Albany, NY… In the final hours of the 2019 legislative session, the legislature restored $65 million in 2020 Winter Recovery Funds for municipalities. These funds had been stripped from the 2019-2020 budget that passed in April. Senator Jen Metzger had been a strong advocate for restoring funding which is critical for resource and revenue constrained rural areas to maintain roads, particularly given the impacts of severe weather changes. Counties, towns, villages and cities in the 42nd district that she represents are expected to see a total of up to $2.8 million dollars from these funds.
“I am very pleased that we were able to restore this critical supplementary resource for our local highway departments in order to address the impacts of extreme winter weather and protect the safety of New York drivers,” said Senator Metzger. “Extreme temperature swings, like what we experienced this past winter, are highly damaging to our roads, and with climate change, we can expect these kinds of extreme weather events to continue. As a former Deputy Town Supervisor, I understand how critical these funds are for ensuring that local roads remain safe.”
Funding from this program, which began in 2014, can be used to maintain, repair, and protect local infrastructure and allocations are based on the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) formula.
“I would like to thank the New York State Legislature, especially Senator Jen Metzger and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther for their hard work and support in the restoration of Winter Recovery funds,” said Fallsburg Town Supervisor Steven Vegilante. “These funds are essential for the Town to continue to provide required services and without them, the costs would fall directly to the already stressed tax payers. Their recognition of the need and their commitment to correcting this decision, is to be commended.”
“The Winter Recovery funds are so important to ensure that we can maintain safe roads in Middletown without additional burdens on taxpayers,” said Middletown Mayor, Joe DeStefano. “I am grateful to Senator Metzger for her strong advocacy that resulted in the restoration of these important funds for municipalities like ours and appreciate her continuing support for local governments.”
“As a former Town Council member, Senator Metzger understands firsthand how critically we need this financial support for repairing the roads in Rosendale,” said Rosendale Highway Superintendent, Bob Gallagher. “The Rosendale Highway Department can now fix the areas of roads that have been impacted by the extreme icing, freezing and thawing while using our budgeted funds to continue to upgrade our road infrastructure. We very much appreciate her advocacy in helping to secure these funds.”
“Winters are tough in upstate NY. Restoration of the Winter Recovery funds supports our town to meet our goals for highway maintenance,” said Janet Tweed, Delhi Town Council Member. “Our highway department works hard every year to keep our citizens safe and happy. These funds let us support this department and make the necessary improvements to keep our town running.”
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.