Local municipalities see boost in state support for local roads, bridges
Elmira, N.Y., April 10—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) said today that area counties, cities, towns and villages will receive increases in state funding for local roads and bridges under the recently enacted 2014-15 New York State budget.
"After five years when state support for local roads and bridges remained stagnant, the state’s recognition over the past two years, including this year, of the importance of CHIPS and other state funding will continue making a significant difference for local economies, local property taxpayers and motorist safety locally and statewide. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Governor Cuomo, our legislative colleagues and local highway superintendents on this vitally important challenge and priority,” O’Mara and Palmesano said in a joint statement. “The improvement and upkeep of local roads and bridges is a wise use of taxpayer dollars. Every additional dollar of state support means a dollar less that our local property taxpayers have to pay. It’s also an important investment in economic growth and job creation throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and all across New York.”
Steuben County Manager and current New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) President Mark Alger said, “This winter took a hard toll on local roads in Steuben and counties across New York. This increased state funding is critical, and we appreciate the efforts of Senator O’Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano to secure it. It will help us repair this winter’s damage and the ongoing state support through last year’s increased CHIPS funding level is a crucial recognition of the importance of local roads and bridges. It’s a vitally needed investment to improve motorist safety, prevent costly repairs in the future, reduce costs for local property taxpayers and promote economic growth.”
Martin D. Roberts, Highway Superintendent for the Town of Reading in Schuyler County and current President of the NYS Association of Town Superintendents of Highways (NYSAOTSOH), said, "My hat's off to the Governor and the Senate and Assembly members who have seen fit to continue their commitment to the funding local roads and bridges."
In early March, O’Mara, Palmesano and a bipartisan group of nearly 100 state legislators joined county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders from throughout the state to call for increased support for local roads and bridges. They noted that local roads and bridges account for 87% of the roads, 52% of the bridges, and 48% of the vehicle mileage logged in New York State.
CHIPS provides the bulk of state aid to counties and towns for the maintenance and improvement of local roads and bridges.
Following a similar bipartisan effort led by O’Mara and Palmesano last year, the 2013-14 state budget provided a $75-million, or 20% increase, in CHIPS funding to an overall level of $438.1 million. It represented the first funding increase for the program in five years.
O’Mara and Palmesano said that CHIPS funding in 2014-15 is continued at last year’s increased funding level, $438.1 million, but an additional $40 million is also provided for an “Extreme Weather Recovery Capital Grant Program” to help local governments repair surface road damage from this year’s extreme winter. The extreme weather recovery grants are being allocated through the existing formulas used to distribute annual CHIPS funding.
O’Mara and Palmesano said that area counties will receive the following CHIPS and extreme weather recovery funding under this year’s transportation budget:
-- Chemung County: Total 2014-15 CHIPS funding, including $139,598.97 in additional funding through the Extreme Weather Recovery Capital Grant Program, will increase from $1,654,326 last year to $1,795,754 this year, an increase of $141,428 or 8.55%;
-- Schuyler County: Total 2014-15 CHIPS funding, including a $71,199.54 extreme weather recovery grant, will increase from $861,029 to $932,229, an increase of $71,200 or 8.27%;
-- Steuben County: Total 2014-15 CHIPS funding, including a $395,427 extreme weather recovery grant, will increase from $4,429,818 to $4,825,245, an increase of $395,427 or 8.93%;
-- Tompkins County: Total 2014-15 CHIPS funding, including a $180,393.72 extreme weather recovery grant, will increase from $2,023,675 to $2,204,380, an increase of $180,705 or 8.93%; and
-- Yates County: Total 2014-15 CHIPS funding, including a $105,199.34 extreme weather recovery grant, will increase from $1,168,796 to $1,274,057, an increase of $105,261 or 9.01%.
Palmesano, who also represents part of Seneca County, said that Seneca County’s total 2014-15 CHIPS funding, including a $90,399.28 extreme weather recovery grant, will increase from $1,025,667 to $1,116,747, an increase of $91,080 or 8.88%.
Total 2014-15 CHIPS funding, including extreme weather recovery grants, for cities, towns and villages statewide will increase by 9%, 11.65% and 11.04% respectively.
See attached funding breakdowns below for counties, cities, towns and villages.