Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/20/2001 09:04 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                          March 20, 2001                                                                                      
                              9:04 AM                                                                                         
SFC-01 # 48,  Side A                                                                                                            
SFC 01 # 48,  Side B                                                                                                            
SFC 01 # 49,  Side A                                                                                                            
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                               
Co-Chair Pete  Kelly convened the meeting at approximately  9:04 AM.                                                            
Senator Dave Donley, Co-Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Jerry Ward, Vice Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Gary Wilken                                                                                                             
Senator Alan Austerman                                                                                                          
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donald Olson                                                                                                            
Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                              
Also Attending:   SENATOR  JOHN TORGERSON;  NANCY SLAGLE,  Director,                                                          
Division of  Administrative Services,  Department of Transportation                                                             
and Public Facilities;  TOM BRIGHAM, Director, Division of Statewide                                                            
Planning,  Department  of  Transportation   and Public  Facilities;                                                           
HAROLD MOESER,  State Harbor Engineer, Division of  Statewide Design                                                            
and Engineering  Services, Department  of Transportation  and Public                                                            
Attending  via Teleconference:    [NOTE: Teleconference   testifiers                                                          
were at two off-net sites  in Anchorage and Fairbanks.] DAVE EBERLE,                                                            
PE, Regional Director,  Central Region, Department of Transportation                                                            
and   Public   Facilities;    TOM   MITTENDORF,   Planner,    Alaska                                                            
International  Airport  System,  Department  of  Transportation  and                                                            
Public Facilities,  testified via  teleconference; JENNIE  KUENTZEL,                                                            
Planner,  Alaska   International   Airport  System,  Department   of                                                            
Transportation  and  Public Facilities;  BILL  O'LEARY, Controller,                                                             
Alaska International  Airport System,  Department of Transportation                                                             
and Public Facilities;  ROGER MAGGARD, Airport Development  Manager,                                                            
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                              
SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                                                                         
SB 137-ALASKA HUMAN RESOURCE INVESTMENT COUNCIL                                                                                 
The  Committee   heard  from  the  sponsor.  The  bill   moved  from                                                            
SB  29-REAPPROPRIATIONS & CAPITAL APPROPRIATIONS                                                                                
The  Committee  heard from  the  Department  of  Transportation  and                                                            
Public Facilities. The bill was held in Committee.                                                                              
     SENATE BILL NO. 137                                                                                                        
     "An Act relating to the allocation of money appropriated to                                                                
     the Alaska Human Resource Investment Council; and providing                                                                
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
This was  the second  hearing for  this bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
SENATOR  JOHN TORGERSON  presented  the  fiscal note,  pointing  out                                                            
$3,051,046 is appropriated  to the University of Alaska and $500,918                                                            
is appropriated  to the Kotzebue Technical Center  and $1,001,836 is                                                            
appropriated to the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTC).                                                                  
Senator Austerman commented  that the purpose of similar legislation                                                            
introduced  the prior session,  was to provide  funds to assist  the                                                            
University in reaching  a goal of a $16 million budget increase.  He                                                            
asked SB 137 would accomplish this.                                                                                             
Senator  Torgerson  noted this  legislation  provides  funds to  the                                                            
Senator  Wilken offered  a motion  to report  CS SB  137 (FIN)  from                                                            
There was no objection and the bill MOVED from Committee.                                                                       
     SENATE BILL NO. 29                                                                                                         
     "An Act making  capital appropriations and capitalizing  funds;                                                            
     making appropriations  under art. IX, sec. 17(c),  Constitution                                                            
     of the State of Alaska,  from the constitutional budget reserve                                                            
     fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
     MANAGEMENT   REPORTING   SYSTEM  EFFICIENCY   -  ANALYSIS   AND                                                            
     Reference No.: 33938                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     The  department needs  a thorough analysis  of all information                                                             
     systems  being used by  the department,  including a review  of                                                            
     what information is  being collected from them, how it is being                                                            
     collected,  and how the information is being  used. This review                                                            
     should  suggest  ways   of improving   the  efficiency  of  the                                                            
     departments  information management by streamlining  processes,                                                            
     by changing  or improving systems,  and by improving  reporting                                                            
NANCY  SLAGLE,  Director,   Division  of  Administrative   Services,                                                            
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities,  listed  the                                                            
Airport Information  Management System and the Equipment  Management                                                            
System  as  some  of  the  many different   systems  the  Department                                                            
Senator Hoffman asked about  the possibility of funding a portion of                                                            
this project with federal funds.                                                                                                
Ms. Slagle was  unsure that this could be done because  this project                                                            
is not specific to a federal highway program.                                                                                   
Senator Ward  asked if the intent  is to contract this project  to a                                                            
private entity that has performed this service in other states.                                                                 
Ms. Slagle affirmed.                                                                                                            
     SAFETY INSPECTION OF STATE OWNED HIGH RISK FACILITIES                                                                      
     Reference No.: 33855                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Health/Safety                                                                                                    
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     Field inspection  of 50 high-risk buildings.  This will include                                                            
     structural  analysis of each facility to determine  if they may                                                            
     be subject to catastrophic failure.                                                                                        
Ms. Slagle  testified  this project  utilizes general  funds and  is                                                            
proposed  as a result of  recent incidents  including one  involving                                                            
the structural integrity  of the Cascade Maintenance Building in the                                                            
Central  Region. She added  that due  to the age  of the  buildings,                                                            
asbestos is expected  and would have to be addressed.  She said this                                                            
appropriation would allow inspections of ten to 15 buildings.                                                                   
Senator Austerman requested a list of the 50 buildings.                                                                         
Ms. Slagle said she would provide the list.                                                                                     
Senator Wilken asked if  this project could be funded from the state                                                            
building fund established in the previous legislative session.                                                                  
Ms. Slagle  responded the  buildings proposed  for this project  are                                                            
not  included in  the public  building  program.  She explained  the                                                            
public  building  fund  addresses  state-owned  buildings  that  are                                                            
leased to other state agencies.                                                                                                 
Senator Wilken  requested a list of  the ten - 15 buildings  planned                                                            
for inspection in FY 02.                                                                                                        
Senator Leman  noted the project plans to use a structural  engineer                                                            
and an environmental  engineer and he asked if these  services would                                                            
be done with  Department staff or  through a private contractor(s).                                                             
Ms. Slagle expected the  engineers would be employed from outside of                                                            
the Department.                                                                                                                 
Ms.  Slagle  answered Senator  Ward's  question  by  explaining  the                                                            
intent of this  project is to determine  whether the department  has                                                            
liability  for catastrophic  failure of  the identified facilities.                                                             
She  gave heavy  snowfall  causing a  roof collapse  as  one of  the                                                            
scenarios the inspections would focus on.                                                                                       
     MATERIAL STOCKPILES: DALTON - ELLIOT HIGHWAY                                                                               
     Reference No.: 33853                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Dalton Highway                                                                                                   
     Election District: Rural Interior                                                                                          
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     Pay  for crushing materials  used for  maintenance that  is not                                                            
     reimbursable  by federal funding. Materials stockpiles  will be                                                            
     contracted  in  conjunction   with major  federal-aid   highway                                                            
     projects on the Dalton Highway.                                                                                            
Ms. Slagle  testified  the "drivability"  of the  Dalton Highway  is                                                            
difficult and  that on-going routine  maintenance is necessary.  She                                                            
detailed  that use of  the road,  along with  wind conditions,  have                                                            
caused the  top layer of the road  surface to blow away.  She stated                                                            
that stockpiling  materials  along the route  is required to  enable                                                            
this preventative maintenance  to occur. She also noted this expense                                                            
is not eligible for federal reimbursement.                                                                                      
Co-Chair Kelly asked whether  this maintenance could be eligible for                                                            
federal funding.                                                                                                                
TOM BRIGHAM,  Director, Division of  Statewide Planning,  Department                                                            
of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities,  explained  the  general                                                            
criteria  for  federal  eligibility.  He  said  if  a  project  were                                                            
"programmatic"   maintenance,   it  would   be  eligible;  he   gave                                                            
resurfacing  a  road  as  an example.   However,  filling  potholes,                                                            
plowing snow,  sanding icy roads,  etc. is not eligible,  he stated.                                                            
Co-Chair Kelly  was unsure the difference  between preventative  and                                                            
routine maintenance.                                                                                                            
Mr. Brigham  responded that most preventative  maintenance,  such as                                                            
applying  chip   seal  where  asphalt  is  beginning   to  wear,  is                                                            
Ms. Slagle continued this  project would involve stockpiling surface                                                            
materials  in four  locations along  the highway:  Sag River,  Happy                                                            
Valley, Milepost  274 and Milepost 86. She noted it  is expensive to                                                            
transport materials north of the Brooks Range.                                                                                  
Senator  Austerman asked  the total capital  expenditures  requested                                                            
for the Dalton Highway.                                                                                                         
Mr. Brigham responded  $30 million is "earmarked"  for activities in                                                            
the upcoming summer, with  a portion planned for the summer of 2002.                                                            
In  addition  to  this amount,  he  noted  an  on-going  program  of                                                            
approximately  $10 to $15 million a year to rebuild  the highway. He                                                            
stated the  department has projected  undertaking one major  project                                                            
per year, although  some years would include smaller  projects, such                                                            
as a bridge.                                                                                                                    
Senator Austerman  asked the driving  force behind keeping  the road                                                            
in operation.                                                                                                                   
Mr. Brigham replied  the Dalton Highway is "the surface  lifeline to                                                            
Prudhoe  Bay"  and  that  a  significant   amount  of  materials  is                                                            
transported  over  this road.   He  detailed  the damage  caused  by                                                            
snowplowing  and permafrost  heaves.   He  then shared  the  repairs                                                            
would involve building  the road level higher in hopes that the wind                                                            
would blow  snow off the  road, thus reducing  the need for  plowing                                                            
and therefore  minimizing  future damage. He  also explained  that a                                                            
harder,  "VSP  application"   surface  would  be  installed  on  the                                                            
repaired areas.                                                                                                                 
Senator  Wilken addressed  Senator Austerman's  question by  stating                                                            
the  Dalton  Highway  "is  the  lifeline  to  what  amounts  to  our                                                            
permanent fund"  and the development  of resources. On a  more human                                                            
scale, he expressed,  there are no longer a lot of  rich truckers in                                                            
Fairbanks,  Anchorage or  Kenai, due to  high-paying contracts  with                                                            
the oil companies,  but there are those making a living.  He relayed                                                            
how the  road  conditions cause  substantial  wear and  tear on  the                                                            
trucks. He asserted the  reason for using federal and state funds to                                                            
maintain the Dalton  Highway is to make that road  passable and safe                                                            
for those people making  a living.  He stated the current process of                                                            
addressing  twenty  or  thirty  miles  of  the  road  each  year  is                                                            
accomplishing this.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair Kelly  agreed with Senator Wilken that the  road conditions                                                            
are hard  on vehicles  and the  companies that  must maintain  them.                                                            
However,  he noted  physical  injuries  are caused  from  repetitive                                                            
driving on the rough roads.                                                                                                     
Senator Austerman did not  dispute the amount of money spent on this                                                            
road is  important, but  wanted to  make a point  that the fuel  tax                                                            
should  be  increased.  He  opined  that  the  commercial   trucking                                                            
industry  should be  paying some  of the  cost of  maintaining  this                                                            
road. He compared  this to the construction of a launch  facility in                                                            
Kodiak and 40 miles of road leading to the location.                                                                            
Senator Wilken  informed that an effort  was underway to  organize a                                                            
tour for legislatures to ride the Dalton Highway.                                                                               
Senator Ward  asserted that  there are important  projects  all over                                                            
the state. He spoke of  roads in his district that need maintenance.                                                            
He commented  that commercial drivers  are claiming their  contracts                                                            
are no longer  viable because they  have to absorb the cost  of wear                                                            
and tear on their vehicles.  As a result, he stated, the legislature                                                            
is  pressured  to expend  funds  to maintain  roads  for  commercial                                                            
operators,  when  other roads  are  causing  damage to  the  general                                                            
     VALDEZ - HARBORVIEW DEVELOPMENT CENTER                                                                                     
     Reference No.: 32476                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Health/Safety                                                                                                    
     Location: Valdez                                                                                                           
     Election District: Delta, Prince William Sound                                                                             
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     This will cover final mothballing of the portion of this                                                                   
     Valdez facility previously used by Health and Social Services.                                                             
Ms. Slagle  noted this appropriation  consists of general  funds and                                                            
statutory  designated  program  receipts  (SDPR)  from the  City  of                                                            
Valdez. She stated the  Department was given responsibility for this                                                            
facility a few  years past with no additional funds  to maintain it.                                                            
She informed the general  funds requested in this item would be used                                                            
for shut down the unused  portion of the facility and the SDPR would                                                            
be used  to pay  utility  costs until  the facility  is closed.  She                                                            
assured this  project would not impact  the portion of the  facility                                                            
currently used as a hospital.                                                                                                   
Senator   Austerman  pointed   out  that   this  project  has   been                                                            
continually  classified as  a one-time project.  He asked where  the                                                            
SDPR would come from.                                                                                                           
Ms. Slagle answered, "We're hoping from the City."                                                                              
     WEIGHTS AND MEASURES TESTING UNIT REPLACEMENT                                                                              
     Reference No.: 32605                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     The Weights  and Measures vehicle fleet is aging  and is at the                                                            
     point where  a number of the vehicles are due  for replacement.                                                            
     Currently,  vehicles  that  are  well  beyond  their  projected                                                            
     economic  useful life (some nearly  30 years old) are  still in                                                            
Ms. Slagle stated  this appropriation would be used  to purchase two                                                            
testing units.  She detailed $60,000  of the funds would  be used to                                                            
purchase a 100-gallon  petroleum testing unit used  for testing fuel                                                            
meters,  such as  those in  home heating  oil delivery  trucks.  She                                                            
stated this  unit would replace one  in the Northern Region  that is                                                            
over 30 years  old and is not longer safe to operate.  She continued                                                            
the remaining  funds would purchase  a large-scale unit for  testing                                                            
trucks, contractor,  freight and fishing scales and  would replace a                                                            
unit located in  the Southeast Region that is over  20 years old and                                                            
no longer safe to use.                                                                                                          
     Alaska Marine Highway System:  Overhaul, Rehabilitation, and                                                               
     Mandatory Training                                                                                                         
     Reference No.: 30624                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     Annual maintenance and overhaul on vessels and at terminals,                                                               
     particularly component or system failures, which will impact                                                               
     service in the short term.                                                                                                 
Ms. Slagle detailed  this annual request is to allow  inspections of                                                            
all sea valves, hull coating,  inspections and repairs of propulsion                                                            
systems,  repairs to  diesel generators,  sewage  systems, etc.,  as                                                            
well as maintenance and repair to terminal facilities.                                                                          
Ms. Slagle  noted that approximately  $620,000 of this amount  would                                                            
be  used  to  pay for  STCW  training,  which  is  required  by  the                                                            
International  Maritime  Organization and  the US  Coast Guard.  She                                                            
explained  all  crewmembers  must  have received  this  training  by                                                            
February  1, 2002. She noted  most of the  training is eligible  for                                                            
federal  funding  and this  appropriation  reflects  the amount  not                                                            
Co-Chair  Kelly asked  the balance  of the Marine  Highway fund  and                                                            
what were the restrictions on how those funds could be spent.                                                                   
Ms. Slagle  estimated the  balance at the  end of the previous  year                                                            
was $16  million.   She stated  it is  predicted the  fund would  be                                                            
depleted this year.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair Kelly clarified this fund is not an endowment.                                                                         
Ms. Slagle  explained the  fund was "seated  with one year's  Marine                                                            
Highway revenue" of approximately  $41 million. She did not know the                                                            
exact year.                                                                                                                     
Co-Chair Kelly  read from the capital budget summary,  "Our deferred                                                            
maintenance items have  begun to accumulate and year by year, we opt                                                            
not to  perform all  prudent preservation."  He  understood that  if                                                            
maintenance  is addressed early, the  repair costs are lower  in the                                                            
long term.  He was  concerned  that the  fund has not  been used  to                                                            
address  maintenance  items   and  instead  has  been  allocated  to                                                            
operating expenses.                                                                                                             
Ms.  Slagle responded  the  Marine  Highway fund  has  been used  to                                                            
stabilize  the  operation  of the  Marine  Highway System  to  allow                                                            
management  to predict the level of  service that could be  provided                                                            
in  the  upcoming  year.  She  told  of  the  efforts   required  to                                                            
establish,   publish  and  distribute   schedules.  She   noted  the                                                            
maintenance projects in  the past have been paid with general funds.                                                            
Senator Austerman requested  the Department provide a history of how                                                            
this fund has  been used. He referenced  the capital budget  summary                                                            
showing the  inclusion of  software expenses  in the STCW  component                                                            
and asked if this is a one-time expense.                                                                                        
Ms. Slagle  replied the software in  question is a one-time  expense                                                            
and is  eligible for federal  funding reimbursement.  She  clarified                                                            
the  state  is responsible  for  the  expense  of the  basic  safety                                                            
training and instructor-assisted  training. She assured this request                                                            
would be the last for this project.                                                                                             
Senator Austerman referenced  a report making recommendations on how                                                            
the Marine  Highway System  could benefit  from increased  marketing                                                            
efforts and  a new fee structure.  [Copy not provided.] He  asked if                                                            
the fee structure has been implemented.                                                                                         
Ms. Slagle  answered a new  fee structure  would go into effect  the                                                            
upcoming summer.                                                                                                                
Senator Austerman  explained  how travelers  are charged a  toll for                                                            
traveling  on  the  Alaska  Marine  Highway  System,  and  suggested                                                            
travelers could  be charged a toll  for driving the Dalton  Highway.                                                            
Senator   Hoffman  noted   this  project   shows  funding   requests                                                            
anticipated  through  FY 06 and  asked  if the Marine  Highway  fund                                                            
would have assets to cover these appropriations.                                                                                
Ms. Slagle responded  the fund contains no funds that  have not been                                                            
committed.  She detailed  there are  vessels  currently in  overhaul                                                            
status  and  the   Department  is  working  to  keep   nine  vessels                                                            
operational. In fact, she stressed, more funds are needed.                                                                      
     FACILITIES DEFERRED MAINTENANCE AND CRITICAL REPAIRS                                                                       
     Reference No.: 30632                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     To address the most urgent, critical repairs on state                                                                      
Ms. Slagle  gave examples of projects  that would be addressed  with                                                            
this appropriation:  electrical repairs  to the Tudor Road  Complex,                                                            
roof  replacement for  the  Sitka Court  and Office  Building,  roof                                                            
replacement  for the  Kenai Court  House, roof  replacement for  the                                                            
Southeast Region  Complex; roof, siding and window  replacements for                                                            
the  Kodiak Regional  Office  Building,  exterior wall  surface  and                                                            
window replacement  for the Nome State  Building; and roof  and door                                                            
replacement  Ketchikan   Maintenance  Station.    She  asserted  the                                                            
Department   has  approximately  $40   million  worth  of   deferred                                                            
maintenance  projects  on  state-owned  facilities  alone  and  this                                                            
request would address the highest priorities.                                                                                   
     EMERGENCY AND NON-ROUTINE REPAIRS                                                                                          
     Reference No.: 30634                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     Repairs to transportation  facilities needed because of natural                                                            
     disasters, such as  floods, snow, wind, earthquakes, etc. These                                                            
     repairs  would be ineligible  for federal  funds. Also  used to                                                            
     meet imminent failure needs caused by deferred maintenance.                                                                
Ms.  Slagle gave  some examples  of  repairs undertaken  with  these                                                            
funds in  the past as  electrical, roof  repairs, avalanche  control                                                            
and highway  rockwork.  She stated  these are repairs  that must  be                                                            
undertaken quickly.                                                                                                             
Senator Austerman  requested a list  of projects addressed  with the                                                            
funds appropriated in FY01.                                                                                                     
Ms. Slagle replied  she would provide such a list.  She noted all of                                                            
the funds  have  not been  committed yet  since the  fiscal year  is                                                            
still in progress.                                                                                                              
     CORP OF ENGINEERS - HARBORS PROGRAM                                                                                        
     Reference No.: 7091                                                                                                        
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     Participation with the Corps of Engineers and local                                                                        
     governments in harbor breakwaters, dredging, feasibility                                                                   
     studies, and program assistance.                                                                                           
Ms.  Slagle  spoke  to  this  annual  request.  She  referenced  the                                                            
proposed  projects  and  amounts  included  in  the  capital  budget                                                            
     HARBOR DEFERRED MAINTENANCE                                                                                                
     Reference No.: 7090                                                                                                        
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     To address backlogged deferred maintenance for state-owned                                                                 
SFC 01 # 48, Side B 09:51 AM                                                                                                    
Ms. Slagle noted  the significant deferred maintenance  needs of the                                                            
76 state-owned harbors and that this is an annual request.                                                                      
Co-Chair Kelly  asked if these repairs are scheduled  in preparation                                                            
for transferring ownership to the local communities.                                                                            
Ms. Slagle  answered no,  that these repairs  are necessary  to keep                                                            
the harbor facilities operational.                                                                                              
Senator Austerman  asked if  projects have  been identified  for the                                                            
entire appropriation.                                                                                                           
Ms. Slagle affirmed and listed the amounts.                                                                                     
AT EASE 9:54 AM/9:56 AM                                                                                                         
Senator Austerman  asked for  further details  on the Department  of                                                            
Fish and Game,  Division of Sport Fish access and  aviation seaplane                                                            
replacement  projects. He wanted to  know why general funds  instead                                                            
of Fish and Game funds are requested.                                                                                           
HAROLD MOESER,  State Harbor Engineer, Division of  Statewide Design                                                            
and Engineering  Services, Department  of Transportation  and Public                                                            
Facilities,  testified  the Department  of Fish and  Game has  funds                                                            
from a past  appropriation for a launching  ramp facility  in Hyder.                                                            
The  Department  of  Transportation  and  Public  Facilities  has  a                                                            
seaplane float  project underway in Hyder, he said,  and dredging is                                                            
necessary  to make  the entrance  accessible  to  both projects.  He                                                            
noted US Federal Aviation  Administration funds are proposed for the                                                            
seaplane project.  The intent, he stated, is to combine  the project                                                            
to allow federal fund to pay a portion of the dredging expenses.                                                                
     AIRPORT DEFERRED MAINTENANCE                                                                                               
     Reference No.: 30633                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     To repair the backlog  of maintenance items that cannot be done                                                            
     through the operating  budget funding levels. Typical items are                                                            
     pavement  repairs, lighting repairs, fencing  repairs, and bird                                                            
     and animal controls.                                                                                                       
Ms.  Slagle  pointed  out  this  annual   request  is  for  deferred                                                            
maintenance  projects in  rural airports.  She  informed that  $39.7                                                            
million  in deferred  maintenance  project  were identified  in  the                                                            
Department's  Fall  99 survey.  She  described  projects  undertaken                                                            
during  the  current  fiscal  year  including  brush  cutting,  bird                                                            
control, weed  control, runway repair and erosion  repair in various                                                            
locations across the state.                                                                                                     
     HIGHWAY DEFERRED MAINTENANCE                                                                                               
     Reference No.: 30631                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     To  address  some  of the  needs  that have  not  been  handled                                                            
     through the  operating budget maintenance funds.  Typical items                                                            
     are  surface  and embankment  repairs,  drainage  culverts  and                                                            
      ditch repairs, marking and sign repairs, and brushing.                                                                    
Ms.  Slagle indicated  that  this  is another  annual  request.  She                                                            
listed  brush cutting  for site  improvement along  roadways in  the                                                            
Central Region  and Northern Region,  guardrail repairs in  the same                                                            
regions,  storm  drain  cleanouts  and bridge  repair  in  Southeast                                                            
Region,  etc., as  some of  the projects  addressed  with the FY  01                                                            
     STATE EQUIPMENT FLEET REPLACEMENT                                                                                          
     Reference No.: 30628                                                                                                       
     AP/AL: Appropriation                                                                                                       
     Category: Transportation                                                                                                   
     Location: Statewide                                                                                                        
     Election District: Statewide                                                                                               
     Estimated Project Dates: 07/01/2001 - 06/30/2006                                                                           
     Replacement  and/or  refurbishment  of equipment  and  vehicles                                                            
     which have  reached the end of their useful life  cycle and all                                                            
     extension periods  and for the continued conversion of vehicles                                                            
      to alternate fuel and related alternate fuel expenses.                                                                    
Ms.  Slagle explained  this  item is  authorization  to receive  and                                                            
expend  funds  from the  Highway  Working  Capital fund  to  replace                                                            
vehicles  in the 4,400-unit  state equipment  fleet. She noted  this                                                            
does not include  the Alaska Railroad, the University  of Alaska, or                                                            
the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC).                                                                                  
Senator Hoffman asked if this project has a backlog.                                                                            
Ms. Slagle answered there  is a backlog that is being addressed. She                                                            
informed  the Department secured  $9 million  in financing  for road                                                            
graders and snowplows.                                                                                                          
Senator Ward  asked if efforts were  in progress to obtain  vehicles                                                            
that utilize alternative fuel.                                                                                                  
Ms.  Slagle  stated  the Department  owns  about  30  vehicles  that                                                            
operate on natural gas fuel.                                                                                                    
Ms. Slagle  noted this concluded presentations  on the general  fund                                                            
requests. The following items involve federal funds.                                                                            
Mr.  Brigham stated  the  Department  has a  total of  102  aviation                                                            
projects  utilizing  approximately  $155  million  federal  Aviation                                                            
Improvement Program  funds.  He noted that $43.5 million  of this is                                                            
derived from international  airport revenues and $113.2  is aviation                                                            
bonds. He stated  the Department is requesting $7.3  million general                                                            
funds to leverage as matching funds.                                                                                            
Mr. Brigham  continued  the Department  has a total  of 156  surface                                                            
projects  totaling  $486 million  federal  receipts.  He stated  the                                                            
Department  is requesting $41 million  general funds to leverage  as                                                            
matching funds.                                                                                                                 
Mr. Brigham  pointed out there are  numerous projects and  suggested                                                            
addressing only those the Committee members had questions about.                                                                
Senator  Austerman  asked  the  amount  of  federal  transportation                                                             
receipts appropriated over the past several years.                                                                              
Mr. Brigham  estimated an  average of $350  million to $400  million                                                            
per year in recent years and $250 million in preceding years.                                                                   
Senator Austerman  pointed  out there is  an additional $86  million                                                            
secured for FY 02.                                                                                                              
Mr.  Brigham explained  the  "total  project  value" of  the  "basic                                                            
program" has grown  to between $360 and $370 million  in federal and                                                            
matching general funds.  He remarked the state has been fortunate in                                                            
receiving  "a number  of congressional  earmarks"  in  the past  two                                                            
Senator  Austerman  clarified the  increase  has been  for  specific                                                            
programs.  He  noted  items  were  consistently   removed  from  the                                                            
Department's  list of  planned projects.  In his  opinion, there  is                                                            
more money appropriated to fewer projects.                                                                                      
Mr.  Brigham   responded   the  FY  02   proposed  budget   contains                                                            
approximately  $100 million in "earmark"  projects and $360  to $380                                                            
million in regular programs.  He pointed out there is an increase in                                                            
the amount appropriated  to regular projects. He noted the reduction                                                            
in  the number  of projects  is  the result  of  underestimation  of                                                            
project costs  and the "uncertainties of delivering  a project" with                                                            
respect to  right-of-way complications.  Because of these  problems,                                                            
projects get moved farther  down the priority list and also displace                                                            
other  projects.   He  stated  that  the  Statewide  Transportation                                                             
Improvement  Plan (STIP)  is actually  a "snapshot"  of the  project                                                            
development at a given point of time rather than a budget.                                                                      
Senator Hoffman  reminded of a bridge project that  has been delayed                                                            
several  years. He  was told  the delay  was due  to a right-of-way                                                             
issue,  but had  heard  from residents  that  the real  problem  was                                                            
because of poor  site selection. He surmised this  is not a "project                                                            
slippage"  but rather  a "project  forgotten". He  told of  students                                                            
traveling to school  in the winter over the lake in  open skiffs. He                                                            
questioned  the health, life  and safety  priority assigned  to this                                                            
Mr. Brigham  responded that funding  for this project was  requested                                                            
approximately  four years prior,  but was not  funded. He noted  the                                                            
Department  then began  the development  process,  and admitted  the                                                            
site selection process has been complicated.                                                                                    
[Note: Teleconference interference from off-net sites.]                                                                         
DAVE EBERLE,  PE, Regional Director,  Central Region, Department  of                                                            
Transportation  and Public Facilities, testified via  teleconference                                                            
from Anchorage,  affirmed the construction funds were  excluded from                                                            
the  budget several  years,  although  the engineering  process  had                                                            
begun.  He stated  the development  process  is done  entirely  with                                                            
federal funds, but could  take another year to 18 months to complete                                                            
the design process before the right-of-way process could begin.                                                                 
Senator Austerman  agreed with Senator Hoffman's concerns,  relaying                                                            
a Marine Highway  dock project Kodiak  had been on the STIP  project                                                            
list  for about  ten  years,  but  not on  the  list this  year.  He                                                            
remarked  he  attributed   this  to  poor  communication   from  the                                                            
Senator Hoffman asked the  cost to build the new facility at the Ted                                                            
Stevens International  Airport. He  wanted to know why the  proposed                                                            
budget  contains  new appropriations  for  this facility.  He  noted                                                            
several  projects  relate  to the  airfield,  but  questioned  those                                                            
specifically related to the terminal.                                                                                           
TOM  MITTENDORF,  Planner,  Alaska  International   Airport  System,                                                            
Department  of Transportation and  Public Facilities, testified  via                                                            
teleconference testified  to the projects that maintain the airfield                                                            
and address environmental  issues. He told of information technology                                                            
projects to  provide airport planning  and design, conduct  terminal                                                            
operations, and provide  flight information for passengers. He noted                                                            
that approximately  62 percent of the cost for this  airport are for                                                            
maintenance repair  and other related projects and  approximately 25                                                            
percent are for regulatory requirements.                                                                                        
Senator Ward asked about the advanced parking design study.                                                                     
Mr. Mittendorf  replied  that every  year,  preliminary engineering                                                             
begins  for projects  planned  for the  following year.   He  stated                                                            
parking  is one  of many  projects  that would  be  funded from  the                                                            
advanced funding budget request.                                                                                                
Senator  Ward  asked  if  the parking  project  is  related  to  the                                                            
location of the Alaska Railroad terminal at the airport.                                                                        
Mr. Mittendorf  responded  the parking lot  expansion is related  to                                                            
the railroad  terminal. He explained  the parking lot project  would                                                            
potentially provide  additional rental car parking,  covered parking                                                            
for the  general public as  well as improved  facilities for  cruise                                                            
ship passengers arriving at the airport via the railroad.                                                                       
Senator Olson  referenced the request for $2.6 million  for de-icing                                                            
systems and asked for further detail.                                                                                           
Mr. Mittendorf told of  the De-Icing Task Force comprised of airport                                                            
staff and airline  representatives charged with identifying  methods                                                            
to collect and possibly  treat de-icing chemicals at the airport. He                                                            
noted  that currently,  the  waste  is deposited  in  Lake Hood.  He                                                            
informed that the task  force should issue final recommendations the                                                            
upcoming  Fall and  that the  funds requested  are  included in  the                                                            
budget with  the assumption  that drainage  and collections  systems                                                            
would be established.                                                                                                           
Senator Olson  asked how  the chemical would  be separated  from the                                                            
water in the storm drains.                                                                                                      
Mr. Mittendorf  replied  that  the issue  is still  in the  planning                                                            
phase, but  that one possibility  is to reroute  the drainage  using                                                            
spigots during the winter  months so the chemicals do not drain into                                                            
Lake Hood.                                                                                                                      
Senator Olson thought $2.6  million is a significant amount to spend                                                            
on spigots.                                                                                                                     
Mr.  Mittendorf  responded  the  system  would  probably   encompass                                                            
underground  containment  of  the  de-icing  materials  and  special                                                            
aircraft parking areas where the de-icing activity would occur.                                                                 
Senator Leman  asked for an explanation of the North  Terminal Water                                                            
Line  Replacement  item. He  asked  where  the line  originates  and                                                            
whether the existing system is aging.                                                                                           
JENNIE  KUENTZEL,  Planner,  Alaska  International  Airport  System,                                                            
Department  of Transportation and  Public Facilities, testified  via                                                            
teleconference,  told of  the conversion  of water  systems and  the                                                            
need to replace water fixtures throughout the terminal.                                                                         
Senator  Leman  clarified  that the  lines  are located  inside  the                                                            
terminal building.                                                                                                              
Ms. Kuentzel affirmed.                                                                                                          
Senator Austerman  referred to the  parking design and asked  if the                                                            
Department had consulted  the private sector to learn if there is an                                                            
interest in a  privately constructed and operated  parking facility.                                                            
Mr.  Mittendorf  said that  there  has been  interest  and that  the                                                            
Department  is considering such an  option. He elaborated  that if a                                                            
private  facility  were constructed  the  Department  would  oversee                                                            
planning,  construction  and  operation  because the  airport  would                                                            
ultimately have ownership of the facility.                                                                                      
Senator Austerman  asked about  the requests  for $14.5 million  for                                                            
terminal rehabilitation and $5 million for terminal relocation.                                                                 
Ms.  Kuentzel  replied  these  are  annual  requests  for  funds  to                                                            
undertake major maintenance in the terminal facilities.                                                                         
Senator  Austerman  assumed  these  projects  are  in  the  existing                                                            
portion of the terminal.                                                                                                        
Ms. Kuentzel affirmed the  projects are located in the main terminal                                                            
and the North  terminal. She detailed  the projects address  federal                                                            
fire  code  and  health/safety   requirements,  such   as  lighting,                                                            
furnishing, plumbing, electrical, etc.                                                                                          
Senator Austerman how about the relocation for 5 million.                                                                       
Ms. Kuentzel  explained the $5 million  terminal relocation  request                                                            
is to cover costs of relocating airlines within the terminal.                                                                   
Senator  Olson asked  for  justification of  the  almost $5  million                                                            
requested for Airfield Safety and Blast Protection.                                                                             
Mr. Mittendorf  told the Committee  of the completion of  a Pavement                                                            
Management  Program  and the  resulting  phased project  to  upgrade                                                            
pavement.  He  listed pavement  maintenance,  blast  protection  and                                                            
electrical systems  as services that would be addressed  at the same                                                            
time. He explained that  jet blasts from heavy aircraft cause runway                                                            
degradation,  which  could also  result in  debris  sucked into  jet                                                            
engines.  He noted  some large  runway rehabilitation  projects  are                                                            
planned in the next several years.                                                                                              
Senator Olson asked the repairs planned for Runway 1432.                                                                        
Mr.  Mittendorf  answered  it  would  be  resurfaced   and  lighting                                                            
upgrades would be installed.                                                                                                    
Ms. Kuentzel added some areas on this runway are deteriorating.                                                                 
Mr.  Mittendorf noted  runways  that receive  the  heaviest use  are                                                            
resurfaced  and  reconstructed   every  seven  to  ten  years.  This                                                            
project,  he  said, is  normal  scheduled  rehabilitation  for  this                                                            
Co-Chair  Kelly asked  how  much of  this project  utilizes  general                                                            
funds versus federal funds.                                                                                                     
Mr. Mittendorf  answered  no general  funds would  be used and  that                                                            
International Airport Revenue  funds would be used as matching funds                                                            
to secure the federal funding.                                                                                                  
Senator Wilken  referenced the $147  million bonding Five-Year  Plan                                                            
for  the  Ted  Stevens  Anchorage  International  Airport  that  the                                                            
Department  presented  to the Senate  Transportation  Committee.  He                                                            
asked if  these projects  are included in  the five-year plan  or if                                                            
they are "over and above".                                                                                                      
BILL  O'LEARY,  Controller,  Alaska  International  Airport  System,                                                            
Department  of Transportation and  Public Facilities, testified  via                                                            
teleconference  that these projects are included in  the legislation                                                            
containing  a  bond  package  to  fund  projects  at  the  Fairbanks                                                            
International  Airport and the Ted  Stevens Anchorage International                                                             
Airport.  He  noted the matching funds  necessary to secure  federal                                                            
funding would be provided through bonds.                                                                                        
Ms. Slagle pointed out  the funding source for the proposed projects                                                            
is International  Airport Construction funds, which  are specific to                                                            
the bond legislation.  She noted if  the legislations did  not pass,                                                            
the funding sources would need to change.                                                                                       
Senator Wilken next referred  to a Systems Relocation Project and an                                                            
Information  Technology  System.  He  asked  for  details  on  these                                                            
projects  and  an  explanation  on  how they  might  relate  to  the                                                            
Communications  Request For Proposals  (RFP) the state is  currently                                                            
Mr. Mittendorf was not familiar with the RFP.                                                                                   
Co-Chair Kelly noted the  Committee would hear a presentation on the                                                            
Information Technology project at a later date.                                                                                 
Senator Leman asked if  projects addressing blast protection include                                                            
efforts for noise abatement.                                                                                                    
Mr.  Mittendorf  responded  noise  abatement  is  not part  of  this                                                            
particular  project.   He spoke of  a Ground  Noise Study  currently                                                            
underway,  which  could result  in recommendations   for new  runway                                                            
directions.   If  this  were   to  occur,   he  noted,  the   runway                                                            
rehabilitation projects would address the new pathways.                                                                         
Senator  Austerman  pointed  to the  $8.9  million request  for  the                                                            
Whittier Access  Tunnel and the request  for funds for the  Whittier                                                            
Access  Road.  He  understood the  tunnel opening  included  delayed                                                            
implementation of a toll.  He asked if the Department would continue                                                            
to submit requests  for maintenance  and operation of this  road and                                                            
tunnel on an on-going  basis or whether the fees collected  from the                                                            
toll would  cover the costs. He also  wanted to know if any  general                                                            
funds were requested for the Whittier Access Tunnel.                                                                            
Mr. Brigham replied the  revenues amounts would be unknown until the                                                            
toll is  actually enacted.   He stated that  if the toll program  is                                                            
successful, the  revenues might cover all maintenance  and operating                                                            
costs. However,  noted the  Department has  the "permission"  of the                                                            
Federal  Highways  Administration  to  "include  a project  of  this                                                            
nature"  on an on-going  basis in  the federal  program and  general                                                            
funds would not be necessary.                                                                                                   
Senator  Austerman repeated  his question  of whether general  funds                                                            
are requested  for the Whittier Access  Tunnel in the FY  02 budget.                                                            
Ms. Slagle replied  the only general funds requested  in the capital                                                            
budget are for matching  funds. The operating budget, she continued,                                                            
contains a request for  general funds for maintenance and operations                                                            
of areas near the tunnel entrances.                                                                                             
Senator Austerman asked  if the toll revenues would be sufficient to                                                            
cover maintenance and operation  costs of the staging areas near the                                                            
Ms. Slagle  responded it is hoped  there would be enough  revenue to                                                            
pay all the expenses  of the tunnel and entrance areas.  She pointed                                                            
out SDPR  authority  contained in  the operating  budget to  utilize                                                            
toll revenues.                                                                                                                  
Senator  Austerman suggested  the  Committee review  the matter  the                                                            
following  session to ensure  the staging areas  are paid with  toll                                                            
revenues since federal  funds are available for the tunnel expenses.                                                            
Senator Leman referenced  the Akutan Airport Master Plan, noting the                                                            
cost is "considerably" higher then other master plans.                                                                          
Mr. Brigham  explained the Akutan  plan is "much more complicated".                                                             
ROGER   MAGGARD,  Airport   Development   Manager,   Department   of                                                            
Transportation  and Public Facilities, testified via  teleconference                                                            
the Akutan  Airport  Master Plan  is a  more expensive  project.  He                                                            
detailed it involves  evaluation of a site that is  further from the                                                            
community than  other airport facilities  and is in rugged  terrain.                                                            
He stated $1.2 million  was "earmarked" by US Senator Ted Stevens to                                                            
this   project.  The   actual  amount   of  funding   requested   is                                                            
approximately $970,000, he said.                                                                                                
Senator Hoffman asked if access to Akutan is still via seaplane.                                                                
Mr. Maggard affirmed.                                                                                                           
SFC 01 # 49, Side A 10:40 AM                                                                                                    
Senator Leman asked about fuel tax evasion.                                                                                     
Mr.  Brigham   explained  a  federal   program  the  Department   of                                                            
Transportation  and Public Facilities and the Department  of Revenue                                                            
participates  in that helps  fund gasoline  tax evasion enforcement                                                             
Senator Wilken  noted the  general fund total  of the Department  of                                                            
Transportation  and Public Facilities budget is 6.8  percent and the                                                            
general fund  total for federal match  is 9.4 percent. He  remarked,                                                            
"This  is a  transportation  budget  that  is definitely  driven  by                                                            
federal money or other money."                                                                                                  
Senator Austerman  agreed  Senator Wilken raised  a valid point.  He                                                            
cautioned  that those federal  funds could  be greatly reduced  with                                                            
the loss of one  congressman [referring to US Senator  Ted Stevens.]                                                            
He stressed  the Legislature  must  discuss options  to prepare  the                                                            
state for this occurrence.                                                                                                      
Senator Green appreciated  these concerns but stressed federal funds                                                            
come from Alaskans.  She suggested if the tax system  were different                                                            
the state's situation could be different.                                                                                       
Co-Chair Pete Kelly adjourned the meeting at 10:45 AM.                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects