Call to Order and Roll Call
Thesecond meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Monday, September 19, 2016, at 10:30 AM, in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Max Wise, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Guests: Jon Wilcoxson, Director, Division of Maintenance, Department of Highways, Transportation Cabinet; John-Mark Hack, Commissioner, Department of Vehicle Regulation, Transportation Cabinet; Richard Sanders, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police; and, Samantha Davis, Legislative Liaison, Transportation Cabinet.
Overview of Maintenance Spending
Jon Wilcoxson, Director, Division of Maintenance, Department of Highways, Transportation Cabinet, provided a brief overview of the current highway maintenance budget and fiscal year 2016 spending. The largest amount spent was on snow and ice treatments, and the cabinet hopes to improve the allocation of winter resources by sharing with other counties and districts. Low-volume routes formerly on a two-year striping schedule have been changed to a three-year striping schedule. Consideration of preventive maintenance measures would save money rather than waiting until rehabilitation or reconstruction becomes necessary.
In response to questions from Senator Webb, Mr. Wilcoxson said low-volume routes under 4,000 average daily traffic (ADT) are not required to be striped based on the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, though Kentucky typically stripes any road that is wide enough to be striped. This year, KYTC is putting off striping low-volume roads (below 4,000 ADT). The local highway districts submit their list of routes to be prioritized for striping to the central office, and a master list will be provided to the subcommittee at a later date. Also, lists of structurally deficient bridges and primary system pavement needs will be provided.
In response to questions from Representative Stewart, Mr. Wilcoxson said the state has not owned striping equipment since 2005. He will provide a breakdown of equipment costs, which includes depreciation, repair costs, fuel costs, insurance, and how many hours the equipment is used per year, at a later date.
In response to questions from Chair Wise, Mr. Wilcoxson said a comparison of amounts paid to contractors versus in-house costs for snow removal is being reviewed by the Division of Accounts. He stated that all indications are that significant savings could be realized if the cabinet would take over more snow removal duties. The amount spent on preventive maintenance is increasing, and it is anticipated that some federal funds will become available for the parkway system in the next fiscal year. Most of the preventive maintenance projects are asphalt, with some projects using alternative treatments such as 5/8” thin layer surfacing. Not all asphalt being used is the hot mix variety.
Senator Humphries commented that a comparison of contract labor versus hired crews for mowing and snow removal should be considered. Depreciation of new equipment should also be taken into consideration.
Increased Enforcement and Revenue
John-Mark Hack, Commissioner, Department of Vehicle Regulation, Department of Highways, Transportation Cabinet, and Richard Sanders, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police, provided an overview of commercial vehicle enforcement (CVE), including its impact on Road Fund revenues. The agencies are facing the challenge together, working cooperatively to develop long-term solutions to enhance public safety, support the trucking industry, and ensure the timely, efficient, and proper collection of Road Fund revenue. Both agencies expressed a desire to increase the number of CVE inspectors and to keep weigh stations open longer hours.
In response to questions from Chair Wise, Commissioner Sanders said hiring 50 additional inspectors could cost the state approximately $250,000 to $500,000 per year, with revenues possibly doubling from the current level of about $1 million annually, as a result.
In response to questions from Senator Webb, Commissioner Hack said he would provide more information on mileage taxes at a later date.
In response to questions from Representative Stewart, Commissioner Sanders said he would provide more information at a later date on numbers of inspections, number of tickets issued, as well as data from a study being performed by the University of Kentucky.
There being no further business before the subcommittee, a motion for adjournment was made by Senator Webb and seconded by Senator Humphries, and the meeting was adjourned at 11:40 AM without objection.