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NO. 144. AN ACT RELATING TO THE STATE'S TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM AND PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

(H.760)

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

* * * Transportation Capital Program and Project Development Plan * * *

Sec. 1. TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM FOR FY 1999; PROJECT

DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR FY 2000-2003

(a) The transportation capital program for FY 1999 and project development plan for FY 2000-2003, appended to the agency of transportation's proposed FY 1999 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) The following additions, deletions or modifications are made:

(1) The sum of $135,000.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund for FY 1999 to the agency of transportation for small betterment projects. Of this appropriation and current funds available in the betterment program not more than $35,000.00 shall be available to the town of Middlebury for minor improvements to Pleasant Street/US 7 (TH #1) and Court Square/US 7 (TH #1), with $115,000.00 allocated to improvements to US 7 in the vicinity of Otter Valley Union High School in the town of Brandon and $50,000.00 allocated to improvements to the ramps at exit 3 of US 7 in the town of Sunderland, at the interchange with VT 313.

(2) In the engineering and construction program for project Moretown-Middlesex (Project No. BRS 0167(11)), by deleting construction funding for budget year FY 1999 of $236,250.00, by amending total funding from $236,775.00 to $525.00 and by amending the state share to $105.00 and the federal share to $420.00.

(3) In the engineering and construction program for project Moretown (Project No. STP EGC RSEGC RS 0167(9)), by deleting construction funding for budget year FY 1999 of $250,000.00, by amending total funding from $636,077.00 to $386,077.00 and by amending the state share to $19,304.00 and the federal share to $366,773.00.

(4) In the engineering and construction program for project Shelburne-SouthBurlington (Project No. NHEGC FEGC 019-4(19)), by amending PE funding for budget year FY 1999 from $220,000.00 to $110,000.00, by amending ROW funding from $1,542,000.00 to $771,000.00, by amending construction funding from $2,238,000.00 to $1,119,000.00, by amending total funding from $4,000,000.00 to $2,000,000.00, by amending the state share to $100,000.00 and the federal share to $1,900,000.00.

(5) In the town highway bridge program for project Barre City (Project No. BRM 6000(13)), by deleting construction funding for budget year FY 1999 of $420,000.00, by amending the total funding from $421,866.00 to $1,866.00 and by amending the state share to $187.00, the federal share to $1,492.00, and the local share to $187.00.

(6) In the town highway bridge program for project Rockingham (Project No. TH2 9103), by deleting construction funding for budget year FY 1999 of $87,360.00, by amending total funding from $104,618.00 to $17,258.00 and by amending the state share to $15,532.00 and the local share to $1,726.00. Notwithstanding this subsection, the agency may advance this project to the construction phase during FY 1999 if the town of Rockingham resolves outstanding right-of-way acquisition issues.

(7) In the rail, air and public transportation program Hartford (Project No. STP HTFD(1)) by deleting all budget year FY 1999 funding and by transferring the project to the development and evaluation list.

(8) In the rail, air and public transportation program Charlotte to Burlington (commuter rail project) by deleting all budget year fiscal year funding numbers from FY 1997 through FY 2002 and by inserting in lieu thereof the revised numbers found on page 5, dated February 5, 1998 in the rail, air and public transportation program.

(9) In the rail, air and public transportation program in the statewide project for operating assistance for public transit operators in budget year FY 1999 by amending funding for the categories "other" and "total" from $5,543,631.00 to $5,708,631.00 and by amending the state portion from $2,425,000.00 to $2,590,000.00. This increased funding shall be allocated as follows: $50,000.00 for Central Vermont Transit Authority for a pilot project for a public transit voucher system; and $115,000.00 to increase the5310 program for the elderly and disabled.

(10) In the rail, air and public transportation program, by modifying the project for statewide capital assistance for public transit by deleting the language in the comments section, by amending total funding from $1,591,500.00 to $920,000.00, by amending the state share from $139,150.00 to $92,000.00, by amending the federal share from $1,313,200.00 to $736,000.00, and by amending the local share from $139,150.00 to $92,000.00.

(11) In the engineering and construction program, by modifying the statewide project for development, evaluation and scoping by amending other and total funding from $3,606,845.00 to $3,072,432.00, by amending the state share from $665,301.00 to $536,879.00 and by amending the federal share from $2,885,476.00 to $2,469,485.00. This will delete, for FY 1999, funding for the following roadway project currently under development, evaluation and scoping: Bennington Bypass South NH F 019-1(4) (US 7). With respect to the Bennington Spur NH F 110-1(5) (US 7), the agency of transportation shall evaluate funding and design alternatives in light of the decision relating to the Bennington Bypass South. Access to the Bypass and its points of interchange shall be fully controlled to insure that this project does not induce sprawl. In addition, the agency shall have an updated traffic analysis conducted to determine the effects of the Bennington Bypass. The analysis shall include consideration of upgraded rail services in the area and shall be available to the house and senate committees on transportation no later than January 15, 1999.

(12) It is the goal of the general assembly to limit total expenditures on the Rutland MultiModal Transit Center project (MMTC(1)) to the fullest extent possible under the terms of current contracts. The agency of transportation shall put into place all appropriate internal controls necessary to accomplish this goal. At a minimum, the agency shall utilize the following internal controls: contract management, enforcement and monitoring procedures, cost-control procedures, financial controls and construction management procedures. On or before June 1, 1998, the secretary of transportation shall submit a status report of the agency's progress in implementing internal controls on theRutland MultiModal Transit Center project to the chairs of house and senate committees on transportation.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, by FY 2003 the proportion of funds allocated to nonhighway modes shall not be less than the proportion of funds allocated to nonhighway modes in FY 1998. The agency of transportation's resource allocation charts shall be refined to more clearly reflect an intermodal program.

Sec. 1a. STATE HIGHWAY PROJECT PRIORITIZATION

The agency of transportation, in consultation with the regional planning commissions and the metropolitan planning organization, shall examine the criteria for prioritizing transportation construction projects, financed in whole or in part with state funds, and report to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 1999. The purpose of this examination is to ensure that sufficient weight is given to projects that will result in increased access for emergency, school buses and other types of vehicles during periods of seasonal flooding, including on Rt. 73 between Sudbury and Brandon.

* * * Additional Federal Funds * * *

Sec. 2. ADDITIONAL FEDERAL FUNDS

(a) To enable the state of Vermont to take advantage of additional federal funds that may be made available, the secretary of transportation is authorized to accelerate projects in the state's transportation capital program and project development plan. The secretary of transportation shall report quarterly to the members of the joint transportation oversight committee and members of the house and senate committees on transportation on any changes in the scheduling of the projects in the transportation capital program or project development plan and shall additionally submit the report required in 19 V.S.A. § 10h, relating to cost overruns.

(b) In the event additional federal funds are available to the state before or during state FY 1999, these funds may be expended on projects for which federal funds can be obligated, especially infrastructure improvements to the state-owned railroad lines between Bellows Falls and Rutland and between Hoosick Jct., NY and Burlington. This project shall be undertaken so as to complete the work as soon as possible, working fromsouth to north, but beginning with the first segments which are ready for construction and use by Amtrak. These funds may also be expended on highway paving projects including VT 110. Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706, the secretary of transportation, with the approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to transfer balances of unexpended state funds carried forward from prior years, except those involving town highway programs, from one component of the agency to any other component of the agency during FY 1999 in order to match additional federal aid.

(c) In developing recommendations for expenditure of additional federal funds that will be available to the state during FY 2000 and subsequent fiscal years, the agency of transportation shall be guided by its long range transportation plan and by the resource allocation section of the strategic overview contained in the agency's FY 1999 budget request. The agency of transportation shall develop a strategy for improvements to the state's principal arterials, US 2, US 4, US 7, VT 9, VT 78 and VT 103 and the state's inventory of bridges. Because it is the intent of the general assembly to bring upgraded passenger rail service to Vermont, the agency of transportation shall develop a strategy for upgrading the railbed from Burlington to Hoosick Jct., N.Y.

(d) The agency of transportation shall examine financing options and report to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 1999 alternatives for financing major projects under active consideration (Bennington Bypass, Circumferential Highway, Hoosick Jct., NY to Burlington railroad upgrade, Bellows Falls to Rutland railroad upgrade, US 7 improvements). Alternatives should include conventional financing out of cash flow, innovative financing provided under federal regulations, financing through the state infrastructure bank and debt financing.

(e) In the event there are no additional federal funds for railroad infrastructure improvements authorized under ISTEA, notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706 the secretary of transportation, with the approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to transfer balances of unexpended state funds carried forward from prior years, except those involving town highway and public transit programs, from one component of the agency to any other component of the agency during FY 1999, for the purpose of adding two newrail projects as follows:

(1) In the rail, air and public transportation program, for Green Mountain Railroad Corporation for the amount of up to $460,775.00 for the following: track and roadbed improvements to the Green Mountain Railroad to include crosstie installation, ballast tamp and surface, bridge deck replacement for bridge #124 in Gassetts, abutment repairs, upgrade and stabilize bridge #108 at Parker Hill Road, drainage improvements and rail anchor installation.

(2) In the rail, air and public transportation program, for the Vermont Railway, Inc. for the amount of up to $460,775.00 for the following: track and roadbed improvements to the Vermont Railway to include crosstie, anchor and rail installation, ballast tamp and surface, culvert and bridge work.

(f) Notwithstanding the authority granted by subsections (a) and (b) of this section, any federal funds that have not been specifically allocated in the fiscal year 1999 transportation capital program and project development plan shall not be expended until the secretary of transportation has briefed the joint transportation oversight committee, at a meeting called by the chair, on the agency's plans for expenditure of these additional federal funds. Input received from the joint transportation oversight committee shall be considered by the agency in light of priorities established by H.760 of the 1998 Session.

* * * District #5 Maintenance Facility * * *

Sec. 3. DISTRICT #5 MAINTENANCE FACILITY; PARTIAL RELOCATION

The sum of $275,000.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund for FY 1999 to the department of buildings and general services for the purchase of land in the town of Colchester, now or formerly owned by Arbortech, Inc., to be used as a site for relocation of some functions now conducted at the agency of transportation district #5 maintenance facility at Fort Ethan Allen.

Sec. 4. NORTH FERRISBURGH SITE

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds appropriated under Sec. 19b of No. 38 of the Acts of 1997 to purchase land to allow for collocation of agency of transportation and department of motor vehicles activities at thescale house site in North Ferrisburgh.

* * * Town Highways * * *

Sec. 5. 19 V.S.A. § 306 is amended to read:

§ 306. APPROPRIATION

* * * [Text Not Reproduced] * * *

(h) There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for rehabilitation of class 2 town highways that are rural major collectors. The appropriation shall be allocated by the secretary after consideration of applications submitted by the municipalities.

(i) There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities to extend the life expectancies of town highway bridges. The appropriation shall be allocated by the secretary after consideration of applications submitted by the municipalities.

Sec. 6. 19 V.S.A. § 309b is amended to read:

§ 309b. LOCAL MATCH; CERTAIN TOWN HIGHWAY *[BRIDGE AND]*

*[CULVERT PROGRAM; CLASS 2 TOWN HIGHWAY RESURFACING]* *[PROGRAM]* PROGRAMS

(a) Grants provided to towns under the town highway bridge and culvert program shall be matched by local funds sufficient to cover ten percent of the project costs. The secretary may adopt rules to implement the bridge and culvert program. Bridge and culvert projects receiving funds pursuant to this subsection shall be the responsibility of the applicant municipality.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection 309a(a) of this title, grants provided to towns under the class 2 town highway resurfacing program shall be matched by local funds sufficient to cover one-third of the project costs. The secretary may adopt rules to implement the class 2 town highway resurfacing program. Class 2 town highway resurfacing projectsreceiving funds pursuant to this subsection shall be the responsibility of the applicant municipality.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection 309a(a) of this title, grants provided to towns under the class 2 town highway rehabilitation program shall be matched by local funds sufficient to cover at least one-third of the project costs. The secretary may adopt rules to implement the class 2 town highway rehabilitation program. Class 2 town highway rehabilitation projects receiving funds pursuant to this subsection shall be the responsibility of the applicant municipality. The program shall be guided by the following principles:

(1) Candidates for improvement shall be identified through the regional transportation planning process, in consultation with the agency;

(2) Project scope shall be developed through a scoping process, shall emphasize rehabilitation and preservation, and shall be appropriate to the highway's functional class; and

(3) Project design and implementation shall be managed by the involved municipalities, with technical assistance from the agency.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection 309a(a) of this title, grants provided to towns under the town highway bridge maintenance program shall be matched by local funds sufficient to cover at least one-third of the project costs. The secretary may adopt rules to implement the town highway bridge maintenance program. Town highway bridge maintenance projects receiving funds pursuant to this subsection shall be the responsibility of the applicant municipality.

Sec. 7. TOWN HIGHWAY BRIDGE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM; FUNDING

To fund the town highway bridge maintenance program, the sum of $500,000.00 of FY 1997 carryover funds is transferred from the town highway bridge program and appropriated to the agency of transportation for the town highway bridge maintenance program.

Sec. 8. CLASS 2 TOWN HIGHWAY REHABILITATION PROGRAM; FUNDING

(a) The sum of $500,000.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund for FY 1999 to the agency of transportation for the rehabilitation program for class 2 town highwaysthat are rural major collectors, as established by Sec. 5 (amending 19 V.S.A. § 306) of this act.

(b) Whenever the agency of transportation district #5 highway facility, and the land upon which it is situated, currently located in the historic Fort Ethan Allen district in Colchester is sold, the funds received from such sale are appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation for the purpose of providing additional funding for the class 2 town highway rehabilitation program.

(c) If at the close of FY 1998 there is an excess in the transportation fund budget stabilization reserve under 32 V.S.A. § 308a, the portion of the excess that is not necessary to match additional federal funds shall be transferred from the transportation fund budget stabilization reserve and appropriated to the agency of transportation for the town highway class 2 rehabilitation program.

Sec. 9. EXPEDITED RULEMAKING PROCEDURE AUTHORIZED

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions to the contrary of 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, the secretary of transportation is authorized to adopt rules under the expeditious rulemaking procedures provided in this section in order to implement the Class 2 town highway rehabilitation program authorized under 19 V.S.A. § 309b(c). Such rules may be filed prior to and adopted by July 1, 1998.

(b) Rules adopted under this section may be filed in final form with the secretary of state and the legislative committee on administrative rules under 3 V.S.A. § 841, after such publication, notice and public input as is deemed adequate and feasible by the secretary of transportation. The legislative committee on administrative rules shall review and may approve or object to the final proposed rules under the provisions of 3 V.S.A.

§ 842, except that its action shall be completed within 15 days after the rule is filed or June 26, 1998, whichever occurs first. Rules adopted under this expedited procedure may be effective as soon as four days after adoption and have the full force and effect of rules adopted pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 and may supersede or amend existing rules. When filed with the secretary of state and the legislative committee on administrative rules, such rules shall be deemed to be in full compliance with 3 V.S.A. § 843 and shall beaccepted by the secretary of state if filed with a certification by the secretary of transportation that the rule is required to meet the purposes of this section.

* * * Railroads * * *

Sec. 10. APPROVAL OF TRANSACTIONS REGARDING STATE-OWNED RAILROAD PROPERTY; DOUBLE STACK TRAFFIC; OMYA; LUDLOW; RAIL-HIGHWAY CROSSINGS

(a) After consultation with the department of buildings and general services, the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state, is authorized to enter into a settlement agreement with James D. Andrews, et al, or his or their successors-in-interest, regarding the boundaries of the former Central Vermont Railway property, located in the town of Berlin between US 302 and VT 62, which property is part of the land and premises acquired by the State of Vermont from the Montpelier & Barre Railroad Company by November 12, 1980 condemnation order, recorded in the Berlin land records at book 47, pages 124-139.

(b) After consultation with the department of buildings and general services and upon receiving satisfactory evidence of release of any leasehold interest of Vermont Railway, Inc., the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state, is authorized to convey to Dennis M. Brooks and Sharon M. Brooks, in consideration of payment of a sum representing fair market value, a parcel of land in the town of Bennington, county of Bennington and State of Vermont, located between the westerly line of Depot Street and the easterly line of the former Rutland Railway Corporation's Chatham subdivision, said parcel being part of the land and premises conveyed by April 11, 1872 quit-claim deed of Henry Putnam to the Bennington & Glastenbury Railroad, Mining & Manufacturing Co., which instrument is recorded in the Bennington land records at book 47, page 452. The deed shall reserve the right to salvage rails and other track materials.

(c) The secretary of transportation, in consultation with New England Central Railroad, shall evaluate the feasibility of making the railroad suitable for double stack traffic according to industry clearance standards, including the tunnel at Bellows Falls.

The evaluation shall include consideration of the engineering and constructionrequirements and financing options to achieve the increased clearance. The secretary of transportation shall report to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 1999 on the results of this evaluation and on any recommended course of action.

(d) The secretary of transportation, in consultation with the secretary of commerce and community development, the Vermont Railway, Inc. and Omya, Inc. shall engage in a preliminary engineering and financial analysis of alternative means of transporting materials from Omya's quarry in Middlebury, VT to points of processing and distribution. The secretary of transportation shall report to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 1999 on the results of this consultation and on any recommended course of action.

(e) The agency of transportation is directed to convene a diagnostic team to review the existing at-grade crossing in the town of Ludlow between West Hill Road (TH #362) and the tracks of the Green Mountain Railroad (mile post 27.65) and to implement appropriate improvements as part of the statewide rail-highway crossing improvement program.

(f) When appropriate, the agency shall make maximum use of federal funds in any railroad project that includes rail-highway crossings. The agency shall weigh the effect of using such funds on the project's schedule.

Sec. 11. Sec. 7a(b) of No. 183 of the Acts of 1996 (acquisition of Boston & Maine line from White River Junction to Wells River), as amended by Sec. 8 of No. 38 of the Acts of 1997, is further amended to read:

(b) For the purposes of subsection (a) of this section, the agency may add a new project to the transportation capital program for fiscal year *[1998]* 1999. The agency is directed to seek the greatest possible participation of federal funds in this project.

* * * Milton Transportation Improvement Project * * *

Sec. 12. Sec. 1(b)(15) of Act No. 38 of the Acts of 1997 is amended to read:

(15) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for fiscal year 1997, $1,488,300.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation for the Milton transportation improvement project. The Milton projectfunds shall be used for some or all of the following activities:

(A) to design a bridge over Arrowhead Mt. Lake; *[and]*

(B) to make necessary improvements to North Road; and

(C) to assist construction of a railroad siding to provide freight and passenger service between the main line of New England Central Railroad, Inc. and the industrial site under development for Husky Injection Molding Systems, Ltd.

* * * Critical Path Scheduling * * *

Sec. 12a. 19 V.S.A. § 10g(g) is added to read:

(g) In implementing the project manager system, the agency shall include, but not be limited to, use of critical path techniques.

* * * Public Transit * * *

Sec. 13. PUBLIC TRANSIT ADVISORY COUNCIL

(a) The agency of transportation shall produce a public transportation policy plan, a progress report on which shall be submitted to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 1999. The policy plan and its progress report shall be supervised by the public transit advisory council created in subsection (c) of this section and shall include recommendations for legislation necessary to implement the plan and report.

(b) At a minimum, the plan shall include the following:

(1) A comprehensive inventory of available resources, present levels of service and available funding from the various sources used to fund the movement of people by various state agencies and departments.

(2) Goals which reflect a method to guide the justification of existing services as well as methods to evaluate, assess and decide whether to implement new services or new capital acquisitions by the providers.

(3) Appropriate, reliable and detailed funding and contracting process with providers and effective programs which provide for predictability, timeliness, efficiency, and fair allocation among all of the involved providers in the following areas: operating assistance, including performance funding and the 90 percent rule; capital assistance,including federal earmarks; congestion mitigation air quality program; elderly and disabled transit programs; and rideshare and van pool programs. The progress report shall give priority to the issues addressed under this subsection and shall recommend practices, policy and implementation procedures to be used by the state and the providers of services.

(4) Consideration of the findings of the recently completed intercity bus study, as well as the relevant portions of the recently completed rail and airport policy plans to insure an intermodal movement of people throughout the state. Furthermore, the policy plan shall consider the findings and conclusions of the transit management performance evaluation, which is presently underway.

(5) The minimum levels of coordination that should exist between the public transit systems and the agency of human services programs that provide client transportation and other state level agencies that provide funding for passenger transportation services. The plan shall address appropriate mechanisms that can be used to best ensure coordination, including how to improve the effectiveness of, and compliance with, section 5090 of Title 24.

(6) Recommendations as to the respective appropriate levels of administration, planning, and assistance to be exercised by the state, the providers, the Vermont Public Transportation Association, municipal planning organizations and the regional planning commissions.

(7) Consistent guidelines, format and measurements for future short-range transportation plans.

(c) A public transit advisory council is created and shall consist of the following 12 members: the secretary of the agency of transportation or designee; the two representatives of the Vermont Public Transportation Association, designated by the executive committee of that organization; a representative of the Chittenden County Transportation Association, designated by that organization; the secretary of the agency of human services or designee; the secretary of the agency of commerce and community development or designee; a representative of Vermont Center for Independent Living,designated by that organization; two representatives of the Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies, designated by that organization; a nonprofit purchaser of elderly public transit services to be appointed by the commissioner of aging and disabilities; one member of the senate, appointed by the committee on committees; and one member of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker. The chair of the advisory council shall be the secretary of the agency of transportation or the secretary's designee.

(d) The advisory council shall not meet more than four times and shall hold at least one public hearing. The legislative members of the council shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406. The council shall be staffed by the agency of transportation.

* * * Trade Corridor * * *

Sec. 13a. INTERNATIONAL TRADE CORRIDOR STUDY COMMITTEE

(a) A committee is created to coordinate efforts between Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to establish international trade corridor and cross border planning and development opportunities involving each state and to coordinate efforts concerning the feasibility of a Route 2 connector that would create an east-west highway corridor among the three states. The committee shall consist of one member of the house appointed by the speaker and one member of the senate appointed by the committee on committees.

(b) In carrying out its duties under this section, the committee shall seek the advice of the appropriate agencies and departments of the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and the federal government. The committee shall have the assistance of the legislative council staff.

(c) The members of the committee shall be entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406 for not more than six meetings.

(d) On or before January 15, 1999, the committee shall file a report with the general assembly. The committee's report shall consist of draft legislation that it deems necessary to implement any recommendations of the committee.

(e) For purposes of this section, "international trade corridor" means a transportationroute that connects Canada and the states of Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine, which is essential to the development and expansion of international trade, and its related economic benefits, through the provision of intermodal connections and the carriage of a high percentage of the truck-borne commodities that are transported between Canada and the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

* * * Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 14. 23 V.S.A. § 1102(a) is amended to read:

(a) Any enforcement officer is authorized to:

(1) Move a vehicle stopped, parked or standing contrary to section 1101 of this title, or to require the driver or other person in charge to move the vehicle to a position off the paved or main-traveled part of the highway;

(2) Remove an unattended vehicle which is an obstruction to traffic*[,]* or to maintenance of the highway to a garage or other place of safety;

(3) Remove any vehicle found upon a highway, as defined in 19 V. S. A. § 1, to a garage or other place of safety when:

(A) The officer is informed by a reliable source that the vehicle has been stolen or taken without the consent of its owner; or

(B) The person in charge of the vehicle is unable to provide for its removal; or

(C) The person in charge of the vehicle has been arrested under circumstances which require his or her immediate removal from control of the vehicle.

Sec. 15. 23 V.S.A. § 1221a is added to read:

§ 1221a. DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT; WARNING The operator of a motor vehicle who receives a ticket for inoperative lights shall not be required to pay the fine associated with the ticket provided that within 72 hours of receiving the ticket the issuing department receives proof that the defect has been repaired by an authorized inspection station.

* * * Ownership of Maidstone Bridge * * *

Sec. 16. MAIDSTONE BRIDGE

The agency of transportation, on behalf of the state of Vermont, is authorized to enterinto an agreement with the state of New Hampshire whereby the ownership of the Maidstone bridge in Maidstone is shared equally with New Hampshire and to enter into an agreement whereby the repair and maintenance of the bridge is shared equally between the two states.

* * * Additional Staffing * * *

Sec. 17. 2 V.S.A. § 503(b)(1) is amended to read:

(1) Furnish research services and secretarial services of a fiscal nature to the *[committee]* committees on appropriations, the senate committee on finance, the house committee on ways and means, the committees on transportation and the joint fiscal committee;

Sec. 18. JOINT FISCAL OFFICE POSITION; APPROPRIATION

(a) One permanent position is authorized in the joint fiscal office to provide professional staff support to the committees on transportation.

(b) The sum of $40,000.00 is appropriated for FY 1999, from the transportation fund to the joint fiscal office to fund the position established in subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 18a. CROSS VERMONT TRAIL; TEMPORARY POSITION

(a) The agency of transportation shall hire a person to fill one (1) temporary part-time position (Cross Vermont Trail Supervisor).

(b) The authority to hire under this section shall expire on July 1, 2000 or upon completion of the project, whichever occurs first.

(c) The sum of $25,000.00 is appropriated for fiscal year 1999 from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation's engineering and construction program to fund the position authorized under subsection (a) of this section.

* * * Van Pool Loan Program * * *

Sec. 19. STATE INFRASTRUCTURE BANK; VAN POOL LOAN PROGRAM

The sum of $20,000.00 is appropriated from the transportation fund for FY 1999 to the agency of transportation for the state infrastructure bank created under 10 V.S.A. chapter 12, subchapter 11, to be used for the nonfederal share of a $100,000.00 van pool loan program.

Sec. 20. 10 V.S.A. § 280g is amended to read:

§ 280g. STATE INFRASTRUCTURE BANK PROGRAM; DUTIES; POWERS

(a) The board, in addition to any other powers and duties conferred or imposed on it by this chapter or any other law, shall have the following powers and duties:

* * *

(9) to distribute the benefits conferred by this subchapter throughout the state; and

(10) to delegate to loan officers the power to review, approve and make loans under the van pool loan program, subject to the approval of the manager. Loans shall be approved in an aggregate amount sufficient to procure seven to fifteen passenger vans at a resonable market price. Loan repayment terms shall be available for a period from three to five years. No funds may be disbursed for any loan approved under this provision until three working days after the members of the board are notified by facsimile or overnight delivery, mailed or sent on the day of approval, of the intention to approve such a loan. If any member objects within that three-day period, the approval will be held for reconsideration by the members of the board at its next duly scheduled meeting.

* * * [Text Not Reproduced] * * *

(d) A van pool loan program for low-interest or interest-free loans is created within the state infrastructure bank to facilitate the purchase of vans to be used as part of ride sharing arrangements.

* * * Transportation Board * * *

Sec. 21. 5 V.S.A. § 207 is amended to read:

§ 207. REGISTRATION; LICENSES; CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL

(a) The *[agency]* board is authorized to approve airport and restricted landing area sites or other air navigation facilities, in accordance with rules to be adopted by the *[agency]* board. Certificates of approval shall be granted for airports and restricted landing areas which were being operated on or before July 1, 1945.

* * * [Text Not Reproduced] * * *

(c) All proposed airports, restricted landing areas, and other air navigation facilities, shall be first approved by the *[agency]* board before they are used or operated. Amunicipality or person proposing to establish an airport, restricted landing area, or a seaplane landing area, shall make application to the *[agency]* board for a certificate of approval of the site selected and the general purpose or purposes for which the airport, restricted landing area, or seaplane landing area is to be established to insure that it shall conform to minimum standards of safety and shall serve public interest. A municipality or officer or employee, or any person shall not operate an airport, restricted landing area, seaplane landing area, or other air navigation facility for which a certificate of approval has not been issued by the *[agency]* board.

(d) The application for a certificate of approval of the site selected shall be in writing and substantially describe the property involved and the general purposes for which it is to be acquired and the manner in which the acquisition is asserted to serve the public interest. The application shall designate the names of all owners or persons known to be interested in lands adjoining the property and their residences, if known, and shall contain such further matter as the *[agency]* board by rule shall determine. The application shall be supported by documentation showing that the proposed facility has received municipal approval. After evaluating the application, the *[agency]* board shall issue its order giving notice of the time and place of hearing on the application. The applicant shall give notice of the proceedings to all persons owning or interested in adjoining lands by delivery of a true copy of the application and order for hearing by registered or certified mail to the last known address of each of the persons; the notice to be mailed at least twelve days prior to date of hearing. Notice of the hearing and a general statement of the purpose shall be published at least once in a newspaper of common circulation in the town where the property described in the application is situated at least two days before the date of the hearing, and a similar notice shall be posted in a public place at least twelve days before the hearing. Upon compliance by the applicant with the foregoing provisions for notice, the *[agency]* board shall hear the applicant and all parties interested on the question of approval of the site or sites and shall consider and determine whether in the public interest the application ought to be granted. Whenever the *[agency]* board makes an order granting or denying a certificate of approval of an airport, or a restricted landing area, approval touse or operate an airport or a restricted landing area or other air navigation facility, an aggrieved person may *[appeal to the board]* have the decision reviewed on the record by the superior court pursuant to Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e) In determining whether it shall issue a certificate of approval for the location of any proposed airport or restricted landing area, the *[agency]* board shall take into consideration the agency's recommendations, the proposed facility's location, size and layout, the relationship of the proposed airport or restricted landing area to a comprehensive plan for statewide and nationwide development, existence of suitable areas for expansion purposes, absence of hazardous obstructions in adjoining areas based on a proper glide ratio, the nature of the terrain comprising the airport location and adjoining areas, the nature of the uses to which the proposed airport or restricted landing area will be put and the possibilities for future development, and shall determine that the use will serve the public interest.

(f) Prior to the beginning of aeronautics operations on the site approved, the owner of the site shall apply to the *[agency]* board for operational approval of the airport. In granting operational approval, the *[agency]* board shall take into consideration the agency's recommendations, the length, width and smoothness of landing strips, longitudinal and transverse grade of the strips, freedom of the usable area from hazardous soil and surface conditions, absence of hazardous obstructions in approach zones, establishment of a suitable wind direction indicator, and other matters pertinent to the character of operations proposed to be undertaken at the subject airport, and shall determine that the proposed use of the site will serve the public interest.

(g) Unless determined otherwise by the *[agency]* board, the hearing provisions of subsection (d) of this section shall not apply to helicopter landing areas, ultralight landing areas and restricted landing areas designed for personal use.

(h) *[The]* In emergency circumstances, the agency may suspend temporarily and in nonemergency circumstances the board may revoke both temporarily and permanently, any certificate of approval *[issued by it]* when it shall determine that an airport, restricted landing area, or other air navigation facility is not being maintained or used in accordancewith the provisions of this chapter and the rules promulgated. *[Initial review of temporary suspension by the agency shall be by the board]* A person aggrieved by a temporary suspension issued by the agency may appeal to the board within 30 days of the agency's decision. Unless otherwise ordered by the board, the temporary suspension shall remain in effect pending final determination of the appeal.

(i) The provisions of subsections (e) to (g) of this section, inclusive, shall not apply to any airport, restricted landing area or other air navigation facility owned and operated by an agency of the federal government within this state.

Sec. 22. 19 V.S.A. § 3 is amended to read:

§ 3. TRANSPORTATION BOARD; CREATION; MEMBERS

A transportation board is formed to be attached to the agency of transportation. There shall be seven members of the board, appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. The governor shall so far as is possible appoint board members whose interests and expertise lie in various areas of the transportation field. The governor shall appoint the *[chairman]* chair. The members of the board shall be appointed for terms of *[six]* three years*[, but initially in a manner so that no more than two terms expire in the same biennium; except that in every third biennium, three terms may expire]*. Board members may be appointed for two additional three-year terms but shall not be eligible for further reappointment. No more than four members of the board shall belong to the same political party.

Sec. 23. TERM LIMITS; TRANSITION PROVISIONS

Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 3, transportation board members who are in office on July 1, 1998 may continue to serve out the terms for which they were appointed. Transportation board members who are in office on July 1, 1998 shall be eligible for reappointment for two additional three-year terms but shall not be eligible for further reappointment.

Sec. 24. 19 V.S.A. § 5 is amended to read:

§ 5. TRANSPORTATION BOARD; POWERS AND DUTIES

* * * [Text Not Reproduced] * * *

(c) The board may delegate the responsibility to hear quasi-judicial matters, and other matters as it may deem appropriate, to a hearing examiner or a single board member, to hear a case and make findings in accordance with chapter 25 of Title 3, except that highway condemnation proceedings shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of chapter 5 of this title. A hearing examiner or single board member so appointed shall report his or her findings of fact in writing to the board. Any order resulting therefrom shall be rendered only by a majority of the board. Final orders of the board may be *[appealed to a]* reviewed on the record by the superior court pursuant to Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

(d) The board shall:

(1) hear appeals from agency decisions and rulings regarding measurement, description or reclassification of town highways pursuant to section 305 of this title;

(2) hear and determine small claims pursuant to section 20 of this title;

(3) provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of decisions of the secretary of transportation when he or she assumes the powers and duties of a selectboard in highway matters in unorganized towns and gores pursuant to section 16 of this title;

(4) provide appellate review, when requested in writing, regarding legal disputes in the execution of contracts; *[and]*

(5) provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of decisions of the secretary in administering the provisions of Title 24, relating to junkyards;

(6) provide appellate review when requested in writing, regarding the fairness of rents and fees charged for the occupancy or use of state-owned properties administered by the agency; and

* * * [Text Not Reproduced] * * *

(h) Unless otherwise provided by law, when an appeal is allowed from the agency to the board, the appeal shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the secretary within 30 days of the date of the agency decision from which the appeal is taken. The secretary shall promptly forward the notice of appeal to the board, together with the agency's record of decision.

Sec. 25. 19 V.S.A. § 1708(b) is amended to read:

(b) After the establishment of any limited access facility, no highway which is not part of the facility shall intersect it at grade. No highway or other public way may be opened into or connected with any limited access facility without prior written consent and approval of the *[agency]* board. Its approval and consent shall be given only if the board, after conducting a public hearing and giving due consideration to the technical recommendations of the agency, finds that the public interest will be served. Notice of the date, time and place of the public hearing shall be given to the secretary of transportation, the legislative body of the municipality, the municipal planning commission, the regional planning commission and the agency of natural resources and shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the municipality in which the limited access facility lies.

Sec. 26. 30 V.S.A. § 2513(a) is amended to read:

(a) A *[domestic telegraph, telephone or electric light]* company subject to the jurisdiction of the public service board may erect and maintain its *[line]* telecommunications or electric transmission and distribution lines and facilities along the sides of railroad tracks within the limits of lands owned or held by a railroad *[corporation]* on paying *[to it]* reasonable compensation *[therefor]* to the railroad. If they cannot agree upon *[such]* the amount of reasonable compensation, it shall be determined by *[commissioners residing in the vicinity of the railroad, who]* the transportation board which shall *[be appointed and]* ascertain *[such]* the compensation *[agreeably to the provisions of law in case of land taken for railroads]*.

* * * Miscellaneous Provisions * * *

Sec. 27. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

(a) Advancement or Cancellation of Projects. If capital projects in the program for the current fiscal year are delayed for any reason, the secretary of transportation is authorized to advance other projects in the same or subsequent years. No project shall be decertified or canceled without the approval of the general assembly.

(b) Bennington Welcome Center. The scope of work for the design of highway project Bennington-Hoosick, NY DPI 0-146(1) shall be amended to insure that the project's design supports the future development of a welcome center at the intersection of VT 9 and US 7.

(c) Multimodal Facilities. The scope of the transportation planning initiative in fiscal year 1999 shall include consideration of multimodal facilities, including appropriate location and integration of modes by Vermont's regional planning commissions and the metropolitan planning organization.

Sec. 28. POWNAL

The agency of transportation is authorized to enter into negotiations with Edward Haley to purchase property located near the intersection of VT 346 with Church Street (TH #1) and Main Street (TH #8) in the town of Pownal.

* * * Miscellaneous Reports and Studies * * *

Sec. 29. REPORT AND STUDIES

(a) Alternative Types of Guardrails. The agency of transportation shall investigate alternative guardrail types. The investigation shall include a review of technical engineering factors to determine guardrail types that are acceptable from a performance, maintenance and life cycle cost perspective. Further, in consultation with representatives from the regional transportation advisory committees, the agency shall review issues of guardrail type compatibility, both for aesthetic compatibility and compatibility with nonmotorized users of the highways.

(b) Rt. 78; Memorandum of Agreement. The agencies of transportation and natural resources shall jointly review and evaluate the Route 78 projects in light of the"Cooperative Memorandum of Agreement between the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the Agency of Natural Resources regarding Wetland Mitigation or Compensation of Transportation Projects in Vermont", dated November 1997. On or before January 15, 1999, the agencies shall file a report containing the results of the review with the house and senate committees on transportation.

* * * Repeal * * *

Sec. 30. REPEAL

9 V.S.A. § 4082(f) (relating to forestry and industrial equipment sunset) is repealed.

* * * Effective Dates * * *

Sec. 31. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage except the following which shall take effect on July 1, 1998: subdivision (b)(1) of Sec. 1 (betterment projects); Sec. 3 (district #5); Sec. 8 (town highway rehabilitation program); Secs. 17 and 18 (joint fiscal office); Secs. 19 and 20 (van pool) and Secs. 21 through 26 (transportation board).

Approved: April 27, 1998