Terry Kohlbuss, Maggie Martino, Melissa Eaton, Lori Havenga, Lindsay Wallace-TCRPC
3. Approval of Minutes:
Mr. Barber moved to approve the minutes of the May 6, 2009, PPUATS Policy Committee meeting. Seconded by Mr. O’Neill and passed unanimously.
Planning Report and Billings for April:
Mr. O’Neill moved to approve the Planning Report and Billings for April 2009. Seconded by Mr. Stanford and passed unanimously.
Mr. Kohlbuss reported that there was $5,632 of income over expenditures for the Commission in April. May should be positive also, but June may show a negative balance since the PL and FTA grants will be depleted in May. The Commission is moving the offices to One Technology Plaza, 211 Fulton Street, Suite 207, on June 19. The July 1 PPUATS Policy Committee meeting will be held at the new office.
Mr. Kohlbuss reported that Commission staff members Lori Havenga and John Chambers are leaving the Commission to pursue other areas of opportunities.
City of Pekin Change in PPUATS Representation:
The Pekin City Council has appointed Mayor Rusty L. Dunn and Dennis Kief as member and alternate on the PPUATS Policy Committee and Joseph Wuellner and Michael Guerra as member and alternate on the PPUATS Technical Committee. The new Mayor of Bartonville, Rhonda Wolfe, was introduced as a member of the PPUATS Policy Committee.
FY 2009-2012 Transportation Improvement Program Amendments:
Ms. Wallace reported that through the ARRA program CityLink was given the funds to purchase 21 transit buses and 31 paratransit buses. In order to be able to upgrade to hybrid buses, CityLink intends to apply for up to $5 million in TIGGER Funds. Although they have not yet been awarded these funds, they expect to be soon and in order to receive the funding there must be an amendment already in the T.I.P. The PPUATS Technical Committee is recommending approval of this T.I.P. Amendment. Mr. Lucek stated that CityLink has already submitted the application.
Mr. Kohlbuss reported that Peoria County and the City of Normal are discussing an application for USDOT Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds to study a rail corridor between Peoria and Normal. The deadline is September 15. TIGER has $1.5 billion available for discretionary grants for capital investment in surface transportation projects.
Mr. Livingston moved to approve the FY 2009-2012 T.I.P. Amendment for CityLink to purchase hybrid buses with approximately $5 million in TIGGER funds when approved by the Federal Transit Administration. Seconded by Mr. Barber and passed unanimously.
7. Upcoming Construction Season:
Mr. LaSalle updated the members on the IDOT-District #4 2009 construction season. There are approximately 126 projects to be completed from April through November 2009 at an approximate cost of $220 million. They are attempting to control congestion by scheduling work at night and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mr. Kohlbuss stated that the State MPO Advisory Council is petitioning IDOT to fund an analysis of the synchronization with the local projects to avoid traffic congestion contributing to the ozone levels. The Commission intends to continue the Clean Air Action campaign in order to encourage people to practice activities that will keep the ozone level lower than 75, as there has already been a 72 level day this spring. Mr. LaSalle stated that IDOT is addressing this issue with a delay of start policy, a special provision in the contractors’ contracts for low sulfur diesel fuel requirement, and restrictions on idling time under ten minutes. The additional ARRA projects do not seem to be generating higher price bids.
8. American Planning Association Update on Legislative & Policy Issues:
Through the APA, Mr. Kohlbuss discovered a potential $100 million in grant opportunities within the President’s budget that would allow the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a collaborative effort to establish long-term, cross-jurisdictional partnerships with both the public and private sectors to establish sustainable growth patterns. This grant money would be distributed largely to metropolitan planning organizations and HUD block grant recipients.
Status Report-ARRA Funds:
An updated listing was distributed showing the progress of the ARRA projects. All are on schedule to be let by the November letting date.
10. Update on Fulton County 336 Planning Process:
Mr. Kohlbuss stated that the Fulton County Board is willing to match a grant from IDOT to fund the extension of the Regional Plan from the Peoria County line to the City of Canton on the 336 corridor.
11.Update on Accountability Legislation:
Mr. Kohlbuss reported that the accountability legislation to allow for MPO input earlier in the creation of the State TIP is still being considered.
Mr. Kohlbuss reported that a statement of support was sent to Congressman Aaron Schock requesting $6.4M in federal funding for the completion of the Phase I Location and Design Study of the Eastern Bypass (EBP) project that will encompass Woodford, Tazewell and Peoria Counties in Central Illinois. The State match has been requested in the Capital Plan, which is supported by Senator Risinger and Representative Gordon.
The Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations is closely tracking the reauthorization of the federal highway bill, which expires September 30, 2009. Chairman Oberstar remains committed to introducing a bill in June. The bill may include objectives to reduce vehicle miles traveled, improve access, reduce delays, more rail projects, and require MPOs to complete a plan to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions.
Mr. Kief stated that this is his last meeting as Chair of the PPUATS Policy Committee. He noted the progress of the relationships between PPUATS members over the last 25 years and he looks forward to a period of continued cooperation. He noted that Ms. Benecke-McLaren’s last meeting as Chair of the PPUATS Technical Committee will be June 17.