ITD housing, Capital Mall road improvements and department service awards will top board agenda

A report on the status of state-owned dwellings and requests for road improvements at the Capital Mall and an economic hardship waiver for Potlatch Corp. will lead discussion at the transportation board's March 19 meeting at Headquarters.

The group will host ITD's semiannual service awards program, beginning at 10 a.m., with transportation board member Julie DeLorenzo serving as speaker. The program will include recognition of 40 employees who have reached employment milestones, recognized in five-year increments. Seventeen retirees also will be honored.

Report on State-Owned Dwellings
Staff will provide an annual report on the status of department-owned dwellings, as required in policy. Housing may be provided to employees if it is in the best interests of the department or in situations where employees reside in a state-owned dwelling as a condition of employment.

The department owns three stick-framed houses, 11 manufactured homes, four manufactured bunkhouses, and one apartment each at Johnson Creek and Cavanagh Bay airstrips that are used seasonally. Of the 26 trailer pads ITD owns, 13 have employee-owned manufactured housing on them.

The department also owns nine trailer pads and three houses at rest-area locations. Rest-area maintenance contracts require the contractor to be available for daily conferences and on call for emergencies 24-7. Providing the state-owned dwellings is part of the consideration of the maintenance contract.

State Institution Road Improvement Project
Each year, $30,000 is made available via policy for road improvements in, through and around the grounds of state institutions. The Department of Administration, Division of Public Works, solicits projects and acquires the governor's endorsement of projects before submitting the request to the board for consideration.

This year, the board will be asked to approve $30,000 for the Capital Mall. The work includes patching, re-sealing and re-striping various parking lots within the Capital Mall complex. The project also includes repair or replacement of some of the concrete approaches into the parking lots.

The total estimated cost of the project is $67,000. The Department of Administration will provide the additional $37,000 needed for the project.

Industry Request for Waiver
On behalf of Potlatch Corp., staff will request an economic hardship waiver as allowed in Administrative Rule Governing When an Overlegal Permit is Required.

The rule states that when a circumstance occurs in which an economic hardship is expected to result due to the application of existing rules or limitations, the board may consider a petition for the temporary waiver of those rules or limitations, which are perceived as being the cause of such economic hardship.

The legal width is 8 feet 6 inches for reducible loads. This inhibits movement of lumber between the kiln and new mill equipment. The new equipment was an investment to improve corporation's efficiency and also to enable it to be more competitive in the industry. Potlatch's operation in St. Maries employs approximately 300 people.

The waiver request would allow moving of lumber up to 9 feet 2 inches wide on Idaho 3 for approximately one-half mile.

Staff recommends granting the waiver until June 30, 2015. During this time, staff would monitor the safety of these vehicles. It would report its findings to the board in June 2015 and consideration could be given to extending the temporary waiver or making it permanent at that time.

Published 3-14-14