Saturday, January 10, 2015

Southbridge Infrastructure Funds Increased By $242.7 Thousand

Ken O’Brien

On Thursday Governor Charlie Baker, in one of his first actions in office, directed Acting Secretary of Transportation and Chief Executive Officer Frank DePaola and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to follow through on the Baker-Polito administration's commitment to release immediately $100 million in Chapter 90 transportation funds critical to job creation, public safety and economic growth.

"I am pleased that one of the first acts of this administration is to fulfill our commitment to ensure local governments have access to the infrastructure funds they have been promised for transportation upgrades," said Governor Baker. "The release of these funds represents a step towards creating better jobs and building stronger communities in Massachusetts."

A letter from Governor Baker was issued today informing local officials of his decision to release the funds. Each community’s share of funding is predetermined by a formula that includes factors such as population, road miles and employment. The release of this $100 million constitutes the remaining one-third of additional Chapter 90 funding authorized in 2014.

The letter to Southbridge officials read as follows:

"After serving as local elected officials, Governor Baker and I understand the need for a strong partnership between our communities and state government," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Today's announcement sends a clear message that our administration will be responsive to the needs of local governments across the commonwealth."

Chapter 90 reimburses cities and towns for costs incurred for eligible transportation projects. Cities and towns must submit receipts to the Highway Department district in which they are located which verifies that the expenditures qualify for reimbursement under Chapter 90. The Highway Department districts in turn submit these receipts to the Department of Transportation’s Fiscal Department which facilitates the reimbursements to cities and towns. Funding for Chapter 90 is accomplished through the issuance of bonds.


  1. Can we buy a scale and put it at the bottom of Commercial Drive? The landfill filled up almost twice as fast as promised, and with less than half the weight the expert engineers certified it would take.

    Maybe a second scale would pay for itself in a year or or less, so that wouldn't need state funding. That's what the Landfill Enterprise Fund is for, right?

    The Stone Bridge on Central Street should be repaired and its features highlighted, or perhaps the money can be used to replace the dozens of beautiful trees that were destroyed to widen Woodstock Road a few feet.

    Why did they widen Woodstock Road? Is it true that it was for commercial trucking?

    Let's hope they spend it well. We better watch it close before they figure out how to use it to resurface a pension fund.

  2. They will likely waste that money finishing the sidewalk to the Community Center that is seldom used by the pedestrians. I am not saying pedestrians don't use the sidewalk, I am saying that they don't bother walking the distance to the Community Center.


All comments subject to moderation. All commenters must use their own name or a screen name. No comments labelled as "Anonymous" will be published. To use your name or a screen name select "Name/URL" from the drop down menu. Insert you name in the "Name" space and leave the "URL" space blank.