Below are the minutes for the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council Board of Directors Meeting, held on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. at the Clark County Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, Washington. The agenda for this meeting is also available.
I. Call to Order and Roll Call of Members
The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council Board of Directors Meeting was called to order by Chair Marc Boldt on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. at the Clark County Public Service Center Sixth Floor Training Room, 1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, Washington. Attendance follows.
Board Members Present Nancy Baker, Port of Vancouver Commissioner
Marc Boldt, Clark County Commissioner
Rex Burkholder, Metro Councilor
Jack Burkman, Vancouver Council Member
Bill Ganley, Battle Ground Council Member
Tim Leavitt, Vancouver City Mayor
Tom Mielke, Clark County Commissioner
Scott Patterson, C-TRAN Alternate
Paul Pearce, Skamania County Commissioner
Steve Stuart, Clark County Commissioner
Don Wagner, WSDOT Regional Administrator
Board Members Absent
Jeff Hamm, C-TRAN Executive Director
Jennifer McDaniel, Washougal Council Member
David Poucher, White Salmon Mayor
Jason Tell, ODOT Region One Manager
Jim Honeyford, Senator 15th District
Bruce Chandler, Representative 15th District
David Taylor, Representative 15th District
Don Benton, Senator 17th District
Tim Probst, Representative 17th District
Paul Harris, Representative 17th District
Joe Zarelli, Senator 18th District
Ed Orcutt, Representative 18th District
Ann Rivers, Representative 18th District
Craig Pridemore, Senator 49th District
Jim Moeller, Representative 49th District
Sharon Wylie, Representative 49th District
Ed Barnes, Labor Council
Katy Brooks, Port of Vancouver
Mark Brown, Connections Public Affairs
Peter Capell, Clark County
Andy Cotugno, Metro
Bill Creger, David Evans & Assoc.
Peter Geiger, Parsons Brinckerhoff
Mike Hoglund, Metro
Addison Jacobs, Port of Vancouver
Jim Karlock, Citizen
Mike Mabrey, Clark County
Dick Malin, Central Park NHA
Sheila Martin, Portland State University
Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Vancouver NHA.
Paul Montague, Identity Clark County
Jerry Oliver, Port of Vancouver Commissioner
Philip Parker, WA Transportation Commissioner
Larry Paulson, Port of Vancouver
Matt Ransom, City of Vancouver
Kelley Robins, Citizen
Scott Sawyer, City of Battle Ground
Larry J. Smith, Vancouver Council Member
Jeanne E. Stewart, Vancouver Council Member
Axel Swanson, Clark County
Scott Thompson, couv.com
Bill Turlay, Vancouver Council Member
Damon Webster, MacKay & Sposito
Bill Wright, Clark County
Lynda David, Senior Transportation Planner
Mark Harrington, Senior Transportation Planner
Bob Hart, Transportation Section Supervisor
Dean Lookingbill, Transportation Director
Dale Robins, Senior Transportation Planner
Diane Workman, Administrative/Staff Assistant
II. Approval of December 6, 2011, Meeting Minutes
STEVE STUART MOVED FOR APPROVAL OF THE DECEMBER 6, 2011, MEETING MINUTES. THE MOTION WAS SECONDED BY NANCY BAKER AND UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.
III. Citizen Communications
Ed Barnes referred to the flyer distributed regarding the Greater Portland Pulse. He said as a member of organized labor, he has some concerns when he sees committees set up such as this that have no representation of organized labor. Mr. Barnes said he sees no one listed as a representative of organized labor. He would like to see the RTC Board recommend someone from organized labor be a part of the final committee.
IV. Consent Agenda
- January Claims
- 2012-2015 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program Amendments
- Vancouver: 164th Ave. and McGillivray Intersection, Resolution 01-12-01
- Human Services Council: Veterans Transportation Technology Improvement Project, Resolution 01-12-02
- C-TRAN: State of Good Repair Grant, Resolution 01-12-03
- Clark County: Safety Improvements, Resolution 01-12-04
STEVE STUART MOVED FOR APPROVAL OF THE CONSENT AGENDA JANUARY CLAIMS AND RESOLUTIONS 01-12-01, 01-12-02, 01-12-03, AND 01-12-04. THE MOTION WAS SECONDED BY JACK BURKMAN AND UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.
V. Greater Portland Pulse
Dean Lookingbill said at their November meeting, the RTC Board requested a presentation regarding the Greater Portland Pulse. Andy Cotugno, Metro Senior Policy Advisor and Sheila Martin with Institute of Metropolitan Studies, Portland State University would provide the presentation. Mike Hoglund, Metro Research Center Director, was also present and a co-sponsor of the project. A memo was included in the meeting packet and a flyer was distributed.
Mr. Cotugno said the Greater Portland Pulse effort was initiated through a collaborative partnership between PSU’s Institute of Metropolitan Studies, Metro, and a number of local, regional, and bi-state agencies, non-profits, local governments, and businesses from throughout the four-county region (Clark, Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington). The effort responds to a request on a number of fronts to investigate opportunities to develop a consistent, comprehensive set of performance indicators that could help to monitor accomplishment and direct resources towards actions or strategies that meet regional objectives. It was also hoped that a consistent, independent data-base could be tied to uniform indicators and assist and refine decision-making.
The task of creating a truly useful regional indicators project is really a three step process. The first is to choose the indicators, a priority setting process. The second step is to identify the data needed to best represent what they are trying to measure. The third is using the indicators to identify the key issues facing our region, coordinate a strategy around that issue, implement the strategy, and monitor the results. Because choosing indicators is a priority setting process, they thought it was very important to have leaders from around the region involved in the project. The project Advisory Committee was listed in the distributed flyer. Mr. Cotugno said in addition, over 100 partner organizations have helped to decide what to measure. As questioned earlier, he said he believed that labor was a part of that process. They chose indicators based on outcomes. They looked at what to measure based on the results they want to achieve from our region.
The process to develop this overall scheme was undertaken jointly by PSU and Metro. The point being that they need a collective process that has an ongoing institutional life to it. In order to decide whether or not the region wants to buy in to establishing such an organization, they needed a prototype. They developed a web site that gives access to the data and a Report that analyzes and draws some conclusions about the data. This shows what it can look like, and the question now is if they want to move forward in establishing an organization to carry this in an ongoing basis in the future.
Sheila Martin provided a brief demonstration of the Greater Portland Pulse web site www.portlandpulse.org. She encouraged all to access the web site that offers a multitude of information. She said they have been adding data to the web site almost daily with updates and requests of the committees that are important to track for the outcomes that they identified. They have nine categories that were identified: economic opportunity, education, healthy people, safe people, arts and culture, civic engagement, healthy environment, housing and communities, and access and mobility. By clicking on one of the categories, you can access the data. The web site also lists who has been involved in the project, reports, and an opportunity to indicate if you think this work is important. There is also a news area that lists presentations that they have given that were requested using the data, such as the distribution of poverty in Multnomah County and how that affects public services.
Ms. Martin chose the Access and Mobility topic. She showed a map of the average cost of transportation as a percentage of income, and by clicking on the map it is made interactive. This allows many things to be done. Ms. Martin displayed and explained several of the information options available. She said there are 72 inter-connected indicators in the nine topics that reveal how the region is doing economically, socially, and environmentally. Ms. Martin said they are offering workshops for people who want to learn how to use the data to create their own maps and charts. She said to contact her if there is interest, and she would provide the information to sign up.
Ms. Martin said they developed the first state of the region report using the data from the web site. In developing the report, they found that there were two themes that came out in each of the nine issue areas, one was equity and the other was education. Almost every result is in some way related to education, which is tied to income. The theme of the report is about our future is in our human capital; who is our human capital; what are the challenges they face; and how do we take an upstream approach to addressing that. The next steps are to form a more permanent partnership, choose a board, committing to three years of funding, and assess and revisit.
Chair Boldt asked how they gathered the information. Ms. Martin said the data is collected by the Census Bureau in the American Community Survey.
Andy Cotugno said the pilot aspects of this project are done. They have the web site and the first report. The question now is a business plan. They have asked PSU to be the host organization. They can only become that host if there is a board formed and a budget provided to join that board. They have developed a strategy for the annual cost of doing the data maintenance and the dialogue piece of what it does, what it means, and what it tells us. They are proposing a budget of $521,218 split 50/50 between public sector and private sector. For the government organizations, they are looking at spreading that half across the governments universally, which given the amount of entities, it spreads pretty small. For the non-government side, they are seeking participation by the foundations, because their spending also influences these outcomes. This would be Private Foundations, Private Businesses, and Higher Education. Mr. Cotugno said Washington State University Vancouver has been collaborating with PSU in developing the data. Mr. Cotugno also said they are giving these presentations to determine the support for moving ahead on a more permanent basis.
Steve Stuart said he has been a part of the exploratory process in putting this together. The benefit is having a central storehouse for information that we all gather and get a sense of how it might work together to be able to help drive policy. It gives us the information as policy makers to be able to make the decisions for the people that we represent. Commissioner Stuart said it has been a great process. He said he is glad that there will be that storehouse of data available for all of them and their staff. This is very detailed information about a variety of issues, such as transportation, housing, and health. He also encouraged folks to check out the information and what is available.
Jack Burkman said this appears to go beyond a warehouse of information to a visualization of what is going on. It allows us to see things before we even get to the policy questions. He said when talking about sharing the costs, what is that cost per jurisdiction? Collectively, for the governments in Clark County, they are looking at a contribution of $32,500; the same for the other three counties. This is annually with a three-year commitment.
Rex Burkholder said the startup leadership group finishes today with choosing a host agency, PSU for now, and they will be creating a new leadership group. He encouraged the RTC Board members to be thinking of who they might want to serve on the new leadership committee overseeing this project. Andy Cotugno said that because this is about the entire metropolitan area, there is a single scale so that comparisons can accurately be made.
Tom Mielke said he would like to know more about how it directly affects transportation. He said we have done so much research in the past that we have not used; he is concerned of reaching out for more. Commissioner Mielke asked what part of transportation this could play a role in.
Andy Cotugno said Mobility and Access is one of the nine categories of data that this collects. It does not replace the decision making that happens here at RTC or at C-TRAN, WSDOT, or Clark County. It provides information to inform that decision. It also encourages you to participate in a regional conversation of how your decisions affect other aspects.
Commissioner Mielke said RTC did a travel survey and he was concerned that this would be duplicating work and not use what we have.
Commissioner Mielke said in looking back at the Consent Agenda, he would like to address one of the projects. For the Human Services Council Veterans Transportation Technology Improvement Project, he asked who was providing the match. Mr. Lookingbill said Human Services Council was the recipient so they will put up the matching dollars. Commissioner Mielke asked if this included the disabled veterans vans and the buses at the veterans’ hospital here. Mr. Lookingbill said this project will pool all of those transportation information resources for those veterans to a single call center. Bob Hart said this is one call center for all transportation services to and from veterans’ administration facilities for Portland and Vancouver.
VI. Transportation Issues: 2012 Legislative Session
Mark Brown does governmental relations work for the Cities of Vancouver, Battle Ground, and Ridgefield. Mr. Brown said he focuses his presentation around the principles that are included in the Clark County Transportation Alliance Policy Statement. The 2011 Alliance Statement was a two-year policy statement recognizing that our legislature sits for two years.
Mr. Brown said this is his 41st legislative session, and by far the worst financial crisis in four decades. New revenue is possible, but only with voter referral and approval. The legislature needs to further cut the general fund by about $1.5 billion ($37 billion vs. $7 billion). There is a possible job/infrastructure initiative. Mr. Brown said he did not think transportation would be a big part of that. There will be a small capital supplemental budget. The job/infrastructure initiative could be $1 billion or more. The transportation budget still faces a $1.5 billion challenge over the next 10 years. In the shorter term, it looks better. The Connecting Washington Initiative will be taken to the Governor. The State General Fund will dominate the 2012 session.
Mr. Brown said the context of the Clark County Transportation Alliance 2011-12 Policy Statement states to work hard to “ensure funding and timelines for 19 local Nickel and TPA projects..” so we do not lose any funding that is already approved. The good news is that 13 of those projects are completed, 3 are underway, 2 are future projects, and the CRC project. The projects currently underway are the Salmon Creek Interchange, work on SR-14, and an Interchange on SR-500. There is additional work on I-205 phase 2 at Mill Plain along with the widening of the Battle Ground Highway from I-5.
The transportation funding shortfall is $1 billion over the next 8 years across all accounts. The current biennium looks pretty good. In fact there might be about $126 million left in terms of state revenues in a supplemental transportation budget. The transportation chairs have demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting the integrity of the project lists. We still have 5 projects with multi-million dollar value left with the Nickel and Partnership package projects. Our local delegation has proven very able to advance and protect local projects. Mr. Brown said he thought we were in fine shape, and did not hear of anyone taking anything away from any of the existing projects. Nonetheless, he said we need to be vigilant and a strong proponent for timely completion of local transportation projects.
Mr. Brown noted some other transportation budget notes. He said one of the reasons that there is potential for supplemental is for savings on projects of over $100 million by bringing projects in under budget and in timely fashion. It has a positive value that can now translate in helping some other projects. WSDOT is seeking about $60 million more for CRC, which will be in the Governor’s supplemental transportation budget. That will bring the biennial total to $102 million. The $60 million is federal funding that the department has identified and recommended to the legislature to be included in the supplemental transportation budget. Longer term without new revenue, there is possible deficit of $1.5 billion in the next ten years.
The Clark County Transportation Alliance has long been an advocate for new revenue packages. Two years ago, the Transportation Commission directed a “Top 20” effort of unmet projects that resulted in over $1 billion regional transportation needs. The Governor convened the Connecting Washington Task Force in 2011. The Task Force’s recommendations have gone to the Governor, and she is analyzing those and will possibly put forward her specific recommendations later in the week. The Task Force agreed to a 10-year scenario that would identify the need of about $20 billion. He said they could possibly have a legislative hearing on January 13. Both Transportation Chairs were on the Task Force and are strong proponents for moving forward with a new revenue initiative. The Governor gave the Task Force charge of dealing with the next decade. They need to address the fact that 90% of current revenue is dedicated to debt for current projects; maintenance and upkeep of what we have will suffer. There is no money for new projects like CRC. The $20 billion investment level scenario chosen by the Connecting Washington Task Force is looking at a number of fees including tolling, which the Legislature could do without a referral to the voters. They are looking at taxes that voters would have to approve in November of this year. The Task Force is also identifying some local options that could be available to local governments to help us with our growing transportation maintenance deficit.
Mr. Brown said in his opinion, this is our opportunity through the Connecting Washington Task Force, the Governor’s recommendation, and Legislative activity to support an effort to raise revenue to help us meet growing multi-million dollar transportation infrastructure need, both at the regional level and statewide. This is the means to maximize State participation in the CRC project. There is potential for more local transportation tools to come out of this. If this package advances, we need to be vigilant to insure SW Washington benefits as we have from the last two revenue packages.
The Clark County Transportation Alliance does have a statement in support of the CRC project asking Legislators to be advocates and to secure necessary funding and related legislation. Mr. Brown said he is aware of only one piece of legislation this year relating to CRC. That is that the WSDOT will have request legislation regarding tolling. That was announced months ago, and Mr. Brown has not seen a copy of that. He said that bill is currently being finalized. There is confusion over this. It is true that the Legislature gave the Washington Transportation Commission tolling authority, but the Legislature has to identify and designate the tolling facility. That is what this legislation would do.
Mr. Brown said the Clark County Transportation Alliance has always had a strong statement of support for public transit. C-TRAN will be requesting $300,000 from the state for the HCT Expert Review Panel which is a state law requirement and an unfunded mandate. Mr. Brown said there are some legislators that are still looking to provide some additional local option authority to local transit jurisdictions through a vehicle license fee.
The Joint Transportation Commission was given a charge by the Legislature to dust off the notion of the public-private partnership (P3). A P3 study was presented to the Joint Transportation Commission on December 7, 2011. The study was focused on educating the Legislature and Executive Branch on what P3s are, what they do, and what changes to state law are necessary to make them work here. Five projects, including the CRC, were selected to help in the education process. The other projects were 509, 167 extension, Monroe by-pass, and 405 tolling lanes. Mr. Brown referred to a two-page handout with a summary of the Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) in Transportation from the Joint Transportation Committee Coordinator. On a preliminary basis, analysis showed the CRC was not likely a P3 candidate at this time, due to the high funding gap, the schedule too advanced, and the highly complex, high risk, and many uncertainties. Mr. Brown said the preliminary report is available online at http://www.leg.wa.gov/JTC/. The final report is due soon.
Mr. Brown referred to a second handout listing the 19 WSDOT projects in Clark County that are funded under the Nickel and TPA revenue packages along with the status of the project. Mr. Brown said it is going to be an interesting session. He said because of the general fund crisis, and because of the Connecting Washington Task Force, he did not expect the legislature to spend much time pursuing any further Public-Private Partnerships. That is a longer term sort of examination.
Commissioner Mielke said after the Nickel package, there was a progressive 9.5 cent package and asked how that money was being spent. Mr. Brown said that information is listed in the handout he just referred to with the Nickel and TPA revenue packages, showing the funding and status of the projects.
VII. Connecting Washington Task Force Update
Dean Lookingbill said Tim Schauer, current President of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, was on the Governor’s Connecting Washington Task Force and provided a presentation at the November meeting. Following the discussion, the Board asked for an update once the group finished. Mr. Schauer had planned but was unable to attend today’s meeting, so Mr. Lookingbill would provide a briefing on the Task Force’s recommendations. He also noted that given the Task Force’s recommendations and the anticipated transportation revenue proposal by the Governor, the Board may want to follow these developments and consider their feedback in preparation for action at their February meeting.
The Task Force’s charge was to create a 10-year investment strategy to make investments that would create and maintain a more integrated statewide transportation system. Their charge also included the development of principles for investments, principles for revenues, and to understand facts about the transportation funding crisis and the risks of inaction. The Task Force agreed on a set of investment principles and performance objectives. These were attached to the memo included in the meeting packet.
The investment principles will focus on transportation investments that strengthen the economy and provide community benefits throughout the entire state. It will preserve existing transportation systems and services and improve mobility for people and commerce. Mr. Lookingbill highlighted the investment principles and performance objectives.
Also attached to the memo was a list of 10-year revenue options menu. This provided a series of fees such as tolling, vehicle fees, and driver’s license fees along with their 10-year estimate. Also listed were tax revenue options, local revenue options, and 10-year investment options.
Mr. Lookingbill said the Task Force is working on a final report. With that report, the Governor is to propose her piece of transportation legislation within the week.
Tim Leavitt said a couple years ago at the C-TRAN Board, they directed staff to raise bus fares each and every year rather than do sizeable increases every few years. He said listed under the fuel tax option, it shows 6 cent increase in 2014, 6 cents in 2015, and a penny per year starting in 2016. Mayor Leavitt asked if that was a penny a year for an unlimited time frame. Don Wagner said that was up to their limit of ten years.
Mayor Leavitt said he had had discussions about the local financing component of the CRC. He said there is still a lot of heartburn about the concept of placing tolls on the I-5 crossing. He said what seems to be lacking in the public is information about the possible alternatives to placing tolls on the bridge, other local financing options. Mayor Leavitt said he did not remember why the local option fuel tax was taken off the table for the CRC. He was told by Commissioner Stuart that the level of local option fuel tax that we have the authority to implement would not generate enough revenue. Mayor Leavitt asked if the proposal from Connecting Washington is to increase the authority of the level of local fuel tax for local agencies. Mr. Lookingbill said he could try to find that out. Don Wagner said it appears that they are talking about changing that amount. Mayor Leavitt asked if that opportunity became available, who could be the proponent of a ballot measure to increase local option fuel tax? Mark Brown said with the local option fuel tax, he did not believe they currently had that authority. This would be new authority to essentially have a local gas tax. One other possibility is that at both the state and local level, they would extend the sales tax as well as the fuel tax. In terms of the local option fuel tax specifically, what the Commission heard was the notion that simply would be given to local governments as an option at both the City and County level. Mayor Leavitt said that it states councilmatic approval authority and asked if that was either or councilmatic or voter approved or some combination of both. Mr. Brown said they have the authority at the County Commission or City Council level to do it. They always have the option of referring it to the voters if they want to. They would not have to get voter approval under what is currently on the table. Mr. Brown said the Governor will be taking all of this and putting her recommendations forward in the next few days.
VIII. Ten-Year Transportation Project Priorities
Lynda David said at the end of 2011, the RTC Board adopted the 20-year Metropolitan Transportation Plan, but RTC’s 2012 work program included a shorter-term look at transportation priorities with the Ten-Year Transportation Project Priorities. The Ten-Year Transportation Project Priorities is linked to recommendations of the Connecting Washington Task Force; provides an opportunity to review a top 20 list of projects adopted by the RTC Board in November 2010; will include a review of local agency 6-year Transportation Improvement Programs; and allows us to consider a more conservative 10-year growth and revenue forecast. The purpose of undertaking the Ten-Year Project Priorities is to assess the region’s shorter-term transportation priorities in light of current economic conditions.
Ms. David said they should first take a look back at the top 20 project list, which was referred to earlier in the meeting, that was adopted by the RTC Board in November 2010. Both the Resolution and list is attached to the memo included in the meeting packet. Ms. David noted that the list that was given to the Transportation Commission was not in priority order. With this look at the ten-year transportation priorities, they may want to put an order to those top 20 projects or reevaluate and review what is on the list. The list was hurriedly put together in response to the request from the State Transportation Commission, but they felt the need to emphasize the importance of preservation and maintenance of the existing system. In addition to projects on the list, they also have the maintenance and preservation element.
Ms. David highlighted the proposed process for the ten-year priorities. This will include synchronizing with the Top 20 list, with Connecting Washington Task Force recommendations, and anticipated Governor’s 2012 budget proposal and work of the 2012 legislature. The process will also include coordination with the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, WSDOT’s Highway System Plan, local TIPs, C-TRAN’s 2030 Plan, and the regional Transportation System Management and Operations Plan. A population and employment forecast to 2022 is recommended and development of a Regional Travel Forecasting Model as a tool to help in decision-making. Revenue scenarios will also be developed and considered as critical elements of the decision-making process.
RTC staff has looked at recent demographic trends, has reviewed state data, and worked with local jurisdictions to come up with a recommended 2022 demographic forecast. With this proposed forecast, the Clark County region is projected to have a population of 517,700, employment of 163,500, and 193,500 households. Ms. David highlighted the forecast comparisons for population and employment.
The process will include forecasting transportation revenues. The recently-adopted 20-year MTP provided a revenue forecast for 2035 based on the assumption the region would return to a healthy economy. However, several issues were raised in developing the MTP’s revenue forecast and the Ten Year forecast will address these. The ten-year revenue forecast will reflect current trends and budget realities for local jurisdictions and the state. It is proposed that two revenue scenarios will be developed. One will assume new transportation revenues, whether state, local, or regional sourced and the other scenario will not assume any new revenues. As part of the revenue forecast and ten year priorities look, they anticipate examining transportation priorities investments: capacity, operations, preservation, maintenance, and modes.
They anticipate completion of the Ten Year Project Priorities by the end of summer. However, they do need to be somewhat flexible because they may need to respond to state-wide initiatives possibly arising from Connecting Washington, legislative activity, and the availability of WSDOT and Washington Office of financial Management financial data and information. They plan to provide an update at the February Board meeting. Ms. David said they were asking for any thoughts, ideas, and input as they begin this process.
Jack Burkman said he remembered creating the Top 20 list, with a very short timeframe and not anticipating any money. He felt it was not a real accurate list and sees the need to reevaluate. Mr. Burkman said during the Nickel and TPA project time, they had some agreed upon values such as safety. Mr. Lookingbill said as they work through this there needs to be criteria to help decide what those priorities should be.
Commissioner Mielke said the list of projects is not in the order of funding. He suggested that safety should be number one. He asked why the TPA projects were done before the Nickel projects. Mr. Lookingbill said the white handout shows the Nickel and TPA projects in Clark County that have been set in place via state legislative action and are funded. The blue sheet shows the “Top 20” projects that are proposed for funding.
Jack Burkman asked what time frame we were under relative to this legislative cycle. He said it seems that we keep getting surprised and need to come up with a quick list. He said it would be good to be ahead of the cycle. Mr. Lookingbill said one question is if we think there will be a legislative package this year. Mr. Lookingbill said the thought behind the 10-year prioritization process is to get it started now; start the discussion and truly identify the package of transportation projects that are a priority to our region. This would allow us to be ready for a legislative package that would have more of a likelihood of appearing in 2013. Mr. Lookingbill said depending what comes out of the Connecting Washington study; this could come back for discussion at the February meeting. If there was to be a legislative package this year, we would really have to move quickly to address that. Mr. Lookingbill said this longer term activity makes the assumption that we will not be asked for a package this year.
Jack Burkman said he supported the longer term look. He said if there is still a little money left, we may want to consider something for a potential short term. Mr. Lookingbill said that may be something in the supplemental budget that Don Wagner might want to address. Mr. Wagner said while there is some short-term savings in the budget cycle because the projects came in under bid, he said to keep in mind that in the Nickel and TPA they had to cut elements out of those projects. The Nickel and TPA were fundamentally underfunded. Mr. Wagner said one of the other things listed was the commitment to fully fund the Nickel and TPA. While there is some money there, he said his guess is that the battle is going to be among the projects that were underfunded as to which get some of that funding. Mr. Wagner said there were some projects in Clark County that they reduced the scope of in order to bring them in in the dollars that were allocated.
Commissioner Mielke asked if the TPA was also as project specific as the Nickel package was. Mr. Wagner said both Nickel and TPA packages were specific dollars for specific projects, on specific timeframes. Commissioner Mielke asked if the Nickel projects fall short of funding and the TPA projects fall short of funding, what do they do? Mr. Wagner said the Legislature is wrestling with that question right now. Commissioner Mielke asked if the legislature could go back and reprioritize those projects. Mr. Wagner said they could go back and prioritize those projects that are either not completed or not started yet. As Mr. Brown said, there are five projects in Clark County that are either under construction today or have yet to go to construction. These total over $300 million for Clark County alone and could be subject to that with the legislature. Commissioner Mielke asked if we could prioritize those projects. Mr. Wagner said we as RTC can prioritize and give our input, but the legislature will be looking at the larger picture.
Rex Burkholder said in looking at the resolution that was passed in 2010, in addition to the top 20 project list, it also said there is considerable need beyond the list for city and county arterial roadways and also a need for bike and trail projects as well as preservation and maintenance. He said he sees this as instead of saying this is our top ten list of projects, over the next ten years what does this region need to be able to prosper. Mr. Burkholder said we could go back to the Portland Pulse information and those issues about access and affordability. He said he thought there was some information there that this group should take some time to look at. Not just add some new lanes. There are people this will not help because they can no longer afford a car; adding that nationally, gasoline alone consumes 8.6% of the average family income. He encouraged the Board to think about looking at this as what our priorities are in terms of mobility and access and it could be a wide range of things. There are a lot of investments that need to be made to parallel or complement investments that have been made on the state system. Mr. Burkholder said sometimes we get this idea that we need to come up with a list of projects when sometimes what we need is money to fund ongoing programs and activities, maintain the systems that we have and provide alternatives for people.
IX. Other Business
From the Board
From the Director
Mr. Lookingbill noted C-TRAN meets on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, at 5:30 p.m., and JPACT meets Thursday, January 12, 2012, at Metro at 7:30 a.m.
The next RTC Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, at 4 p.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
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