The Cabinet gave an update of the Road Fund. It was characterized by the Chair as the one piece of positive financial news in Frankfort recently. In 2011 they met and exceeded all estimates with the three main tax sources--motor fuels tax, motor vehicle usage taxes and the other category which is weight distance and the various license fees.
Chairman Collins, Chair of Transportation asked a question about the escalating gas tax and whether it was in danger of falling back with the falling wholesale prices. The Cabinet answered they were confident the current tax rate would be safe to at least January.The Cabinet also gave an update on the bond situation. The state has 1.45 B in bond funds authorized dating back to 2005. The years 05 and 06 are pretty much maxed out. The years 09 and 2010 have substantial bonding authority remaining. They expect to have the remaining projects obligated in the next two years.
Another Cabinet presentation was on the Appalachian Projects that are funded with Appalachian Regional Commission funds, but contain a 20% state match. These projects were started in 2002 and are huge in scope--some 600 plus million in Letcher, and the Pike US 460 corridor. Majority Leader Adkins brought up the initiative to have the remaining 2-3 lane section of the Mt. Parkway and the corridor from Campton to Hazard as Appalachian eligible and able to receive APD funding. These are projects that have been discussed for some time and most state officials believe they couldn't fund without the APD designation.
Finally, they had a quick update on BRAC spending by the head of BRAC in Kentucky, Col. Mark Needham.
No mention of the Sherman Minton or the Ky/In Bridges project.