Representative Steven Howitt announces $100 million in winter recovery assistance funding for municipalities
Boston – State Representative Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk) is pleased to announce that the House and Senate have agreed to a supplemental spending bill that will provide $100 million in road funding for cities and towns as part of a Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP), including $312,529 for Norton, $440,437 for Rehoboth, $339,036 for Seekonk, and $344,628 for Swansea.
Representative Howitt voted to support the additional funding for municipalities when the FY22 supplemental budget first came before the House on March 9. The Senate approved its own version of the spending plan on March 24, and both branches were able to reconcile the differences between the two bills on March 31. The final compromise bill is now on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk for his review and signature.
The passage of the supplemental budget comes just one day after the House approved a $350 million bond bill to help maintain municipal roads and bridges under the state’s Chapter 90 program and to provide additional funding for several transportation-related municipal grant programs, including the Municipal Small Bridge Program and the Complete Streets Program. That bill, House Bill 4638, is now before the Senate awaiting further action.
Although Chapter 90 funding is allocated using a formula that takes into account the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage, population and employment, the WRAP funding will be distributed to communities using a formula based strictly on local road miles. According to Representative Howitt, the WRAP funding can be used for reconstructing, resurfacing, and striping roads, as well as for repairing or replacing traffic lights, signage, guardrails and storm grates.
Under the Chapter 90 program, cities and towns pay for eligible expenses and then receive reimbursement from the state. Representative Howitt said the WRAP funding is structured so that the money is provided up-front to cities and towns to spend on local roadway priorities.
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