2013 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1500 (Committee Approved)

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Investigate State Purchase of Dulles Greenway (language only)

Item 430 #3h

Item 430 #3h

Transportation, Secretary of

Page 398, after line 19, insert:
"N. 1. The Secretary of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Transportation are hereby directed to initiate an evaluation of whether it would be in the best interest of the Commonwealth to enter into an agreement to purchase the Dulles Greenway, a privately owned toll road extending approximately 14 miles from Washington Dulles International Airport to the Town of Leesburg and connecting the same, as well as any commuter vehicle parking facility used primarily by Dulles Greenway commuters or Dulles Toll Road commuters; or any buildings, structures, parking areas, appurtenances, or other property needed to operate such facility with such parking facility located within one mile of any part of the Dulles Greenway.  The intent of such a potential purchase would be to ensure that toll rates remain at reasonable levels and to encourage the implementation of distance tolling.
2.  In undertaking this evaluation the Secretary shall solicit the input of the Director, Department of General Services and the Department of Treasury to evaluate appropriate financing structures.  In evaluating the feasibility of such a plan, it must be shown that any potential purchase price would not exceed fair market value, and that the existing toll rates therefrom could be reasonably expected to pay (i) in full and when payable the debt service on any bonds or obligations issued to acquire and, if necessary, improve or upgrade the Dulles Greenway; (ii) the ongoing costs of operating and maintaining the Dulles Greenway; (iii) the costs of purchasing and installing electronic tolling equipment or other equipment for the Dulles Greenway if such equipment is determined necessary; (iv) ongoing necessary administrative costs relating to the Dulles Greenway.  In addition, the tolls for the use of the Dulles Greenway must be  reasonably expected to result in a debt service coverage ratio of at least 1.25 for any debt of other obligations proposed to support the purchase of the facility.
3.  The Secretary shall submit the findings of his assessment,  to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees by August 1, 2013 for their review and comment.  
4.  Nothing in the language contained in this item shall be construed as authority to enter into a purchase agreement without notification to the General Assembly of the full details of any proposed purchase agreement no later than 45 days prior to the proposed completion of any proposed purchase agreement.  If the recommendation is to proceed with the purchase of such facility, the report to the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committee Chairmen shall be accompanied by a certification from the Governor that the proposed purchase price could be supported by 9(c) revenue bonds of the Commonwealth."

(This amendment directs the Secretary of Transportation to evaluate the potential benefits of purchasing the Dulles Greenway, a private toll road, to ensure reasonable toll rates to the traveling public.)