About $7,820,310 of that will be heading to the Berkshires with the largest amount — $1.4 million — going to Pittsfield and its nearly 200 miles of roads. The second largest amount of $435,324 goes to the county's other city, North Adams, which has just over 70 miles of road.
In Pignatelli's bill, the proposed new funding formula aims to take 5.5 percent of funds from the population and employment categories and applies an additional 11 percent to the road mileage category, allowing smaller communities to gain 17-18 percent in funding:
BRPC has found that towns tend to act conservatively with Chapter 90 funds for road work because of uncertainty around the program.
Senior Transportation Planner Eammon Coughlin, of Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, had taken on a study on the use of Chapter 90 in the Berkshires and found that there is at least a year delay between when the state funds are allocated to the towns and when they are actually spent.
One of the first things the governor did when taking office in 2014 was released an additional $100 million in money for cities and towns to repair the roads.
But towns in the Berkshires didn't use it that spring. In fact, in total spending on Chapter 90 allocations dropped to the lowest spending level in the last five years. Baker's announcement had come halfway through the fiscal year and was hailed by local officials. The program is considered one of the most important for a city or town.
Town Manager Paul Sieloff wants to put more money toward road maintenance.
The town's budgeting process will start in earnest in two weeks with a meeting with the Police, Highway, and Fire Department heads to discuss needs in the next budget. Sieloff said he is looking to double the amount the town spends on road repairs if possible.