North Country Assemblyman Butler urges governor to increase street and highway improvement funding by $150 million
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 9:16 am

Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R-Newport) is urging the governor and legislative leaders to increase funding to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) by $150 million for a total of $588 million.

The program funds are allocated to local governments to build and maintain county and town roadways.

Local government is responsible for the maintenance of nearly 87 percent of all roads in the state, in addition to half of the 18,000 bridges in New York. Nearly half of vehicle travel occurs on local roads, but only 12 percent of taxes and fees paid by these motorists to the state are allocated to maintain local roads. According to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, there will be an $89 billion shortfall in infrastructure funding over the next 20 years. Additionally, according to the NYS Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, there is a $1.3 billion funding gap to support local roads.

The assemblyman says he and his colleagues wish to increase CHIPS by $150 million and increase the local portion of BRIDGE-NY to $50 million to help maintain culverts as well.

Butler represents the 118th Assembly District. Its northernmost reaches cover parts of southern and central St. Lawrence County, from Fine to Norfolk.

“Local roads matter, and New York State must increase funding to help maintain these important roadways,” Butler said in a prepared statement. “The health of our local infrastructure impacts the health of a community, especially in the areas of economic development and safety for residents. I am proud to say that over the years we’ve successfully helped to negotiate more funding for CHIPS and other local infrastructure. However, we must further secure funds for local governments to ensure that we have the modern infrastructure our state residents need and deserve.”