On those Federal Transportation Cuts- TxDOT Holding hearing TOMORROW (Thursday, March 22)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


On those Federal Transportation Cuts- TxDOT Holding hearing TOMORROW (Thursday, March 22)

21 March 2007 at 9:41:15 AM

Wrote about this before. Couldn't figure out why Texas was going to be giving BACK to the Federal Government a boatload of transportation funds. Well, seems TxDot is going to hold a hearing about it this week. Why? Because they want to cut back some MORE services associated with themselves. First, the news release

Public Hearing Topic: Expected Federal Transportation Cuts March 15, 2007

AUSTIN - The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking public input on how best to respond to an anticipated mandate for Texas to return approximately $290 million in federal highway funds to Washington.

Although the Federal Highway Administration has not issued an official notice, a recent resolution continuing appropriations for Fiscal 2007 rescinded more than $3.4 billion in previously authorized transportation funds across the nation. TxDOT has been advised Texas will be required to return approximately $290 million in unobligated federal-aid highway funds.

On Thursday, March 22, the Texas Transportation Commission will hold a special meeting to receive public comment on how to implement the expected order to return federal funding. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. at TxDOT headquarters, 125 East 11th St. in Austin.

"We want to hear from the public on how we should prepare to absorb these funding cuts," said Mike Behrens, TxDOT executive director. "We would like to have as little impact as possible on our ability to meet our goals to reduce congestion, enhance safety, expand economic opportunity, improve air quality and increase the value of transportation assets."

TxDOT anticipates it will have less than a month to respond once official notice comes from Washington, according to Behrens.

During the last 15 months, Texas has returned $305 million in response to federal funding cuts.

Comment from Susan Pantell

TxDOT will be holding a public hearing to discuss an upcoming recision in federal funds of approximately $290 million. The press release is below. The hearing will start at 9:00 at the Greer Building, 125 E. 11th St.

Comments may also be submitted to Ms Icard, the Commissioners' Executive Secretary, at cicard@dot.state.tx.us. There is no deadline for the comments, since they have not officially heard from the federal government yet, but once they hear, they will have only a month to respond.

I asked why the funds were not obligated and was told that Congress limits the portion of funds that a state can spend in a given year. A state can't spend it until Congress tells them they can, and in this case they're going to tell them they can't. All of the other states are dealing with this too.

The last time they had to give back federal funds, $305 million, TxDOT decided to take it out of enhancement projects, meaning hike & bike trails, beautification, etc. That was not popular with people in parts of the state.

So this time, they are asking for suggestions from the public about suggestions on how to do the cuts. For example, instead of picking one program, cut across the board off the top.

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