Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/07/2016 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 1:45 p.m. Today --
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 230(FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
HOUSE BILL NO. 230                                                                                                            
     "An Act designating Pipeline Road 34-ALP-3 as Arctic                                                                       
     Man Way."                                                                                                                  
2:21:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler MOVED  to ADOPT  the proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute  for  HB  230,  Work  Draft  29-LS1135\W  (Bruce,                                                                    
3/25/16). There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                          
BRODIE  ANDERSON,  STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE  STEVE  THOMPSON,                                                                    
explained the changes in the  Committee Substitute (CS). The                                                                    
CS  removed  the  identifying pipeline  road  marker  number                                                                    
reference  and inserted  the  old name  for  the road:  "Old                                                                    
Isabel  Camp Access  Road." He  detailed that  Department of                                                                    
Transportation   and  Public   Facilities   (DOT)  and   the                                                                    
Department of  Natural Resources (DNR) were  amenable to the                                                                    
Representative Wilson asked if the  road covered by the bill                                                                    
was a state-owned.                                                                                                              
Mr. Anderson deferred the question to the bill sponsor.                                                                         
Representative Kawasaki  asked for  the history of  the road                                                                    
name  and who  Isabel was.  He  spoke to  a recent  platting                                                                    
board issue  in Fairbanks  related to whether  Terminal Road                                                                    
should be renamed to Citizen's  Way to reflect that the road                                                                    
lead  to the  borough chambers  area of  town. He  explained                                                                    
that there was  a historic reason why the name  had not been                                                                    
Mr.  Anderson  deferred  to  DOT or  the  bill  sponsor.  He                                                                    
relayed that the name change  had been requested by property                                                                    
owners  to use  the  pipeline road  marker reference  rather                                                                    
than  its old  name.  He believed  the  property owners  had                                                                    
requested a better designating name.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE JIM  COLVER, SPONSOR,  spoke to the  bill. He                                                                    
relayed that  on the pipeline  drawings and in  the original                                                                    
version of the  bill, the access route to what  once was the                                                                    
Isabel  Pass   camp  was   designated  34-ALP-3   (a  design                                                                    
designation  included on  a drawing).  He  relayed that  the                                                                    
road ran  across general  state land.  He detailed  that the                                                                    
Arctic Man  held an event  down the road. He  explained that                                                                    
in the  area that had  been called  Isabel Pass there  was a                                                                    
pad,  which  once  contained   trailers  and  buildings  the                                                                    
Alyeska  Pipeline  Service Company  had  used  to build  the                                                                    
pipeline. The site was currently  the location of one of the                                                                    
largest events in Alaska; attendees  at the Arctic Man event                                                                    
were estimated at  13,000 in 2015 and 15,000  in the current                                                                    
year. He elaborated that the  race included a combination of                                                                    
skiing  and snow  machines  where speeds  reached  up to  80                                                                    
miles per hour. He noted  that the governor had participated                                                                    
as a forerunner on the race in 2014.                                                                                            
Representative  Colver explained  that  the  reason for  the                                                                    
proposal to change  the name was mostly  to commemorate that                                                                    
it was the event location.  He elaborated that there was not                                                                    
really  any signage  indicating  the location;  part of  the                                                                    
purpose  was to  point  to  the location  of  the event.  He                                                                    
believed  the  name  change  was   appropriate  due  to  the                                                                    
popularity  of the  event. The  name  in the  bill had  been                                                                    
worked  out  with  Alyeska  Pipeline  Service  Company;  the                                                                    
company had wanted the Old  Isabel Camp Access Road included                                                                    
in the bill. He relayed that  Arctic Man had agreed to cover                                                                    
the  cost of  the  sign and  had committed  to  pay $800  to                                                                    
$1,000 for  installation; he  did not expect  DOT to  do the                                                                    
work. The  department had initially  included a  fiscal note                                                                    
of  $200,   which  had   been  zeroed   out  by   the  House                                                                    
Transportation   Committee;    the   Arctic    Man   Classic                                                                    
organization would provide funding  and resources to install                                                                    
a new road  sign - up to $1,000. He  relayed that Mr. Howard                                                                    
Thies (Arctic  Man president), had testified  on record that                                                                    
they  would  replace the  sign  in  the  event it  was  ever                                                                    
knocked down.  He spoke to  the unique nature of  the event;                                                                    
there  was no  other race  like it  in the  world. He  asked                                                                    
members to support the legislation.                                                                                             
2:29:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson wondered whether  it was a state road.                                                                    
She relayed that  if it was not a state  road, a statute was                                                                    
not required. She explained that if  it was not a state road                                                                    
they could work  with the property owner to put  the sign up                                                                    
- she was unsure whether  the owner was the Alyeska Pipeline                                                                    
Service Company or the state.                                                                                                   
MIKE  LESMANN,   SPECIAL  ASSISTANT  TO   THE  COMMISSIONER,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION  AND PUBLIC FACILITIES, relayed                                                                    
that  the road  was not  maintained by  DOT. The  department                                                                    
believed  the road  was  on  DNR land  with  an easement  to                                                                    
Representative  Wilson did  not believe  a statutory  change                                                                    
was necessary.  She relayed  that she lived  on a  road that                                                                    
was not  owned by  the state  - they had  to go  through the                                                                    
borough to  change the  street name.  She wondered  if there                                                                    
was  currently anything  preventing Arctic  Man from  making                                                                    
and posting  a sign on its  own. She explained that  once it                                                                    
was in statute it would become DOT's responsibility.                                                                            
Mr. Lesmann replied that he did not know.                                                                                       
Representative Wilson  reiterated that if the  road name was                                                                    
put in statute  it would become a  DOT issue. Alternatively,                                                                    
if the road was on  private property, they could request DNR                                                                    
to install  the sign, but if  it came down, no  one would be                                                                    
responsible for putting it back up.                                                                                             
Co-Chair  Thompson did  not know  what the  regulations were                                                                    
for putting up a sign along  a state road. He explained that                                                                    
the bill ensured that the  state had been amenable to having                                                                    
a  sign  put   up  in  the  state   right-of-way  along  the                                                                    
Richardson Highway.                                                                                                             
Representative  Wilson  explained  that  road  service  area                                                                    
commissioners could not  put up a sign that  falls down; the                                                                    
borough would not  allow it. She explained that  it would be                                                                    
a public  road and would have  to abide by those  rules. She                                                                    
elaborated  that  if  the entity  had  permission  from  the                                                                    
property  owner it  was much  easier to  hang the  sign that                                                                    
way. She  was trying  to simplify  the situation  if statute                                                                    
was not needed.                                                                                                                 
2:31:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Colver  answered that  the road was  on state                                                                    
property; it was not about the  sign it was about the event.                                                                    
He  furthered that  the sign  had a  safety implication.  He                                                                    
elaborated  that without  the  road-sign  people had  gotten                                                                    
lost  in the  area; ambulances  responded to  the area  when                                                                    
needed  [and  needed to  be  able  to  find their  way].  He                                                                    
explained  that  there  had  recently  been  an  unfortunate                                                                    
incident involving  an avalanche. He reiterated  that it was                                                                    
state land  and was appropriate  for the state  to designate                                                                    
right-of-way. He  reasoned that if  the sign went  away, the                                                                    
sign  went away;  but the  statute memorialized  that Arctic                                                                    
Man took  place in  that location.  He stated  that pipeline                                                                    
camps came and  went; likewise, Arctic Man may  come and go.                                                                    
He restated  that it was  state land and it  was appropriate                                                                    
to designate the road a certain name.                                                                                           
Representative  Wilson explained  that  she did  not have  a                                                                    
problem with the  sign. She elaborated that  her concern was                                                                    
about the  proper process and  procedure. She  detailed that                                                                    
it  was helpful  to know  if  another person  in the  future                                                                    
wanted to put a sign on a  road in the area. She believed it                                                                    
would be easier  if the designation was not  in statute. She                                                                    
did not  have a problem  renaming the road. She  wondered if                                                                    
because  the road  did not  belong  to DOT  that Arctic  Man                                                                    
could  merely ask  DNR for  permission to  post a  sign. She                                                                    
thought that may  be easier and less costly.  She noted that                                                                    
the  state  was required  to  post  certain kinds  of  signs                                                                    
(which were more  expensive) as opposed to  a sign purchased                                                                    
on the internet.                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki had  never known the road  to be Old                                                                    
Isabel  Camp Access  Road or  anything else.  He had  always                                                                    
just known  the location  as where Arctic  Man was  held. He                                                                    
asked if the current name had historical meaning or value.                                                                      
Representative Colver  answered that it had  been designated                                                                    
as Old Isabel  Camp Access Road on  Alyeska Pipeline Service                                                                    
Company maps. The legislation would  enable a person to look                                                                    
back to see that what the road had previously been named.                                                                       
Representative   Kawasaki  spoke   to   his  concern   about                                                                    
historical meaning.  He remarked  that the current  name was                                                                    
historically speaking  not extremely old  - it was  from the                                                                    
pipeline era.                                                                                                                   
Representative Guttenberg did not  understand the reason for                                                                    
putting the name  in statute. He relayed that  in his former                                                                    
district  he  had to  threaten  DOT  that  he was  going  to                                                                    
personally put up a sign if  the department failed to do so.                                                                    
He stated  that "in my  neighborhood we put up  road signs."                                                                    
He  continued that  when  the state  put  in a  subdivision,                                                                    
legislation did not name the  roads or streets. He discussed                                                                    
that legislation  was expensive.  He remarked that  the name                                                                    
change in  the bill was a  $200 issue. He would  have merely                                                                    
bought a  sign and installed  it. He elaborated that  a sign                                                                    
shop could make a sign  that would be indistinguishable from                                                                    
a state  sign. He  asked about the  precedence the  bill was                                                                    
setting. He  asked about Alyeska Pipeline  Service Company's                                                                    
position. He would understand  memorializing a highway after                                                                    
a  group such  as the  Purple Heart  Highway. He  emphasized                                                                    
that the  bill would name  a street in statute.  He wondered                                                                    
about  other  streets  named  by  statute.  He  thought  the                                                                    
commissioner could  have merely checked the  request off and                                                                    
put the sign up.                                                                                                                
Mr. Lesmann replied  that he could not  answer the question.                                                                    
He deferred  to the Department  of Law or  Legislative Legal                                                                    
Co-Chair  Thompson relayed  that  to change  the  name of  a                                                                    
street  in Fairbanks  it  was necessary  to  go through  the                                                                    
entire  process  with  the  city   council;  it  had  to  be                                                                    
identified  on maps  for public  safety (i.e.  police, fire,                                                                    
and  ambulance). He  explained that  inside the  borough the                                                                    
name change had  to go through a process.  He explained that                                                                    
current bill  went through the  same process - if  there was                                                                    
an  accident and  someone  needed to  find  the location  it                                                                    
would show up on a map.  He believed it was important to get                                                                    
the information in the state's ledgers.                                                                                         
2:39:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler suspected  that an  Arctic Man  Way sign                                                                    
may be  a target of  opportunity. He  thought it would  be a                                                                    
souvenir for people  to capture as part of  their time spent                                                                    
at the  Arctic Man  event. He  wondered about  the potential                                                                    
for the  sign to  be stolen or  vandalized. He  wondered who                                                                    
would be responsible if so.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Thompson relayed  that  Mr. Thies  had provided  a                                                                    
letter  to  the  committee  stating   that  the  Arctic  Man                                                                    
organization would  pay for and  replace the sign if  it was                                                                    
vandalized or stolen.                                                                                                           
Representative  Edgmon  spoke in  support  of  the bill.  He                                                                    
reasoned that it was about  naming a particular highway, but                                                                    
more importantly it was about  formally designating an event                                                                    
- that  was important  to thousands of  Alaskans -  in state                                                                    
statute.   He   added   that  other   infrastructure   items                                                                    
throughout  the state  were enshrined  in  statute time  and                                                                    
time again. He believed it  was a worthy designation. He was                                                                    
ready  to  move  on  to  more  weighty  matters  before  the                                                                    
Co-Chair Thompson OPENED and CLOSED public testimony.                                                                           
Vice-Chair  Saddler highlighted  the zero  fiscal note  from                                                                    
Representative  Wilson asked  for verification  that Alyeska                                                                    
did not currently have a sign posted at the location.                                                                           
Co-Chair  Thompson  replied  that   there  was  currently  a                                                                    
numbered  highway marker  sign posted.  He relayed  that his                                                                    
office  had   spoken  with  Alyeska   and  DOT   along  with                                                                    
Representative  Colver's office.  He explained  that because                                                                    
of  various problems,  Alyeska  wanted  the numbered  marker                                                                    
reference removed  from the bill  so its designation  of the                                                                    
location would  not be included.  All parties had  agreed to                                                                    
the proposed change.                                                                                                            
Representative Wilson assumed that  the numbers would remain                                                                    
posted on the highway along with the new sign.                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Thompson confirmed  that the  numbers would  still                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler  voiced his  concern that the  sign could                                                                    
be  stolen.  He  hoped  the Arctic  Man  organization  would                                                                    
commit to replacing the sign as often as necessary.                                                                             
2:43:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Pruitt  referred to  a letter from  Mr. Thies                                                                    
dated February  8, 2016  (copy on  file). The  letter stated                                                                    
that  Arctic Man  would "provide  funding  and resources  to                                                                    
install  a new  road sign  estimated  by DOT  to cost  $800-                                                                    
$1000. Please  pass this legislation." He  echoed Vice-Chair                                                                    
Saddler's  comments  that the  letter  did  not specify  the                                                                    
organization would pay for and  reinstall a new sign that if                                                                    
it  was damaged  or stolen.  He relayed  that he  had looked                                                                    
through statutes  during the meeting and  had been surprised                                                                    
so many things were named.                                                                                                      
Representative  Colver would  provide the  committee with  a                                                                    
copy of  Mr. Thies's  testimony to the  House Transportation                                                                    
Committee. He relayed that Mr.  Thies had testified that the                                                                    
organization  would  replace the  sign.  He  added that  the                                                                    
Arctic Man event  was currently underway. He  noted that Mr.                                                                    
Thies had been the northern director for DOT.                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Thompson  noted  that   Mr.  Thies  had  been  the                                                                    
director of maintenance and operations for DOT.                                                                                 
Vice-Chair Saddler MOVED  to REPORT HB 230  out of committee                                                                    
with individual recommendations  and the accompanying fiscal                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  OBJECTED.  She emphasized  that  the                                                                    
bill  would  require  DOT  to  do work  on  the  issue.  She                                                                    
explained  that whether  or not  someone had  specified that                                                                    
they would replace  the sign, it would be  another thing for                                                                    
DOT. She  was concerned  that there  were many  other events                                                                    
that happened. She understood that  Mr. Thies would keep his                                                                    
word as long  as he was with the  organization. She remarked                                                                    
that the  state was not  going to  sue someone over  a sign.                                                                    
She WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                                     
HB  230   was  REPORTED   out  of   committee  with   a  "no                                                                    
recommendation"  recommendation  and   with  one  previously                                                                    
published zero fiscal note: FN1 (DOT).                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Thompson discussed  the agenda  for the  following                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 237 Dr. Hornberger letter.pdf HFIN 4/7/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 237