Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/25/1994 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HB 345 - PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC FACILITIES                                   
                                                                               
  Number 584                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, prime sponsor of HB 345,                     
  read from the sponsor statement to the committee (attachment                 
  on file).  She stated the intent of this bill is to put a                    
  priority on maintenance by putting a line item in the                        
  budget, so that it is identified as the formula that is                      
  required to maintain the buildings in order to protect the                   
  state's capital assets.                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 637                                                                   
                                                                               
  JERRY NEWBERT, UNIVERSITY ARCHITECT AND ASSISTANT VICE                       
  PRESIDENT FOR FACILITIES in the Statewide System Office of                   
  the University of Alaska, spoke in support of HB 345.  He                    
  informed the committee of the maintenance needed at the                      
  University and said that more operating funds were needed.                   
  In addition, he said that the University has a sizable                       
  backlog of deferred maintenance, which is the result of                      
  underfunding the operating budget categories.  He said that                  
  projects are often underfunded.                                              
                                                                               
  MR. NEWBERT went on to say that the University is not                        
  predicting to fund any new positions as a result of this                     
  bill, because they would be contracting with the public                      
  sector.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 689                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if we a trying to force the                       
  legislature to appropriate money, when in the past there has                 
  been an absence of commitment to fund maintenance of the                     
  physical plant in the state of Alaska.                                       
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-5, SIDE B                                                            
  Number 001                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. NEWBERT responded to Representative Vezey by saying that                 
  this bill points the emphasis in the right direction.  The                   
  correct emphasis should be on maintenance of what we have                    
  and not in the expansion mode.  Mr. Newbert introduced                       
  KATHLEEN SHEDLER, director of the University of Alaska                       
  Fairbanks Office of Planning and Project Services.  He added                 
  that her department has procurement authority to do the                      
  planning and construction for projects at the UAF.                           
                                                                               
  Number 043                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked for questions from the committee.                 
                                                                               
  Number 049                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS asked if the Department of                       
  Transportation was going to testify.                                         
                                                                               
  Number 060                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referenced page 2, line 16..." the                       
  legislature must appropriate the necessary funds for new                     
  construction or for renovation or remodeling of public                       
  facilities."  He said this was vague and asked if this was                   
  referencing the requirements established by Department of                    
  Transportation, based on their visits to these public                        
  facilities on an annual basis.                                               
                                                                               
  Number 090                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, the funding would be based                   
  on a formula the department has for maintenance of buildings                 
  based on type, age and cost of the building.   The formula                   
  should provide a projection of how much is needed for the                    
  facilities, and it is the intention of this legislation to                   
  fully fund before building new facilities, and that when new                 
  legislation is on the table the same formula should be                       
  applied.  She added that it should be understood that                        
  formula monies for the cost of maintaining a new facility                    
  will be coming from the general operating funds in future                    
  years to cover maintenance of that building.                                 
                                                                               
  Number 109                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT commented and questioned the sponsor if                  
  this legislation would commit future legislatures to this                    
  formula.                                                                     
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded in the affirmative.                           
                                                                               
  Number 120                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES further pointed out there are other                     
  options if the state needs a capitol building.  She went on                  
  to say that if the state does not want to commit to the                      
  funding of the operating and maintenance cost of a facility,                 
  there is always the option of leasing a building.                            
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked for questions.  Being none he                     
  introduced ROD WILSON, ARCHITECT, DEPARTMENT OF                              
  TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES, in the headquarters                    
  office in Juneau.                                                            
                                                                               
  ROD WILSON discussed the perspectives of the Department of                   
  Transportation.  He mentioned attending a committee meeting                  
  of the Alaska State Facility Administrators.   He said this                  
  organization of which he is a member, did not know how to                    
  write a budget in order to get the adequate funding for                      
  operating, renewal and replacement.  As a result, they                       
  received inadequate funding.  He went on to say that the                     
  lack of funding forced them to take funds from the                           
  maintenance end of the budget in order to keep a facility                    
  operational.                                                                 
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON said another problem area was that typically the                  
  money is allocated into department budgets.  When this                       
  happens, often the funds are again taken from the                            
  maintenance funds for program operations.                                    
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON reiterated the importance of requesting adequate                  
  funding for facilities by incorporating long-term                            
  maintenance costs in the request.                                            
                                                                               
  Number 200                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON said that the Department of Transportation and                    
  Public Facilities supports HB 345 for the most part.  He                     
  suggested the Department of Transportation be given more                     
  authority over the disbursement of funds outlined within HB
  345, so that the funds can be redirected more appropriately                  
  toward facility request as opposed to the operational                        
  request.  The department further requested the renewal and                   
  replacement funds segment be put into a capital expenditure                  
  as opposed to an operational expenditure, so they have the                   
  ability to carry funds over.                                                 
                                                                               
  In conclusion, MR. WILSON voiced a concern of the department                 
  regarding the provision in the bill that mandates the                        
  completion of repairs on current facilities before building                  
  any new facilities.  He went on to say that the                              
  responsibility and the final decision is at the legislative                  
  level.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 270                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY questioned the productiveness and                       
  substantive ability of HB 345.                                               
                                                                               
  Number 286                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON said it would be productive from the standpoint                   
  of providing direction as to the intention of how the money                  
  is spent, and providing information to the legislature about                 
  how far the state is falling behind on the deferred                          
  maintenance curve.  He pointed out at present, the state is                  
  approximately over three million dollars in arrears in                       
  deferred maintenance.                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 305                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the bill addresses the rural                   
  schools and village safe water projects, many of which have                  
  not been constructed; many of which have and are no longer                   
  functioning.                                                                 
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON said he could not comment on the public schools,                  
  but went on to say the fiscal note and position paper does                   
  not address public schools or those other facilities.                        
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON said the backlog that the department is talking                   
  about is strictly state-owned, state-operated facilities.                    
                                                                               
  Number 320                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY stated that the figure in the fiscal note was                 
  only about half or less of total cost.                                       
                                                                               
  Number 321                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON agreed.  He said he did not know what the                         
  Department of Education turned in for a fiscal note.                         
                                                                               
  Number 322                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked Representative James if there was a                     
  fiscal note from the Department of Education.                                
                                                                               
  Number 323                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said no.  She went on to comment on                     
  designating funds saying that it is the intent of the                        
  formula funding to give the legislature tools to make a                      
  decision and to give the legislature, the people who work                    
  for the state of Alaska, and the general public the                          
  information that is required to fund the maintenance of                      
  capital facilities.                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 348                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked how many public facilities and                     
  buildings are being addressed.                                               
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON said there were approximately fifteen hundred to                  
  seventeen hundred.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 355                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked if he based that on his testimony                  
  from a previous meeting of 1.5 percent?                                      
                                                                               
  Number 357                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON pointed out the legislature had appropriated some                 
  funds in 1991 for maintenance and operations of facilities.                  
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the problem she saw with the                       
  fiscal note was that in fiscal 1995, there is a sixty one                    
  million dollar request, but also that sixty one million                      
  dollars is going to show up in the budget request, although                  
  it will be a lesser amount because it is not fully funded in                 
  the budget, thereby, double reporting the money.   She went                  
  on to say that the provision of a formula funding outlined                   
  in HB 345 would clarify the allocation of funds.                             
                                                                               
  Number 411                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE G. DAVIS asked if there was a cost benefit                    
  ratio; leasing over owning.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 425                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON speculated that it was an equal amount of leased                  
  space to owned space.                                                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
  DUGAN PETTY from General Services Division, Department of                    
  Administration, agreed with Mr. Wilson's comments.                           
                                                                               
  Number 435                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE KOTT referenced page 2 line 21 "...  The                      
  department shall from time to time, examine all existing                     
  public buildings...." and asked Mr. Wilson to describe what                  
  "time to time" means.                                                        
                                                                               
  Number 441                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. WILSON said the Department of Transportation has very                    
  few facility planners and usually see those buildings                        
  approximately once every ten years.  The last comprehensive                  
  update and analysis of public facilities was carried out in                  
  the late 1970's.  He went on to say that it was                              
  approximately a five million dollar capital project just to                  
  gather that information.  The department has recently gone                   
  out and inventoried about 550 state-owned and leased                         
  facilities with regard to ADA compliance.  This particular                   
  task has taken about two years to assemble and probably                      
  three hundred thousand to five hundred thousand dollars of                   
  employee's time and expense into that project.                               
                                                                               
  Number 458                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY asked if there were any additional questions                  
  or comments.  He asked the committee to review the packet on                 
  the bill and rescheduled HB 345 to be heard in two weeks.                    
                                                                               
  Number 485                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY adjourned at 9:18 a.m.                                        

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