About $131,000 from New York State’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) that helps local villages and towns to construct and repair roadways and bridges will be heading to Port Jefferson this year. The village of Belle Terre will also benefit from the program with around $47,000 in funds and Brookhaven Town received a little over $2.8 million this year.
According to a statement released by state sen. Kenneth P. LaValle R-Port Jefferson, the money from CHIPS was established by the state legislature in 1981 to assist localities in financing the construction and repair of local highways, bridges and other roadway related projects.
“I know this money will help many cash-strapped municipalities with repairs to the pock-marked and pot-holed roads that have erupted as a result of the harsh winter,” LaValle said.
While the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) website says that general maintenance activities such as pothole repair and crack sealing are not eligible to be done under CHIPS, there is still a way for Port Jefferson to use the money to repair roads damaged by the winter storms and snow removal.
“CHIPs funding provides an opportunity for local municipalities to resurface a roadway that has deteriorated due to combined effects such as pot holes, erosion, cracking, and other elements of wear and tear over the years,” said Eileen Peters, a NYSDOT spokesperson.
The actual calculation as to how a municipality gets its allotted funds is very complex.
“Its a complex formula utilized by the Department of Transportation,” said a representative from senator LaValle’s office. “It takes into account the number of vehicle registrations in a given area, the number of road miles on the area, among others.”
Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant said that the village receives the funds every year and that the village budgeted to receive $100,000 in CHIPS money this year.
“The additional funds are greatly appreciated,” Garant said. “They will all go to the major roadway projects coming soon.”