[ Text of section effective until July 24, 2013. Repealed by 2013, 46, Sec. 19.]
Section 4D. (a) The commissioner may establish a small town rural assistance program to assist towns with populations of 7,000 or less in undertaking projects to design, construct, reconstruct, widen, resurface, rehabilitate and otherwise improve roads and bridges or for the construction of chemical storage facilities. The program shall provide grant funds to towns for projects authorized by this section, and towns shall be eligible to receive one grant every 5 fiscal years. The amount of the grant shall not exceed $500,000.
(b) The commissioner shall establish rules and regulations to govern the application and distribution of grants under this section. The rules and regulations shall include provisions for joint applications by 2 or more eligible towns for a single project serving those towns. Funds so distributed may be apportioned to reflect the percentage of the project located in each town. Receipt of a grant which is part of a joint application shall not preclude a town from receiving additional funds under a separate application; provided, however, that the total amount distributed to any 1 town shall not exceed the maximum amount allowed under this section. Any rules or regulations, or any amendment or repeal of any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to this section shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives.
(c) A town with a population of 7,000 or less may, by vote at an annual town meeting or at a special town meeting called for that purpose or, in a municipality having a town council form of government, by the town council, make application to the commissioner for financial assistance in undertaking a project described in this section. The application shall include the proposed cost of the project, the proposed location of the project and any other information specified by the rules or regulations.
(d) In evaluating the project and the level of funding, the commissioner shall consider, without limitation, the following: (1) the extent to which the project will have a beneficial impact upon the economy and public safety of an applicant town; (2) the availability of funds for the project under other state or federal programs; (3) the likelihood of funding under other state or federal programs; (4) the financial ability of the town to fund the project from its own sources; (5) the ability of the town to enter the capital markets to obtain borrowed funds for the project; and (6) the amount of state and federal highway funds expended or to be expended in the town.
(e) The commissioner shall report annually to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on transportation on the status of all small town rural assistance applicants.