End of the winter greetings to all! The fifth edition of the TIFIA Times, your e-mail newsletter concerning the US Department of Transportation's credit program for large-scale surface transportation projects, is finally here. We encourage you to share this newsletter with your associates throughout the transportation finance community.
The Congressional approval on February 13 of the omnibus appropriations bill for Federal fiscal year 2003 ensures the availability of TIFIA budget authority to fund credit assistance for the remainder of the 2003 fiscal year, which concludes September 30. As authorized in TEA 21, the TIFIA program can offer up to $2.6 billion for FY 2003 in the form of secured loans, loan guarantees or lines of credit. To provide this credit assistance, the US DOT must obligate budget authority, on a transaction-by-transaction basis, into reserve funds that reflect the program's total risk profile. Although the 2003 appropriations act redirects considerable TIFIA budget authority to FHWA discretionary grant programs, significant budget authority - approximately $70 million - remains available. A formal Federal Register notice of funding availability should be published within two weeks.
The New Year has been a time of change for the TIFIA program.
On January 10, the office wished farewell to senior credit analyst Stephanie Kaufman, who left the Federal government after 20 years to teach English as a second language to immigrant students in the public school system of Montgomery County, Maryland. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Stephanie worked for the TIFIA program since its legislative beginnings in 1998. Her expertise in Federal credit budgeting and accounting has been essential to the program's ability to meet its administrative start up requirements. The TIFIA program and all its borrowers owe Stephanie a great debt of thanks for her tireless work behind the scenes.
On February 24, we were fortunate to welcome to the office Stephanie's replacement, program analyst Theresa Stoll, who brings substantial experience in budgeting and economics. Theresa comes from the Office of Management and Budget, where she oversaw international programs including the Agency for International Development credit programs. Prior to OMB, Theresa worked as an economist at the International Trade Commission and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Beginning March 10, Mark Sullivan assumes the position of chief of the TIFIA program, as FHWA Federal-aid Financial Management chief Max Inman steps aside after 18 months as interim chief. Mark joined the TIFIA program in September 1999 and has been involved in all aspects of project selection, negotiation and monitoring. Before joining TIFIA, he worked in US DOT's Office of Intermodalism, the Port of Seattle and the New York City Department of Ports. Mark would like to thank Max for lending his patience, wisdom and support for the TIFIA program throughout this challenging period.
The mailing address for the TIFIA Credit Program is:
Federal Highway Administration (HABF-50)
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20590
Please e-mail your comments or inquiries regarding this newsletter or the TIFIA program to: Duane.Callender@fhwa.dot.gov.
TIFIA Credit Program
US Dept. of Transportation