The Town of Winthrop like all the cities and towns in Massachusetts are caught in the financial tug of war between Governor Deval Patrick and the legislators at the State House. The most recent example is the Chapter 90 funds, which provides funding to municipalities for maintaining, repairing, improving and constructing town and county ways and bridges.
The Patrick Administration on Tuesday authorized the release of an additional $50 million for the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Chapter 90 programs, increasing the state’s investment in local road and bridges projects across the Commonwealth to $200M for the second year in a row. However the legislature had approved a $300M apportionment. The differnce between what Patrick has approved and the legislature appropiated means that Winthrop officials have about $140,000 less to spend on these repairs. At the $200M appropriation, Winthrop will receive $279,808 and under the $300M appropriation Winthrop would have received $419,713.
Rep. Robert DeLeo, Speaker of the House said, “Chapter 90 funds are essential to providing stability and promoting economic growth in Winthrop. The Legislature reaffirmed its committment to muncipalities across the Commonwealth by passing a transportation finance bill that supports the $300M in revenue for Chapter 90 funding. At this time, the Administration has only released a portion of this money. I call on the Governor to release the remaining $100M so that Winthrop along with all cities and towns in Massachusetts, has access to these crucial resources they so rightly deserve.”
In letters this week to all 351 cities and towns, MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey details the additional allotments for each community. MassDOT’s May correspondence to cities and towns noted that additional funds may be possible following the final disposition of the Transportation Finance Act.
Chapter 90 is a 100 percent reimbursable program, instituted in the early 1970’s, that The Chapter 90 funding builds on the Patrick Administration’s legacy of record investments in transportation infrastructure through the Statewide Road and Bridge Program and the $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program, the largest statewide infrastructure investment program in state history that has already reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges by almost 20% since the program began in 2008.