Cortland City Council Approves 5 Year $1 Million Dollar Street Repaving Plan
The Cortland City Council has approved a plan to borrow over $1million dollars to repave more than two dozen streets over the next five years.
In a unanimous vote the council approved the paving plan which calls for the city to use a five year line of credit to fund the work. The city will use nearly $230 thousand dollars worth of state aide to repay the loan. The money known as CHIPS funding comes from the state each year, it is generated from Federal and state fuel taxes.
During the discussion City D-P-W chief Chris Bistocchi pointed out that under the city’s current funding approach to street paving department is failing further and further behind on road projects each year.
Bistocchi’s plan calls for several streets to be repaved in the first year, a few more in the second and third years of the program, during the fourth and fifth years he will perform light maintenance on other streets with the city paying of the credit and beginning the whole process again in 2018.
City Finance Director Mack Cook says in the past the city has taken out 20 year bonds to repave streets and in many cases the bond has outlived the streets it was used to repair.
4th ward Alderman John Bennett says he supports the plan because it will allow the city to enact an aggressive plan to deal with the failing roads.
The city will pay $65 thousand dollars in interest on the borrowing over the next five years; Cook expects the state highway aid will remain consistent over the term of the borrowing.
Cook suggested that when the city pays off future debt it should use the savings to establish a capital reserve to help fund street work or other D-P-W needs like new equipment.
Bistocchi expects he will spend as much as half a million dollars in the first year of the plan and will repave several major streets including Homer Avenue, Madison Street, and Parker Avenue. Bistocchi said his paving schedule will be influenced by where NYSEG is replacing gas lines, the amount of traffic a street receives, and the scope of the repairs needed.