Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 17

03/06/2007 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
*+ HB 168 LAND TRANSFERS ALASKA RR & DOTPF TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+= HB 8 J. KEVIN LAMM TRAINING FACILITY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 6, 2007                                                                                          
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kyle Johansen, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                    
Representative Mike Doogan                                                                                                      
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice Chair                                                                                          
Representative Vic Kohring                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 8                                                                                                                
"An Act naming the law enforcement training facility in                                                                         
Fairbanks the J. Kevin Lamm Law Enforcement Training Facility."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 8 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 168                                                                                                              
"An Act authorizing two exchanges of land between the Alaska                                                                    
Railroad Corporation and the Department of Transportation and                                                                   
Public Facilities; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 168 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
BILL: HB   8                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: J. KEVIN  LAMM TRAINING FACILITY                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) RAMRAS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/5/07                                                                                
01/16/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/07       (H)       TRA                                                                                                    
02/15/07       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
02/15/07       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/15/07       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/06/07       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 168                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LAND TRANSFERS ALASKA RR & DOTPF                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): TRANSPORTATION                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
02/28/07       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/28/07       (H)       TRA, L&C, FIN                                                                                          
03/01/07       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
03/01/07       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/06/07       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL HOFFMAN, Chief                                                                                                           
Fairbanks Police Department                                                                                                     
City of Fairbanks                                                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions and provided information                                                                
during hearing on HB 8.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
RODNEY DIAL, Lieutenant, Deputy Commander                                                                                       
A Attachment                                                                                                                    
Division of Alaska State Troopers                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Public Safety                                                                                              
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during hearing on HB 8.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DAVID SCOTT, Staff                                                                                                              
to Representative Kyle Johansen                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 168 on behalf of                                                                              
Representative Johansen, chair of the House Transportation                                                                      
Standing Committee, sponsor of HB 168.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WENDY LINDSKOOG, Assistant Vice President                                                                                       
Corporate Affairs                                                                                                               
Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC)                                                                                              
Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 168.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MARY SIROKY, Legislative Liaison                                                                                                
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF)                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 168.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
FRANCES ZIMMERMAN, Right of Way Agent III                                                                                       
Central Region                                                                                                                  
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF)                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 168.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BENNETT, Right-of-Way Chief                                                                                                
Northern Region                                                                                                                 
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF)                                                                       
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 168.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KYLE JOHANSEN  called  the  House Transportation  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order at  1:31:51  PM.    Representatives                                                             
Johansen,  Doogan, Johnson,  and Fairclough  were present  at the                                                               
call to order.  Representative  Salmon arrived as the meeting was                                                               
in progress.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB   8-J. KEVIN  LAMM TRAINING FACILITY                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:32:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JOHANSEN announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 8, "An  Act naming the law enforcement training                                                               
facility in Fairbanks the J.  Kevin Lamm Law Enforcement Training                                                               
Facility."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:32:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JOHANSEN   requested  a  description  of   the  [proposed]                                                               
facility in Fairbanks.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL  HOFFMAN,  Chief,  Fairbanks Police  Department,  City  of                                                               
Fairbanks,  stated   that  [the  proposed  facility]   is  fairly                                                               
rudimentary and would replace the  current shooting range that is                                                               
slated  for  destruction due  to  airport  expansion.   It  would                                                               
consist of a 100-yard shooting  range surrounded by a raised dirt                                                               
berm.   A  rain  shack  would be  built  to  provide cover  while                                                               
weapons and gear are cleaned.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF  HOFFMAN,  in  response to  further  questions  from  Chair                                                               
Johansen,  explained that  the  facility would  be  owned by  the                                                               
state and would  be located on airport land that  is owned by the                                                               
state.   He said that  no personnel  would be necessary  to staff                                                               
the facility.  Each of the  30 federal, state, and local agencies                                                               
that would  be using  the facility would  schedule their  time at                                                               
the facility through the airport  and that each individual agency                                                               
would be  responsible for providing monitoring  or training staff                                                               
when activities are conducted.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:35:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JOHANSEN inquired  as to the Department  of Public Safety's                                                               
(DPS) plans for its academy in Sitka.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RODNEY   DIAL,  Lieutenant,   Deputy  Commander,   A  Attachment,                                                               
Division of  Alaska State Troopers,  Alaska Department  of Public                                                               
Safety,  related that  the commissioner  is looking  to establish                                                               
regional training  centers to compliment, not  replace, the Sitka                                                               
training  academy.   These regional  training centers  will allow                                                               
significantly  reduced travel  times,  and  thereby increase  the                                                               
productivity of troopers.  For  example, if the regional training                                                               
centers  save  two  days  of  travel for  half  of  the  troopers                                                               
annually, it  has the effect  of adding another  trooper position                                                               
to serve  Alaska.   He also  noted that  a significant  amount of                                                               
travel  time is  on overtime  pay.   The  commissioner's goal  in                                                               
having regional  training centers  is to  make the  division more                                                               
efficient.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:36:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DIAL,  in response to Representative  Johnson, pointed                                                               
out  that  there  are  no long-term  housing  proposals  for  the                                                               
regional training  centers.  They would  compliment, not replace,                                                               
the  training conducted  at the  academy  in Sitka  and make  the                                                               
department  more efficient.   He  surmised  that if  there was  a                                                               
regional training center  in Fairbanks, it would  be utilized for                                                               
personnel in Western  Alaska and Interior posts.   Troopers based                                                               
in Southeast would still be sent to Sitka, he said.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:37:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHIEF  HOFFMAN  informed the  committee  that  this proposal  was                                                               
initiated  and   brought  forth  by  the   local  peace  officers                                                               
association in  Fairbanks, which represents the  30 agencies that                                                               
utilize the  existing shooting  range.   Regarding the  impact of                                                               
this  facility  to  the  statewide   operation  of  Alaska  State                                                               
Troopers,  he  pointed out  that  participation  and use  of  the                                                               
existing range by troopers is an  extremely small part of what is                                                               
being discussed.  He stated  that members of the Fairbanks Police                                                               
Department  do  not  travel  to  Sitka  when  qualifications  are                                                               
required.  Chief Hoffman relayed:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     This  is  a  local range  facility  that's  desperately                                                                    
     needed to  be maintained  here in Fairbanks  to service                                                                    
     our local  needs.  If  it ends up helping  the troopers                                                                    
     additionally,  that's great  and I'm  all for  that but                                                                    
     I'm hoping  that people  don't lose  sight of  the fact                                                                    
     that we're  losing the  only range  that we  have here,                                                                    
     that services all of our  law enforcement agencies.  We                                                                    
     need to have another facility to replace it.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:39:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN related his  understanding that the purpose                                                               
of HB  8 is simply to  name a facility  if and when one  is built                                                               
and that  the question of whether  or not to build  a facility is                                                               
contained in a separate bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DIAL stated that this is correct.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:40:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON moved  to report  HB 8  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:40 p.m. to 1:43 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 168-LAND TRANSFERS ALASKA RR & DOTPF                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:43:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR JOHANSEN announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 168, "An  Act authorizing two exchanges of land                                                               
between  the Alaska  Railroad Corporation  and the  Department of                                                               
Transportation  and  Public  Facilities;  and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DAVID SCOTT, Staff to Representative  Kyle Johansen, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  HB  168   on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Johansen, chair  of the House Transportation  Standing Committee,                                                               
sponsor of  HB 168.   He explained  that the bill  authorizes two                                                               
exchanges of  land, totaling approximately 10  acres, between the                                                               
Alaska  Railroad   Corporation  (ARRC)  and  the   Department  of                                                               
Transportation  and  Public  Facilities   (DOT&PF)  in  order  to                                                               
accommodate two DOT&PF  projects.  The projects  are the widening                                                               
and  lane improvement  of the  Parks Highway  in Wasilla  and the                                                               
construction of  a heavy  aircraft cargo  apron at  the Fairbanks                                                               
International  Airport.     Both  of  the   projects  require  an                                                               
adjustment of  the railroad  track and  right-of-way lands.   Mr.                                                               
Scott  said  the bill  ensures  that  all appropriate  titles  to                                                               
property can be  in place for both of these  two DOT&PF projects;                                                               
Section 1  pertains to  the Parks Highway  project and  Section 2                                                               
pertains  to the  cargo  apron  project.   He  explained that  AS                                                               
42.40.285  requires   legislative  approval   for  the   ARRC  to                                                               
"exchange, donate,  sell or otherwise convey  its entire interest                                                               
in land".                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN  inquired whether  there is  any opposition                                                               
to  either of  the  exchanges  from other  agencies  or from  the                                                               
public.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WENDY  LINDSKOOG, Assistant  Vice  President, Corporate  Affairs,                                                               
Alaska  Railroad  Corporation  (ARRC),  Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community, &  Economic Development,  responded that ARRC  has not                                                               
heard of any  opposition.  It is  a small issue in  terms of only                                                               
being  an  agency-to-agency  land  exchange  to  accommodate  the                                                               
DOT&PF projects.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MARY  SIROKY, Legislative  Liaison, Office  of the  Commissioner,                                                               
Department  of  Transportation   &  Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),                                                               
answered that  DOT&PF is  not aware  of any  opposition.   It was                                                               
property that did  not have a constituency that  would be opposed                                                               
to the transfers.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:47:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DOOGAN asked whether  these sorts of exchanges are                                                               
publicly noticed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
FRANCES  ZIMMERMAN,  Right-of-Way   Agent  III,  Central  Region,                                                               
Department  of  Transportation   &  Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),                                                               
replied that  her involvement is  with the Parks  Highway project                                                               
and that  she did  not believe  that there  is normally  a public                                                               
notice process involved in this type of a transfer.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BENNETT, Right-of-Way Chief,  Northern Region, Department of                                                               
Transportation &  Public Facilities  (DOT&PF), stated  that there                                                               
has been  public notice and  public involvement in  [the aircraft                                                               
cargo  apron] project  through  the  normal environmental  public                                                               
involvement process.   However, public  notice for a  disposal of                                                               
land  is generally  only  required when  the  state is  divesting                                                               
itself of its interest  in the land.  In this  case, he said, the                                                               
end result  is that all of  the real property will  still be held                                                               
by the State of Alaska.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:48:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BENNETT,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Johnson, explained that the Fairbanks  project involved moving an                                                               
existing spur  line of railroad  tracks a short distance  to make                                                               
room for the heavy cargo apron.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.   ZIMMERMAN,  in   response   to  the   same  question   from                                                               
Representative  Johnson, said  that  the  same situation  existed                                                               
with  regard to  the Parks  Highway.   The  railroad tracks  were                                                               
relocated approximately  100 feet  south of their  prior location                                                               
during the improvement project.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:48:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON inquired  whether the  [track relocation]                                                               
has already been done.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. ZIMMERMAN responded yes, that  the construction of the [Parks                                                               
Highway] project  and the relocation  of the tracks  have already                                                               
taken place, but that the transfer  of title is not yet been done                                                               
because it is dependent upon [HB 168].                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNETT  answered that this  is also correct for  the airport                                                               
project.    The  project  was  advertised  and  construction  was                                                               
commenced based  on a right-of-entry document  between DOT&PF and                                                               
ARRC.   They  are now  in the  process of  wrapping up  the title                                                               
details so that deeds for the property can be exchanged.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:49:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON asked who paid  for the cost of moving the                                                               
track since there is no fiscal note on the bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ZIMMERMAN  replied that it  was a  part of the  project costs                                                               
and  that  the  Parks  Highway project  was  primarily  federally                                                               
funded.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BENNETT stated  that this  is  the same  situation with  the                                                               
Fairbanks International  Airport.  The  project is funded  by the                                                               
Federal Aviation Administration and this is a participating                                                                     
cost.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:49:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SALMON inquired whether the access road around                                                                   
the [airport] runway will still be available to the public.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNETT answered yes; there will still be an access road.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:50:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON moved to report HB 168 out of committee                                                                  
with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal                                                                     
notes.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Transportation Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 1:50                                                                 
p.m.                                                                                                                            

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