Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/18/1995 01:03 PM House CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
              HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS                             
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                         April 18, 1995                                        
                           1:03 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Ivan Ivan, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Pete Kott                                                      
 Representative Irene Nicholia                                                 
 Representative Jerry Mackie                                                   
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 * HB 272:   "An Act relating to municipal taxation of motor                   
             vehicles; and providing for an effective date."                   
             PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
 * HB 176:   "An Act relating to errors in surveys of land."                   
             PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
 * HB 294:   "An Act relating to the procurement of construction               
             contracts for village safe water and hygienic sewage              
             disposal facilities and to contributions by the users             
             of the facilities."                                               
             HEARD AND HELD                                                    
 * HB 262:   "An Act relating to the human services community                  
             matching grant program; and providing for an effective            
             SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                           
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HANLEY                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 507                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone: (907) 465-4939                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 272                                        
 JIM COLBERG, Assemblyman                                                      
 Mat-Su Borough                                                                
 P.O. Box 336                                                                  
 Palmer, AK 99645                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 745-4406                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 272                                         
 JAY DELANEY, Director                                                         
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 5700 E. Tudor                                                                 
 Anchorage, AK 99507                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 269-5559                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 272                                      
 CHARLES MCKEE                                                                 
 P.O. Box 143452                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99514                                                           
 Telephone: Not Available                                                      
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 272 and HB 176                           
 TIM ROGERS, Legislative Program Coordinator                                   
 Municipality of Anchorage                                                     
 P.O. Box 196650                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99519                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 786-8116                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 272                                         
 KEVIN RITCHIE, Executive Director                                             
 Alaska Municipal League                                                       
 210 2nd Street, Suite 200                                                     
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 586-1325                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 272                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 108                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:   (907) 465-4843                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 176                                        
 GEORGE NEWSHAM, Assistant Municipal Attorney                                  
 Municipality of Anchorage                                                     
 P.O. Box 196650                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99519                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 343-4545                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 176                                      
 TOM KNOX, Municipal Surveyor                                                  
 Municipality of Anchorage                                                     
 P.O. Box 196650                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99519                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 786-8116                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 176                                      
 CRAIG SAVAGE, Surveyor                                                        
 P.O. Box 520403                                                               
 Big Lake, AK 99652                                                            
 Telephone: (907) 272-5451                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 176                                      
 JOHN BENNETT, President                                                       
 Alaska Society of Land Surveyors                                              
 3123 Penguin Lane                                                             
 Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 488-3814                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 176                                         
 JIM COLVER, President                                                         
 Mountain Construction & Engineering                                           
 P.O. Box 100406                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99510                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 561-7669                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 176                                 
 PATRICK KALAN, Vice President                                                 
 American Congress of Surveyors and Mapping                                    
 1041 Chena Ridge Road                                                         
 Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 479-2628                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 176                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY                                                       
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 216                                                       
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3719                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 294                                        
 CINDY THOMAS                                                                  
 Alaska Native Health Board                                                    
 1345 Rudakof Circle, Suite 206                                                
 Anchorage, AK 99508                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 337-0028                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 294                                 
 BOB GILMAN                                                                    
 Gilco Construction                                                            
 6251 Tuttle Place, Suite 104                                                  
 Anchorage, AK 99507                                                           
 Telephone: (907) 561-2155                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 294                                         
 LAMAR COTTEN, Deputy Commissioner                                             
 Department of Community and Regional Affairs                                  
 P.O. Box 190800                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811                                                              
 Telephone: (907) 465-4708                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 294                                 
 JULES WRIGHT                                                                  
 Tanana Chiefs Conference                                                      
 122 1st Avenue                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 452-8251, Ext. 3196                                         
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against HB 294                                 
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 272                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: MUNICIPAL MOTOR VEHICLE TAX                                      
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HANLEY                                          
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/22/95       852    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/22/95       852    (H)   CRA, FINANCE                                      
 04/11/95              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 04/18/95              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 BILL:  HB 176                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: ADJUSTMENTS FOR DEFECTIVE SURVEY                                 
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE                                           
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 02/10/95       304    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/10/95       304    (H)   COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS,                     
 04/18/95              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 BILL:  HB 294                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY                                           
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 04/05/95      1026    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/05/95      1026    (H)   CRA, LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE                    
 04/11/95              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 04/18/95              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 BILL:  HB 262                                                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLY,Therriault                                
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/17/95       778    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/17/95       778    (H)   CRA, HESS, FIN                                    
 03/30/95              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 04/11/95              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 04/18/95              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 95-13, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN IVAN called the House Community and Regional Affairs            
 Standing Committee to order at 1:03 p.m.  He noted the members                
 present at the call to order were Representatives Ivan, Austerman,            
 Kott, Vezey and Elton.  The agenda contained HB 272--Municipal                
 Motor Vehicle Tax, HB 176--Adjustments for Defective Surveys, HB
 262--Human Services Community Matching Grants, and HB 294--Bidding            
 for Village Water/Sewer Facilities.    He also noted that on                  
 teleconference were Anchorage, Bethel, Dillingham, Fairbanks,                 
 Kodiak, Mat-Su, Nome, Sand Point, and Kenai/Soldotna.                         
 HB 272 - MUNICIPAL MOTOR VEHICLE TAX                                        
 Number 036                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN said the first bill to be heard was HB 272, sponsored           
 by Representative Hanley.  Packets included a proposed amendment,             
 fiscal notes, sponsor statement and supporting documents.  He                 
 invited Representative Hanley to introduce HB 272                             
 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HANLEY, sponsor, indicated that he had                    
 introduced the bill to allow municipalities to increase or decrease           
 the municipal tax schedule currently set in statute.  There is an             
 8 percent administrative fee that is taken out for the Department             
 of Public Safety (DPS) to handle the collections, and the rest of             
 the municipal fee is passed to the municipality.  This is an option           
 for municipalities to increase or decrease the tax every two years            
 on motor vehicles.  The Division of Motor Vehicles would collect              
 the tax at the time of registration of the vehicle and pass on the            
 tax to the municipalities, less the 8 percent administrative fee.             
 It is estimated that the additional fees would produced                       
 approximately $500,000 to the state.  Costs for the program include           
 changes to the computer program.  The proposed amendment would                
 allow DPS to collect a one-time fee for any changes to the computer           
 system caused by a municipality's increased fee schedule.  The                
 department anticipated it will require an additional minute of time           
 per transaction to handle this tax.  The intent of the bill is to             
 give the municipalities the flexibility to get away from the                  
 legislature's having to raise taxes for municipalities and allows             
 the DPS to collect a one-time charge to cover programming changes             
 to set up the fee.                                                            
 Number 164                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR ALAN AUSTERMAN asked if in addition to the monies retained           
 under (e) of this section, which was the administrative fee, the              
 monies incurred and implemented referred to the one-time fee.                 
 Number 180                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY indicated the reason for the amendment was to           
 clarify the intent of the legislature which was to provide for a              
 one-time fee to cover the programming changes in the tax schedule             
 in addition to the 8 percent fee.  He noted that the 8 percent                
 administrative fee could not be changed.                                      
 Number 194                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN moved to adopt the amendment.                              
 Number 196                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN asked if there were objections; hearing none, the               
 amendment was adopted.  He then indicated there were people on                
 teleconference to testify on the bill.  He recognized Mr. Jim                 
 Colberg of the Mat-Su Borough.                                                
 Number 210                                                                    
 JIM COLBERG, Mat-Su Assembly member, testified via teleconference             
 in support of HB 272.  He believed it was an extremely important              
 bill for Mat-Su.  The borough is in need of taxes that spread the             
 burden fairly throughout the borough.  They currently collect an              
 average of $11.40 each year per vehicle on 68,000 vehicles, which             
 is roughly $775,000.  The state keeps $62,000 under the 8 percent.            
 Under the proposed legislation, if the borough could average $50              
 per vehicle, the borough could bring in $3.4 million and would net            
 the state $272,000.  He didn't anticipate there would be a                    
 substantial cost to the state to collect the increased amount.  He            
 felt a tax like this would allow the borough to do away with an               
 onerous personal property tax and fairly tax vehicles at a                    
 reasonable rate.  He emphasized he felt this legislation was very             
 Number 260                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked if part of the increased fee would go to             
 road maintenance.                                                             
 Number 270                                                                    
 MR. COLBERG indicated that he could not indicate where the                    
 additional funds would go, but with a $4 million increase in                  
 taxation for schools alone, it wouldn't begin to cover the costs              
 the borough foresees.                                                         
 Number 276                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked for an explanation of the math involved            
 in increasing the motor vehicle tax again.                                    
 Number 283                                                                    
 MR. COLBERG reiterated that there were 68,000 motor vehicles in               
 Mat-Su.  Out of the $35 registration fee paid, Mat-Su collects                
 $11.40 per vehicle, which results in $775,000; of that, $62,000               
 went to the state.  At $50 per vehicle, Mat-Su would collect $3.4             
 million and the state would receive approximately $272,000.                   
 Number 306                                                                    
 JAY DELANEY, Director, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of              
 Public Safety (DPS), stated his concerns were that the single table           
 tax schedule was easy to administer.  With 13 different local                 
 governments now participating, and a potential for others to                  
 participate, he expressed reservation about a system that could               
 handle so many different tax rates.  Another concern was that the             
 customers believe this is a state tax since the DPS collects it,              
 and as a result would get numerous complaints, comments and                   
 questions which would increase the amount of time a counter person            
 would have to spend with each person registering a vehicle.  In its           
 fiscal note, the DPS estimated an increase of one minute per                  
 transaction as a result of this legislation.  This would require an           
 additional seven positions in the budget, one accounting clerk, one           
 accounting technician and five counter people.   The one accounting           
 technician would be required for FY 96; the others would not be               
 needed until FY 97.  He anticipated the revenues generated would              
 more than offset the cost of changes required by the DPS.  He                 
 believed that many municipalities would take advantage of this tax.           
 Mr. Delaney indicated that of the 8 percent collected, the division           
 only received a portion of it.  The rest goes into the general                
 Number 383                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN inquired whether the fees and the taxes are the            
 same for each municipality that the state collects.                           
 Number 393                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY indicated that currently the tax was the same in each             
 Number 397                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN then asked if the same dollar figure was                   
 collected at each one of the locations.                                       
 Number 403                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY clarified that the tax table was the same.  It varies             
 for the different year of the vehicle, but is the same for each of            
 the locations.                                                                
 Number 407                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked if the revised bill required a computer              
 update to accomplish.                                                         
 Number 414                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY indicated the computer system would make the                      
 calculation, resulting in substantial changes to the program to               
 enter the different tax tables for the different locations.  The              
 one-time cost would cover this.                                               
 Number 427                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked if in FY 96 and FY 97 seven new people               
 would be required.                                                            
 Number 429                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY stated that one of the seven people was the accounting            
 technician that would be required in FY 96 to get the programs                
 going.  The other positions were to handle the impact at the                  
 counter.  The department anticipates that each transaction would              
 require one extra minute to handle because of the customer                    
 frustration at an increased tax.  This equated to over 9,000 person           
 hours a year, resulting in the additional 6 positions.                        
 Number 440                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked if that was the total transactions                   
 conducted and had the recent changes to get people to mail in their           
 registration worked.                                                          
 Number 444                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY indicated that was the primary reason for using one               
 minute.  They have reduced the number of individuals that come in             
 for the registration with the mailout program; however, only about            
 60 percent are using it.                                                      
 Number 447                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked why on the fiscal note the biggest                 
 impact was going to be in FY 97 when the legislation wouldn't take            
 effect until January 1997.  Didn't that mean that only half of FY             
 97 would be affected.                                                         
 Number 458                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY indicated that approximately six months was required to           
 train people for these counter positions.  The funds for FY 97                
 would be considered in the FY 97 budget.                                      
 Number 470                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON indicated that he was bothered by the fact               
 that not all the receipts from the 8 percent fee were not going to            
 the DPS.  He inquired how much of the 8 percent was actually going            
 back to the department.                                                       
 Number 490                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY stated that the department was currently collecting a             
 little over $500,000.  It is difficult to say how much of that                
 particular program receipt goes back to the department because they           
 are all lumped into one.  In the past, when it was broken out, the            
 department was authorized to use approximately $250,000, which goes           
 to fund the accounting section.  However, the department has                  
 additional costs in the collection areas.  Two hundred fifty                  
 thousand dollars was appropriated but it costs substantially more             
 to collect the motor vehicle tax.                                             
 Number 512                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON stated he continued to be bothered by the fact           
 that the state general fund gets the receipts because a                       
 municipality has passed a tax.                                                
 Number 515                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN noted that there were a lot of taxes similar to            
 that.  About 50 percent of the fisheries tax goes into the general            
 fund.  He then asked Mr. Delaney where the seven positions would              
 Number 522                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY noted that the positions would be in the higher traffic           
 areas, probably Anchorage, Fairbanks, Soldotna, Palmer, Juneau and            
 Ketchikan.  It was dependant on how they could be moved around.               
 Number 525                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked how many field offices the department had.           
 Number 528                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY indicated the department currently had 21 field offices           
 with 13 commissioned agents.                                                  
 Number 530                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked if this was going to affect all offices.             
 Number 535                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY indicated that the impact would be throughout the                 
 state, but they had to place the individuals where the impact was             
 the greatest.                                                                 
 Number 538                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked why Juneau would get additional help.              
 Number 540                                                                    
 MR. DELANEY stated that the high traffic offices would be looked at           
 based on size.                                                                
 Number 542                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN indicated the next people to testify would be from              
 Anchorage.  The first would be Mr. Charles McKee.                             
 Number 550                                                                    
 CHARLES MCKEE, Anchorage, testified via teleconference and said he            
 was sleeping in a van that he could not change title to because he            
 did not have a driver's license.  He opposed the municipality and             
 the department receiving more funds through taxation.                         
 Number 578                                                                    
 TIM ROGERS, Legislative Program Coordinator, Municipality of                  
 Anchorage (MOA), stated that the municipality supported HB 272 and            
 it was one of the highest legislative priorities.  A $2 surcharge             
 would generate $350,000 and go a long way toward solving the                  
 problem of abandoned cars in the MOA.  He supported that tax as one           
 borne by the user and supported the idea that the municipality                
 should set its own tax rate.                                                  
 Number 610                                                                    
 KEVIN RITCHIE, Executive Director, Alaska Municipal League (AML),             
 explained that this bill had been adopted by the AML as part of its           
 platform and does create more flexibility on the part of                      
 municipalities to take care of the problems in their communities by           
 spreading the cost fairly.                                                    
 Number 630                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN moved that CSHB 272(CRA) with individual                   
 recommendations and fiscal notes be passed out of the Community and           
 Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                          
 CO-CHAIR IVAN asked if there were objections.  Hearing none, the              
 bill moved from committee.                                                    
 HB 176 - ADJUSTMENTS FOR DEFECTIVE SURVEY                                   
 Number 634                                                                    
 The next bill to be heard was HB 176.   CO-CHAIR IVAN indicated               
 that the packets contained a proposed committee substitute, fiscal            
 note, sponsor statement and supporting documentation.                         
 Representative Bunde was invited to introduce the bill.                       
 CO-CHAIR IVAN asked for adoption of the committee substitute.                 
 Number 649                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN moved that the committee substitute be adopted             
 for discussion purposes.                                                      
 Number 650                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN indicated there was no objection and the committee              
 substitute was adopted.  He noted that Representative Nicholia had            
 joined the committee.                                                         
 Number 651                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE stated this legislation pertained to a               
 problem with survey in his district.  The survey has been a problem           
 for people in that area for a long time.  It is manifestly                    
 defective.  This results in no one having a clear title within the            
 subdivision and could not refinance or sell their property.                   
 Individual property owners could bring a quiet title action against           
 surrounding lots; however, this is not a practical solution when              
 there are multi-owner, multi-lot problems and the outside markers             
 are so far off.  HB 176 would allow a party to enjoin all property            
 owners of record after properly petitioning the court, a resolution           
 by the local government, and the creation of a special assessment             
 district to request a resurvey and replat of a manifestly defective           
 subdivision survey.  This would result in changing individual lots            
 through a superior court action.  The MOA has requested this                  
 legislation to correct two manifestly defective surveys including             
 347 lots.  While the changes are directed at an Anchorage                     
 situation, they would also be available to solve similar situations           
 throughout the state.  It was the sponsor's understanding that                
 there was a similar problem in Nome.  The bill allows for a vote of           
 all affected property owners to determine if a resurvey of the                
 entire subdivision or subdivisions should occur.  The majority must           
 concur to form a special assessment district.  The municipality               
 then must pass a resolution supporting this action in the formation           
 of the assessment district.  A complaint must be filed with court             
 including a statement of fact and all relevant information                    
 surrounding the survey and the area in question.  The MOA has                 
 considerable area in these subdivisions and is offering some of               
 their land to resolve the problem.                                            
 TAPE 95-13, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE indicated that a subcommittee of the Alaska              
 Society of Professional Land Surveyors, working with the various              
 entities involved, concluded that when a subdivision survey is                
 manifestly defective, it cannot be resolved on a piecemeal basis              
 and had worked with the sponsor on the legislation.                           
 Number 021                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN asked what the definition was of a manifestly                   
 defective survey.                                                             
 Number 032                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that referring to page 5, line 2, it              
 was when the entire subdivision was inaccurate.                               
 Number 048                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if by definition any survey that didn't            
 include a rectangular survey system description or U.S. survey                
 description would be defective, including mineral surveys and                 
 right-to-entry lands.  He was concerned that there were a number of           
 legal surveys now that would not be if this definition was adopted.           
 Number 080                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE indicated that those things were not included.           
 Number 085                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY then read that defective surveys did not                 
 include BLM rectangular surveys, U.S. surveys or state rectangular            
 Number 097                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked why there was such a difference between              
 the committee substitute and the original bill.                               
 Number 110                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that it was the result of compromises             
 with the Society of Land Surveyors.  It puts a limit on the time              
 available to address the issue and didn't put it in statutory                 
 language.  It is a short-term answer.                                         
 Number 122                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the Alaska Society of Professional              
 Land Surveyors endorsed the bill.                                             
 Number 128                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that it was his understanding that the            
 president of the society had expressed nonobjection.  He did not              
 think there was strong support, however.  He indicated that he had            
 worked with them, but the CS had not been taken before them.                  
 Number 140                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY felt that in general they were moving away               
 from the buyer beware concept. These people did not buy what they             
 thought they were buying.  He thought that the MOA throwing in land           
 could probably solve the problem.                                             
 Number 168                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE indicated that the people bought land that was           
 surveyed.  The state of Alaska usually approves surveys through the           
 municipality.  The municipality accepted the survey.  The                     
 individual buyer had reason to believe that the survey was valid.             
 The original surveyor did a lousy job and is no longer around.                
 This bill is an attempt to collectively solve the problem.                    
 Number 194                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked where are the property owners, as far as           
 their title insurance goes; had there been any recourse through the           
 insurance company.                                                            
 Number 204                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE indicated there was no recourse because they             
 were not able to get title insurance.                                         
 Number 209                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that title insurance was usually a                
 condition of closing.  Was it Representative Bunde's understanding            
 that these property owners didn't have title insurance.                       
 Number 211                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said that was his understanding.                         
 Number 215                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY indicated that the committee substitute was a            
 substantially changed version of the bill.  He did appreciate the             
 sunset clause.  He had not been able to find a similar statute in             
 any of the other 50 states.  He asked if Representative Bunde was             
 aware of any.                                                                 
 Number 222                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE indicated he was not.                                    
 Number 228                                                                    
 GEORGE NEWSHAM, Assistant Municipal Attorney, Municipality of                 
 Anchorage, agreed that the committee substitute was a significantly           
 changed bill which was a credit to the Alaska Society of                      
 Professional Land Surveyors, particularly in the area of cost and             
 protection of private property rights.  One area of improvement was           
 the establishment of an assessment district which requires a vote             
 of the majority of the property owners in the proposed district.              
 It also requires the official governing body to provide a                     
 resolution in support of the act.  Both provide a great deal of               
 protection for those people who do not want to participate.                   
 Another issue is divorcing this bill from the slide bill which was            
 in last year's legislation.  This was to try to keep as much                  
 separateness and not try to amend the Earth Slide Relief Act.                 
 Regarding the issue of title insurance, people are having                     
 difficulty in financing their properties because lenders are                  
 unwilling to lend on property which has an unworkable survey.  The            
 MOA does own a substantial amount of property in the area.  Even if           
 the MOA does offer some land, there is still the problem of the               
 unworkable plat.  Therefore, they feel this is the way to solve the           
 Number 284                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked how many of the 347 plots are owned by             
 the municipality.                                                             
 MR. NEWSHAM indicated there were approximately 20-30 lots.                    
 Number 294                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if any of the property owners, after the           
 initial owners, purchased title insurance.  Had anyone recovered              
 from the title insurance company.                                             
 Number 314                                                                    
 MR. NEWSHAM stated that some have title insurance, but he was                 
 unaware of any claims made on the title insurance policies.  Part             
 of the problem with a quiet title action is that it is hard to show           
 the damages when the original survey was so bad.                              
 Number 323                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if he was saying that some of the                  
 property owners had title insurance and wasn't title insurance                
 based on a legal description of a recorded subdivision in                     
 Number 328                                                                    
 MR. NEWSHAM indicated that the problem was that the survey was so             
 bad that there is more property being sold than is in the                     
 subdivision.  It is difficult to see what the title insurance was             
 going to do because the plat said you owned a lot or section in               
 that subdivision, but the survey was worthless.                               
 Number 330                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated he was still curious about why no one             
 had filed an action with the title insurance company.  If they                
 insured the property, and then found out that the piece of property           
 didn't exist or can't be located, the policy holder's rights would            
 be upheld.                                                                    
 Number 333                                                                    
 MR. NEWSHAM indicated he was not aware of any claims.                         
 Number 335                                                                    
 TOM KNOX, professional land surveyor, Municipal Surveyor with the             
 Municipality of Anchorage, stated that in the last nine years, at             
 least once a month a property owner contacted him from these areas            
 asking for an explanation of the problem.  The bill is trying to              
 give the property owners within the boundary of the defective                 
 survey subdivisions, an opportunity to resolve the location and               
 produce an accurate description of their property.  The survey                
 affects the whole subdivision and, therefore, requires the whole              
 area to be resurveyed.  He supported passage of the legislation.              
 Number 388                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if Mr. Knox had discussed the issue with           
 other members of the Alaska Society of Land Surveyors and, if so,             
 would he summarize those discussions.                                         
 Number 410                                                                    
 MR. KNOX stated as a member of the society and listening to the               
 comments of John Bennett, the president of the society, he                    
 understood that they support the concept of trying to resolve                 
 survey issues addressed by the bill, but did not give complete                
 support because they had not seen the final version.                          
 Number 420                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if one person could demand that their              
 property rights be upheld and could cause problems for all                    
 Number 422                                                                    
 MR. KNOX stated that he couldn't address the constitutional issues,           
 but as far as Anchorage was concerned, Anchorage has changed its              
 ordinances to allow surveys to be a part of an assessment district            
 or an improvement that could be assessed.  Safeguards are built in,           
 such as a majority of people who recognize the need for the                   
 improvement be required to approve it and the minority would have             
 to go along with it.  The right remains to challenge it in court.             
 Number 437                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if, as a surveyor, Mr. Knox could go in            
 and redivide and make all the property owners happy.                          
 Number 443                                                                    
 MR. KNOX indicated he didn't know if he could answer the happiness            
 issue.  He did know that the property corners in the two                      
 subdivision were staked and would require retracing to establish.             
 Through the years, people have made improvements off their property           
 and those problems will come to light.  That is why the court is              
 needed.  There will be people who will be unhappy.                            
 Number 464                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that on page 4, line 26, the bill                  
 states, "this section does not affect the right of a person harmed            
 by a defective survey to recover damages from the defective survey            
 or limit the liability of the person who did the survey."  It does            
 allow the issue to be addressed in court.                                     
 Number 471                                                                    
 CRAIG SAVAGE, land surveyor in Anchorage, past president of the               
 Alaska Society of Professional Land Surveyors, testified via                  
 teleconference from Anchorage, expressed concern with the bill and            
 thought it should be looked at carefully and slowly.  One concern             
 was that there is no other example of this legislation in the U.S.            
 and wondered why that was.  Another concern was regarding the                 
 funding.  He considered the special assessment district concept of            
 funding unfair, expensive and cumbersome.  People who are satisfied           
 with their property lines should not have to fund others who are              
 not.  The assessment will have to be grossly inflated to cover                
 unforeseen costs.  People should have a way to solve their title              
 problems, but they should also fund those solutions.  He suggested            
 a more appropriate remedy would be through modification of the                
 quiet title laws to allow for a class action suit.                            
 Number 515                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that a majority of the people he had               
 heard from in the affected area supported redress.  He agreed that            
 he didn't want to assess people for something that didn't provide             
 a benefit to them.  He felt this legislation did improve the                  
 quality of the subdivisions involved.                                         
 Number 531                                                                    
 JOHN BENNETT, President, Alaska Society of Professional Land                  
 Surveyors (ASPLS), indicated they had put together a subcommittee             
 to review the legislation and offer assistance.  Part of his                  
 membership felt that resolution could be found in existing law,               
 individual rights could be trampled by the process, and there was             
 a fuzzy definition of what constituted a defective survey.  Members           
 in favor saw it as the only rational solution to such a large scale           
 boundary and title problem, given the cost of dealing with it on a            
 lot-by-lot basis.  Although a phone poll had resulted in a 6-6                
 split, he felt that the Alaska Society of Professional Land                   
 Surveyors had to take a position.  He stated the ASPLS was in                 
 support of the general concept of the legislative solution,                   
 although the support was weak.  He indicated they hadn't seen the             
 Senate substitute which modified the approach a little bit.  The              
 sunset provision and the complicated process made it more                     
 Number 563                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated he was uneasy about the lack of a                 
 definition of defective survey and no definition of manifestly                
 defective survey.  Would the society by willing to investigate the            
 Number 570                                                                    
 MR. BENNETT indicated the committee was working with Senator                  
 Rieger's office in developing the definitions and would be willing            
 to look at it again.                                                          
 Number 576                                                                    
 JIM COLVER, President, Mountain Construction & Engineering, felt              
 this was an isolated situation.  He felt the legislation was                  
 dealing with common law traditions which was that the physical                
 evidence holds, and once established and used over time,                      
 established the boundaries.  He thought that was the foundation of            
 boundary law.  He felt one remedy was to replat sections of the               
 subdivision.  If someone built a house where they thought their lot           
 was, create a lot around it.  Land trades were also part of the               
 solution.  In individual lot situations in Mat-Su, nonconforming              
 permits are issued, which might work in this situation.  He was               
 hesitant to rewrite law to solve one subdivision's problems.  He              
 also supported changes to the quiet title actions as a solution.              
 He felt this legislation was too encompassing.                                
 Number 634                                                                    
 MR. MCKEE, Anchorage, elaborated on problems he has had with these            
 Number 668                                                                    
 PATRICK KALAN, Vice Chairman of the American Congress of Surveying            
 and Mapping, noted that this was a problem specific to Anchorage.             
 He preferred the legislation to be specific to Rabbit Creek                   
 subdivision.  He believed the surveying community was divided on              
 how to deal with this situation.  He was concerned with setting a             
 precedent and didn't know of any other legislation similar to this.           
 He felt the committee substitute was an improvement and appreciated           
 the sunset clause.  He hoped the committee would go slowly after              
 more consideration.                                                           
 TAPE 95-14, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE summarized that this situation had been going            
 on for 20 years and we're in need of the state's assistance to                
 resolve the problem.  It was a unique situation; however, redress             
 was necessary.  If there were ways to do it from a private point of           
 view, they would have done so.  This was a compromise.                        
 Number 040                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if quiet title action had been pursued.            
 Number 062                                                                    
 MR. KNOX stated that no one had taken a quiet action to court as              
 far as he knew.                                                               
 Number 080                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE indicated that while one person could get the            
 quiet title to their property, the problems involved the entire               
 Number 081                                                                    
 MR. KNOX stated that a class action would be necessary to resolve             
 the entire subdivision issue.                                                 
 Number 089                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the municipality had considered using           
 its powers of eminent domain and take possession of the property              
 and become the sole owner and subdivide it as they saw fit.                   
 Number 100                                                                    
 MR. KNOX indicated he felt it would be a bad idea for the MOA to              
 take the property because they didn't have accurate descriptions.             
 Number 113                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN inquired as to the wish of the committee regarding              
 the bill.                                                                     
 Number 115                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY noted that the bill had a further referral to            
 the Judiciary Committee and the committee substitute hadn't had as            
 much review as the original bill.  He moved that CSHB 176(CRA) with           
 attached fiscal note be passed out with individual recommendations.           
 Number 126                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,              
 CSHB 176(CRA) passed out of committee.                                        
 CO-CHAIR IVAN indicated that HB 262 would be held until Thursday,             
 April 20.                                                                     
 HB 294 - BIDDING FOR VILLAGE WATER/SEWER FACILITY                         
 Number 152                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN said the next bill would be HB 294.  He recognized              
 Representative Vezey, the bill sponsor.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY, sponsor, stated that village safe water                 
 projects were a very important capital improvement project that the           
 state has been involved in for a number of years.  It is estimated            
 there is a $2.5 billion backlog on water/sewer programs in Alaska.            
 The current system that is used does not follow the state                     
 procurement practices.  He felt there was overwhelming evidence               
 that the state could save a substantial amount of money by using              
 competitive bidding.                                                          
 Number 176                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN indicated that those on teleconference would be                 
 Number 178                                                                    
 CINDY THOMAS, Alaska Native Health Board, was concerned that there            
 were critical legal and statutory issues in the legislation.  She             
 encourage the committee not to pass the legislation as written.               
 She indicated she was the coordinator of the Alaska Sanitation                
 Coalition and was speaking on behalf of them.  One of her concerns            
 was that this legislation would remove some of the ability of the             
 community to make local decisions.  Competitive bidding might                 
 result in the loss of local hire and local training.  Rural Alaska            
 has severe economic concerns, with a lack of cash economy, and                
 worried that this might remove the ability for the community to               
 control these programs.  Many sanitation projects blend federal and           
 state money which had different requirements and this legislation             
 would complicate that further.  She also submitted a resolution by            
 AFN urging repeal of any laws that prohibit local hire.                       
 Number 249                                                                    
 BOB GILMAN, a general contractor representing the Associated                  
 General Contractors of Alaska, said currently Public Health Service           
 (PHS) grants were supporting up to $8 million in projects.  He was            
 a proponent of the competitive bid process.  Large projects have              
 been administered by little villages with no experience at contract           
 administration and hiring consulting engineers at the direction of            
 the PHS.  The cost of the projects are increased as a result.                 
 There is no accountability or incentive for efficiency in labor,              
 methods or use of equipment.  He felt the Associated General                  
 Contractors had a good record for hiring locally.  He supported the           
 competitive bid process.                                                      
 Number 308                                                                    
 LAMAR COTTEN, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Community and                
 Regional Affairs (DCRA), stated the department opposed the bill.              
 He felt there were benefits to local hire and timing the projects             
 to community need.  The projects also developed locals working on             
 the projects to become public works departments within the                    
 community to care for the projects and developed the community                
 ownership idea.  He reiterated that the department did not support            
 the legislation and runs counter to development in small                      
 Number 358                                                                    
 JIM COLVER, President of Mountain Construction and Engineering,               
 indicated he had done rural Alaska projects and seen waste within             
 the communities.  It is a jobs issue.  He felt that framework                 
 needed to be used to increase the functionability of good design              
 and good accountability by consultants.  He recommended revamping             
 the entire village water and sewer structure.  Competitive bidding            
 was an important component.  New equipment is not needed for every            
 job.  He suggested a certain percentage of the contract to                    
 disadvantage businesses, a number of local hires required and                 
 trained, if necessary.  Local hire and reducing costs can be                  
 Number 404                                                                    
 JULES WRIGHT, Tanana Chiefs Conference in Fairbanks, expressed his            
 opposition to the bill.  It's taking away local control.  Local               
 hire is very important.  He was concerned about a conflict of                 
 interest with the sponsor of the legislation.  He supported making            
 the villages responsible to their projects.                                   
 Number 449                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN concluded the teleconference testimony and indicated            
 this bill would be held until April 20, along with HB 262 and HB
 Number 459                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR IVAN adjourned the House Community and Regional Affairs              
 Committee at 3:00 p.m.                                                        

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