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Joint | March 11, 2015 | Committee Room | Transportation Appropriations

Full MP3 Audio File

Newman and-bust-up ventures that was the president that the stand today that the tough as Jim of that and that that the Internet a percentage of others and the city and the dark enough to that of the hands of the site of a percent of others and let a touch of intervention of the things that have launched a condition of his numbers that are and that other team players and a letter to the land that the wisdom that others to another pursuit of the batting average of the Indians and citizen on in the team's data on the left of each one of the sun is just an optimistic that I like the letter incident and that the that have that much of their event for Saturday that that intention of letters to the gym that are the others to transportation budget analyst and then the other side of that other than that of attention of the letter that the the the defendant and that the city delete them that it update on that one of the fact that owns the end of the land-use to live up to date of the governor's budget, and led the round of the city's was a time to coast of the tub of the civil air conditioner and as a book that he declined our copy of the little creature of .(SPEAKER CHANGES) The city that was one of your home is time to sit up, I do to give you the time that the information was a signal that the two of the letter to the level for the single digits since the August of last year with three of the seat of the data is touching to get into the city and that other, the letter to the expansion reduction of requesting a offers up to the three others and enlarged to recover, is to the touch of the height of the the the letter, and to advise them that the the the actor has demanded that the that that a lot of next biennium half and the city like the letter-writing to us and from the definition of the active list of configuration that are of them would have to buy a ticket and the like that and her upbeat have been, and the commissioner of the judge that the co- lead that led her to leave-it-after mail them to the defense, definitions.(SPEAKER CHANGES) And it will argue that you are right click and where is it enough memory to Tysons the city's Latino and added that the idea that are to be that a lot of the apple of the reductions from anybody who can sing that have become a document that the governor believes, the contingent to the brink of that a lot of the letter of the season of peace, love the time was one of the time the Lakers are others that have shut from a table in the Balkans the city of more computing too have been a good line together the butter in it that a lot is today that amount that the fugitive item that a positive word for fear that if one of your skin you're buying is to suggest that the citizens of some of which it does then turned back and have that in a different items, and the budget deficit and review and to let off with you over often letters a.............

The election to the budget is backed up in a car and I am standing tough that day, which is, if you're an up-to learn and they will start to the east and the limelight and an uphill battle is time for the top row and important as the letters that said (SPEAKER CHANGES) some of the city of audio is to the up-to-the-bottle actually, we're the city budget, that a single team out of the winner is detention center-based on the net, the president and Leticia, that's all that great deal at all and there would be AR-one problem are tools. That budget, governors are committing a continent of 20 am to the court can seat on the wisdom of the movie is your feeling numbers that other customer from the time of installation that, and lesbian, that it would beat a team that you've said that of the other than that of the night of one billion dollars from other seasons and the one that none of that year the bottom of the disease, where the Alatorre are with that-that because of the next line and a body in the wrong side of the book of digital comment on each other's opinions of availability that we have to the husbands, teams will have to rely on them, committed to extension items of years. Which is the singing of yellow highlighted,(SPEAKER CHANGES) a man-to-delivery that the that the reduction pact that Nixon, with the reality of the party needs of the upbeat assessment and we're about, and led to let out of the tournament title and an opinion and questions or you will, appeared the city's long letter and has done another letter that of the extension of the governments, that the reduction of the standard of that and have the vision that the data that the department of tax reduction of the house and that is to the date of-the-and-run Internet, as Mr. Daughters up about the usage of the real deduction to a LAN Systems attention on this and other than to the head-up charge that begins to the bottom of the other titles to be with that of the extension years that the definition travels with me here on the lead-in-the-street other, and it is Mr. Reduction tool and, reduction in the secondary and primary, traders and its readers of, of the city's second story is on the side of the Jim crow and enters the tournament west of the best-of-charge and the team to the citizen the launch of the update the time that are stored in the back patio and there's a big difference among the ring of scale of the committee wants to limit back to reprint of ram, the amount of thing that can last line of the house and the citizens of the data for the event that the that the city of letters and a lot of calls that body of the other part of the time that Internet users realignment from operations of as to the some of the of the letter to the side of the nation as did that because of the season for that type of the beat of the list of items that don't have time.........

but they do need authorization to continue. Number eight is to cover increased fuel costs for and maintain our training for the ferry division. Nine is the equipment replacement and repairs, again in the ferry division. Ten allocates funds for public transportation division for federal match dollars, and it also provides state funding for programs not receiving federal funds. Number 11 is capital repairs and renovations. We set aside money each year for these or DOT facilities for repairs and renovations, as well as capital projects. The capital ones we'll hit later. They're in our capital section, and we also have a slide that shows the repair and renovations submitted by the departments as part of their six year plan. Number 12 funds the Board of Transportation based on their actual expenses. They're a little short in the budgets based on the last few years. This gets them up to match their actuals. Number 13, we start with the reductions, and these funds are going to be reallocated to the things at the top of the list, 1 through 12. Adjustments to state aid team, municipalities per statute. I will point out that this is based on our revenue estimates, which is based on Senate bill 20. Depending on what is passed by the General Assembly, those numbers will change. Number 14, adjustments to anticipated federal receipts. Number 15 is a base budget adjustment for other state agencies. There are some highway funds that go out to other state agencies. We are adjusting the budget to match what was in their base budget. Number 16 is a statutory change. Adjust funding for the bridge program based on the revised revenue forecast. Number 17, this reallocates funding for the primary maintenance. 18 is the secondary maintenance reallocation. I planned out that a lot of those funds are going to the general maintenance fund up above. Number 19 reduces funds not required for a prior year: legislative increase, retirement rate change, and hospital rate change. Last year there was a LI as well as adjustments to the health plan and retirement. We put those in a reserve. All of those funds were not needed, so they're being reduced, put back into availability. Number 20 is one for this year. It's a reduction in the retirement rate. The actuarials from the Treasurer's office stated that they didn't need as much money for the retirement rate for this ??, so this is a reduction based on these actuarial calculations. And then number 21 reallocates funding for 50 administrative and 81 field positions to help the department meet their out-sourcing targets. I'm gonna move on and talk about the trust fund. If I go too far. Trust fund is on page 215. We have an adjustment for debt service payments to meet what is needed based on repayment schedule. Number 2 is a carve out for the health plan money needed to cover individuals who are paid out of the highway trust fund. And number 3 is all remaining money basically goes to the strategic investment for infrastructure. And then going to the turnpike authority. They had two items. It's on page 218. We have the payroll additive that you saw on the highway fund, and then adjustment for debt service obligations. All of those are receipts for it for the turnpike authority. As I mentioned before, the capital items are listed. And it starts on page 228. And there are ?? pages worth of capital items. If you have specific questions on any of the capital items, I might have to get help from the department. These are handled by our capital section.

Again following the capital you have a listing of the repairs and renovations listed by the department estimated as part of their 6 year plan and then finally it’s title page 15 XV. This is from our document, it was in the introduction, but the governor’s going to propose a bond issue for transportation and for facility infrastructure for state government. That’s gonna be a packet that they’re working on and they’re going to work with the General Assembly on that proposal. I think Bobby Lewis is gonna come up and talk about the projects that DOT could potentially fund from those bond sales if they go through but that is a recommendation of the governor and more details will be forthcoming. So I’m open for questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any questions for Mr. Chief from the committee. Representative Iler. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chief, a couple of interesting things about the budget. This was best information that you have, but it was all based on [??] for the whole two years, I understand. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] But on the motor fuel tax based on Senate Bill 20, the first iteration of that. Okay, but I congratulate you for using the cautious approach, the cautious approach to the budget. Another thing, the capital for the items seem to be mostly in the field. That doesn’t overlap for the capital on the requests that are gonna come from the billions in Raleigh [??]. [??] Road was on there but it all of it seemed to be in the field. [SPEAKER CHANGES] They’re still gathering that. There won’t be general fund support I think for any of the DOT projects. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, so this is the question. So the capital budget according to DOT is funded through DOTs budget, so this is all the capital items for DOT. There’s no general fund connection and you can see the first one is the most major and that is to replace the DMV building. [SPEAKER CHANGES] [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, all right, and so follow up? So any motivation of repair to the building on Wilmington Street would be under the general, I guess under the general fund. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Baum. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Of course we have repairs and renovations that are funded in the general fund but with respect to the Department of Transportation you’ll see those enumerated separately and [??] provided it’s non general fund repairs and renovations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up on a different subject possibly. The tax and tag together, I don’t recall if I saw a $2 million increase or decrease on tax and tag. How is that going? [SPEAKER CHANGES] From my understanding it’s going well. The $2 million is actually a continuation of positions that are already in place. From my understanding when those positions were rolled out they were basically time limited and that was to give the program a chance to evaluate their actual needs so of the 54 that they initially received the department is requesting to keep 44 of them and that would be $2 million. If you did not keep those positions they would roll off June 15th. Most of them in the call center from what the commissioner has told me volume is quite high in the call center related to this program and actually a lot of the license plate offices because they’re paid by transaction if it’s something that they’re not going to get paid for they’ll switch off, they send those questions to the call center to be answered, so if someone stops into a license plate office and has a list of questions they’ll say well, please call this call center number and get those answered because they are driven by transactions and that’s how they get paid. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to see an update from someone about how that program’s going. It was pretty controversial when it first came in, counties were trying to opt out and all this other kind of stuff. I’d like to get an update on how it’s going and how many counties. It sounds like it may be going well, but I kinda, I get more questions continuously from the constituents about that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions. Representative Tucker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Just out of curiosity with all the bad weather we had this month, where are we on the maintenance fund? [SPEAKER CHANGES] As far as snow removal? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Snow removal, ice, the whole nine yards. [SPEAKER CHANGES] There was something I looked at a couple weeks ago that said that we had over, gone over our budget I believe slightly, but I’d have to give you detailed numbers. Hopefully we’re passed that, but we were over the $30 million set aside by I wanna say $5-6 million but I’ll have to give you an update and get you some precise numbers. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions or comments from the committee? All right, thank you Mr. Sheef. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next we have a presentation from Bobby Lewis, Chief of Staff at the Department of Transportation to talk about the governor’s transportation bond. Mr. Lewis? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you members of the committee and chairs for having me here today to talk about the bond program. I’m Bobby Lewis, Chief of Staff at NCDOT. Real quick, I just wanted to mention if I do not use the words if, preliminary of initial enough, that is, I just want everybody to know here this is not a program that is, folks don’t like me giving analogies, but this is not a baked cake. Nothing’s in stone yet. We need the collaboration, but with that I’m just gonna kinda go over of what our outline of our mission and kinda where our criteria is right now and just kinda tell you about the inventory. So our initial mission as you’ve heard the governor say is to further connect North Carolin’s regions to each other but also equally as important is to protect the 10 year state transportation improvement program. No negative impacts to that, so with that we had to develop some type of initial criteria. How do we come up with an inventory of projects to select from. So first of all what can be utilized quick by the users. So something that you can put on the ground somewhat quickly but be able to have quick utilization by the travelers of North Carolina. So we developed sort of that inventory based on projects that had completed environmental documents as of December of 2014 and then our next criteria was it had to be a project that went through the prioritization process as you’ve heard prioritization 3.0, and then the next step would be how do you select because what I’ll give you is a big list, a big number, but obviously it would have to be prioritized from that big inventory list, but go through 40/30/30. You know, have the fidelity of what STI was built around and prioritize statewide, regional and division just as STI has. So when you look at that inventory from December 2014 back all documents have been completed, what you’ll find today, there’s about 85 projects that have completed environmental documents and I think in round numbers what was submitted through prioritization 3.0 was about 1,300. So 85 of those had completed documents. What we did was if you think about it, some of those, there was 28 of those completed environmental documents that were funded in the STIP, state transportation improvement program, in the first 5 years, so 2016-2020. So that’s 28 of those. Now if, and again using the word if, if a bond program is passed and we all agree to that, those projects we did not include in this inventory that I’ll describe and the reason why is that most of those 28 projects are funded in 16, 17 or 18, so that’s about the time that a bond program once it goes through its process would be delivered anyway. So with that what is the inventory cause I told you 28 of them are in the first 5 years. There’s three to

Actually in the year 6-10 of the state transportation improvement program and then another 54 that did not get prioritized, so that’s 57 projects total that equate to about $3.1 billion. To put that in mileage for the state, that’s about 210 miles and the majority of those, obviously, are the new capacity, widening and bypasses. Of that if I take the STI lingo so to speak, what we all know, statewide projects from that list of 57 is about 37 projects. There’s about 14 regional projects and then there’s about 6 division projects. The statewide projects equate that are in the inventory of about $2.5 billion, the 14 regional projects equate to about $500 million and the 6 divisional projects equate to about $100 million. All of that is statewide. The majority of these projects as we went through, you know, the formation of STI in 2013, I think most of you all remember the loop program and the interstate program, so you being familiar with transportation, a lot of the projects that you’ll see on this $3 billion list are, by and large a lot of them are from the loop program and the interstate program. Now, I think it’s important to say what does this not include because I said prioritization 3.0, a lot of those type projects are your new capacity type projects, so it does not include like the non-highway projects, so that would be the bike and ped, that would be the aviation, the rail, PTD type projects or transit I mean. It does not include projects like interstate rehabilitation or US route rehabilitation which is basically just maintaining what you have, strengthening that 4 lane or 6 lane facility. It does not include bridge replacement projects cause any of those could have completed documents. That’s why I didn’t want to be remiss and not mention that, but it’s keen to say that 2014 in December is when we sorta had to cut offline for this, at this point in time so obviously there’s probably some projects that I don’t have a number to today but may have environmental documents completed as of January 2015 to now and then I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some successes from STI is there’s 3 divisions that do not have a completed environmental document in this list that I give and that’s from division 4 which is sort of in the northern part of I95, you have division 11 that’s out there towards the western part of North Carolina and also division 14. But they did have a menu of projects in the first 5 years of the 28 I briefly described, they did have projects in there and they will be delivered in the first 5 years of our state transportation improvement program. So next steps? Because as I mentioned this project inventory’s about $3.1 billion obviously we have to decide how big is this bond, what is the debt affordability? So is that $1 billion, is it $1.2 billion? What is that number and then prioritize based on that inventory list and then obviously Thomas was just up here, what is our expected revenue? There’s still uncertainty there and that obviously has an impact on the calculation of what we can afford and then more importantly I’d like to end off in saying this will as we bake the cake it requires continuous and constant collaboration with you here at the table, the General Assembly as a whole, obviously us as state agencies and also we, more importantly we also need to engage to industry and see what we’re able to bite off here and that’s my comments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Questions or comments from the committee? Representative [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, so, thank you. So these projects are projects that would move above the line, above the

If we pass the line, is that kind of a general statement there? [SPEAKER CHANGES] These projects when you say move above the line, be able to receive funding, yes sir, yes sir. And some that I mentioned that’s in the inventory. There’s three project that they already were above the line, that they already had completed environmental documents so that’s why they were included. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up on a different subject. This question I’ve asked for about four years I think and this is a question on Mecklenberg that I probably meant to ask, but I’ve been asking about the 45 missing link, the 45 to Charlotte, what’s the, I think there’s already someone under contract. They’re working on it. What’s the completion date at this point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me get the exact date and I’ll get that to you within an hour. Before you get out of this room I’ll have the exact date. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. My apologies, Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Lewis. You and I talked about this before. In 1989 the Highway Trust Fund proposed these urban loops around our major cities one that was discussed in my district that folks have been waiting for for 20-30 years. Going forward, and they still can’t tell me when it’s going to be completed, going forward are you guys looking at how to prioritize what really is a priority and going forward do you have plans going on to take care of those situations for those folks who have just been waiting out there. To me that’s a priority that they’ve been waiting so long. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, ma’am. I was expecting that question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know you were. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What I will say first is on the inventory list that is a project among many of the other loop projects that is on this inventory list. To go back to the bigger question that’s statewide, you know, defining that problem. Now, what I will say is this STI I think over time we’re in a transition of where we had a loop program and an interstate program that was in legislation. It required NCDOT to work on those projects. It was not a prioritization, it was a prioritization of the program back then. I think STI going forward, I’m not saying it would happen tomorrow, but going forward in years you, because pretty much what STI does, you prioritize where you’re going to apply resources to and that includes planning, environmental documents to right of way and so forth, so going forward if it does not prioritize to STI then it will not show up as a project that we can start planning on. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, ma’am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] As a reminder there is also a list of projects that have gone through the environmental process on the website for the committee. Representative Bumgardner. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a question or two. I wanna ask you a question that some of my constituents have been asking me, are we not taking projects that already have passed their environmental reviews but didn’t make the cut on STI and now we wanna pass a bond referendum to fund some of these projects. That’s the question I’ve been getting and I wanna be able to give people an answer straight from the source, so if you could answer that I’d appreciate it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir, what I would say your question is are there projects being elevated that did not make the line? Am I repeating the question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, in a way, yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, so again, the original criteria was inventory projects with completed documents. Now, so would they, did they prioritize with other 57, 54, no, sir, they did not, so will they go forward in front of projects that did prioritize higher? Yes, sir, I mean

just to be blunt, that would be the case. However, what I will say is that a resolute question is how far could we have went if we had a little more revenue, where would the line have been? That was a line that was based on the revenue that we had today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well that's always the issue. There's always got to be a point in time, if you're building a house or if you're buying groceries, there's a point where you've got to draw a line and say, "We can't go past this. If we had a little more money we could go a little bit further." There will always be that, and so I'm getting quizzed about why are we doing this and is this like going to the butcher shop and the butcher's got his finger on the scales while he's weighing up whatever it is you're buying. That's my point. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you like further comment from him or is there a question that you'd like to, or is that a comment for the committee? Thank you, sir. Representative Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. I have a question of Bobby, Mr. Lewis, thanks. Would it be a fair statement to say that one of the reasons that the bond project list is moving or appears to be moving at a faster pace is simply because it's already cleared environmental hurdles? All projects are moving forward. These projects have just already had a lot of the red tape associated on the front-end taken care of, so it appears as if they're moving at a faster clip than all the rest of the projects. Would that be a fair statement? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. That would be a fair statement. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions or comments from the committee? Alright, with that we are adjourned.