(a) The administrator shall establish a regional mobility assistance program to assist
cities and towns in geographic regions of the commonwealth with public works improvements
and enhancements for transportation-related projects as deemed necessary by the department
for the (1) development, rehabilitation, and improvement of tourism expansion corridors,
(2) protection of historic centers, (3) promotion of improved mobility and access
from neighboring states, and (4) promotion of local economic growth and reliability
for transportation facilities in rural and less accessible regions of the commonwealth. The administrator may promulgate rules or regulations or implement such other procedures
in accordance with this section, which shall govern the criteria by which the funds
shall be distributed and the method by which a regional project shall be selected.
(b) The administrator may, subject to appropriation, commit the funds pursuant to
this section through projects to be undertaken by the division or by executing a grant
or other contractual agreement with a municipality and, upon execution, the funds
so committed shall be made available as a grant directly to the municipality which
has entered into an agreement without further review or approval of the department. Each agreement shall contain assurances satisfactory to the secretary that the municipality
will award a construction contract for the project which is the subject of the agreement
not later than 180 days after the date of execution of the agreement.
(c) In the event that a contract is not awarded by the municipality within the period
provided in subsection (b), the administrator may require, by written notification
to the municipality, that the funds paid to it by the commonwealth pursuant to the
agreement shall be returned forthwith to the commonwealth.
(d) The administrator may, through execution of a grant or other contractual agreement
as provided in subsection (b), commit an amount of funds up to but not exceeding the
aggregate amount of funds returned by municipalities under subsection (c) to any other
municipality which has otherwise complied with the applicable requirements for such
projects, including the terms and conditions provided in this section.
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