PRESS RELEASE: Rep. Hill Supports Proposal to Study Chapter 90 Formula to Address Funding Discrepancies for Seaside Communities

The Office of State Representative Brad Hill announces his recent support of a Chapter 90 funding study. 

Assistant House Minority Leader Brad Hill (R-Ipswich) is supporting a review of the state’s Chapter 90 distribution formula to ensure that seaside communities receive a more equitable share of the program’s funding.

On April 5, the House unanimously approved a $200 million bond bill authorization that will provide our communities with funding assistance for local road and bridge repairs.  Included in the bond authorization is language requiring the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to provide the Legislature with a report on the impact of traffic volume on the disbursement of Chapter 90 funding by December 31.

Representative Hill said he is concerned that the current funding formula does not adequately take into account the seasonal traffic increases that occur in seaside communities during tourism season.

“Every year, many communities see a huge influx of tourists, and the added traffic that comes with it creates significant strains on our local roadways,” said Representative Hill.  “We need to be sure the Chapter 90 formula reflects this so the funding can be distributed in a way that truly meets the transportation infrastructure needs of our local communities.”

Established in 1973, the state’s Chapter 90 program allocates funding on an annual basis to cities and towns using a formula based on the weighted average of a municipality’s population, employment, and total road miles.  The funds are paid out as reimbursements to communities for qualifying infrastructure work.

Chapter 90 funds can be spent on a variety of municipal roadway projects, including resurfacing, drainage, sidewalks, guardrails, traffic control, right-of-way acquisition and street lighting. The funding can also be used for bikeways, landscaping and tree planting associated with certain projects, and for purchasing and maintaining certain road building machinery, equipment and tools.

The bond bill now heads to the Senate for its consideration.