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313The highway that will not die

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  • ivalleyid
    Apr 1 1:07 PM
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      The Indian Valley Highway is back in play.
      Drop what you're doing and call Governor Otter's office right now at
      208-334-2100 and ask him to use his line-item veto to remove the
      South Emmett to Mesa Highway from House Bill 657. Do it right now;
      as of Tuesday morning, the bill is on his desk awaiting his
      signature.

      Background:
      The Idaho legislature last week passed House Bill 657, approving an
      additional $134 million in GARVEE bonding and instructing ITD how to
      spend it. You'll recall that GARVEE is a way of borrowing against
      anticipated federal highway revenues to pay for highway construction
      sooner rather than later. It was former Governor Kempthorne's
      keystone to his Connecting Idaho proposal two years ago. He and the
      Idaho Transportation Department had identified thirteen specific
      highway projects around the state to complete with GARVEE funds.
      However, the Legislature reduced the amount of GARVEE bonding that
      it would approve, and restricted use of the funds to just a few of
      the original projects, dropping the Indian Valley Highway and
      several others.

      HB657 puts all 13 original projects back in play, regardless of
      merit. How can we still be talking about building a new four-lane
      divided highway through critical big-game and sage-grouse habitat,
      when ITD is roughly $250 million a year short of the money it needs
      to keep up with necessary road maintenance and repairs? That's the
      question to ask your legislators; although 23 members of the House
      voted against this latest bill, only 6 Senators opposed it. You can
      check the Idaho Legislature's website to find our how your elected
      representatives voted and to read the text of the bill. But first,
      make your call to the governor's office today and ask him to ax this
      unneeded highway. Put our transportation dollars to work where
      they're needed, not where they do more harm than good.

      Check www.indianvalleyalliance.com for more information.

      Wendy Green
      Indian Valley Alliance
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