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Otter road show may hit Boise

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A series of six transportation funding meetings kicked off in Caldwell this week. BW did not battle the early-rush-hour traffic to get there, but at least 80 people showed up, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune.

Otter wants suggestions from the public on how to fund a perceived $240 million shortfall in road funding.

At the forum, Idaho Department of Transportation head Pam Lowe suggested that the department's tight funding has led to dangerous road conditions and disrepair, and put federal funding at risk.

When BW pointed out that there was no forum scheduled for Boise, where most of the state's drivers live, the Governor's Office responded that there is a transportation meeting planned in Boise in concert with Sen. Mike Crapo. It is set for Aug. 26.

"Unlike some of the other meetings it is going to involve some of the federal players," said Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter spokesman Jon Hanian.

Part of the Boise meeting will be a discussion of federal highway dollars and how state highway funding interacts with the U.S. Department of Transportation grants.

The morning session of the meeting will include testimony from several national transportation leaders, Hanian said, though the list of attendees has not been confirmed.

The conference will also include a report from the road tour that is taking Otter's message across the state this summer.

Hanian said Otter will attend the evening session on Aug. 26 and has requested a public forum.

The players have not figured out what type of public forum will be held at the federal transportation summit yet, but there will be an opportunity for public comment, Hanian said.

So Boise folks will get a chance to weigh in after all. Maybe.

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