December 11, 2014
RE: Municipal Leaders Thank Senate President Sweeney for Leadership on Local
Today in Trenton, your New Jersey League of Municipalities joined the New Jersey Association of Counties and the American Automobile Association of New Jersey to support Senate President Steve Sweeney’s effort to replenish the State’s vital Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) and to increase funding for local roads and bridges. The Senate President has proposed a significant increase in TTF Local Aid funding - from the current level of about $190 million, per year, up to $400,000.
Hope Township Mayor Tim McDonough, who Chairs the League’s TTF Review Committee, and Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson thanked Senate President Sweeney, on behalf of all New Jersey Mayors.
Mayor McDonough noted, “…we need to fund our transportation infrastructure and we need to do it quickly. Our focus is on the local level and we truly appreciate the Senate President’s plan to double the Local Aid TTF funding. … Local officials know that investments in these assets (local roads and bridges) must be made. Failure to do so can compromise the safety of the public, the economic vitality of our communities and the security of our neighborhoods. … The Senate President has been a tremendous advocate for local officials and his commitment to doubling the Local Aid in TTF funding will mean better roads, bridges and infrastructure for municipalities and for middle class taxpayers.”
Citing statistics showing that New Jersey's municipalities are responsible for 64 percent (28,539 center line road miles) of our roads, that County governments are responsible for another 22 percent (6,649 center line road miles), and that, together, local governments are responsible for 39 percent of our bridges. Mayor Jackson said, “… it’s clear that we at the local level bear the brunt of dealing with our state’s crumbling infrastructure. We have not, however, received the funding we need to make the necessary improvements without impacting property taxpayers. That is why Senate President Sweeney’s plan meets our real needs. And that is why his leadership is so appreciated.”
Senator Sweeney indicated that he is engaged in discussions with Speaker Vince Prieto, who has also called for increased Local Aid funding, and the Governor, in efforts to address New Jersey’s transportation project funding crisis. We will keep you posted.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.