Upstate Infrastructure and Transportation an Ignored Priority

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) is pleased to report on the findings of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Critical Infrastructure and Transportation. The task force’s goal was to provide a forum for varied infrastructure and transportation professionals to discuss their local needs. The findings relayed a critical lack of CHIPS funding and the task force calls for an increase of one hundred million dollars over 5 years, it also recommends a fix in the disparity of funding for downstate needs to upstate’s.

“I was proud to host one of the task force’s forums and I’ve long said that we need to re-affirm our attention to upstate’s roads and bridges, and I commend the task force’s resolve and hard work,” Tague said. “Bringing highway superintendents, town officials, and concerned locals together from around the state to discuss these vital improvements was a great first step. I agree with the task force’s recommendations, and I personally call on the governor to restore the cut to local infrastructure funding in his budget. Upstate deserves better as our taxes flow down to the city and we’re left with rotting bridges and destroyed roads.”

The plan’s further proposals are:

  • Ensure funding parity between the upcoming NYSDOT and MTA Five-Year Capital Programs;
  • Increase CHIPS base aid by $100 million/year for five years and tie to CPI to account for inflation and increasing material costs;
  • Enact legislation mandating that all funding for the DHBTF is to be used only for capital infrastructure, not for state operations or debt service payments;
  • Expand support for the Clean Water Investment Act (CWIA) to ensure long-term commitment to water, sewer infrastructure;
  • Establish a companion for the existing CHIPS program, offering financial assistance to local governments for drinking, storm and sewer water infrastructure, called the Water Infrastructure Investment Program (WIIPS);
  • Continue, strengthen and improve PAVE-NY, EWR and BRIDGE NY in 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;
  • Direct NYSDOT to develop a 20-30-year long-term transportation plan; and
  • Require NYSDOT to submit its capital plan for approval.