Gov. Baker Floods Valley with Road Money

Increased state transportation aid is destined for road improvements in the city of Haverhill as a result of action taken Thursday by new Governor Charles D. Baker.

In a letter to Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Baker announced the city’s Chapter 90 local transportation aid funding for fiscal year 2015 has increased from more than $1.5 million to more than $2.2 million, as part of an existing 10-year Chapter 90 contract. Baker also announced statewide, Chapter 90 funding has increased from $200 million to $300 million. In an online post, Fiorentini called the move a “great start for Gov. Baker: money to fix roads.”

Among the first actions in office by Baker, following Thursday’s inauguration ceremonies, was to direct Acting Secretary of Transportation and Chief Executive Officer Frank DePaola and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to “follow through on the Baker-Polito administration’s commitment to release immediately $100 million in Chapter 90 transportation funds critical to job creation, public safety and economic growth,” according to a news release.

“I am pleased that one of the first acts of this administration is to fulfill our commitment to ensure local governments have access to the infrastructure funds they have been promised for transportation upgrades,” said Governor Baker. “The release of these funds represents a step towards creating better jobs and building stronger communities in Massachusetts.”

A letter from Governor Baker was issued to individual communities, informing local officials of his decision to release the funds. Each community’s share of funding is predetermined by a formula that includes factors such as population, road miles and employment. The release of this $100 million constitutes the remaining one-third of additional Chapter 90 funding authorized in 2014.

Among other Merrimack Valley communities:

  • The Town of Groveland’s Chapter 90 apportionment for Fiscal Year 2015 has been increased from $213,576 to $320,364.
  • The City of Methuen’s Chapter 90 apportionment for Fiscal Year 2015 has been increased from $1,190,886 to $1,786,329.
  • The Town of Andover’s Chapter 90 apportionment for Fiscal Year 2015 has been increased from $1,390,887 to $2,086,331.

“After serving as local elected officials, Governor Baker and I understand the need for a strong partnership between our communities and state government,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s announcement sends a clear message that our administration will be responsive to the needs of local governments across the commonwealth.”

Chapter 90 reimburses cities and towns for costs incurred for eligible transportation projects. Cities and towns must submit receipts to the Highway Department district in which they are located which verifies that the expenditures qualify for reimbursement under Chapter 90. The Highway Department districts in turn submit these receipts to the Department of Transportation’s Fiscal Department which facilitates the reimbursements to cities and towns. Funding for Chapter 90 is accomplished through the issuance of bonds.

2 thoughts on “Gov. Baker Floods Valley with Road Money

  1. Well, it’s nice to know that even though the ballot question for an automatic gas tax increase was voted down, somehow the roads will still get repaired. On his FB page he made it sound like if that ballot question was defeated we’d be living with potholes and crumbling bridges for the rest of our lives. Far from the truth as I expected.