Legislature(2007 - 2008)CAPITOL 17
03/06/2007 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION
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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.