Shortfall in revenues leads to Vermont transportation budget cuts

News AASHTO Journal October 02, 2006
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The Vermont Agency of Transportation is faced with making $10.5 million in cuts due to a revenue shortfall that occurred following the state Legislature's approval of the road and bridge budget for the year, the Burlington Free Press reported.

Vermont Secretary of Transportation Neale Lunderville--just six weeks into the job-recently outlined the cuts before the Legislature's transportation and finance committees. He said the cuts would not delay critical projects and do not jeopardize federal matching funds.

Lunderville said he will tap $3.5 million in discretionary funds that lawmakers provided for this kind of financial emergency. He also intends to save $1.9 million by delaying some projects. Progress on many projects on the delay list already had slowed for other reasons, he told lawmakers.

Through tighter management of personnel costs--not including personnel cuts--the agency expects to obtain another $800,000 in savings, Lunderville said.

The agency chief also told legislators that the agency will slow purchases of new equipment and trim $247,000 from rest-area operations without reducing hours of operation. He also said any projects delayed to create savings now would go to the top of the priority list in the next budget.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), states are projected to see a 3% increase in general fund revenues this fiscal year. However, due to high fuel prices, the NCSL said state highway trust fund receipts have been crimped. The NCSL plans to do an update of general fund revenue receipts in October.

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