ALBANY, NY – The New York State County Highway Superintendents Association (NYSCHSA) and the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways (NYSAOTSOH) are urging lawmakers to revise the state budget appropriations for transportation capital so that local highway departments have the funding they need to repair the roads and bridges.
In a letter to state lawmakers and the Governor, the two association presidents expressed their memberships’ “deep concern with the decision to not restore $65 million in Emergency Winter Recovery funds (EWR) and the rejection of a proposed $150 million Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) increase.” NYSCHSA’s Dennis Davis and NYSAOTSOH’s Patrick Mahar wrote that “the men and women of our local departments maintain eighty-seven percent of New York State’s roads and more than half of all its bridges.”
Although both the Senate and Assembly had taken positions during budget negotiations that the levels of funding for local roads and bridges are inadequate and proposed higher funding, the final Capital Projects bill did not include the increases. However, the highway superintendents are encouraged by the Legislature’s intention to revisit the transportation capital plan to correct funding deficiencies. “It is our understanding that a ‘supplemental capital budget’ may be considered before the Legislature adjourns in June,” they said, and urged support for “our mutual constituents by restoring the $65 million in EWR and adding $150 million in CHIPS funding.”
To bolster the case for additional funding, the letter cites findings of the New York State Comptroller and other data that exposes a statewide aging an ailing transportation system in need of new and significant public investment. The superintendents also find that a disproportionate share of taxes and fees paid by motorist are diverted from maintaining roads and bridges and instead redirected to the trains and subways of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The two associations are calling on the Legislature to meet its expressed commitment to the local transportation systems by restoring EWR and increasing CHIPS funding “to help all municipalities improve the conditions of our statewide system of roads, bridges and culverts, promote job creation and economic growth and competitiveness in our communities, and improve highway safety and functionality on behalf of the motoring public,” the letter concludes. To read a copy of the letter, click here.
For More Information Contact:
Dennis Davis, President NYSCHSA (518) 465-1694
Patrick Mahar, President NYSAOTSOH (518) 426-3800