In this issue:
As announced in the previous RTP and TE Program Update (March 7, 2008), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued Notice N4510.673, Rescission of Federal-Aid Apportionments, on March 6, 2008. It notified the States that $3,150,000,000 of unobligated Federal-aid highway funds apportioned to the States was rescinded as required by Division K, Title I of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Public Law (Pub. L. No.) 110-161. The Notice is posted at www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510673.cfm.
Final FY 2008 Apportionments Prior to Rescission:
FHWA posted final FY 2008 Apportionments on February 27, 2008. These are amounts available to the States prior to any FY 2008 rescissions. See Notice N 4510.672 at www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/notices/n4510672.htm.
FHWA reworked its Transportation Enhancement (TE) Activities website. We hope the site is easier to use. The most important changes are:
The TE Guidance page opens to a page with an introduction to the guidance and supplemental guidance documents. The TE Guidance Document moved to https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/transportation_enhancements/guidance/1999guidance.cfm. We recommend that you NOT update links; we mean for people to see the introduction and supplemental documents.
We moved navigation bars to the top, and eliminated them from the left side. Those of you who print documents will be able to print fewer pages.
We enhanced the FHWA TE Home Page, and eliminated the "Overview" and "Contacts" pages because they were redundant. We made it easier to find the TE legislation and funding information. If you have links to "Overview" and "Contacts", you should redirect them to the FHWA TE Home Page.
We added resource information from the Defenders of Wildlife Habitat and Highways Program under the "Guiding Principles" and under "Resources".
We have links to the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse (www.enhancements.org) so people can find NTEC quickly.
FHWA's Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty developed a Question-and-Answer background document entitled Information on and Transportation. It is posted on the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO website at http://environment.transportation.org/pdf/air_quality/ClimateTransFAQs.zip (opens a zip file).
In response to several similar questions received recently on several topics.
TE and RTP Match
We received several questions about matching shares for the RTP and TE, and whether or not they can match each other. The answer is YES: since August 10, 2005. This is on both the RTP and TE websites:
A State is not required to allow the RTP and TE funds to match each other, but a State may allow these funds to match each other.
RTP and Equipment
We received inquiries about the RTP and equipment expenses. The RTP legislation allows "purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment" (see Legislation in 23 U.S.C. 206(d)(2)(C)).
What is not clear is whether a project sponsor may receive RTP funds for ongoing equipment maintenance and repair. This topic has been discussed at State Trail Administrators Meetings; the answer is "it depends". Trail maintenance is an eligible RTP expense, and trail construction and maintenance equipment has ongoing (and sometimes costly) expenses. A State may allow reasonable equipment maintenance and repair expenses for a specific RTP project. However, some States have forbidden these costs, and if so, then the costs would not be eligible in those States. Some States believe project sponsors should be happy they obtained the equipment through the grant, and should show their commitment by using the equipment at their own expense. Some States allow ongoing maintenance and repair costs as match toward other projects, but won't reimburse the maintenance and repair costs. Each State should work with its State Recreational Trail Advisory Committee to develop a statewide policy of how to treat ongoing equipment costs. Here is a quick Q&A:
Q: Cost of operating equipment. Can a project sponsor claim the value of operating costs for equipment originally purchased with RTP funds, for use in a later RTP project?
A: At the option of the State, a project sponsor may claim the value of operating costs for equipment originally purchased with RTP funds for use in a later RTP project. The project sponsor and the State will need documentation. The State has the following options:
The State's project agreements for equipment purchases may require the grantee to be solely responsible for paying for the costs of operating and maintaining the equipment.
The State may recognize that using equipment for a trail construction or maintenance project has real additional costs above the cost of purchasing the equipment. These costs are allowable, and, therefore, donations toward these costs are allowable as match. See OMB Circular A-110 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a110/a110.aspx#23), Cost Sharing, which also applies under OMB Circular A-122 for nonprofit organizations (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a122/a122_2004.aspx#b12). See also http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a110/a110.aspx#34: the equipment may need to be available for other potential RTP projects, and there are rules to follow for equipment inventory, maintenance, etc.
Q: Value of equipment purchased with RTP funds. Can a project sponsor claim the value of equipment purchased with RTP funds toward the match for future RTP projects?
A. No. The value of the equipment purchased with RTP funds cannot be used to match future RTP projects: that is double counting. The project sponsor only can use the value of the actual cost of operating the equipment (and only if the State allows, see Q&A #4).
The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT), a federation of national and regional trail-related organizations, is pleased to announce its 2008 achievement awards to recognize outstanding trail projects funded by the national Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This awards program is part of CRT's ongoing effort to build awareness and appreciation of the RTP, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public. We look forward to your participation. The Coalition will also be recognizing - for the first time this year - an outstanding state trail program and state recreational trail advisory committee. The awards will be presented in Washington, D.C. during Great Outdoors Week 2008 (June 9-15). We are planning to hold the awards ceremony on Capitol Hill and will encourage Members of Congress to join us in honoring the outstanding achievements of their constituents.
Please note that the deadline for nominations is April 20, 2008. If you have any questions, please contact Duane Taylor, Chair of CRT's Awards Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-416-0444.
American Trails posted the 2008 nomination information on its RTP Achievement Awards webpage: www.americantrails.org/awards/CRTawards.html. This page describes the awards and has winners from previous years.
March 27-30: 2008 National Association of OHV Program Managers & NOHVCC Annual Conferences; Albuquerque, NM. See www.nohvcc.org/conference/conference.asp. The National Association of Off Highway Vehicle Program Managers (NAOPM) purpose is to provide a mechanism for OHV program managers to share information, ideas, and develop national strategies for managing safe, ethical, and high quality OHV recreation. This conference is for OHV Program and Land Managers.