The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 19: Highways

Chapter 3: TOWN HIGHWAYS

19 V.S.A. § 306. Appropriation; State aid for town highways



§ 306. Appropriation; State aid for town highways

(a) General State Aid to Town Highways. An annual appropriation to class 1, 2 and 3 town highways shall be made. This appropriation shall increase or decrease over the previous year's appropriation by the same percentage as any increase or decrease in the Transportation Agency's total appropriations funded by Transportation Fund revenues, excluding the town highway appropriations for that year. The funds appropriated shall be distributed to towns as follows:

(1) six percent of the State's annual town highway appropriation shall be apportioned to class 1 town highways. The apportionment for each town shall be that town's percentage of class 1 town highways of the total class 1 town highway mileage in the State;

(2) forty-four percent of the State's annual town highway appropriation shall be apportioned to class 2 town highways. The apportionment for each town shall be that town's percentage of class 2 town highways of the total class 2 town highway mileage in the State;

(3) fifty percent of the State's annual town highway appropriation shall be apportioned to class 3 town highways. The apportionment for each town shall be that town's percentage of class 3 town highways of the total class 3 town highway mileage in the State;

(4) moneys apportioned under subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) shall be distributed to each town in quarterly payments beginning July 15 in each year;

(5) each town shall use the monies apportioned to it solely for town highway construction, improvement, and maintenance purposes or as the nonfederal share for public transit assistance. These funds may also be used for the establishment and maintenance of bicycle routes. The members of the selectboard shall be personally liable to the State, in a civil action brought by the Attorney General, for making any unauthorized expenditures from money apportioned to the town under this section.

(b) Supplemental State aid for Multilane Class 1 Town Highways. There shall be an annual appropriation for supplemental aid to municipalities having class 1 town highways with more than two lanes. The Agency shall distribute this aid on the basis of its measurement of the additional class 1 town highway lanes. The Secretary may adopt rules to govern apportionment of supplemental aid.

(c) State Aid for Town Highway Bridges. There shall be an annual appropriation for town bridge engineering services and for aid in maintaining or constructing bridges having a span of six feet or more on class 1, 2, and 3 town highways. Annually the agency shall distribute these funds according to a Program plan based upon applications submitted by the towns. With the approval of the Agency, funds may be used for alternatives which eliminate the need for a bridge or bridges, including construction or reconstruction of highways, purchase of parcels of land that would be landlocked by closure of a bridge or bridges, payment of damages for loss of highway access, and substitution of other means of access.

(d) State aid for Nonfederal Disasters. There shall be an annual appropriation for emergency aid in repairing, building, or rebuilding class 1, 2, or 3 town highways and bridges damaged by natural or man-made disasters. Eligibility for use of emergency aid under this appropriation shall be subject to the following criteria:

(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall determine that the disaster is of such magnitude that State aid is both reasonable and necessary to preserve the public good;

(2) The disaster shall not qualify for major disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121 et seq., or from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under the 23 C.F.R. Part 668 Emergency Relief Program for federal-aid highways;

(3) Towns shall be eligible for reimbursement for repair or replacement costs of either up to 90 percent of the eligible repair or replacement costs or the eligible repair or replacement costs, minus an amount equal to 10 percent of the overall total highway budget, minus the town's winter maintenance budget, whichever is greater;

(4) For towns that have adopted road and bridge standards, eligibility for reimbursement for repair or replacement of infrastructure shall be to those standards. For towns that have not adopted these standards, eligibility for reimbursement for repair or replacement of infrastructure shall be limited to the specifications of the infrastructure that preexisted the emergency event; however, the repair or replacement shall be to standards approved by the Agency of Transportation; and

(5) Such additional criteria as may be adopted by the Agency of Transportation through rulemaking under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

(e) State Aid for Town Highway Structures.

(1) There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for maintenance (including actions to extend life expectancy) and for construction of bridges and culverts; for maintenance and construction of other structures, including causeways and retaining walls, intended to preserve the integrity of the traveled portion of class 1, 2, and 3 town highways; and for alternatives that eliminate the need for a bridge, culvert, or other structure, such as the construction or reconstruction of a highway, the purchase of parcels of land that would be landlocked by closure of a bridge, the payment of damages for loss of highway access, and the substitution of other means of access.

(2) Each fiscal year, the Agency shall approve qualifying projects with a total estimated State share cost of $5,833,500.00 at a minimum as new grants. The Agency's proposed appropriation for the Program shall take into account the estimated amount of qualifying invoices submitted to the Agency with respect to project grants approved in prior years but not yet completed as well as with respect to new project grants to be approved in the fiscal year. In a given fiscal year, should expenditures in the Town Highway Structures Program exceed the amount appropriated, the Agency shall advise the Governor of the need to request a supplemental appropriation from the General Assembly to fund the additional project cost, provided that the Agency has previously committed to completing those projects.

(3) Funds received as grants for State Aid for Town Highway Structures may be used by a municipality to satisfy a portion of the matching requirements for federal earmarks, subject to subsection 309b(c) of this title.

(f) State Aid for Federal Disasters.

(1) Towns receiving assistance under the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program for federal-aid highways shall be eligible for State aid when a nonfederal match is required. Eligibility for aid under this subsection shall be subject to the following criteria:

(A) Towns shall be responsible for up to 10 percent of the total eligible project costs.

(B) For towns that have adopted road and bridge standards, eligibility for reimbursement for repair or replacement of infrastructure shall be to those standards. For towns that have not adopted these standards, eligibility for reimbursement for repair or replacement of infrastructure shall be limited to the specifications of the infrastructure that preexisted the emergency event; however, the repair or replacement shall be to standards approved by the Agency.

(C) Such additional criteria as may be adopted by the Agency through rulemaking under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

(2) Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 706 and the limits on authorized program spending in an approved Transportation Program, the Secretary may transfer appropriations between the Program created in this subsection and the State Aid for Nonfederal Disasters program created in subsection (d) of this section.

(g) [Deleted.]

(h) Class 2 Town Highway Roadway Program. There shall be an annual appropriation for grants to municipalities for resurfacing, rehabilitation, or reconstruction of paved or unpaved class 2 town highways. Each fiscal year, the agency shall approve qualifying projects with a total estimated State share cost of $7,248,750.00 at a minimum as new grants. The Agency's proposed appropriation for the Program shall take into account the estimated amount of qualifying invoices submitted to the Agency with respect to project grants approved in prior years but not yet completed as well as with respect to new project grants to be approved in the fiscal year. In a given fiscal year, should expenditures in the Town Highway Class 2 Roadway Program exceed the amount appropriated, the Agency shall advise the Governor of the need to request a supplemental appropriation from the General Assembly to fund the additional project cost, provided that the Agency has previously committed to completing those projects. Funds received as grants for State aid under the Class 2 Town Highway Roadway Program may be used by a municipality to satisfy a portion of the matching requirements for federal earmarks, subject to subsection 309b(c) of this title.

(i) [Deleted.]

(j) Annual town plan. Within 60 days of adoption of the town's municipal budget, the selectboard of each town shall forward to the Agency on forms provided by the Agency a plan for the maintenance and construction of all highways under the selectboard's control for the following year. The plan shall be made with the advice of the district transportation administrator. (Added 1985, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1989, No. 246 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 1993, No. 211 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. June 17, 1994; 1995, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. May 22, 1996; 1997, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. April 27, 1998; 1999, No. 95 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2001, No. 64, § 13, eff. June 16, 2001; 2001, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 30; 2003, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 18, 51, eff. June 9, 2004; 2007, No. 75, §§ 18, 19; 2011, No. 62, § 19; 2011, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 25, eff. May 16, 2012.)