Appendix H: Table of Funding Sources and Eligibility in the Report on Public Infrastructure in Western Massachusetts

Table of Funding Sources and Eligibility

Table of Contents




Annual Funding

Distribution Method

Adequacy / Notes

Chapter 90

All communities


State reimbursement

Many small towns feel it is inadequate because of the weights of the program formula driving more funds to cities.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Communities with a population of under 50,000 that do not receive CDBG funds directly from the federal government are eligible for CDBG funding.

Variable dependent on federally defined demographic characteristics. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, approximately $34,000,000 was awarded.


The program is federally funded and is provided to eligible small cities and midsize towns, as administered by the state.

Culvert Replacement Municipal Assistance Grant

All communities. Eligible projects must be a culvert or bridge replacement on a public way, owned and maintained by the applying municipality, and must cross a natural freshwater, non-tidal river or stream channel.

Variable. The last funding round provided $809,880.


This project is relatively popular in Western Massachusetts because of the large numbers of culverts and bridges there. However, funding is small in comparison to the need.

Federal Transportation Improvement Program

All communities

Project dependent

Metropolitan planning organizations develop a TIP project list and distribute funds to those projects.

These projects require significant buy-in from communities at the planning and design stages. This requirement is a significant barrier to small communities that do not have adequate funding or staff to fulfill these preparatory requirements.

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Grants

All communities

$20,000,000 granted each year. Projects that are LEED certified or in disadvantaged communities may receive extra funding.


This program has a waitlist of 33 projects, which are completed at a rate of 1–2 per year.

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners—Small Library Pilot Project

All communities with a town under 2,000 population



This is unknown as it has not started. The aim is to deploy it over the next two years.

Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI)

Underserved or unserved communities as determined by MBI

Variable as it is a public-private partnership with public bonds and private partners to fund infrastructure and service

Project dependent

The long term success is unknown because of the young age of the program.

Massachusetts Historical Commission Survey and Planning Grant

All communities

Variable and dependent on federal budget allocation

Grants representing 10% of federal funds must be awarded.

This program is relatively narrow and adequacy depends on project eligibility and federal funds.

Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Projects Fund

All communities. This grant is a 50% reimbursable matching grant.

Approximately $800,000


This program is subject to reauthorization of capital accounts and the availability of sufficient funds.

Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA)

All school districts. This is a cost sharing-arrangement between municipalities and MSBA, so some municipal funding is required.

Funded by 1 cent of the sales tax. In FY 2021, this was approximately $860,000,000. This is leveraged by selling bonds as well.

Reimbursement for eligible project costs

This program is extremely popular. Currently MSBA receives approximately 100 applications in a year, and in a year MSBA takes on about 30 accelerated repair projects and 10–15 major construction projects.


All community projects that grow jobs or housing

Bond cap set at $100,000,000


This is a stressed resource because of increased demand.

Municipal Pavement Program

All communities

Bond cap set at $100 million. Funded in FY 2022 at $15 million.

Grants and partnerships between the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and municipality

This program is new and demand is unknown.

Municipal Small Bridge Program

All communities with projects impacting bridges with spans between 10 and 20 feet

$50,000,000 over 5 years. Each municipality can receive up to $500,000.

Reimbursements up to 100% of total design and construction costs

This program was reauthorized with a bond cap of $95 million and will be funded at $10 million in FY 2022.

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program—Planning Grant

All communities. An in-kind staff time match is required of municipalities.

Variable; was created through executive order and is funded by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Variable; in the most recent grant round, $644,500 was awarded.

Most communities have accessed and completed planning grants. Future adequacy is dependent on funding and demand.

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program—Action Grant

All communities. A local match of 25% of project costs in cash or in-kind contributions is required.

Variable; was created through executive order and is funded by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Variable; in the most recent grant round, $20,585,193 was awarded.

Stressed resource because of variable funding and increased demand.

Qualified Bond Program

All communities


A community issues bonds under the state’s borrowing authority and pays for them through an assessment of state aid.

Dependent on community finances.

State-Numbered Road Program

Communities with locally-owned portions of state-numbered routes that do not benefit from federal highway funds.

Bond cap set at $100M. Funded in FY22 at $30M.

Grants and partnerships between MassDOT and municipalities.

Program is new and demand is unknown.

STRAP Program

Communities with population of 7,000 or less based on the decennial census.

Target spending set at 10% of MassWorks spending. Limited to $1,000,000 per project; joint applications of multiple communities are limited to $1,000,000 per community.


Stressed resource because of limited funding and high demand.


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