Stanislaus County board to divvy up transit, road money from state

06/16/2014 3:13 PM

06/16/2014 3:14 PM

Transportation leaders are poised on Wednesday to divide $22 million in state money among Stanislaus County and its nine cities, including $16.6 million for bus and dial-a-ride programs and $4.5 million for road repairs.

A distribution formula based partly on demand gives Modesto $10 million, with $7 million for the county, $1.6 million for Ceres and $1.2 million for Turlock, with smaller amounts of road money for the other cities. The source is Transportation Development Act money, including the Local Transportation Fund and State Transit Assistance.

Also Wednesday, the Stanislaus Council of Governments’ policy board will consider methodology for distributing another pot of federal Regional Surface Transportation Program money for street projects, expected to bring $6.2 million in each of the next two years. The formula is based on population and miles of road in each agency.

The panel also is scheduled to approve its first-ever Sustainable Communities Strategy in conjunction with its 2014 Regional Transportation Plan, to comply with state law requiring that agencies curb carbon gases. The idea is that better planning can reduce driving by, for example, locating homes near transit centers. However, planners also want to discourage paving over farmland, so the notion of subdivisions near relatively remote train depots east of Modesto and near Denair is not practical, a report says.

On a related note, StanCOG’s small staff wants to do its part by closing the office every other Friday and making up for it by working longer on other days. That could reduce office utility bills up to $35 when the office is closed and take some cars off the road, a report says.

The StanCOG policy board meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the third-floor chamber at 1111 I St., Modesto. For details, see www.stancog.org/pdf/policy-board/agendas/2014/pb-agenda-06-18-2014.pdf.

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