Indiana County’s 38 municipalities are projected to receive a collective increase of nearly $2.5 million in state funding over the next five years for local road construction and maintenance programs, according to state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana, and state Reps. Dave Reed, Jeff Pyle and Sam Smith.
The recently enacted transportation funding bill, House Bill 1060, is expected to provide an additional $220 million a year in Municipal Liquid Fuels Program allocations statewide for locally owned roads and bridges by the fifth year — a more than 60 percent increase over current allocations to local governments.
According to Department of Transportation projections, funding to Indiana County municipalities is projected to increase by $2.48 million from the fiscal year 2013 allocation of $3.6 million to more than $6.1 million by fiscal year 2017-18.
“The local component of the transportation funding plan is one of the most important parts of the recently enacted package,” White said. “This money goes directly to the municipalities and the projected increases in funding will give local officials more resources to make needed repairs or upgrades to roads across Indiana County. … This new funding package will allow our most rural roads to be improved to a much higher standard than they are today.”
The MLFP funds a range of projects to support municipalities’ construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of public roads or streets.
The amount of a municipality’s allocation is based on its population and miles of local roads on its approved Liquid Fuels Inventory.
The increases in liquid fuels funding in Indiana County over the five years are projected to range from a low of $1,530 more yearly for Smicksburg to a high of $262,425 more yearly for White Township.
Other liquid fuels funding increases over the five years include $114,263 for Center Township, $133,171 for Green Township, $135,101 for Rayne Township, $172,300 for Indiana, $51,808 for Blairsville and $27,114 for Homer City.
In other transportation-related news for area motorists and municipal officials, Jim Resh, manager of the Indiana County Conservation District, said the recent transportation bill also increased funding for the conservation districts’ Dirt and Gravel Roads Program from $4 million to $28 million. That increase, Resh said, could mean an additional $500,000 may be coming to Indiana County to help townships with maintenance projects for dirt, gravel and certain low traffic volume roads.
Resh anticipates those dollars will be available to help townships direct sediments away from streams.