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H.518

AN ACT RELATING TO CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION AND STATE BONDING

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

* * * Capital Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1.  STATE BUILDINGS

The sum of $14,325,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services, and the commissioner is authorized to direct funds appropriated in this section to the projects contained in this section; however, no project shall be canceled unless the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions are notified before that action is taken.  The individual appropriations in this section are estimates only.

(1)  Bennington, state office building, completion:                            (590,000)

(2)  Burlington, Cherry Street garages, continued repairs: (1,169,000)

(3)  Chittenden County, consolidation of health and safety labs, continued planning, design, and permitting:                           (1,800,000)

(4)  Montpelier, 133 State Street, renovations:                             (1,900,000)

(5)  Montpelier, capitol complex heating system, completion of schematic design:                                                                      (90,000)

(6)  Montpelier, 109 State Street, renovation:                                 (500,000)

(7)  Statewide, major maintenance:                                              (5,600,000)

(8)  Statewide, Americans with Disabilities Act, accessibility to public buildings; provided that $100,000 of this appropriation shall be the state match for a potential agency of transportation enhancement grant for the Kent Tavern in Calais, which match shall not be disbursed until evidence is provided to the department that federal funds have been awarded; and further provided that if evidence of federal approval for an enhancement grant is not provided to the department on or before January 1, 2006, the department shall use the $100,000 for one or more other accessibility projects identified in state buildings:                                                                                                           (300,000)

(9)  Statewide, contingency fund:                                                    (500,000)

(10)  Statewide, building reuse:                                           (100,000)

(11)  Statewide, planning:                                                                 (25,000)

(12)  Statewide, State House, flag conservation:                                (20,000)

(13)  Statewide, secretary of state, site evaluation, schematic design, and acquisition of option on site for archive facility:                        (90,000)

(14)  Waterbury, state office complex, generator replacement:                                                                                                                            (1,600,000)

(15)  State House, chairs for house committee rooms:           (41,000)

(Total appropriation – Section 1                                                         $14,325,000)


Sec. 2.  TAXES

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of taxes as the second appropriation in an anticipated five-year project to update statewide quadrangle maps through digital orthophotographic quadrangle mapping.

(Total appropriation – Section 2                                                            $100,000)

Sec. 3.  HUMAN SERVICES

(a)  Vermont state hospital; renovations.  The sum of $150,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services to complete necessary FY2005 renovations at the Vermont state hospital.

(b)  Vermont state hospital; future planning. 

(1)  The sum of $330,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services to begin planning, site selection, which may include entering into an option to purchase a site, and the design of a hospital facility, pursuant to the plan required from the secretary of human services by Sec. 141a of No. 122 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) and approved by the general assembly or by the joint legislative mental health oversight committee established in Sec. 141c of that act, to meet the inpatient needs of persons:

(A)  Under 18 V.S.A. chapter 7;

(B)  Under 13 V.S.A. §§ 4815 and 4852; and

(C)  Housed in a correctional facility, whether pending trial or serving a sentence of incarceration, when inpatient care in an appropriately secure hospital setting is the least restrictive means by which to provide the appropriate level of psychiatric care.

(2)  All activities funded by the appropriation made in this subsection must support the plan required by Sec. 141a as approved.

(c)(1)  The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, for site acquisition, design, and initial construction costs of a minimum security, dormitory-style work camp.

(2)  It is the intent of the general assembly that the creation of one or more new work camps will help alleviate the current overcrowded conditions in the state’s correctional facilities and permit Vermonters housed in out‑of‑state facilities to be brought home to Vermont.  The general assembly specifically does not intend the creation of new work camps to result in an increase in the total number of Vermont offenders sentenced to incarceration.  Therefore, specific plans and programs developed by the department of corrections shall restrict placement in new work camps to those offenders who have been convicted of a nonviolent offense and who have served a portion of their current sentence within a correctional facility.  No court shall impose a sentence of imprisonment to be served initially or solely within the new facility. 

(d)  The sum of $500,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, to complete renovations necessary to bring the sprinkler and smoke evacuation systems at the northwest state correctional facility in St. Albans into compliance with life‑safety codes.

(e)(1)  The sum of $38,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, for site preparation and construction of a greenhouse at the southeast state correctional facility in Windsor, to be constructed in part by the inmates of that facility.

(2)  On or before January 15, 2006, the department of corrections shall report to the house and senate committees on institutions its recommendations for the use or disposal of mill equipment located at the southeast state correctional facility. 

(f)  Vermont correctional industries, southern state correctional facility, Springfield.

(1)  The department of corrections shall develop and provide to the department of buildings and general services a proposal for programs to occur within a potential correctional industries building to be constructed at the southern state correctional facility.

(2)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, to prepare a design for fit-up of a Vermont correctional industries building at the southern state correctional facility.

(3)  On or before January 15, 2006, the department of corrections shall prepare and present to the senate and house committees on appropriations and institutions proposed operational and equipment budgets for the program proposal required in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(Total appropriation – Section 3                                                           $1,368,000)

Sec. 4.  JUDICIARY

The sum of $950,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary to renovate the existing Rutland courthouse to accommodate the offices of probation and parole.

(Total appropriation – Section 4                                                              $950,000)

Sec. 5.  COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a)  The sum of $150,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for major maintenance at historic sites statewide; provided such maintenance shall be under the supervision of the department of buildings and general services.

(b)  The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for underwater preserves. 

(c)  Calvin Coolidge homestead, Plymouth Notch.

(1)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development as the final state match for a federal Save America’s Treasures grant for installation of a sprinkler system at the Calvin Coolidge homestead in Plymouth Notch; provided that no portion of this appropriation shall be disbursed until evidence is provided to the department that the federal funds have been awarded.

(2)  The sum of $70,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for the Calvin Coolidge homestead to be used by the department to acquire an option to purchase the Hoskison property and to purchase an easement to access, install, and maintain components of a fire suppression system for the homestead; provided that any option acquired pursuant to this subdivision shall ensure that all sums paid to acquire the option and easement are credited against the purchase price.

(d)  The sum of $80,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for continued renovation of the Kent Tavern in Calais.

(e)  The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development to assist the Vermont Humanities Council purchase real property in Montpelier.

(Total appropriation – Section 5                                                             $440,000)

Sec. 6.  EDUCATION

(a)  The sum of $9,300,000 shall be expended by the department of education for state aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16, of which amount the sum of $5,300,000 shall be appropriated from capital funds in this act and the sum of $4,000,000 shall be from general funds appropriated by Sec. 255(b) of No. XXX of the Acts of 2005 (the Fiscal Year 2006 Appropriations Act); provided that, notwithstanding any provision of section 3448 of Title 16 or state board of education rule to the contrary:

(1)  Up to $5,256,245 of this appropriation shall be used to pay first awards to all projects on the state board’s prioritized list submitted to the legislature in January 2005 that initiated construction on or before December 31, 2004 and to pay final awards to all projects on that list that have completed construction on or before December 31, 2004; and

(2)  Up to $72,039 of this appropriation shall be used to pay costs associated with emergency shelters in schools.

(b)  The sum of $500,000 is appropriated to the department of education for regional technical education centers and comprehensive high schools to assist with the purchase of educational program equipment, to be distributed in equal amounts to each center and high school with no local matching funds required.

(c)  The sum of $1,100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Brattleboro Union High School District #6 in partial payment of the state’s obligation to pay 100 percent of the approved cost of the Windham Regional Career Center (Southeastern Vermont Career Education Center) project. 

(d)  The state board of education is directed to evaluate the method by which it assigns points to school projects and places them on a prioritized list.  On or before January 15, 2006, the board shall report to the house and senate committees on institutions and on education regarding its evaluation and any changes it has made.

(e)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary including subdivision 3448(a)(5) of Title 16 requiring approval of a final application by the state board of education as a precondition to receipt of school construction aid, the sum of up to $16,044 is appropriated to the department of education for the Danville School District to equal 25 percent of construction aid for the state’s total share of costs incurred in 2004, if the district’s costs are deemed eligible by the commissioner of education under state board rules, and if the project was properly bid under section 559 of Title 16.  In no case shall the construction aid exceed 25 percent of the voter-approved cost of the project. 

(f)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary including subdivision 3448(a)(5) of Title 16 requiring approval of a final application by the state board of education as a precondition to receipt of school construction aid, the sum of up to $71,300 is appropriated to the department of education for the Middlebury Union High School District #3 to equal 25 percent of construction aid for the state’s total share of costs incurred in 2004 for health and safety improvements to its gymnasium, if the district’s costs are deemed eligible by the commissioner of education under state board rules and if the project was properly bid under section 559 of Title 16.  In no case shall the construction aid exceed 25 percent of the voter-approved cost of the project.

(g)  Notwithstanding any provision of law that might render an early education program ineligible for state school construction aid under chapter 123 of Title 15, the sum of $27,930 is appropriated to the department of education for the Orleans Central Supervisory Union to equal 30 percent construction aid for additional costs associated with construction of a community early education center in Barton, pursuant to the provisions by which funding was originally authorized as set forth in Sec. 67 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002).

(Total appropriation – Section 6                                                         $7,015,274)


Sec. 7.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $1,543,355 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the University of Vermont to assist with construction, renovation, and major facility maintenance to the university campus that advances the mission of the university to prepare the students to lead productive lives and to interpret and share knowledge for the benefit of Vermont and for society as a whole.  The university shall file with the general assembly an annual report, on or before January 15 of each year, that details the status of capital projects funded in whole or in part by state capital appropriations.

(Total appropriation – Section 7                                                          $1,543,355)

Sec. 8.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

The sum of $1,219,807 is appropriated to the Vermont state colleges for major facility maintenance.

(Total appropriation – Section 8                                                           $1,219,807)

Sec. 9.  NATURAL RESOURCES

(a)  The sum of $7,350,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for water pollution grants and the state match for the pollution control and public drinking water supply program state revolving fund loans, all in accordance with chapter 55 of Title 10 and chapter 120 of Title 24 for projects on a list prepared by the agency of natural resources, dated May 20, 2003 entitled “Wastewater Project Phase-In List from the Capital Bill Conference Committee 2003 Legislative Session” and referenced in Sec. 55 of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003.

(b)  The sum of $1,610,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the clean and clear program to accelerate the reduction of phosphorus discharges into Lake Champlain and other waters of the state; provided that from this appropriation, the following appropriations shall be made:

(1)  $190,000 to the town of Richford to complete its wastewater treatment plant project;

(2)  $50,000 for wetland protection and restoration;

(3)  $120,000 for the stormwater permitting program; and

(4)  $1,250,000 for the stream stability program.

(c)  The sum of $450,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for maintenance, repair, dismantling, and reconstruction of state-owned dams.

(d)  The sum of $450,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of forests, parks and recreation for rehabilitation of aging state park infrastructure.

(e)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for wildlife habitat restoration.  If the agency contracts with non-state workers for some or all of the habitat restoration, then it shall be done on a competitive bid basis under best bid award criteria.

(f)  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife to complete construction of a dining hall and education center at the Kehoe conservation camp in Castleton; provided that no part of any general fund appropriation or of this or any unspent portion of a previous capital appropriation for the camp shall be disbursed until evidence is provided to the secretary of the agency that the state’s lease of this facility has been renegotiated to provide the state with:

(1)  A lease term of 99 years; and

(2)  The right of first refusal in the event of a sale.

(g)  The sum of $270,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife to construct two site supervisor residences at the Ed Weed fish culture station; provided that the construction shall be directed by the department of buildings and general services.

(Total appropriation – Section 9                                                         $10,430,000)

Sec. 10.  MILITARY

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of the military to address capital emergencies and maintenance projects identified by the department.

(Total appropriation – Section 10                                                            $100,000)

Sec. 11.  VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the Vermont historical society for the final phase of renovating the former Spaulding Graded School in Barre, an education and research center known as the Vermont History Center.

(Total appropriation – Section 11                                                              $50,000)

Sec. 12.  PUBLIC SAFETY

The sum of $2,850,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety to finalize construction and fit-up of a new state police station in Addison County to replace the station currently located in Middlebury, to replace funds originally appropriated to this project and subsequently transferred for use in connection with the construction of a new Bethel/Royalton state police station.

(Total appropriation – Section 12                                                     $2,850,000)

Sec. 13.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND FIRE SERVICE TRAINING COUNCILS

(a)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont criminal justice training council in Pittsford for creation of a streetscape training building. 

(b)  The sum of $30,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont criminal justice and fire service training council site in Pittsford as the state match required for the acquisition and placement of an emergency generator.  

(c)  The sum of $225,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont fire service training council in Pittsford to design a Vermont emergency service training classroom at the Pittsford training academy.

(Total appropriation – Section 13                                                         $355,000)

Sec. 14.  AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

(a)  The sum of $1,800,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets, best management practice implementation cost share program, for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction.  Farmers participating in this program may receive a maximum of 50 percent of state aid when no federal dollars are available.

(b)  The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets as a 20 percent state match for the federal conservation reserve enhancement program.

(Total appropriation – Section 14                                                         $2,100,000)

Sec. 15.  VERMONT RURAL FIRE PROTECTION

The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont rural fire protection task force to continue the dry hydrant program.

(Total appropriation – Section 15                                                            $100,000)

Sec. 16.  BUILDING COMMUNITIES GRANTS

(a)  The following sums are appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for:

(1)  The historic preservation grant program:                          100,000

(2)  The historic barns preservation grant program:                             100,000

(b)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the cultural facilities competitive grant program, to be administered by the Vermont Arts Council and made available on a one‑for-one matching basis with funds raised from nonstate sources; no such grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other appropriation of this act.  No portion of this appropriation shall be used to pay salaries.  The appropriation shall be awarded on a competitive basis.  In recommending grant awards, a review panel shall give priority consideration to applicants who demonstrate greater financial need or are in underserved areas of the state. 

(c)  The sum of $166,726 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the recreational and educational facilities grant program established in Sec. 32 of this act.

(d)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for the broadband development grant program established in Sec. 33 of this act.

(Total appropriation – Section 16                                                         $616,726)

Sec. 17.  VERMONT PUBLIC TELEVISION

(a)  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Public Television for the federally mandated conversion of its transmission sites to digital broadcasting format. 

(b)  The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Public Television for one-half of Vermont Public Television’s share of the costs of a state-mandated collocation project on Mount Mansfield.

(Total appropriation – Section 17                                                          $550,000)

Sec. 18.  VERMONT INTERACTIVE TELEVISION

The sum of $60,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Interactive Television to purchase equipment necessary for the creation of a new interactive television site to be located in Montpelier. 

(Total appropriation – Section 18                                                              $60,000)


Sec. 19.  VERMONT VETERANS’ HOME

The sum of $750,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont Veterans’ Home for the state share of a new geothermal or oil-fired heating plant.

(Total appropriation – Section 19                                                            $750,000)

Sec. 20.  VERMONT VETERANS’ MEMORIAL CEMETERY

The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery Advisory Board for cemetery expansion design.

(Total appropriation – Section 20                                                            $250,000)

* * * Financing this Act * * *

Sec. 21.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

Of the amount received from the sale of state-owned land in the town of Duxbury, authorized by No. 102 of the Acts of the 1995 Adj. Sess. (1996), the sum of $173,162 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized in Sec. 1 of this act.

(Total reallocation– Section 21                                                                $173,162)

Sec. 22.  [Deleted.]

Sec. 23.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

The state treasurer is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $45,000,000 for the purpose of funding the appropriations of this act.  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.  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.

(Total bonding – Section 23                                                               $45,000,000)

* * * Managing this Act * * *

Sec. 24.  REALLOCATION; TRANSFER OF FUNDS

(a)  Historic sites.  The commissioner of buildings and general services may reallocate the funds in Sec. 5(a) of this act (commerce and community development) to state historic sites other than those presented to the general assembly during the 2005 legislative session only for major maintenance, should a more pressing need arise following the legislative session.

(b)  Natural resources.  The secretary of natural resources, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended project balances between projects authorized in Sec. 9(a) and (d) of this act (natural resources).

Sec. 25.  ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDS

(a)  Notwithstanding section 5 of Title 32 (acceptance of grants):

(1)  The commissioner of environmental conservation, with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, may accept federal grants made available through the federal Clean Water Act and the federal Drinking Water Act in accordance with chapter 120 of Title 24.  Acceptance of this grant money is hereby approved, provided all notifications are made under subsection 4760(a) of Title 24.

(2)  The commissioner of corrections, with the approval of the secretary of human services, may accept federal grants made available through federal crime bill legislation. 

(3)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grants of funds, equipment, and services from any source, including federal appropriations, for the installation, operation, implementation, or maintenance of energy conservation measures or improvements at state buildings.

(4)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grants of funds from the National Cemetery Administration for the design cost reimbursement for the Vermont Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery expansion authorized by Sec. 20 of this act.

(5)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grant funds received by the town of Pittsford for a power generator, which may be made available for the purchase and installation of an emergency power generator at the Vermont criminal justice and fire service training facility in Pittsford, Vermont.  These funds may be used to defray or supplement costs in Sec. 13(b) of this act.

(b)  Each receipt of a grant or gift authorized by this section shall be reported by the commissioner of the department receiving the funds to the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions and to the joint fiscal committee. 

* * * Buildings and General Services; State Buildings * * *

Sec. 26.  PROJECTS FUNDED IN PRIOR YEARS

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds appropriated under this act for capital projects requiring additional support that were funded with capital or general appropriations made in prior years.

Sec. 27.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; BRANDON

Notwithstanding any provision of Sec. 1(b) of No. 59 of the Acts of 1993 or Sec. 23 of No. 62 of the Acts of 1995 to the contrary, the amount received from the sale of state-owned land in the town of Brandon, authorized by No. 59 of the Acts of 1993, which is anticipated to be in the amount of $400,000 more or less after payment of costs and fees associated with the sale, shall be disbursed as a partial payment of the state’s obligation to pay 100 percent of approved costs to the Brattleboro Union High School District #6 for the Windham Regional Career Center (Southeastern Vermont Career Education Center).

Sec. 27a.  STATE HOUSE EXPANSION

(a)  The special committee created by Sec. 2(b) of No. 61 of the Acts of 2001 is abolished.

(b)  There is created a state house expansion committee (“committee”) to oversee planning and design of an addition to the state house, the members of which shall be:

(1)  The chairs and vice chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions or their designees.

(2)  One additional member of the house of representatives, to be selected by the speaker of the house.

(3)  One additional member of the senate, to be selected by the committee on committees.

(4)  The commissioner of buildings and general services, who shall serve as chair of the committee.

(5)  The chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation or the chair’s designee.

(6)  A representative of the Friends of the Vermont State House.

(c)  On or before July 15, 2005, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall call a meeting of the committee to begin selection of a final

schematic design for an addition to the state house from among those designs presented in 2004 by the technical advisory committee, so-called, to the special committee abolished in subsection (a) of this section.

(d)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, of the amount appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for use in connection with the state house expansion project in Sec. 1b(7) of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002), the sum of $583,401.80 shall be used by the department toward completion of cost estimates and preparation of development and construction documents for purposes of seeking bids for the construction of the design selected by the committee under subsection (c) of this section.

(e)  On or before December 15, 2005, the committee shall report to the members of the house and senate committees on institutions regarding its selection of a final schematic design under subsection (c) of this section.

(f)  For attendance at a meeting when the general assembly is not in session, legislative members of the committee shall be entitled to compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses as provided under 2 V.S.A. § 406(a).

(g)  Sec. 28 of No. 121 of the Acts of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is repealed.


Sec. 28.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; VERMONT STATE POLICE FACILITIES

(a)  Addison and Franklin Counties

(1)  If necessary construction permits for the new Addison County state police station in New Haven are not issued in time for the 2005 construction season, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized, at his or her discretion subject to the approval required in subdivision (3) of this subsection, to:

(A)  Enter into a development agreement with a private developer to construct a public safety facility in New Haven at the site approved by the commissioner once the permits are issued; and

(B)  Use the funds appropriated in Sec. 12 of this act to begin construction of a new state police station in St. Albans, provided that the station shall be designed and constructed, to the extent feasible, using the “prototype” plans developed for the Vermont state police stations.

(2)  The structure of the development agreement authorized in subdivision (1)(A) of this subsection shall include an operating lease in a form that is consistent with generally accepted accounting principles and is not considered as state supported debt by any of the independent rating agencies.  The commissioner is authorized to enter into a ground lease with the developer for the land utilized by the new Addison County state police station for a term equivalent to the operating lease if the proposal is otherwise approved pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(3)  The commissioner shall present the proposed project, financing alternatives, proposed development agreement, and proposed financing plan to the joint fiscal committee for review and approval.  The committee may approve or reject the project or approve the project with modifications.  The state treasurer and secretary of administration shall agree on the content of the development agreement and financing plan before they are presented to the committee for review and approval and prior to execution by the commissioner or contact with any credit rating agencies on the financing plan by the developer.  Any such agreement shall include a provision that the operating lease may be terminated by the state at any point that sufficient funds are available to purchase the new Addison County state police station at fair market value.

(4)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner shall, based on objective criteria developed by the commissioner, select not more than four and no fewer than two private developers to bid on the project.  The commissioner shall use a best value analysis to determine which bid should be approved.  

(b)  Windham County.  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds provided by the department of public safety to make improvements and renovations to the state police station in Brattleboro and to construct an adjacent garage.  The estimated cost of these improvements is approximately $40,000.00.

Sec. 28a.  Sec. 86(c) of No. 121 of the Acts of 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is amended to read:

      (c)  The commissioner shall present the proposed project, financing alternatives, development agreement, and proposed financing plan to a

five-member the joint fiscal committee for review and approval.  The committee shall be comprised of two senators selected by the committee on committees, two representatives selected by the speaker of the house of representatives, and a fifth, neutral individual, who shall not be a legislator and shall be jointly selected by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate.  The committee may approve or reject the project, or approve the project with modifications.  The state treasurer and secretary of administration shall agree on the content of the development agreement and financing plan before they are presented to the committee for review and approval and prior to execution by the commissioner or contact with any credit rating agencies on the financing plan by the developer.  Any such agreement shall include a provision that the operating lease may be terminated by the state at any point that sufficient funds are available to purchase the barracks at fair market value.

Sec. 29.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; BURLINGTON

(a)  In order to provide more appropriate space for the agency of human services employees located in the Burlington area and to accommodate other state infrastructure needs, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall explore all possible opportunities to purchase or lease real property in Burlington or the surrounding municipalities or to redevelop existing state property in those areas.  In connection with the requirements of this subsection, the commissioner, with the approval of the secretary of administration, is authorized to purchase, or enter into an option to purchase, real property which may include land with or without one or more buildings thereon. 

(b)  In connection with the needs identified in subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner is authorized to:

(1)  Evaluate whether to demolish the current employment and training building at 59-63 Pearl Street in Burlington or the so-called Formac building at 50 Cherry Street in Burlington, or both and to reconstruct at one or both sites facilities for use as state offices, a central parking facility, and potential rental property.

(2)  Evaluate and enter into preliminary negotiations for a renewable lease of up to 99 years for air rights above the land referenced in subdivision (1) of this subsection. 

(3)  Evaluate and enter into preliminary negotiations for an operating lease with a private party or private nonprofit entity, for up to 30 years, for parking to be constructed within a central parking facility on the land referenced in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(4)  Evaluate and enter into preliminary negotiations for a development agreement with a private party or private nonprofit entity for the construction of a state office building or a central parking facility, or both, on the land

referenced in subdivision (1) of this subsection, which may be constructed by different contractors.

(c)  In connection with the evaluations and preliminary negotiations authorized in subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner shall confirm with the state treasurer that:

(1)  There will be no adverse impact on the state’s credit standing;

(2)  The obligations of the state under any potential agreement will not be included in the state’s debt statement as computed by any of the nationally recognized rating agencies that rate the state’s general obligation debt; and

(3)  There will be no adverse impact on the tax-exempt status of past or future bonds issued by the state.

(d)  On or before January 15, 2006, the commissioner shall report to the house and senate committees on institutions and appropriations regarding the department’s actions, evaluations, and recommendations under this section.  If the commissioner recommends pursuing activities evaluated under subsection (b) of this section, he or she shall provide a detailed financial analysis of the impact such recommendation will have on future capital and general fund appropriations.

Sec. 30.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; COMBINED HEALTH AND FORENSICS LABORATORIES

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner of buildings and general services, after consultation with the commissioners of public safety and of health, is authorized to site a combined health and forensic laboratory either on property owned by the state or at a site chosen by the commissioner after public bidding.  Capital appropriations made in this or any previous act for the laboratories may be used for site development and acquisition of land with or without one or more buildings thereon.

Sec. 31.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS; THAYER SCHOOL

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized, with the approval of the secretary of administration, to sell real property located at 1193 North Avenue, Burlington, being a parcel of land of approximately 5.88 acres with a building thereon, commonly referred to as the Thayer School.  All proceeds of this sale shall be available to the department of buildings and general services for use in connection with the projects authorized in Secs. 29 and 30 of this act.

Sec. 32.  RECREATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES GRANT PROGRAM

(a)  Creation of Program.  There is created a recreational and educational facilities grant program to provide competitive grants to municipalities as defined in chapter 117 of Title 24 and to nonprofit organizations for capital costs associated with the development and creation of community recreational and educational opportunities in Vermont communities.  The program is authorized to award matching grants of up to $25,000 per project, provided that grant funds shall be awarded only when evidence is presented by a successful applicant that three dollars have been raised from nonstate sources for every one dollar awarded under this program.

(b)  Creation of committee.  There is established a recreational and educational facilities grant advisory committee.  The committee shall consist of the commissioners of forests, parks and recreation and of buildings and general services, or the commissioners’ designees; a representative of the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association; a representative of the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council; and two citizen members to be appointed by the governor.  The members of the committee shall select a chair.  The two citizen members shall serve for terms of two years or until their successors are appointed. 

(c)  Process.  The recreational facilities grant advisory committee shall coordinate and administer the recreational facilities grant program.  The committee shall establish criteria under which applications will be evaluated.  The committee shall also establish a process that ensures:

(1)  the efficient review of applications;

(2)  the equitable selection of grant recipients; and

(3)  the accountability of grant recipients. 

(d)  The department of buildings and general services shall provide administrative support to the program.

Sec. 33.  BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT; COMPETITIVE PROGRAM

(a)  There is created a program authorized to award grants of up to $50,000.00 each to broadband projects as required by this section, competitively selected by a committee comprising the secretary of commerce and community development, the commissioner of information and innovation, the commissioner of buildings and general services, or their designees, and the executive directors of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the Vermont Broadband Council, or their designees.

(b)  The committee shall select from among those communities that do not currently have, are not likely to be able to financially afford, and are not otherwise expected to receive this service communities to develop and implement broadband demonstration projects.  The communities selected shall represent different regions of the state.  Administrative support shall be provided by the agency of commerce and community affairs.  The committee shall strive to select projects in communities that:

(1)  [Deleted.]

(2)  Offer private sector partnership possibilities.

(3)  Have no or limited access to broadband services.

(c)  Each selected project community shall strive to:

(1)  Provide broadband service to the last mile of the municipality and offer access to service to every member of that municipality.

(2)  Provide a minimum of five years of service.

(3)  Offer a maximum price for the original service provided under the contract, which shall remain fixed for the duration of the contract.

(4)  Have a speed of delivery which shall be at least two megabits per second.

(d)  The selection of a provider shall be made by the municipality with technical assistance from the Vermont Broadband Council based on the following competitive issues:

(1)  Price per connection.

(2)  Ownership of the infrastructure by the municipality at the termination of the contract.

(3)  Number of people served and population density of the area served.

(4)  Innovative solutions for providing this service to areas determined not to be economical.

(5)  Cost to the consumer of any new construction, equipment, or facility required for the connection.

(e)  The department of information and innovation shall make the services and prices available to the state available to communities, to the extent permitted by contract. 

* * * UVM and State Colleges * * *

Sec. 34.  SPENDING AND BONDING AUTHORIZATION; VERMONT

               STATE COLLEGES

In conformity with subsection 2171(e) of Title 16, the general assembly approves the expenditure by the Vermont state colleges from its revenues, other than state appropriations, and from its self-generated revenues established for the purpose of capital improvements on housing, dining, and general purpose facilities, to an aggregate of $1 million for necessary capital improvements.

* * * Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 35.  MUNICIPAL SALT AND SALTED SAND PILE SHEDS

On or before October 15, 2005, the agency of natural resources, in consultation with the department of buildings and general services and the agency of transportation, shall develop one or more prototype designs for covering municipal salt and salted sand piles to comply with the multisector general permit requirements for stormwater discharges established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.  In developing the design or designs, the agencies and department shall use the most cost‑effective design concepts that comply with the requirements of federal law.

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 36.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.  The sums appropriated and spending authority authorized by this act shall be continuing and shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us