Mayors Concerned About Transportation Project Funding

Feb 8, 2017

Mayors attend annual conference with legislative leaders at NJ Statehouse
Credit Phil Gregory

Mayors who held their annual meeting with legislative leaders at the New Jersey Statehouse want to know how funding for transportation projects will be distributed.

Fanwood Mayor Coleen Mahr says a case-by-case process is not the way to determine if the state will reimburse a municipality for costs resulting from Governor Christie's shutdown of road projects during last year's impasse on replenishing the Transportation Trust Fund.

"There should be some sort of very clear message, path, process that's put in place because it affected so many local communities and counties as well. You know the counties and the towns really make up a majority of taking care of the roads in the state of New Jersey." 

Hardwick Mayor James Perry says local officials are also wondering how the state will decide which projects to approve in future years.

“I understand there’s going to be a panel of four people that decide billions of dollars and where it’s going. It’s going to be the head of the DOT plus other people. How do those three people get picked? That’s a lot of power for three people to have. I think there should be a better process.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney says the Trust Fund provides $16 billion over eight years, but the state Department of Transportation can only put out $600 million annually in work. He's working on legislation allowing public-private partnerships, and letting towns and counties take the lead so more projects get underway.