November 1, 2011

State officials say Irene transportation repairs will cost less than half what they anticipated

I have long maintained that Vermont's very high 'transaction costs' (the overheads including regulatory and environmental compliance, permitting, administrative and judicial delays for reviews, appeals, etc.) that are incurred to build anything of consequence in this state add unnecessary delays, expense and increase the costs of doing business here.

The exceptional work done recovering from Irene's damage shows that Vermont could be far more efficient in using tax and private dollars. A wise Legislature would revamp how Vermont does business and set the state on a path of economic growth by reducing the wasteful burden created by a ponderous and expensive process that adds little value to our investments.
"...The dramatic shift brings the overall estimate of Irene damage built into state estimates well below the roughly $900 million mark state officials were citing in mid-October. The new grand total is about $500 million and includes $250 million for new emergency and long-term highway repair costs, $50 million to construct a new Vermont State Hospital, $50 million for stabilizing the old state office complex and renovating or building new space, about $19 million in individual assistance and $140 million in repairs to town roads, bridges and public facilities..."
"...The state also saved millions of dollars by taking short cuts during the post-Irene emergency that normally would be prohibited under state and federal laws. The standard pre-construction procedures for road and bridge repair were abandoned in order to expedite the process, according to Sue Minter, deputy commissioner of the Agency of Transportation. The processes that are normally followed for transportation projects — federal and state permitting, environmental mitigation, design review, planning, right-of-way purchases – went by the wayside..." 
'via Blog this'

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