), shall be used exclusively by the agency of transportation for the 23 U.S.C. § 152 (hazard elimination) program.  The governor’s highway safety council shall work cooperatively with the agency of transportation in administering these funds.

* * * Railroads * * *

Sec. 12.  19 V.S.A. § 10e is amended to read:

§ 10e.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; RAILROADS

(a)  The agency’s railroad activities shall continue to be guided by Act No. 211 of the Acts of 1988 (1987 Adjourned Session).  The general assembly recognizes that rail service, both passenger and freight, is an integral part of the state’s transportation network.  Accordingly, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the state of Vermont:

(1)  to provide opportunities for rail passenger services by cooperating with the federal government, other states, and providers of those services, with priority to be given to the services likely to complement Vermont’s economic development efforts and meet the needs of the traveling public;

(2)  to preserve and modernize for continued freight railroad service those railroad lines, both within the state of Vermont and extending into adjoining states, which directly affect the economy of the state or provide connections to other railroad lines which directly affect the economy of the state;

(3)  in those cases where continuation of freight railroad service is not economically feasible under present conditions, to preserve established railroad rights-of-way for future reactivation of railroad service, trail corridors, and other public purposes not inconsistent with future reactivation of railroad service; and

(4)  to seek federal aid for rail projects that implement this section’s policy goals.

(b)  To complement the regular maintenance efforts of the lessee/operators of state-owned railroads, taking into account each leased line’s long‑term importance to the state’s transportation network, economic development, the resources available to the lessee/operator and relevant provisions of leases and other agreements, the agency may develop programs to assist in major rehabilitation or replacement of obsolete bridges, structures, rails, and other fixtures.

Sec. 13.  REPEAL

5 V.S.A. §§ 3001 and 3401 (intercity rail service and rail policy) are repealed.

Sec. 14.  5 V.S.A. § 3002 is amended to read:

§ 3002.  POWERS OF AGENCY

To carry out the purposes of this chapter 19 V.S.A. § 10e, the agency of transportation may:

(1)  Contract in the name of the state with federal agencies, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), railroads, municipalities, adjacent states, or other responsible persons to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

(2)  Receive, manage, use, or expend, for the purposes of this chapter, federal and state funds appropriated to the agency for the promotion or development of intercity rail passenger service or for intercity rail passenger service facilities.

(3)  Operate, manage, use, exchange, lease, or otherwise deal with or dispose of, in whole or in part, land and rights in land acquired in the name of the state under authorization of this chapter, and to charge reasonable fees for such use or the use of land, buildings, and other facilities, or for services rendered.  Moneys received from the fees shall be credited to the transportation fund.

(4)  Acquire on behalf of the state, acting either alone or with municipalities or the federal government, land and rights in land needed to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Sec. 15.  WHITE RIVER JUNCTION-NEWPORT RAILROAD;

               NEGOTIATION OF LONG-TERM OPERATING

               AGREEMENT

(a)  In accordance with 5 V.S.A. § 3405 and subject to subsection (b) of this section, the general assembly authorizes the secretary, as agent for the state of Vermont, to enter into a long‑term operating agreement with the Washington County Railroad Company for the operation of freight service over the state‑owned railroad line between Hartford (White River Junction) and Newport City under the terms stated in the proposed agreement attached to the May 14, 2003 memorandum of understanding between the agency and the Washington County Railroad Company.

(b)  Any long‑term operating agreement shall require the railroad operator to cooperate with the agency or its designees to identify areas along the White River Junction-Newport line that may be suitable for bicycle and pedestrian paths or for other public uses (including but not limited to areas in the St. Johnsbury railyard for uses identified in the town plan), provided that such proposed uses do not interfere with the railroad operator’s safe performance of its common carrier obligations and otherwise are compatible with present and future railroad use.

Sec. 16.  APPROVAL OF TRANSACTIONS REGARDING

               STATE‑OWNED PROPERTY

(a)  Upon receiving satisfactory evidence of release of any leasehold interest of Green Mountain Railroad Corporation, the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, is authorized to convey to the town of Rockingham, in consideration of $1.00, the small parcel of land lying southerly of Depot Street and westerly of the New England Central Railroad, for use by the town in connection with its waypoint interpretative center.  The town shall be responsible for obtaining any necessary survey and subdivision approvals.

(b)  Upon completion of the Ferrisburgh, CMG PARK (15)SC project, the agency of transportation may transfer any unused portion of the property to the town of Ferrisburgh for one dollar.

Sec. 17.  LAMOILLE VALLEY RAILROAD

(a)  The secretary of transportation shall establish as a priority the discontinuance of service and the approval for railbanking of the Lamoille Valley Railroad to expedite the conversion of this state‑owned resource into a year‑round, multiuse recreation path.  The secretary shall report the results of these efforts to the general assembly by December 15, 2003.

(b)  The agency of transportation is authorized, subject to approval of discontinuance of service and the approval of railbanking by the Federal Surface Transportation Board and notwithstanding any prior legislation, to salvage materials from those sections of the rail corridor which are leased to VAST between Morrisville and at or near mile marker 94.81.  The agency shall negotiate with the successful request for proposal (RFP) responder for the removal of the rails and ties over the entire length of the Lamoille Valley Railroad bed.  If the rails and ties can be removed at no cost to the state, the agency is authorized to enter into an immediate contract for their removal as quickly as possible.  Notwithstanding any prior legislation, the agency is further directed to negotiate to retain as much of the salvaged material as possible, at no cost to the state, for use on other rail projects in the state.

Sec. 18.  5 V.S.A. § 3405 is amended to read:

§ 3405.  LEASE FOR CONTINUED OPERATION

(a)  The secretary, as agent for the state, with the approval of the governor and, when the general assembly is in session, the general assembly, and when not in session, the legislative joint fiscal committee, or, if the general assembly is not in session, approval of a special committee consisting of the joint fiscal committee and the chairs of the house and senate committees on transportation, is authorized to lease or otherwise arrange for the continued operation of all or any state-owned railroad property to any responsible person for operation of a railroad, provided that approval for the operation, if necessary, is granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission federal Surface Transportation Board.  The lease transaction shall be for a price and shall be subject to any further terms and conditions as, in the opinion of the secretary, are necessary and appropriate to accomplish the purpose of this chapter.

(b)  To preserve continuity of service on state-owned railroads, the secretary may enter into a short-term lease or operating agreement, for a term not to exceed six months, with a responsible railroad operator.  Within 10 days of entering into any lease or agreement, the secretary shall report the details of the transaction to the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation.

* * * Park‑and‑Ride Study * * *

Sec. 19.  PARK‑AND‑RIDE STUDY

The agency of transportation, in consultation with the public transit advisory council, the regional planning commissions, the Vermont league of cities and towns, and the Chittenden county metropolitan planning organization, shall review and update the 1991 Evaluation of Statewide Park‑and‑Ride Facilities Final Report and the 1998 regional planning commission’s park‑and‑ride lot needs and priority listings.  The review shall address the potential benefits of integrating the park‑and‑ride and public transit systems.

* * * Town Highway Emergency Fund * * *

Sec. 20.  TOWN HIGHWAY EMERGENCY FUND; FISCAL YEAR

                2004 FUNDING PRIORITIES

Of the $750,000.00 appropriated to the agency of transportation in fiscal year 2004 for the town highway emergency fund, the agency shall give priority to the following pending applications, which already have been found by the agency to meet the eligibility criteria of 19 V.S.A. § 306(d)(state aid for nonfederal disasters):

Town               Date of Disaster                     Eligible Amount

Enosburg          May 30, 2002                               $90,220.00

Johnson            June 27, 2002                               $56,787.00

Victory             June 12/13, 2002                          $61,004.00

Wolcott            June 12, 2002                               $24,993.00

* * * Special Projects Unit * * *

Sec. 21.  REPEAL; TRANSITION

(a)  Sec. 5(b) of Act No. 175 of the 1991 Adj. Sess. (1992) (establishment of project management unit) is repealed.

(b)  Sec. 23 of Act No. 60 of 1995 (special project manager) is repealed.

(c)  The existing staff and work assignments of the special projects unit shall be integrated with the agency of transportation’s division of program development.

* * * Chittenden County Circumferential Highway District * * *

Sec. 22.  REPEAL

(a)  Sec. 8 of Act No. 185 of the 1985 Adj. Sess. (1986) (circumferential highway district, board of trustees, and steering committee) is repealed.

(b)  The agency of transportation shall coordinate further activities involving the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway (VT 289) with the affected municipalities, the metropolitan planning organization, and the regional planning commission in the same manner as for other state highways in the area.

* * * Waterbury Park-And-Ride * * *

Sec. 23.  WATERBURY PARK-AND-RIDE

(a)  In lieu of conveying to the town of Waterbury the site of the existing state‑owned park-and-ride lot on Lincoln Street Extension, the agency is authorized to make a one-time, lump sum payment of $225,000.00 to the town of Waterbury from the balance of the appropriation authorized in Sec. 275 of No. 142 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (transportation – project development).

(b)  The contract with the town of Waterbury implementing subsection (a) shall provide that acceptance of the payment authorized in subsection (a) by the town of Waterbury shall be deemed a full release of all outstanding claims resulting from paragraph 6(c) of the October 14, 1998 “Agreement Relating to the Women’s Correctional Facility at Waterbury” between the state of Vermont and the town and village of Waterbury.

* * * Surplus Property Transactions * * *

Sec. 24.  19 V.S.A. § 26 is amended to read:

§ 26.  PURCHASE AND SALE OF PROPERTY

The agency may purchase or lease any land, taking conveyance in the name of the state, when land is needed in connection with the layout, construction, repair, and maintenance of any state highway, or the reconstruction of the highway.  The agency may acquire or construct buildings necessary for use in connection with this work.  When any of the land or the buildings acquired or the buildings constructed become no longer necessary for these purposes, the agency may sell or lease the property.  The proceeds from any sale or lease shall be deposited in the transportation fund and, unless otherwise required by federal law or regulation, shall be credited to transportation buildings.

* * * VTrans Surplus Property * * *

Sec. 25.  AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION TO EVALUATE LAND AND

               BUILDINGS OWNED AND LEASED; SURPLUS PROPERTY

The agency of transportation is directed to evaluate all existing agency land and buildings, owned in fee simple or leased, to determine if they continue to be necessary, and any such properties determined to be no longer necessary are to be treated as surplus property and disposed of accordingly.  All agency land owned by deed of easement shall not be part of this evaluation.  The agency shall, by January 15, 2004, report to the House and Senate committees on transportation on the process and results of the evaluation.

* * * VTrans Web Site Information * * *

Sec. 26.  AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION WEBSITE

The secretary of transportation is directed to annually make available on the agency website the transportation capital program and project development plan as passed by the general assembly and other appropriate documents.

* * * Bennington Bypass * * *

Sec. 27.  Sec. 12 of No. 64 of the Acts of 2001 is amended to read:

Sec. 12.  BENNINGTON BYPASS

The agency of transportation is directed to complete the conceptual design of highway project Bennington Bypass South NHF 019 – 1(4).  The agency shall not incur expenditures for conceptual design in excess of $200,000.00 in any fiscal year for the Bennington Bypass South project.  Right-of-way for this project shall not be acquired without the approval of the general assembly.  The agency is further directed to design and construct only a partial interchange with the existing Vermont Route 9 and to make the necessary improvements to Vermont Route 9 to accommodate the partial interchange as part of the Bennington  Bypass North NHF 019–1(5) project.  All design activity on the Bennington Bypass North project south of Route 9 shall be postponed until approved by the general assembly.

Sec. 28.  BENNINGTON BYPASS

(a)  Notwithstanding Sec. 12 of No. 64 of the Acts of 2001:

(1)  conceptual design of the Bennington Bypass South project shall be suspended for fiscal year 2004; and

(2)  $250,000.00 is authorized for the acquisition of right-of-way for the Bennington Bypass South NHF 019 – 1(4) project that qualifies as hardship acquisitions under federal rules.

(b)  The transportation board, in cooperation with the agency, shall analyze traffic patterns and areas of traffic congestion and the projected development of traffic patterns and areas of traffic congestion in:

(1)  The Vermont Route 9 and U.S. Route 7 corridors in Bennington County (the “Bennington Study Area”);

(2)  The U.S. Route 4 and U.S. Route 7 corridors in Rutland County (the “Rutland Study Area”);

(3)  The Vermont Route 15 corridor west of Vermont Route 2a in Chittenden County (the “Route 15 Study Area”); and

(4)  The U.S. Route 4 corridor between Rutland and the intersection of Route 4 with Interstate Route 89 (the “Route 4 Study Area”).

(c)  The analysis directed in subsection (b) shall include:

(1)  A description of existing traffic patterns and areas of traffic congestion in the Bennington Study Area, Rutland Study Area, the Route 15 Study Area and the Route 4 Study Area.

(2)  A projection of traffic patterns and areas of traffic congestion in the Bennington Study Area as of 2015, assuming the Bennington Bypass West project is constructed; that the Bennington Bypass North project is constructed to Vermont Route 9 but not further south; that the Vermont Route 9 interchange is constructed to connect northward only; that the Bennington Bypass South project is not constructed; and that the Bennington Bypass North and West projects including the Vermont Route 9 interchange are completed by 2010.

(3)  A projection of traffic patterns and areas of traffic congestion in the Bennington Study Area as of 2015, assuming the Bennington Bypass North, West, and South projects are all constructed and interconnected with construction completed by 2010.

(4)  A projection of traffic patterns and areas of traffic congestion as of 2015 in the Rutland Study Area, the Route 15 Study Area, and the Route 4 Study Area, assuming no major traffic congestion relief projects are undertaken in these areas prior to 2015.

(d)  The transportation board shall report its findings, conclusions and recommendations with respect to the analysis directed in subsections (b) and (c) of this section.  The report shall specifically include the board’s recommendations with regard to the prioritization of the traffic congestion problems in the Bennington, Rutland, Route 15, and Route 4 Study Areas for purposes of making resource allocation decisions between now and 2015; and the reasoning and basis for its recommended prioritization.  In preparing this report, the board shall hold at least one public hearing in the Bennington area.  The board shall deliver the report to the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2004.  Transportation funds in the amount of $50,000.00 are authorized for use by the board to carry out the provisions of this section.

Sec. 29.  ACCELERATION OF BENNINGTON BYPASS PROJECTS

Because the completion of the western and northern portions of the Bennington Bypass is of critical importance to the economic development of southwestern Vermont, the agency of transportation is directed to implement innovative project development techniques to accelerate completion of Project DPI 0146(1) and Project NH F 019-1(5).

* * * Transportation Funds for Support of Government * * *

Sec. 30.  19 V.S.A. § 11a is amended to read:

§ 11a.  TRANSPORTATION FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR SUPPORT

            OF GOVERNMENT

The For fiscal year 2005 and thereafter, the maximum amount of transportation funds that may be appropriated for the support of government, other than for the agency of transportation, transportation pay act funds, the cost of maintaining and staffing rest areas, construction of transportation capital facilities used by the agency of transportation, and transportation debt service, shall not exceed 20.5 be the lower of $43,000,000.00 or 20.0 percent of the total of the prior fiscal year transportation fund appropriations.

Sec. 31.  TRANSPORTATION FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR SUPPORT

                OF GOVERNMENT COST ALLOCATION STUDY

The joint fiscal office in cooperation with the secretary of administration shall conduct a cost allocation study to analyze the amount of state government spending which is directly or indirectly related to the support of the state’s transportation activities.  A report of the study shall be submitted by the joint fiscal office to the House and Senate committees on transportation and appropriations by January 15, 2004.

* * * Transportation Bonding * * *

Sec. 32.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

(a)  Subject to subsection (b) of this section, the state treasurer, with the approval of the governor, is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $3 million for the purpose of funding the appropriations of Sec. 33 of this act.

(b)  The state treasurer, with the approval of the governor, shall determine the appropriate form and maturity of the bonds authorized by this section consistent with the underlying nature of the appropriation to be funded.

(c)  The state treasurer shall allocate the estimated cost of bond issuance or issuances to the entities to which funds are appropriated pursuant to this section and for which bonding is required as the source of funds pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 954.

(d)  It is the intent of the general assembly that future debt service for bonds authorized by this section shall be paid from the transportation fund.

Sec. 33.  TRANSPORTATION BONDS; APPROPRIATION OF BOND

               PROCEEDS

The sum of $3 million is appropriated to the agency of transportation and the secretary of transportation shall allocate the funds to the following projects:

(1)  Alburg-Swanton BRF 036-1(1) (VT 78, replacement of Bridge No. 2 over Missisquoi Bay of Lake Champlain), to defray part of estimated state share of right-of-way and construction costs:                            780,400.00

(2)  Williston-Essex IR 089-2(12) & NH 033-1( ) (VT 289/

Chittenden County Circumferential Highway, segments A-B and new interchange between VT 289 and I-89), to defray part of state share of construction costs:                                                         2,219,600.00

Sec. 34.  TRANSFER OF FUNDS; APPROPRIATED BOND FUNDS

The secretary of transportation, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended funds appropriated under Sec. 33 of this act between the projects authorized in that section.

Sec. 35.  AVAILABILITY OF BOND PROCEEDS

The sums appropriated and the spending authority authorized by Secs. 32‑34 of this act shall be continuing, and shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year.

* * * Public Transportation – Transit * * *

Sec. 36.  19 V.S.A. § 10f is amended to read: 

§ 10f.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; PUBLIC TRANSIT

           TRANSPORTATION

(a)  It shall continue to be the state’s policy to make maximum use of available federal funds for the support of public transportation.  State operating support funds may shall be included in agency operating budgets to the extent that funds are available and where it appears that public transit systems are used and locally supportedIt shall be the state’s policy to support the maintenance of existing public transportation services and the creation of new service that is accessible and affordable to those who use these services.

(b)  The agency of transportation shall develop and periodically update a plan for investment in public transportation services and infrastructure as part of an integrated transportation system consistent with the goals established in 24 V.S.A. § 5083, and regional transportation development plan proposals and regional plans as required by 24 V.S.A. § 5089.

Sec. 37.  24 V.S.A. § 5083 is amended to read:

§ 5083.  DECLARATION OF POLICY

(a)  It is state It shall be the state’s policy to make maximum use of available federal funds for the support of public transportation.  State operating support funds shall be included in agency operating budgets to the extent that funds are available.  State policy that the goals for shall support the maintenance of existing public transit services and creation of new services include including, in order of precedence, the following goals:

(1)  Provision for basic mobility for transit-dependent persons, as defined in the public transit policy plan of January 15, 2000, including meeting the performance standards for urban, suburban, and rural areas.  The density of a service area’s population is an important factor in determining whether the service offered is fixed route, demand-response, or volunteer drivers.

(2)  Access to employment, including creation of demand-response service.

(3)  Congestion mitigation to preserve air quality and the sustainability of the highway network.

(4)  Advancement of economic development with emphasis directed toward tourist areas objectives, including services for workers and visitors that support the travel and tourism industry.  Applicants for “new starts” in this service sector shall demonstrate a high level of locally derived income for operating costs from fare-box recovery, contract income, or other income.

(b)  The public transit advisory council shall, at least annually, evaluate existing services based on the goals established in subsection (a) of this section.  Proposals for new service shall be evaluated by examining feasibility studies submitted by providers.  These studies shall address criteria set forth in the public transit policy plan of January 15, 2000.

(c)  The agency, in cooperation with the public transit advisory council, shall adopt appropriate performance and service standards for transit systems receiving federal or state assistance.  The agency of transportation shall provide guidance, training, funding, and technical assistance to transit systems in order to meet the performance and service standards established.

(d)  The agency of transportation shall provide written guidance, funding, and technical assistance in the preparation of financial and management plans for public transit systems for each fiscal year.  To provide a foundation for financial stability and reliability in the provision of transportation services to the public, the agency of transportation shall, in cooperation with the public transit advisory council, establish both short and long‑range fiscal, operating, and capital investment plans to support the goals outlined in this section and regional transportation development plan proposals and regional plans as required by section 5089 of this title.

Sec. 38.  24 V.S.A. § 5084(c) and (d) are amended to read:

(c)  The advisory council shall meet no less than six four times a during each state fiscal year, excluding subcommittee meetings.  The legislative members of the council shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406.  Members who are not state employees shall receive reimbursement of expenses and a per diem as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010.

(d)  The advisory council shall serve as an advisory group to the agency of transportation on all matters relating to public transportation transit service as defined in section 5088 of this title.

Sec. 39.  24 V.S.A. § 5091(i) is amended to read:

(i)  To implement the public transportation policy goals set forth in section 5083 of this title and 19 V.S.A. § 10f, the agency of transportation shall use the following formula for distribution of operating funds to public transit systems:

(1)  Fifty percent of operating funds shall be based on need for basic mobility, using information developed from the United States Bureau of the Census, as follows:

(A)  ten percent based on the percentage of the state’s elderly population (persons aged 60 and above) in each of the designated transit service areas;

(B)  ten percent based on the percentage of the state’s youth population (persons aged 12 through 17) in each of the designated transit service areas;

(C)  ten percent based on the percentage of the state’s mobility‑limited population in each of the designated transit service areas;

(D)  ten percent based on the percentage of the state’s population in poverty in each of the designated transit service areas;

(E)  ten percent based on the percentage of the state’s households lacking access to an automobile in each of the designated transit service areas.

(2)  Twenty percent of operating funds shall be based on need for employment transportation, as measured by the percentage of the state’s employed persons residing in each of the designated transit service areas, using data developed by the Vermont department of employment and training.

(3)  Fifteen percent of operating funds shall be based on the need for congestion mitigation and air quality, as measured by the percentage of the state’s overall population living in high density areas in each of the designated transit service areas, using data from the United States Bureau of the Census.

(4)  Fifteen percent of the operating funds shall be based on need for economic development transportation, as measured by the percentage of the state’s jobs in each of the designated transit service areas, using data developed annually by the Vermont department of employment and training.

Sec. 40.  REDESIGNATION

24 V.S.A. § 5092 is redesignated as 24 V.S.A. § 5093.

Sec. 41.  24 V.S.A. § 5092 is added to read:

§ 5092.  REPORTS

The agency of transportation, in cooperation with the public transit advisory council, shall develop an annual report of financial and performance data of all public transit systems that receive operating subsidies in any form from the state or federal government.  The report shall be modeled on the Federal Transit Administration’s national transit database program with such modifications as appropriate for the various services, including the guidance found in the most current short‑range public transportation plans and the most current state policy plan.  The report shall describe any action taken by the agency pursuant to contractual authority to terminate funding for routes or to request service changes for failure to meet performance standards.  The report shall be available to the general assembly by January 15 of each year.

Sec. 42.  JARC ROUTE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

The agency, in cooperation with the public transit advisory council, shall prepare a report on the performance of the existing job access reverse commute (JARC) routes for submission to the joint fiscal committee, the chairs of the House and Senate committee on transportation, by January 15, 2004, with recommendations for continued funding with respect to fiscal year 2005 of productive routes, route modifications for marginally productive routes, or implementation of new services in the affected regions as defined in each region’s short-range public transit plan.  The report shall include time frames for implementation of any service modifications or revisions to be effected at the start of fiscal year 2005. 

Sec. 43.  PUBLIC TRANSIT CORRIDOR ANALYSIS

In conjunction with the agency’s evaluation of statewide public transit needs in calendar year 2003, the agency shall evaluate opportunities to provide a public transit fixed route system that would respond to the needs of commuters between Franklin County and Essex Junction and between Burlington and Montpelier.

Sec. 44.  PUBLIC TRANSIT; SOLICITATION OF INPUT FOR

                DEVELOPING LONG‑RANGE PLAN

As part of its process to develop a long‑range statewide integrated and seamless public transit system, the agency of transportation shall solicit input from interested parties, including but not limited to the department of aging and disabilities, regional planning commissions, the Chittenden County metropolitan planning organization, public transit providers, the Vermont public transportation association, the public transit advisory council, and the user and employer communities.  This outreach effort shall include individual meetings with various entities and at least two public hearings.

Sec. 45.  CENTRAL VERMONT PUBLIC TRANSIT ADVISORY BOARD

(a)  There is established a Central Vermont Public Transit Advisory Board consisting of:

(1)  an elected official from each municipality in Washington County and from the towns of Orange, Washington, and Williamstown, to be selected by the legislative body of each municipality; and

(2)  a representative from each of the following organizations:  Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission, the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Aging and Disabilities, the Central Vermont Council on Aging, the Vermont Center for Independent Living, Project Independence, and the Central Vermont Community Action Council, to be selected by each organization; and

(3)  representatives from the general riding and ride‑sharing public, to be selected by the Board.

(b)  The Board shall elect officers at its first meeting.

(c)  The Board shall provide local community input to the service provider for Central Vermont public transit and assist with the identification of local and regional needs and quality of service.

(d)  The Board shall explore long‑term options for public transit in the central Vermont region.

(e)  The Board shall meet at least bimonthly.  The Chittenden County Transportation Authority general manager and Green Mountain Transit Agency regional manager shall attend the bimonthly meeting and report on public transit operations in the Central Vermont service area.

(f)  The Chittenden County Transportation Authority general manager shall submit annual reports to the Board, and other reports as may be requested by the Board.

Sec. 46.  CHITTENDEN COUNTY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY;

                     EXTENSION OF SERVICE

(a)  In addition to the area of operation authorized in Sec. 2 of No. 122 of the Acts of 1973, the Chittenden County Transportation Authority is authorized to operate within Washington County and the towns of Orange, Washington, and Williamstown pursuant to:

(1)  a contract with the state; or

(2)  a contract with a public transit system as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 5088(6).

(b)  The Central Vermont public transit advisory board and the Central Vermont regional planning commission shall hold three public hearings on the service provided in Washington county by the Chittenden County Transportation Authority.  The board shall deliver a report on January 15, 2006 to the members of the House and Senate Committees on transportation and to members of the House and Senate representing Washington County and the towns of Orange, Washington, and Williamstown, stating recommendations regarding the structure, management, and operations of public transit services within the central Vermont region.

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Chittenden County Transportation Authority is authorized to operate outside its area of operation to provide day trips for senior centers, provided the trips are approved by the Central Vermont public transit advisory board.

(d)  This section shall not be construed to extend the authority’s ability to assess municipalities in Washington County or the towns of Orange, Washington, and Williamstown.

(e)  This section shall not apply to a municipality that elects to become a member of the authority pursuant to Sec. 3 of No. 122 of the Acts of 1973.

Sec. 47.  CHITTENDEN COUNTY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

(a)  Notwithstanding Sec. 2 of No. 122 of the Acts of 1973, the Chittenden County Transportation Authority is authorized to provide public transit services between Chittenden County and Franklin County through June 30, 2006.

(b)  This section shall not be construed to extend the authority’s ability to assess municipalities in Franklin County.

(c)  This section shall not apply to a municipality that elects to become a member of the authority pursuant to Sec. 3 of No. 122 of the Acts of 1973.

Sec. 48.  Sec. 4(c)(11) of No. 122 of the Acts of 1973 is amended to read:

(c)  The authority is granted the authority to exercise all powers necessary, appurtenant, convenient or incidental to the carrying out of the aforesaid purposes, including, but not limited to, the following rights and powers:

* * *

(11)  Within its area of operation Chittenden County, to acquire by the exercise of the power of eminent domain any real property which it may have found necessary for its purposes, in the manner provided for the condemnation of land or rights therein as set forth in sections 221-233 of Title 19, and acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto;

* * * Protection of Highways - Flow Devices * * *

Sec. 49.  PROTECTION OF HIGHWAYS; FLOW DEVICES

One of the basic considerations in designing and maintaining highways is controlling the flow of water onto, around, and under the road.  A considerable amount of expense is incurred in properly channeling water in a manner that protects the integrity of the road from water damage.  Ensuring the free flow of water through culverts is one of the essential elements in preventive maintenance.  Culverts present an attractive site for beavers to clog and thereby create a flooded area for their habitat.  An effective means of preventing this occurrence could offer considerable savings to the state and municipalities.  Therefore, the agency of transportation is directed to examine options for reducing or eliminating water damage caused by beavers.  The agency, in conjunction with the department of fish and wildlife, the local roads project, and the Vermont league of cities and towns, shall explore the use of available “flow devices” and prepare a cost-benefit analysis indicating the cost‑savings benefits of each option.  The agency shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2004.

* * * Transportation Budget Study Committee * * *

Sec. 50.  TRANSPORTATION BUDGET STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  A summer study committee is established, consisting of the chair of the House committee on transportation, two other members of that committee appointed by the speaker of the House, the chair of the House committee on appropriations or designee, and the chair of the House committee on ways and means or designee, the chair of the Senate committee on transportation, two other members of that committee appointed by the committee on committees, the chair of the Senate committee on appropriations or designee, and the chair of the Senate committee on finance or designee, the secretary of the agency of transportation or designee, and the secretary of the agency of administration or designee.  The committee is authorized to hold up to six meetings, at which point it is terminated.  Legislative members of the committee shall be entitled to per diem compensation and expense reimbursement as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406(a).

(b)  The committee shall investigate, seek pertinent information from appropriate persons, and make recommendations with respect to the following:

(1)  The options for defining the structure, content, and format of the state transportation budget:

(A)  that will accomplish the objectives of 19 V.S.A. § 10g(c) regarding infrastructure preservation and 19 V.S.A. § 10k regarding asset management; and

(B)  that will provide benchmarks to measure the progress of the agency in achieving program objectives.

(2)  The systems currently used by the agency for providing oversight of project implementation, delays, advancement, and cost overruns, specifically:

(A)  the agency’s system for implementing planned activities for authorized projects;

(B)  the agency’s system of reallocating funds from projects with expenditures less than predicted to other authorized but unfunded projects or to cover the cost of authorized, funded projects with expenditures greater than predicted.

(3)  the most effective and appropriate ways to report budgetary and capital program information; and

(4)  the system used by the agency to implement new, unauthorized, unfunded projects for emergency or other reasons of public interest, including the authority to delay planned expenditures on authorized projects and reallocate the funds to cover the costs of the new projects.

(c)  The agency, legislative council, and joint fiscal office shall provide staff support for the committee.

(d)  The legislative council shall prepare proposed legislation to accomplish the recommendations of the committee.  The committee shall deliver the proposed legislation to the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation by December 31, 2003.

* * * Border Crossings; Cooperation with Federal Government * * *

Sec. 51.  19 V.S.A. § 15a is added to read:

§ 15a.  BORDER CROSSINGS; COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL

            GOVERNMENT

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the agency (in the case of state highways) and municipalities (in the case of town highways) are authorized to cooperate with federal projects to modernize border crossings between the United States and Canada by relinquishing to the federal government those portions of state or town highways approaching the border that may be required by the federal government for its border crossing projects, pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.

(b)  In connection with the relinquishments authorized in subsection (a) of this section, the agency and municipalities are authorized to execute agreements with the federal government, including a conveyance of an interest in real property, easements, leases, and other instruments necessary to assure that federal requirements are met.  The federal government shall be responsible for maintenance of those state and town highways relinquished under this section.

* * * Examination of VAST Funding Issues * * *

Sec. 52.  VERMONT ASSOCIATION OF SNOW TRAVELERS FUNDING

                ISSUES; STUDY GROUP

The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, Inc. (VAST) is requested, with assistance from the Governor’s Snowmobile Council, the department of finance and management, and groups representing private landowners, to examine whether additional funding mechanisms may be needed to support the Statewide Snowmobile Trails Program (SSTP).  Findings and recommendations shall be compiled in a report to be submitted by December 15, 2003 to the House committees on transportation, ways and means, and appropriations and the Senate committees on transportation, finance, and appropriations.

* * * Transportation Fund Revenue Analysis * * *

Sec. 53.  TRANSPORTATION FUND REVENUE ANALYSIS

The joint fiscal office, in cooperation with the agency of transportation and the agency of administration, shall investigate the following:

(1)  the relationship between the growth rates of existing transportation fund revenue sources and the growth rates of the different categories of costs which are defrayed by transportation fund revenues;

(2)  options with respect to restructuring the tax and fee revenue base of the transportation fund, consistent with a user fee model, so as to raise the correlation between the growth rates of the revenues generated and the costs defrayed by the transportation fund; and

(3)  the impact of any changes in the existing structure of transportation fund taxes and fees on the competitiveness of Vermont businesses.

* * * Overweight Truck Permits; Town Highways * * *

Sec. 54.  23 V.S.A. § 1400a(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A person or corporation owning or operating a traction engine, tractor trailer, motor truck or other motor vehicle that desires to operate it in excess of the weight limits provided in this subchapter over highways and bridges under the jurisdiction of a municipality with the exception of class 1 town highways and subject to the provisions of subsection 1400(c) of this title shall make application for a permit to the appropriate legislative body, or its designee.

Sec. 55.  19 V.S.A. § 1111(a), (b), and (g) are amended to read:

(a)  Permits. Permits must be obtained by anyone or any corporation wishing to use as described in this section any part of the highway right‑of‑way on either the state or town system.  Notwithstanding any other statutory requirement, a permit shall be required for any use of any highway right‑of‑way, consistent with the provisions of this section.  The authority given to the board, the secretary and the attorney general under this section shall also apply to the legislative bodies of towns, or their designees.

(b)  Driveway entrances, highway grades; drainage. It shall be unlawful to develop, construct, regrade or resurface any driveway, entrance, or approach, or build a fence or building, or deposit material of any kind within, or to in any way affect the grade of a highway right-of-way, or obstruct a ditch, culvert or drainage course that drains a highway, or fill or grade the land adjacent to a highway so as to divert the flow of water onto the highway right-of-way, without a written permit from the agency, in the case of state highways, or the legislative body, or designee of a municipality, in the case of town highways. As a condition of any such permit, compliance with all local ordinances and regulations relating to highways and land use shall be required.  The agency or legislative body, within their respective jurisdictions, may make such rules to carry out the provisions of this section as will adequately protect and promote the safety of the traveling public, maintain reasonable levels of service on the existing highway system, and protect the public investment in the existing highway infrastructure, but shall in no case deny reasonable entrance and exit to or from property abutting the highways, except on limited access highways, using safety, maintenance of reasonable levels of service on the existing highways, and protection of the public investment in the existing highway infrastructure as the test for reasonableness, and except as necessary to be consistent with the planning goals of 24 V.S.A. § 4302 and to be compatible with any regional plan, state agency plan or approved municipal plan. However, in any case involving an access permit for a development contributing 75 or more peak hour trips to state highways or class 1 town highways, the permit may include reasonable conditions and requirements to protect service levels on such highways.

(g)  Permit suspension. In addition to any other enforcement powers that may be provided for by law the secretary or his or her designated representative, on behalf of the agency or the legislative body, or designee on behalf of a municipality, may suspend any permit under this section until compliance is obtained. If there is continued use or activity after suspension, the secretary, on behalf of the agency, or the legislative body, on behalf of a municipality, may physically close the driveway or access point if, in the opinion of the secretary or the legislative body, the safety of highway users is or may be affected.

* * * Highway Excavation Activities * * *

Sec. 56.  30 V.S.A. § 7001(4) is amended to read:

(4)  “Excavation activities” means activities involving the removal of earth, rock or other materials in the ground, disturbing the subsurface of the earth, or the demolition of any structure, by the discharge of explosives or the use of powered or mechanized equipment, including but not limited to digging, trenching, blasting, boring, drilling, hammering, post driving, wrecking, razing or tunneling, within 100 feet of an underground utility facility.  Excavation activities shall not include the tilling of the soil for agricultural purposes or activities relating to routine public highway maintenance.

Sec. 57.  Sec. 4 of No. 51 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) (sunset of dig safe premarking exemption) is repealed.

* * * Route 4 Annual Upgrades * * *

Sec. 58.  ANNUAL UPGRADES TO ROUTE U.S. 4

The general assembly finds that U.S. 4 is a critically important east-west corridor which serves the traveling public as well as providing an essential link for the passage of truck freight.  It is therefore the intent of the general assembly to continue implementing project recommendations found in the U.S. 4 report issued in January of 2002, and that there be an annual effort to continue upgrades on U.S. 4 east of Rutland to White River Junction.  Additionally, the general assembly encourages municipalities along the U.S. 4 corridor to continue to actively seek solutions to their traffic congestion problems.

* * * Rest Areas * * *

Sec. 59.  29 V.S.A. § 152(c) is added to read:

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to:

(1)  Implement a “Motorist Aid Refreshment Program” at state rest areas and information centers.  The commissioner is authorized to accept, without active solicitation, donations for the services and associated supplies.

(2)  Permit nonprofit organizations and contracted information center operators to provide free refreshments to motorists.  Nonprofits and contracted information center operators may accept voluntary donations, without active solicitation, from motorists.

(3)  Adopt rules governing the provision of refreshments in accordance with this subsection.

 * * * Energy Efficiency Reimbursements to VTrans * * *

Sec. 60.  19 V.S.A. § 11e is amended to read:

§ 11e.  REIMBURSEMENTS

Receipts for damage to state property under the control of the agency of transportation, other than recoveries under Title 32 § 134, sales of supplies, interdepartmental transfers for maintenance of roads under the jurisdiction of other departments of the state, receipts from the Efficiency Vermont program, and receipts from municipalities and public utilities cooperating with the agency of transportation for highway or grade crossing work shall be credited to the same account from which the expenditures have been or will be incurred.

* * * Local Match Requirements; Study * * *

Sec. 61.  STUDY OF LOCAL MATCH REQUIREMENTS

(a)  The joint fiscal office, in cooperation with the agency of transportation and the agency of administration, and in consultation with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, shall analyze:

(1)  the continuing validity of the policy rationales underlying the different treatment of municipalities in current law with respect to local match funding requirements for state-funded transportation projects;

(2)  the differential fiscal impact of the current local match system on municipalities with respect to their ability to plan and accomplish transportation improvements;

(3)  options to redefine the standards for fixing local match funding requirements; and

(4)  the fiscal impact which implementation of any alternative system of local match requirements would have on the state transportation fund and municipalities.

(b)  The agency of transportation shall hold two public hearings and report the findings to the joint fiscal office and the agency of administration by October 1, 2003.

(c)  The joint fiscal office shall deliver a report of its findings and analysis to the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2004.

* * * Town Infrastructure Inventory * * *

Sec. 62.  TOWN INFRASTRUCTURE INVENTORY

The sum of $50,000.00 of transportation funds is authorized for expenditure by the agency to support the development by the Vermont interagency bridge and culvert team of a training and software system to assist towns in developing inventories of their transportation infrastructure assets.

* * * Materials and Research Lab-Environmental Conditions * * *

Sec. 63.  MATERIALS AND RESEARCH LABORATORY

The sum of $100,000.00 of transportation funds is authorized for expenditure by the agency of transportation for expenditure to improve air quality and environmental conditions at the agency’s materials and research laboratory.

* * * Vermont Better Backroads * * *

Sec. 64.  VERMONT BETTER BACKROADS

Authorized spending in the Vermont local roads program is increased by  $25,000.00, which shall be utilized in the better backroads program.

* * * Vermont Transportation Authority * * *

Sec. 65.  VERMONT TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

The sum of $6,000.00 of transportation funds is authorized for expenditure by the Vermont Transportation Authority for administrative expenses.

* * * Asset Management - Sale of State Property * * *

Sec. 66.  19 V.S.A. § 10k is amended to read:

§ 10k.  STATEMENT OF POLICY; ASSET MANAGEMENT; SALE OF

            STATE PROPERTY

(a)  The agency shall develop an asset management plan which is a systematic goal and performance-driven management and decision-making process of operating, maintaining and upgrading transportation assets cost‑effectively.  At a minimum, the asset management system shall:

(1)  list all of the infrastructure assets and their condition, including, but not limited to, pavements, structures, and facilities;

(2)  list other assets and their condition, including, but not limited to, construction and maintenance equipment, vehicles, real estate, materials, corporate data and information, and ground and water transportation facilities and equipment;

(3)  include deterioration rates for infrastructure assets; and

(4)  determine, long-term, the annual funds necessary to fund infrastructure maintenance at the recommended performance level.

(b)  The agency shall not negotiate nor offer for sale any state property for less than fair market value without the prior approval of the general assembly, if in session, and if not in session, the joint fiscal committee.  The agency may sell or lease land to municipalities for less than fair market value when and for so long as the land is to be used by the municipality for transportation purposes.

* * * GARVEE  Bonds * * *

Sec. 67.  GRANT ANTICIPATION REVENUE VEHICLE (GARVEE

               BONDS)

The state treasurer, in consultation with the agency of transportation and the agency of administration, shall investigate and report to the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation and appropriations by January 15, 2004, on the advisability of utilizing Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonds for the purpose of accelerating priority transportation infrastructure projects in Vermont.  The treasurer shall coordinate the investigation with the capital debt affordability committee and address any potential impacts to the state’s debt statement, credit ratings, and ability to issue general obligation debt.  The report shall include a detailed cost‑benefit analysis and a specific proposal to utilize GARVEE bonds for consideration by the 2004 general assembly.

* * * Department of Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 68.  DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES SERVICE STUDY

(a)  The department of motor vehicles shall investigate staffing, systems, and systems management options to reduce:

(1)  on‑site peak capacity service waiting times; and

(2)  mail inquiry response times.

(b)  The department shall complete and have available a report of its investigation by January 15, 2004.  The report shall include the department’s findings and a plan that could achieve reduced waiting times.  The plan shall describe any additional staffing or systems resources and associated costs which would be required and a timetable for implementation of the plan if adopted by the general assembly.

Sec. 69.  23 V.S.A. § 4(30) is amended to read:

Except as may be otherwise provided herein, and unless the context otherwise requires in statutes relating to motor vehicles and enforcement of the law regulating vehicles, as provided in this title and part 5 of Title 20, the following definitions shall apply:

* * *

(30)  “Resident” shall include all legal residents of this state and in addition thereto, any person except a person who is domiciled in another state and who returns to the state on a regular basis of no less than weekly who accepts employment or engages in a trade, profession or occupation in this state for a period of at least six months, for purposes of this title only, means any person living in the state who intends to make the state his or her principal place of domicile either permanently or for an indefinite number of years.  Without limiting the class of nonresidents under the provisions of this subdivision, persons who live in the state for a particular purpose involving a defined period of time, including students, migrant workers employed in seasonal occupations and persons employed under a contract with a fixed term, are not residents for purposes of this title only.  Also in addition thereto, any foreign partnership, firm, association or corporation having a place of business in this state shall be deemed to be a resident as to all vehicles owned or leased and which are garaged or maintained in this state;

Sec. 70.  23 V.S.A. § 301 is amended to read:

§ 301.  PERSONS REQUIRED TO REGISTER

Residents as defined in section 4 of this title, except as provided in section 301a and chapter 35 of this title, shall annually register motor vehicles owned or leased for a period of more than thirty 30 days and operated by them, unless currently registered in Vermont.  Notwithstanding this section, a resident who has moved into the state from another jurisdiction shall register his or her motor vehicle within 60 days of moving into the state.  A person shall not operate a motor vehicle nor draw a trailer or semi-trailer on any highway unless such vehicle is registered as provided in this chapter.

Sec. 71.  23 V.S.A. § 601(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A resident who intends to operate motor vehicles shall procure a proper license so to doA resident who has moved into the state from another jurisdiction with a valid license to operate motor vehicles under section 411 of this title shall procure a license within 60 days of moving into the state.  Nonresidents may procure operators' licenses as provided in this title for the licensing of nonresidents.  All operator licenses issued under this chapter shall expire every four years at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant.  All junior operator licenses shall expire every two years at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant.  A person born on February 29 shall, for the purposes of this section, be considered as born on March 1.

* * * Review of Transportation Board Functions * * *

Sec. 72.  REVIEW OF TRANSPORTATION BOARD FUNCTIONS

The agency of transportation, in consultation with representatives of those persons who have petitioned the board for redress of an issue, is directed to examine current board functions and report to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2004.  The report shall include recommendations as to whether the current functions of the board are utilizing the expertise and capacity of the board or whether additional responsibilities should be vested in that body.

* * * Additional Federal Funds * * *

Sec. 73.  ADDITIONAL FEDERAL FUNDS

(a)  To the extent that the state’s share of federal aid highway apportionment funds appropriated for federal fiscal year 2004 exceeds $114 million, the federal funds are authorized and hereby appropriated to the agency for expenditure on the following projects:

(1)  First, up to $600,000.00 to the state bridge project Montgomery BHF 0238(8)S, page 12, but only if the substitution of federal funds for state funds is deemed necessary by the secretary in order to secure state funds as matching funds for other projects.  The schedule for the project shall be amended to read as follows: 

Program Development-State Bridges:  Montgomery - Trout River, pg. 12

 

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

0

0

0

ROW

0

0

0

Construction

750,000

750,000

0

Other

0

0

0

Total

750,000

750,000

0

 

 

 

 

State

750,000

150,000

-600,000

Federal

0

600,000

600,000

Local

0

0

0

(2)  Second, the secretary is authorized to use the federal funds in place of state funds authorized for projects which are eligible for federal funding where the purpose and effect of the substitution of funds is to release state funds which then can be used to satisfy the match requirements of other federal funds.  The secretary is authorized to apply any state funds derived under subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection to satisfy the state fund matching requirement for federal funds of any project authorized by this act.

(3)  Third, up to $150,000.00 to a new project in the project development roadway program to provide funding for the design and construction of the Bennington Mt. Anthony STP Walk ( ) project.  Sec. 9 of No. 141 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) is amended by rescinding state funding of $200,000.00 for the Bennington North Side Drive-Benmont Avenue-East Road intersection project STP ( ) project.  The rescinded state funds shall be carried forward and used in the Bennington Mt. Anthony STP Walk project.  Subject to the availability of funds, funds are authorized for expenditure on the project in accordance with the following schedule:

Program Development-Roadway:  Bennington Mt. Anthony sidewalk, new

 

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

0

0

ROW

 

0

0

Construction

 

0

0

Other

 

450,000

450,000

Total

 

450,000

450,000

 

 

 

 

State

 

200,000

200,000

Federal

 

150,000

150,000

Local

 

100,000

100,000

(4)  Fourth, up to $850,000.00 to the town bridge initiative program to be allocated among projects in the program as provided in Sec. 9 of this act.

(5)  Fifth, up to $1,300,000.00 to the Vermont enhancement grant program for a round of grant awards to be made in January 2004.

(6)  Sixth, up to $350,000.00 to the Chittenden County Transportation Authority for its preventative maintenance program.

(7)  Seventh, up to $100,000.00 to the bicycle and pedestrian facilities program for project development and evaluation.  Subject to the availability of funds, funds are authorized for expenditure on the project in accordance with the following schedule:

Program Development – Bike/Ped: development & evaluation

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

 

0

ROW

 

 

0

Construction

 

 

0

Other

 

125,000

125,000

Total

 

125,000

125,000

 

 

 

 

State

 

12,500

12,500

Federal

 

100,000

100,000

Local

 

12,500

12,500

(8)  Eighth, up to $919,654.00 to the St. Albans-Highgate STP 2114(1)S paving project.  Subject to the availability of funds, funds are authorized for expenditure on the project in accordance with the following schedule:

Program Development - Paving: St.Albans-Highgate, shelf

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

0

0

ROW

 

0

0

Construction

 

1,149,568

1,149,568

Other

 

0

0

Total

 

1,149,568

1,149,568

 

 

 

 

State

 

229,914

229,914

Federal

 

919,654

919,654

Local

 

0

0

(9)  Ninth, up to $80,000.00 for the Rupert-Pawlet STP 2133(1)(S) paving project.  Subject to the availability of funds, funds are authorized for expenditure on the project in accordance with the following schedule:

Project Development - Paving:  Rupert-Pawlet / Rt. 30, new

FY04

As Proposed

As Amended

Change

PE

 

100,000

100,000

ROW

 

0

0

Construction

 

0

0

Other

 

0

0

Total

 

100,000

100,000

 

 

 

 

State

 

20,000

20,000

Federal

 

80,000

80,000

Local

 

0

0

(10)  Tenth, any remaining funds to shelf projects in the paving, roadway and bridge programs so identified in the fiscal year 2004 transportation program as approved by the general assembly.

(11)  Eleventh, any remaining funds to other shelf projects so identified in the fiscal year 2004 transportation program as approved by the general assembly.

(b)  Within the priority categories specified in subdivisions (a)(10) and (11) of this section, projects shall be funded in the order of priority as determined by the secretary which will optimize the use of available federal, state, and local funds to advance projects to completion.  The secretary shall report to the chairs of the House and Senate committees on transportation by December 1, 2003 which shelf projects the agency intends to undertake.

*** Transportation Enhancement Grant Program ***

Sec. 74.  Sec. 41v of No. 18 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000), as

amended by Sec. 37 of No. 156 of the Acts of 2000, is amended as follows, and, as amended, is codified as 19 V.S.A. § 38:

Sec. 41v.  § 38.  TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT ADVISORY

                           COMMITTEE GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  The Vermont transportation enhancement advisory grant committee is created and shall be comprised of the secretary of transportation or his or her designee, a representative from the division of historic preservation appointed by the secretary of the agency of commerce and community development, one member to be appointed by the secretary of transportation the agency of commerce and community development to represent the tourism and marketing industry, a representative of the agency of natural resources appointed by the secretary of the agency of natural resources, three municipal representatives designated by appointed by the governing body of the Vermont league of cities and towns, one member representing and appointed by the governing board of the Vermont association of planning and development agencies, two members from the house designated by the speaker, and two members from the senate designated by the committee on committees.  Municipal and legislative members shall serve concurrently for two-year terms and the initial appointments of these members shall be made in a manner which allows for them to serve a full legislative biennium.  In the event a municipal or legislative member ceases to serve on the committee prior to the full term, the appointing authority shall fill the position for the remainder of the term.  The committee shall, to the greatest extent practicable, encompass a broad geographic representation of Vermont.

(b)  There is appropriated $2,000,000 in federal funds for fiscal year 2000 to the agency of transportation project development program (account #0408810700) for the local enhancement program.  The transportation enhancement advisory committee shall review all of the enhancement applications funded under this section, as well as all future enhancement applications.  For fiscal year 2002 and thereafter, 100 percent of the minimum surface transportation apportionment enhancement set-aside shall be expended on transportation projects that have been reviewed by the transportation enhancement advisory committee.  The Vermont transportation enhancement grant program is created.  The grant program shall be funded as provided in subsection (c) of this section and shall be administered by the agency.  The grant program shall be limited to enhancement activities as defined in 23 U.S.C. § 101(a)(35) which are sponsored by municipalities, nonprofit organizations, or political subdivisions of the state other than the agency.  Eligible applicants must provide all funds required to match federal funds awarded for an enhancement project.  All grant awards shall be decided and awarded by the transportation enhancement grant committee.

(c)  The following federal aid highway program funds received by the state under the federal aid highway reauthoriziation act, and succeeding reauthorization acts, that succeed the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (Public Law 105-178 as amended) shall be exclusively reserved to cover the costs of enhancement projects awarded grants under the Vermont transportation enhancement grant program with respect to federal fiscal years 2004 and thereafter:

(1)  at a minimum, four percent of the state’s apportionment of surface transportation funds received by the state under 23 U.S.C. § 104(b)(3) over the life of the applicable federal reauthorization act; and, if greater,

(2)  at a maximum, the state’s apportionment of federal aid highway program funds that are exclusively reserved for transportation enhancement activities under 23 U.S.C. § 133(d)(2) received by the state over the life of the applicable federal reauthorization act.

(d)  For each fiscal year starting with fiscal year 2005, the agency shall determine or estimate as required:

(1)  the state’s apportionment of surface transportation program funds which the state expects to receive under 23 U.S.C. § 104(b)(3) with respect to the equivalent federal fiscal year; and 

(2)  the state’s pro rata apportionment of federal aid highway program funds which are exclusively reserved for transportation enhancement activities under 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(2).  To determine the pro rata amount, the agency shall estimate the total amount of exclusively reserved funds expected to be received by the state over the life of the applicable federal reauthorization act, subtract the total amount of enhancement grants awarded under this section with respect to prior federal fiscal years of the applicable federal reauthorization act, and divide the resulting sum by the number of years remaining in the life of the applicable federal reauthorization act.  The agency shall adjust the amounts determined under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection to account for any differences between estimates made, actual appropriations received, and enhancement grants awarded with respect to applicable prior federal fiscal years.

(e)(1)  For each fiscal year starting with fiscal year 2005, the state’s enhancement grant program for the fiscal year shall be, at the discretion of the secretary:

(A)  at a minimum, four percent of the adjusted amount ascertained by the agency under subdivision (d)(1) of this section; and

(B)  at a maximum, the adjusted amount ascertained by the agency under subdivision (d)(2) of this section.

(2)  The agency shall plan its budget accordingly and advise the general assembly in its recommended budget of the amount of the enhancement grant program.

(f)  Enhancement grant awards shall be announced by the transportation enhancement grant committee not earlier than December and not later than the following March of the federal fiscal year of the federal funds being committed by the grant awards.

(g)  In evaluating applications for enhancement grants, the transportation enhancement grant committee shall give preferential weighting to projects involving as a primary feature a bicycle or pedestrian facility.  The degree of preferential weighting and the circumstantial factors sufficient to overcome the weighting shall be in the complete discretion of the transportation enhancement grant committee.

(c)(h)  The agency shall develop an outreach and marketing effort designed to provide information to communities with respect to the benefits of participating in the enhancement program.  This effort should be directed to areas of the state historically underserved by this program.

Sec. 75.  ENHANCEMENT GRANTS FISCAL YEAR 2004

The sum of $1,450,000.00 of federal funds apportioned to the state under 23 U.S.C. § 104(b)(3) with respect to federal fiscal year 2004 is authorized and reserved for the enhancement grant program under 19 V.S.A. § 38.  Grant awards with respect to these funds shall be made in January 2004.  The total amount of enhancement grants awarded in January 2004 with respect to federal fiscal year 2004 federal funds shall be taken into account by the agency in making the estimates pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 38 with respect to federal fiscal year 2005.

*** Reallocation of authorized funds ***

Sec. 76.  REALLOCATION OF AUTHORIZED FUNDS

(a)  In the event federal funds, which, absent action by the state, will be restricted in their use pursuant to 23 U.S.C. § 164 (failure of state to enact and enforce repeat intoxicated driver laws) are released from their restricted status, or in the event federal funds authorized for projects become available due to project delays, the secretary is authorized to use the federal funds in place of state funds authorized for projects which are eligible for federal funding where the purpose and effect of the substitution of funds is to release state funds which then can be used to satisfy the match requirements of other federal funds.  The state funds so released, the state funds from delayed projects, and any remaining balance of federal funds are authorized for expenditure on the following projects:

(1)  First, to shelf projects in the paving, roadway, and bridge programs so identified in the fiscal year 2004 transportation capital program as approved by the general assembly;

(2)  Second, any remaining funds to other shelf projects so identified in the fiscal year 2004 transportation capital program as approved by the general assembly.

(b)  Within each priority category in subsection (a) of this section, projects shall be funded in the order of priority as determined by the secretary which will optimize the use of available federal, state, and local funds to advance projects to completion.

*** Circumferential highway ***

Sec. 77.  CIRCUMFERENTIAL HIGHWAY

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if the Williston-Essex IR 089-2(12) and NH 033-1() projects are delayed for any reason, funds authorized for the projects for fiscal years 2004 and thereafter shall not be reallocated to any other project or projects without the approval of the general assembly, or if the general assembly is not in session, a special committee consisting of the joint fiscal committee joined by the chairs of the House and Senate committees on transportation.  Any proposed reallocation of funds shall endeavor to optimize the use of the funds to advance or complete the highest priority projects in the state which are not funded or which require additional funds.

Sec. 78.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage except for Secs. 32 through 35 and Sec. 73 which shall take effect July 1, 2003.

Approved:  June 4, 2003