Meeting Agenda

  

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West Virginia

Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways

Meeting Minutes

September 14, 2012

10:00am

Commission Members in attendance:

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

Jason Pizatella, Governor’s Designee & Chairman

Senator Bob Beach Senator Bob Plymale Senator Mike Hall

Delegate Josh Stowers Secretary Paul Mattox Secretary Keith Burdette

Commissioner Rick Handley Mayor Dick Callaway Commissioner Mike Taylor

Joseph Deneault Bob Orders Brenda Nichols Harper

Jan Vineyard Karen Price (by phone) Kenny Perdue

Gary Tillis Gary Facemyer Fred Burns

Carol Fulks Tom Witt David Satterfield (by phone)

Mark Baldwin Wally Thornhill

The meeting was called to order by Jason Pizatella, the Governor’s Designee on the Commission.

The Governor’s Designee welcomed each of the Commission Members and asked them to introduce themselves and the organizations that they represent (if applicable).

Secretary Keith Burdette moved that the Commission adopt and abide by the procedures outlined in the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act, and Robert’s Rules of Order. Brenda Nichols Harper seconded the motion. There was no discussion on the motion and the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.

Governor Tomblin then gave an opening statement and designated Jason Pizatella as Chairman of the Commission.

Each member of the Commission then gave an opening statement.

The Chairman recognized Kenny Perdue for the purpose of reviewing the duties of the Commission pursuant to the Executive Order and a discussion of the Commission’s mission. Mr. Perdue provided an overview of the work that the Governor has tasked the Commission with. The Chairman reminded the Members that the Commission is not charged with analyzing and/or recommending particular road projects but, rather, to examine the state road system generally with 2

regard to funding and the issues of safety, design, construction, and maintenance of roads, bridges, and other highway infrastructure. The ultimate goal is to create a strategic plan and system of funding to be recommended to the Legislature during the 2013 Regular Session.

The Chairman then recognized Brenda Nichols Harper who asked if the Commission would have support staff to provide research and statistical information. The Chairman answered that staff support for the Commission will be provided by the West Virginia Department of Transportation ("WVDOT") as provided for in the Executive Order. The Chairman recognized Gary Tillis for a question about whether the Commission will be holding all of its meetings in Charleston or whether there would be meetings held throughout the State. The Chairman replied that the Commission will be hosting five regional meetings throughout the State over the next few months and that a schedule would be forthcoming. The Chairman also pointed out that it was his intent that the entire Commission need not be present for each of the regional meetings but rather a schedule could be developed that would allow each member to attend at least one regional meeting but that the members were free to attend as many as they desire.

In response to a follow-up question from Mr. Tillis, the Chairman informed the Commission that the Governor’s Office, in conjunction with WVDOT, have pledged the necessary funding for the Commission.

The Chairman then recognized Secretary Paul Mattox who provided an overview and historical background of the State’s highway system. At the conclusion of the presentation, Secretary Mattox provided each member with copies of the 25 year long-range plan for highway construction and maintenance and the recently published WVDOT Factbook. The Chairman then informed the Commission that each of the documents presented will be posted online at the Commission’s website.

In response to a question from Kenny Perdue, the Chairman said that each member will be provided with a list of outstanding highway bond issuances and other comparison information.

The Chairman then recognized Don Vary, Wilbur Smith and Associates, who provided the Commission with an overview and historical background of the revenue sources that make up the State Road Fund. He also offered PowerPoint slides that outlined the various financial scenarios for highway construction and maintenance in West Virginia.

Mr. Vary then responded to questions from the Commission. Senator Plymale concluded this section of the meeting by reminding the Commission to keep an open mind on sources of revenue moving forward and that other states have been increasingly using tolls as a source of revenue for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges.

Jan Vineyard then moved that the Commission create three committees for the purpose of further research and study: infrastructure, revenue, and legislative and public outreach. Mayor Callaway seconded the motion. There was no further discussion on the motion and the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote. The Chairman informed the Commission that the Governor’s 3

Office would propose committee assignments for approval at the next meeting and that any Commission member with a particular committee preference should please contact him.

Secretary Mattox moved that the Commission host five regional meetings throughout the state that may coincide with certain committee meetings. The intent of these meetings would be to solicit public input on the status and future of the state highway system and not the discussion of individual highway projects in that particular region. Bob Orders seconded the motion. There was no further discussion on the motion and the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote. The Chairman informed the Commission that the Governor’s Office would proposed a tentative schedule of the regional meetings and the corresponding locations at the next meeting.

Brenda Nichols Harper then moved that the Commission direct the Chairman to serve as the single point of contact for media and press inquiries concerning the Commission’s work. Joe Deneault seconded the motion. In response to a question from Mayor Callaway, the Chairman stated that, as he understood it, the intent of the motion was to allow the Commission to speak with one voice on the various aspects and progress of the Commission’s work. The Chairman also explained that, under this motion, the Governor’s Office would be responsible for responding to all inquiries of the Commission pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Governmental Meetings Act. There was no further discussion on the motion from the Commission and the motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.

During the public comment period, Christine Coburn from Mercer County addressed the Commision. Ms. Coburn represented the National I-73/74/75 Corridor Association. She stated that she also represents the King Coal Highway project and planned to visit elected officials in Washington, DC to urge their support for both road projects.

There being no further business to come before the Commission, Professor Tom Witt moved that the meeting be adjourned. Commissioner Mike Taylor seconded the motion and it passed by a unanimous voice vote.

The Chairman reminded the Commission members that the next meeting would be held on Friday, October 19, 2012.

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