VTrans hosts forum for public feedback
By Anders Ax
Staff Writer | February 25,2013
The Vermont Agency of Transportation will be conducting a series of forums to gauge public feedback on the agency’s recent performance, goals and progress.
The first meeting will be today from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Rutland High School Theater. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Sue Minter will lead the discussion.
“We want to check in and make sure people are OK,” said Joe Segale, policy and planning manager for the agency. “We’re really interested in tracking our performance and our results.”
Segale said the agency will soon be developing its next long-range plan and will continue to identify its top priorities.
Since VTrans’ 2006 survey, its prime concerns have been safety, security, environmental stewardship, preserving landscapes and costs for taxpayers. Segale said that major concerns such as the recent financial recession and Tropical Storm Irene added obvious priorities.
On average, Segale said, pre-2010 budgets were between $450 million and $500 million, whereas the budget for 2011 was about $600 million. The 2012 budget was $553.6 million, and 2013 is $658 million.
“Now, since we’re not all the way through Irene, for sure, I think we’ve gone far enough past it. Other things are settling back in. It’s just an opportunity to see where people are,” he said.
In the next three to four years, Segale said, budgets should be dropping to what they had been around 2010.
In addition to seeking public feedback, the agency also wishes to hear about local and regional transportation issues. VTrans will also outline its strategic plan, how progress toward goals is tracked, funding and transportation challenges, and efficiency measures that are used to provide a safe, reliable and cost-effective approach to maintaining Vermont’s transportation enterprise.
Segale urged Vermonters to go to the forums, adding that the agency will understand the public’s perception only if they attend.
“I think anytime they get a chance to go out and get a chance to hear what people say is a good thing,” Segale said.
Other forums will be held in Brattleboro, Newport, Bennington and St. Albans in the near future.
Rutland High School Theater is at 22 Stratton Road. Visit www.aot.state.vt.us for more information or call 828-1647.