SENATE
HOUSE
JOINT
BILL STATUS
STATE LAW
REPORTS
EDUCATIONAL
CONTACT
home
home

Introduced Version Senate Bill 352 History

OTHER VERSIONS  -  Committee Substitute (1)  |  Enrolled Version - Final Version  |     |  Email
Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
SB352 intr
Senate Bill No. 352

(By Senators Unger, Fanning, Jenkins, Plymale, Foster, Stollings, D. Facemire and Prezioso)

____________

[Introduced January 26, 2010; referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

____________




A BILL to amend and reenact §17-4-47 and §17-4-49 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §17-28-1, §17-28-2, §17-28-3, §17-28-4, §17-28-5, §17-28-6, §17-28-7, §17-28-8 and §17-28-9, all relating to the creation of the West Virginia Community Empowerment Transportation Act; authorizing the Commissioner of Highways to establish procedures relating to the authority and review of transportation projects; making legislative findings; stating legislative purpose; defining certain terms and phrases; requiring certain entities seeking state funds for transportation projects to submit a transportation project plan; setting forth transportation project plan requirements; setting forth conditions for approval by the Commissioner of Highways; authorizing county commissions to impose user fees for the construction and maintenance of roads and transportation projects; providing credit for municipally imposed fees; authorizing counties to issue revenue and general obligation bonds for transportation projects following voter approval; providing notice, advertisement and election requirements; coordinating development of transportation projects with other infrastructure projects; providing for a comprehensive agreement for a transportation facility between the sponsoring governmental entity and the Division of Highways; establishing the requirements for qualifying a transportation facility as a public improvement; authorizing information sharing; authorizing agreements among municipal utilities and public service districts to participate in transportation projects; authorizing setting of rates to include costs borne by municipal utilities and public service districts in coordination with transportation projects; providing exemption from Public Service Commission approval; requiring a bond covering the division for improvements to highway facilities required as a result of development; regulating access from properties to and from state roads; and providing recovery of cost of highway improvements from commercial and residential developments.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §17-4-47 and §17-4-49 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931,
as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §17-28-1, §17-28-2, §17-28-3, §17-28-4, §17-28-5, §17-28-6, §17-28-7, §17-28-8 and §17-28-9, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. STATE ROAD SYSTEM.

§17-4-47. Access from commercial, etc., property and subdivisions to highways -- Purposes of regulation; right of access; provisions inapplicable to controlled-access facilities; removal of unauthorized access; bond for access.

(a) Access to and from state highways from and to Reciprocal access between state highways and real property used or to be used for commercial, industrial or mercantile purposes or from and to and reciprocal access between state highways and real property that is subdivided into lots is a matter of public concern and shall be regulated by the state road commissioner Commissioner of Highways to achieve the following purposes:
(1) To provide for maximum safety of persons traveling upon, entering or leaving state highways;
(2) To provide for efficient and rapid movement of traffic upon state highways;
(3) To permit proper maintenance, repair and drainage of state highways; and
(4) To facilitate appropriate public use of state highways.
(b) Except where the right of access has been limited by or pursuant to law, every owner or occupant of real property abutting upon any existing state highway has a right of reasonable means of ingress to and egress from such state highway consistent with those policies expressed in subsection (a) of this section and any regulations issued by the commissioner under section forty-eight of this article.
(c) If the construction, relocation or reconstruction of any state highway, to be paid for, in whole or in part, with federal or state road funds, results in the abutment of real property as defined in subsection (a) of this section on such the state highway that did not previously abut on it, no rights of direct access shall accrue because of such abutment. but However, the commissioner may authorize and or limit access if any, from an abutting property if the property is compatible with the policies stated in said subsection (a) of this section and any regulations issued by the commissioner under as authorized by section forty-eight of this article.
(d) The policies expressed in this section are applicable to state highways generally and shall in no way limit the authority of the state road commissioner Commissioner of Highways to establish controlled-access facilities under the provisions of sections thirty-nine through forty-six, inclusive, of this article.
(e) Any unauthorized access to a state highway may be removed, blocked, barricaded or closed in any manner deemed considered necessary by the commissioner to protect the safety of the public and enforce the policies of this section and sections forty-eight, forty-nine and fifty of this article.
(f) As a condition of granting access to a state highway, the commissioner shall require the owners of real property developed or to be developed to provide a bond in an amount the commissioner determines necessary to compensate the division for improvements to highway facilities required as a result of the development. This bond shall be held a minimum of ten years.
§17-4-49. Same -- Points of commercial, etc.; access to comply; plans, objections and procedures for new points; review of and changes in existing points; commissioner's preliminary determination.

(a) No new points of access to and from state highways from and to real property used or to be used for commercial, industrial or mercantile purposes shall may be opened, constructed or maintained without first complying with the provisions of this section and sections forty-seven and forty-eight of this article. Access points opened, constructed or maintained without such compliance are deemed unauthorized.
(b) Plans of for any such new point of access shall be submitted to the state road commissioner Commissioner of Highways directly and the following rules shall apply:
(1) Notice of the proposed new point of access shall be filed with the commissioner, along with a plan of the proposed new point of access.
(2) The commissioner shall review the plan to ensure compliance with the policies stated in section forty-seven of this article and with any regulations issued by the commissioner under section forty-eight of this article.
(3) The commissioner If the commissioner objects to a plan, he or she shall reduce his or her objections to the proposed new point of access if any, to writing and promptly furnish notice of such the objection to the owner or owners of the real property affected and advise the owner or owners of their the right to demand a hearing thereon on the proposed plan and the objections. A plan not so If a plan is not objected to within six weeks from the time it is filed with the commissioner, shall be deemed to have been it is considered approved by the commissioner.
(4) In any case where the commissioner so objects to the proposed new point of access, the owner or owners of the real property affected shall have reasonable opportunity for a hearing on such objections.
(c)(1) Existing points of access to and from state highways from and to real property used for commercial, industrial or mercantile purposes may be reviewed by the commissioner to determine whether such points of access comply with the policies stated in section forty-seven of this article and with any regulations issued by the commissioner under section forty-eight of this article. The commissioner may direct reasonable changes in existing points of access to and from state highways from and to property used for commercial, industrial or mercantile purposes if he or she determines from accident reports or traffic surveys that the public safety is seriously affected by such points of access and that such reasonable changes would substantially reduce the hazard to public safety. When such changes require construction, reconstruction or repair, such work shall be done at state expense as any other construction, reconstruction or repair.
(2) If the commissioner makes a preliminary determination that any such changes should be made, the following rules shall apply:
(A) The commissioner shall reduce his or her preliminary determination to writing and promptly furnish notice of such preliminary determination to the owner or owners of the real property affected and of their right to demand a hearing thereon on the preliminary determination. Such The commissioner's notice shall include a description of suggested changes deemed by the commissioner suitable to reduce suitable for reducing the hazard to the public safety.
(B) In any case where the commissioner makes a preliminary determination that any such changes should be made, the owner or owners of the real property affected shall have reasonable opportunity for a hearing on such the preliminary determination.
ARTICLE 28. WEST VIRGINIA COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT TRANSPORTATION ACT.

§17-28-1. Short title.

This article may be known and referred to as the "West Virginia Community Empowerment Transportation Act."
§17-28-2. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds as follows:
(1) That a broad and unified system should be continued and persistently upgraded by state law for financing, planning, designing, constructing, expanding, improving, maintaining and controlling the transportation facilities that together comprise the transportation infrastructure of this state;
(2) That, in addition to traditional means and methods of putting transportation facilities into place, a significant contribution to a system as described in subdivision one of this section can be made by public-private partnerships that will assist federal, state and local governments in their efforts to meet the evolving needs of governmental entities, industry, labor, commerce, and, most importantly, the citizens of this state;
(3) That available public funding and other resources necessary to provide for an adequate or more than adequate transportation infrastructure have not kept pace with the needs of the governmental entities that are charged with financing, developing and maintaining an optimal transportation infrastructure in this state;
(4) That investment in transportation infrastructure by private entities should be facilitated, and innovative financing mechanisms should be encouraged and developed, so as to utilize private capital and other funding sources to supplement governmental actions taken in support of transportation projects, to the end that the financial and technical expertise and other experience of private entities regarding the development of transportation facilities may be garnered and put into service on behalf of the state;
(5) That public and private entities should have a clear and well-designed statutory framework to work within that allows for flexibility in contracting with each other as they seek to develop projects for transportation facilities and attendant services that are the subject of this article; and
(6) This article should not be limited by any rule of strict construction, but should be liberally construed to effect the legislative purpose of conceiving and creating a modern transportation infrastructure under the leadership and guidance of governmental entities, with corresponding and cooperative assistance, under appropriate circumstances, by public-private partnerships, inuring to the benefit and prosperity of the state and the welfare of its citizens.
§17-28-3. Applicability of definitions; definitions.
For the purposes of this article, the words or terms defined in this section, and any variation of those words or terms required by the context, have the meanings ascribed to them in this section. These definitions are applicable unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context.
(1) "Affected local jurisdiction" means any county or incorporated municipality of this state in which all or any part of a transportation facility is or will be located, or any other local public entity, including, but not limited to, a public service district or highway authority or highway association that is directly affected by an existing or proposed transportation facility.
(2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Highways who is the chief executive officer of the Division of Highways.
(3) "Department" means the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
(4) "Division" refers to the Division of Highways, a division within the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
(5) "Governmental entity" means a municipal corporation, county and any other state or local authority, board or other political subdivision of the state which may construct, own or operate a transportation project.
(6) "Highway authority" or "highway association" means any entity created by the Legislature for the advancement and improvement of the state road and highway system, including, but not limited to, the New River Parkway Authority, Midland Trail Scenic Highway Association, Shawnee Parkway Authority, Corridor G Regional Development Authority, Coalfields Expressway Authority, Robert C. Byrd Corridor H Highway Authority, West Virginia 2 and I-68 Authority, Little Kanawha River Parkway Authority, King Coal Highway Authority, Coal Heritage Highway Authority, Blue and Gray Intermodal Highway Authority and the West Virginia Eastern Panhandle Transportation Authority or, if an authority is abolished, any entity succeeding to the principal functions of the highway authority or to whom the powers given to the highway authority are given by law.
(7) "Private entity" means any natural person, corporation, general partnership, limited liability company, limited partnership, joint venture, business trust, public benefit corporation, nonprofit entity or other business entity.
(8) "Project costs" means capital costs, costs of financing, planning, designing, constructing, expanding, improving, maintaining or controlling a transportation facility, the cost of land, equipment, machinery, installation of utilities and other similar expenditures and all other charges or expenses necessary, appurtenant or incidental to the foregoing.
(9) "Sponsor" or "project sponsor" means a governmental entity proposing a transportation project;
(10) "Public-private partnership" means a consortium that includes the Division of Highways, a political subdivision of this state, a public service district, a highway authority or any combination thereof, together with a private entity or entities, which proposes to finance, plan, design, construct, expand, improve, maintain or control a transportation facility.
(11) "Public service district" means a public corporation or political subdivision of this state created pursuant to section two, article thirteen-a, chapter sixteen of this code.
(12) "Revenue" means all revenue, income, earnings, user fees, lease payments or other service payments arising out of or in connection with supporting the development or operation of a transportation facility, including, without limitation, money received as grants or otherwise from the United States of America, from any public entity or from any agency or instrumentality of the foregoing in aid of such transportation project, moneys generated by way of contract, pledge, donation, bequest or bonds and moneys generated by taxes which are authorized to be assessed and levied by the Legislature or another governmental body.
(13) "Secretary" means the Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
(14) "Transportation facility" means a highway, road, bridge, tunnel, overpass, ferry, airport, public transportation facility, vehicle parking facility, riverport facility, rail facility, intermodal facility or other similar facility open to the public and used for the transportation of persons or goods and any building, structure, parking area, appurtenances or other properties and structures needed to operate a transportation facility.
(15) "Transportation project" means a project or proposal intended to finance, plan, design, construct, expand, improve, maintain or control a transportation facility as an element of the transportation infrastructure of this state. The term "transportation project" does not include any project that would otherwise be under the authority of the Public Port Authority, the Aeronautics Commission or the Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority.
(16) "User fee" means the rate, toll, fee or other charges imposed by an operator for use of all or a part of a transportation facility.
(17) "Utility" means a privately, publicly or cooperatively owned line, facility or system for producing, transmitting or distributing communications, cable television, power, electricity, light, heat, gas, oil, crude products, water, steam, waste, storm water not connected with highway drainage, or any other similar commodity, including fire or police signal system or street lighting system, which directly or indirectly serves the public.
§17-28-4. Entities required to submit project plans generally; commissioner's powers and duties to implement the act; transportation project plan requirements; financing options; Division of Highways plan review; proprietary information.

(a) A governmental entity seeking state funds for a transportation project may submit a transportation project plan to the commissioner. The commissioner shall review the proposed transportation project plan and the proposed financing for the project and shall encourage project sponsors to pursue alternative funding sources. Alternative funding sources may include, without limitation, utilization of tax increment financing, issuance of general obligations bonds, revenue bonds or anticipation notes, cooperation with other governmental units and utilities, dedicated user fees and public-private partnerships.
(b) To implement and carry out the intent of this article, the commissioner shall propose legislative rules in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. The commissioner shall establish comprehensive, uniform guidelines in order to evaluate any transportation project plan. The guidelines shall address the following:
(1) The use of alternative sources of funding which could finance all or a portion of the transportation project;
(2) The transportation needs of the region;
(3) Project costs;
(4) Whether dedicated revenues from a project sponsor are offered for project costs;
(5) Available federal and state funds;
(6) The degree to which the transportation project impacts other infrastructure projects and implements cost-effective and efficient development of transportation projects with other infrastructure improvements;
(7) The cost effectiveness of the transportation project as compared with alternatives which achieve substantially the same economic development benefits;
(8) The project sponsor's ability to operate and maintain the transportation project or finance the continued operation and maintenance of the transportation project if approved;
(9) The degree to which the transportation project achieves other state or regional planning goals;
(10) The estimated date upon which the transportation project could commence if funding were available and the estimated completion date of the transportation project; and
(11) Other factors the commissioner considers necessary or appropriate to accomplish the purpose and intent of this article.
(c) The commissioner shall create a transportation project plan application form that is to be used by all project sponsors requesting funding assistance from the state for transportation projects. The application must require a preliminary proposal that includes:
(1) The projected type and location of the transportation project;
(2) The estimated total project cost of the transportation project;
(3) The amount of funding assistance desired and the specific uses of the funding;
(4) Other sources of funding available or potentially available for the transportation project;
(5) Information demonstrating the need for the transportation project and documentation that the proposed funding of the project is the most economically feasible alternative to completing the transportation project;
(6) A timeline for activities to be performed by the project sponsor and affected local jurisdictions;
(7) A statement setting forth the financing of the project costs, including the sources of the funds and identification of any dedicated revenues, proposed debt, tax increment financing plans, issuance of bonds or notes, in-kind services or equity investment of project sponsors;
(8) A list of public utilities that can be constructed in coordination with the transportation project and a statement of the plans to accommodate those utilities;
(9) The names and addresses of the persons who may be contacted for further information concerning the transportation project;
(10) A statement of the projected availability and use of dedicated revenues including user fees, lease payments and other service payments over time; and
(11) Other information as the commissioner considers necessary to enable the review of the transportation project.
(d) The commissioner may also require the submission of geographic information system mapping of the transportation project and electronic filing of the preliminary proposal. If the preliminary proposal is approved by the commissioner for a further detailed review, the division will advise the project sponsor of the estimated cost of a detailed review. The project sponsor must deposit a bond with the division, irrevocable letter of credit or other acceptable instrument guaranteeing payment by the project sponsor of the actual costs incurred by the division, to the maximum of the estimated costs, before a detailed review may begin.
(e) In evaluating any transportation project, the commissioner may rely upon internal staff reports or the advice of outside advisors or consultants.
(f) The commissioner is to encourage collaboration among project sponsors, affected local jurisdictions and private entities through intergovernmental agreements and public-private partnerships including, without limitation, recommending the amounts and sources of funding which affected local jurisdictions or project sponsors may pursue, which state transportation or infrastructure agency or agencies may be consulted for appropriate investment of public funds and alternatives to carry out the intent of this article.
(g) The commissioner may recommend to the Governor those transportation projects which are a prudent and resourceful expenditure of funds and which utilize alternative funding sources. No proposal may be recommended or approved which is inconsistent with the division's twenty-year long range plans or other transportation plans.
(h) The commissioner must prepare and publish an annual report of activities and accomplishments and submit it to the Governor and to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on or before December 15 of each year. The commissioner must also prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature outlining alternative road funding models and incentive packages. The report may also recommend legislation relating to third-party donation of funds, materials or services, federal credit instruments, secured loans, federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act funds, state infrastructure banks (SIBS), private activity bonds or other matters respecting transportation considered by the commissioner to be in the public interest. The commissioner may consider alternatives to the current system of taxing highway use through motor vehicle fuel taxes including, without limitation, pilot programs for testing technology and methods for the collection of mileage fees.
(i) The commissioner must take appropriate action to protect proprietary and trade secret information and is exempt from the requirements of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code.
§17-28-5. County fees for transportation projects; general obligation and revenue bonds; election and notice requirements; credit for municipal service fees.

(a) Notwithstanding any provisions of this code to the contrary, the county commission of each county has the authority to impose by order reasonable fees upon users of a transportation project to be collected in the manner specified in the order for transportation projects. No order imposing a fee is effective until it is ratified by a majority of the legal votes cast by the qualified voters of the county at a primary or general election. The ballot question must set forth the fee, the manner in which it will be imposed and the general use to which the proceeds of the fee will be put.
(b) Every county commission is empowered and authorized to issue, in the manner prescribed by law, revenue bonds or general obligation bonds for the purpose of raising or dedicating revenue to establish, construct, improve, extend, develop, maintain or operate a transportation project or to refund any bonds of the counties, the proceeds of which were expended in establishing, constructing, improving, extending, developing, maintaining or operating a transportation project or any part thereof. Bonds issued for any of the purposes stated in this section shall contain in the title or subtitle thereto the words "transportation project", in order to identify the same, and must be of such form, denomination and maturity and must bear such rate of interest as fixed by order of the county commission. The county commission may provide for the issuance of bonds for other lawful purposes of the county in the same order in which provisions must be made for the issuance of bonds under this section. The county commission must pay all of the costs and expenses of any election held to authorize the issuance of transportation project bonds. Whenever the county commission and the requisite majority of the legal votes cast at the election thereon shall authorize in the manner prescribed by law, the issuance of bonds for the purpose of establishing, constructing, improving, extending, developing, maintaining, operating or any combination of the foregoing, a transportation project or for the purpose of refunding any outstanding bonds, the proceeds of which were applied to any of the foregoing purposes, the bonds must be issued and delivered to the county commission to be sold by it in the manner prescribed by law and the proceeds thereof must be paid into the county commission and the same must be applied and utilized by the county commission for the purposes prescribed by the order authorizing the issuance of the bonds. In any order for the issuance of bonds, it is a sufficient statement of the purposes for creating the debt to specify that its purpose is to establish, construct, improve, extend, develop, maintain or operate, or any combination of the foregoing, a transportation project and further specifying the particular establishment, construction, improvement, extension, development, maintenance or operation contemplated; and an order for refunding bonds must designate the issue and the number of bonds which it is proposed to refund.
(c) For the purposes of this section, a county commission is authorized to sue and be sued; make contracts and guarantees; incur liabilities; borrow or lend money for any time period considered advisable by the county commission; sell, mortgage, lease, exchange, transfer or otherwise dispose of its property; or pledge its property as collateral or security for any time period considered advisable by the commission. All sales, leases or other disposition of real property acquired with state road funds or federal funds, or of real property dedicated to the state road system, must be done in accordance with applicable federal and state law and may be done only with the approval of the commissioner. A county commission is also authorized to create trusts as will expedite the efficient management of transportation projects and other assets owned or controlled by the county commission. The trustee, whether individual or corporate, in any trust has a fiduciary relationship with the county commission and may be removed by the county commission for good cause shown or for a breach of the fiduciary relationship with the county commission. Nothing in this article effects a waiver of the sovereign, constitutional or governmental immunity of the state or its agencies.
(d) No revenue bonds or general obligation bonds may be issued under this section until all questions connected with the bonds are first submitted to a vote of the qualified voters of the county for which the bonds are to be issued and receive a majority of all the votes cast for and against the issuance. The ballot question must set forth: (1) The necessity for issuing the bonds; (2) the purpose or purposes for which the proceeds of bonds are to be expended; (3) the total indebtedness, bonded or otherwise; (4) the amount of the proposed bond issue; (5) the maximum term of bonds and series; (6) the maximum rate of interest; (7) the date of election; and (8) whether the county commission is collecting fees authorized by this section to provide funds for the payment of the interest upon the bonds and the principal at maturity and the approximate amount of fees necessary for this purpose.
(e) Notice of election on an order imposing a fee authorized by this section must be given by publication, within fourteen consecutive days next preceding the date of the election, as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for publication is the county. The general election laws of this state concerning primary or general elections, when not in conflict with this section, apply to elections hereunder, insofar as practicable. If a majority of the legal votes cast upon the question be against the imposition of a fee or issuance of a bond provided by this section, it shall not take effect, but the issue may again be submitted to a vote in a subsequent election in the manner provided by this article.
(f) The county commission is to establish with the sheriff of the county or a trustee for the bondholders, as the case may be, special transportation infrastructure fund accounts. All money collected or appropriated by a county commission under this section for a transportation project must be deposited in the accounts and disbursed for the purpose of dedicating revenues to a transportation project and payment of the indebtedness upon bonds issued to fund the transportation project.
(g) The powers conferred by this article are in addition and supplemental to any other powers conferred upon county commissions by the Legislature relating to streets, road maintenance or to construct and maintain transportation facilities.
(h) In the event rates, fees and charges imposed by a governing body of any municipality pursuant to section thirteen, article thirteen, chapter eight of this code are applied to street, bridge or road maintenance, construction, cleaning or street lighting, persons subject to both a county fee authorized by this section and the municipal fee are entitled to a full credit equivalent to the municipal fee against the county fee authorized by this section.
§17-28-6. Comprehensive agreement.
(a) Prior to acquiring, constructing or improving the transportation facility, the governmental entity sponsoring the project shall enter into a comprehensive agreement with the division. The comprehensive agreement shall provide for:
(1) Delivery of performance or payment bonds in connection with the construction of or improvements to the transportation facility, in the forms and amounts satisfactory to the division;
(2) Review and approval of the final plans and specifications for the transportation facility by the division;
(3) Inspection of the construction of or improvements to the transportation facility to ensure that they conform to the engineering standards acceptable to the division;
(4) Maintenance of a policy or policies of public liability insurance or self-insurance, in a form and amount satisfactory to the division and reasonably sufficient to insure coverage of tort liability to the public and employees and to enable the continued operation of the transportation facility. However, in no event may the insurance impose any pecuniary liability on the state, its agencies or any political subdivision of the state. Copies of the policies must be filed with the division accompanied by proofs of coverage;
(5) Monitoring of the maintenance and operating practices of the sponsoring governmental entity by the division and the taking of any actions the division finds appropriate to ensure that the transportation facility is properly maintained and operated;
(6) Itemization and reimbursement to be paid to the division for the review and any services provided by the division;
(7) Filing of appropriate financial statements on a periodic basis;
(8) The date of termination of the sponsoring governmental entity's duties under this article and dedication to the division; and
(9) That a transportation facility must accommodate all public utilities on a reasonable, nondiscriminatory and completely neutral basis and in compliance with section seventeen-b, article four, chapter seventeen of this code.
(b) In the comprehensive agreement, the division may agree to accept grants or loans from the sponsoring governmental entity, from time to time, from amounts received from the state or federal government or any agency or instrumentality of the state or federal government.
(c) The comprehensive agreement is to incorporate the duties of the sponsoring governmental entity under this article and may contain any other terms and conditions that the division determines serve the public purpose of this chapter. Without limitation, the comprehensive agreement may contain provisions under which the division agrees to provide notice of default and cure rights for the benefit of the sponsoring governmental entity and the persons specified in the comprehensive agreement as providing financing for the qualifying transportation facility. The comprehensive agreement may contain any other lawful terms and conditions to which the sponsoring governmental entity and the division mutually agree.
(d) Any changes in the terms of the comprehensive agreement, agreed upon by the parties must be added to the comprehensive agreement by written amendment.
§17-28-7. Commissioner's authority over transportation projects accepted into the state road system; use of state road funds.

(a) Notwithstanding anything in this article to the contrary, the commissioner has final approval of any transportation project. However, no state road funds may be used, singly or together with funds from any other source, for any purpose or in any manner contrary to or prohibited by the constitution and laws of this state or the federal government or where such use, in the sole discretion of the commissioner, would jeopardize receipt of federal funds.
(b) All transportation projects that are accepted as part of the state road system, and all real property interests and appurtenances, are under the exclusive jurisdiction and control of the commissioner, who may exercise the same rights and authority as he or she has over other transportation facilities in the state road system. As a condition of acceptance of a transportation project into the state road system, the commissioner may require that the project sponsor provide a dedicated revenue source for the continued operation and maintenance of the transportation project.
(c) No state road funds may be used to finance a transportation project without the written approval of the commissioner.
§17-28-8. Qualifying a transportation project as a public improvement.

All transportation projects authorized under this article are public improvements and are subject to article five-a, chapter twenty-one of this code. Article twenty-two, chapter five of this code applies to all transportation projects authorized under this article. All construction, reconstruction, repair or improvement of transportation projects under this article will be awarded by competitive bidding. Competitive bids are to be solicited by the governmental entity sponsoring a transportation project for each construction contract in excess of $25,000 in total cost. Competitive bids must be solicited by the sponsoring governmental entity through publication of a Class II legal advertisement, as required by article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area is the county or municipality where the transportation facility is to be located. The advertisement must also be published as a Class II advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation published in the city of Charleston. The advertisement is to include the solicitations of sealed proposals for the construction of the transportation project, stating the time and place for the opening of bids. All bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. Construction contracts must be awarded to the lowest qualified responsible bidder, who furnishes a sufficient performance or payment bond. The sponsoring governmental entity has the right to reject all bids and solicit new bids for the construction contract. Article one-c, chapter twenty-one of this code applies to the construction of all transportation projects approved under this article.
§17-28-9. Coordination and development of transportation projects with other infrastructure; information sharing; agreements among municipal utilities and public service districts to participate in transportation projects; rates to include costs borne by municipal utilities and public service districts in coordination with transportation projects; exemption from Public Service Commission approval.

(a) The commissioner is to encourage the joint and concurrent development and construction of transportation projects with other infrastructure including, without limitation, water and sewer infrastructure.
(b) To coordinate and integrate the planning of transportation projects among local jurisdictions, all governing bodies, units of government, municipal utilities and public service districts within the affected local jurisdiction are to cooperate, participate, share information and give input when a project sponsor prepares a transportation project plan.
(c) Municipal utilities and public service districts may enter into agreements with any project sponsor for the purpose of constructing new infrastructure facilities or substantially improving or expanding infrastructure facilities in conjunction with a transportation project and dedicating revenue or contributing moneys to transportation project costs. Each agreement must contain, at a minimum, engineering and construction standards, terms regarding the revenue sources, allocation of project costs and confirmation that the agreement does not violate any existing bond covenants. Each agreement shall also comply and be consistent with the comprehensive agreement applicable to the transportation project. No infrastructure facilities may be located or relocated within a right-of-way in, or to be included within, the state road system except in accordance with transportation project plans approved by the commissioner.
(d) The rates charged by a municipal utility or public service district to customers in an affected local jurisdiction may include the additional cost borne by the municipal utility or public service district as a result of entering into an agreement with a project sponsor to contribute moneys or dedicate revenue to transportation project costs.
(e) This article may not be construed to affect the authority of the Department of Environmental Protection nor the authority of the Department of Health and Human Resources pursuant to this code.
(f) This article may not be construed to give the Public Service Commission authority to regulate or intervene in the approval and construction of any transportation project or any agreement between a project sponsor and a municipal utility or public service district under this article.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the West Virginia Community Empowerment Transportation Act. The bill authorizes the Commissioner of Highways to establish procedures relating to the authority and review of transportation projects. The bill makes legislative findings and defines terms. The bill requires those seeking state funds for transportation projects to submit a transportation project plan and sets forth those requirements. The bill grants the Commissioner of Highways to approve or deny a project. The bill authorizes county commissions to impose user fees for the construction and maintenance of roads and transportation projects. The bill provides a credit for municipally imposed fees. The bill authorizes counties to issue revenue and general obligation bonds for transportation projects following voter approval. The bill provides notice, election and advertising requirements. The bill requires development of transportation projects be coordinated with other infrastructure projects and authorizes information sharing. The bill also authorizes agreements between municipal utilities and public service districts to participate in transportation projects. The bill authorizes the setting of rates to include costs of municipal utilities and public service districts in coordination with transportation projects. The bill also provides an exemption from Public Service Commission approvals. The bill requires a bond covering the potential impact of the project on highway facilities. The bill regulates access from private properties to and from state roads. The bill also provides recovery of cost of highway improvements from commercial and residential developments.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

§17-28-1, §17-28-2, §17-28-3, §17-28-4, §17-28-5, §17-28-6, §17-28-7,§17-28-8 and §17-28-9 are new; therefore, strike-throughs have been omitted.

This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2021 West Virginia Legislature ****


X

Print On Demand

Name:
Email:
Phone:

Print