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The Authority Report

Authority Meeting Highlights

October 9, 2020

The Authority reconvened electronically last evening for its regularly scheduled business meeting, which was live-streamed on YouTube once again. Keeping safety top of mind, the Authority began the evening by adopting a resolution on finding the need to conduct the meeting by electronic communication means during Governor Northam's declared State of Emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting kicked off with discussions on the proposed Standard Project Agreement (SPA) 2018-032-3, Prince William County (Construct Route 28 Corridor Roadway Improvements), in accordance with NVTA's approved Project Description Sheet, as appended to the SPA. This project was adopted as part of the FY2018-2023 Six Year Program and received FY2021 appropriation approval on May 14, 2020, for an amount of $89,000,000. After the discussions concluded, the SPA was approved by the Authority with a 13-1 vote to keep the project moving forward. It was noted this project will be further vetted and involve additional public input, as Prince William County has informed the Authority it plans to hold numerous public meetings in Prince William County and Fairfax County. 

You can view the full discussion on our YouTube Channel, beginning at timestamp 2:55. 

The Authority went on to discuss proposed replacement of Policy Number 2 – Conflict of Interest, as well as proposed revisions to Policy 13 - Investment Policy, as unanimously recommended by the NVTA Finance Committee on September 17, 2020.

First addressed was Policy Number 2, which was adopted by the Authority in December 2014 and had not been updated since. Some of the proposed revisions included, making the Statement of Economic Interest (Statement) reporting cycle once a year instead of twice; correct/update references to the Code of Virginia; and update procedural wording for Statement filing and staff recusal in the event of a real or apparent conflict of interest.

Next, the Authority discussed the proposed revisions to Policy 13, which included allowing the use of Fitch Ratings services when making security purchase decisions. Learn more about the proposed changes to Policy 13 and the nine objectives.

Both Policy recommendations presented were unanimously adopted by the Authority.

Additionally, Mike Longhi, NVTA Chief Financial Officer, presented to the Authority NVTA's investment activities and portfolio performance through August 31, 2020.

Next, the Authority approved the issuance of the Call for Projects for the FY 2027 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) and Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) Funds. The NVTA coordinates Northern Virginia’s annual programming of the federal CMAQ Program and the RSTP. CMAQ and RSTP are part of the overall mix of transportation funding available to Northern Virginia. Read more about how these funds are utilized.

Tracy Baynard, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC, provided an update on the 2020 Virginia General Assembly Special Session and a Preview of the 2021 Regular Session.

2020 General Assembly Special Session Transportation-Focused Matters:

  • The Governor proposed several language amendments that provide flexibility for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) to maintain schedules for projects in Fiscal Years 2021 - 2022.
    • No changes to the Authority’s $20 million from the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, nor the timing of the Grantors and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) changes made at the Veto Session earlier this year
      • During 2020 Regular General Assembly Session, the Authority and stakeholders succeeded in restoring another $50 million in dedicated revenue for Northern Virginia transportation needs. 
  • For a full summary of Special Session activities impacting transportation in Northern Virginia, click here.
What's Next - 2021 Regular Session:
  • It is not expected to be a transportation-focused General Assembly session in 2021.
  • Short session begins January 13, 2021 and adjourns February 27, 2021
  • COVID-19 expected to dominate matters
  • Economic recovery
  • Racial and economic equality initiatives 
  • 2021 is an election year for House of Delegates and statewide offices
Proposed 2021 Focus Areas for the Authority:
  • Protect Authority's dedicated revenues including gains achieved in 2019 and 2020. The Authority will be mindful of maintaining dedicated revenue sources and will continue to try to restore revenues previously diverted. 
  • Protect Authority’s ability to meet its mission
  • Support Authority members if needed regarding implementation of Six Year Program funding allocation and flexibility
A Planning and Programming Committee (PPC) update was provided by Justin Wilson, PPC Chair, and Mayor, City of Alexandria. He discussed the PPC report that shows the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on transit. Additionally, the PPC will be discussing the objectives around Northern Virginia's long-range transportation plan, TransAction Update, and a mission statement to come.

Monica Backmon noted in her NVTA Executive Director's Report an upcoming groundbreaking on the Route 28 Widening in the City of Manassas, which will be held on October 26, 2020. This is the sole NVTA regionally-funded transportation project sponsored by the City. Hal Parrish, Authority Vice Chair, and Mayor, City of Manassas, and Helen Cuervo, Authority Member, and VDOT District Engineer, will be speaking at the celebration.
 
Couldn't tune in last night? The full archived live-stream can be viewed on our YouTube Channel

Click here to see the October Authority Meeting Agenda, topics discussed, and meeting materials.

UPCOMING MEETINGS and EVENTS
 
Authority Meeting *
November 12, 2020, 7:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel
***
Finance Committee Meeting
October 15, 2020, 1:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Technical Advisory Committee
October 21, 2020, 7:00 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Planning Coordination Advisory Committee
October 28, 2020, 6:30 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Governance and Personnel Committee
November 12, 2020, 5:30 p.m. | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel

Planning and Programming Committee
Next Meeting TBA | Virtual: NVTA's YouTube Channel
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