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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.889

Introduced by Committee on Transportation

Date:

Subject:  Transportation; transportation program

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to approve, with modifications, the state’s transportation program for fiscal year 2009 and to make miscellaneous changes in statutes relating to transportation.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE STATE’S TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM

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 2009 transportation program appended to the agency of transportation’s proposed fiscal year 2009 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.

* * * State Bridges * * *

Sec. 2.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – STATE BRIDGES

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

(1)  Funding of the state bridge development and evaluation program is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                       1,049,648                                0           -1,049,648

ROW                     256,419                                0              -256,419

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    1,306,067                                0           -1,306,067

Sources of funds

State                       263,993                                0              -263,993

Federal                1,042,074                                0           -1,042,074

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    1,306,067                                0           -1,306,067

(2)  Funding is added as follows to advance state bridge projects not scheduled for construction in fiscal year 2009.  The authorized funds shall be expended on projects according to their priority ranking.  To the extent the agency determines that the funds would be more efficiently spent advancing a lower ranking project due to permitting, right-of-way, or other practical constraints that impede the advancement of a higher ranking project, the agency shall substantiate and report its determination to the joint transportation oversight committee at its July 2008 meeting.

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE, ROW or other             0                  1,306,067             1,306,067

Total                                  0                  1,306,067             1,306,067

Sources of funds

State                                  0                     263,993                263,993

Federal                              0                  1,042,074             1,042,074

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                                  0                  1,306,067             1,306,067

* * * Park & Ride * * *

Sec. 3.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – PARK & RIDE     

The following modifications are made to the program development – park & ride program:

(1)  Authorized spending for the Enosburg CMG-Park(20) project is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                            20,112                       20,112                           0

ROW                       75,000                                0                -75,000

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                         95,112                       20,112                -75,000

Sources of funds                                                                             

State                                  0                                0                           0

Federal                     95,112                       20,112                -75,000

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                         95,112                       20,112                -75,000

(2)  Authorized spending for the Putney CMG-Park(26) project is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                              6,599                         6,599                           0

ROW                     200,000                     100,000              -100,000

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       206,599                     106,599              -100,000

Sources of funds                                                                             

State                                  0                                0                           0

Federal                   206,599                     106,599              -100,000

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       206,599                     106,599              -100,000

(3)  Authorized spending for the St. Johnsbury CMG-Park(30) project is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                            30,000                       10,000                -20,000

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                         30,000                       10,000                -20,000

Sources of funds                                                                                    

State                                  0                                0                           0

Federal                     30,000                       10,000                -20,000

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                         30,000                       10,000                -20,000

(4)  Authorized spending for park & ride development and evaluation is amended to read as follows.  The agency shall allocate the available funds among the projects in development and evaluation at its discretion:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                          228,582                     113,582              -115,000

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       228,582                     113,582              -115,000

Sources of funds                                                                                    

State                                  0                                0                           0

Federal                   228,582                     113,582              -115,000

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       228,582                     113,582              -115,000

(5)  Authorized spending for the municipal park & ride grant program ST MRPR( ) is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                                0                           0

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction           250,000                     220,000                -30,000

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       250,000                     220,000                -30,000

Sources of funds                                                                                    

State                       250,000                     220,000                -30,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       250,000                     220,000                -30,000

* * *  Roadway * * *

Sec. 4.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – ROADWAY

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

(1)  Funding of the Cabot-Danville FEGC F 028-3(26)C/1 project is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                                0                           0

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction        3,700,000                  1,700,000           -2,000,000

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    3,700,000                  1,700,000           -2,000,000

Sources of funds

State                       185,000                       85,000              -100,000

Federal                3,515,000                  1,615,000           -1,900,000

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    3,700,000                  1,700,000           -2,000,000


(2)  Funding of the statewide ledge/slope project is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                          200,000                     147,337                -52,663

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction        1,800,000                  1,326,032              -473,968

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    2,000,000                  1,473,369              -526,631

Sources of funds

State                       400,000                     294,674              -105,326

Federal                1,600,000                  1,178,695              -421,305

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    2,000,000                  1,473,369              -526,631

* * * Traffic and Safety Operations * * *

Sec. 5.  PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT – TRAFFIC AND SAFETY OPERATIONS

The following modifications are made to the program development – traffic and safety operations program:

(1)  The agency is authorized to add to the transportation program a signalization project at the east entrance to Fort Ethan Allen on Vermont Route 15 for the primary purpose of providing more direct public transportation service along the Chittenden County Transportation Authority’s (CCTA) Essex Junction route subject to the agency’s approval of CCTA’s innovative financing proposal for construction of the project and concurrent approval and inclusion by the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) of the project in the CCMPO’s transportation improvement program (TIP).  Subject to the project being added to the transportation program, spending on the project is authorized as follows:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                       50,000                  50,000

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                                  0                       50,000                  50,000

Sources of funds

State                                  0                                0                           0

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                       50,000                  50,000

Total                                  0                       50,000                  50,000

* * * Transportation Buildings * * *

Sec. 6.  TRANSPORTATION BUILDINGS

The following modifications are made to the transportation buildings program:

(1)  Authorized spending of development and evaluation funds on the Essex garage and office project is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                              3,000                                0                  -3,000

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                           3,000                                0                  -3,000

Sources of funds                                                                             

State                           3,000                                0                  -3,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                           3,000                                0                  -3,000

(2)  The agency shall report by January 15, 2009 to the house and senate committees on transportation on the agency’s plans for the location of maintenance facilities in Chittenden and Addison counties and in the interim shall not advance its current plan for the relocation of the facilities.

* * * Maintenance * * *

Sec. 7.  MAINTENANCE

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

FY09                               As Proposed       As Amended             Change

Personal Services           32,012,562         32,012,562                      0

Operating Expenses       32,156,492         31,695,492          -461,000

Grants                                316,020              316,020                      0

Total                              64,485,074         64,024,074          -461,000

Sources of funds                             

State                              60,733,558         60,652,558            -81,000

Federal                            3,651,516           3,271,516          -380,000

Other                                  100,000              100,000                      0

Total                              64,485,074         64,024,074          -461,000

(b)  These changes are made to eliminate funding for the acquisition and operation of additional RWIS equipment and digital message signs.

* * * Rail * * *

Sec. 8.  RAIL

The following modifications are made to the rail program:

(1)  Except as provided in this subdivision, the operation of all quiet zones shall be suspended and the equipment secured for possible future reactivation when approved by the general assembly.  If a town agrees to the satisfaction of the agency that it will pay the full cost of operating, maintaining, and, where applicable, reactivating a quiet zone, the quiet zone shall remain in operation or be reactivated.  Authorized spending for the operation and maintenance of quiet zones is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                                0                           0

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                      215,000                                0              -215,000

Total                       215,000                                0              -215,000

Sources of funds

State                       215,000                                0              -215,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       215,000                                0              -215,000

(2)  Authorized spending on the three-way partnership program is amended to read as follows.  In future budget years, funding for the program shall be limited to the costs of specific projects.

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                                0                           0

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                      750,000                       45,000              -705,000

Total                       750,000                       45,000              -705,000

Sources of funds

State                       250,000                       15,000              -235,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                      500,000                       30,000              -470,000

Total                       750,000                       45,000              -705,000

(3)  Authorized spending for the development and evaluation of the New England Central Burlington North Avenue tunnel project is amended to read as follows.  The project shall be advanced to construction as quickly as possible utilizing western corridor federal earmark funds to be matched by the New England Central Railroad, the owner of the tunnel.

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                            50,000                                0                -50,000

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                  1,200,000             1,200,000

Total                         50,000                  1,200,000             1,150,000

Sources of funds

State                         50,000                                0                -50,000

Federal                              0                     960,000                960,000

Local                                 0                     240,000                240,000

Total                         50,000                  1,200,000             1,150,000

(4)  Authorized spending for the marketing of Amtrak services is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                                0                           0

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                      100,000                                0              -100,000

Total                       100,000                                0              -100,000

Sources of funds                                                                                    

State                       100,000                                0              -100,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       100,000                                0              -100,000

(5)  Spending authority is added as follows for the purchase, installation, and operation of two Amtrak service ticket machines to be installed at high volume stations as determined by the agency:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                                0                           0

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                                 0                       89,000                  89,000

Total                                  0                       89,000                  89,000

Sources of funds

State                                  0                       89,000                  89,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                                  0                       89,000                  89,000

(6)  Authorized spending on lease and encroachment management of railroad right-of-way is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

Other                      350,000                     300,000                -50,000

Total                       350,000                     300,000                -50,000

Sources of funds

State                       350,000                     300,000                -50,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       350,000                     300,000                -50,000

(7)  Authorized spending on maintenance of railroad buildings is amende to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

Other                      175,000                     125,000                -50,000

Total                       175,000                     125,000                -50,000

Sources of funds

State                       175,000                     125,000                -50,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                       175,000                     125,000                -50,000

* * * Rest Areas * * *

Sec. 9.  REST AREAS

The following modifications are made to the rest area construction program:

(1)  Authorized spending on the Hartford IM BLDG(1) project is amended to read:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                                0                           0

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction        3,300,000                  1,650,000           -1,650,000

Other                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    3,300,000                  1,650,000           -1,650,000

Sources of funds

State                       330,000                     165,000              -165,000

Federal                2,970,000                  1,485,000           -1,485,000

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    3,300,000                  1,650,000           -1,650,000

* * * Public Transit * * *

Sec. 10.  PUBLIC TRANSIT

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

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                     0                                0                           0

ROW                                0                                0                           0

Construction                      0                                0                           0

Other                 13,152,700                13,252,700                100,000

Total                  13,152,700                13,252,700                100,000

Sources of funds

State                    5,358,924                  5,458,924                100,000

Federal                7,793,776                  7,793,776                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                  13,152,700                13,252,700                100,000

(b)  This change is made to increase by $100,000 authorized spending in programs funding public transit services for the elderly and people with disabilities including critcal medical care transportation services.

* * * Town Highway Programs * * *

Sec. 11.  TOWN BRIDGES

The following modifications are made to the town bridge program:

(1)  A project to reconstruct the Bridge Street bridge in Morrisville on VT 100 is added to the transportation program. 

(2)  A project to reconstruct the Ripley bridge on Ripley Road in Rutland City near the intersection of Ripley Road and Dorr Drive is added to the transportation program.

(3)  Spending authority is added as follows to advance town bridge projects with federal earmark funding.  The identified funding is in addition to any proposed funding for such projects in the fiscal year 2009 transportation program as approved by this act, and, on that basis, “NA” in the table below means “not applicable.”  The agency shall allocate the additional funding among the earmark projects so as to accelerate the projected construction date of as many such projects as possible.

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                 NA                                0                           0

ROW                            NA                                0                           0

Construction                  NA                                0                           0

Other                             NA                  1,254,844             1,254,844

Total                              NA                  1,254,844             1,254,844

Sources of funds

State                              NA                     135,869                135,869

Federal                          NA                  1,095,475             1,095,475

Local                             NA                       23,500                  23,500

Total                              NA                  1,254,844             1,254,844

(4)  Spending authority is added to the town bridge program as follows.  The identified funding is in addition to the proposed funding for the program in the fiscal year 2009 transportation program as approved by this act and is also in addition to the spending authority described in subsdivision (3) of this section. On that basis, “NA” in the table below means “not applicable.”  Starting with the project with the highest priority ranking in the program excluding projects with federal earmarks, the agency shall allocate to the project such portion of the additional funding, in addition to any funding proposed for the project and approved by this act, which will advance the project to the maximum extent possible consistent with the objective of putting all available funding to work in fiscal year 2009.  In the event a higher ranking project cannot be advanced due to permitting, right-of-way, or other constraints, funds shall be allocated to such project to advance it to the extent possible, and the remaining funds shall be allocated to the project with the next highest priority ranking (excluding projects with federal earmarks) until all the additional funding has been allocated.

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

PE                                 NA                                0                           0

ROW                            NA                                0                           0

Construction                  NA                                0                           0

Other                             NA                  3,289,131             3,289,131

Total                              NA                  3,289,131             3,289,131

Sources of funds

State                              NA                     328,913                328,913

Federal                          NA                  2,631,305             2,631,305

Local                             NA                     328,913                328,913

Total                              NA                  3,289,131             3,289,131

Sec. 12.  TOWN HIGHWAY STATE AID

The following modifications are made to the town highway state aid program:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

Other                 24,982,744                25,542,744                560,000

Total                  24,982,744                25,542,744                560,000

Sources of funds

State                  24,982,744                25,542,744                560,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                           24,982,744                25,542,744                560,000
Sec. 13.  TOWN HIGHWAY CLASS 2 ROADWAY

The following modifications are made to the town highway class 2 roadway program:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

Other                   5,748,750                  6,900,750             1,152,000

Total                    5,748,750                  6,900,750             1,152,000

Sources of funds

State                    5,748,750                  6,900,750             1,152,000

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    5,748,750                  6,900,750             1,152,000

Sec. 14.  TOWN HIGHWAY STRUCTURES

The following modifications are made to the town highway structures program:

FY09                   As Proposed              As Amended                 Change

Other                   3,494,500                  3,573,381                  78,881

Total                    3,494,500                  3,573,381                  78,881

Sources of funds

State                    3,494,500                  3,573,381                  78,881

Federal                              0                                0                           0

Local                                 0                                0                           0

Total                    3,494,500                  3,573,381                  78,881

* * * Annual Reports * * *

Sec. 15.  19 V.S.A. § 10c(k) is added to read:

(k)  The agency shall by January 15 of each year submit a report on the pavement conditions of the state highway system to the house and senate committees on transportation which, at a minimum, shall contain the information, updated to the latest date consistent with the publication date, which is included in the agency’s publication entitled “Pavement Management Annual Report 2006.”  The report in addition shall include information describing:

(1)  The actual historic average pavement condition of the state system weighted by vehicle miles of travel on a county-by-county basis.

(2)  The actual historic percentage of state system pavement which is rated as being in poor or very poor condition on a lane-mile basis on a

county-by-county basis.

Sec. 16.  19 V.S.A. § 10c(l) is added to read:

(l)  The agency shall by January 15 of each year submit a report on the condition of bridges, culverts, and other structures on the state system and town highways to the house and senate committees on transportation which, at a minimum, shall contain the information, updated to the latest date consistent with the publication date, which is included in the agency’s publication entitled “Vermont Agency of Transportation Program Development – Structures Section 2007 Annual Report.”

* * * Motor Vehicle Conservation Plate Report –Repeal * * *

Sec. 17.  23 V.S.A. § 304b(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The commissioner shall, upon application, issue conservation registration plates for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate and on trucks registered for less than 26,001 pounds and excluding vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan.  Plates so acquired shall be mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle.  The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of fish and wildlife shall determine the graphic design of the special plates in a manner which serves to enhance the public awareness of the state's interest in restoring and protecting its wildlife and major watershed areas.  The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of fish and wildlife may alter the graphic design of these special plates provided that plates in use at the time of a design alteration shall remain valid subject to the operator's payment of the annual registration fee. Applicants shall apply on forms prescribed by the commissioner and shall pay an initial fee of $20.00 in addition to the annual fee for registration.  In following years, in addition to the annual registration fee, the holder of a conservation plate shall pay a renewal fee of $20.00.  The commissioner shall adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 to implement the provisions of this subsection.  The commissioner of motor vehicles and the commissioner of fish and wildlife shall annually submit to the members of the house committees on transportation and fish, wildlife and water resources, and the members of the senate committees on transportation and natural resources and energy a report detailing, over a three-year period, the revenue generated, the number of new conservation plates sold and the number of renewals, and recommendations for program enhancements.

* * * Proposal of New Projects to the Transportation Program * * *

Sec. 18.  PROPOSAL OF NEW PROJECTS FOR THE STATE

               TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM BY REGIONAL PLANNING

               COMMISSIONS

(a)  The agency and the regional planning commissions (RPC) shall jointly develop and adopt and the agency shall implement a written procedure that allows an RPC to propose that a new project be substituted for an existing project or projects within the same region that are in the state transportation program.  The procedure shall:

(1)  ensure that the proposed new project for addition to the transportation program and the existing project or projects to be deleted from the program are roughly comparable in cost using updated cost estimates;

(2)  describe the project identification requirements and time line requirements that an RPC must satisfy in order to present the proposed change in the transportation program to the general assembly in a particular fiscal year; and

(3)  describe the agency-RPC communication protocols that will apply to the process.

(b)  The agency’s annual transportation program shall include a separate report entitled “RPC Proposals” which shall describe all RPC proposed changes to the state’s transportation program made in accordance with the procedure adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(c)  The agency and regional planning commissions shall report on the adopted procedure to the committees on transportation by January 15, 2009.

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

(g)  The agency’s annual transportation program shall include a separate report referencing this section describing all proposed projects in the program which would be new to the state transportation program if adopted.

* * * Bonding Analysis * *  *

Sec. 20.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; BONDING OPTIONS TO FUND LIFE

               CYCLE PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  A critical mass of the bridges and culverts in the state transportation system, in combination with town bridges eligible for funding under the town highway bridge program, are reaching the mid-life point in their life cycles where, depending upon their condition, major rehabilitation work on the structures is required if their useful lives are to be extended on a long term cost-effective basis.

(2)  Where life cycle rehabilitation work is called for, its undertaking and completion on a timely basis represents an investment that will both substantially reduce the future costs of maintaining our transportation system in a serviceable condition and preserve the transportation system as a key infrastructure component of state economic growth.

(3)  Funding life cycle rehabilitation work on a timely basis out of current transportation fund revenue would require a substantial, disproportionate increase in tax and fee rates while the fiscal and economic benefits of undertaking and completing the work when needed will be enjoyed by citizens of the state for decades into the future.

(4)  Accordingly, as a matter of fiscal and economic efficiency and taxpayer equity, the option of funding this work through borrowing merits investigation and analysis.

* * * Life Cycle Funding Study * * *

Sec. 21.  STUDY OF FUNDING OPTIONS FOR LIFE CYCLE

               PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

(a)  The state treasurer shall select and oversee, pursuant to a public competitive selection process, an investment bank to act as an adviser to the state to develop multiple financing proposals, including general obligation, revenue, and GARVEE bond options, for a program dedicated to funding life cycle rehabilitation work on bridges and culverts in the state system and on town bridges eligible for funding under the town highway bridge program that will extend the useful lives of these structures on a long-term cost-effective basis.

(b)  The state treasurer shall issue a report on the funding options available to the state for the purposes stated in subsection (a) of this section to a special committee composed of the following:  the members of the joint fiscal committee, the members of the joint transportation oversight committee, the secretary of transportation, the secretary of administration, and the commissioner of finance.  This committee shall meet on or before October 10, 2008, to review the report, and, if a majority of the committee votes to approve a bonding proposal, the governor shall include this proposal in the fiscal year 2010 budget.

* * * State-owned Railroad Property * * *

Sec. 22.  Sec. 17(e) of No. 175 of the Acts of the 2005 Adj. Sess. (2006) is amended to read:

(e)  The authority granted by this section shall expire on June 30, 2008 2009.


* * * Railroad Police Commissioning * * *

Sec. 23.  SHORT TITLE

This section and Secs. 26–32 of this act may be cited as the “Railroad Police Commissioning Act.”

Sec. 24.  PURPOSE

The purpose of Secs. 27–32 of this act is to protect the public and railroad employees from the actions of individuals not legitimately serving as railroad police officers. 

Sec. 25.  5 V.S.A. § 3755 is amended to read:

§ 3755.  COMMISSIONS RAILROAD POLICE COMMISSIONING

Upon petition of a person or corporation owning or operating a railroad, the commissioner of public safety may commission any employees of the railroad as the person or corporation designates to act as police in and upon the premises and equipment owned, managed or used by a railroad, shall issue commissions to the employees to act as police, and shall have the authority to rescind such commissions.

(a)  Definitions.  In this subchapter, “railroad carrier” has the meaning assigned by 49 U.S.C. § 20102.

(b)  Commissioning of railroad police officers.  A railroad carrier may appoint an individual as a police officer of the carrier only after the commissioner of public safety has commissioned the individual to act as police officer for the carrier.  The commissioner shall have authority to withdraw any railroad police commission from an individual whenever the commissioner deems it necessary.  If the individual is still employed by the railroad carrier at the time of the revocation, the commissioner shall notify the railroad carrier of the revocation.

(c)  Obligations of the commissioner of public safety.

(1)  An individual shall not be eligible for commissioning by the state as a police officer of a railroad carrier unless the commissioner of public safety has:

(A)  received written certification from an officer of the employing entity that the individual meets the minimum qualifications of subsection (d) of this section; and

(B)  received written confirmation from the administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration that the employing entity is a railroad carrier as defined in subsection (a) of this section.

(2)  The commissioner shall not commission the individual as a police officer of a railroad carrier if the commissioner has not received:

(A)  the written certification required by subdivision (1)(A) of this subsection; or

(B)  the written confirmation required by subdivision (1)(B) of this subsection. 

(d)  Qualifications of railroad police officers.  Any individual appointed by a railroad carrier to act as a police officer of the carrier shall first meet the minimum qualifications for law enforcement officers under 20 V.S.A. chapter 151 and, in addition, shall:

(1)  be an employee of the railroad carrier;

(2)  undergo and pass a background investigation that involves a query to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or an equivalent organization;

(3)  have his or her fingerprints submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for query; and

(4)  meet any other qualifications that the railroad carrier deems necessary to carry out the duties of a police officer for the carrier, provided such qualifications do not conflict with those standards established by state law.

Sec. 26.  REPEAL

5 V.S.A. § 3757 (qualifications for railroad police) is repealed.

Sec. 27.  5 V.S.A. § 3758 is amended to read:

§ 3758.  POWERS

Railroad police commissioned pursuant to this subchapter shall have the authority to act as police in and upon the premises and equipment owned, managed, or used by a railroad carrier, and in all cases in which the rights of the employing or another railroad carrier are involved, to exercise within this state all the powers of a law enforcement officer, including the powers of arrest and the carrying of firearms.

Sec. 28.  5 V.S.A. § 3761 is amended to read:

§ 3761.  COMPENSATION; LIABILITY OF EMPLOYER

The compensation and cost of training, including minimum basic training, of railroad police shall be paid by the person or corporation railroad carrier upon whose petition they are appointed.  The person or corporation railroad carrier shall be liable to parties aggrieved by the official misconduct of the railroad police to the same extent as they are for the torts of other agents and employees of the railroad carrier.  The state of Vermont shall not be liable for the acts or omissions of railroad police appointed under this subchapter.

Sec. 29.  5 V.S.A. § 3762 is amended to read:

§ 3762.  RECIPROCITY

In order to To more effectively carry out the purposes of this subchapter, the governor of this state, referred to as the empowering state, may enter into a reciprocal agreement with the governor of any other state, referred to as the reciprocal state, empowering railroad police, subject to any regulations prescribed under such agreement, with the right to perform any police function that can be lawfully exercised by a police officer of the reciprocal state relating to the detection and apprehension of any person committing an offense against the empowering or the reciprocal state, but only to the extent that the offense is committed on or against property owned, operated, or maintained by the employing or another railroad carrier.

Sec. 30.  5 V.S.A. § 3763 is amended to read:

§ 3763.  TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY

Upon termination of employment as a railroad police officer of any person commissioned pursuant to this subchapter, the person’s commission shall be automatically rescinded and his or her powers as a police officer shall terminate.  Within 10 days after the termination, the employing railroad carrier shall file a notice of the termination with the commissioner of public safety. The state of Vermont shall not be responsible for the supervision, discipline, or decision to terminate the employment of persons commissioned as railroad police officers under this subchapter.

* * * Central Garage * * *

Sec. 31.  AGENCY VEHICLE FLEET

Pursuant to 19 V.S.A. § 13(b), the agency of transportation is authorized to add two vehicles to the fleet as follows:

(1)  one light duty vehicle for use by the program development division structures section for bridge inspections; and

(2)  one under-bridge inspection vehicle for bridge inspection and other related uses.


Sec. 32.  TRANSFER TO THE CENTRAL GARAGE FUND

Notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 13(c), in fiscal year 2009, $1,120,000.00 shall be transferred from the transportation fund to the central garage fund and allocated to the transportation equipment replacement account within the central garage fund for the purchase of equipment as authorized in 19 V.S.A.

§ 13(b). 

* * * Limitation on Use of State Highway Facilities * * *

Sec. 33.  REPEAL

19 V.S.A. § 21(c) (agency rules for parking) is repealed.

Sec. 34.  23 V.S.A. § 1106 is added to read:

§ 1106.  LIMITATIONS ON USE OF STATE HIGHWAY FACILITIES

(a)  For purposes of this section, “state highway facility” means a state highway rest area, picnic ground, parking area, or park-and-ride facility.

(b)  No person shall enter or remain on any state highway facility for the purpose of overnight camping unless the particular facility has been designated for that purpose by the traffic committee.

(c)  On the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation or findings as to adverse effects on the quiet enjoyment and property values of people living adjacent to a state highway facility, the traffic committee may designate the size and types of vehicles allowed to park in a state highway facility or in particular areas of a state highway facility.

(d)  Notice of the prohibitions under this section shall be posted at the affected facilities by regulatory signs conforming to the manual on uniform traffic control devices.

* * * Transportation Fund; Sales Tax on Aviation Jet Fuel * * *

Sec. 35.  32 V.S.A. § 9741(7) is amended to read:

(7)  Sales of motor fuels taxed or exempted under chapter 28 of Title 23, provided, however, that aviation jet fuel shall be taxed under this chapter with the proceeds to be allocated to the transportation fund in accordance with section 11 of Title 19.

* * * Public Transit Study * * *

Sec. 36.  PUBLIC TRANSIT STUDY

(a)  Public transit study.  Consistent with the goals, findings, and recommendations of the January 15, 2008 legislative report (Sec. 45 of No. 75 of the Acts of 2007) titled “A Study Regarding the Regional Connectivity of Vermont’s Public Transit System,” the agency of transportation, in cooperation with the legislature’s joint fiscal office, shall conduct further study to develop findings and recommendations for improving the efficient and effective delivery of public transit services in Vermont. 

(b)  Goal of study.  The goal of the study is to recommend a governance and funding structure for public transportation that creates the most efficient use of taxpayer funds while simultaneously creating the most efficient system of public transportation services consistent with the statutory policy goals in 24 V.S.A. § 5083.  The study shall:

(1)  Make use of the data and information generated by the current

short-range transit planning process to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the public transit delivery system;

(2)  Compare the organizational structure and current service delivery system with those of several other states;

(3)  Analyze different possible organizational structures for Vermont that could lower administrative or operating costs and improve service delivery throughout the state.

(c)  The agency shall direct the study with the involvement of the agency of human services and of all public transit providers in the state who are direct grantees and sub-recipients of state and federal funds.

(d)  Consistent with federal United We Ride initiatives, the study shall consider all federal and state funding invested through or by state and federal agencies on public, human service, and related transportation programs and shall evaluate the potential for achieving greater efficiency through coordination of effort or consolidation of funding and effort.

(e)  The study report shall be delivered to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2009.


* * * Larrabee’s Point Ferry * * *

Sec. 37.  Sec. 1 of No. 59 of the Acts of 1991 is amended to read:

Sec. 1.  LARRABEE’S POINT FERRY

(a)  Rights granted.

The right and privilege of maintaining and operating a ferry across Lake Champlain from Larrabee’s Point in the town of Shoreham, county of Addison and state of Vermont, to the town of Ticonderoga in the state of New York, is granted to Shorewell Ferries, Inc 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, a Vermont corporation having its principal office at Shoreham in the county of Addison, its successors and assigns, for a period of 20 45 years from the first day of January, 1991.  No person other than Shorewell Ferries, Inc. 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, its successors or assigns, may operate a ferry within ten miles north or ten miles south from the ferry landing now in use on Larrabee’s Point during such 20 year 45-year period.  The right and privilege herein granted includes the right to maintain the existing landings.

(b)  Conditions.

Shorewell Ferries, Inc. 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, its successors and assigns, shall be subject to the orders of the transportation board as authorized in Title 5, parts 1 and 3 and shall pay all taxes assessed this franchise and any property of Shorewell Ferries, Inc. 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, used in connection with the ferry.  If the rights granted under this act are transferred to or acquired by the successors or assigns of Shorewell Ferries, Inc. 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, the transfer shall be recorded in the office of the secretary of state.

(c)  Forfeiture.

If Shorewell Ferries, Inc. 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, its successors or assigns, establishes and operates a ferry under authority of this act, it shall be the duty of Shorewell Ferries, Inc. 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, its successors or assigns, as the case may be, to maintain suitable and safe ferryboats, sufficient for carrying and transporting motor and other vehicles, horses, cattle, passengers, and goods, and to operate ferry service at reasonable and seasonal times as required by the transportation board, but in no event shall the transportation board require the ferry to be operated prior to May 15 or after November 15 in any calendar year.  Failure to comply with any order of the transportation board, or to pay any tax lawfully assessed against the franchise or against property of Shorewell Ferries, Inc. 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry, its successors or assigns, owned or used in connection with the franchise, shall work a forfeiture of the rights and privileges granted under this act.

(d)  Investments made.

All investments made by 1759 Ltd. d/b/a Fort Ticonderoga Ferry into the ferry service shall be reported to the agency of transportation, upon request, to obtain appropriate toll credits.

* * * Highway Maintenance Vehicles—Right-of-Way * * *

Sec. 38.  23 V.S.A. § 1050a is added to read:

§1050a.  AUTHORIZED HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE VEHICLES

(a)  For purposes of this section, “authorized vehicle” means a vehicle authorized by the agency of transportation (in the case of state highways) or the municipality (in the case of town highways) to perform maintenance on a highway.

(b)  The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any authorized vehicle obviously and actually engaged in work upon a highway when the vehicle displays flashing lights meeting the requirements of subsection 1252(b) of this title.

* * * Vermont Coordinate System * * *

Sec. 39.  1 V.S.A. § 671 is amended to read:

§ 671. VERMONT COORDINATE SYSTEMS DEFINED

The systems of plane coordinates which have been established by the National Ocean Service/National Geodetic Survey (formerly the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey) or its successors for defining and stating the horizontal positions or locations of points on the surface of the earth within the state of Vermont are hereafter to be known and designated as the “Vermont Coordinate System 1927 and the Vermont Coordinate System 1983.”  The term “Vermont Coordinate System” is synonymous with the term “Vermont State Plane Coordinate System.”

Sec. 40.  1 V.S.A. § 672 is amended to read:

§ 672. COORDINATES DEFINED

The plane coordinate values for a point on the earth’s surface, used to express the horizontal position or location of such point on the Vermont Coordinate Systems, shall consist of two distances, expressed in U.S. Survey feet and decimals of a foot when using the Vermont Coordinate System 1927 and expressed in meters and decimals of a meter, or U.S. Survey Feet and decimals of a foot when using the Vermont Coordinate System 1983.  One of these distances, to be known as the “x-coordinate,” shall give the position in an east-and-west direction; the other, to be known as the “y-coordinate,” shall give the position in a north-and-south direction.  These coordinates shall be made to depend upon and conform to plane rectangular coordinate values for the monumented points of the North American Horizontal Geodetic Control Network National Spatial Reference System established by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, its predecessor, or its successors.


* * * Railroad Vandalism Prevention * * *

Sec. 41.  5 V.S.A. § 3734a is added to read:

§ 3734a.  RAILROAD VANDALISM PREVENTION

(a)  Short title.  This act may be cited as the “Railroad Vandalism Prevention Act.”

(b)  Purpose.  The purpose of this act is to prevent acts of vandalism to railroad property which affect the health, safety, and welfare of the traveling public, the neighboring community, and railroad employees; to protect railroad property and freight in transportation by railroad; and otherwise to enhance the safety of transportation by railroad.

(c)  Definitions.  For purposes of this section:

(1)  “Bodily injury” means:

(A)  a cut, abrasion, bruise, or burn;

(B)  physical pain;

(C)  illness;

(D)  impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or

(E)  any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary.

(2)  “Railroad” means any form of non-highway ground transportation that runs on rails or electromagnetic guideways, including:

(A)  commuter or other short-haul railroad passenger service in a  metropolitan or suburban area; and

(B)  high-speed ground transportation systems that connect metropolitan areas, but does not include rapid transit operations in an urban area that are not connected to the general railroad system of transportation.

(3)  “Railroad carrier” means a person providing railroad transportation.

(4)  “Railroad property” means all property owned, leased, or operated by a railroad carrier, including a right-of-way, track, bridge, yard, shop, station, tunnel, viaduct, trestle, depot, warehouse, terminal, railroad signal system, train control system, centralized dispatching system, or any other structure, appurtenance, or equipment owned, leased, or used in the operation of any railroad carrier, including a train, locomotive, engine, rail car, work equipment, rolling stock, or safety device.  “Railroad property” does not include administrative buildings, administrative offices, or administrative office equipment.

(5)  “Right-of-way” means the track or roadbed owned, leased, or operated by a railroad carrier which is located on either side of its tracks and which is readily recognizable to a reasonable person as being railroad property or is reasonably identified as such by fencing or appropriate signs.

(6)  “Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which involves:

(A)  a substantial risk of death;

(B)  substantial disfigurement or substantial impairment of health; or

(C)  protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

(d)  Vandalism of railroad property.  Whoever, with reckless disregard for railroad property or the safety of another commits an act which may cause damage to railroad property or bodily injury to another by an act including but not limited to the following shall be guilty of the offense of railroad vandalism:

(1)  Taking, removing, defacing, altering, marking with graffiti, or otherwise vandalizing a locomotive, rail car, train, railroad sign, placard, or marker.

(2)  Throwing a rock, baseball, or other object at a locomotive, rail car, or train.

(3)  Dropping a brick or other object from a bridge or other overpass onto a railroad right-of-way.

(4)  Shooting a firearm or using any other weapon that propels an object or agent, including but not limited to a paint ball gun, slingshot, or other device, at a locomotive, rail car, or train.

(5)  Removing appurtenances from, damaging, or otherwise impairing the operation of any railroad signal system, including a train control system, centralized dispatching system, or highway-railroad grade crossing warning signal on a railroad owned, leased, or operated by any railroad carrier without consent of the railroad carrier involved.

(6)  Interfering or tampering with or obstructing in any way any switch, frog, rail, roadbed, cross tie, viaduct, bridge, trestle, culvert, embankment, structure, or appliance pertaining to or connected with any railroad carrier without consent of the railroad carrier involved.

(7)  Taking, stealing, removing, changing, adding to, altering, or in any manner interfering with any journal bearing, brass, waste, packing, triple valve, pressure cock, brake, air hose, or any other part of the operating mechanism of any locomotive, engine, tender, coach, car, caboose, or motor car used or capable of being used by any railroad carrier in this state without consent of the railroad carrier.

(8)  Does or causes to be done an act whereby an engine, on-rail motor vehicle, machine, rolling stock or structure, or any matter or thing appertaining to such a vehicle is stopped with the intent of doing damage to railroad property, diverted, obstructed, or set in motion.

(e)  Penalty. 

(1)  If railroad property damage does not exceed $500.00 and no bodily injury occurs to another as a result of any of the acts referred to in subsection (d) of this section, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  Upon conviction of such act, the person shall be subject to paying the railroad carrier involved the cost to repair any railroad property damaged and shall be fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned for not more than six months or both.  

(2)  If railroad property damage exceeds $500.00 or bodily injury occurs to another as a result of any of the acts referred to in subsection (d) of this section, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  Upon conviction of such act, the person may be subject to paying the railroad carrier involved for the cost of repair to any railroad property damaged and shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than on year or both.  

(3)  If serious bodily injury or death occurs to another as a result of any of the acts referred to in subsection (d) of this section, the person shall be guilty of a felony.  Upon conviction of such act, the person may be subject to paying the railroad carrier involved the cost of repair to any railroad property damaged and shall be fined not more than $20,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than 20 years or both.

(f)  Intent to damage railroad property or to endanger the safety of another.

Whoever willfully damages or attempts to damage railroad property or willfully endangers or attempts to endanger the safety of another by an act including but not limited to the following shall be guilty of the offense of aggravated railroad vandalism:

(1)  Taking, removing, defacing, altering, or otherwise vandalizing a railroad sign, placard, or marker.

(2)  Throwing a rock, baseball, or other object at a locomotive, rail car, or train.

(3)  Dropping a brick or other object from a bridge or other overpass onto a railroad right-of-way.

(4)  Shooting a firearm or other weapon at a locomotive, rail car, or train.

(5)  Removing appurtenances from, damaging, or otherwise impairing the operation of any railroad signal system, including a train control system, centralized dispatching system, or highway-railroad grade crossing warning signal, on a railroad owned, leased, or operated by any railroad carrier and without consent of the railroad carrier involved.

(6)  Interfering or tampering with or obstructing in any way, any switch, frog, rail, roadbed, sleeper, viaduct, bridge, trestle, culvert, embankment, structure, or appliance pertaining to or connected with any railroad carrier without consent of the railroad carrier involved.

(7)  Taking, stealing, removing, changing, adding to, altering, or in any manner interfering with any journal bearing, brass, waste, packing, triple valve, pressure cock, brake, air hose, or any other part of the operating mechanism of any locomotive, engine, tender, coach, car, caboose, or motor car used or capable of being used by any railroad carrier in this state without consent of the railroad carrier.

(g)  Penalty for aggravated railroad vandalism.  

(1)  If railroad property damage does not exceed $500.00 and no bodily injury occurs to another as a result of any of the acts referred to in subsection (f) of this section, upon conviction of such act, the person shall be subject to paying the railroad carrier involved the cost to repair any railroad property damaged and shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than two years or both.  

(2)  If railroad property damage exceeds $500.00 or bodily injury occurs to another as a result of any of the acts referred to in subsection (f) of this section, upon conviction of such act, the person may be subject to paying the railroad carrier involved the cost to repair any railroad property damaged and shall be fined not more than $20,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than five years or both. 

(3)  If serious bodily injury occurs to another as a result of any of the acts referred to in subsection (f) of this section, upon conviction of such act, the person may be subject to paying the railroad carrier involved the cost to repair any railroad property damaged and shall be fined not more than $25,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than 15 years or both.  

(4)  If death occurs to another as a result of any of the  acts referred to in subsection (f) of this section, upon conviction of such act, the person may be subject to paying the railroad carrier involved for the cost to repair any railroad property damaged and shall be fined not more than $100,000.00 or imprisoned for any term of years or for life or both.

(h)  Theft of railroad freight.  Whoever willfully and with intent to permanently deprive the owner of railroad freight takes or removes railroad freight from any freight car, including a boxcar, container, or flatbed shall be guilty of petit larceny pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 2502 if the value of the property does not exceed $900.00.  If the value of the property exceeds $900.00, the person shall be guilty of grand larceny pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 2501.

(i)  Receiving stolen railroad freight.  Whoever buys or receives any of the railroad freight described in subsection (h) of this section, having reason to know that this freight has been stolen, shall be subject to the penalties provided for in 13 V.S.A. § 2502 if the value of the property does not exceed $900.00.   If the value of the property exceeds $900.00, the person shall be subject to the penalties provided for in 13 V.S.A. § 2501.

Sec. 42.  REPEAL

13 V.S.A. chapter 69 (railroad crimes) is repealed.

* * * Bennington Rail Banking Project * * *

Sec. 43.  BENNINGTON RAIL BANKING PROJECT

The Bennington rail banking project, which is a portion of project Bennington STP Bike (26), is authorized pursuant to the following conditions:

(1)  Subject to Surface Transportation Board and Vermont Railway, Inc. approval, the rail banking shall commence at valuation station 3103+00, which is located 1,700 feet south of the VT 7A underpass, and extend southerly to the terminus of the railroad in Bennington.

(2)  A runaround track shall be constructed as part of the bike path project north of valuation station 3103+00 when project Bennington STP Bike (26) is constructed.

(3)  The town of Bennington shall be responsible for all fees and expenses incurred as part of the STB rail banking proceedings and the removal and proper disposal of the rails and ties and shall retain the entire salvage value.  After the rails and ties have been removed, the rail bed shall be uniformly graded to a neat appearance and to allow proper drainage of the rail bed.

(4)  Where feasible and with the approval of the Vermont Railway, Inc., a portion of the railroad right-of-way between valuation station 3103+00 and VT 7A may be used for a transportation path provided it does not interfere with railroad operations.

* * * School Bus Exemption for School Employees and Volunteers * * *

Sec. 44.  23 V.S.A. § 4(34)(A)(iv) is amended to read:

(iv)  motor vehicles with a manufacturer’s rated seating capacity of fewer than 11 persons, including the operator, which are owned, leased, or hired by a school, or for which services are reimbursed by a school.  However, if used to transport students, these shall be considered a Type II school bus for purposes of licensure, shall display an identification sign as prescribed in subdivision 1283(a)(1) of this title, and shall be equipped with a simple system of at least two red alternating warning lights; unless the driver is a school employee or a volunteer subject to a criminal background check, and is transporting no more than five persons excluding the operator;

* * * Public Transportation System Integrity * * *

Sec. 45.  PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM INTEGRITY

(a)  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the agency of transportation is authorized, first, to spend up to $100,000.00 in federal funds from the Public Transit Program – Statewide Encouragement of Carpools (STP RIDE) program and, second, to spend up to $350,000.00 in funds ($315,000.00 federal funds and $35,000.00 state funds) from the Public Transit Program – Statewide Capital to make grant awards to sub-recipients and other public transportation providers for the purpose of maintaining existing public transportation services statewide. 

(b)  To help the agency of transportation determine whether increased costs are likely to trigger service reductions in the statewide system of general public transportation services, each public transportation provider, by May 31, 2008, shall provide the agency of transportation with an estimate of its projected budget deficit, if any, for fiscal year 2009, assuming continuation of the services in existence upon passage of this act.  Each projected budget deficit estimate shall be the difference in the amount between revenues budgeted by the provider agency in a board-approved budget and the expenses now necessary to incur to maintain current service levels.  Public transportation providers shall inform the agency of transportation of the per-gallon fuel price used to determine operating expenses, their capacity to use preventive maintenance funding to maintain existing levels of service, as well as any other information that the agency of transportation may deem necessary to conduct its analysis.

(c)  The agency of transportation in making grant awards under this section shall mitigate to the greatest extent practicable loss of general public transportation services.  In addition, the agency of transportation shall provide for an equitable geographic distribution of funds statewide, if possible, depending upon each provider’s ability to utilize preventive maintenance funding. 

(d)  Any funding not needed to maintain existing services shall remain in the capital program.

(e)  As early as practicable, the agency of transportation shall issue a report to the joint transportation oversight committee established under 19 V.S.A.

§ 12b(a) regarding grant awards made under this section.

* * * Transportation Funds in Support of General Government * * *

Sec. 46.  19 V.S.A. § 11a is amended to read:

§ 11a.  Transportation funds appropriated for support of

            government

The maximum amount of transportation funds that may be appropriated for the support of government, other than for the agency of transportation, the transportation board, transportation pay act funds, construction of transportation capital facilities used by the agency of transportation, and transportation debt service shall not exceed $35,007,219 $35,007,219.00 in fiscal year 2008 and in fiscal year 2009 and thereafter shall not exceed $33,852,807.00.

* * * Recycled Asphalt Pavement * * * 

Sec. 47.  19 V.S.A. § 10c(m) is added to read:

(m)  Recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) shall be used on all agency paving projects to the extent practicable and consistent with producing higher quality hot mix asphalt.  State paving projects shall not restrict the use of up to 25 percent RAP.  Contracts for all agency paving projects shall be structured so that RAP salvaged from the projects is, at the option of the agency, credited by the contractor in the bid or sold to the contractor for fair market value.  The agency shall compare the cost-benefit of retaining the RAP versus the contractor retaining the RAP.  The director of program development at the agency shall brief the house and senate committees on transportation on the results of the comparison.

* * * Project Prioritization * * *

Sec. 48.  PROJECT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS

(a)  To better reflect regional economic development, land use, and project priorities, the agency, in cooperation with the regional planning commissions, shall modify the existing project prioritization system to afford greater local input.

(b)  The agency and the regional planning commissions shall report to the committees on transportation by January 15, 2009 on changes made to the priority system in response to subsection (a) of this section.

* * * Incorporating the Bike-Ped Program into the Transportation Enhancement Grant Program * * *

Sec. 49. 19 V.S.A. § 38(i) is added to read:

(i)  The transportation enhancement grant committee shall adopt a two-year award cycle.  In the first year of each two-year cycle, grant awards shall continue to be made in accordance with the general criteria established by this section.  In the second year of each two-year cycle, grant awards shall be limited to projects which are otherwise eligible and involve the design and construction of large-scale bicycle or pedestrian facilities or both.  The transportation enhancement grant committee shall adopt criteria defining the eligibility of projects for grant awards in the second year of each two-year cycle.

* * * Smugglers Notch * * *

Sec. 50.  23 V.S.A. § 1006b is amended 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 signs conforming to the standards established by section 1025 of this title.

Sec. 51.  SUPPLEMENTARY MEASURES; RECREATIONAL AND

                EMERGENCY ACCESS

To preclude unauthorized access by motor vehicles to the Smugglers Notch segment of Vermont Route 108 when it is closed during periods of winter weather, the agency of transportation shall develop and implement a plan by December 15, 2008 to provide for installation of physical barriers and supplementary signage.  The plan shall provide for the continued accommodation of recreational and emergency access.

* * * Effective Dates * * *

Sec. 52.  EFFECTIVE DATES

Secs. 8(3), 21, and 45 of this act shall take effect from passage.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us