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NO. 160.  AN ACT RELATING TO THE STATE’S TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM AND PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

(H.764)

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

Sec. 1.  TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM FOR 2005; PROJECT

             DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR 2006-2009; APPROVAL OF

             PROJECT CANCELLATIONS

(a)  The transportation capital program for fiscal year 2005 and project development plan for fiscal years 2006-2009, appended to the agency of transportation’s proposed fiscal year 2005 budget, as amended by this act, are adopted to the extent federal, state, and local funds are available.  The transportation capital program and project development plan hereby adopted supersede all previous transportation capital programs and project development plans.

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

* * * Program Development – Paving * * *

Sec. 2.  PAVING PROGRAM

(a)  Total authorized spending in the program development – paving program is modified as follows:

     FY05               As Proposed                     As Amended                   Change

     Total                 32,535,000                         32,892,683                 357,683

     Source of Funds

     State                   8,480,500                           7,578,183                -902,317

     Federal             24,054,500                         25,314,500              1,260,000

(b)  These changes are made:

(1)  to adjust for the shifting of $1,200,000 in transportation funds from fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2004 to initiate paving work in the spring of 2004; and

(2)  to add $297,683 in transportation funds and $1,260,000 in federal funds for the Waterbury Interstate 89 paving project and, at the discretion of the secretary, other approved projects in the paving program in the fiscal year 2005 transportation capital program.


* * * Program Development – Roadway Program * * *

Sec. 3.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – ROADWAY PROGRAM

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

(1)  Due to scheduling delays, funding for the Burlington Riverside Avenue MEGC 5000(15), page 2, is amended to read:

     FY05               As Proposed                     As Amended                   Change

     PE                                                                                                                           0

     ROW                                                                                                        0

     Construction     2,700,000                             1,818,000                -882,000

     Other                             0                                           0                            0

     Total                 2,700,000                             1,818,000                -882,000

     Source of Funds

     State                       60,000                                 33,540                  -26,460

     Federal             1,900,000                            1,062,100                -837,900

     Local                    740,000                               722,360                  -17,640

(2)  Due to scheduling delays, funding for the Burlington southern connector MEGC M 5000(1) project within the development and evaluation program is reduced by $16,170 in transportation funds, $512,050 in federal funds, and $10,780 in local funds. 

(3)  In fulfillment of the state’s obligations with respect to the siting of the southeastern Vermont correctional facility, the Springfield STP 0136( ) project shall be prioritized within the roadway development and evaluation program in fiscal year 2005 to the extent required to develop the project to shelf project status for construction in fiscal year 2006 by the time the agency presents its proposed fiscal year 2006 transportation program to the general assembly.

(4)  Within the funds authorized for program development roadway development and evaluation, the agency shall allocate $50,000 to initiate scoping for the Route 5 Putney Road project STP 2000( ).

(5)  A new project is added to the SFY 2004 and SFY 2005 development and evaluation section:  The following project has received earmarked Federal Highway Administration Surface Transportation Funds in the amount of $1,000,000.00 for the necessary construction of a new road, “Market Street,” in the city of South Burlington.  This project shall appear as follows:

South Burlington Market Street  STP 5200( )  Construction of Market Street

(6)  A new project is added for state FY 2005 as follows:  Project Colchester TCSP TCSE(007) has received a Transportation Community System Preservation (TCSP) earmark in the amount of $994,100 for the design and construction of the Campus Connector Road.  This road starts from the intersection of VT 15 and Johnson Avenue in Colchester extending northeasterly approximately 3,000 feet to its intersection with Barnes Avenue in the former Fort Ethan Allen.  This project shall appear as follows:

Colchester Campus Road TCSP TCSE(007) – Design and Construction of Campus Road.

(7)  Funding for the Bennington Bypass South NHF 019-1(4) project within the development and evaluation program is reduced by $48,000 in transportation funds and $192,000 in federal funds.  Funding for the project is authorized in Sec. 11 of this Act.

(8)(A)  The schedule for Williston-Essex IR 089-2(12) & NH 033-1() project (hereafter the “Circ”) is modified as follows:

     FY05                           As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     PE                                                                                                                           0

     ROW                                                                                                        0

     Construction                  21,933,930                            0           -21,933,930

     Other                                             0                            0                            0

     Total                             21,933,930                            0           -21,933,930

     Source of Funds

     State                               4,386,786                            0             -4,386,786

     Federal                          17,547,144                            0           -17,547,144

     Local                                             0                            0                            0

(B)  The funds scheduled for expenditure on the project in fiscal year 2005 and any funds authorized for expenditure on the project in the prior fiscal year and unspent as of May 15, 2004 shall be reallocated in the following order of priority:

(i)  First, up to $3,700,000 for the Circ;

(ii)  Second, up to $6,600,000 for the Winooski downtown redevelopment project;

(iii)  Third, up to $3,000,000 for projects in the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) area, as selected by the secretary in cooperation with the CCMPO; and

(iv)  Fourth, all remaining funds to shelf projects outside the CCMPO area or to accelerate projects outside the CCMPO area in the state’s fiscal year 2005 transportation capital program and project development plan in the paving and bridge programs as selected by the secretary.

(C)  The secretary of transportation shall submit by June 30, 2004 to the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation a list of the projects for FY04 and 05 to be funded and shall provide a two-week period for the committees to respond.

* * * Bike and Pedestrian Facilities * * *

Sec. 4.  BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN FACILITIES

The following modifications are made to the bike and pedestrian facilities program.

(1)  The schedule for the Royalton STP BIKE(40) project is amended to read:

     FY05                          As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     PE                                                                        4,500                            0            -4,500

     ROW                                                                                                        0

     Construction                                                                                              0

     Other                                                                                                         0

     Total                                      4,500                            0                    -4,500

     Source of Funds

     State                                         500                            0                       -500

     Federal                                   4,000                            0                    -4,000

(2)  The schedule for the Bennington STP WALK(13) project is amended to read:

     FY05                           As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     PE                                                                      45,000                            0            -45,000

     ROW                                                                                                        0

     Construction                                                                                              0

     Other                                                                                                         0

     Total                                     45,000                            0                  -45,000

     Source of Funds

     State                                      5,000                            0                    -5,000

     Federal                                 40,000                            0                  -40,000

(3)  Authorized spending for the development and evaluation of new projects in the bicycle and pedestrian facilities program is modified as follows:

FY05                          As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     Total                                    45,000                   90,000                   45,000

     Source of Funds

     State                                      5,000                   10,000                     5,000

     Federal                                 40,000                   80,000                   40,000

* * * Public Transit * * *

Sec. 5.  PUBLIC TRANSIT

The following modifications are made to the public transit program.  Federal surface transportation program funds in the amount of $150,000 are added to the public transit authorization to be used in the 49 U.S.C. § 5310 program.  Funding for public transit is modified as follows:

     FY05                          As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     PE                                                                                                                           0

     ROW                                                                                                         0

     Construction                                                                                              0

     Other                              9,367,432              9,517,432                 150,000

     Total                               9,367,432              9,517,432                 150,000

     Source of Funds

     State                                5,041,182              5,041,182                            0

     Federal                            3,480,000              3,630,000                 150,000

     Local                                  846,250                 846,250                            0


* * * Town Highway Bridges * * *

Sec. 6.  TOWN HIGHWAY BRIDGE PROGRAM

(a)  Total authorized spending in the town highway bridge program is modified as follows:

     FY05                           As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     Total                              19,157,867            20,931,263              1,773,396

     Source of Funds

     State                                5,785,154              7,129,406              1,344,252

     Federal                          12,141,877            12,417,827                 275,950

     Local                               1,230,836              1,384,030                 153,194

(b)  These changes are made to add $1,344,252 in transportation funds, $275,950 in federal funds, and $153,194 in local funds, to be allocated by the secretary to approved projects in the town highway bridge program in the fiscal year 2005 transportation capital program.

* * * Rail Program * * *

Sec. 7.  RAIL PROGRAM

(a)  Total authorized spending in the rail program is modified as follows:

     FY05                           As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     Total                             11,850,236            10,650,236             -1,200,000

     Source of Funds

     State                               7,613,236              6,413,236             -1,200,000

     Federal                            4,237,000              4,237,000                            0

     Local                                             0                            0                            0

(b)  These changes are made:

(1)  to reduce funding for passenger rail service by $700,000 in transportation funds to adjust authorized spending to anticipated contract obligations; and

(2)  to reduce funding for rail infrastructure projects by $500,000 in transportation funds.  These funds are anticipated to be restored as provided in Sec. 56 of this act.  To the extent the funds are not restored, the secretary is authorized to reduce spending on rail infrastructure projects as required.

* * * Transportation Buildings Program * * *

Sec. 8.  TRANSPORTATION BUILDINGS PROGRAM

The following modifications are made to the transportation buildings program:

(1)  The schedule for Ferrisburgh Maintenance and DMV Facility, page 6, is amended to read:

     FY05                          As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     PE                                                                        4,000                     4,000            0

     ROW                                                                                                        0

     Construction                       500,000                 220,000                -280,000

     Other                                                                                                         0

     Total                                  504,000                 224,000                -280,000


     Source of Funds

     State                                  504,000                 224,000                -280,000

     Federal                                                                                                      0

     Local                                                                                                         0

(2)  Funding for the Bridport Shared Facility project is added to read:

     FY05                          As Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     PE                                                                                                                           0

     ROW                                                                                                        0

     Construction                                                     280,000                 280,000

     Other                                                                                                         0

     Total                                                                 280,000                 280,000

     Source of Funds

     State                                                                280,000                 280,000

     Federal                                                                                                      0

     Local                                                                                                         0

* * * Policy and Planning * * *

Sec. 9.  POLICY AND PLANNING

(a)  Total authorized spending in the policy and planning program is modified as follows:

     FY05                                Proposed          As Amended                   Change

     Personal Services             3,260,021              3,185,021                  -75,000

     Operating Expenses            504,783                 504,783                            0

     Grants                              4,080,769              4,130,769                   50,000

     Total                               7,845,573              7,820,573                  -25,000

     Source of Funds

     State                               1,707,221              1,742,221                   35,000

     Federal                            6,138,352              6,078,352                  -60,000

(b)  These changes are made:

(1)  to reduce funding of personal services and operating expenses by $15,000 in transportation funds and $60,000 in federal funds, the reductions to be made at the discretion of the secretary;

(2)  to fund the youth corps program with $200,000 of federal enhancement funds in lieu of $200,000 of other federal funds; and

(3)  to add $50,000 in transportation funds to fund the grant to the Northwest Regional Planning Commission provided for in Sec. 28 of this act.

* * * Additional Federal Funds * * *

Sec. 10.  ADDITIONAL FEDERAL FUNDS

To the extent federal funds become available beyond the funds authorized in fiscal year 2005 in the state’s transportation capital program and project development plan, the secretary is authorized to use such funds, consistent with federal rules, in the following order of priority:

(1)  First, subject to the requirements of 19 V.S.A. § 10h(a), to cover cash flow shortages on projects due to increased costs or faster than anticipated progress.

(2)  Second, to shelf projects or to accelerate projects in the state’s fiscal year 2005 transportation capital program and project development plan in the paving and bridge programs.

(3)  Third, to accelerate other projects in the state’s transportation capital program and project development plan.

* * * Bennington Bypass * * *

Sec. 11.  BENNINGTON BYPASS

Sec. 12 of No. 64 of the Acts of 2001 as amended by Sec. 27 of No. 56 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

Sec. 12.  BENNINGTON BYPASS

The agency of transportation is directed to complete the conceptual design of highway project Bennington Bypass South NHF 019 1(4).  The agency shall not incur expenditures for conceptual design in excess of $200,000.00 in any fiscal year for the Bennington Bypass South project.  Right of way for this project shall not be acquired without the approval of the general assembly.  All design activity on the Bennington Bypass North project south of Route 9 shall be postponed until approved by the general assembly.

(a)  Activity on the Bennington Bypass South NHF 019-1(4) and the Bennington Bypass North NHF 019-1(5) project south of Vermont Route 9 shall be for:

(1)  design work necessary to identify sites for the cost‑effective disposal of earth borrow resulting from the construction of the Bennington Bypass North project north of Vermont Route 9;

(2)  the acquisition of earth borrow sites so identified; and

(3)  the acquisition of right-of-way qualifying as hardship under federal rules.

(b)  In fiscal year 2005, the expenditure of up to $450,000, consisting of $250,000 authorized in and notwithstanding Sec. 28 of No. 56 of the Acts of 2003 and $200,000 in fiscal year 2005 funds, is authorized for the purposes specified in subsection (a) of this section.

* * * Cancellation of Projects * * *

Sec. 12.  CANCELLATION OF PROJECTS

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

(1)  program development – bike and pedestrian facilities program:

(A)  Royalton STP BIKE (40);

(2)  program development – roadway program:

(A)  Morgan STP TA02(11).

* * * State Highway System * * *

Sec. 13.  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 Newport to relinquish to the town’s jurisdiction a segment of Vermont Route 100, approximately 800 feet in length, between approximate mile markers 3.12 and 3.27, which is located between the intersection of Vermont Route 100 with Vermont Route 14 and Vermont Route 14 approach.  

* * * Central Garage * * *

Sec. 14.  CENTRAL GARAGE FUND

Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 13(c), in fiscal year 2005, the requirement to transfer an amount equal to one percent of the prior year’s transportation fund appropriation to the central garage fund shall be suspended.

Sec. 15.  CENTRAL GARAGE EQUIPMENT REPLACEMENT PROGRAM

The agency of transportation in cooperation with the department of finance and management and the joint fiscal office shall analyze the performance and status of the central garage equipment replacement program.  The objective of this program is to establish an annual budget system that adequately and efficiently accounts and provides for the present and future equipment replacement needs of the agency.  The agency shall submit a report along with its recommendations regarding the program to the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2005.


* * * Transportation Fund Support for General Government * * *

Sec. 16.  19 V.S.A. § 11a is amended to read:

§ 11a.  TRANSPORTATION FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR SUPPORT OF                       GOVERNMENT

The For fiscal year 2006 and thereafter, the maximum amount of transportation funds that may be appropriated for the support of government, other than for the agency of transportation, transportation pay act funds, the cost of maintaining and staffing rest areas, construction of transportation capital facilities used by the agency of transportation, and transportation debt service, shall not exceed 19 18.5 percent of the total of the prior fiscal year transportation fund appropriations.

Sec. 17.  CONDITION TO ADJUSTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

                FUNDS USED FOR SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT

Section 16 of this act shall take effect provided that, at the July 2004 or January 2005 emergency board meetings pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 305a, the official fiscal year 2006 available general fund revenue forecast is increased by at least one percent from the official forecast adopted in January 2004.

* * * Town Highway Programs * * *

Sec. 18.  19 V.S.A. § 306(e) and (h) are amended to read:

(e)  State aid for town highway structures.  There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for maintenance, including actions to extend life expectancy, and construction of bridges, culverts, and other structures, including causeways and retaining walls, intended to preserve the integrity of the traveled portion of class 1, 2, and 3 town highways.  The appropriation shall be allocated by the secretary after consideration of applications submitted by the towns.  Each fiscal year, the agency shall approve qualifying projects with a total estimated state share cost of $3,490,000.00 at a minimum as new grants.  The agency’s proposed appropriation for the program shall take into account the estimated amount of qualifying invoices submitted to the agency with respect to project grants approved in prior years but not yet completed as well as with respect to new project grants to be approved in the fiscal year.  In a given fiscal year, should expenditures in the town highway structures program exceed the amount appropriated, the agency shall advise the governor of the need to request a supplemental appropriation from the general assembly to fund the additional project cost, provided that the agency has previously committed to completing those projects.

(h)  Class 2 town highway roadway program.  There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for resurfacing, rehabilitation, or reconstruction of paved or unpaved class 2 town highways.  The appropriation shall be allocated by the secretary after consideration of applications submitted by the towns  Each fiscal year, the agency shall approve qualifying projects with a total estimated state share cost of $4,240,000.00 at a minimum as new grants.  The agency’s proposed appropriation for the program shall take into account the estimated amount of qualifying invoices submitted to the agency with respect to project grants approved in prior years but not yet completed as well as with respect to new project grants to be approved in the fiscal year.  In a given fiscal year, should expenditures in the town highway class 2 roadway program exceed the amount appropriated, the agency shall advise the governor of the need to request a supplemental appropriation from the general assembly to fund the additional project cost, provided that the agency has previously committed to completing those projects.

* * * Transportation Bonding * * *

Sec. 19.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

(a)  Subject to subsection (b) of this section, the state treasurer, with the approval of the governor, is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $1 million for the purpose of funding the appropriations of Sec. 20 of this act.

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

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

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

Sec. 20.  TRANSPORTATION BONDS; APPROPRIATION OF BOND

                PROCEEDS

The sum of $1 million is appropriated to the agency from the bond revenue generated in Sec. 19 of this act, and the secretary shall allocate the funds to the  Alburg-Swanton BRF 036-1(1) project (VT 78, replacement of Bridge No. 2 over Missisquoi Bay of Lake Champlain), to defray part of the state share of right‑of-way and construction costs:                            1,000,000.00

Sec. 21.  TRANSFER OF FUNDS; APPROPRIATED BOND FUNDS

The secretary of transportation, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended funds appropriated under Sec. 20 of this act to other approved projects in the fiscal year 2005 transportation capital program.

Sec. 22.  AVAILABILITY OF BOND PROCEEDS

The sums appropriated and the spending authority authorized by Secs. 19 through 21 of this act shall be continuing and shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year.


* * * Railroads * * *

Sec. 23.  APPROVAL OF TRANSACTIONS REGARDING

                STATE‑OWNED RAILROAD PROPERTY

Upon receiving satisfactory evidence of release of any interest of the Washington County Railroad Company, the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, is authorized to convey to the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), in consideration of $1.00, a parcel of land in the city of Montpelier between Stone Cutters Way and the Winooski River.  This parcel of land, sometimes known as 575 Stone Cutters Way or the “salt shed property,” shall be conveyed subject to a December 16, 1999 lease, as amended, between the State of Vermont, Agency of Transportation, joined by Washington County Railroad Company and the Pyralisk Arts Center, Inc.  The state’s interest in the existing Pyralisk lease shall be assigned to VEDA.  The secretary, in his or her discretion, may adjust the boundaries of the land to be conveyed to VEDA to accommodate the building plans of VEDA and Pyralisk.  VEDA shall be responsible for obtaining any necessary survey and subdivision approvals.

* * * Authority to Accept Donation of Land * * *

Sec. 24.  AUTHORITY TO ACCEPT DONATION OF LAND

The secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, is authorized to accept donation of approximately 0.5 acre of land, in the town of Dover, which is located on the easterly side of VT 100.  The subject parcel, which is designated as #RT014 on the town of Dover tax map, is described in a March 30, 1992 decree of distribution from the estate of Elizabeth B. Forrest to John B. Forrest, Jr., Donald B. Forrest, and Patricia F. Collins, which is recorded in book 198, page 304 of the Dover land records.   

* * * Transportation Infrastructure Study Committee * * *

Sec. 25.  TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE STUDY

(a)  The Vermont Transportation Infrastructure Funding Working Group is established to prepare a report to the general assembly that examines:

(1)   all alternatives to future funding opportunities, including, but not limited to, debt instruments such as general obligation bonds and Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE bonds); and

(2)  all alternative measures for closing the existing gap between the present and future costs of the state’s commitments to transportation projects and programs and the present and future level of resources projected to be available to meet such commitments to ensure that the state’s commitments and resources remain in balance on a consistent and fiscally conservative basis.

(b)  The working group shall be composed of the following ten members or their designees:  the secretary of administration, to serve as chair; the state treasurer; the secretary of transportation; two members of the Senate appointed by the committee on committees and two members of the House appointed by the speaker; the governor’s appointee to the capital debt affordability advisory committee; and two members from the private sector appointed by the governor, one with a background in transportation and the other in finance.  The committee is authorized to hold up to five meetings, at which point it is terminated.  Legislative members of the committee shall be entitled to per diem compensation and expense reimbursement as provided in 2 V.S.A. § 406(a).

(c)  Administrative support shall be provided by the agency of transportation, the legislative council, and the joint fiscal office with advice from the state's financial advisor.

(d)  The working group shall report its findings and conclusions to the governor, the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore of the senate, and the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation no later than January 15, 2005.

* * * Maintenance – Smart Carts * * *

Sec. 26.  MAINTENANCE

Total authorized spending in the maintenance program is increased by the sum of $45,000 in transportation funds for the purchase of up to nine vehicle speed indicator smart carts which shall be distributed for use by the maintenance districts.  The maintenance districts shall cooperate with municipalities to allow use of the carts at municipal project sites.  The agency shall submit a report to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2005 on the use of the smart carts by the maintenance districts and municipalities.

* * * Use of Discarded Tires by Agency of Transportation * * *

Sec. 27.  AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION USES FOR DISCARDED                    TIRES

A study group consisting of the secretary of transportation or designee, the secretary of natural resources or designee, and, to be appointed by the governor, a person in the business of selling tires, a person in the business of shredding tires, the chief executive officer of a solid waste district, and a representative of the American Council of Engineering Consultants shall investigate possible cost‑effective uses by the agency of transportation for shredded tires.  The agency of transportation shall identify a project for construction in the state fiscal year 2006 or 2007 in which shredded tires can be incorporated in a cost‑effective manner.  The agency of transportation shall provide administrative support for the study group and shall report by January 15, 2005 to the House and Senate committees on transportation on the feasibility of institutionalizing these practices in the development of Vermont’s projects.

* * * N.W. Regional Planning Commission; Federal Street Extension * * *

Sec. 28.  ST. ALBANS FEDERAL STREET EXTENSION

Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 10j(e), the sum of $50,000 of transportation funds is authorized for the Northwest Regional Planning Commission to augment the Federal Street Extension scoping study done by the commission in 1995 to include additional intermodal connections for freight and passenger transportation and for engineering in preparation for construction of the extension from the St. Albans state highway to Federal Street.

* * * Enhancement Grant Program * * *

Sec. 29.  19 V.S.A. § 38(e) is amended to read:

§ 38.  TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT GRANT PROGRAM

* * *

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

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

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

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

(A)  if sufficient information is available to determine a sum certain, of the amount of the enhancement grant program; or

(B)  if sufficient information is not available to determine a sum certain, of the range within which the agency estimates the size of the enhancement grant program will be.


* * * Transportation Budget Structure * * *

Sec. 30.  19 V.S.A. § 10g is amended to read:

§ 10g.  ANNUAL REPORT; TRANSPORTATION CAPITAL PROGRAM;

             PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PLAN; ADVANCEMENTS,

             CANCELLATIONS, AND DELAYS

(a)  The agency of transportation’s project activities and expenditures in implementing the one-year transportation capital program shall, except for subsection (f) of this section, adhere to the one-year transportation capital program as set forth by the general assembly, transportation shall annually present to the general assembly a multiyear transportation program covering the same number of years as the statewide transportation improvement plan (STIP), consisting of the recommended budget for all agency activities for the ensuing fiscal year and projected spending levels for all agency activities for the following fiscal years.  The program shall include a description and year‑by‑year breakdown of recommended and projected funding of all projects proposed to be funded within the time period of the STIP and, in addition, a description of all projects which are not recommended for funding in the first fiscal year of the proposed program but which are projected to be ready for construction at that time (shelf projects).  The program shall be consistent with the planning process established by Act No. 200 of the Acts of 1988 (1987 Adjourned Session), as codified in 3 V.S.A. chapter 67 and 24 V.S.A. chapter 117, the statements of policy set forth in sections 10b-10f of this title, and the long-range systems plan, corridor studies, and project priorities developed through the capital planning process under section 10i of this title.

(b)  Projected spending in future fiscal years shall be based on revenue estimates as follows:

(1)  with respect to state funds, on the consensus forecast for transportation fund revenue adopted pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 305a and for later years on other consensus or executive branch estimates of transportation fund revenues; and

(2)  with respect to federal funds, on such federal regulations that apply to the development of the statewide transportation improvement plan (STIP).

(b)(c)  The agency shall prepare a project development plan which assists the general assembly in the establishment of the state’s transportation activities over the second through fifth years following the period covered by the one‑year transportation capital program.  The program proposed by the agency shall include systemwide indicators developed by the agency to describe the condition of the Vermont transportation network.  The program shall discuss the background and utility of the indicators, track the indicators over time, and, where appropriate, recommend the setting of targets for the indicators.

(c)  The agency shall develop a program for implementing an infrastructure preservation plan which contains performance levels, goals, activities and their costs in the transportation capital program and project development plan.

(d)(1)  In addition to the multiyear transportation program described in subsection (a) of this section, the agency shall annually present to the general assembly an analysis of the balance between the state’s commitments to transportation projects and total available resources for projects over the ten‑year period commencing with the fiscal year of the transportation program.  The analysis shall include, on a current dollar basis, an estimate of the total remaining cost of all projects in construction, development, and evaluation or candidate status in the agency’s proposed multiyear transportation program, including individual estimates and projected schedules for all projects with a total project cost estimate in excess of $10 million, and an estimate, on a current dollar basis, of the total resources projected to be available to cover project expenses during the ten‑year period.

(2)  The projection of available resources called for in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be determined in the following manner.  Total appropriations to the agency exclusive of internal service funds for each of the five previous fiscal years shall be determined.  From that total for each fiscal year shall be deducted appropriations for annual programs and other noncapital project agency activities.  Appropriations for administration, overhead, and other ongoing agency functions required for the support of capital project activities shall be apportioned on a reasonable basis and added back to the total which shall represent the total of appropriations for and in support of the agency’s capital project activities for that fiscal year.  The resulting appropriations totals of capital project‑related appropriations shall be adjusted for inflation in a procedure approved by the joint fiscal committee.  The resulting inflation adjusted figures for the five previous fiscal years shall be averaged, and the average multiplied by ten shall be used as the estimate of the total resources projected to be available to cover project expenses during the ten‑year period.

(3)  To the extent the estimate of remaining costs exceeds the estimate of available resources, the agency shall submit to the general assembly a plan to bring costs and resources into balance.  The plan shall include recommendations regarding the scheduling, suspension, or cancellation of projects, cost saving initiatives, revenue raising initiatives, and other organizational, project design, project execution, or financial measures or initiatives which shall ensure that the state’s commitments will be adequately and realistically funded.

(e)  In addition to the multiyear transportation program described in subsection (a) of this section, the agency shall annually present to the general assembly a description of all projects with respect to which:

(1)  the total project cost estimate exceeds $5,000,000.00;

(2)  federal funds are proposed to be used to cover a portion of the project costs; and

(3)  approval of the proposed activity and expenditure of federal funds on the project would expose the state to potential liability to reimburse the federal government in the event the project is subsequently cancelled.

(d)(f)  Each year following enactment of a transportation capital program under this section, the agency shall prepare and make available to the public the one-year transportation capital program and four-year project development plan established by the general assembly.  The resulting document shall be entered in the permanent records of the agency and of the board, and shall constitute the state’s official transportation construction program and project development plan.

(e)(g)  Each year after a transportation capital program as provided by this section has been enacted and before November 1, the agency shall participate in five or more public hearings, during preparation of the transportation program, the agency shall hold five meetings in partnership with Vermont’s regional planning commissions and shall hold at least one statewide hearing, providing an opportunity for input from different areas of the state, to receive public comments regarding the one-year transportation capital program under subsection (a) of this section enacted by the last session of the general assembly, and the corresponding anticipated four-year capital development program under subsection (b) of this section which is proposed by the agency, both programs to be presented in the context of the long-range systems plan as provided by section 10i of this title.  The agency shall provide the board with advance notice of each public hearing and the opportunity for board members to attend overall transportation program.  The meetings may be part of regularly scheduled meetings of the regional planning commissions and shall include discussion of the general trends and direction of the transportation program, progress in management of transportation assets, aspects of specific transportation projects in the geographic area of the region, and other topics as appropriate.  A record of the hearing or hearings meetings, including any recommendations and comments, shall be prepared by the agency of transportation and submitted to the house and senate committees on transportation and used by the agency for future use in its preparation of transportation capital program proposals.

(f)(h)  Should capital projects in the capital transportation program for the current fiscal year be delayed because of unanticipated problems with permitting, right-of-way acquisition, construction, local concern, or availability of federal or state funds, the secretary is authorized to advance projects in the approved capital transportation program and project development plan, giving priority to shelf projects.  The secretary is further authorized to undertake projects to resolve emergency or safety issues.  Should an approved project in the current transportation capital program require additional funding to maintain the approved schedule as outlined in the one-year capital program, the agency is authorized to allocate the necessary resources.  With respect to projects in the approved transportation program, the secretary shall notify, in the district affected, the regional planning commission, the municipality, legislators, and members of the senate and house committees on transportation of any significant change project schedules in the approved one-year capital program in design, change in construction cost estimates requiring referral to the transportation board under 19 V.S.A. § 10h, or any change which likely will affect the fiscal year in which the project is planned to go to construction.  No project shall be cancelled without the approval of the general assembly.

(g)(i)  For the purpose of enabling the state, without delay, to take advantage of economic development proposals that increase jobs for Vermonters, a transportation project certified by the governor as essential to the economic infrastructure of the state economy, or a local economy, may be approved for construction by a committee comprised of the joint fiscal committee meeting with the chairs of the transportation committees, or their designees without explicit project authorization through an enacted transportation capital program and project development plan, in the event that such authorization is otherwise required by law.

(h)(j)  The agency of transportation, in coordination with the agency of natural resources and the division for historic preservation, shall prepare and implement a plan for advancing approved projects contained in the one-year  capital approved transportation program.  The plan shall include the assignment of a project manager from the agency of transportation for each project.  Additionally, the The agency of transportation, the agency of natural resources, and the division for historic preservation shall set forth provisions for expediting the permitting process and establishing a means for evaluating each project during concept design planning if more than one agency is involved to determine whether it should be advanced or deleted from the program.

(i)(k)  In implementing the project manager system, the agency shall include, but not be limited to, use of critical path techniques.  For purposes of subsection (h) of this section, “emergency or safety issues” shall mean:

(1)  serious damage to a transportation facility caused by a natural disaster over a wide area, such as a flood, hurricane, earthquake, severe storm, or landslide; or

(2)  catastrophic or imminent catastrophic failure of a transportation facility from any cause; or

(3)  any condition identified by the secretary as hazardous to the traveling public; or

(4)  any condition evidenced by fatalities or a high incidence of crashes.

Sec. 31.  19 V.S.A. § 10i is amended to read:

§ 10i.  TRANSPORTATION PLANNING PROCESS

(a)  Long-range systems plan.  The agency shall establish and implement a planning process through the adoption of a long-range multi-modal systems plan integrating all modes of transportation.  The long-range multi-modal systems plan shall be based upon agency transportation policy developed under section 10b of this title, other policies approved by the legislature, agency goals, mission, and objectives, and demographic and travel forecasts, design standards, performance criteria, and funding availability.  The long-range systems plan shall be developed with participation of the public, local, and regional governmental entities, and pursuant to the planning goals and processes set forth in Act No. 200 of the Acts of 1988.

(b)  Corridor studies.  The agency shall develop transportation corridor studies for the highway mode identifying as needed, consistent with asset management policies implemented by the agency, which identify environmental issues, community concerns, and travel projections.  For each corridor, problems shall be identified and ranked according to their criticality and severity.

(c)  Transportation program.  The transportation program shall be developed in a fiscally responsible manner to accomplish the following objectives:

(1)  Managing, maintaining and improving the state’s existing transportation infrastructure to provide capacity, safety, and flexibility in the most cost‑effective and efficient manner.

(2)  Developing an integrated transportation system that provides Vermonters with transportation choices.

(3)  Strengthening the economy, protecting the quality of the natural environment, and improving Vermonters’ quality of life.

(c)(d)  Project identification and scope.  The agency shall identify and develop specific projects pursuant to corridor studies consistent with the objectives set forth in subsection (c) of this section.  For each project, a project scope shall be prepared to identify the problem to be resolved by the project, the preferred alternative, project limits, its conceptual design and estimated costs.  The projects developed according to corridor studies shall be placed in one of the following four program categories:

(1)  System preservation: maintenance of the physical integrity of the existing state transportation system, including the upgrade of design for safety and operational reasons.

(2)  System management: improvements in the movement of people and goods along existing corridors through minor investment and with minimal impact or right-of-way acquisition.

(3)  New capacity: expansion of capacity through the addition of through lanes; construction on new alignment or new interchanges or ramps.

(4)  Local aid: provision of projects and enhancement of local transportation networks. 

(d)  Project priorities.  Priorities for projects in each program category established under subsection (c) of this section shall be established based upon selection criteria adopted by the agency.

(e)  Information manual.  An information manual giving a clear description of the planning process shall be prepared for town officials and the public.

Sec. 32.  19 V.S.A. § 10k(a) is amended to read:

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

(1)  identify transportation system indicators by which the different components of the transportation system may be evaluated;

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

(2)  [repealed]

(3)  include deterioration rates for infrastructure assets; and

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

Sec. 33.  19 V.S.A. § 12a is amended to read:

§ 12a.  TRANSPORTATION BUDGETS PROGRAM PROVIDED TO THE

            COMMITTEES ON TRANSPORTATION

(a)  The budget for fiscal year 1991 and for each fiscal year thereafter for the agency of transportation and for all transportation expenditures shall be arranged and classified so as to show separately the following estimates and recommendations:

(1)  An operations and administration budget, including

(A)  expenses of administration, operations and personal services;

(B)  deficiencies, overdrafts and unexpended balances in appropriations of former years; and

(C)  all receipts including federal, town and special receipts.

(2)  A capital budget including

(A)  all requests and proposals for expenditures for new projects, new construction, additions and other capital outlay;

(B)  bonded debt, loans and interest charges; and

(C)  all receipts including federal, town and special receipts.

(b)  The transportation capital program and budget request shall be presented to the general assembly each year in a single document including complete project and expenditure information.  A four-year project development plan with estimated project costs shall accompany the transportation capital program request and contain information for planning purposes only. Appropriations made by the general assembly shall be for the ensuing fiscal year only.

(c)  On or before December 31 of each year, the agency shall also present to the house and senate committees on transportation information on the corridor planning process and a summary of resources allocated to programs in the process according to the four programs established under subsection 10i(c) of this title.  The transportation program shall be provided by the agency of transportation to the members of the house and senate committees on transportation following the presentation of the state budget to the general assembly by the governor as required by 32 V.S.A. § 306.

* * * Information Center Funding * * *

Sec. 34.  STUDY OF INFORMATION CENTER FUNDING

The department of buildings and general services, in cooperation with the agency of transportation and the agency of commerce and community development, shall analyze the capital construction and operations costs of the state’s information centers with respect to their intended functions for, on the one hand, the provision of facilities for the comfort and safety of the traveling public and, on the other hand, the promotion of local and statewide tourist, cultural, and business activities.  The purpose of the analysis shall be to determine what proportion of the capital and operating costs of the information centers in fiscal years 2006 and thereafter should appropriately be funded from the transportation fund, the general fund, or other funding mechanisms.  The department of buildings and general services shall report its findings and recommendations to the House and Senate committees on transportation and appropriations by January 15, 2005.

* * * Vermont Local Roads Program * * *

Sec. 35.  MANAGEMENT OF VERMONT LOCAL ROADS PROGRAM

The agency of transportation, in cooperation with all interested parties, shall investigate the advantages and disadvantages of various models for operating the Vermont Local Roads Program, including the present model, education institutions with civil engineering departments, the agency of transportation, and others.  The agency shall report its findings and recommendations to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2005.

* * * Materials Testing Laboratory * * *

Sec. 36.  MATERIALS TESTING FUNCTIONS

The agency shall analyze alternative models for organizing and performing the agency’s materials testing functions, including outsourcing contracts for all or part of the materials functions to private or public sector entities and other collaborative ventures with private and public sector entities, including municipalities and educational institutions.  The agency shall deliver the report to the governor and to members of the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2005.

* * * Investigations of DMV Employees and Potential Employees * * *

Sec. 37.  23 V.S.A. § 102(d) is added to read:

(d)  The commissioner may authorize background investigations for potential employees that may include criminal, traffic, and financial records checks; provided, however, that the potential employee is notified and has the right to withdraw his or her name from application.  The commissioner may, in connection with a formal disciplinary investigation, authorize an appropriate background investigation of a current employee; provided, however, that the background review is necessary and relevant to the issue under disciplinary investigation.  Information acquired through a background investigation that may be used as a basis for any disciplinary action must be given to the employee during any pretermination hearing or contractual grievance hearing to allow the employee an opportunity to respond to or dispute the information.

* * * Operation of Bicycles on Bike Paths * * *

Sec. 38.  REPEAL

23 V.S.A. § 1139(c) (requirement for using bike paths) is repealed.

* * * School Bus Inspections * * *

Sec. 39.  23 V.S.A. § 1282(b) is amended to read:

(b)  A school bus shall not be operated in the transportation of children to and from school unless and until it is inspected at an inspection station designated as such by the motor vehicle department.  Such The inspection shall thoroughly cover mechanical conditions, standard equipment, extra equipment and safety and comfort conditions all as provided in section 1281 of this title; and, if the inspected vehicle meets all such of these requirements, the inspection station shall give the owner or operator of the inspected vehicle a signed certificate so stating.  This certificate shall be forthwith exhibited shown as soon as possible by such the owner or operator to a school director in the town in which this vehicle is to be operated, and shall thereafter be carried in some easily accessible place in such the vehicle.  Thereafter, so long as this bus remains in this service, it must be reinspected as provided above in this section during each of the following periods:  August July-August, December November-December, and March February-March.  School buses of the pleasure car type, if regularly used in such this service, when transporting school children shall display signs required in section 1281, subdivision (9) subdivision 1281(9) of this title when transporting schoolchildren.

* * * Montpelier-Berlin Walk Project * * *

Sec. 40.  MONTPELIER-BERLIN WALK

When the Montpelier-Berlin walk project is ready for construction, the agency of transportation shall prioritize funding for the project within the limits of total funding allocated to the bicycle and pedestrian facilities program.

* * * Morse Airport in Town of Bennington * * *

Sec. 41.  WILLIAM H. MORSE STATE AIRPORT IN TOWN OF                                       BENNINGTON; RUNWAY EXTENSION; COST-BENEFIT

                ANALYSIS

The agency of transportation shall suspend all activity on the project for the proposed runway extension at the William H. Morse state airport in the town of Bennington until the town of Bennington and the Bennington County Regional Planning Commission adopt resolutions supporting the proposed extension of the runway.  The Bennington County Regional Planning Commission in cooperation with the town of Bennington shall perform a cost‑benefit analysis of the runway extension project that considers the economic benefits to and impacts on the residents in the vicinity of the airport and the residents of Old Bennington and Bennington’s West End.  A grant to the Bennington County Regional Planning Commission in the amount of $10,000 from the aviation program is authorized for this purpose.

* * * Rutland Rail Yard * * *

Sec. 42.  Sec. 4(4) of No. 141 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) is amended to read:

(4)  The schedule for the rail statewide development and evaluation project, page 13, is amended as follows:  by deleting other and total funds of $1,975,000 and inserting in both instances $2,230,030, and by deleting state funds of $475,000 and inserting $730,030.  The changes are to increase state funding for the Rutland Rail Yard project by $400,000 ($150,000 for the purpose of completing the Act 250 process and $250,000 for the engineering contract), and to decrease $144,970 in state funds for other projects.

* * * Program Development * * *

Sec. 43.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

Total authorized spending in program development is reduced by the sum of $400,000 in transportation funds.  These funds are anticipated to be restored as provided in Sec. 56 of this act.  To the extent the funds are not restored, the secretary is authorized to reduce spending on program development projects as required.

* * * Surplus Real Property * * *

Sec. 44.  DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS REAL PROPERTY

The agency of transportation shall implement a program to dispose of surplus real property owned in fee by the agency on behalf of the state within the course of fiscal years 2005 and 2006.  The agency shall submit a report on its progress in this regard to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2005.

* * * Municipal Salt Sheds * * *

Sec. 45.  19 V.S.A. § 39 is added to read:

§ 39.  AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE WITH

           MUNICIPAL SALT SHEDS

(a)  The agency of transportation shall work with municipalities to provide assistance in designing effective low cost enclosures for salt or sand storage, including off-the-shelf designs that incorporate economical construction materials to the extent allowed by the multisector general permit (MSGP) issued for Vermont by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

(b)  The agency shall explore opportunities for collocation of state and municipal salt or sand storage facilities where collocation would be appropriate.

(c)  The agency of transportation shall pursue requests for bid for bulk purchases of prototype salt and sand enclosures which would be available to municipalities for purchase.

* * * Enhancement Funds * * *

Sec. 46.  ENHANCEMENT FUNDS

Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 38, the first $341,733 of federal funds allocated to the enhancement grant program for fiscal year 2005 under 19 V.S.A. § 38(e)(1) shall be applied as follows:

(1)  $200,000 to policy and planning for the youth corps program as provided in Sec. 9(b)(2) of this act;

(2)  $40,000 to the bicycle and pedestrian facilities program; and

(3)  $101,733 to the Vermont local roads program for the clean and clear initiative.  The enhancement funds shall be used in lieu of transportation and bond funds which are reduced accordingly.

* * * Aviation – Fixed‑Base Operators * * *

Sec. 47.  GRANTS TO AIRPORT FIXED‑BASE OPERATORS

Within the limits of annual funds authorized for such purpose, the secretary may make grants to fixed-base operators at state airports for the purpose of defraying the expenses of providing an airport manager and other services to the public.

* * * Recreational Trail System * * *

Sec. 48.  STUDY OF RECREATIONAL TRAIL SYSTEM

The agency of natural resources shall conduct a review of previously completed reports regarding the state’s snowmobile trails system.  The review shall list all recommendations made in the previous studies and assess the progress made to implement them.  The agency of natural resources shall forward its review to the members of the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2005.

* * * Central Vermont Public Transit * * *

Sec. 49.  Sec. 45(a)(1) of No. 56 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

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

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

* * * Repeal of Agency of Transportation Reports * * *

Sec. 50.  REPEAL

The following provisions of law are repealed:

(1)  19 V.S.A. § 12a(c) (corridor planning process and resources allocated to programs in the process);

(2)  19 V.S.A. § 13(g) (report detailing transportation equipment replacement account); and

(3)  24 V.S.A. § 5084(e) (report of public transit advisory council).

Sec. 51.  19 V.S.A. § 306(d) is amended to read:

(d)  State aid for nonfederal disasters.  There shall be an annual appropriation for emergency aid in repairing, building, or rebuilding class 1, 2, or 3 town highways and bridges damaged by natural or man-made disasters.  The secretary of transportation shall file an annual report with the house and senate committees on transportation, detailing the expenditure of funds under this subsection.  Eligibility for use of emergency aid under this appropriation shall be subject to the following criteria:

* * *

Sec. 52.  23 V.S.A. § 1436 is amended to read:

§ 1436.  STATEWIDE MUNICIPAL COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE

              ENFORCEMENT FUND

A statewide municipal commercial motor vehicle enforcement fund is created for the purpose of supporting commercial motor vehicle law enforcement initiatives in the state.  The fund shall be administered by the commissioner of motor vehicles.  Municipalities may apply to the commissioner on forms supplied by the department of motor vehicles.  Funds distributed to municipalities, which shall not exceed $12,000.00 annually per municipality under this section, shall be used for training of municipal law enforcement officers for commercial motor vehicle enforcement, temporary replacement officers for those municipal law enforcement officers receiving commercial motor vehicle enforcement training, and other municipal commercial motor vehicle enforcement uses as determined by the commissioner.  The commissioner shall ensure that the activities of the commercial motor vehicle law enforcement initiative are consistent with those of the enforcement plan produced pursuant to section 1435 of this title.  The commissioner shall report annually to the general assembly on or before the second week of January on the expenditures from and activities of the statewide municipal commercial motor vehicles enforcement fund.

Sec. 53.  29 V.S.A. § 735(a) is amended to read:

(a)  On or before the last day of January in each year the authority shall submit a report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year to the governor and to the general assembly.  Each report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering its operations during the year, and shall contain a full and complete statement of the authority's anticipated budget and operations for the ensuing year.  The authority shall cause an audit of its books and accounts to be made at least once in each year by certified public accountants; the cost shall be considered an expense of the authority and a copy shall be filed with the state treasurer.

Sec. 54.  REPEAL

Sec. 22 of No. 154 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (prioritized roadway improvements on truck network) is repealed.

Sec. 55.  Sec. 47(c) of No. 156 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) is amended to read:

(c)  Up to $500,000 of any state funds returned to the agency of transportation as a result of any claims or litigation by the Marble Valley Regional Transit District concerning the Rutland multimodal transportation center shall be escrowed until July 1, 2010, and used to make satisfactory structural repairs to the Rutland multimodal transportation center.  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any funds returned to the agency of transportation from the above referenced claims or litigation in excess of the escrowed $500,000 shall be deposited in the transportation fund. Escrowed funds shall be used to repair structural damage resulting from design, engineering or construction of the Rutland multimodal transportation center.  Any funds remaining in the escrow fund as of July 1, 2010, including all interest, which shall be credited to the fund, that have not been committed to the repair of structural damage shall be deposited in the transportation fund.  Expenditures from the escrow fund shall require approval from the secretary of transportation and the owner of the Rutland multimodal transportation center.  By January 15 of each year, the agency of transportation shall report to the House and Senate committees on transportation on the status of any litigation funds referred to in the subsection.

* * * General Fund Waterfall * * *

Sec. 56.  ALLOCATION OF GENERAL FUND WATERFALL

(a)  To the extent funds are transferred to the transportation fund pursuant to Sec. 88 of No. 80 of the Acts of the Adj. Sess. (2004), as amended, such funds are authorized for expenditure as follows:

(1)  up to $500,000 to the rail division for rail infrastructure projects as selected by the secretary; and

(2)  up to $400,000 to program development for projects as selected by the secretary; and

(3)  up to $100,000 to the central garage fund as defined in

19 V.S.A. § 13.

(4) up to $365,000 to projects in the paving and bridge programs as selected by the secretary.

(b)  Any funds transferred to the transportation fund pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be allocated pro rata among the specified categories.

* * * Public Transit; Local Share Study * * *

Sec. 57.  PUBLIC TRANSIT; LOCAL SHARE STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  A summer study committee is established, consisting of the secretary of transportation or designee, a representative of the public transit advisory committee appointed by the secretary of transportation, a representative of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns to be selected by the league, a representative of the Chittenden County Metropolitan Transportation Organization Public Transportation Task Force, and two members of the Vermont Public Transportation Association to be selected by the association.

(b)  The committee shall investigate, seek pertinent information from appropriate persons, and make recommendations with respect to long-term sources for funding the local share for public transit projects and programs.  The committee shall further make recommendations regarding the appropriate allocation of funding responsibility for public transit projects and programs among federal, state, and local sources.

(c)  The agency shall provide administrative support for the committee.

(d)  The committee shall deliver its report, including any recommendations for proposed legislation, to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2005.

* * * Hazard Elimination Program * * *

Sec. 58.  FEDERAL FUNDS TRANSFER 

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

* * * Official Traffic Control Devices * * *

Sec. 59.  10 V.S.A. § 494(6) and (12) are 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 green 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 other towns, international airports, postsecondary educational institutions; cultural and recreational destination areas; nonprofit diploma granting educational institutions for people with disabilities; and official blue 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.  After having considered the six priority categories in this subdivision, the travel information council may approve installation of a green sign for any of the following:

(A)  Nonprofit museums;

(B)  Cultural and recreational attractions owned by the state or federal government;

(C)  Officially designated scenic byways;

(D)  Park and ride or multimodal centers; and

(E)  Fairgrounds or exposition sites;

provided the designations in subdivisions (A) through (E) are open a minimum of 120 days each year and are located within 15 miles of an interstate highway exit.  Signs erected under this subdivision (6) of this section shall not exceed a maximum allowable size of 80 square feet.

(12)  Directional signs, subject to regulations promulgated by the bureau of public roads Federal Highway Administration with a total surface area not to exceed 4 four square feet providing directions to places of business offering for sale agricultural products harvested or produced on the premises where the sale is taking place.

* * * Parking Restrictions for Persons Using Handicapped Plates * * *

Sec. 60.  23 V.S.A. § 304a(d) is amended to read:

(d)  A person who is blind or who has an ambulatory disability may park without fee for an unlimited period not more than 10 continuous days in a parking zone which is restricted as to the length of time parking is permitted.  This section shall not apply to zones in which parking, standing, or stopping of all vehicles is prohibited, which are reserved for special vehicles, or where parking is prohibited by any parking ban.  As a condition to this privilege, the vehicle shall display the special handicapped plate or placard issued by the commissioner or a special registration license plate or placard issued by any other jurisdiction.

* * * Municipal Park-and-Ride Grant Demonstration Program * * *

Sec. 61.  MUNICIPAL PARK-AND-RIDE GRANT DEMONSTRATION

                PROGRAM

(a)  The general assembly finds that with increased demand for alternative transportation choices, the need to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles, and the need to reduce pollutants dispersed into the air from vehicular traffic, municipalities may need assistance with funding park-and-ride projects.  Accordingly, the municipal park-and-ride grant demonstration program is hereby established.

(b)  Grants awarded under this section shall be used only for preliminary engineering and construction of park-and-ride lots by municipalities.  Any Vermont municipality shall be an eligible applicant.  The agency of transportation shall develop an application for this demonstration program and notify eligible participants of its availability.

(c)  The agency of transportation shall develop criteria for approval of applications which shall include but are not limited to:

(1)  The proposed site must be owned by the municipality or under long‑term lease by the municipality (20 or more years);

(2)  The proposed site must be on or near a state highway or a class 1 town highway;

(3)  The proposed park-and-ride lot must be available for year-round commuter use;

(4)  The proposed site must provide 10 or more parking spaces;

(5)  The proposed site must be maintained by the municipality;

(6)  Activities eligible for grant awards under this section include, but are not limited to, gravel surfacing, paving, lighting, and signing; and

(7)  When existing transit routes are present, municipalities must agree to collaborate with the public-transit providers.

(d)  The sum of $100,000 is authorized for use by the agency of transportation for the purposes of implementing this section.


* * * Issuance of P.O.W., Pearl Harbor, and Purple Heart Plates * * *

Sec. 62.  23 V.S.A. § 304(e) and (j) are amended to read:

(e)  The commissioner shall upon proper application, issue special number plates to former prisoners of war, Pearl Harbor veterans and recipients of the Purple Heart Medal for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate and on trucks registered for less than 26,001 pounds and excluding vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan.  The commissioner shall determine the design of the special plates and decals.  Applicants shall apply on forms prescribed by the commissioner and the applicant’s status as a former prisoner of war (P.O.W.), Pearl Harbor veteran, or holder of a Purple Heart Medal shall be certified by the Veterans’ Administration or state veterans’ affairs office, respectively.  The prisoner of war (P.O.W.), Pearl Harbor, or Purple Heart number plates shall not be subject to fees applicable to special plates as set forth in subsection (b) of this section.  The plates shall be reissued only to the original holder of the plates or the surviving spouse.  The commissioner shall adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 to implement the provisions of this subsection.

(j)  The commissioner of motor vehicles shall, upon proper application, issue special plates to Vermont veterans, as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 101(2), for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate and on trucks registered for not more than 8,099 pounds less than 26,001 pounds and excluding vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan.  Applicants shall apply on forms prescribed by the commissioner and the applicant’s status as a veteran shall be certified by the Vermont office of veterans’ affairs or by other documentation as required by the commissioner.  The type and style of the veterans’ plate shall be determined by the commissioner, except that an American flag shall appear on one side of the plate.  A one-time fee of $10.00 shall be assessed in addition to the annual fee for registration; $5.00 of the one‑time fee shall be transferred to the Vermont office of veterans’ affairs.  The plates shall be reissued only to the original holder of the plates or the surviving spouse.  Notwithstanding section 502 of Title 32, the commissioner may charge the actual costs of production of the plates against the fees collected and shall remit the balance to the transportation fund.  The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this subsection.  Except for new or renewed registrations, applications for the issuance of veterans’ plates shall be processed in the order received by the department subject to normal workflow considerations.

Sec. 63.  23 V.S.A. § 304b(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner shall, upon application, issue conservation registration plates for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate and on trucks registered for not more than 8,099 less than 26,001 pounds and excluding vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan.  Plates so acquired, shall be mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle.  The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of fish and wildlife shall determine the graphic design of the special plates in a manner which serves to enhance the public awareness of the state’s interest in restoring and protecting its nongame wildlife and major watershed areas.  Applicants shall apply on forms prescribed by the commissioner and shall pay an initial fee of $20.00 in addition to the annual fee for registration.  In following years, in addition to the annual registration fee, the holder of a conservation plate shall pay a renewal fee of $20.00.  The commissioner shall adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 to implement the provisions of this subsection.

Sec. 64.  23 V.S.A. § 304c(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner shall, upon application, issue “building bright spaces for bright futures fund,” hereinafter referred to as “the bright futures fund,” registration plates for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate and on trucks registered for not more than 8,099 less than 26,001 pounds and excluding vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan.  Plates so acquired shall be mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle.  The commissioner of motor vehicles shall utilize the graphic design recommended by the commissioner of social and rehabilitation services for the special plates to enhance the public awareness of the state’s interest in supporting children’s services.  Applicants shall apply on forms prescribed by the commissioner of motor vehicles, and shall pay an initial fee of $20.00 in addition to the annual fee for registration.  In following years, in addition to the annual registration fee, the holder of a bright futures fund plate shall pay a renewal fee of $20.00. The commissioner shall adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 to implement the provisions of this subsection.

* * * Local Match Requirements * * *

Sec. 65.  STUDY OF LOCAL MATCH REQUIREMENTS

The agency of transportation, in consultation with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, the regional planning commissions, and the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization, shall develop a system of local match funding requirements based on the principle of functional necessity as described in this section.  Design, component, and materials features of a highway, bridge, or other transportation structure subject to a local match requirement that are required by state standards or that are essential to the functional integrity of the structure shall have a lower local match requirement, with the use of standardized cost-effective designs, components, or materials having the lowest local match requirement.  All design, component, and materials features that are not required by state standards and that are not essential to the functional integrity of a structure shall have a higher local match requirement.  Features that are primarily aesthetic or ornamental in purpose shall have the highest local match requirement.  The agency may propose one or alternative systems for consideration.  Any proposed system shall, in overall structure, be consistent with, but not necessarily bound by, the principles described in this section.  The agency shall analyze the feasibility, equity, and financial implications of any proposed system and submit its findings and recommendations to the House and Senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2005.

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 66.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage.

Approved:  June 9, 2004



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us