DelDOT asks state lawmakers for additional funds to offset pandemic losses
The Delaware Department of Transportation outlined it’s budget request in front of the Joint Finance Committee Monday.
DelDOT continues to struggle with pandemic-related revenue decreases as fewer people drive and use public transit.
DelDOT secretary Nicole Majeski says revenues may not recover for another 2 to 3 years.
She adds the department had to sell bonds to drum up cash for the many construction projects ongoing.
“We wanted to keep our construction projects going, we understand how important that is for the economy to keep jobs going and we didn’t wanna see a disruption in that so sold the additional bonds," Majeski said.
She notes those additional bonds are helping fund the Restore the Corridor project in Wilmington.
That huge I-95 restoration project is expected to start this weekend, weather permitting.
Majeski told lawmakers on the Joint Finance Committee Monday, the agency is seeking a $61 million increase to its budget for 2022.
Most of that is to resume a subsidy to the Delaware Transit Corporation that was covered by federal CARES act funding this year.
The department is expected to get another $80 million from the latest round of relief last December. But Majeski says they don’t know yet how they’ll be able to spend that money, and if it can once again help cover the revenue gap.
“If they have the same parameters as they did last year with that CARES act funding we could use that again to kind of offset the anticipated revenue losses on the transit side and then use that towards the subsidies but again we need to see those parameters from FTA first,” said Majeski.
Around $1.5 million of new funding DelDOT is asking for will go toward the final stage of transitioning all DMV employees from casual/seasonal to full time equivalent.
JFC Co-chair Trey Paradee (D-Dover) applauds the move, saying there shouldn’t have been two tiers of employment in the first place and this should help solve the high turnover rates in those positions.
Roman Battaglia a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.