WHEREAS, America's highways and transit systems that are owned and managed by local governments are a vital element of the nation's economy, the public's safety and quality of life; and

WHEREAS, congestion costs our nation more than $78 billion each year due to delays and excess fuel consumption, with the average driver spending more than 62 hours a year in gridlock; and

WHEREAS, one-third of America's roads and bridges are in poor or deficient condition; and

WHEREAS, more than 64 percent of streets in Minnesota are approaching the end of their 50-year life span; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota's existing funding mechanisms, such as Municipal State Aid (MSA), property taxes, special assessments and bonding, have limited applications, leaving cities under-equipped to address growing needs; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Senate passed a transportation reauthorization bill that taxes gasohol/blended fuels including ethanol at the same rate as gasoline and returns that revenue to the highway trust fund, eliminating diversions to the general fund; and

WHEREAS, the same Senate bill would provide the state of Minnesota more than $2 billion from the highway trust fund during the next six years; and

WHEREAS, the Transportation Equity Act is an example of a strong federal-local partnership that makes an investment in critical local transportation and infrastructure needs;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the council of the city of Duluth, Minnesota, that this council supports passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of a six-year reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act that includes returning ethanol taxes to the highway trust fund.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the clerk shall deliver a copy of this adopted resolution to Congressman Oberstar and Minnesota's senators.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution memorializes the council's position in support of the reauthorization of federal transportation policy.