Archive for Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More tolls may be on horizon

September 10, 2008

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— More tolls may be down the road in Kansas.

On Tuesday, legislative leaders approved forming a special committee to study the need for a new comprehensive transportation plan.

Part of that committee's study will be reviewing the use of toll roads, House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, said.

"(The committee) has a very broad charge on transportation," Neufeld said. "Not only what the next transportation plan will look like, and how it might be funded, but it also includes the charge of looking at the toll issue."

The legislative committee is in addition to a 30-member task force started by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that is conducting hearings on the next transportation program.

The current $13 billion, 10-year transportation program ends soon.

Sebelius said she would reject any increase in the motor fuels tax, so that also has opened the door to more toll discussions.

As part of the task force process, Kansas Department of Transportation staff will meet with local residents at a number of events throughout the state this month.

The 16-member legislative committee will start meeting after the Nov. 4 election. The panel will meet in each of the state's four congressional districts.

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