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January 21, 2015

RE:  Transportation Trust Fund (TTF)

Dear Mayor:

On Tuesday, Department of Transportation Commissioner (DOT) Jamie Fox suspended local transportation aid to municipalities, effective immediately. In addition to freezing these funds, the DOT will begin to inspect almost 300 of NJ’s structurally deficient bridges, with the implication being that any bridge deemed unsafe for public use will be closed to traffic immediately.  

As you may be aware, the DOT has already closed two bridges this year (see:http://nj1015.com/depleted-ttf-resulting-in-closed-bridges/).  The Commissioner has deemed this action necessary in light of the soon-to-be-depleted Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which will run out of money to fix and repair our roads in just 160 days - on June 30th of this year.

As a Mayor, you know better than anyone the importance of fully functioning, safe infrastructure.  The closure of unsafe bridges and roads can have a crippling impact on the communities which you serve.  Future closures will only be avoided if our leaders in Trenton take action now to fix the TTF.  Fixing the TTF will not only improve our infrastructure, but it will take the burden off local taxpayers – off your constituents – to fix problems that have gone unchecked for so long that your local budget couldn’t possibly afford to fix them.

The League is working closely with ForwardNJ and other important stakeholders to arrive at a solution for the State’s critical transportation needs.   

We urge you to reach out to your legislators today and call on them to act immediately to find a solution to the TTF.  We cannot allow the burden of inaction to fall on the backs of our local taxpayers.  Please tell your representatives you want direct, immediate action and now.

For more on Commissioner Fox’s announcement, please see the following press accounts:
http://politickernj.com/2015/01/fox-freezes-municipal-aid-tied-to-ttf-dollars-as-negotiations-intensify/
http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/2015/01/another_deteriorating_bridge_is_closed_is_closed_i.html
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/01/dot_orders_immediate_inspection_of_300_deficient_n.html
http://www.northjersey.com/news/n-j-transportation-chief-orders-immediate-review-of-state-s-bridges-1.1228720

If you have any question on this please contact William G. Dressel, Jr. at bdressel@njslom.com

Very truly yours,

Brian C. Wahler, President
NJLM, Mayor Piscataway

 

Timothy C. McDonough
Mayor, Hope Township
Chairman, NJLM Transportation
Trust Fund Task Force
Robert Jackson
Mayor, Montclair Township
Co-Chair, League TTF Committee

 

 

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