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NO. 18. AN ACT RELATING TO THE STATE'S TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM AND PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

(H.537)

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

* * * Adoption of Transportation Program and Development Plan * * *

Sec. 1. TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM FOR 2000; PROJECT

DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR 2001-2004; APPROVAL OF

PROJECT CANCELLATIONS

(a) The transportation capital program for fiscal year 2000 and project development plan for fiscal years 2001-2004, appended to the agency of transportation's proposed fiscal year 2000 budget, as amended by this act, are adopted to the extent federal, state and local funds are available. The secretary of transportation shall make every effort to ensure that the schedule for each transportation project, as amended by this act, is maintained. 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 schedule for the roadway project Ludlow, project no. NH 025 - 1(38)S is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 1999, by striking the construction figure $90,000, by striking the total figure of $158,441 and inserting in lieu thereof the figure $68,441, by striking the state figure of $29,977 and inserting in lieu thereof $12,949 and by striking the federal figure of $128,464 and inserting in lieu thereof $55,492. For budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the construction figure of $288,750 and inserting in lieu thereof $90,000, by striking the total figure of $291,900 and inserting in lieu thereof $93,150, by striking the state figure of $55,227 and inserting in lieu thereof $17,624 and by striking the federal figure of $236,673 and inserting in lieu thereof $75,526. In budget year fiscal year 2001, by adding to the construction figure the sum of $288,750, by adding to the total figure $288,750, by adding to the state figure $54,631 and by adding to the federal figure $234,119. Notwithstanding this subsection, the agency of transportation may advance this project to the construction phase during FY 2000 if the right-of-way acquistion issues are resolved.

(2) The schedule for roadway project Lyndon, project no. STP RS 0259(9) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 1999, by striking the construction figure $97,275, by striking the total figure $127,275 and inserting in lieu thereof $30,000, by striking the state figure $31,819 and inserting in lieu thereof $7,500 and by striking the federal figure $95,456 and inserting in lieu thereof $22,500. In budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the construction figure $525,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $311,138, by striking the total figure $525,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $311,138, by striking the state figure $131,250 and inserting in lieu thereof $77,784 and by striking the federal figure $393,750 and inserting in lieu thereof $233,354. In budget year fiscal year 2001, by adding to the construction figure $311,137, by adding to the state figure $77,784 and by adding to the federal figure $233,353.

(3) The schedule for roadway project Moretown, project no. STP EGC RSEGC RS 0167(9) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 1999, by striking the construction fugure $200,000, by striking the total figure $597,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $397,000, by striking the state figure $29,850 and inserting in lieu thereof $19,850 and by striking the federal figure $567,150 and inserting in lieu thereof $377,150. In budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the construction figure $2,152,500 and inserting in lieu thereof $700,000, by striking the total figure $2,175,600 and inserting in lieu thereof $723,100, by striking the state figure $108,780 and inserting in lieu thereof $36,155 and by striking the federal figure $2,066,820 and inserting in lieu thereof $686,945. In budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the construction figure $959,175 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,611,675, by striking the total figure $970,200 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,622,700, by striking the state figure $48,510 and inserting in lieu therof $131,135 and by striking the federal figure $921,690 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,491,565.

(4) The schedule for roadway project Richmond, project no. STP 0284(16)S is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the construction, total, state and federal figures of $1,575,000, $1,575,000, $157,500, and $1,417,500 respectively. In budget year fiscal year 2001, by adding to the construction and total figures $1,575,000 each, by adding to the state figure $157,500 and by adding to the federal figure $1,417,500.

(5) The schedule for roadway project Rutland Town, project no. NHG SGNL(5)S is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the construction, total, and federal figures $98,947 and inserting in lieu thereof $150,000 respectively

(6) The schedule for roadway project Stowe, project no. STP 029 - 1(16) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the construction figure $60,299 and by striking the total figure $77,099 and inserting in lieu thereof $16,800, by striking the state figure $15,420 and inserting in lieu thereof $3,360 and by striking the federal figure $61,679 and inserting in lieu thereof $13,440. In budget year fiscal year 2001, by striking the construction and total figures $199,442 and inserting in lieu thereof $259,967 respectively, by striking the state figure $39,888 and inserting in lieu thereof $51,993 and by striking the federal figure $159,554 and inserting in lieu thereof $207,974.

(7) The schedule for public transit project statewide (operating assistance for transit operators, Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired) is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the "other" and total figures of $5,235,990 and inserting in lieu thereof $6,635,990 respectively and by striking the state figure $2,320,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $3,220,000 and by striking the federal figure of $2,048,355 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,548,355.

(8) Funding for level and shim under the paving program is decreased by $1,500,000 as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the construction figure $56,662,911 and inserting in lieu thereof $55,162,911, by striking the total figure $59,162,911 and inserting in lieu thereof $57,662,911 and by striking the state number $12,576,739 and inserting in lieu thereof $11,076,739.

(9) A new project is added to the rail and aviation program, Hoosick-Burlington. The agency of transportation, or a consultant of its choice, shall inspect five bridges on the Hoosick branch from the New York state line to the Boston & Maine railroad main line in Hoosick Junction.

(10) The schedule for the public transit program, statewide project is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000 by striking the figures for "other" and total of $1,791,296 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,831,296 and by striking the state figure of $0.00 and inserting in lieu thereof $5,000 respectively, by striking the federal figure of $1,433,037 and inserting in lieu thereof $1,465,037 and by striking the local figure $358,259 and inserting in lieu thereof $361,259.

(11) The schedule for public transit project statewide capital project is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the figure "other" and the total figure of $6,282,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $4,722,000 respectively, by striking the state figure $628,200 and inserting in lieu thereof $476,200, by striking the federal figure $5,025,600 and inserting in lieu thereof $3,777,600 and by striking the local figure $628,200 and inserting in lieu thereof $468,200.

(12) A new project is added in the rail and aviation program for assistance to the New England Central Railroad. The sum of up to $100,000 is appropriated from federal funds to the agency of transportation rail and aviation program (account #0408813300) which shall be matched by the New England Central Railroad for preliminary engineering, to make the railroad suitable for double stack traffic, including the tunnel at Bellows Falls.

(13) The schedule for the statewide technical services program is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the figure "other" and the total figure of $6,175,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $6,065,000 respectively, by striking the state figure $2,725,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,675,000 and by striking the federal figure $3,450,000 and inserting in lieu thereof $3,390,000.

(14) The schedule for the statewide enhancements program is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000 by striking the figure "other" and the total figure of $4,890,243 and inserting in lieu thereof $4,640,243 respectively, and by striking the state figure $250,000.

(15) The schedule for program "other" statewide project development is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the figure "other" and the total figure of $4,381,845 and inserting in lieu thereof $4,331,845 respectively, and by striking the state figure $2,892,965 and inserting in lieu thereof $2,842,965.

(16) The schedule for program for the statewide maintenance program is amended as follows: in budget year fiscal year 2000, by striking the figure "other" and the total figure of $43,628,956 and inserting in lieu thereof $43,378,956 respectively, and by striking the state figure $36,428,956 and inserting in lieu thereof $36,178,956.

(17) The schedule for the statewide airport master plan is deleted and the agency of transportation shall enter this project under aeronautical on the development and evaluation list.

(18) A new project is added in the rail and aviation program for the state airport in Franklin County to install an automated surface observation system. The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the rail and aviation program (account #0408813300) from the transportation fund for that purpose.

(19) A new project is added in the rail and aviation program for the state airport in Caledonia County to install an automated surface observation system. The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the rail and aviation program (account #0408813300) from the transportation fund for that purpose.

(c) Pursuant to Sec. 27 of Act No. 144 of 1998, the general assembly approves cancellation of the following projects:

(1) Clarendon RRP 2033(13)S;

(2) Hartford STP BIKE (16)S;

(3) Montgomery Bike Tech(1)S; and

(4) Norwich STP 2034(12).

* * * Advancement and Substitution of Projects * * *

Sec. 2. ADVANCEMENT OR CANCELLATION OF PROJECTS

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

Sec. 3. 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) The agency of transportation is authorized to receive and spend any additional federal funds designated for rail projects. Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706, the secretary of transportation may transfer up to $1,000,000 from any unexpended prior years state funds from any agency program, excluding the town programs, to match these additional federal funds.

* * * State Highway System -- Additions and Deletions * * *

Sec. 4. ADDITIONS AND DELETIONS TO STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM

Pursuant to 19 V.S.A § 15(2), approval is granted for the secretary of transportation to enter into an agreement with the town of Waitsfield to relinquish to the town's jurisdiction the portion of the old Vermont Route 100 right-of-way formerly used as the site of a state highway garage.

* * * Central Garage * * *

Sec. 5. 19 V.S.A. § 13 is amended to read:

§ 13. CENTRAL GARAGE REVOLVING FUND

(a) There is created a central garage revolving fund which shall be used:

(1) to furnish equipment on a rental basis to the districts and other sections of the agency for use in construction, maintenance and operation of highways or other transportation activities; and

(2) to provide a general equipment repair and major overhaul service as well as furnish necessary supplies for the operation of the equipment*[; and]*

*[(3) to provide storage facilities]*.

(b) *[New additional equipment as distinguished from new replacement equipment shall not be acquired except by legislative approval.]* To maintain a safe, reliable equipment fleet, new or replacement highway maintenance equipment may be acquired, using internal equipment funds, lease, lease-purchase or other funding methods determined to be in the best interests of the state. The agency is authorized to acquire replacement pieces for existing highway equipment, or new, additional equipment equivalent to equipment already owned, as dictated by mission requirements; however, the agency shall not increase the total number of permanently assigned or authorized motorized or self-propelled vehicles without legislative approval.

(c) In each fiscal year, net income of the fund earned during that fiscal year shall be retained in the fund.

(d) The fiscal year of the central garage for computing net worth and net income shall be the year ending June 30.

(e) Annually the auditor of accounts shall conduct an examination of the central garage revolving fund and report his or her findings in accordance with 32 V.S.A. § 163(5).

(f) For purposes of this section, "equipment" means registered motor vehicles and highway maintenance equipment assigned to the central garage revolving fund.

Sec. 6. LEASE-PURCHASE OF REPLACEMENT HEAVY EQUIPMENT

To relieve the problem of obsolete maintenance equipment, the agency of transportation is authorized to purchase up to $5,000,000 of replacement equipment, using the "lease-purchase" method. Funds required for lease payments shall derive from revenue acquired and designated for the central garage revolving fund.

* * * Railroads * * *

Sec. 7. ACQUISITION AND REHABILITATION OF BOSTON & MAINE

RAILROAD LINE FROM WHITE RIVER JUNCTION TO WELLS RIVER

(a) The secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, is authorized to acquire the Boston and Maine Corporation's railroad line between Hartford (White River Junction) and Newbury (Wells River), to lease the line for continued railroad operation and to assist with rehabilitating the line to repair washouts and to remedy deferred maintenance.

(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 1999.

(c) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, should an agreement be reached for acquiring the Boston and Maine Corporation's railroad line between Hartford (White River Junction) and Newbury (Wells River), the secretary of transportation is authorized and directed to transfer an amount of any unexpended state funds appropriated to the agency of transportation in FY 1999 to the rail, air and public transit appropriation line, excluding funds appropriated for town highways, up to the amount required for such acquisition and rehabilitation of the line to repair washouts and to remedy deferred maintenance. The amount transferred to the rail, air and public transit appropriation line shall be used for the purposes contained in subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Prior to the release of any funds in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, the secretary of transportation shall brief the joint fiscal committee on the details of the acquisition and committee approval shall be necessary before the expenditure of any funds.

Sec. 8. 5 V.S.A. § 3593 is added to read:

§ 3593. PARTIAL REIMBURSEMENT OF CROSSING MAINTENANCE COSTS; CROSSING SURFACES

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) "Public rail-highway crossings" means at-grade crossings determined by the agency to be active public crossings. Public crossings shall

not include crossings on railroad lines that have been abandoned or embargoed.

(2) "Active warning devices" means flashing lights, signals, automatic gates or manually-operated gates.

(b) Reimbursement. To the extent funds are appropriated for this purpose by the general assembly, the agency shall reimburse railroads up to $2,000.00 annually for the maintenance of each public rail-highway crossing equipped with flashing light signals and $2,500.00 annually for the maintenance of each crossing equipped with automatic or manually-operated gates. Any reimbursement under this subsection shall be reduced by any amount that a municipality or some other third party is separately required to contribute to the railroad's cost of maintaining active warning devices at a public

rail-highway crossing, whether because of some contractual obligation or because of a regulatory order entered by the transportation board or one of its predecessor agencies.

(c) Failure of railroad to perform maintenance. Payment to any railroad may be made contingent on the railroad's performing inspection and maintenance of active warning devices in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration.

(d) Maintenance of crossing surface. The agency shall be responsible for

maintenance, repair, replacement and installation of highway surfaces at public rail-highway crossings.

(e) Quiet zones; special agreements. Notwithstanding this section, the agency may enter into special agreements to reimburse a railroad for inspecting and maintaining signals and related equipment at crossings that have been specially designated as "quiet zones" pursuant to section 3582 of this title.

(f) Rulemaking. The secretary may adopt rules to implement this program.

Sec. 9. NEW ENGLAND CENTRAL RAILROAD; DOUBLE STACK

CLEARANCES

(a) The secretary of transportation, in consultation with the New England Central Railroad, shall continue to 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 construction requirements and financing options to achieve the increased clearance. The secretary of transportation shall provide an updated report to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2000, on the status of the evaluation and on any recommended coursed of action.

(b) In conducting the evaluation, the secretary of transportation shall solicit local and regional input and seek to involve the New England Central Railroad, as well as other state agencies and departments, including the agency of commerce and community development.

Sec. 10. IMPROVEMENTS TO STATE-OWNED AND PRIVATE RAIL

INFRASTRUCTURE

It is the state rail policy that improvements to state-owned and private rail infrastructure should be constructed to a standard that will accommodate rail equipment at a laden weight of 315,000 pounds, except in those instances where the secretary determines that improvement or maintenance to a lesser weight standard is appropriate for the uses of a particular rail line.

Sec. 11. ALBANY-BENNINGTON-RUTLAND-BURLINGTON RAIL

PROJECT

Of the $2,300,000 appropriated in the fiscal year 1999 Budget Adjustment Act, $1,450,000 shall be for the purchase of welded rail and cross ties for upgrading the rail line between Hoosick, New York and North Bennington, Vermont. The sum of $850,000 of the $2,300,000 shall be for the purchase and replacement of cross ties between North Bennington and Arlington, Vermont.

Sec. 12. RAILROAD YARD STUDY

(a) The agency of transportation is directed to hire a qualified consultant to study the feasibility of relocating the Rutland City and Burlington railroad yards and to develop a list of proposed sites for each yard and their associated cost estimates. The consultant shall investigate between five and 10 sites for each rail yard in Rutland and Chittenden counties respectively. At a minimum, the study shall use the following criteria in determining the feasibility of a proposed site: acreage size and availability; potential for adjacent industrial development; municipal and state permit requirements; compatibility with local land use and development planning; availability of power, sewage and water; access and proximity to municipal and state highways; environmental impacts including wetlands, floodplains, archeological and historical resources, contaminated soils and topography, consistent with, but not be limited to the to the following railroad uses, administrative facilities; existing railroad lines and routing; storage of rail equipment, infrastructure materials and fuel supplies; repair facilities; freight cargo storage and handling; and service of existing customers on site.

(b) The agency shall provide the consultant with technical assistance. The consultant shall request, from the railroad companies that operate in Vermont, the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Rutland and Chittenden county regional planning commissions, comments relative to the criteria listed in subsection(a) of this section.

(c) The consultant shall submit a report of findings and recommendations to the agency of transportation, the rail council and to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2000.

(d) The agency of transportation shall utilize federal funds for this project to the greatest extent possible.

Sec. 12a. ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF VEGETATION CONTROL ALONG RAILROAD RIGHTS-OF-WAY; ACCEPTANCE OF FEDERAL GRANT

(a) The agency of transportation may accept from the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, a grant of up to $250,000, as authorized by the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999, Pub. L. No. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-452 (Oct. 21, 1998), for a survey of alternative methods of vegetation control along railroad rights-of-way.

(b) The agency of transportation shall administer the grant in consultation with the department of agriculture, food and markets and may enter into grant agreements with one or more railroads operating in Vermont.

* * * Reactivation of Vermont Transportation Authority * * *

Sec. 13. 29 V.S.A. § 712 is amended to read:

§ 712. MEMBERSHIP; VACANCIES

(a) The authority shall consist of a *[chairman]* chair and four other members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Members shall be residents of the state during their term of office and must have been *[freemen]* registered voters of the state for at least one year next preceding their appointment. Each member shall hold office for the term of his appointment and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified. A member shall be eligible for reappointment. A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, but for the unexpired term only.

(b) The term of office of a member shall be *[two]* five years except that the *[governor shall appoint to the original]* governor's initial appointments to the reconstituted board *[three members, including the chairman, to serve until February 1, 1975, and two members to serve until February 1, 1974]* shall be staggered so that the term of one member shall expire each year on February 1. Members shall be eligible for reappointment to one five-year term but shall not be eligible for further reappointment.

Sec. 14. 29 V.S.A. § 730(c) is amended to read:

(c) The acquisition, operation, maintenance, support, improvement, development and extension of *[St. Johnsbury and Lamoille county railroad the]* railroad passenger train service and facilities shall be an authorized project pursuant to this chapter.

Sec. 15. TRANSPORTATION BOARD AS SUCCESSOR TO CERTAIN

POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD

(a) The transportation board is the successor to the powers and duties vested in the former public service board under 29 V.S.A. chapter 16 (Vermont transportation authority).

(b) In accordance with 1 V.S.A. § 60, the statutory revision commission shall replace references to the public service board in 29 V.S.A. chapter 16 (Vermont transportation authority) with references to the transportation board.

Sec. 15a. VERMONT TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

The Vermont Transportation Authority shall determine the costs associated with operating passenger rail service between St. Albans, Vermont and Montreal, Quebec. The authority shall report its finding to the Senate and House committees on transportation on January 15, 2000.

* * * Aeronautics * * *

Sec. 16. 5 V.S.A. § 202(24) is amended to read:

(24) "Restricted landing area" means an area of land or water, or both, which is used or is made available for the landing and take-off of aircraft, the use of which, except in case of emergency, shall be only as provided from time to time by the *[agency]* board.

Sec. 16a. RUTLAND STATE AIRPORT

(a) The sum of $125,000 is appropriated to the agency of transportation rail and aviation program (account #0408813300) from the transportation fund, to be used to mitigate the adverse impact of the Federal Aviation Administration's new Doppler VOR system on adjacent properties (lots 13 and 14) in the Airport Industrial Park owned by the Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC). REDC shall remit to the agency of transportation any monies received from the sale, lease or development of lots 13 and 14 up to the sum of $125,000.

(b) The agency of transportation is directed to enter into a land exchange with the John A. Russell Corporation whereby Lot 15 in the REDC Industrial Park (owned by the John A. Russell Corporation) is deeded to the state of Vermont, agency of transportation, and land located adjacent to the main runway at the Rutland airport currently owned by the state of Vermont, agency of transportation, is permitted and deeded to the John A. Russell Corporation. The value of the land to be conveyed to the John A. Russell Corporation shall be comparable to the value of Lot 15 to be conveyed to the agency of transportation, said value of lot 15 to be determined without giving effect to the impact the installation of the DVOR system at the airport will have upon Lot 15.

* * * Town Highway * * *

Sec. 17. 19 V.S.A. § 11b is amended to read:

§ 11b. TOWN HIGHWAY REVOLVING FUND

There is created a special account within the transportation fund known as the town highway revolving fund for the purpose of charging the expense for work performed for towns by the agency. All receipts from towns for performance of these services shall be credited to this account. The commissioner of finance and management may incur overdrafts, not to exceed $250,000.00 in total, in this account in anticipation of amounts due from towns. However, the commissioner may waive the limitation on overdrafts to the extent that a town's reimbursement to the state is contingent on the town's receipt of emergency relief funds from *[the Federal Emergency Management Agency]* federal sources.

Sec. 18. 19 V.S.A. § 21(a) is amended to read:

(a) The agency may purchase, or lease, or take in the manner provided in chapter 5 of this title, as part of the highway, land adjacent to any route which is needed for the preservation of its scenic character, or for the purpose of providing picnic or camping grounds, or for parking areas for the use of travelers; provided that land taken for *[such]* these purposes by condemnation proceedings shall not extend in width more than *[two hundred fifty]* 250 feet from the center of the traveled portion of the *[road]* highway (except limited access facilities).

Sec. 19. TOWN HIGHWAY BRIDGE PROGRAM

The secretary of transportation is authorized to transfer $900,000 of state funds from the rail and aviation program, appropriation #0408813300, to the town highway bridge program, appropriation #0408812500, in order to cover anticipated project expenditures during fiscal year 1999.

Sec. 20. VERMONT LOCAL ROADS PROGRAM

The sum of $48,000 is appropriated to the agency of transportation from the transportation fund for the Vermont Local Roads Program. Of the funds appropriated under this section, $23,000 shall be administered by the Vermont Local Roads Program, the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization in cooperation with regional planning commissions and others to provide matching grants to municipalities for inventorying and assessing difficult erosion problems on town highways and for developing a local capital improvement program to correct those problems. Of the funds appropriated under this section, $25,000 shall be made available by the Vermont Local Roads Program to the Northern Vermont Resource Conservation and Development Council to supplement funding from the Vermont agency of natural resources and others to provide for grants to Vermont municipalities to address highway erosion problems. The grants shall be matched with local funds. The Vermont Local Roads program shall report to the Senate and House Committees on Transportation no later than January 15, 2000 regarding the projects initiated under this section.

* * * Historic Bridge Program * * *

Sec. 21. 19 V.S.A. § 309a(b) is amended to read:

(b) This section shall not apply to:

* * *

(5) any bridge or roadway project involving a local financial share in which the municipality, after its review of the conceptual project plans, chooses not to proceed with the proposed project; in such circumstances, the agency shall pay 100 percent of the project costs incurred through the date it receives such notification from the municipality; *[or]*

(6) any project where, by the mutual agreement of the municipality and agency, rehabilitation of an existing bridge is the preferred alternative, the agency shall use the appropriate combination of state and federal funding to pay 95 percent of the cost of rehabilitation; or

(7) any project or portion of a project involving a structure that is part of the historic bridge program, where the agency shall use the appropriate combination of state and federal funding to pay 100 percent of the cost of rehabilitation.

Sec. 22. 19 V.S.A. § 1513 is added to read:

§ 1513. HISTORIC BRIDGE PROGRAM

For the purpose of facilitating compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. § 470f, the agency and cooperating municipalities, in connection with federal-aid projects affecting historic bridges, are authorized to enter into preservation easement agreements.

* * * U.S. 7 Improvements * * *

Sec. 23. U.S. 7; DORSET-SOUTH BURLINGTON CORRIDOR

(a) On or before December 15, 1999, the agency of transportation shall provide the Senate and House committees on transportation with a coordinated plan of action for advancing construction of improvements along the U.S. 7 corridor between the north end of the existing limited access facility in the town of Dorset and the U.S. 7/I-189 interchange in the city of South Burlington.

(b) The agency's action plan shall include (but not be limited to) the following:

(1) Right-of-way acquisition and construction of improvements to implement recommendations generated by project Dorset-Wallingford, NH 019-2(20)SC (scoping report for access management and corridor preservation along the 18.3-mile segment of existing U.S. 7 between VT 7A junction in Dorset and VT 7B junction in Wallingford);

(2) Construction of project Wallingford NHG SGNL(6)S (improvements to traffic signal at U.S. 7/VT 140 intersection in Wallingford);

(3) Construction of project Rutland City STPG MG 3000(14) (installation of new traffic signals along U.S. 4 and U.S. 7 in Rutland City);

(4) Preliminary engineering to address recommendations generated by project Pittsford-Brandon NH 019-3(49)SC (scoping report for improvements to Pittsford-Brandon segment of U.S. 7);

(5) Preliminary engineering for project Brandon-Leicester FEGC F 019-3(29) (rehabilitation of approximately 4.5 miles of U.S. 7);

(6) Preliminary engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction to implement the "Town of Middlebury Route 7 Corridor Action Plan" (traffic signal improvements and access management along U.S. 7 through town of Middlebury);

(7) Right-of-way acquisition and construction of highway project Charlotte F EGC 019-4(20) (rehabilitation and isolated reconstruction of U.S. northward 2.9 miles from Ferrisburgh-Charlotte town line);

(8) Right-of-way acquisition and construction of highway project Shelburne-South Burlington FEGC 019-4(19)C/2 (reconstruction of bridge no. 144 carrying U.S. 7 over LaPlatte River in town of Shelburne); and

(9) Completion of environmental permitting, right-of-way acquisition and construction of highway project Shelburne-South Burlington F EGC 019-4(19) (reconstruction of U.S. 7 from LaPlatte River bridge in Shelburne to Imperial Drive in South Burlington).

Sec. 23a. PILOT PROJECT; ROUTE 7; PERMIT STUDY

(a) The general assembly finds that Route 7 is a portion of the National Highway System that has been under significant strain for many years due to steadily increasing truck and automobile traffic without sufficient improvements in many areas to adequately safeguard the travelling public. The general assembly further finds that the construction of such improvements is long overdue, and that it is in the public interest for such improvements that can be made within the general corridor of Route 7 to be constructed with all deliberate speed, consistent with federal and state laws.

(b) The agency of transportation, the agency of natural resources, and the agency of commerce and community development shall take all steps necessary to ensure that the construction of roadway improvements on Route 7 necessary to provide adequate safety to the travelling public is commenced no later than the close of the 2000 construction season. The secretaries of these agencies shall cooperate fully to ensure the success of this project, and the secretary of administration shall provide whatever necessary assistance can be provided consistent with the law.

(c) The secretaries of the agencies mentioned in subsection (b) of this section shall report to the legislature by January 15, 2000 on their progress in meeting the goal of this section and on whether systemic or structural changes, including changes to the permit process for transportation projects, are advisable as a result of the experience gained under this section.

* * * Public Transit * * *

Sec. 24. CONGESTION MITIGATION AIR QUALITY FUNDS

For fiscal year 2001 and thereafter, public transit providers who are in the third year of receiving Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds may be ineligible to receive state operating funds provided under 24 V.S.A. § 5091 for the support of transit routes.

Sec. 25. MARBLE VALLEY REGIONAL TRANSIT DISTRICT

(a) In fiscal year 2000, the $450,000 of federal funds (CMAQ) for the new start demonstration project and the $1,215,000 of funding for capital assistance for the Marble Valley Regional Transit District is authorized, contingent upon receipt and approval by the agency of transportation of the 1998 audit.

(b) The sum of $60,000 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation policy and planning program (account #0408811900) to offset fiscal year 2000 operations and maintenance costs of the Rutland multimodal center. This appropriation is contingent upon the certification by the commissioner of buildings and general services to the secretary of transportation that a satisfactory agreement has been executed by all parties with the commissioner relating to the rental, operation, maintenance and fiscal management of the Rutland multimodal center.

Sec. 26. PUBLIC TRANSIT POLICY PLAN

(a) The agency of transportation shall produce a public transportation policy plan which shall be submitted to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2000. The public transportation policy plan shall be created by the agency of transportation through a cooperative effort with the Vermont Public Transportation Association, the Vermont Center for Independent Living, the Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies, the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Chittenden County Transportation Association, other providers of public transportation services, the agency of human services, the agency of commerce and community development and the Vermont general assembly. Included in the policy plan shall be recommendations to the general assembly for statutory changes that are necessary to implement the plan. At a minimum, the public transportation policy plan shall include the following:

(1) A vision of what a fully implemented public transportation system would look like, regarding intermodal connections, regions to be served, individuals to be served, appropriate levels of ridership, including sustainability, differing modes of public transportation, and a multi-year funding program, within the state's capabilities to achieve such a system.

(2) An analysis of the current funding system, with regard to operational subsidies and proposals, if any, for changes to the current system.

(3) A statement of public transportation's role in the state's total transportation delivery system.

(4) An examination of current users of public transportation, areas of the state which are underserved, and projected ridership of under served areas.

(5) A system for evaluating public transportation new start applications utilizing criteria, which may include, but shall not be limited to, improving individual independence, economic impact both regionally and individually, ridership projections, current level of service in region, and local funding effort.

(6) An evaluation of the current distribution of public transportation funding and how that comports with the criteria used for approving new start applications.

(7) An examination of a regional-based system of public transportation providers.

(8) A capital inventory of all public transportation providers.

(9) An inventory of all federal and state funds which are potentially available for public transportation.

(10) A single fiscal year for all providers for agency of transportation financial auditing.

(11) A standardized cost accounting methodology for all transportation providers.

(12) An examination of the voucher program in Washington County.

(13) Consideration of the findings of the intercity bus study, the findings and conclusions of the transit management performance evaluation, as well as the relevant portions of the rail and airport policy plans to insure intermodal movement of people throughout the state.

(14) A process whereby continued cooperation and coordination between agency of human services programs and providers and public transit systems shall occur, including mechanisms that can be used to improve the effectiveness of, and compliance with, section 5090 of Title 24.

(15) 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, the regional planning commissions and the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

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

(17) An examination of the Chittenden County Transportation Association and such examination shall include, but not be limited to, the existing governance structure, the use of local, state and federal funds, the requirements for new communities to receive transit services, the plan for expanding transit services to communities currently not receiving such services and the impact of all of the above on the provision of transit services on a countywide basis. The examination shall also review the integration of transit services with other modes of travel.

(b) The agency of transportation shall ensure that staffing levels are appropriate, both in number and expertise, for the proper administration and oversight of public transit programs. In determining proper staffing levels the agency of transportation shall compare existing staffing levels, both in number and expertise, of other nonhighway transportation units.

Sec. 26a. PUBLIC TRANSIT CAPITAL COST ALLOWANCES

The agency of transportation shall establish for fiscal year 2001, a policy for state cost allowances for public transit capital purchases. Such cost allowances are intended to establish the maximum amount that the state will fund, utilizing federal and state funds for the purchase of public transit capital items.

* * * Lemon Law * * *

Sec. 27. 9 V.S.A. § 4171(6) and (9) are amended to read:

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(6) "Motor vehicle" means a passenger motor vehicle which is purchased or leased, or registered in the state of Vermont *[and is registered in Vermont within 15 days of the date of purchase or lease]* and shall not include tractors, motorized highway building equipment, road-making appliances, snowmobiles, motorcycles, mopeds, or the living portion of recreation vehicles, or trucks with a gross vehicle weight over *[10,000]* 12,000 pounds.

(9) A "new motor vehicle" means a passenger motor vehicle which *[has been sold to a new motor vehicle dealer or motor vehicle lessor by a manufacturer and which has not been used for other than demonstration purposes and on which the original title has not been issued from the new motor vehicle dealer other than to a motor vehicle lessor]* is still under the manufacturer's express warranty.

Sec. 28. 9 V.S.A. § 4172(b), (e) and (i) are amended to read:

(b) It shall be the manufacturer's obligation under this chapter to insure that all new motor vehicles sold, *[or]* leased or registered in this state conform with manufacturer's express warranties. The manufacturer may delegate responsibility to its agents or authorized dealers provided, however, in the event the manufacturer delegates its responsibility under this chapter to its agents or authorized dealers, it shall compensate the dealer for all work performed by the dealer in satisfaction of the manufacturer's responsibility under this chapter in the manner set forth in chapter 108 of this title known as the "Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers' Franchising Practices Act" as that act may be from time to time amended.

(e) If, after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer or its delegate is unable to conform the motor vehicle to any express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition covered by the warranty which substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of the motor vehicle to the consumer, the manufacturer shall, at the option of the consumer within 30 days of the effective date of the board's order, replace the motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle from the same manufacturer, if available, of comparable worth to the same make and model with all options and accessories with appropriate adjustments being allowed for any model year differences or shall accept return of the vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price or to the lessee in the case of leased vehicles, as provided in subsection (i) of this section. In those instances in which a refund is tendered, the manufacturer shall refund to the consumer the full purchase price as indicated in the purchase contract and all credits and allowances for any trade-in or downpayment, *[license fees,]* finance charges, credit charges, registration fees and any similar charges and incidental and consequential damages or in the case of leased vehicles, as provided in subsection (i) of this section. Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear or to the motor vehicle lessor and lessee as provided in subsection (i) of this section. A reasonable allowance for use shall be that amount directly attributable to use by the consumer prior to his or her first repair attempt and shall be calculated by multiplying the full purchase price of the vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator 100,000 and having as its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled prior to the first attempt at repairing the vehicle. If the manufacturer refunds the purchase price or a portion of the price to the consumer, *[the]* any Vermont motor vehicle purchase and use tax paid shall be refunded by the state to the consumer in the proportionate amount. To receive a refund, the consumer must file a claim with the commissioner of motor vehicles within 90 days of the effective date of the order.

(i) In cases in which the lessee elects a replacement vehicle, a collateral change with appropriate adjustments for any model year difference or excess mileage, or both, shall be incorporated into an amended lease agreement. In cases in which a refund is tendered by a manufacturer for a leased motor vehicle under subsection (e) of this section, the refund and rights of the motor vehicle lessor, lessee and manufacturer shall be in accordance with the following:

(1) The manufacturer shall provide to the lessee, the aggregate deposit and rental payments previously paid to the motor vehicle lessor by the lessee, and incidental and consequential damages, if applicable, minus a reasonable allowance for use and allocated payments for purchase and use tax. The aggregate deposit shall include, but not be limited to, all cash payments and trade-in allowances tendered by the lessee to the motor vehicle lessor under the lease agreement. The reasonable allowance for use shall be calculated by multiplying the aggregate deposit and rental payments made by the lessee on the motor vehicle by a fraction having as its denominator *[100,000]* the number of miles allowed in the lease contract and having as its numerator the number of miles that the vehicle traveled prior to the first attempt at repairing the vehicle. Any miles in excess of those allowed in the lease contract shall be added to the mileage at the first repair attempt or first day out of service prior to calculating the reasonable allowance for use.

(2) The manufacturer shall provide to the motor vehicle lessor the aggregate of the following:

(A) the lessor's actual purchase cost, less payments made by the lessee;

(B) the freight cost, if applicable;

(C) the cost for dealer or manufacturer-installed accessories, if applicable;

(D) any fee paid to another to obtain the lease;

(E) an amount equal to five percent of the lessor's actual purchase cost *[as prescribed in subdivision (2)(A) of this subsection]*. The amount in this subdivision shall be instead of any early termination costs as defined in § 4171(3) of this chapter or as described in the lease agreement.

(3) *[The]* Vermont motor vehicle purchase and use tax shall be refunded by the state to whomever paid the tax. The party must file a claim with the commissioner of the department of motor vehicles within 90 days of the effective date of the order.

(4) The lessee's lease agreement with the motor vehicle lessor and all contractual obligations shall be terminated upon a decision of the board in favor of the lessee as of the effective date of the order. The lessee shall not be liable for any further costs or charges to the manufacturer or motor vehicle lessor under the lease agreement.

(5) The motor vehicle lessor shall release the motor vehicle title to the manufacturer upon payment by the manufacturer under the provisions of this subsection.

(6) The board shall give notice to the motor vehicle lessor of the lessee's filing of a request for arbitration under this chapter and shall notify the motor vehicle lessor of the date, time and place scheduled for a hearing before the board. The motor vehicle lessor shall provide testimony and evidence necessary to the arbitration proceedings. Any decision of the board shall be binding upon the motor vehicle lessor.

Sec. 29. 9 V.S.A. § 4173 is amended to read:

§ 4173. PROCEDURE TO OBTAIN REFUND OR REPLACEMENT

(a) After *[the third]* reasonable attempt at repair or correction of the nonconformity, defect or condition, or after the vehicle is out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities, defects or conditions for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days as provided in this chapter, the consumer shall notify the manufacturer and lessor in writing, on forms to be provided by the manufacturer at the time the new motor vehicle is delivered, of the nonconformity, defect or condition and the consumer's election to proceed under this chapter. The forms shall be made available by the manufacturer to *[the Vermont motor vehicle arbitration]* *[board, and]* any *[other]* public or nonprofit agencies that shall request them. Notice of consumer rights under this chapter shall be conspicuously displayed by all authorized dealers and agents of the manufacturer. The consumer shall in the notice, elect whether to use the dispute settlement mechanism *[and/ or]* or the arbitration provisions established by the manufacturer or to proceed under the Vermont motor vehicle arbitration board as established under this chapter. The consumer's election of whether to proceed before the board or the manufacturer's mechanism shall preclude his or her recourse to the method not selected.

(b) A consumer cannot pursue a remedy under this chapter if he or she has discontinued financing or lease payments *[if the payments have been discontinued due to the manufacturer's breach of obligation under this chapter or of a breach of the manufacturer's warranties]*.

(c) Arbitration of the consumer's complaint, either through the manufacturer's dispute settlement mechanism or the board, must be held within 45 days of receipt by the manufacturer or the board *[and the manufacturer]* of the consumer's notice electing the remedy of arbitration unless the consumer or the manufacturer has good cause for an extension of time, not to exceed an additional 30-day period. If the extension of time is requested by the manufacturer, the manufacturer shall provide free use of a vehicle to the consumer if the consumer's vehicle is out of service. In the event the consumer elects to proceed in accordance with the manufacturer's dispute settlement mechanism and the arbitration of the dispute is not held within 45 days of the manufacturer's receipt of the consumer's notice and the manufacturer is not able to establish good cause for the delay, the consumer shall be entitled to receive the relief requested under this chapter.

(d) Within the 45-day period set forth in subsection (c) of this section but at least five days prior to hearing, the manufacturer shall have one final opportunity to correct and repair the defect which the consumer claims entitles him or her to a refund or replacement vehicle. Any right to a final repair attempt is waived if the manufacturer does not complete it at least five days prior to hearing. If the consumer is satisfied with the corrective work done by the manufacturer or his delegate, the arbitration proceedings shall be terminated without prejudice to the consumer's right to request arbitration be recommenced if the repair proves unsatisfactory for the duration of the express warranty.

(e) The vehicle must be presented at the hearing site for an inspection or test drive, or both, by members of the board.

(f) The manufacturer shall refund the amounts provided for in section 4172(e) or (i) of this chapter within 30 days of the facsimile transmission confirmation receipt of a decision of the board or within 15 days of final adjudication. The consumer shall receive an additional 10 per cent of the total award if the manufacturer fails to complete the transaction by the effective date of the order.

Sec. 30. 9 V.S.A. § 4174(a) is amended to read:

(a) There is created a Vermont motor vehicle arbitration board consisting of five members and *[two]* three alternate members to be appointed by the governor for terms of three years. Board members may be appointed for two additional three-year terms. One member of the board and one alternate shall be *[a]* new car *[dealer]* dealers in Vermont, one member and one alternate shall be persons *[knowledgeable in]* active as automobile *[mechanics]* technicians, and three members and one alternate shall be persons having no direct involvement in the design, manufacture, distribution, sales or service of motor vehicles or their parts. Board members shall be compensated in accordance with the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 1010. The board shall be attached to the transportation board and shall receive administrative services from the transportation board.

Sec. 31. 9 V.S.A. § 4175 is amended to read:

§ 4175. FEES AND COSTS

There shall be no filing fee or costs assessed against the consumer for using the Vermont motor vehicle arbitration board or the manufacturer's dispute settlement mechanism. In the event an authorized franchise dealer or any of its employees including *[mechanics]* technicians or service personnel are called upon to testify or produce documents, repair orders or other materials in any arbitration held before the Vermont motor vehicle arbitration board or the manufacturer's dispute settlement mechanism, the person who requests the participation of the authorized franchise dealer or requests the production of documents must make arrangements in advance to reasonably compensate the dealer for the actual expense involved. Where a conflict arises as to actual expenses, the board shall make that determination. In the event the consumer prevails, these costs shall be reimbursed to the consumer by the manufacturer.

Sec. 32. 9 V.S.A. § 4176 is amended to read:

§ 4176. APPEAL FROM BOARD

(a) The decision of the board shall be final unless a motion for reconsideration is filed within 30 days of the consumer's receipt of decision accompanied by new evidence. The board shall allow the opposing party to respond and may reconvene the hearing if deemed necessary. The decision shall then be final and shall not be modified or vacated unless, on appeal to the superior court a party to the arbitration proceeding proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that:

(1) the *[award]* decision was procured by corruption, fraud or other undue means;

(2) there was evident partiality by the board or corruption or misconduct prejudicing the rights of any party by the board;

(3) the board exceeded its powers;

(4) the board refused to postpone a hearing after being shown sufficient cause to do so or refused to hear evidence material to the controversy or otherwise conducted the hearing contrary to the rules promulgated by the board so as to prejudice substantially the rights of a party.

An application to vacate or modify *[an award]* a decision shall be made within 30 days after delivery of a copy of the *[award]* final decision to the applicant except that if predicated upon corruption, fraud or other undue means, it may be made within 30 days after such grounds are known or should have been known. In the event *[an award]* a decision is confirmed, the party who prevails shall be awarded the attorney's fees incurred in obtaining confirmation of the *[award]* decision together with all costs.

(b) When a judgment of the superior court affirms *[an award]* a decision of the board, permission of the presiding judge shall be required for review. Review may be conditioned upon the appellant paying appellee's appellate attorney's fees, giving security for costs, expenses and financial loss resulting from the passage of time for review.

Sec. 33. 9 V.S.A. § 4179(a) is amended to read:

(a) This chapter shall apply to motor vehicles beginning with the model year following July 1, 1984. Any proceedings initiated under this chapter shall be commenced within one year following*[: ]*

*[(1)]* the expiration of the express warranty term*[; or]* . *[(2) one year following the manufacturer's last attempt at repair of the nonconformity which gives rise to the consumer's request that the vehicle be replaced or the money refunded, whichever comes later.]*

Sec. 34. 23 V.S.A. § 2018(f) is added to read:

(f) If a vehicle has been returned to the manufacturer after final determination, adjudication or settlement pursuant to the provisions of chapter 115 of Title 9 or after final determination, adjudication or settlement under similar laws of any other state, any certificate of title for the vehicle shall contain the following legend: "This vehicle was returned to the manufacturer pursuant to motor vehicle arbitration board, or similar proceedings, 9 V.S.A.

§ 4181."

* * * Dept. of Finance and Management-New Finance System * * *

Sec. 35. TRANSPORTATION FUND TRANSFERS

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the fiscal year 1999 unreserved undesignated transportation fund balance on a budgetary basis as determined by the commissioner of finance and management on July 31, 1999, is hereby transferred as follows:

(1) First, the necessary portion of the balance shall be transferred to the transportation fund budget stabilization reserve to attain its statutory maximum.

(2) Second, of any remaining fund balance after subdivision (1) of this section, up to $1,100,000 shall be appropriated to the department of finance and management for the purchase of the new state finance system.

(3) Third, of any remaining fund balance after subdivisions (1) and (2) of this section, up to $500,000 shall be appropriated to the agency of transportation project development program (account #0408811700) for the state paving program.

* * * Lake Champlain Bridge Commission * * *

Sec. 36. LAKE CHAMPLAIN BRIDGE COMMISSION

Any unexpended balance on June 30, 1999 in the Lake Champlain Bridge Commission account shall revert to the transportation fund.

Sec. 37. REPEAL

19 V.S.A. § 11a (Lake Champlain bridges account) is repealed.

* * * Bus Companies Reporting Vermont Mileage * * *

Sec. 38. BUS COMPANIES REPORTING MILES OPERATED IN

VERMONT

For the one-year period beginning July 1, 1999, operators of motor buses with a capacity of 20 or more passengers shall report quarterly all miles operated in Vermont to the department of motor vehicles on a modified form as prescribed by the Commissioner. This requirement shall not affect operators that are nonprofit corporations or governmental entities.

* * * Rest Areas * * *

Sec. 39. REST AREAS

Notwithstanding Sec. 7c(e) of No. 60 of the Acts of 1995 or any other provision of law, the agency of transportation, in cooperation with the departments of tourism and marketing, buildings and general services, and environmental conservation, shall implement the following program:

(1) Investigate the continuing operation of the Sharon southbound facility as an Interstate safety and convenience area, renovate the existing building and correct ADA and sewage disposal problems.

(2) Site design of a possible Vermont welcome center in Bennington at the systems interchange of Routes U.S. 7 and VT Route 9. Construction of the infrastructure of this facility shall be coordinated with the construction of the interchange by the agency of transportation under project BENNINGTON NH-F 019-1(5). Design of this facility shall be in consultation with the Bennington Regional Planning Commission and the Bennington Bypass Citizens Advisory Group.

(3) The department of buildings and general services is authorized to operate rest areas, information and welcome centers as state or private facilities.

* * * Indirect Cost Reimbursements * * *

Sec. 40. FEDERAL AID PROJECTS; REIMBURSEMENT OF INDIRECT

COSTS

The first $1,000,000 of any amount over $11,000,000 received from the federal government for reimbursement of indirect costs associated with federal aid transportation projects shall be used by the agency of transportation for leveling and sealing along the state highway system. Any further such reimbursement shall be used by the agency of transportation for support of town programs.

* * * State Forest Highways * * *

Sec. 41a. TOWN OF BURKE; DARLING STATE PARK

The sum of $500,000 is appropriated to the agency of transportation from the transportation fund for the purpose of reconstructing the Burke Mountain road at the Darling State Park in the town of Burke. Of this amount, $450,000 is for labor and materials (operating expenses) and $50,000 is for engineering support services (personal services). The project shall be administered by the agency of natural resources, department of forests, parks and recreation.

Sec. 41b. TOWN OF CHARLOTTE; MOUNT PHILO STATE PARK

The sum of $280,000 is appropriated to the agency of transportation from the transportation fund for the purpose of reconstructing the Mount Philo road at the Mount Philo State Park in the town of Charlotte. Of this amount, $270,000 is for labor and materials (operating expenses) and $10,000 is for engineering support services (personal services). The project shall be administered by the agency of natural resources, department of forests, parks and recreation.

* * * Budget Stabilization Fund * * *

Sec. 41c. [Deleted.]

* * * Interstate Highways * * *

Sec. 41d. INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS; RUMBLE STRIPS

On or before December 1, 2000, the agency of transportation shall install rumble strips on all interstate highways within the state.

* * * Highway Signs * * *

Sec. 41e. 10 V.S.A. § 494(6) is amended to read:

The following signs are exempt from the requirements of this chapter except as indicated in section 495 of this title:

* * *

(6) Official traffic control signs, including signs on limited access highways consistent with the manual on uniform traffic control devices, adopted under 23 V.S.A. § 1025, directing people to official state visitor information centers, nonprofit museums, fairgrounds or exposition sites or nonprofit diploma granting educational institutions for *[the language delayed]* people with disabilities and postsecondary educational institutions, subject to rules adopted by the travel information council that:

(A) are open a minimum of 120 days each year, and

(B) are located within *[fifteen]* 15 miles of an interstate highway exit, and

(C) reimburse the agency of transportation for the actual cost of fabrication, installation and yearly maintenance.

Sec. 41f. TRANSITION PROVISION

All signs erected pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 494(13) and in place before passage of this act shall be removed no later than November 30, 2001.

Sec. 41g. REPEAL; REDESIGNATION

(a) 10 V.S.A. § 490 (types and arrangement of signs) is repealed.

(b) 10 V.S.A. § 490a (types and arrangement of signs) is redesignated as

10 V.S.A. § 490.

(c) 10 V.S.A. § 494(13) (supplemental guide signs) is repealed.

Sec. 41h. 10 V.S.A. § 495(e) is added to read:

(e) Except on those highways maintained exclusively by the agency of transportation and on limited access facilities, the limitation established by subsection (d) of this section shall not apply to the signs and devices referred to in subdivisions 494(9) and (11) of this title.

* * * Municipal Highway Building Equipment - Registration Exemption * * *

Sec. 41i. 23 V.S.A. § 4(19) 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:

* * *

(19) "Motorized highway building equipment" shall include all bulldozers, rollers, scrapers, graders, spreaders, pavers, bituminous mixers, compressors, power shovels, excavators, dumptors, concrete mixers, bucket loaders, snow loaders, rooters and scarifiers, except road oilers and bituminous distributors, which contain as an integral part thereof and within the same unit facilities for generating motor power for propelling the same and while being used exclusively for the building, repair or maintenance of highways, or being transported or moved from job to job in connection with the building, repair or maintenance of highways; or, for purposes of registration only, if owned and operated by a municipality, while being used exclusively for municipal purposes; however, the town road commissioner, or comparable municipal officer, shall report annually to the legislative body of the municipality that the equipment is in good repair; tractors used exclusively as a power unit in drawing road making appliances or in the transportation of same or of such tractor from job to job in connection with the building, repair or maintenance of highways;

* * * Corridor Preservation * * *

Sec. 41j. CORRIDOR PRESERVATION

(a) On or before January 15, 2000, the agency of transportation shall provide the Senate and House committees on transportation with a corridor preservation action plan addressing the following:

(1) development of access category standards;

(2) development of design and construction standards and specifications; and

(3) use of the agency of transportation's existing rulemaking authority under 19 V.S.A. § 1111(b).

(b) In preparing its action plan, the agency of transportation shall consult with municipalities, the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization and, in regions other than Chittenden County, with the regional planning commissions.

* * * Review of Roadway Projects * * *

Sec. 41k. CONTINUED REVIEW OF ROADWAY PROJECTS

During the remainder of calendar year 1999, the agency of transportation shall continue to work with the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization and, in regions other than Chittenden County, with the regional planning commissions to develop and apply criteria for identifying those roadway projects that merit advancement to the construction phase. In accordance with Sec. 2 of this act, the agency shall present the general assembly, on or before January 15, 2000, with a list of those roadway projects recommended for cancellation.

* * * Town Highway Grants * * *

Sec. 41n. TOWN HIGHWAY GRANTS

There is appropriated $2,000,000 from the transportation fund to the agency of transportation for the town highway grant program.

* * * Project Development Process * * *

Sec. 41o. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

(a) The agency of transportation, in consultation with the agency of natural resources and the division for historic preservation within the agency of commerce and community development, shall review the interagency processes related to transportation project approval, develop measures to expedite transportation projects that are currently in the agency of transportation's project development process and identify state statutes and rules that delay construction of transportation projects.

(b) The agency of transportation, in consultation with the agency of natural resources and the division for historic preservation within the agency of commerce and community development, shall establish an appropriate timetable for each project to move onto the next phase of the project development process for those projects currently in the agency of transportation's project development process. The agency of transportation shall sort all of the transportation projects in the agency of transportation's project development process according to where they are in the process.

(c) The agency of transportation shall report on their efforts and progress in complying with subsections (a) and (b) of this section to the joint transportation oversight committee and the Senate and House Committees on Transportation. Such reports shall begin prior to August 1, 1999 and shall be on a monthly basis until the end of the calendar year. The task force shall submit a final report to the Senate and House Committees on Transportation no later than January 15, 2000, identifying legislative or administrative action needed to improve the project development process.

* * * Chittenden County Circumferential Highway * * *

Sec. 41p. CHITTENDEN COUNTY CIRCUMFERENTIAL HIGHWAY

(VT 289)

On or before January 15, 2000, the agency of transportation shall provide the Senate and House committees on transportation with a coordinated action plan for the remainder of the Chittenden County Circumferential Highway (VT 289), including, but not limited to, the estimated time frames for obtaining or renewing environmental permits and completing right-of-way acquisition.

* * * Highway Garages * * *

Sec. 41q. HIGHWAY GARAGES

(a) The sum of $2,512,350 is appropriated from the transportation fund to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of transportation for:

(1) Colchester (Chimney Corners), highway garage complex, design and construction: $1,582,350.

(2) Waitsfield, highway garage complex, construction: $ 600,000.

(3) Ludlow, highway garage complex, construction: $ 330,000.

(b) The sum of $150,000 appropriated by Sec. 17(a)(3) of No. 148 of the Acts of 1998 (Adjourned Session) (transportation facility) is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services for design and construction of the Derby highway garage complex.

(c) The commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the secretary of transportation, may transfer funds between individual projects authorized in this section.

* * * Paving Program * * *

Sec. 41r. 19 V.S.A. § 10c(j) is added to read:

(j) Upon final payment of a paving contract with the agency of transportation which contains liquidated damages from a paving contractor for failure to complete work on time, such damages shall be paid by the agency of transportation to the town or towns in which the work was not completed on time. In no case shall the liquidated damages paid to a town or towns exceed the state share of those liquidated damages for that paving project. If such a project is in more than one town, each town shall receive an amount of liquidated damages equal to its percentage of the state share of uncompleted work.

Sec. 41s. LIQUIDATED DAMAGES; PAVING PROJECTS AFFECTED

The provisions of Sec. 41r of this act shall affect paving projects commenced in the 1998 construction season and thereafter.

* * * Information Centers * * *

Sec. 41t. INFORMATION CENTERS

(a) There is appropriated $100,000 from the transportation fund to the department of buildings and general services for the design and construction of a downtown information center pilot project in White River Junction. The department of buildings and general services shall not build any other downtown information centers until the effectiveness of the White River Junction downtown information center is determined. On January 15, 2001, the department of buildings and general services shall report to the Senate and House Committees on Transportation on the effectiveness of the White River Junction downtown information center.

(b) There is appropriated $100,000 from the transportation fund to the department of buildings and general services for the interior fit-up of welcome and information centers.

* * * Riding Bicycles on Roadway * * *

Sec. 41u. 23 V.S.A. § 1139(b) is amended to read:

(b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or except as otherwise permitted by the commissioner of public safety in connection with a public sporting event in which case the commissioner shall be authorized to adopt such rules as the public good requires. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

* * * Transportation Enhancement Advisory Authority * * *

Sec. 41v. TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(a) The Vermont transportation enhancement advisory 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, one member to be appointed by the secretary of transportation to represent the tourism and marketing industry, a representative of the agency of natural resources, three municipal representatives designated by the Vermont league of cities and towns, 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 2001 and thereafter, at least 75 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.

* * * Town Culverts * * *

Sec. 41w. TOWN CULVERTS

The agency of transportation shall determine which culverts located on town highways throughout the state were originally installed as a requirement for the construction of the interstate highway system. The agency shall conduct an examination of town culverts starting with the towns first affected by the construction of the interstate highway system and the examination shall include consultation with the appropriate town officials. The agency shall report to the Senate and House Committees on Transportation, on or before January 15, 2000, the number and location of such culverts in each town.

Sec. 41x. Sec. 93 of No. 1 of the Acts of 1999 is amended to read:

Sec. 93. Sec. 18 of No. 38 of the Acts of 1997 is amended to read:

Sec. 18. TRANSPORTATION FUND APPROPRIATIONS

In fiscal year 1999, 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 interstate rest areas, and transportation debt service, shall not exceed 25% of the total of the prior fiscal year transportation fund appropriations. In fiscal year 2000 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 *[interstate]* rest areas, construction of transportation capital facilities used by the agency of transportation, and transportation debt service, shall not exceed 24.5% of the total of the prior fiscal year transportation fund appropriations (less amounts appropriated that are supported by indirect cost reimbursement from federal agencies).

* * * Ticket To Ride * * *

Sec. 41y. TICKET TO RIDE PROGRAM

The sum of $45,000 is appropriated from federal funds to the agency of transportation policy and planning program (account #0408811906) for reimbursement of eligible expenses for the Ticket to Ride program operating in Washington County for direct transportation services for the elderly and disabled.

Sec. 41z. POLICY FOR SUPPLEMENTAL GUIDE SIGNS

The Travel Information Council shall develop a policy for supplemental guide signs on the interstates and state highways and a plan for implementing the policy. The Travel Information Council shall report the policy and plan to the House and Senate Committees on Transportation on January 15, 2000.

* * * Sunset Provision * * *

Sec. 42. SUNSET

The provisions of Sec. 7 of this act shall expire on January 1, 2000.

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 43. EFFECTIVE DATE

(a) Secs. 1(b)(12), (18) and (19), 16a, 20, 25(b), 35, 41a, 41b, 41n, 41q, 41t, 41v and 41y shall take effect on July 1, 1999.

(b) This section and the remaining sections of this bill shall take effect from passage.

Approved: May 13, 1999