MMA statement calls for governor to release full $300 million for Ch. 90

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact MMA Executive Director Geoff Beckwith at (617) 426-7272


“The Massachusetts Municipal Association urgently calls on the Governor to release the full $300 million in Chapter 90 funding that is due to cities and towns to maintain and repair local roads this year. The Legislature voted unanimously to fund the Chapter 90 local roads program at $300 million, reflecting the great importance that Chapter 90 commands in maintaining and rebuilding our vital transportation infrastructure, and the recently enacted tax package fully funds this commitment.  Communities should receive all of their $300 million, so that the work of rebuilding and restoring our local roads, bridges and infrastructure can begin now, and make full use of the remainder of the 2013 construction season.

“We are grateful to the members of the House and Senate for voting to bring the Chapter 90 program up to $300 million a year, a much-needed 50 percent increase, and we are very disappointed with the Governor’s decision to withhold $100 million from cities and towns. This will delay important projects and road repairs in every community, and drive up costs in the long run.

“Cities and towns are responsible for maintaining, repairing and rebuilding nearly 90 percent of the roadways in Massachusetts, and adequate funding for Chapter 90 is necessary to ensure that these local transportation needs are met. Cities and towns use their Chapter 90 funds to provide safe roads that are essential for economic growth, commerce and everyday living.

“To put it plainly, we strongly disagree with the decision to level-fund Chapter 90 distributions at $200 million, as this would unfairly deny cities and towns access to any of the new tax revenues that will be available for transportation maintenance and improvements. Communities need a true partnership with the state that shares tax dollars with local residents to support local road and infrastructure projects. Simply put, withholding Chapter 90 funds from municipalities will shortchange local taxpayers, stall important local road maintenance and repair initiatives, and undermine the local-state partnership that is necessary to move the Commonwealth forward.”