Last Thursday's transportation committee was pathetic. Metro Councilman Ken Flemming decided not to consider the Ward-Pugh/Owen resolution to seek public input before initiating the tolling authority process. Instead, Flemming rubber stamped the Tandy/Kramer resolution to ask the Mayor to set up a tolling authority.
The Ward-Pugh/Owen resolution which was never read in committee contained the following:
WHEREAS, the Kentucky General Assembly granted to the Louisville Metro Council [the "Council"] the authority to duly consider and determine the need for the creation of a Bi-State Infrastructure Authority for projects in Louisville Metro; and
WHEREAS, the Kentucky General Assembly granted to the Council the flexibility to modify an existing project as necessary due to changing circumstances; and
WHEREAS, the Ohio River Bridges Project (ORBP) is now estimated to cost $4.1 Billion; and
WHEREAS, it is now clear that the ORBP must be paid for primarily with tolls instead of by Federal and State road funds generated by taxes already being paid; and
WHEREAS it is not known how much tolls will cost or on which bridges they will be imposed, though it is likely they will be on all the bridges and not just newly constructed ones; and
WHEREAS, a study by Wilbur Smith and Associates released in February 2008 indicated that it might be necessary to toll existing bridges as well as new bridges at a rate of $3 per crossing to generate enough revenue to pay for the ORBP; and