Title 19: Highways
Chapter 1: STATE HIGHWAY LAW
19 V.S.A. § 38. Transportation enhancement grant program
§ 38. Transportation enhancement grant program
(a) The Vermont transportation enhancement grant committee is created and shall be comprised of the secretary of transportation or his or her designee, a representative from the division of historic preservation appointed by the secretary of the agency of commerce and community development, one member to be appointed by the secretary of the agency of commerce and community development to represent the tourism and marketing industry, a representative of the agency of natural resources appointed by the secretary of the agency of natural resources, three municipal representatives appointed by the governing body of the Vermont league of cities and towns, one member representing and appointed by the governing board of the Vermont association of planning and development agencies, two members from the house designated by the speaker, and two members from the senate designated by the committee on committees. Municipal and legislative members shall serve concurrently for two-year terms and t
he initial appointments of these members shall be made in a manner which allows for them to serve a full legislative biennium. In the event a municipal or legislative member ceases to serve on the committee prior to the full term, the appointing authority shall fill the position for the remainder of the term. The committee shall, to the greatest extent practicable, encompass a broad geographic representation of Vermont.
(b) The Vermont transportation enhancement grant program is created. The grant program shall be funded as provided in subsection (c) of this section and shall be administered by the agency. The grant program shall be limited to enhancement activities as defined in 23 U.S.C. § 101(a)(35) which are sponsored by municipalities, nonprofit organizations, or political subdivisions of the state other than the agency. Eligible applicants must provide all funds required to match federal funds awarded for an enhancement project. All grant awards shall be decided and awarded by the transportation enhancement grant committee.
(c) The following federal aid highway program funds received by the state under the federal aid highway reauthoriziation act, and succeeding reauthorization acts, that succeed the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (Public Law 105-178 as amended) shall be exclusively reserved to cover the costs of enhancement projects awarded grants under the Vermont transportation enhancement grant program with respect to federal fiscal years 2004 and thereafter:
(1) at a minimum, four percent of the state's apportionment of surface transportation funds received by the state under 23 U.S.C. § 104(b)(3) over the life of the applicable federal reauthorization act; and, if greater,
(2) at a maximum, the state's apportionment of federal aid highway program funds that are exclusively reserved for transportation enhancement activities under 23 U.S.C. § 133(d)(2) received by the state over the life of the applicable federal reauthorization act.
(d) For each fiscal year starting with fiscal year 2005, the agency shall determine or estimate as required:
(1) the state's apportionment of surface transportation program funds which the state expects to receive under 23 U.S.C. § 104(b)(3) with respect to the equivalent federal fiscal year; and
(2) the state's pro rata apportionment of federal aid highway program funds which are exclusively reserved for transportation enhancement activities under 23 U.S.C. 133(d)(2). To determine the pro rata amount, the agency shall estimate the total amount of exclusively reserved funds expected to be received by the state over the life of the applicable federal reauthorization act, subtract the total amount of enhancement grants awarded under this section with respect to prior federal fiscal years of the applicable federal reauthorization act, and divide the resulting sum by the number of years remaining in the life of the applicable federal reauthorization act. The agency shall adjust the amounts determined under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection to account for any differences between estimates made, actual appropriations received, and enhancement grants awarded with respect to applicable prior federal fiscal years.
(e)(1) For each fiscal year starting with fiscal year 2005, the state's enhancement grant program for the fiscal year shall be at the discretion of the secretary:
(A) at a minimum, four percent of the adjusted amount ascertained by the agency under subdivision (d)(1) of this section; and
(B) at a maximum, the adjusted amount ascertained by the agency under subdivision (d)(2) of this section.
(2) The agency shall plan its budget accordingly and advise the general assembly in its recommended budget:
(A) if sufficient information is available to determine a sum certain, of the amount of the enhancement grant program; or
(B) if sufficient information is not available to determine a sum certain, of the range within which the agency estimates the size of the enhancement grant program will be.
(f) Enhancement grant awards shall be announced by the transportation enhancement grant committee not earlier than December and not later than the following March of the federal fiscal year of the federal funds being committed by the grant awards.
(g) Each year, up to $200,000.00 of the grant program or such lesser sum if all eligible applications amount to less than $200,000.00 shall be reserved for municipalities for eligible salt and sand shed projects. Grant awards for eligible projects shall not exceed $50,000.00 per project. Regarding the balance of grant program funds, in evaluating applications for enhancement grants, the transportation enhancement grant committee shall give preferential weighting to projects involving as a primary feature a bicycle or pedestrian facility. The degree of preferential weighting and the circumstantial factors sufficient to overcome the weighting shall be in the complete discretion of the transportation enhancement grant committee.
(h) The agency shall develop an outreach and marketing effort designed to provide information to communities with respect to the benefits of participating in the enhancement program. The outreach and marketing activities shall include apprising municipalities of the availability of grants for salt and sand sheds. The outreach effort should be directed to areas of the state historically underserved by this program. (Added 2003, No. 56, § 74, eff. June 4, 2003; amended 2003, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 29, eff. June 9, 2004; 2005, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 63.)