Betsy Russell reports the state’s building alterations and repair backlog is up to nearly half a billion dollars, Tim Mason, administrator of Idaho’s Division of Public Works, told JFAC this morning, a figure Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, called “mind-boggling.” Mason said, “We’re allocating $17 million against $80 million of requested projects. … The actual backlog of alteration and repair is probably approaching half a billion dollars.” Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, asked Mason how much of that is “of a critical nature.” Mason said he estimates that of the $80 million in requests, about half are critical. “I think if we were able to come down $40 million, we would be taking care of the serious problems,” he said. Mason, who’s currently the president of the national association of state public works administrators, said, “The alteration and repair problem that we’re addressing isn’t really much different than other states. … Everybody’s dealing with the same problem.”

Mason said Idaho goes through a two-step process to determine which building alteration and repair projects to fund: First, it looks at how much money is available from the Permanent Building Fund, and then it looks at priorities provided by agencies.

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