March 19, 2015
Municipal Leader Calls for Action on Transportation Funding
Today in Trenton, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, a Member of the New Jersey League of Municipalities’ Executive Board, told the Assembly Transportation Committee that local leaders continue to call for action to replenish the State’s vital Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) and to increase funding for local roads and bridges. Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Prieto have proposed a significant increase in TTF Local Aid funding - from the current level of about $190 million, per year, up to $400,000.
Mayor Lempert, speaking on behalf of all New Jersey Mayors, noted, “On June 30, it isn’t a pot hole that awaits the New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund. It is the end of the road. We have known this day was coming for well over a year. There have been public hearings. There have been press conferences. There have been editorials in the newspapers and interviews on radio and TV. It is frustrating to local officials to know that there has been no agreement on a sustainable solution to the problem.
“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.
“Let me put this in more pragmatic terms. Over 550 municipalities operate on a calendar year budget. Last Friday, March 13, was the deadline for these municipalities to introduce their budgets. Final budgets are to be adopted by April 24. Without clear guidance from the State, those budgets might not include funding for vital infrastructure projects.
“We have called on State policy makers to take decisive action now on this crucial State priority. We repeat that call today. We cannot continue kicking the can ever further down the road. Given the urgent need for road repairs, the can can’t last much longer.”
* * * *
For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122.