WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – With the official announcement of how much chapter 90 funding will be available for Westfield this upcoming fiscal year, city officials can now begin the process of utilizing the funds, which means more infrastructure work in Westfield.
Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan confirmed the $1.224 million total that was granted through chapter 90 funding, a reimbursement program that gives money back to municipalities for certain approved transportation projects through the state’s Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The money, according to Sullivan, will focus on his previous campaign promise to improve infrastructure and roads.
“The funds are committed to roads and infrastructure projects solely, 100 percent,” Sullivan said. “But we’re not just filling potholes–we are updating streets, repaving.”
According to Mark Cressotti, city engineer for Westfield, the city already has a list of streets ready for implementation of the funds. He said that the list is almost complete, with most of the money being set aside for each project. However, the city may add projects to the list.
“We are close to the full amount, just under the total,” Cressotti said.
Cressotti added that the list may be changed, with exigent circumstances being a reason, but if a change occurs the entire list may be modified. This could apply later to streets like St. Dennis and Avery, Cressotti said.
The city currently has projects listed in order of priority.
Among the roads slated for projects, Cressotti said that Montgomery Road, North Road, Granville Road and Dry Bridge Road are all expected to get paving work done on them, as well as “mill overlay.”
According to Sullivan, the chapter 90 funds can only be used on city-approved public streets, which is why he believes the city should move forward with legislation currently in city council regarding making private ways public.
“It technically could cost the city but it should be happening,” Sullivan said about the measure.
The chapter 90 funding program began in 1973, and according to the state’s website, it is used “to entitle [m]unicipalities to reimbursement of documented expenditures under the provisions of General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 34, Clause 2(a) on approved [p]rojects.”
These projects may include highway repair and construction, bikeway and some mass transportation-related buildings and facilities and repair equipment, among others. Projects are submitted to MassDOT for approval.