Today, at the Joint Retreat of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) and Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO), history was made as local leaders and elected officials came together to discuss some of the most pressing transportation issues in Hampton Roads.
Returning to Hampton Roads, Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey Layne, addressed both Boards on the proposed legislation regarding statewide prioritization process for construction funds (HB 2).
Secretary Layne assured both Boards, that in the evaluation of projects funded by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the following would be considered:
Secretary Layne and Dwight Farmer, HRPDC/HRTPO Executive Director, also addressed the Boards of both the HRPDC and HRTPO regarding 2014 General Assembly proposed legislation, HB1253 and SB513, which if passed, will result in the creation of the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC). Should the legislation be approved, the Commission will manage projects funded by the Hampton Roads Transportation Fund and will be empowered to issue bonds.
Addressing both Boards, Secretary Layne stated that the Accountability Commission would serve as a financing arm for Hampton Roads Regional Funds. It would also provide oversight for key regional projects advanced with those regional funds. Secretary Layne outlined the powers of the Commission and said they would include:
It is anticipated that the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission (HRTAC) will become effective on July 1, 2014, and will share facilities in the Regional Building with the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO), Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), and the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance (HRMFFA).
In further consideration of the potential addition of HRTAC and with the announcement of the Executive Director, Dwight Farmer, retiring July 1, 2014, the HRPDC and HRTPO Boards discussed the succession planning and organizational structure of the HRPDC and HRTPO, deciding to consider a variety of options and reconvene on the issue with the joint Personnel and Budget Committee in March or April of 2014.
To view Secretary Layne's Legislative Update in full, click here.
To view pictures of the HRPDC and HRTPO Joint Retreat, click here.