Southern Tier lawmakers encouraged by CHIPS funding for local infrastructure

Local News

ALBANY, NY – MARCH 16: The New York State Capitol building is seen March 16, 2008 in Albany, New York. New York State Lt. Gov. David Paterson will be sworn in here on March 17, replacing Gov. Eliot Spitzer who resigned last week in a prostitution scandal.(Photo by Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

(WETM) – The New York State budget may be a success for state democrats, but Sen. O’Mara and Assemblymember Palmesano are encouraged by the funding allocated for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). They have been strong advocates for this program for many years.

The CHIPS funding is calculated based on a formula. It is then distributed to the local municipalities and counties to better roads, bridges, culverts, etc.

“It goes right to these local communities. With the tax cap, it’s kind of hard to raise additional revenue to provide that infrastructure fix,” Assemblymember Palmesano said. “With the loss of revenue due to the pandemic and the damage to our economy, these funds are even more critical now.”

Local leaders believe transportation and infrastructure should be a priority, even amid the pandemic. Several roadwork projects in Chemung County were postponed due to COVID-19 and were rescheduled for this year.

“The increased funding obviously will help. They restored the 20 percent that we had lost last year so that’d be an additional $300,000,” Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss added. “Plus we saw an additional $300,000 on top of what we received last year. Altogether, we’re looking at approximately $3.2 million.”

In a joint statement, Sen. O’Mara and Assemblymember Palmesano said, “We have always stood together with New York’s county and town highway superintendents, and local leaders, and we will continue to do everything we can to raise awareness and call for legislative support. Local roads are essential. State investment in our local transportation infrastructure is critical to the future of local communities, economies, environments, governments, and taxpayers.”

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