Repeal of MDOTs Annual Certification of Employee-Related Conditions Receives Committee Hearing

Today House Transportation Committee took testimony on SB 882 that would repeal the annual certification of employee related conditions requirement for cities and villages under Act 51. The League expressed its strong support for the legislation and addressed the need to act on this quickly. The Chairman acknowledge the importance of moving quickly on this legislation and plans to have another committee meeting on this bill next week and vote it out. We will continue to work with the Chairman and members of the committee on this issue in an effort to secure its passage before the end of the month.

The League continues to deliver the message that certifying to MDOT that we are in compliance with PA 152, which by law we are required to be in compliance with, is redundant, unnecessary, and an inefficient use of time. We have also advocated that the creation of another dashboard is unnecessary because of the public access to our current dashboards, F65 Forms, audits, and our comprehensive annual financial reports. With the commitment from the Chairman to move this bill out of committee next week we remain hopeful that this legislation will pass before September 30th but there is no guarantee. We encourage you to prepare as if this requirements will be due on September 30, 2014 and we will continue to update you on the progress of this legislation.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303

MDOT Makes Significant Upgrades to Act 51 Reporting Portal and the Investment Reporting Tool

The Michigan Municipal League would like to inform you that the Michigan’s Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC) has made some significant updates to Michigan’s Act 51 Reporting Portal (MITRP) specific to completed project reporting requirements within both the Investment Reporting Tool (IRT) and Act 51 Distribution andReporting System (ADARS). Both systems can be accessed via this link: www.mcgi.state.mi.us/MITRP/.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and each local road agency has a responsibility to annually submit a report to the TAMC that includes, road and bridge projects anticipated to be contracted within the next three years and completed projects (open to traffic) for the fiscal year being reported. In 2006, the TAMC developed the Web-based IRT to facilitate the collection of project location information related to planned and completed projects for local agencies. In 2011, in an effort to gather meaningful cost information from local agencies, the TAMC partnered with MDOT to add an asset management page to the Web-based ADARS system. Unfortunately, this had an unintended consequence that caused many local agencies to have to manually re-enter duplicate project information into both systems.

This situation has been corrected and as of September 3, 2014, both the IRT and ADARS Asset Management page will be fully integrated to allow for the completed project information reported within the IRT to be automatically “synced” to the reporting categories within the ADARS page.

Initially, there will be a “soft” roll-out of this update for agencies with fiscal years ending on/after October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015. During the roll-out MDOT will focus on training and educating local agencies on the project reporting process and you will still be able to submit Act 51 reports by clicking the “No Treatments to Report” button. However, on/after October 1, 2015, the TAMC will expect the project information requested in both the IRT and ADARS to be complete. Failure to report this information could result in non-compliance with Act 51 reporting requirements and funds withheld until such a time that compliance can be determined.

If you have any questions, please contact Brian Sanada, TAMC Coordinator, at 517-373-2220 or sanadab@michigan.gov.

The following is a link to the letter that was sent out by the Transportation Asset Management Council regarding these changes. TAMC Letter to IRT-ADARS Users 9 3 14

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

MDOT Annual Certification of Employee-Related Conditions Due September 30th

Beginning September 30, 2014, and annually each September 30 thereafter, certification must be made for compliance to Section 18j of Public Act 51 of 1951, MCL 247.668j. A local road agency must certify that it has developed an employee compensation plan for its transportation employees as described OR the local road agency must certify that medical benefits are offered to its transportation employees or elected public officials in compliance with the publicly funded health insurance contribution act, 2011 PA 152, MCL 15.561 to 15.569, OR, that it does not offer medical benefits to its transportation employees or elected public officials. For a copy of the annual certification form please click here.

In addition, a local road agency shall maintain a searchable website accessible by the public at no cost, or the local road agency may reference this state’s central transparency website as the source for the information required. The information required includes all of the following, current fiscal year budget, the number of active transportation employees of the local road agency by job classification and wage rate, a financial performance dashboard that contains information on revenues, expenditures, and unfunded liabilities, the names and contact information for the governing body of the local road agency, and a copy of the annual certification form. If you elect to reference the state’s central transparency website the email to send a searchable pdf of the information to is MDOT-Outreach@michigan.gov. The website that should be used as a link the central transparency website on your webpage is www.michigan.gov/act51 and it will be part of the Legislative Reports under the Resources heading.

If a local road agency does not have a website, you may send a searchable pdf of your information to jlamacchia@mml.org at the Michigan Municipal League and it will be posted to their web page.

For more information please read Section 18j Frequently Asked Questions provided by MDOT.

The League continues to advocate that certifying to MDOT that we are in compliance with PA 152, which by law we are required to be in compliance with, is redundant, unnecessary, and an inefficient use of time. We have also advocated that the creation of another dashboard is unnecessary because of the public access to our current dashboards, F65 Forms, audits, and our comprehensive annual financial reports. SB 882 that would repeal these requirements has passed the Senate and awaits a hearing in the House. We are still hopeful that this legislation will pass before September 30th but there is no guarantee. We encourage you to prepare as if this requirements will continue to be due on September 30, 2014.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303

The House Passes Legislation Allowing Golf Carts on Local Roads

This week House passed HB 5045 by vote of 103-5. This bill would allow a local unit of government to pass an ordinance that would allow golf carts on roads under their jurisdiction. The following requirements must be met.

  • Must have a population less that 30,000
  • The operator must be at least 16 years of age and have a valid drivers license
  • The golf cart must be operated on the far right side of the roadway
  • You can only operate the golf cart between a half hour after sunrise and a half hour before sunset
  • Drivers must use hand signals to indicate turning and stopping
  • The golf cart cannot exceed 15 mph and can not operate on a road with a speed limit of more than 30 mph

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303

2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems Coming to Detroit

ITS America, in partnership with ERTICO and ITS Asia-Pacific, is excited to welcome you to Detroit this September 7-11 for the 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems. America’s Motor City is the perfect backdrop for the fantastic exhibitions hosted on our more than 300,000 sq. ft of show floor at the Cobo Center, the interactive demonstrations of the groundbreaking innovations in our Technology Showcase, the more than 250 riveting programmatic panels, roundtables, and interactive town hall sessions, as well as numerous networking events with an expected 10,000 transportation and technology leaders from around the world.

For more information on how to register please click here.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

Transportation Budget Includes Additional One-Time Funding for Local Roads

Although the legislature was unable to come up with a comprehensive solution to fix Michigan’s transportation system, next years transportation budget includes an additional $144.5 million in one-time funding for roads. As a result cities and villages across this state will receive $31.5 million. Based on the boilerplate language in the bill, the money will be spread out over equal payments throughout the year and not come as a lump sum payment at the beginning of the fiscal year. An estimated breakdown of what each community will receive can be found below.

Estimated Calculation of $144.5 million FY15

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303

2016 Local Safety Program

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is pleased to announce the solicitation of new applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Local Safety Program. Federal funds for the Local Safety Program are to be used for highway safety improvements on the local roadway system. All locally controlled roadways, regardless of National Functional Classification, are eligible for the Local Safety Program. The FY 2016 federal budget for this program is estimated at $15,000,000. This amount may be subject to revisions based on approval of the future federal highway bill. Local agencies may submit more than one project application for consideration. Federal safety funds shall not exceed $600,000 per project or a maximum amount of $2,000,000 per Local Agency for the fiscal year. FY 2016 projects are to be developed and obligated between October 1, 2015, and August 26, 2016. For more detail please click here. 2016 Federal Local Safety Program

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303

GRS-IBS Showcase Event

This event provides an opportunity to discuss the geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system (GRS-IBS) and showcase a GRS-IBS project in Ionia County. GRS-IBS is an engineered fill of closely spaced, alternating layers of compacted granular fill material and geosynthetic reinforcement. It’s a fast, cost effective method of bridge support that blends the roadway into the superstructure.

There is no cost to attend this showcase. Morning refreshments and lunch will be
provided. For more information please click on the following link. 2014GRS_IBS_Showcase

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303

Senate Fails to Pass Road Funding

The Senate adjourned until July 16 after several failed attempts to provide additional road funding to fix Michigan’s infrastructure. Failing to act means our roads and bridges will continue to fall into greater disrepair. We will not only fail to maintain existing infrastructure but won’t be able to invest in additional infrastructure to attract and retain talented employees and job providers.

The League will be relentless in the pursuit of additional funding and we want to thank all of our members who have reached out and asked your legislators to support long-term sustainable solution. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed by those in Lansing.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303

Transportation Funding Hitting Road Blocks in the Senate

The package of bills sent over by the House has hit a road block in the Senate. Democrats are arguing for protection of prevailing wage, the current electoral college system, and the need to provide tax relief for the working poor by reinstating the cuts made in 2011 to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Republican are not united in their approach as some members of their caucus want to raise the gas tax, other want to raise the sales tax, and still other want no new taxes. As this debate plays out some progress was made this week but much more needs to be done if comprehensive solution is going to be realized.

Talks are ongoing among legislative leaders. The League remains hopeful that the legislature will respond to the public outcry to fix Michigan transportation networks and act on the bills before them. We encourage you to reach out to the Senator and Representative from your area and encourage them to vote for a sustainable solution that will return Michigan to a state with strong infrastructure, reliable transit options, and thriving communities.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303