Section 26. There may be expended for the repair and improvement of public ways, other than state highways, in towns having valuations of less than five million dollars, as established by the valuations made for the purpose of apportioning the state tax as appearing in chapter five hundred and fifty-nine of the acts of nineteen hundred and forty-five and in which the proportionate amount paid by such towns of every million dollars of such tax as established and apportioned in said chapter five hundred and fifty-nine, divided by the number of miles of such public ways, hereinafter known as the road mileage ratio, is less than twelve dollars, such sums not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars per mile as the general court may appropriate therefor; provided, that such towns shall contribute or make available for use in connection therewith the following amounts for each mile of public ways within their respective limits, according to the following schedule based on their road mileage ratio:—
1. Less than one dollar and forty cents, fifteen dollars.
2. One dollar and forty cents and less than two dollars, twenty-five dollars.
3. Two dollars and less than two dollars and eighty cents, forty dollars.
4. Two dollars and eighty cents and less than three dollars and fifty cents, fifty dollars.
5. Three dollars and fifty cents and less than five dollars and fifty cents, seventy-five dollars.
6. Five dollars and fifty cents and less than seven dollars, one hundred dollars.
7. Seven dollars and less than nine dollars, one hundred and twenty-five dollars.
8. Nine dollars and less than twelve dollars, one hundred and fifty dollars.
The amounts appropriated as aforesaid and contributed by the towns shall be expended under the direction of the department of highways on such ways as said department and the selectmen of the towns may agree upon.
The department shall withhold or withdraw the unexpended balance of any funds assigned by it under this section or section twenty-five if the town fails to comply with the official standards for traffic control established by the department or with any provision of a traffic control agreement negotiated between the department and the town, as required by the United States Secretary of Commerce under section 109 of Title 23 of the United States Code.
The cost of snow removal upon such ways in any such town, including amounts paid as rental for trucks and other equipment, and, at hourly rates approved by the department of highways, charges for the use of trucks and other equipment owned by such town, and the cost of sanding such ways in any such town may be paid from the amounts so appropriated and contributed, at the rate of not more than seventy-five dollars per mile.