TRANSPORTATION CABINET KEEPS FOCUS ON KENTUCKY’S FUTURE
Transportation Cabinet officials, today, provided a snapshot of the cabinet’s financial condition along with a vivid description of challenges and changes facing the agency.
“We are making great strides toward improving overall efficiencies within all cabinet operations,” said acting Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “We are managing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of projects and working vigorously to ensure that we are getting the best value for each tax dollar spent. The quality and character of our transportation system and, consequently, the economic prosperity of Kentucky is at stake.”
Responsible management of taxpayer money was a consistent theme throughout today’s presentation. Key financial statistics outlined included savings of $21.8 million realized through more efficient management of cabinet activities. In addition, Road Fund revenues ended the fiscal year $6.8 million above the estimate resulting in a total of nearly $29 million surplus in the State Road Fund.
“It’s no small feat to have achieved nearly a $29 million surplus in the road fund, especially during a time when revenues have increased only marginally,” said Debra Gabbard, the cabinet’s Executive Director for the Office of Budget & Fiscal Management. “These surplus funds have been dedicated to highway construction.”
The highway program update provided by Department of Highways Commissioner Marc Williams addressed the on-going 2005 construction season and outlined procedural changes that have been made in the contract bidding and change order processes. He referred to how new procedures are improving accountability and effectiveness of cabinet operations. The 2005 construction season is expected to be one of the largest seasons ever.
“We are pursuing a strong and sustainable transportation program for the Commonwealth, one that is firmly grounded in efficiency,” Williams said. “The cabinet is taking steps to make our bid process more competitive and more attractive to a greater number of contractors. Furthermore, our scrutiny of on-going projects ensures that every tax dollar is being spent wisely.”