Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Council wants OCOG's help to fund study
- 2013 - 961 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
- December 2008 - 146 articles
- November 2008 - 147 articles
- October 2008 - 232 articles
- September 2008 - 189 articles
- August 2008 - 126 articles
- July 2008 - 147 articles
- July 31st, 2008 (Thursday) - 15 articles
- July 30th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 11 articles
- July 29th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 4 articles
- July 28th, 2008 (Monday) - 1 articles
- July 25th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- July 24th, 2008 (Thursday) - 4 articles
- July 23rd, 2008 (Wednesday) - 17 articles
- July 22nd, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- July 19th, 2008 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- July 18th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- July 17th, 2008 (Thursday) - 8 articles
- July 16th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 16 articles
- July 15th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- July 14th, 2008 (Monday) - 1 articles
- July 13th, 2008 (Sunday) - 1 articles
- July 11th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- July 10th, 2008 (Thursday) - 16 articles
- July 9th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 16 articles
- July 8th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- July 3rd, 2008 (Thursday) - 14 articles
- July 2nd, 2008 (Wednesday) - 12 articles
- July 1st, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- June 2008 - 111 articles
- May 2008 - 147 articles
- April 2008 - 141 articles
- March 2008 - 125 articles
- February 2008 - 135 articles
- January 2008 - 111 articles
|Council wants OCOG's help to fund study|
The Louisiana Planning Council wants to conduct a six-month study to find ways to improve the overall transportation network of the state.
The Louisiana Planning Council is an association comprised of the state's Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), such as the Ouachita Council of Governments.
Mike Hollier with Lafayette Consolidated Governments discussed the proposed study Monday with local officials during OCOG's regular meeting.
Hollier asked for OCOG's support, saying the group needs several of the state's MPOs to participate to defray the cost of the study.
OCOG could be required to fund at least $20,000 for the study, which Hollier expects could cost about $90,000.
OCOG declined to give support to the project Monday, but its members did say they would review the proposal and decide within 30 days whether to back it.
Hollier said that too often MPOs spend a large amount of time waiting for funding for major transportation projects in their respective areas.
"The whole time we're waiting, the cost of these projects are going up," Hollier said. "We all are experiencing an unprecedented amount of urban development, and we're waiting 10, 15, sometimes 30 years for funding for these major projects. The time it takes to build these projects is just entirely too long, and the world is changing rapidly. Cost for projects is escalating more so than ever in the past. So we're hoping that we can find a fast action process."
Hollier says the study would determine what other state MPOs and transportation departments are doing to expedite their transportation projects.
Hollier also hopes district offices of the Department of Transportation and Development would be given more independence and more resources for these long-range plans.
Hollier said the study also will determine options of funding long-range transportation projects. In the meantime, the state's MPOs will recommend that the Legislature provide a minimum of $500 million to help improve the state and local highway systems.
Hollier said because the state is projected to have a $1-billion surplus, the state will be able to help finance numerous major transportation projects over the next several years. However, Hollier said within two years, the surplus probably won't be there.
"It's only temporary," Hollier said of the surplus.
"The reality of the situation is the main revenue source we use for transportation improvements is the gas tax," Hollier explained. "That's declining because less fuel is being purchased as the cost rises, so the revenue stream is really declining. So, the question is where do we go? We need to look at the options, and that's what this (study) is all about."
So far, four state MPOs have agreed to fund the study. Hollier hopes to have the support of at least seven MPOs.
While OCOG's members didn't indicate they would be against the proposal, several had some concerns about the study.
Police jury President Walt Caldwell, a member of OCOG, said under LPC's proposal, MPOs would have to secure 50 percent of the funding for their designated projects. The MPOs would need to secure this funding within a year.
"Here's my concern: for certain governments, they will not be able to come up with the 50 percent match in such a short period of time," Caldwell said.
If these governmental agencies cannot secure their portion of funding, matching funds they received for their projects are returned to the governmental source that provided the funding in the first place, and larger urban areas with larger pools of funding will end up pulling more of the state's money, Caldwell said.
"Basically, the money will be used by larger urban areas," Caldwell said. "It won't be used by the smaller MPOs."
Hollier disagreed, saying part of the study is to determine funding sources locally in the urban areas.
West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris, a member of OCOG as well, had concerns about how the money would be appropriated. The current proposal is to give urban areas with 200,000 in population a base allocation of $30 million with the option to match 50 percent up to $20 million. The smaller MPOs with fewer than 200,000 population would get $20 million with the option to match 50 percent up to $15 million.
All of this funding would come from the $500 million the LPC wants the Legislature to allocate for improvements to state and local transportation systems.
"I'm not objecting to anything that would give us the opportunity to get $500 million," Norris said.
However, Norris suggested the group change the allocation method to reflect per capita basis of the MPOs.
Hollier believes the concerns expressed by OCOG's members would be addressed through the study.