July 9, 2020 2:45 PM, EDT

Wisconsin Officials Announce $160M in Aid for Local Governments

Milwaukee overhead highways Highway interchange in Milwaukee. (BanksPhotos/Getty Images)

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More than $160 million in transportation aid will be directed to local government agencies in Wisconsin, state officials recently announced.

Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Transportation secretary-designee Craig Thompson announced the funding July 7. It is included as part of the governor’s 2019-21 biennial budget, and local governments — including Wisconsin’s 1,850 villages, towns and cities — were to receive quarterly payments the week of July 6.

Payments include General Transportation Aids, Connecting Highway Aids and Milwaukee County for Expressway Policing Aids. The General Transportation Aids program helps local governments receive state aid payments to offset the cost of county and municipal road construction, maintenance and traffic operations.

The Connecting Highway Aids program assists municipalities with costs related to increased traffic and maintenance on roads that connect segments of the state highway system. Expressway Policing Aids help the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department with costs associated with patrolling expressways in the county.

“As our economy continues to recover from the effects of this pandemic, it is critically important for us to invest in our state’s infrastructure,” Evers said in a press release. “Funding for local roads is an important part of economic development in our state, whether it’s getting to work or school or transporting goods to market. An investment in infrastructure is an investment in our state’s economy for years to come.”

Specifically, the funds will be distributed as $156.9 million in General Transportation Aids, $3 million to municipalities eligible to receive Connecting Highway Aids and $255,975 to Milwaukee County for Expressway Policing Aids.

According to the notice from Evers’ office, quarterly payments for cities, towns and villages are sent the first Monday in January, April, July and October. Payments for counties are made in three installments, with 25% of the total annual payment on the first Monday in January, 50% on the first Monday in July and 25% on the first Monday in October.

“General transportation aids are a significant portion of the money local communities need to maintain their roads,” Thompson said. “Maintaining our local roads is a vital part of WisDOT’s mission.”

This local assistance is part of $465 million in new funding for transportation projects that was included in the governor’s 2019-20 state budget. According to the governor’s office, this assistance marks the largest dedication of new, ongoing revenue to the transportation fund in a generation.

0720-GTAList by Transport Topics on Scribd

The budget also included $320 million in new funding for the State Highway Rehabilitation program, $1.9 million in additional funding for local roads and $75 million in one-time funding for the Multimodal Local Supplement grant program, which is designed to address critical transportation needs.

The Multimodal Local Supplement grant program, available to local and tribal government agencies, is meant to support multimodal projects, including roads, bridges, harbors, transit, bicycle accommodations and railroads.

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