TOWNSEND -- Selectmen are planning to send a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick urging him to release the full amount of Chapter 90 funding approved by the state Legislature for road repairs in town.
The selectmen and Town Administrator Andrew Sheehan discussed at their recent meeting the possibility of supplementing state funding with town money in the future.
This year, Townsend's Chapter 90 funding will decrease by more than $100,000 from last year due to a decision by Patrick to release only half of the $300 million for road repair approved by the Legislature.
Townsend is set to receive $321,555, a decrease of $107,184 from last year.
Selectmen suggested two approaches to the lack of funding -- discussing a plan for supplementing state funding in the future and submitting a letter to Patrick.
"In my four years I've seen us spend only what the state gives us. You've got to invest yourself in something like this," said selectmen Chairman Sue Lisio.
Selectman Robert Plamondon suggested drafting the letter to Patrick in hopes of having the full amount of funding released.
"I would be in favor of sending a letter to the governor's office extending our displeasure at the parsing out of Chapter 90 funds piecemeal," said Plamondon. "We should get what we deserve."
Lisio said that withholding funding hurts the town as well as the state.
"To hold back on money holds back on the infrastructure of the state and holds back on stimulating the economy a little bit, too," Lisio said.
Plamondon called the release of the full amount of funding "a win-win."
"You stimulate the economy and improve the local condition of roads," he said.
Sheehan will write a draft of the letter for review at the next selectmen's meeting on July 30, when Highway Superintendent Ed Kukkula will be in attendance.
Sheehan also discussed an ongoing road-repair project on Wallace Hill Road that has taken three years to complete due to inadequate funding, leading to complaints from residents.
"When Chapter 90 is your only source of funding, you won't get very far," he said.
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