NYLON – New York State elected officials are rallying for a $160 million increase to the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and the restoration of $40 million for the Winter Recovery funds this year.
According to a press release from Senator Catherine Young’s Office, “Local Roads Matter” was the call to action by Senator Young and local Highway Superintendents during a rally in Albany on Wednesday, March 4.
“Today, 32 percent of bridges are deficient and 40 percent of roads have pavement rated as fair, poor or getting worse. If we do not make a conscious effort to provide the funding towns need, the cost is going to be insurmountable for the local taxpayers,” said Senator Young in a press release. “New York’s tax burden is already tremendous and dedicating $500 million from the bank settlement funds to local roads and bridges would provide the funding needed without raising state spending.”
Local highway departments are responsible for 87 percent of the state’s roadways and they continue to struggle after changes to the federal transportation program and the loss of federal highway aid.
In a letter to Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders, legislators urged a stronger commitment to locally maintained transportation infrastructure, noting cators such as a 25 percent increase in statewide salt contract prices and the recent loss of approximately 40 percent of federal highway aid. The letter noted that state funding for local roads would be a way to spur economic development and reduce property taxes.
PHOTO CAPTION: (Photo/Flickr.com)
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