Albany, N.Y., March 25—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) said today that area counties will see significant increases in state support for local roads and bridges under the 2013-14 New York State budget being enacted this week.
A breakdown of county figures as a result of this year’s state-level increase of $75 million for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) was released by Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders earlier today at the Capitol [to see the full breakdown for counties, towns and villages, go to http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/CHIPS-Funding-Breakdown.pdf.]
“After five years when state support for local roads and bridges remained stagnant, this year’s recognition of the importance of CHIPS funding will make a significant difference for localities, local economies and motorist safety statewide,” 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. It’s an investment in economic growth and job creation throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and all across New York.”
O’Mara and Palmesano said that area counties will receive the following increases in CHIPS funding under this year’s transportation budget, which was approved by the Senate last night and is scheduled to receive final Assembly approval on Thursday:
-- Chemung County: CHIPS funding will increase from $3,327,649 last year to $4,087,491 in 2013-14, an increase of 22.83% or $759,841;
-- Schuyler County: funding will increase from $1,728,590 to $2,139,391, an increase of 23.77% or $410,800;
-- Steuben County: funding will increase from $8,193,287 to $10,151,319, an increase of 23.90% or $1,958,032;
-- Tompkins County: funding will increase from $3,460,858 to $4,271,054, an increase of 23.41% or $810,196; and
-- Yates County: funding will increase from $1,994,253 to $2,477,899, an increase of 24.25% or $483,646.
Palmesano, who also represents part of Seneca County, said that Seneca County’s funding will increase from $1,780,302 to $2,205,941, an increase of 23.91% or $425,639.
In early March, O’Mara, Palmesano and a bipartisan group of legislative colleagues 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. A recent report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, “Cracks in the Foundation,” called 32% of New York’s local bridges deficient and 40% of local roads fair or poor, and getting worse.
CHIPS provides the bulk of state aid to counties and towns for the maintenance and improvement of local roads and bridges.