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Monday, September 28, 2009

ITD Announces Budget Cuts

From the Spokesman-Review this morning:

The Idaho Transportation Department has announced an $8.6 million holdback on its own department budget - a 3.4% cut - even though it wasn't required to participate in Gov. Butch Otter's holdbacks because the agency receives no state general funds.

ITD Acting Director Scott Stokes said the move comes because ITD's revenues are falling short, mainly in fuel taxes.

"We recognize that our revenue is failing to meet expectations and believe that reducing our budget by $8.6 million is a prudent business decision," Stokes said. "We will continue to monitor department revenue to determine if additional changes might be necessary."

The cut will come from the contract construction program, but the funds being cut hadn't yet been tagged for any specific projects, the department said.

Spokesman Mel Coulter said fuel tax revenues to the department have continued to decline, at a time when they normally kick up from the summer travel season.

"I think what were seeing is the public is doing the same thing we're doing, and that is they're having to continually monitor their expenditures and be very frugal with the money they have," Coulter said. "We're in that same position."

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.