Washington County seeks deferral of CTIB grants for 2013

Washington County has $5.1 million available

Washington County will request that its designated payments from the County Transit Improvement Board for 2013 be deferred, as is allowed in the organization’s grant program.

The county board voted on the request during its regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Each year, the CTIB has a solicitation process to make grants to meet its operating and capital funding commitments to provide capital grants to specific transit corridors to accelerate their development.

As part of the approved Transit Investment Framework for CTIB, Washington County is eligible for grants of at least 3 percent of the estimated total annual sales tax proceeds for the years 2010 through 2013.

For 2013, the 3 percent guarantee Washington County is eligible for is $2.9 million. In addition to the 3 percent, Washington County, deferred $2.2 million from the 2011 solicitation for Washington County’s transitway priorities in 2012.

With the 3 percent guarantee and the 2012 deferral, the amount available to Washington County is $5.1 million for grants payable in 2013.

In reviewing the county’s five-year Capital Improvement Program, the Rush Line Corridor Advanced Alternatives Analysis and the Highway 36 Transit Study were identified to begin in 2013.

However, the Rush Line Task Force, which is the lead entity for initiating the AAA, does not plan to start the AAA in 2013. Also, the Metropolitan Council will start a Highway Bus Rapid Transit study this fall and Highway 36 will be one of the corridors that will be included in that study.

Because the two projects identified in the county’s plan are not expected to begin in 2013, it was decided to request a deferral of the 2013 grant money available.

Since April 2008, five counties — Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington — have utilized a quarter-cent sales tax and a $20 a motor vehicle sales tax, permitted by the Minnesota Legislature, to invest in and advance transitway projects by awarding annual capital and operating grants.

The Counties Transit Improvement Board works in collaboration with the Metropolitan Council and Carver and Scott counties.