SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

February 28, 2005                                                                                                   Hearing Room C

3:10 P.M.                                                                                                                     Tapes  25 - 26

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Joanne Verger, Chair

Sen. Doug Whitsett, Vice-Chair

Sen. Rick Metsger

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Bruce Starr

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

Gary Roulier, Committee Assistant

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Rep. Terry Beyer

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

                                                HB 2067 – Public Hearing and Work Session

                                                SB 71 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 25, A

003

Chair Verger

Opens the meeting at 3:19 p.m. and opens a public hearing on HB 2067.

HB 2067 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Bob Hidley

Director, Oregon Department of Aviation. States that the bill will stagger the terms of the members of the Aviation Board.

025

Chair Verger

Closes the pubic hearing and opens a work session on HB 2067.

HB 2067 – WORK SESSION

031

Judith Callens

Administrator. Reviews the fiscal and revenue impact statements.

037

Sen. Whitsett

MOTION:  Moves HB 2067 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

 

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

EXCUSED:  1 - Metsger

 

Chair Verger

The motion CARRIES.

SEN. WHITSETT will lead discussion on the floor.

045

Chair Verger

Closes the work session and opens a public hearing on SB 71.

SB 71 – PUBLIC HEARING

053

Hidley

Testifies in support of SB 71.

081

Hidley

Reviews some of the federal matching funds that will become available with the passage of SB 71.

106

Chair Verger

Expresses how disappointing it is when we have to return federal funds. Asks if the witness supports the fact that the Oregon Transportation Commission will decide what projects will be funded.

118

Hidley

Responds that they support how the projects will be selected.

125

Sen. B. Starr

Asks if they have identified projects to be funded and adds he would like to see a list of projects.

131

Hidley

Responds that they have projects identified and will forward the list.

137

Sen. Whitsett

Asks if the projects identified are ready to go.

141

Hidley

Answers that some are engineered and some are not.

152

Scott Witt

Director of Corporate Transportation, Oregon Steel Mills. Testifies in support of SB 71.

183

Delmer Hanson

United Transportation Union. Presents written testimony (EXHIBIT A) and testifies in support of SB 71.

216

Hanson

Notes that there are capacity constraints within the rail system in Oregon.

231

Sen. B. Starr

Asks if the labor shortage problem within the rail industry is improving.

241

Hanson

Responds that the labor shortage situation is improving and summarizes hiring within the rail industry.

261

Terry Cleaver

Traffic Manager, Columbia Grain International. Presents written testimony (EXHIBIT B) and testifies in support of SB 71.

293

Sen. Metsger

Asks what criteria he would utilize to make sure that the investments are maximized.

304

Cleaver

Recommends that the bottlenecks be addressed as they affect the entire transportation system. Also emphasizes they look for matching federal dollars.

318

Sen. Whitsett

Asks what specific bottlenecks should be addressed.

323

Cleaver

Reviews some of the areas that would require attention. Summarizes the problems associated with getting railcars in and out of the yards that serve their company.

349

Patti Iverson-Summer

Global Trading Resources. Testifies in support of SB 71.

388

Iverson-Summer

Outlines the increase in international trade on the west coast, and points out the problems created by shortcomings in the Portland infrastructure.

TAPE 26, A

009

Iverson-Summer

Discusses the importance of investment in reducing congestion on in-bound traffic.

043

Iverson-Summer

Stresses that moving cargo through the port in an efficient manner will bring back container traffic to Portland.

053

Chair Verger

Asks how SB 71 would alleviate some of these capacity problems.

065

Iverson-Summer

Responds that building the infrastructure, particularly rail, would counteract some of our disadvantages.

089

Chair Verger

Asks about the cost of ships waiting for four weeks at some congested ports.

094

Iverson-Summer

Answers that she attempts to route her customers away from the congested ports, but options are limited.

102

Sen. Whitsett

Reviews some of the issues covered, and asks her to further develop some of the economic issues.

114

Iverson-Summer

Reviews some of the costs involved in utilizing the Port of Portland, to include the cost for bar pilots.

148

Iverson-Summer

Stresses the importance of being a “full-service port.”

154

Sen. Metsger

Asks what investments would bring the most benefit to marine traffic.

171

Iverson-Summer

Answers that investments in rail would bring the most benefit.

201

Anna Spindler

Fujimi Corporation. Testifies in support of SB 71. Reviews changes in their shipping methods.

250

Chair Verger

Asks what types of finished goods they import.

255

Spindler

Reviews the products her company imports.

261

Sen. Whitsett

Asks why the container traffic left the Port of Portland.

266

Spindler

Reviews some of the reasons behind the decrease in container traffic.

300

Spindler

Notes that the larger vessels required additional dredging of the Columbia channel.

340

Sen. Whitsett

Asks how long the container companies have had terminals in Tacoma.

349

Spindler

Answer they have been in Tacoma for some time.

353

Sen. Metsger

Opines that the investments in infrastructure would reduce the congestion enough that we would regain some competitive advantages.

383

Spindler

Agrees and notes that the Port of Portland is known for their efficiency.

TAPE 25, B

009

Mike Burton

Division Manager, Community Development, Oregon Economic and Community Development Department. Testifies in support of SB 71.

047

Burton

States that the rail service through the Columbia Gorge is a major advantage for Portland as we can utilize the Ports of Morrow and Umatilla to reduce congestion.

083

Burton

Emphasizes the importance of intermodal connections, and stresses that we look at these investments as part of a system.

110

Jonathon Schlueter

Executive Director, Westside Economic Alliance. Testifies in support of SB 71 and notes that his board of directors unanimously supports the concept of ConnectOregon.

154

Schlueter

Stresses that this bill will benefit the entire state.

164

Mark Simmons

Government Relations Director, Oregon Association of Nurseries. Testifies in support of SB 71. Notes that fuel costs are devaluing Oregon nursery exports.

197

Chair Verger

Asks if the association has done a cost analysis of utilizing rail transporation.

206

Simmons

Reviews costs analyses of utilizing intermodal transport options, and adds that he will provide specific numbers to the committee.

215

Chair Verger

Asks how the growth of the nursery industry impacts the employment picture within the state.

223

Simmons

Notes that the industry is labor intensive.

 

Phil Boyer

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Submits written testimony in support of SB 71 (EXHIBIT C).

227

Chair Verger

Closes the public hearing on SB 71 and adjourns the meeting at 4:33 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 71, written testimony, Delmer Hanson, 1 pp
  2. SB 71, written testimony, Terry Cleaver, 1 pp
  3. SB 71, written testimony, Phil Boyer, 2 pp