DELTA -- Senator Bewley welcomed Governor Evers’ announcement today that communities in Northern Wisconsin from Turtle Lake in Barron County to Minong to Port Wing and back down to the Town of Lake in Price County are set to receive grants from the Multimodal Local Supplement (MLS) award program. The MLS is a one-time $75 million funding program for local transportation projects. District-wide, 8 towns, 4 cities and villages, and 4 counties will receive funding from the program. Nearly $7.5 million dollars - $7,467,250.04, to be exact - of the allotted $75 million will fund 16 projects across 7 counties in the 25th State Senate District.
In making the announcement, the Governor noted how we can all agree that we need to fix our crumbling roads. “I am so pleased that almost ten-percent of the grant money is going towards Northern Wisconsin roads,” said Senator Bewley. “I have stressed over the years that the roads in the 25thSenate District are frequently in need of repair and restoration due to erosion during the exceptionally harsh winters and flooding in our region of the state – this grant money will certainly help to mitigate the deterioration concerns.”
The MLS program is designed to prioritize the transportation needs of local communities. Towns, municipalities and counties are recommended to submit projects to the program that can range from roads and bridges to harbors and railroads. Over 1,600 applications for local projects were received, largely for road repairs. In January and February, three separate committees comprised of local representatives from counties, cities, villages and towns met to review the applications. The committees narrowed down the list of applications to award 152 projects grant money spanning across almost every county in Wisconsin.
The Governor's biennial budget invested more than $465 million in new funding for highways, local roads, and transit aids, including $320 million to go directly to state highway rehabilitation. Additionally, the Governor's budget provided a 10 percent increase in generation transportation aids, paratransit aid, and tribal elderly transportation aid, while also providing an inflationary bump to mass transit aids for the first time in years. This was all accomplished while keeping bonding at the lowest level in 20 years.