SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Municipal Governments are reacting to Governor Healey’s state budget proposal, particularly funding levels for local road projects.
The proposal approves bonds for Chapter 90 funding for the next two years, giving cities and towns a better idea of they money they have to spend. However, local leaders say transparency was only one issue. Now, they just need more money.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno among them, penning written testimony for the Joint Committee on Transportation, asking for a long-awaited increase.
According to the Massachusetts Municipal Association, cities and towns have received $200 million a year as a base rate for Chapter 90 funding since 2012 but those dollars don’t carry the same weight as they did 11 years ago. That $200 million with 2023 inflation equivalent to just $68 million.
Mayor Sarno and others asking for that base rate to increase by at least 65%.
“This is New England. Roadway preventative care is very important. The budget that I have is around three quarters of a billion dollars. Two thirds of that goes to schools. So, the more Chapter 90 funding I have the more infrastructure investments we can do,” said Sarno.
The latest survey of need across the state, indicated that cities and towns need $715 million total to bring all local roads in the state up to good repair.