Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that the 2008-09 State transportation budget will increase highway improvement funding to all local governments in Columbia County by a total of $543,693.
Close to $3.5 million in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) Aid will be distributed to the County, as well as municipalities within the County, for a total increase of 18.63 percent over last year. This local assistance from CHIPS was included in the Transportation and Economic Development budget bill approved by the Legislature April 4.
"This funding is critically important to all local governments in order for them to improve, repair and maintain local roads," Senator Saland said. "The condition of our roads and infrastructure is vital to our economy and quality of life. I was pleased to work with my Senate colleagues in not only restoring the Executive Budget cuts but increasing this important local highway aid. The Executive Budget would have reduced CHIPS by $9.1 million statewide, which would have been disastrous to the safety of our roads.
"Providing these funds will mean that localities can move forward with important road improvement projects without placing additional pressure on local property taxes," Senator Saland concluded.
The CHIPS program was established in 1982 and apportionments to municipalities are calculated annually by the New York State Department of Transportation. This program has been instrumental in maintaining the integrity of the State’s local infrastructure.