Local muncipalities to see boost in state support for local roads and bridges

April 12, 2016

Senator O'Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano (l.) at this year's "Local Roads Matter" rally at the Capitol in March.

Senator O’Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano have joined local highway superintendents and other local officials over the past several years to help lead the fight for fairer and stronger state support for local transportation infrastructure.

Corning, N.Y., April 12—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I- Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) said today that area counties, cities, towns and villages will receive significant increases in state funding for local roads and bridges under the recently enacted 2016-17 New York State budget.

O’Mara and Palmesano have partnered with local highway superintendents and other local officials from throughout New York over the past several years to lead the fight in the Legislature for fairer and stronger state support for local transportation infrastructure.  It’s been a growing, bipartisan effort since 2013.  Earlier this session O’Mara and Palmesano organized a bipartisan group of 130 senators and members of the Assembly, more than 60% of the entire Legislature, who 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.

Their efforts helped increase CHIPS funding by $125 million from 2013 to 2015.  They said that the 2016-17 state budget contains even more significant increases and, for the first time in five years, parity in transportation infrastructure funding statewide.

O’Mara and Palmesano said that for the first time since 2010 there will be parity in funding between the five-year state Department of Transportation (DOT) and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) capital plans, with each plan slated to receive approximately $27 billion.

The 2016-17 budget provides $438 million in direct funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) while an additional $400 million ($100 million a year over four years) of funding for local roads will also be allocated through the CHIPS funding formula from a newly established PAVE-NY program for local roads.  Another $400 million from a new BRIDGE- NY program for local bridge projects will also be allocated statewide with local input.  Combined, the funding will provide significant increases to counties, cities, towns and villages across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide for local roads and bridges.

They pointed to both of these actions – parity in transportation funding, and driving significant, additional state aid to local municipalities through the CHIPS funding formula – as among the top achievements of the new state budget.       

In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “We’ve been working hard on this, session after session, since 2013 and so it’s very gratifying that this year’s state budget begins to take the kind of action that’s absolutely needed for local transportation infrastructure.  After five years, beginning in 2008, when state support for local roads and bridges remained stagnant, the state’s recognition over the past several years, and especially this year, of the importance of CHIPS and parity in statewide transportation funding will continue making a significant difference for our local governments, local economies, local property taxpayers and motorist safety locally and statewide.  We will continue to work with Governor Cuomo, our legislative colleagues and local highway superintendents and leaders across this region and state on this vitally important challenge and priority, but this year’s budget marks an important move forward. 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.  We’ll keep working and building on it.”

New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, "This is an area of true need for counties and all local governments. By dedicating an allocation directly to local governments, and requiring local input in other areas of road and bridge investment, these new programs will incorporate the needs of the community with the new investment by the state. I commend the State Legislature and Governor Cuomo for providing this important state investment."

O’Mara and Palmesano said that area counties will receive the following CHIPS and PAVE-NY funding under this year’s budget (including total aid percentage increases from 2015-16 to 2016-17):

> Chemung County's 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $1,652,383.12 and the county’s PAVE-NY allocation is $377,172.89 for a total of $2,029,556.01, or an increase of 10.9%; 

> Schuyler County's 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $861,029.08 and the county's PAVE-NY allocation is $196,538.46 for a total of $1,057,567.54, or an increase of 11.3%;

> Steuben County's 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $4,429,818.11 and the county's PAVE-NY allocation is $1,011,150.07 for a total of $5,440,968.19, or an increase of   10.5%;

> Tompkins County's 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $2,024,154.78 and the county's PAVE-NY allocation is $462,033.47 for a total of $2,486,188.26, or an increase of   10.4%; and        

> Yates County's 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $1,168,287.92 and the county's PAVE-NY allocation is $266,673.34 for a total of $1,434,961.27, or an increase of 10.4%.

They said that area cities will receive the following CHIPS and PAVE-NY funding:

> Corning's 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $403,503.43 and the city's PAVE-NY allocation is $92,103.67 for a total of $495,607.10, or an increase of 9.6%;

> Elmira's 2016-17CHIPS allocation is $795,744.84 and the city's PAVE-NY allocation is $181,636.68 for a total of $977,381.52, or an increase of 9.9%;           

> Hornell's 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $243,544.77 and the city's PAVE-NY allocation is $55,591.52 for a total of $299,136.29, or an increase of 10.4%; and

> Ithaca's 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $437,871.63 and the city's PAVE-NY allocation is $99,948.56 for a total of $537,820.19, or an increase of 9.9%.                        

Palmesano, who also represents a part of Seneca County, said that Seneca County’s 2016-17 CHIPS allocation is $1,026,020.33 and the county’s PAVE-NY allocation is $234,199.35 for a total of $1,260,219.68, or an increase of 10.6%.

[see the attached copy of this news release and a county-by-county listing of aid for counties, cities, towns and villages]