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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 26, 2009 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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when the numbers did not come as high it is 350 mo 4 million we pair that number down to give emphasis to the ones that were needed the most. >> there are a number of us on the committee first and foremost a richer man who shares the views of the were able to put a far more money into our infrastructure investment with the stimulus not that we would have been waiting to find work. the work is out there to be done at the federal resources are available to do it. >> if you indulge me i would just add that we were prepared, in mississippi, but also we as the industry across the united states and
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representing ashto and my colleagues throughout america, i will tell you we were prepared to do $800 million worth of projects in the first 90 days and of course, the subsequent 120 days. i agree 100% there were many more projects put on the street but within the same amount of time. >> speaking on behalf of ashto you are a southern state so kid new speak to the many projects that will come on line from the state's that your represented members may be where they did not permit until now that these contracts we put to work through the highway contracts? >> will answer your question in a different way one of my good friends and colleagues say and the good friend from ashto from pennsylvania was very concerned he could not
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get the bulk of his projects ready because of what you said of the weather and the condition restrains that we do not have in the south. but i think he has surprised himself by redoubling his efforts as have the other folks o ashto in the northern regions and in the climate changes and problems. we have been surprised at the efficiency of the staff of the hard work to put in these jobs to put people back to work for our think everybody has embraced, there are two major things that have been embraced by all of us to in the highway transportation across the country that is the term shall already making sure india everything was shovel ready and ready to go and that is not an easy task the other thing is the commitment to
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commit and retain two jobs every state has redoubled efforts to do just that to have them ready to go to go along with the new job retention that comes with the program. >> let me turn to you mr. casey and i am so familiar with spta having spent a little bit of time as a youngster visiting my grandmother using the spta system i can attest to the work that is needed as well on the subway system. but just in terms of the current authorization for highway and transit programs that expires september 30 can you tell me how the lack of a long-term authorization for these programs affect the ability to plan for capital improvement projects? >> some of the critical needs are multi-year and i can't specifically say we're
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completing a project now between engineering at over eight years and without that we probably could not have committed the funds to get the project completed. and the number of projects there is a major station that is a complicated system project and will take multiple years from the design and also construction never saw it is critical we have the multi-year funding sources and we know the monies are coming in the so we can commit dollars for those projects. >> the fda administrator rogoff mentioned several spta projects are assisted by recovery act funds including, correct me if i get the pronunciation incorrect but the station project that has a business component to it
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can you tell us more about the project and how what benefits spta? >> i submitted copies of some of the pictures with my testimony. you can see the station i don't think any person would go near that station in the current condition but it is critical we have facilities so that they feel safe on the system that also has the ability for transfer four bus routes so they can take the bus to the station and take the train into downtown philadelphia and demand number of stations a mentioned earlier in my testimony will also have the ability for multi transit purposes. >> and there is activity that goes around the transit station? >> yes. we're looking at economic development as everyone knows
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in the public transportation world if you have public transportation it increases the value of the us real-estate around the station. >> thank you. i would note also you also spoke about the importance of being able to pair off some operating funds you don't have to make other kinds of cuts in the system. can you spoke -- speetwo at? we're not in this situation that other transit agencies are we have multi sources of funds so it is not want a basket some of the other agencies that rely heavily on the tax really has taken a hit in the last year and because it is a solo funding source they are being impacted did you can read almost on a daily basis all of the transit agencies have some type of budget deficiencies.
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>> thank you mr. penrod i appreciate it your testimony when you describe a particular project you also describe the direct and indirect jobs actually being created from the recovery act funds and it is important for us to keep our eye on that especially in some of the states that are facing tremendous unemployment. also in your testimony you cite the detroit airport project that was accelerated from two years 21 year in a project move forward by a full year and in the fresno yosemite area project which was completed in half of the year instead of two years and another move forward by yet another two years and i imagine the construction had a beneficial effect keeping project cost of so i wonder if you can comment on that and also what airports are doing
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to replenish the pipeline of planned projects? >> yes. the acceleration or making a two-year project a one-year project save significant amounts of money with mobilization with shutdowns in the northern tier locations where you have to shut down in the wintertime sell any time you can shorten the construction period on the airfield is significantly decrease costs but also increase safety levels just because if you have multiple construction projects any time you have a current -- aircraft there is a component that goes into that so if you can reduce the safety or exposure to the shortened project time everybody wins. from the project off the shelf, like any other ever structure operator like the airport, people expect
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airports to be the most safe piece of infrastructure that they use. the fact that at least in our case in pittsburgh and i would expect my colleagues across the country, we have multiple projects on the shelf on a regular basis going into the stimulus package we had $200 million worth of projects to talk about and we're very pleased with the two projects we got were actually our number one and number two projects. but the shortage of the funded levels of in pittsburgh has caused us to do for 20 projects over the next couple of years we have an abundance of projects ready to go and go expect my colleagues across the country are in the same position as the root welcome future opportunities. >> just as we close out with questions for you mr. penrod. you pointed out the airport program currently operating under a short-term extension
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through september 30, 2009. i would appreciate it if you would comment on a lack of the long term authorization for this program affects you're and other airport ability to plan for development projects our imagine it is critical. >> it is. a runaway could have a three or five-year construction timeline so certainly a funding stream that expires the end of september is a significant concern if you're trying to contemplate what to do so certainly a longer-term projector program allows us to better plan but also the interference with air traffic and again to go back to the improvement of safety how to you plan that? there are multiple pieces of working on the airfield whether traffic issues coming aircraft movement, a construction vehicles with the routine maintenance. of we know it capital program
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will address the maintenance issue we can operate more efficiently as well with the operating budget. the long term program will be significant benefit to the industry. >> thank you mr. penrod. mr. keating a national survey done seven years ago found transportation construction contractors hire employs within three weeks of getting a contract and they began receiving paychecks within two weeks umpiring. can you comment on this based on your more recent experience with oldcastle? >> yes. essentially when the work is put out depending on the workload we may bring estimators and professionals on board will before we secure the work. there's no question once we receive a contract were in a word we need to ramp up to supply the work force for those projects. so it is actually much quicker
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and was there on the payroll they receive paychecks on a weekly basis. >> from one contract to the next your and the environment where there is longer term planning, would you lay them off or would you keep them on and move them to another project or hire new workers? how does that work? >> it is a critical to have a long-term plan out there knowing the funding levels for our company is involved in heavy highway construction type work as well as maintenance work for three were building a staff that will service multiple jobs over the course of the year that is dictated by the amount of work put out by the individual agency moving from one project to another on a regular basis with a steady work force. >> mr. keating when you say the l.a. is a lagging indicator so the pilot
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program is a reimbursable basis and does not give the funds until it is performed it then it receives reimbursement afterwards i am interested in the leading indicators your association tracks such as the value of new contracts awarded with stone minings and the cory you spoke to some of that in your testimony you said that was stronger than normal in april can we expect a highway project will see significant growth since it is a lagging indicator? >> i think we have already seen that we have people to work now it is a reimbursement program. we will go to a working for different phases of the state the eight -- dot they will pay as after the work is complete
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and then they will get reimbursed from the federal government and what you see from the fed down to this day as far as the outlay of funds lag significantly to were the work is being done. we are bringing -- bring people on board now as i have said in testimony and bringing back existing work force as well as new hires so there's no question the leading indicator is now. >> excellent the wonder if you could speak to a question that was raised earlier and that is to this day damned -- bad ability to meet the goals and this is a particular concern especially where there are significant pockets of unemployment or under employment at also you could speak to whether there are any barriers
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to reach out to small minority women owned business is perhaps even as subcontractors on some of the projects? any of you? >> madam chairman of like to take the opportunity to reply to that. it is interesting i made some notes as you were speaking earlier. obviously we're using the same goals that we use and the regular program of work in the expanded role of use of stimulus funds but one of the things we have done is discovered that stimulus sparked a great deal of interest on the part of the dde you traditional have large pool but a very small portion are active in the day today bidding of the process. so what we have embarked on in mississippi is to expand the
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pool obviously but to expand the active participants within the pool of the dde that we have. stimulus discussions brought on a great deal more interest and that has helped us because what we did with the renewed interest from the existing dbe pool we did an outrage program with all of our speed 13 participants and contractors that were required to have the dbe participation was seminars, training, training and assistance programs put into play as well as the contractors and i am speaking directly to the dbe rather than as the owner of the project. the contractor steps forward and you'll be surprised our
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expanded it has gotten the other component we have an it is that now in the smaller cities of smaller urban areas where the cities themselves to not have the staff or the wherewithal to keep up with the reporting and of the documentation dealing with the stimulus funds for regular funds, we have added consultants, dbe consultants to assist them in their recording and reporting and record-keeping requirements and reassessed the consultant and the city of well. we're very proud what we have been able to do in mississippi i am sure we are not alone because it is discussed every time we get together in the ashto the situation. before i of the ballot by to make an additional comment if i could. on your questions you are very interested in the 18 months short-term provisions for
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funding as opposed to the full authorization let me offer this for whatever it is worth a try personally speaking for mississippi favor a full authorization obviously. i think if congress does do what i call the continued resolution of 18 months, what others may call it i don't know, but the 18th month provision versus a full six years, for the same reasons advocated by chairman oberstar and congressman fazio earlier in his comments, because of planning and advertising and construction time issues obviously we need more time. if indeed we do not get the full authorization, madam chairman, i hope the committee would take a strong strong position that when authorization does come, the
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six year authorization, it will be from a passage of six years not what we have to deal with in the past where we spent three years to get a six year three authorization the same problems exist with this panel and the previous panel from this morning of not having enough time for adequate planning, doing all the things that are necessary to build a program and a three year authorization, that is very constraining in itself so from the after passage will and a six year build will be something i think our industry would really appreciate. >> mr. brown you have been heard loud and clear. we have been called for a boats. so i thank you for your testimony and for your time and i would close by saying if any of you have any recommendations particularly
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about dbe participation norway's to encourage that i know we would be grateful for your insight they're poor and the lessons learned out of the stimulus spending. and keep letting contracts and hiring workers and ap will hold tight until after the vote, we will pull the panel into recess and i believe german oberstar will come back. we will stand in recess for about 10 minutes following the vote. [inaudible conversations] >> the subcommittee, i am sorry the committee bill resume the hearing.
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the chair apologizes to the members and especially to the minuses, the members are all gone actually. to the witnesses for the long absence due to recorded votes on the house floor. to pass the defense authorization bill which is substantially greater for one year than we are proposing for six years for the service transportation program. hi took the testimony home with me last night and even though we did not finish until it 11:00, i sped read through the witness testimony statements. i am very impressed with your
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presentations. the question i have mr. brown, there have been some questions are criticisms i think not well informed criticisms that have that obstacles to moving ahead with projects. i would just like to know if you have any specific paperwork or other obstacles you have encountered in pursuing the funding and carrying out the republic -- the funding of the recovery act? >> mr. chairman i am somewhat surprised by the question because honestly speaking first for mississippi, i will tell you we have had none. of course, we have heard some
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of the ruminations about the reporting problems and demands that you referred to earlier in the day but we have not had those either. one of the good things that came from hurricane katrina that if anything can come from a natural disaster like that is it did repair the state of mississippi and our staff for reporting. a as you might imagine when katrina hit, the money came with no strings attached, no reporting data or requirements or anything else and i am sure we that is in a saturation but you see my point*. as we move further into recovery we got more and more request for data and request for reporting and transparency and one of the things if anything i was able to do for my colleagues at ashto is to
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tell them to tell them the story last year that there would be reporting requirements we have not heard of yet. i think for the most part our industry and the people that i know and my colleagues at ashto while they talk about the reporting issues and auditing issues and lead gao and inspector general's office coming by, i don't think it has been a problem. i think it is expected and anticipated when you do get the extra funds whether they come from emergency and/or stimulus projects. to answer your question, no sir we have not had any and i don't have any real knowledge of other. >> that is encouraging to hear. i said earlier in the hearing at the very outset of the process of structuring a
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stimulus bill when we proposed it in this committee room december 2007 and then january january 2008 and then august we held a hearing in 2008, september, another hearing, we insist on openness and transparency these are federal funds and the public should know what is happening with the dollars for all projects are being implemented and where they're going and the jobs created that is not a burden some. that is pieces of information that you gather and collect and report internally at least 10 1/2 to report sixth of for the jobs you do not have to report that to the federal highway administration coming in the stimulus finding itself it provides for funds to do that reporting into the data collection there is no excuse not having transparency to
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utilize the funds. >> that is correct program glad you noted that because i was about to point* that out that in exchange for funds reporting we should allocate funding for states to cover additional administrative costs associated with reporting. mr. casey? would you like to comment? >> i would just deco mr. brown's response in that regard. we have not had been a problem and for the region -- recommend region 34 recruit -- approving your projects to be with my testimony 70% of the dollars have been awarded through me and we anticipate awarding 100% through the end of the calendar year and again in the fda region has been extremely cooperative to get the projects moving. >> mr. penrod? >> mr. chairman just as the colleagues have said so in me
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from my personal experience in the aviation airport business we have an abundant program that we track closely the local share on the typical routine projects are tracked and audited closely so it is another opportunity in our case put $12 million of your money to good work. and it was not problematic and four other airports and has not been an issue across the country. 100% bonds means 100% participation and that is the least we can do. >> very good. mr. keating your associates at this and gravel, stone, aggregate business, from the time the bill passed the house, and your associates and you in particular were already moving ahead seeing the package was
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coming along that is started to read your facilities that you be in compliance for growth i want to compliment you for that but your view on the private sector response to the recovery and any reporting requirements that you think? >> we do not see it. we're getting contracts, the authorities are out there bidding work and getting contracts awarded purple we're out there performing on these contracts and we're getting paid. the process is working and from our perspective thank god we don't have to deal with the red tape that everybody else has a. >> that is a very positive report and i am reprised -- very pleased. i anticipated that but am pleased that it is happening.
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mr. brown, we have anticipated the state's would be ready to move because we designated only those projects that were designed, engineered, down to the final design with engineering. albert anticipation is those are off the shelf, ready to go. what proportion of the 54% of the funds have been obligated or under contract? throughout our -- ashto network what will go out over the next four or five months? by going out, i mean me under contract? >> that is an interesting


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