174.50 MINNESOTA STATE TRANSPORTATION FUND.
Subdivision 1. Legislative findings; purpose.
State assistance is needed to supplement
local effort and the highway user tax distribution fund in financing capital improvements to
preserve and develop a balanced transportation system throughout the state. Such a system is
a proper function and concern of state government and necessary to protect the safety and
personal and economic welfare of all citizens. It requires capital expenditures for public
facilities, improvements, and equipment that are complementary, additional, and alternate to
highways and are a proper object for contracting public debt and engaging in works of internal
improvements under article XI, section 5, clause (a), of the Constitution. These expenditures
are needed to harmonize state and local highway systems with the requirements of the federal
interstate highway system, to avoid harmful environmental impact of arterial highways on
urban, scenic, and recreational areas, and to provide auxiliary facilities for the convenience and
safety of persons crossing highways and persons living and working adjacent to them. Capital
expenditures of this nature exceed requirements for basic highway systems and should be funded
from sources other than the taxes and bonds authorized in article XIV of the Constitution.
However, the improvements tend to reduce the cost of maintenance of highways to the minimum
required for accommodation of traffic, and the cost may and shall continue to be paid from taxes
authorized in article XIV of the Constitution. Immediate improvement needs are reconstruction
and replacement of key bridges and approaches to remove obstructions to the flow of traffic on
state and county highways, municipal streets, and town roads and expedited completion of the
interstate highway system in Minnesota by paying the state share of interstate highway segments,
and a portion of the local share of interstate highway substitution projects when those interstate
substitution projects are approved in accordance with state and federal law.
Subd. 1a. Rail line.
An additional need of the state transportation system is the acquisition
and betterment of rail lines and right-of-way for preservation in the state rail bank as provided in
Subd. 2. Fund created.
A Minnesota state transportation fund is created as a separate
bookkeeping account in the general books of account of the state, to record receipts and
disbursements of money appropriated from the fund to agencies and subdivisions of the state for
the acquisition and betterment of public land, buildings, and capital improvements needed for the
development of the state transportation system.
Subd. 3. Fund revenue; appropriation.
The commissioner of finance shall deposit in the
fund as received all proceeds of Minnesota state transportation bonds, except accrued interest
and premiums; all other money appropriated by law for the purposes of the fund; and all money
granted to the state for these purposes by the federal government or any agency thereof. All such
receipts are annually appropriated for the permanent construction and improvement purposes of
the fund and shall be and remain available for expenditure in accordance with this section and
applicable federal laws until the purposes for which the appropriations were made have been
accomplished or abandoned. Upon certification to the commissioner of finance by the agency or
subdivision to which any appropriation of bond proceeds has been made that the purpose thereof
has been accomplished or abandoned, any unexpended balance of the appropriation, unless
reappropriated by law, shall be transferred to the state bond fund and is appropriated to reduce
the amount of tax otherwise required by the Constitution to be levied for that fund. No money
shall be transferred to the state transportation fund from the highway user tax distribution fund
or any other fund created by article XIV of the Constitution.
Subd. 4.[Repealed, 2004 c 180 s 1
Subd. 5. Certification and disbursal for project of political subdivision.
disbursement of an appropriation made from the fund to the commissioner of transportation for
grants to subdivisions of the state, the commissioner shall certify:
(1) that the project for which the grant is made has been reviewed as provided in subdivision
(2) that the project conforms to the program authorized by the appropriation law and rules
adopted by the Department of Transportation consistent therewith; and
(3) that the financing of any estimated cost of the project in excess of the amount of the grant
is assured by the appropriation of the proceeds of bonds or other funds of the subdivision, or by a
grant from an agency of the federal government, within the amount of funds then appropriated to
that agency and allocated by it to projects within the state, and by an irrevocable undertaking,
in a resolution of the governing body of the subdivision, to use all funds so made available
exclusively for the project, and to pay any additional amount by which the cost exceeds the
estimate through appropriation to the construction fund of additional funds or the proceeds of
additional bonds to be issued by the subdivision.
Subd. 6. Grant rules.
Procedures for application for grants from the fund, conditions for
their administration, and criteria for priority, unless established in the laws authorizing the grants,
shall be established by rules of the Department of Transportation consistent with those laws.
Criteria for determining priorities and amounts of grants shall be based on consideration of:
(1) effectiveness of the project in eliminating a deficiency in the transportation system;
(2) number of persons affected by the deficiency;
(3) economic feasibility;
(4) effect on optimum land use and other concerns of state and regional planning;
(5) availability of other financing capability; and
(6) adequacy of provision for proper operation and maintenance after construction.
Subd. 6a. Grant for preliminary engineering of river crossing.
(a) The commissioner may
make a grant to any political subdivision for preliminary engineering of a river crossing which
requires extensive studies and evaluations to determine the environmental impact, location and
design features of the crossing. A grant shall not exceed $300,000 for a single bridge project and
shall not be used for the preparation of construction plans or specifications.
(b) Application for a grant shall be made by resolution of the governing body of the
subdivision proposing to construct or reconstruct the bridge. A grant under this subdivision
is subject to the procedures and criteria provided in subdivisions 5 and 6. A grant shall also
be subject to the priority ranking established under the existing rules of the department if
the proposed bridge has been ranked under those rules. No new rules are required for the
administration of the grant program established by this subdivision.
Subd. 6b. Bridge engineering and design costs in smaller cities.
Until June 30, 2007, the
commissioner may make grants from the state transportation fund to a home rule or statutory
city with a population of 5,000 or less and a net tax capacity of under $200,000 for design and
preliminary engineering of bridges on city streets. Grants under this subdivision are subject to
the procedures and criteria established under subdivisions 5 and 6, and may be used for 100
percent of the design and preliminary engineering costs. Total grants under this subdivision to
all cities may not exceed $200,000.
Subd. 7. Rules for administering funds and grants.
The commissioner of transportation
shall develop rules, standards and criteria, including bridge specifications, in cooperation with
road authorities of political subdivisions, for use in the administration of funds appropriated to
the commissioner and for the administration of grants to subdivisions. The maximum use of
standardized bridges is encouraged. Regardless of the size of the existing bridge, a bridge or
replacement bridge is eligible for assistance from the state transportation fund if a hydrological
survey indicates that the bridge or replacement bridge must be ten feet or more in length.
Funds appropriated to the commissioner from the Minnesota state transportation fund shall be
segregated from the highway tax user distribution fund and other funds created by article XIV
of the Constitution.
History: 1976 c 339 s 1; 1977 c 454 s 26; 1979 c 280 s 3; 1981 c 338 s 1; 1981 c 361 s 16;
1984 c 412 s 1; 1999 c 230 s 18; 2003 c 112 art 2 s 50; 1Sp2005 c 6 art 3 s 79