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2007 NF funds. Of the remaining 16 states with FY tion Coordination Plans and grant programs. In gen- 2006 and FY 2007 NF obligations, four had obligated eral, the study revealed that respondents were satis- between 10 and 30 percent, and 12 had obligated less fied with the development of the Coordination Plan than 10 percent. and the grant programs; however, they believed that there are opportunities to improve the planning process and grant administration that could signifi- Conclusions cantly help states and local recipients implement the While initially there was some difficulty in obligat- Coordination Plans and reduce the perceived admin- ing the JARC and NF funds with nearly 14 percent istrative burdens associated with the human services of FY 2006 JARC and 12 percent of NF apportion- grant programs and their requirements. This chapter ments lapsed at the end of FY 2008, significant im- summarizes these costs, benefits, and perceived op- provements in obligations have been made in recent portunities (from the perspective of the respondents) years. The FTA and GAO data presented in the tables to improve the accomplishment and effectiveness of demonstrate that the amount of JARC and NF funds the Coordination Plans and human services trans- obligated in the appropriation year is increasing and portation grant programs. the amount obligated in each successive year is also improving. The initial delays may have been the re- Costs Associated with Human Services sult of several factors, including the SAFETEA-LU Transportation Plans and Grant Programs requirement for having an approved Coordination Plan in place (not required previously), difficulty in The study attempted to quantify the costs associ- designating the appropriate grant recipients in large ated with the development of the Coordination Plans, urban areas, uncertainty regarding what "beyond specifically in terms of a dollar amount and/or time ADA" meant for NF projects, and adjusting to the spent on the initial plan development and maintaining learning curve associated with drawing down funds the plan. The costs were collected from state DOTs as from the NF program and the new formula-based part of the Internet survey and from local Coordina- allocation of JARC funds. tion Plan participants during the telephone surveys. In addition, it is important to note that the federal apportionments are not always released in a timely State DOTs (Internet Survey) manner often due to delays in congressional appro- In the Internet survey, 57 percent of state DOT re- priations or authorization bills. For example, the spondents indicated that the costs of the initial Coor- SAFETEA-LU apportionments for FY 2006 through dination Plan development were less than $250,000 FY 2008 were all published well after the start of for the state. The remaining 43 percent of respondents each fiscal year. FY 2006 apportionments were pub- indicated that the state DOT costs of the plans were lished in the December 20, 2005, Federal Register between $250,001 and $1 million. For those states and revised on February 3, 2006. Similarly, FY 2007 spending more money on the initial plan develop- and FY 2008 apportionments were published in the ment, many indicated that the state was providing a Federal Register on March 23, 2007, and January significant portion of the money for the Coordina- 28, 2008, respectively. Since many state DOTs do tion Plan development, including providing techni- not announce the availability of funds or begin the cal assistance, consultants, and workshops. Simi- competitive process until the annual federal appor- larly, 86 percent of responding state DOTs projected tionments are published, further delays in JARC and that the costs for maintaining the Coordination Plans NF obligations are possible. would be less than $250,000. While some states paid for the cost of the initial plan development, no re- sponding states indicated that the state would pay for CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND FINDINGS the maintenance of the Coordination Plans, which The findings from the Internet survey of state likely contributed to the lower projected state costs DOTs and the telephone interviews with local coor- for the maintenance of plans. dinated planning participants in Missouri, Ohio, The Internet survey respondents also provided in- Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wash- sight on some of the additional costs associated with ington helped identify the perceived costs and ben- the development of the Coordination Plans. Nine re- efits associated with the human services transporta- spondents (43 percent) had hired consultants or addi- 54
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tional employees to help meet the plan requirements Table 25 Missouri Section 5303 planning funds used at the state level, and 53 percent had hired consultants for the initial development of the Coordination Plans. or additional employees at the local level. Even with Amount of 5303 Funds Used Number of Rural Planning Commissions the hiring of additional resources, the responsibilities $21,000 13 $17,000 2 for preparing the Coordination Plans has fallen largely $16,000 1 on existing staff. Eighteen (86 percent) of respondents $10,000 1 indicated that the plans have placed an additional bur- $19,559 Average den on the state transit office, many of whom are Source: Missouri DOT. already short-staffed. One respondent indicated that they are not allowed to expand staff, even if the posi- tion is 100 percent grant funded. in 2010 by utilizing the remaining $21,000 in UWR The primary sources of funding for the develop- funds. In addition, MoDOT gave the 17 RPCs in the ment of the Coordination Plans for the responding state the 10 percent planning money from Section state DOTs were federal planning/administrative 5303 funds, with a maximum of $21,000 for each funds (48 percent) and state funds (30 percent). The RPC. Table 25 summarizes the amount of the Sec- respondents using state funds generally were con- tion 5303 planning funds used to develop the initial cerned about the sustainability of these revenues since Coordination Plans by RPCs throughout the state. many state funds came from one-time sources (such Several telephone interview respondents pro- as an Executive Order) or were taken from funds vided descriptions of staff time required for the de- (both state and federal) that would have gone toward velopment of the Coordination Plan. Since many of providing services. As a result, Internet survey results these agencies developed the plan in-house, they do indicate that funding for the Coordination Plans may not have an estimate of actual hours spent because become increasingly a local responsibility. they do not record their time in this manner. How- ever, several respondents were able to discuss the Local Agencies (Telephone Interviews) number of people or the percentage of time devoted During the telephone interviews, many local to the Coordination Plans, as well as the JARC and agencies had a difficult time quantifying the Coor- NF grant programs. One transit agency in a large, dination Plan development costs, particularly if the urban area estimated that six people on a day-to-day plan was developed in-house and the main expense basis work on JARC and NF for at least a portion of was staff time. Often the best cost estimate available the day. This includes everything from participating was an approximation of the number of staff people in the coordinated planning process, sub-recipient or the percentage of a person or team's time devoted agreements, contracts, legal, and engineering. Sev- to the Coordination Plans. As a result, the overall eral other smaller agencies indicated that they have costs associated with the development of the plans one full-time staff person for JARC and NF as well at the local level vary significantly in level of detail. as the coordinated planning process. Another re- Missouri DOT provided significant assistance to spondent indicated that the planning section of the the Rural Planning Commissions (RPCs) for the Co- agency spends approximately 25 percent of their ordination Plan development, including technical time on the coordinated planning process. However, assistance through workshops held throughout the in general, the agencies felt that the amount of time state as well as funding for the development of the put into the process was worthwhile and comparable plans. MoDOT observed that initially consultants did to most other political processes. The respondents' not have more capability or information than the state largest complaint about time spent was on the grant on the Coordination Plans, so MoDOT staff used administration, particularly in preparing applica- $4,000 in UWR grants to coordinate and facilitate tions and helping sub-recipients with applications. workshops across the state on the coordinated plan- In addition to staff time, several agencies men- ning process. MoDOT held six workshops in 2006, tioned other costs associated with the Coordination at various locations across the state, communicating Plan development: plan requirements and circulars and advertising the · One agency has spent the last few years work- grant programs to local agencies. MoDOT will hold ing on a Framework for Senior Mobility that more workshops in anticipation of the plan updates identifies current services, gaps, and barriers 55