Following a rapid series of back-and-forth letters among multiple parties, the Maryland Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it would not tie this year’s capital funding plan to the “scoring system” required by a recently passed state law.
In a letter to county leaders, MDOT Deputy Secretary James Ports referenced the legislation from 2016, but also the more recent debate regarding the timing and implementation of the new system.
From the letter:
Based on this new opinion and multiple statements made by legislators, apparently MDOT now has the discretion when to implement this new law, and the department has decided to delay the requirement until the draft FY 2018 – FY 2023 CTP to be released on September 1, 2017.
The letter continues in describing the information and evaluation process to begin next year under the legislation, notably the Department’s decision to require county governments to provide extensive information and analysis with each project identified as a local priority. Also from the letter:
Projects are still required to be scored, and low scoring projects could be defunded under the requirements of the law. In order to inform the scoring process, our previous request for information will remain in place in 2017 since several of the legislatively mandated measures can only be supplied by local jurisdictions.
In a letter to the Department from the day before, MACo President John Barr had urged that a state/county collaboration on developing the regulations and implementation for this process would serve all parties best.
Read the full MDOT letter sent to Frederick County (and presumably each jurisdiction).
Read Conduit Street‘s several recent articles regarding the scoring process and its implementation, all under our site’s “Transportation and Public Works” category search.