H. B. 2672
(By Delegate Michael)
[Introduced January 14, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article two-a, chapter
five-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and reenact
sections six and seven, article eighteen, chapter
twenty-nine of said code, all relating to changing
purchasing requirements for the state railroad authority in
certain circumstances; allowing the authority to purchase
and maintain vehicles; eliminating vendor registration fee;
and allowing the authority to enter into contracts and
agreements under certain emergency conditions.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article two-a, chapter five-a of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and that sections six and seven, article eighteen, chapter twenty-nine of said code be
amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 5A. DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION.
ARTICLE 2A. USE OF ALTERNATIVE FUELS IN STATE-OWNED VEHICLES.
§5A-2A-2. Purchase or lease of fleet vehicles; use of
(a) After the first day of September, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-three, the secretary may purchase or lease
alternative fuel vehicles for use by any state agency.
(b) The secretary may acquire or be provided with equipment or
refueling facilities necessary to operate alternative fuel
vehicles by any of the following methods:
(1) Purchase or lease as authorized by law;
(2) Gift or loan of the equipment or facilities; or
(3) Gift or loan of the equipment or facilities or other
arrangement pursuant to a service contract for the supply of
(c) If such equipment or facilities are donated, loaned or
provided through other arrangement with the supplier of
alternative fuels, the supplier shall be entitled to recoup its
actual cost of donating, loaning or providing the equipment or
facilities through its fuel charges under the fuel supply
(d) Of the total number of vehicles acquired or caused to be
acquired by the secretary for use by any state agency vehicle
(1) Twenty percent in fiscal year one thousand nine hundred
(2) Thirty percent in fiscal year one thousand nine hundred
(3) Fifty percent in fiscal year one thousand nine hundred
ninety-seven, shall be alternative fuel vehicles.
(e) The secretary shall review this alternative fuel use
program on or before the thirty-first day of December, one
thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, and if the secretary
determines that the program is effective in reducing costs to the
state, taking into consideration the cost of operating
alternative fuel vehicles over the expected useful life of
the vehicles, the secretary shall, of the total number of
vehicles acquired in each fiscal year, acquire at least
seventy-five percent alternative fuel vehicles for state agency
fleets beginning the first day of September, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-eight, and thereafter.
(f) The secretary shall, in the annual fiscal report to the
Legislature, show the progress in achieving these percentage
requirements by itemizing purchases, leases and conversions of motor vehicles and usage of alternative fuels.
(g) The secretary, in the development of the alternative fuel
use program, shall consult with state agency fleet operators,
vehicle manufacturers and converters, fuel distributors and
others to delineate the vehicles to be covered, taking into
consideration range, specialty uses, fuel availability, vehicle
manufacturing and conversion capability, safety, resale values
and other relevant factors. In order to maximize the savings to
the state, the secretary shall attempt to the extent possible to
convert first those vehicles that are used the most often for the
most miles. The secretary may meet the percentage requirements
of this section through purchase or lease of new vehicles,
purchase or lease of used alternative fuel vehicles or the
conversion of existing vehicles, in accordance with federal and
state requirements and applicable safety laws and standards, to
use alternative fuels.
(h) The secretary may reduce any percentage specified or waive
the requirements of subsection (d) of this section for any state
agency upon a determination by the secretary that either of the
following situations apply:
(1) The agency's vehicles will be operating primarily in an
area in which neither the agency nor a supplier has or can
reasonably be expected to establish a central refueling station for alternative fuels.
(2) The agency is unable to acquire or be provided equipment
or refueling facilities necessary to operate alternative fuel
vehicles at a projected cost that is reasonably expected to
result in no greater net costs than the continued use of
traditional gasoline or diesel fuels measured over the expected
useful life of the equipment or facilities supplied.
(i) The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(1) Vehicles operated by law-enforcement agencies;
(2) Emergency vehicles;
(3) Vehicles operated by public transit authorities;
(4) School buses;
or(5) Vehicles operated by the state rail authority; or
(5) (6) Nonroad vehicles, including farm and construction
CHAPTER 29. MISCELLANEOUS BOARDS AND OFFICERS.
ARTICLE 18. WEST VIRGINIA STATE RAIL AUTHORITY.
§29-18-6. Powers, duties and responsibilities of authority
The West Virginia railroad maintenance authority is hereby
granted, has and may exercise all powers necessary or appropriate
to carry out and effectuate its corporate purpose.
(a) The authority shall have the power and capacity to:
(1) Adopt, and from time to time, amend and repeal bylaws
necessary and proper for the regulation of its affairs and the
conduct of its business and rules
and regulations to implement
and make effective its powers and duties, such rules and
regulations to be promulgated in accordance with the provisions
of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(2) Adopt an official seal.
(3) Maintain a principal office and if necessary, regional
suboffices at locations properly designated or provided.
(4) Sue and be sued in its own name and plead and be impleaded
in its own name, and particularly to enforce the obligations and
covenants made under sections ten, eleven and sixteen of this
article. Any actions against the authority shall be brought in
the circuit court of Kanawha County. The location of the
principal office of the authority shall be determined by the
(5) Make loans and grants to governmental agencies and persons
for carrying out railroad projects by any such governmental
agency or person and in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of
this code, adopt rules and procedures for making such loans and
(6) Acquire, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, improve,
furnish, equip, maintain, repair, operate, lease or rent to, or contract for operation by a governmental agency or person,
railroad projects and, in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a
of this code, adopt rules
and regulations for the use of such
(7) Make available the use or services of any railroad project
to one or more persons, one or more governmental agencies, or any
(8) Issue railroad maintenance authority bonds and notes and
refunding bonds of the state, payable solely from revenues as
provided in section ten of this article unless the bonds are
refunded by refunding bonds, for the purpose of paying any part
of the cost of one or more railroad projects or parts thereof.
(9) Acquire, by gift or purchase, hold and dispose of real and
personal property in the exercise of its powers and the
performance of its duties as set forth in this article.
(10) Acquire in the name of the state, by purchase or
otherwise, on such terms and in such manner as it
proper, or by the exercise of the right of eminent domain in the
manner provided in chapter fifty-four of this code, rail
properties and appurtenant rights and interests necessary for
carrying out railroad projects.
(11) Make and enter into all contracts and agreements and
execute all instruments necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers. When
the cost under any
such contract or agreement, other than
compensation for personal services, involves an expenditure from
revenue funds and not from appropriated funds of more than one
thousand one dollars, but less than ten thousand one dollars, the
authority shall award the contract or enter into the agreement
based upon at least three oral bids made pursuant to the
requirements of the contract or agreement. When the cost under
any contract or agreement, other than compensation for personal
services, involves an expenditure from revenue funds and not from
appropriated funds of more than ten thousand one dollars, but
less than twenty-five thousand one dollars, the authority shall
award the contract or enter into the agreement based upon at
least three bids, submitted to the authority in writing on
letterhead stationery, made pursuant to the requirements of the
contract or agreement. When the cost under any contract or
agreement, other than compensation for personal services,
involves an expenditure from revenue funds and not from
appropriated funds of more than twenty-five thousand one dollars,
or involves an expenditure of more than two thousand dollars from
appropriated funds, the authority shall make a written contract
with the lowest responsible bidder after public notice published
as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, the
publication area for such the publication to be the county
wherein the work is to be performed or which is affected by the
contract, which notice shall state the general character of the
work and the general character of the materials to be furnished,
the place where plans and specifications therefor may be examined
and the time and place of receiving bids, but a contract or lease
for the operation of a railroad project constructed and owned by
the authority or an agreement for cooperation in the acquisition
or construction of a railroad project pursuant to section sixteen
of this article is not subject to the foregoing requirements and
the authority may enter into such the contract or lease or such
the agreement pursuant to negotiation and upon such terms and
conditions and for such a period of time as it finds to be
reasonable and proper under the circumstances and in the best
interests of proper operation or of efficient acquisition or
construction of such the railroad project. The authority may
reject any and all bids. A bond with good and sufficient surety,
approved by the authority, shall be required of all contractors
in an amount equal to at least fifty percent of the contract
price, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the contract:
Provided, That in an emergency situation, the authority is not
bound by the contracting and purchasing constraints imposed by this subsection and may enter into contracts or agreements with
contractors or vendors for the purchase of goods or services to
be used to alleviate temporarily the emergency situation. For
purposes of this subsection, the term "emergency situation" means
a sudden calamity involving loss of human life or the potential
for the loss of human life; or severe human injury or the
potential for severe human injury; or property damage exceeding
fifty thousand dollars; or because of the unique services
provided by the authority, any sudden loss of the ability to
provide service to customers which results in the customers
absorbing additional costs to obtain transportation services from
other sources. For purposes of this subsection, the term
"alleviate temporarily" means measures taken over the course of
forty-eight hours immediately following the emergency situation.
(12) Appoint a director and employ managers, superintendents
and other employees and retain or contract with consulting
engineers, financial consultants, accountants, attorneys and
other consultants and independent contractors as are necessary in
its judgment to carry out the provisions of this article, and fix
the compensation or fees thereof. All expenses thereof shall be
payable from the proceeds of railroad maintenance authority
revenue bonds or notes issued by the authority, from revenues and
funds appropriated for such this purpose by the Legislature or from grants from the federal government which may be used for
(13) Receive and accept from any state or federal agency,
grants for or in aid of the construction of any railroad project
or for research and development with respect to railroads and
receive and accept aid or contributions from any source of money,
property, labor or other things of value, to be held, used and
applied only for the purposes for which such grants and
contributions are made.
(14) Engage in research and development with respect to
(15) Purchase fire and extended coverage and liability
insurance for any railroad project and for the principal office
and suboffices of the authority, insurance protecting the
authority and its officers and employees against liability, if
any, for damage to property or injury to or death of persons
arising from its operations and be a member of and to participate
in, the state workers' compensation program.
(16) Charge, alter and collect rates, rentals and other
charges for the use or services of any railroad project as
provided in this article.
(17) Do all acts necessary and proper to carry out the powers
expressly granted to the authority in this article.
(b) In addition, the authority shall have the power to:
(1) Acquire rail properties both within and not within the
jurisdiction of the interstate commerce commission and rail
properties within the purview of the federal Regional Rail
Reorganization Act of 1973, any amendments to it and any other
relevant federal legislation.
(2) Enter into agreements with owners of rail properties for
the acquisition of rail properties or use, or both of rail
such the terms, conditions, rates or rentals as
that can best effectuate the purposes of this article.
(3) Acquire rail properties and other property of a railroad
in concert with another state or states as is necessary to ensure
continued rail service in this state.
(4) Establish a state plan for rail transportation and local
(5) Administer and coordinate such state plan.
(6) Provide in
such the state plan for the equitable
distribution of federal rail service continuation subsidies among
state, local and regional transportation authorities.
(7) Promote, supervise and support safe, adequate and
efficient rail services.
(8) Employ sufficiently trained and qualified personnel for
(9) Maintain adequate programs of investigation, research,
promotion and development in connection with such purposes and to
provide for public participation therein.
(10) Provide satisfactory assurances on behalf of the state
that fiscal control and fund accounting procedures will be
adopted by the state necessary to assure proper disbursement of
and accounting for federal funds paid to the state as rail
service continuation subsidies.
(11) Comply with the regulations of the secretary of
transportation of the United States department of transportation
affecting federal rail service continuation programs.
(12) Do all things otherwise necessary to maximize federal
assistance to the state under Title IV of the federal Regional
Rail Reorganization Act of 1973, and to qualify for rail
service continuation subsidies pursuant to the federal Regional
Rail Reorganization Act of 1973.
§29-18-7. Operations; purchases.
(a) The authority may sell, transfer or lease all, or any
part, of the rail properties and other property acquired under
the provisions of this article to any responsible person, firm or
corporation for continued operation of a railroad or other public
purpose: Provided, That approval for the continued operation or
other public purpose, is granted by the interstate commerce commission of the United States, whenever approval is required.
The sale, transfer or lease shall be for a price and subject to
any further terms and conditions which the authority feels are
necessary and appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this
(b) After acquiring any railroad lines within the state, the
authority shall assist any responsible person, firm or
corporation to secure, as promptly as possible, any order or
certificate required by the interstate commerce commission for
the performance of railroad service. The authority shall also
give any assurances or guarantees which are necessary or
desirable to carry out the purposes of this article.
(c) The authority may take whatever steps are necessary in
order to determine the absolute fee simple title ownership of all
rail properties of any railroad within the state. The
determination may include the status of the rail properties with
respect to easements, rights-of-way, leases, reversionary rights,
fee simple title ownership and any and all related title matters.
The authority may retain attorneys, experts or other assistants,
and issue any contracts as are necessary to make the title
(d) All rail properties within the state offered for sale by
any railway corporation after the date of enactment of this article shall be offered for sale to the state in the first
(e) The authority may cooperate with other states in
connection with the purchase of any rail properties within this
state. The authority may also acquire railroad rights in other
states and rail properties lying in other states in order to
carry out the intentions and purposes of this article. In
carrying out the powers and duties conferred by this article, the
authority may enter into general contractual arrangements,
including joint purchasing and leasing of rail properties with
(f) In weighing the varied interests of the residents of this
state, the authority shall give consideration to the individual
interest of any county or municipality expressing a desire to
acquire a portion, or all, of the abandoned real estate located
within its jurisdiction. The authority may exercise its powers
under this article to acquire the abandoned property for
subsequent conveyance to the county or municipality.
(g) The authority may utilize federal funds, grants, gifts or
donations which are available and any sums that are appropriated
in carrying out the purposes of this article. The authority may
also apply for discretionary or other funds available under the
provisions of the federal Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973, or other federal programs.
(h) The authority may apply for an acquisition and
modernization loan, or a guarantee of a loan, pursuant to Section
403 of the federal Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973, or
any other federal programs, within the limit of funds
appropriated for those purposes.
(i) The authority is authorized to purchase any railroad
rolling stock, equipment and machinery necessary for the
operation and maintenance of any rail properties purchased by it
on behalf of the state, with any funds made available for this
purpose. The authority may also acquire and have available, a
pool of equipment and machinery which may be utilized by the
operators of the rail properties for the purpose of track
maintenance and other related railroad activities, upon terms and
conditions determined by the authority. Notwithstanding any
other section in this code to the contrary, and subject to the
requirements of section six of this article, the authority may
enter into contracts or agreements for the purchase of and the
maintenance of any vehicles required for its purposes.
(j) The authority may contract for the rebuilding or
relocation of any rail properties acquired pursuant to this
article, within the provisions of the federal Regional Rail
Reorganization Act of 1973, or any other applicable legislation. The authority may also spend any sums appropriated, as well as
any other available funds, for the modernization, rebuilding and
relocation of any rail properties owned by the state or by a
private carrier. The authority may do any maintenance on any
rail properties owned by the state as is necessary in the public
(k) The authority may contract with any domestic or foreign
person, firm, corporation, agency or government to provide,
maintain or improve rail transportation service on the rail
properties acquired by the state under this article.
(l) Notwithstanding the provisions of article three, chapter
five-a of this code or legislative rules promulgated by the
director of the state purchasing division to the contrary,
vendors or contractors entering into contracts or agreements with
the authority are not subject to any registration fee.
(l) (m) Whenever the authority determines that any rail
properties acquired by the state are no longer needed for
railroad purposes, it may, with the permission of the governor,
permanently or temporarily transfer the rail properties to any
other state department or agency or political subdivision of the
state, which shall utilize the properties for a public purpose.
Whenever more than one department or agency or political
subdivision wishes to utilize the property, the authority shall resolve such a conflict and make a prompt determination of the
reasonable and proper order of priority, taking into
consideration any applicable state plans, policies or objectives.
If no state department or agency or political subdivision wants
the properties, the authority may sell them, with the proceeds
deposited to the special railroad fund established by this
article. A public hearing is required prior to the transfer or
sale of any rail properties by the authority.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is fourfold:
(1) To change purchasing requirements for the state rail
authority to allow immediate purchase, from revenue funds and not
from appropriated funds, of items up to $1000; to allow purchase
with three oral bids of items from $1001 to $10,000; and to allow
purchase with three written bids of items from $10,001 to
(2) To allow the state rail authority to purchase and maintain
their own vehicles; and
(3) To eliminate any vendor registration fee for vendors or
(4) To allow state rail authority to respond to emergency
situations by entering into contracts or agreements which
circumvent the purchasing constraints and which will alleviate
temporarily the emergency situation.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that
would be added.