Download this document in MS Word format
ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2007-2008

AutoFill Template

NO. 75.  AN ACT RELATING TO THE STATE’S TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM.

(H.527)

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

Sec. 1.  TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM; ADVANCEMENTS,

             CANCELLATIONS, AND DELAYS

(a)  The state’s proposed fiscal year 2008 transportation program appended to the agency of transportation’s proposed fiscal year 2008 budget, as amended by this act, is adopted to the extent federal, state, and local funds are available. 

(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 program 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.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – PAVING

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

(1)  Authorized spending on district leveling is amended to read:

     FY08               As Proposed               As Amended             Change

     PE     `                                          0                                              0            0

     ROW                                     0                              0                      0

     Construction            1,000,000                1,150,000           150,000

     Other                                     0                    0                                0

     Total                       1,000,000                1,150,000           150,000

     Sources of funds                                                                             

     State                       1,000,000                1,150,000           150,000

     Town fund                             0                              0                      0

     Federal                                  0                              0                      0

     Local                                     0                              0                      0

     Total                        1,000,000                1,150,000           150,000

* * * Program Development – Roadway * * *

Sec. 3.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – ROADWAY

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

(1)  Authorized spending on the Morristown VT100 project, STP F

029‑1(2), is amended to read:

     FY08 As                           Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                               50,000             50,000            0

     ROW                                 150,000           550,000           400,000

     Construction                        0                                                        0            0

     Other                                   0                                0                      0

     Total                                   200,000           600,000           400,000

     Sources of funds                                                                             

     State                                     40,880             89,880             49,000

     Federal                               159,120           479,120           320,000

     Toll credits                                    0             31,000             31,000

     Total                                   200,000           600,000           400,000

(2)  The agency is directed to advance the Springfield TH 3 project, STP 0136(1).  The scope of the project shall be determined in consultation between the agency and the town of Springfield.  Upon agreement as to the scope of the project, the agency shall develop the project and be prepared to begin construction during state fiscal year 2009.  Authorized spending on the project is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                                         0           100,000            100,000

ROW                                       0                      0                      0

Construction                             0                      0                      0

Other                                        0                      0                      0

Total                                         0           100,000           100,000

Sources of funds                                                          

State                                         0           100,000           100,000

Federal                                     0                      0                      0

Local                                        0                      0                      0

Total                                         0           100,000           100,000

(3)  The unspent funds authorized for expenditure for the Waterbury Main Street project, FEGC F‑013‑4(13), in fiscal year 2007 shall be brought forward and used in fiscal year 2008 to advance the improvements at the intersection of Park Row and Main Street.

(4)  A new project is added to the SFY 2007 and SFY 2008 development and evaluation section:  Pittsford police academy has received an earmark for a project to provide a driver training pad at the criminal justice and fire service training center in Pittsford.  The pad will facilitate in the training of various protection agencies in the defensive operation of their vehicles, to conduct emergency vehicle operations, fire, rescue training, “stopping vehicle training,” and for motorcycle licensing.  The project consists of constructing a 350′ x 125′ bituminous concrete training pad with an 800′ long x 20′ wide bituminous concrete acceleration/approach road to the pad.  The amount of federal funds available from the earmark is $491,964 (100 percent ‑ Federal).  The project shall appear as follows:  Pittsford STP SKID(1).

(5)  The Middlebury Cross Street project STP 5900( ), which was inadvertently omitted from the agency’s proposed FY08 transportation program as submitted to the general assembly, shall be included by the agency in its publication of the transportation program as enacted by the general assembly pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 10g(f).

(6)  The agency shall continue its commitment to the Bennington Bypass South project, NH F 019‑1(4), as evidenced by the acquisition of right‑of‑way during state fiscal year 2007, for removal of material from the northern segment to the southern segment, for use as stage one sites for the Bennington Bypass North project, NH F 019‑1(5).  At such time as construction funds are identified for the Bennington Bypass South project NH F 019‑1(4), the agency shall advance this project on the development and evaluation (D & E) list.  All unexpended funds for right‑of‑way authorized for the project in fiscal year 2007 shall be carried forward into fiscal year 2008 and used for that purpose.

(7)  Authorized spending on statewide ledge/slope projects is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                              250,000           207,375            ‑42,625

     ROW                                  250,000           207,375            ‑42,625

     Construction                    1,500,000        1,244,250          ‑255,750

     Other                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                               2,000,000        1,659,000          ‑341,000

     Sources of funds                                                                             

     State                                   378,400           313,551            ‑64,849

     Town fund                                     0                      0                      0

     Federal                            1,621,600        1,345,449          ‑276,151

     Local                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                2,000,000        1,659,000          ‑341,000

* * * Bridge Programs * * *

Sec. 4.  INTERSTATE, STATE, AND TOWN HIGHWAY BRIDGE

             PROGRAMS

To rectify an agency oversight while developing the proposed transportation capital program, notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 10g(n), the agency is authorized to expend development and evaluation funds identified for unnamed candidate projects in the interstate, state, and town highway bridge programs as amended in this act on listed candidate projects in each program according to the priority rating and status of such projects within the project development process.


Sec. 5.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – STATE BRIDGE

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

(1)  Authorized spending on the Williamstown BRS 0204(4) project, replacement of BR10 over brook No. 2, is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                                  1,603               1,603            0

     ROW                                    48,716             48,716                      0

     Construction                       850,000           450,000          ‑400,000

     Other                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                   900,319           500,319          ‑400,000

     Sources of funds                                                                             

     State                                   180,064           100,064            ‑80,000

     Federal                               720,255           400,255          ‑320,000

     Local                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                   900,319           500,319          ‑400,000

(2)  Authorized spending for development and evaluation of candidates is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                              492,717           436,131            ‑56,586

     ROW                                  288,737           245,323            ‑43,414

     Construction                                  0                      0                      0

     Other                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                   781,454           681,454          ‑100,000

     Sources of funds                                                                             

     State                                   156,290           136,290            ‑20,000

     Town fund                                     0                      0                      0

     Federal                               625,164           545,164            ‑80,000

     Local                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                   781,454           681,454          ‑100,000

Sec. 6.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – INTERSTATE BRIDGE

The following modifications are made to the program development – interstate bridge program:

(1)  Authorized spending for development and evaluation of candidates is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                              237,500           137,500            ‑100,000

     ROW                                            0                      0                      0

     Construction                                  0                      0                      0

     Other                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                   237,500           137,500          ‑100,000


     Sources of funds                                                                             

     State                                     23,750               3,750            ‑20,000

     Town fund                                     0                      0                      0

     Federal                               213,750           133,750            ‑80,000

     Local                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                  237,500           137,500          ‑100,000

* * * Rest Area Capital Construction * * *

Sec. 7.  REST AREAS

The following modifications are made to the rest areas program:

(1)  Authorized spending on the Hartford I‑91 rest area sewer line project, IM BLDG(1), is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                                50,000             50,000            0

     ROW                                            0                      0                      0

     Construction                    2,950,000        3,250,000           300,000

     Other                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                3,000,000        3,300,000           300,000

     Sources of funds                                                                             

     State                                   300,000           600,000           300,000

     Federal                            2,700,000        2,700,000                      0

     Local                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                3,000,000        3,300,000           300,000

* * * Maintenance * * *

Sec. 8.  MAINTENANCE

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

          FY08                             As Proposed    As Amended          Change

     Personal services                32,933,303      32,933,303                      0

     Operating expenses            30,858,345      30,508,345          ‑350,000

     Grants                                     206,500           206,500                      0

     Total                                  63,998,148      63,648,148          ‑350,000

     Sources of funds                                                                                  

     State                                  60,174,213      59,824,213          ‑350,000

     Federal                                 3,723,935        3,723,935                      0

     Local                                      100,000           100,000                      0

     Total                                  63,998,148      63,648,148          ‑350,000

(b)  These changes are made:

(1)  To reduce funding for intelligent transportation system (ITS) projects by $500,000 of transportation funds.  The agency shall continue to operate the “511” traveler information service at not less than the same level of service as provided in fiscal year 2007.  Subject to this condition, the agency shall allocate the remaining authorized funds for ITS projects at its discretion.

(2)  To add $100,000 of transportation funds for a small improvement project to construct an underground cattle pass on Vermont Route 100 to serve the so‑called Turner Farm.  In fiscal year 2008, the agency shall use the authorized funds for the sole purpose of designing, permitting, and installing an underground cattle pass and associated highway traffic safety features.  The associated work is contingent upon the Turner estate donating any necessary right‑of‑way outside the existing highway right‑of‑way.  Moreover, the Turner estate, for itself and its successors‑in‑interest, must agree to a maintenance and liability agreement satisfactory to the agency.  Once completed, the existing cattle crossing signs and warning signals will be removed by the agency.

(3)  To add $50,000 of transportation funds to be used for the acquisition of vehicle‑mounted sweeper attachments to aid in the removal of debris from the roadway in support of bicycle and pedestrian activities.

* * * Policy and Planning * * *

Sec. 9.  POLICY AND PLANNING

Authorized spending in policy and planning is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     Personal services             4,969,906        4,921,906            ‑48,000

     Operating expenses             964,875           964,875                      0

     Grants                              4,690,227        4,690,227                      0

     Total                              10,625,008      10,577,008            ‑48,000

     Sources of funds                                                                             

     State                                2,597,643        2,592,843              ‑4,800

     Federal                            7,887,365        7,844,165            ‑43,200

     Other                                  140,000           140,000                      0

     Total                             10,625,008      10,577,008            ‑48,000

* * * Department of Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 10.  DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

(a)  Authorized spending by the department of motor vehicles is amended to read:

     FY08                               As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     Personal services                17,134,501      17,147,046             12,545

     Operating expenses              7,629,667        7,629,667                      0

     Grants                                      339,000           339,000                      0

     Total                                  25,103,168      25,115,713             12,545

     Sources of funds                                                                                  

     State                                  23,329,029      23,341,574             12,545

     Federal                                 1,774,139        1,774,139                      0

     Local                                                  0                      0                      0

     Total                                  25,103,168      25,115,713             12,545

(b)  These changes are made to add $112,545 in state funds for the DMV computer system upgrade project and to cut $100,000 in state funds for personal services overtime spending.

* * * Transportation Buildings * * *

Sec. 11.  OPERATIONS – TRANSPORTATION BUILDINGS

(a)  Authorized spending on transportation buildings is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                                76,579             68,579            ‑8,000

     ROW                                            0                      0                      0

     Construction                    1,572,421        1,380,421          ‑192,000

     Other                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                1,649,000        1,449,000          ‑200,000

     Sources of funds

     State                                1,649,000        1,449,000          ‑200,000

     Federal                                          0                      0                      0

     Local                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                1,649,000        1,449,000          ‑200,000

* * * Public Transit * * *

Sec. 12.  PUBLIC TRANSIT

The following modifications are made to the public transit program:

(1)  For the purpose of redirecting capital assets for use in the acquisition of new buses and equipment for public transportation, the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, shall sell, for fair market value, a 2003 MCI 4500D motor coach, owned by the state and purchased with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds, to Greyhound Lines, Inc.  Subject to the prior approval of the FTA, the sale proceeds of $215,775.71 shall be applied as soon as practicable to purchase a minimum of three new medium‑size rural service delivery, public transit buses, in accordance with the highest priority needs in the agency’s capital program.

(2)(A)  Authorized spending in the public transit program is amended to read:

     FY08                               As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     Personal services                     948,669           948,669                      0

     Operating expenses                   77,517             77,517                      0

     Grants                                 16,225,259      18,125,383        1,900,124

     Other                                                 0                      0                      0

     Total                                  17,251,445      19,151,569        1,900,124

     Sources of funds                                                                                  

     State                                    5,899,044        6,642,668           743,624

     Federal                               11,352,401      12,508,901        1,156,500


     Other                                                  0                      0                      0

     Total                                  17,251,445      19,151,569        1,900,124

(B)  These changes are made:

(i)  to incorporate the spending of $215,775.71 in transportation funds authorized in subdivision (1) of this section;

(ii)  to add an additional $447,848 in transportation funds and $1,136,500 in federal funds to the public transit – capital equipment replacement program; and

(iii)  to add $80,000 in transportation funds and $20,000 in federal funds to authorized spending in the public transit elders and persons with disabilities program for critical care transportation services as defined in Sec. 13(a) of this act.  These funds are authorized on a one‑time basis to provide emergency supplemental funding to the elderly and disabled transportation program.  The funds are intended to provide program security by setting aside supplementary elderly and disabled transportation program funds (E&D funds) for critical care transportation appropriated for fiscal year 2008.  In order to maintain program integrity and prevent the revision of allocation and spending patterns based upon the existence of this new supplemental fund, all agencies receiving such funding shall maintain in fiscal year 2008 the funding amounts initially programmed for by the regional elderly and disabled advisory committees in fiscal year 2007.  Further, in an effort to develop a more consistent approach to the use of E&D funds by diverse regional entities, the agency shall provide revised or additional E&D program management guidance, or both, to be followed by all recipients of this funding.  The agency of transportation shall hold these supplemental funds in reserve, and shall disperse these funds to agencies that have grant agreements with the agency for the provision of elderly and disabled transportation services only in the event that a shortfall of E&D funds occurs as a result of an unanticipated high demand for non‑Medicaid, critical care transportation services which results in a lack of funds available to continue critical care transportation services.

Sec. 13.  CRITICAL CARE TRANSPORTATION STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  A critical care transportation study committee is established, consisting of representatives of the agency of transportation and the agency of human services as designated by the secretaries of the respective agencies; a representative of the Vermont area agencies on aging; a representative of the Vermont center for independent living; a representative of the Vermont association of adult day care services; a representative of the Vermont public transportation association to represent rural public transportation providers; a representative of the Vermont public transportation association to represent urban public transportation providers; a representative of the Vermont kidney foundation; and a representative of the American Cancer Society.  For the purposes of this section, critical care transportation is defined as transportation to and from dialysis and cancer treatment medical services for Vermonters not eligible for Medicaid transportation services.  The committee shall be co‑chaired by a representative of the agency of transportation and a representative of the agency of human services as designated by the secretaries of the respective agencies.

(b)  The committee shall design a program to be administered by the agency of human services that incorporates a cost‑sharing mechanism so that program beneficiaries’ contributions toward the cost of the transportation service are indexed to household income.  In the development of this proposal, the committee shall consider such issues as program coordination among nonprofit agencies, and funding sources, sustainability of funding, ease of administration, compatibility with other programs, need for service, and other issues it deems relevant to determine its recommendations.

(c)  The agency of human services and agency of transportation shall provide administrative and staff support for the committee.

(d)  The committee shall deliver its report, including any recommendations for proposed legislation, to the house and senate committees on appropriations and transportation, to the house committee on human services, and the senate committee on health and welfare by December 1, 2007. 


* * * Town Programs * * *

Sec. 14.  TOWN HIGHWAY BRIDGES

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

(1)  Authorized spending for development and evaluation of candidates is amended to read:

     FY08                           As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     PE                                                              130,000             65,250            ‑64,750

     ROW                                    20,000               9,750            ‑10,250

     Construction                                  0                      0                      0

     Other                                             0                      0                      0

     Total                                   150,000             75,000            ‑75,000

     Sources of funds

     State                                     15,000               7,500              ‑7,500

     Federal                               120,000             60,000            ‑60,000

     Local                                    15,000               7,500              ‑7,500

     Total                                   150,000             75,000            ‑75,000

Sec. 15.  TOWN HIGHWAY CLASS 2 ROADWAY

Authorized spending on the town highway class 2 roadway program is amended to read:


FY08                               As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     Personal services                                0                      0                      0

     Operating expenses                            0                      0                      0

     Grants                                   4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

     Total                                    4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

Sources of funds                                                               

     State                                    4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

     Federal                                               0                      0                      0

     Local                                                 0                      0                      0

     Total                                    4,748,750        5,748,750        1,000,000

Sec. 16.  TOWN HIGHWAY EMERGENCY FUND

Funding of the town highway emergency fund is amended to read:

     FY08                               As Proposed    As Amended             Change

     Personal services                                0                      0                      0

     Operating expenses                            0                      0                      0

     Grants                                   1,185,893           750,000          ‑435,893

     Total                                    1,185,893           750,000          ‑435,893

     Sources of funds

     State                                    1,185,893           750,000          ‑435,893

     Federal                                               0                      0                      0

     Local                                                  0                      0                      0

     Total                                    1,185,893           750,000          ‑435,893

* * * VT 2A/VT 289 – VT 127 Corridor * * *

Sec. 17.  TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS ALONG CORRIDOR
   BETWEEN EXISTING VT 2A/VT 289 INTERCHANGE IN
   TOWN OF ESSEX AND VT 127 (HEINEBERG DRIVE) IN
   TOWN OF COLCHESTER

(a)  For purposes of this section, “corridor” means the corridor between the existing VT 2A/VT 289 interchange in the town of Essex and VT 127 (Heineberg Drive) in the town of Colchester.

(b)  The agency, in cooperation with the Chittenden County metropolitan planning organization (CCMPO), shall provide a projected timeline for transportation improvements along the corridor.  The timeline shall address the following:

(1)  Major steps, including environmental reviews;

(2)  The agency’s best current estimate of the time, workforce, and financial resources needed and likely to be available for transportation improvements along the corridor;

(3)  The CCMPO’s best current estimate of its future year‑by‑year prioritization of transportation improvements along the corridor within the CCMPO’s transportation improvement plan (TIP);

(4)  The agency’s best current estimate of its future year‑by‑year prioritization of transportation improvements along the corridor pursuant to the requirements of 19 V.S.A. § 10g(l)‑(m) (priority ratings); and

(5)  The projected fiscal year for starting and ending each of the project process steps for transportation improvements along the corridor, with appropriate caveats.

(c)  The agency shall present the projected timeline to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2008.

* * * Class 2 Town Highway Program; Matching Requirements * * *

Sec. 18.  19 V.S.A. § 306(e) is 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.  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.  Funds received as grants for state aid for town highway structures may be used by a municipality to satisfy a portion of the matching requirements for federal earmarks, subject to subsection 309b(c) of this title.

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

(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.  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.  Funds received as grants for state aid under the class 2 town highway roadway program may be used by a municipality to satisfy a portion of the matching requirements for federal earmarks, subject to subsection 309b(c) of this title.

Sec. 20.  19 V.S.A. § 309b(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Notwithstanding § 309a subsections (a), (b), and (c) of section 309a of this title, a municipality may use a grant awarded under the town highway structures program or the class 2 town highway roadway program to provide the nonfederal matching funds required to draw down a federal earmark.  In all such cases, the grant shall be matched by local funds as provided in this section.  The intended use of a town highway grant as matching funds for a federal earmark shall not entitle a municipal grant applicant to any priority for a grant award in any fiscal year.  When grants awarded under the town highway structures program or the class 2 town highway roadway program are used to satisfy nonfederal matching requirements for federal earmarks, the term “project costs” in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall refer only to the nonfederal match for the federal earmark. 

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

(d)  In any case of highway or bridge construction in which a municipality bears a share of the project costs, the fair market value of any land, material, or services donated by the municipality and used in the project shall be credited to the municipality’s share of the project costs subject to the provisions of 23 U.S.C. § 323 with respect to a federal aid project.

* * * Central Garage * * *

Sec. 22.  AGENCY VEHICLE FLEET

Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 13(b), the agency is authorized to add one pickup truck with a plow and hopper spreader and one loader to the fleet.

Sec. 23.  19 V.S.A. § 13(c) is amended to read:

(c)  There shall be established and maintained within the central garage fund, a separate transportation equipment replacement account for the purposes stated in subsection (b) of this section.  In fiscal year 2006 2008, $1,400,000.00 and in fiscal year 2007 $1,120,000.00, and thereafter, an amount equal to two‑thirds of one percent of the prior year transportation fund appropriation, but not less than $1,400,000.00 $1,120,000.00, shall be transferred prior to August 1 from the transportation fund to the central garage fund and allocated to the transportation equipment replacement account, and beginning in fiscal year 2001, and thereafter, an amount not less than the sum of equipment depreciation expense and net equipment sales from the prior fiscal year, shall be allocated prior to August 1 from within the central garage fund to the transportation equipment replacement account.  All expenditures from this account shall be appropriated by the general assembly and used exclusively for the purchase of equipment as authorized in subsection (b) of this section.

* * * Cancellation of Projects * * *

Sec. 24.  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)  Bike and pedestrian facilities:

(A)  Swanton STP BIKE(29)S (bike/ped path) (town has requested termination); and

(B)  Williston STP WALK(22) (bike/ped path) (town has requested termination);

(2)  Roadway:

(A)  Fairlee SB VT 00(002) (interpretive center) (town has requested termination); and

(B)  Windsor SB VT 00(003) (waypoint interpretive center) (town has requested termination).


* * * Interpretive Signing for Official Byways * * *

Sec. 25.  10 V.S.A. § 489 is amended to read:

§ 489.  ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS DIRECTIONAL
SIGNS

(a)  Lawful businesses and points of interest and cultural, educational, and religious facilities are eligible for official business directional signs, subject to the provisions of this chapter and to rules and regulations promulgated by the travel information council, and subject further to any federal law, rule, or regulation affecting the allocation of federal highway funds or other funds to or for the benefit of this state or any agency or subdivision thereof of the state.

(b)  Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, brown‑and‑white official business directional signs as requested by the local byways organization may be allowed for the purpose of directing travelers to interpretive information sites along officially designated state and federal byways only.  An official business directional sign authorized under this subsection shall be located on the same state designated byway as the interpretive information site to which the sign directs attention.

* * * Service of Necessity Petitions * * *

Sec. 26.  19 V.S.A. § 506(a)(1) is amended to read:

(a)  The agency shall prepare a notice of the necessity hearing.  The notice shall include the names of the municipalities in which the lands to be taken or affected are located; the names of all interested persons within the meaning of subdivision 501(2) of this chapter; and a brief statement identifying the proposed project and its location, and the date, time and place of the necessity hearing.  The agency shall make service of copies of the petition, the notice of hearing and the survey (for the purposes of this section, “survey” means a plan, profile, or cross‑section of the proposed project) as follows:

(1)  Upon interested persons in accordance with the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure for service of process, except as stated in subsection (b) of this section and in section 519 of this title or, with respect to interested parties with no known residence or place of business within the state, by certified mail, return receipt requested.  The copy of the survey that is served upon interested persons need include only the particular property in which those persons have an interest.

* * * Compensation Hearings; Projects Extending into Two

or More Counties * * *

Sec. 27.  19 V.S.A. § 511 is amended to read:

§ 511.  HEARING TO DETERMINE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION

(a)  Following a determination of the necessity of the taking as above provided, when an owner of land or rights and the agency of transportation are unable to agree on the amount of compensation to be paid, and if the agency of transportation desires to proceed with the taking, the transportation board shall appoint a time and place in the county where the land is situated for examining the premises and hearing parties interested, giving at least 10 days’ notice in writing to the person owning the land or having an interest in the land.  At that time and place, a member or members of the transportation board shall hear any person having an interest in the land and desiring to be heard.

(b)  If the land proposed to be acquired extends into two or more counties, the board may hold a single hearing in one of the counties to determine compensation.  In fixing the place for hearing, the transportation board shall take into consideration the needs of the parties. 

* * * Traffic‑Control Signals * * *

Sec. 28.  23 V.S.A. § 1022(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Steady red signal.

(1)  Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.

(2)  Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, vehicular traffic facing any steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one way street into a one way street, after stopping as required by subdivision (c)(1) of this section.  Such vehicular This traffic shall yield the right‑of‑way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.  No motorist shall turn right when facing a red arrow signal indication unless a regulatory sign is present which permits this movement. 

(3)  Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian‑control signal as provided in section 1023 of this title, pedestrians facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

* * * Development Review Applications; Notice Requirements * * *

Sec. 29.  24 V.S.A. § 4464(a)(1) and (2) are amended to read:  

(a)  Notice procedures.  All development review applications before an appropriate municipal panel under procedures set forth in this chapter shall require notice as follows.

(1)  A warned public hearing shall be required for conditional use review, variances, administrative officer appeals, and final plat review for subdivisions.  Any public notice for a warned public hearing shall be given not less than 15 days prior to the date of the public hearing by all the following:

(A)  Publication of the date, place, and purpose of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality affected.

(B)  Posting of the same information in three or more public places within the municipality in conformance with location requirements of 1 V.S.A. § 312(c)(2), including posting within view from the public right‑of‑way most nearly adjacent to the property for which an application is made.

(C)  Written notification to the applicant and to owners of all properties adjoining the property subject to development, without regard to any public right‑of‑way including the owners of properties which would be contiguous to the property subject to development but for the interposition of a highway or other public right‑of‑way and, in any situation in which a variance is sought regarding setbacks from a state highway, also including written notification to the secretary of transportation.  The notification shall include a description of the proposed project and shall be accompanied by information that clearly informs the recipient where additional information may be obtained, and that participation in the local proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.

(2)  Public notice for hearings on all other types of development review, including site plan review, shall be given not less than seven days prior to the date of the public hearing, and shall include at a minimum all the following:

(A)  Posting of the date, place, and purpose of the hearing in three or more public places within the municipality in conformance with the time and location requirements of 1 V.S.A. § 312(c)(2).

(B)  Written notification to the applicant and to the owners of all properties adjoining the property subject to development, without regard to right‑of‑way including the owners of properties which would be contiguous to the property subject to development but for the interposition of a highway or other public right‑of‑way and, in any situation in which a variance is sought regarding setbacks from a state highway, also including written notification to the secretary of transportation.  The notification shall include a description of the proposed project and shall be accompanied by information that clearly informs the recipient where additional information may be obtained, and that participation in the local proceeding is a prerequisite to the right to take any subsequent appeal.

* * * Approval of Real Estate Transaction in Charlotte * * *

Sec. 30.  APPROVAL FOR CONVEYANCE OF REAL ESTATE IN

          TOWN OF CHARLOTTE

Subject to the approval of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the secretary of transportation, as agent for the state of Vermont, is authorized to convey to the Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc. (VELCO) or an affiliated company, for use as a site for an electrical power substation in connection with the Northwest Reliability Project, for fair market value, part of the land acquired by the state of Vermont in 2000 for a commuter rail station and parking lot, which were part of the Charlotte–Burlington commuter train project.  The conveyance may include an easement over the state’s remaining property for vehicular access to Ferry Road (VT F‑5; TH 3).


* * * Agency Cooperation with Regional Planning Commissions * * *

Sec. 31.  19 V.S.A. § 10l is added to read:

§ 10l.  AGENCY COOPERATION WITH REGIONAL PLANNING
  COMMISSIONS

(a)  Legislative intent.  The general assembly finds that regional planning commissions possess a unique expertise that enables the agency to conduct rural transportation planning and local consultation activities that build upon the integration of land use, environmental, and economic development inputs.  To ensure the agency continues to meet its local consultation requirements found in 23 C.F.R. part 250.212, the general assembly requires the following duties of regional planning commissions as part of an annual contract and work preparing the transportation planning initiative (TPI).

(b)  Duties of regional planning commissions.  Regional planning commissions, serving areas of the state not qualifying as a Metropolitan Planning Area under federal regulations, shall implement the transportation planning initiative (TPI) program.  This program provides the mechanism by which the agency coordinates policy development and planning to ensure the involvement by Vermont citizens and rural local officials.  It shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)  Ensuring that local officials and citizens are involved in the

statewide transportation planning process. 

(2)  Providing technical assistance to facilitate local officials and staff in making transportation policy and investment decisions.

(3)  Coordinating town planning and development regulations to meet better state transportation policies and investment priorities.

(4)  Participating in state and national transportation policy and planning development processes to ensure regional and local input.

(5)  Implementing a project evaluation process to prioritize all transportation projects within the regions utilizing state or federal funds to be included in the state transportation program.

(6)  Developing and maintaining a regional, multi‑modal transportation plan that clearly details regional and local project, planning, and policy priorities. 

(7)  Maintaining a regional transportation advisory committee (TAC) that reviews and provides input on all major state and federal transportation planning and policy decisions.  In order to facilitate this input, the regional planning commissions, in collaboration with the agency of transportation, shall provide warning and notice of all public meetings regarding transportation plans, projects, and proposals.


* * * Registration for Specialized Fuel Driven Motor Vehicles * * *

Sec. 32.  23 V.S.A. § 4(22) is amended to read:

(22)  “Nongasoline driven motor vehicle” “Specialized fuel driven motor vehicle”  shall include all motor vehicles, the power for which is generated otherwise than by gasoline, except diesel driven vehicles using or by diesel “fuel” as defined in section 3002 of this title, excluding steam road rollers, tractors used entirely for work on the farm and vehicles running only upon rails or tracks.

Sec. 33.  23 V.S.A. § 362 is amended to read:

§ 362.  NONGASOLINE AND NONDIESEL SPECIALIZED FUEL MOTOR

            VEHICLES AND MOTOR BUSES

The annual fee for the registration of any “nongasoline specialized fuel driven motor vehicle” as defined in section 4 of this title but not including and of motor buses, as defined in section 3002 of this title and registered in this state, shall be one and three quarters three‑quarters times the amount of the annual fee provided for a motor vehicle of the classification and weight under the terms of this chapter.

* * * Transportation State Policy * * *

Sec. 34.  19 V.S.A. § 10b(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Transportation projects shall be designed to In developing the state’s annual transportation program, the agency shall, consistent with the planning goals listed in 24 V.S.A. § 4302 as amended by No. 200 of the Acts of the 1987 Adj. Sess. (1988) and with appropriate consideration to local, regional, and state agency plans:

(1)  Develop or incorporate designs that provide safe and efficient transportation and to promote economic opportunities for Vermonters and the best use of the state’s natural environmental and historic resources, consistent with the planning goals listed in 24 V.S.A. § 4302 as amended by Act No. 200 of the Acts of the 1987 Adj. Sess. (1988) and with appropriate consideration to local, regional and state agency plans.

(2)  Manage available funding to:

(A)  give priority to preserving the functionality of the existing transportation infrastructure; and

(B)  adhere to credible project delivery schedules.

* * * Repeal * * *

Sec. 35.  REPEAL; STATEMENT OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT

(a)  19 V.S.A. § 10 g(g) (planning meetings) is repealed.

(b)  This repeal does not absolve the agency of transportation from its existing public involvement responsibilities under 23 C.F.R. § 450.212(f), as certified to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.  This annual certification outlines the agency’s public involvement responsibilities in three areas:  the transportation planning initiative (TPI); development and adoption of the long‑range transportation plan; and development and adoption of the state transportation improvement plan (STIP). 

(c)  23 V.S.A. chapter 8 (bus taxation proration agreement) is repealed.

* * * Access to State Highway Rights‑of‑Way; Appeal to
Transportation Board * * *

Sec. 36.  19 V.S.A. § 5(d) is amended to read:

(d)  The board shall:

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

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

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

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

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

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

(7)  provide appellate review, when requested in writing, of agency decisions and rulings regarding private and commercial access to state highway rights‑of‑way pursuant to the permit process established in section 1111 of this title;

(7)(8)  in coordination with the agency, hold public hearings for the purpose of obtaining public comment on the development of state transportation policy, the mission of the agency, and state transportation planning, capital programming, and program implementation;

(8)(9)  hear and determine disputes involving the decision of a selectboard under subdivision 302(a)(3)(B) or subsection 310(a) of this title not to plow and make negotiable a class 2 or 3 town highway or section of a highway during the winter or involving discontinuances of class 3 or 4 town highways extending into adjacent towns under the provisions of subsection 771(c) of this title; and

(9)(10)  when requested by the secretary, conduct public hearings on matters of public interest, after which it shall transmit its findings and recommendations to the secretary and the chairs of the senate and house committees on transportation in a report which shall be a public document.

* * * Smugglers Notch * * *

Sec. 37.  23 V.S.A. § 1006b is added to read: 

§ 1006b.  SMUGGLERS NOTCH; WINTER CLOSURE OF VERMONT
    ROUTE 108

The agency of transportation may close the Smugglers Notch segment of Vermont Route 108 during periods of winter weather.  To enforce the winter closure, the agency shall erect a lockable gate at both closure points, extending the width of the highway, posted with signs advising that the highway is closed and that traveling on the highway when it is closed is a violation of the motor vehicle laws of the state.  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if the highway is officially closed but the gates at both closure points are not in a locked position across the highway, no ticket or any other form of summons and notice of a motor vehicle violation shall be issued to motorists driving on the closed portion of the highway.

* * * Designated Downtowns – Prioritization * * *

Sec. 38.  19 V.S.A. § 10g(l)(3) is added to read:

(l)  The agency shall develop a numerical grading system to assign a priority rating to all program development paving, program development roadway, program development safety and traffic operations, program development state and interstate bridge, town highway bridge, and bridge maintenance projects.  The rating system shall consist of two separate, additive components as follows:

* * *

(3)  The priority rating system for program development roadway projects shall award as bonus points an amount equal to 10 percent of the total base possible rating points to projects within a designated downtown development district established pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2793.

* * * Bicycle – Pedestrian Activities * * *

Sec. 39.  BICYCLE–PEDESTRIAN ACCOMMODATION ACTIVITIES;

               REPORT

By January 15, 2008, the agency shall provide a report to the senate and house committees on transportation summarizing all calendar year 2007 construction season expenditures in support of bicycle and pedestrian facilities and accommodations, including, but not limited to, enhancement projects, the bike/ped program, and features for the accommodation of cyclists and pedestrians that are included as part of paving or other projects.

Sec. 40.  BICYCLE–PEDESTRIAN PROJECTS

The agency shall analyze the alternatives for the planning and funding of larger scale bicycle and pedestrian facilities and report its findings and recommendations to the house and senate committees on transportation by January 15, 2008.


* * * Municipal Indebtedness; Certain Bridge and Roadway Projects * * *

Sec. 41.  24 V.S.A. § 1759(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Any bond issued under this subchapter shall draw interest at a rate not to exceed the rate approved by the voters of the municipal corporation in accordance with section 1758 of this title, or if no rate is specified in the vote under that section, at a rate approved by the legislative branch of the municipal corporation, such interest to be payable semiannually.  Such bonds or bond shall be payable serially, the first payment to be deferred not later than from one to five years after the issuance of the bonds and subsequent payments to be continued annually in equal or diminishing amounts so that the entire debt will be paid in not more than 20 years from the date of issue.  In the case of bonds issued for the purchase or development of a municipal forest, the first payment may be deferred not more than 30 years from the date of issuance thereof. Thereafter such bonds or bond shall be payable annually in equal or diminishing amounts so that the entire debt will be paid in not more than 60 years from the date of issue.  In the case of bonds issued for improvements on public highways that have a useful life of at least 30 years and that involve bridge construction or roadway reconstruction, including a bridge component, the entire debt will be paid in not more than 30 years from the date of issue.


* * * Barre Town; Access to Commercial Property * * *

Sec. 42.  AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION APPROVAL; ACCESS TO COMMERCIAL PROPERTY NEAR VT 14/63 INTERSECTION

Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. chapter 17 (limited access facilities), the agency is directed to approve the existing one‑way entry to the commercial property located southwesterly of the Vermont Route 14/63 intersection in Barre Town at mile marker 0140, subject to the property owner compensating the state for the current fair market value of the access rights previously acquired by the state.  

* * * Railroad Farm Crossing; Study Committee * * *

Sec. 43.  RAILROAD FARM CROSSING STUDY COMMITTEE

(a)  Contemporary changes in railroad operations, agricultural practices, land use and development patterns, environmental regulation, and recreational activities across the state require legislative review of state and federal regulations related to railroad grade crossings for agricultural, private, and public purposes.  A study committee is established to examine allowed usages of farm crossings, and shall consist of:  one representative each from the agency of transportation, agency of agriculture, food and markets, and agency of natural resources, appointed by the respective secretaries; one member from the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, appointed by the governor; one member from the senate committee on transportation appointed by the committee on committees; one member from the house committee on transportation appointed by the speaker; one public member appointed by the governor; and a member of the transportation board appointed by the chair of the board.

(b)  The committee is directed to:

(1)  Clarify the definition of “agricultural use,” including a review of potential benefits and adverse impacts that statutory modifications will have in regard to safety, liability, and agricultural land conservation.

(2)  Solicit testimony from agricultural, environmental, and law enforcement organizations, railroads operating in the state, Vermont Operation Lifesaver, Inc., the Federal Railroad Administration, the emergency management division of the department of public safety, and the Vermont league of cities and towns.

(c)  Legislative members shall be compensated in accordance with section 1052 of Title 32.

(d)  The committee is authorized to meet up to four times, and the agency of transportation shall provide administrative and staff support for the committee.

(e)  The committee shall deliver its report to the senate and house committees on transportation, on agriculture, and on natural resources and energy by December 1, 2007.


* * * Authority to Purchase Amtrak Equipment * * *

Sec. 44.  LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL FOR PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT
 FOR AMTRAK VERMONT SERVICE

(a)  Pursuant to Sec. 20 of No. 175 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006), the general assembly approves the state of Vermont’s purchase, through the agency of transportation, of five Colorado Rail Car units, consisting of three motorized units and two passenger cars.

(b)  This approval is subject to the following conditions:

(1)  Financing for the demonstration project must be available under the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

(2)  The Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) equipment selected by Amtrak through a competitive procurement process in 2003 must be utilized.

(3)  The purchase contract with the DMU vendor shall include an option to purchase future equipment, with pricing protections.

(4)  The DMU equipment must meet or exceed current Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) structural safety requirements. 

(5)  The DMU equipment must comply with accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

(6)  The vendor of the DMU equipment must agree, should the state of Vermont determine that the demonstration project is unsuccessful, to act as the state’s agent to sell the DMU equipment at a minimum of 90 percent of the purchase price and, should the DMU equipment not sell within one year, to purchase the DMU equipment back at 90 percent of the purchase price.

(7)  The contract for construction and purchase of the DMU equipment must be approved by the state treasurer and the attorney general as including sufficient guarantees to assure successful manufacture and delivery of the DMU equipment, as well as performance of the vendor’s undertakings to sell or buy back the DMU equipment, should the state determine that the demonstration project is unsuccessful.

(8)  Any agreements between the state of Vermont and Amtrak or the FRA must be flexible enough to permit redeployment of the DMU equipment in the event of the reconfiguration of Amtrak service to Vermont.  

Sec. 45.  PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION; COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING

(a)  The agency shall add staff capacity (either an additional position or a consultant, as determined by the secretary) to develop options for an efficient, well‑coordinated public transportation system with emphasis on connectivity adjustments that might be necessary as a result of implementing any options listed under subsection (b) of this section.  The agency shall examine the feasibility of making public transportation in Vermont seamless, efficient, and user‑friendly, with usable connections among in‑state and out‑of‑state points.  In this process, the agency shall develop a single overall method of marketing Amtrak, in coordination with all other public transit services.  In conducting research and developing recommendations, the agency shall consult with the University of Vermont, the state’s Congressional delegation, the department of tourism and marketing, and a representative of the tourism industry.

(b)  The agency shall examine the costs and benefits of various elements of the public transportation system, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1)  Economic viability of continued Amtrak service.

(2)  Converting Amtrak’s “Vermonter” or “Ethan Allen” service from conventional locomotive‑hauled trains to diesel multiple units (DMUs).  Examining the viability of the Vermonter and the Ethan Allen with the view of using state dollars as judiciously as possible.

(3)  Coordination of all modes of transportation, including intercity bus and other bus systems, park and rides, Amtrak passenger train services, and air travel.

(c)  The agency of transportation is directed to enter into discussions with the other northeastern states, principally Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, regarding cost‑sharing for Amtrak service, scheduling, and route selections.  The agency shall also study whether service should stop at low volume points in these states.

(d)  On or before January 15, 2008, the agency shall submit a report on public transportation connectivity, with appropriate recommendations, to the house and senate committees on transportation.

* * * Twin State Rail Line * * *

Sec. 46.  LUNENBURG (GILMAN)—ST. JOHNSBURY RAILROAD LINE

(a)  The general assembly finds that it is in the public interest for the state of Vermont to support preservation of the railroad line between Lunenburg (Gilman) and St. Johnsbury pending evaluation for possible reactivation.

(b)  The secretary of transportation is authorized to expend up to $50,000.00 of the fiscal year 2007 funds appropriated to the agency of transportation for options to preserve the railroad line between Lunenburg (Gilman) and St. Johnsbury.

(c)  The secretary of transportation is directed to evaluate alternatives for preservation and reactivation of the railroad line between Lunenburg (Gilman) and St. Johnsbury, including direct purchase of the line’s physical assets by the state of Vermont and state assistance for the purchase of the line’s physical assets by the Washington County railroad company and affiliated companies in the Vermont rail system (VRS).  The secretary shall report his or her findings to the joint transportation oversight committee, and the report shall include an assessment of the condition of the line’s physical assets.

(d)  The secretary of transportation shall also consult with the New Hampshire commissioner of transportation to coordinate Vermont’s efforts to reactivate the Lunenburg (Gilman)—St. Johnsbury segment with New Hampshire’s efforts to reactivate the Whitefield—Lunenburg (Gilman) segment.

(e)  If the secretary of transportation finds that it is appropriate to do so, the secretary, as agent for the state of Vermont, is authorized to negotiate the terms and conditions of agreements with the Washington County railroad company and affiliated companies in the VRS for reactivation of the railroad line between Lunenburg (Gilman) and St. Johnsbury, provided that before entering the agreement, the secretary shall submit the terms of the agreement to the house and senate committees on transportation for review.  Any agreement entered under this subsection shall be subject to the following conditions:

(1)  VRS will acquire the line, including both the real estate making up the right‑of‑way and necessary operating rights, from the Maine central railroad company and other interested parties.  VRS will be solely responsible for funding the acquisition of necessary operating rights.

(2)  VRS will fund the acquisition and expenses necessary to restore the line to operating condition with financing, as approved by the agency of transportation, which will be repaid over a term not to exceed 10 years.

(3)  Up to a maximum amount of $300,000.00 in any single state fiscal year, for a maximum of 10 years, VRS may take credits against rents otherwise due the state of Vermont under current railroad leases and operating agreements for amounts paid by VRS for debt service payments for acquisition of the line’s physical assets, as well as up to $500,000.00 for the line’s restoration to operating condition.

(4)  During the 10‑year period, VRS will be responsible for all maintenance, including bridges and culverts, needed to keep the line in operating condition.

(5)  At the end of the 10‑year period, VRS will convey the Gilman—St. Johnsbury line to the state of Vermont, free and clear of all encumbrances not approved under subdivision (6) of this subsection, unless the agency of transportation elects in lieu of conveyance to accept cash reimbursement for the rent credits, provided that the agency of transportation shall first seek the approval of the conveyance by the general assembly or the joint fiscal committee if the general assembly is not in session.  If the line is conveyed to the state of Vermont, it may be added to the June 4, 2003 operating agreement between the state of Vermont and Washington County railroad company for operation of the state‑owned railroad line between Hartford (White River Junction) and Newport, subject to such amendments to the operating agreement as the secretary of transportation deems appropriate; may be subject to a new agreement between the state of Vermont and Washington County railroad company as negotiated by the agency of transportation; or may be offered by the agency of transportation to all parties under a competitive bidding process.  To meet the requirements of federal law, VRS may retain a freight railroad operations easement under terms and conditions substantially similar to those applicable to the White River Junction—Newport line.  Prior to executing a lease under this subsection, the agency of transportation shall submit the terms of the lease to the house and senate committees on transportation for review.

(6)  During the 10‑year period, VRS may not convey or encumber any of the real estate along the Gilman—St. Johnsbury line without the prior written approval of the agency of transportation and the approval of the general assembly or the joint fiscal committee if the general assembly is not in session.

(7)  To secure the full performance of its obligations under this section, VRS shall enter into a mortgage with the state of Vermont, which shall be recorded in the land records of the municipalities of Lunenburg, Concord, Kirby, and St. Johnsbury.  This mortgage may be subordinate only to a first mortgage granted by VRS to secure financing for the purchase and initial restoration of the line.


* * * Effective Dates * * *

Sec. 47.  EFFECTIVE DATES

This Section and Secs. 44 and 46 of this act shall take effect from passage, and the remainder of the act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.

Approved:  June 7, 2007



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us