Walczyk: North Country Deserves Our Fair Share of Infrastructure Funding

Joined by his colleagues in the Assembly minority earlier this week, Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R,C,I,Ref-Watertown) announced the findings of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Critical Infrastructure and Transportation. This task force spent the past year consulting local transportation officials and industry experts on what issues their municipalities are struggling with, and created effective solutions based on their findings.

“One of the biggest issues we can all agree on is that upstate New York needs proper infrastructure investment,” said Walczyk.  “The plan my colleagues and I created will ensure local municipalities receive the funding they need to improve and maintain the roads and bridges in our communities. In order to ensure that the North Country remains a great place to raise a family and start a business, there’s no question that starts and ends with safe and efficient roads and bridges.”

The task force’s proposals included solutions such as an increase of $100 million in CHIPS funding over a 5-year period, which would allow local municipalities to upgrade and maintain their infrastructure. To further relieve towns and villages of the burden, the plan would establish a companion program resembling CHIPS dedicated to water infrastructure such as drainage and culverts. Overall, the focus of the plan is to provide funding parity for upstate municipalities, which have been neglected by the interests of a New York City governor and his downstate constituency.

Other highlights of the plan include:

  • Ensure funding parity between the upcoming NYSDOT and MTA Five-Year Capital Programs;
  • Expand support for the Clean Water Investment Act (CWIA) to ensure long-term commitment to water and sewer infrastructure;
  • Continue, strengthen and improve PAVE-NY, EWR and BRIDGE NY in the NYSDOT 2020-2024 Capital Program to help municipalities plan for improvements;
  • Establish a CHIPS-like formula for culverts based on the length of culverts within the municipality;
  • Require NYSDOT release a report each year detailing the condition of state-owned roads and bridges.