County Loses Highway Aide, Reevaluating Road and Bridge Projects
Cortland County lawmakers are reevaluating the Counties 10 year highway capital plan after state and federal funding for local bridge and culvert projects was pulled unexpectedly.
New York State transportation officials in Albany have pulled 8.5 million in highway funding from Cortland County. The money was going to be used to replace local bridges and large culverts, the lack of funds means the projects will now fall to County taxpayers.
Republican Legislator Dave Fuller announced yesterday during the County highway committee meeting that the state has reprioritized its highway aide and will not fund highway infrastructure replacement projects, instead focusing those dollars on rehabilitation projects.
This means the County will be responsible to pick up the entire cost for projects like the replacement of the Lorings Crossing Road bridge and the Lower Cincinnatus Willet Road bridge. The other option is to simply close these structures.
Fuller says that would have a huge impact on emergency services and school busing in the Cincinnatus and Willet areas.
Earlier this year County lawmakers approved borrowing up to 17 million dollars to rehabilitate the county’s failing highway infrastructure.
Legislative chair Mike Park says the loss of state funding means that money won’t go as far and fewer roads and bridges will be repaired, he says unfortunately the loss of state and federal funding is a trend that will likely continue.
In a related story the state has also pulled funding for the Truxton-Tully Road project, the funding has been delayed until 2014. The county will replace culverts and do other work on the road this summer, in pulling the money back the State has committed to providing additional funding for paving the road in 2014.