(1) The secretary or a designee shall solicit proposals from, and negotiate and enter into agreements with, private entities to undertake as appropriate, together with the department and other public entities, all or a portion of the study, planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation systems and facilities, using in whole or in part public or private sources of financing.
The public-private initiatives program may develop up to six demonstration projects. Each proposal shall be weighed on its own merits, and each of the six agreements shall be negotiated individually, and as a stand-alone project.
(2) If project proposals selected prior to September 1, 1994, are terminated by the public or private sectors, the department shall not select any new projects, including project proposals submitted to the department prior to September 1, 1994, and designated by the transportation commission as placeholder projects, after June 16, 1995, until June 30, 1997.
The department, in consultation with the legislative transportation committee, shall conduct a program and fiscal audit of the public-private initiatives program for the biennium ending June 30, 1997. The department shall submit a progress report to the legislative transportation committee on the program and fiscal audit by June 30, 1996, with preliminary and final audit reports due December 1, 1996, and June 30, 1997, respectively.
The department shall develop and submit a proposed public involvement plan to the 1997 legislature to identify the process for selecting new potential projects and the associated costs of implementing the plan. The legislature must adopt the public involvement plan before the department may proceed with any activity related to project identification and selection. Following legislative adoption of the public involvement plan, the department is authorized to implement the plan and to identify potential new projects.
The public involvement plan for projects selected after June 30, 1997, shall, at a minimum, identify projects that: (a) Have the potential of achieving overall public support among users of the projects, residents of communities in the vicinity of the projects, and residents of communities impacted by the projects; (b) meet a state transportation need; (c) provide a significant state benefit; and (d) provide competition among proposers and maximum cost benefits to users. Prospective projects may include projects identified by the department or submitted by the private sector.
Projects that meet the minimum criteria established under this section and the requirements of the public involvement plan developed by the department and approved by the legislature shall be submitted to the Washington state transportation commission for its review. Forty-five days after the submission to the commission of the list of eligible projects, the secretary is authorized to solicit proposals for the eligible project.
(3) Prior to entering into agreements with private entities under the requirements of RCW 47.46.040
for any project proposal selected before September 1, 1994, or after June 30, 1997, except as provided for in subsections (11) and (12) of this section, the department shall require an advisory vote as provided under subsections (5) through (9) of this section.
(4) The advisory vote shall apply to project proposals selected prior to September 1, 1994, or after June 30, 1997, that receive public opposition as demonstrated by the submission to the department of original petitions bearing at least five thousand signatures of individuals opposing the project collected and submitted in accordance with the dates established in subsections (11) and (12) of this section. The advisory vote shall be on the preferred alternative identified under the requirements of chapter 43.21C
RCW and, if applicable, the national environmental policy act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. The execution by the department of the advisory vote process established in this section is subject to the prior appropriation of funds by the legislature for the purpose of conducting environmental impact studies, a public involvement program, local involvement committee activities, traffic and economic impact analyses, engineering and technical studies, and the advisory vote.
(5) In preparing for the advisory vote, the department shall conduct a comprehensive analysis of traffic patterns and economic impact to define the geographical boundary of the project area that is affected by the imposition of tolls or user fees authorized under this chapter. The area so defined is referred to in this section as the affected project area. In defining the affected project area, the department shall, at a minimum, undertake: (a) A comparison of the estimated percentage of residents of communities in the vicinity of the project and in other communities impacted by the project who could be subject to tolls or user fees and the estimated percentage of other users and transient traffic that could be subject to tolls or user fees; (b) an analysis of the anticipated traffic diversion patterns; (c) an analysis of the potential economic impact resulting from proposed toll rates or user fee rates imposed on residents, commercial traffic, and commercial entities in communities in the vicinity of and impacted by the project; (d) an analysis of the economic impact of tolls or user fees on the price of goods and services generally; and (e) an analysis of the relationship of the project to state transportation needs and benefits.
(6)(a) After determining the definition of the affected project area, the department shall establish a committee comprised of individuals who represent cities and counties in the affected project area; organizations formed to support or oppose the project; and users of the project. The committee shall be named the public-private local involvement committee, and be known as the local involvement committee.
(b) The members of the local involvement committee shall be: (i) An elected official from each city within the affected project area; (ii) an elected official from each county within the affected project area; (iii) two persons from each county within the affected project area who represent an organization formed in support of the project, if the organization exists; (iv) two persons from each county within the affected project area who represent an organization formed to oppose the project, if the organization exists; and (v) four public members active in a statewide transportation organization. If the committee makeup results in an even number of committee members, there shall be an additional appointment of an elected official from the county in which all, or the greatest portion of the project is located.
(c) City and county elected officials shall be appointed by a majority of the members of the city or county legislative authorities of each city or county within the affected project area, respectively. The county legislative authority of each county within the affected project area shall identify and validate organizations officially formed in support of or in opposition to the project and shall make the appointments required under this section from a list submitted by the chair of the organizations. Public members shall be appointed by the governor. All appointments to the local involvement committee shall be made and submitted to the department of transportation no later than January 1, 1996, for projects selected prior to September 1, 1994, and no later than thirty days after the affected project area is defined for projects selected after June 30, 1997. Vacancies in the membership of the local involvement committee shall be filled by the appointing authority under (b)(i) through (v) of this subsection for each position on the committee.
(d) The local involvement committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the department on all matters related to the execution of the advisory vote.
(e) Members of the local involvement committee serve without compensation and may not receive subsistence, lodging expenses, or travel expenses.
(7) The department shall conduct a minimum thirty-day public comment period on the definition of the geographical boundary of the project area. The department, in consultation with the local involvement committee, shall make adjustments, if required, to the definition of the geographical boundary of the affected project area, based on comments received from the public. Within fourteen calendar days after the public comment period, the department shall set the boundaries of the affected project area in units no smaller than a precinct as defined in RCW 29A.04.121
(8) The department, in consultation with the local involvement committee, shall develop a description for selected project proposals. After developing the description of the project proposal, the department shall publish the project proposal description in newspapers of general circulation for seven calendar days in the affected project area. Within fourteen calendar days after the last day of the publication of the project proposal description, the department shall transmit a copy of the map depicting the affected project area and the description of the project proposal to the county auditor of the county in which any portion of the affected project area is located.
(9) Upon receipt of the map and the description of the project proposal, the county auditor shall, within thirty days, verify the precincts that are located within the affected project area. The county auditor shall prepare the text identifying and describing the affected project area and the project proposal using the definition of the geographical boundary of the affected project area and the project description submitted by the department and shall set an election date for the submission of a ballot proposition authorizing the imposition of tolls or user fees to implement the proposed project within the affected project area, which date may be the next succeeding general election to be held in the state, or at a special election, if requested by the department. The text of the project proposal must appear in a voters' pamphlet for the affected project area. The department shall pay the costs of publication and distribution. The special election date must be the next date for a special election provided under RCW 29A.04.330
that is at least sixty days but, if authorized under RCW 29A.04.330
, no more than ninety days after the receipt of the final map and project description by the auditor. The department shall pay the cost of an election held under this section.
(10) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department may contract with a private developer of a selected project proposal to conduct environmental impact studies, a public involvement program, and engineering and technical studies funded by the legislature. For projects subject to this subsection, the department shall not enter into an agreement under RCW 47.46.040
prior to the advisory vote on the preferred alternative.
(11) Subsections (5) through (9) of this section shall not apply to project proposals selected prior to September 1, 1994, that have no organized public opposition as demonstrated by the submission to the department of original petitions bearing at least five thousand signatures of individuals opposing the project, collected and submitted after September 1, 1994, and by thirty calendar days after June 16, 1995.
(12) Subsections (5) through (9) of this section shall not apply to project proposals selected after June 30, 1997, that have no organized public opposition as demonstrated by the submission to the department of original petitions bearing at least five thousand signatures of individuals opposing the project, collected and submitted by ninety calendar days after project selection.