Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All roads lead to Boise…

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Except the governor’s roadshow on road funding, that is.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is taking his pleas for more road funding across the state this summer, with six well-publicized meetings everywhere from Caldwell to Coeur d’Alene. But the PowerPoint extravaganza will not be coming to Capitol City.

“The problems that we’re having in terms of traffic and congestion are inbound, so I think the prevailing view is ‘let’s have it in Caldwell,’” says Otter spokesman Jon Hanian.

The events, billed as Idaho’s Transportation Funding Conference, will be held in July and August in six cities.

“Governor C.L “Butch” Otter and the Idaho Transportation Board invite you to hear a short presentation about the condition of Idaho’s highway system and the $240 million needed per year to maintain and improve Idaho’s roadways,” the invitation reads.

Boise residents either don’t need to hear the pitch, or Otter is not interested in Boise’s concerns, “about the safety and condition of Idaho’s roads.”

Hanian said the Idaho Transportation Department suggested the venues. An ITD spokesman referred all comments on venue to Hanian, who added that many transportation meetings have been held in Boise in the past and that Caldwell is in the same region as Boise. As in, the Idaho Transportation Board’s six regions.

Otter is planning a transportation summit for Boise, to be held in August or September in conjunction with Sen. Mike Crapo, but the date has not been finalized, Hanian said.

The Caldwell meeting will be 4 to 7 p.m., July 14 at the College of Idaho dining hall, if anyone wants to battle rush-hour traffic to attend.

Otter let a group of lawmakers know about the upcoming meetings earlier this week at a briefing in Boise. He is trying to give advance notice that he will seek more road funding, again, in the 2009 Legislature.

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