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Jacobs, highway superintendents tout increase in infrastructure funding

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Fri, Jun 9th 2017 06:40 pm
State budget reinstates extreme winter recovery program
Republican New York State Sen. Chris Jacobs was joined Friday by highway and department of public works superintendents from across the 60th Senate District in announcing significant increases in funding for transportation infrastructure in the 2017-18 state budget.
The senator cited the insistence of the Senate majority in maintaining a fair, equitable and regionally balanced transportation plan as a major factor in securing $29 billion in total infrastructure spending, a $1.7 billion increase over last year.
The towns and villages in Jacobs' 60th Senate District will receive nearly $1 million more from the new budget.
"Our investment in our state highways and our local roads and bridges is one of the most important things that we do in the budget each year," Jacobs said. "Committing these dollars to the maintenance and improvement of our infrastructure is a matter of public safety and an investment in our economy and the quality of life in our communities."
Participating in the announcement with Jacobs was Superintendent Edward Michalski from the Town of Evans, Superintendent Fred Piasecki from the Town of Orchard Park, Superintendent Thomas Jones from the Town of Tonawanda, Deputy Superintendent Dick Crawford from the Town of Grand Island and Superintendent David Root from the Village of Kenmore.
Each municipality in the 60th Senate District received an overall increase in funding from the state in the new budget. These increases were due primarily to the reinstatement of the extreme winter recovery program that was not funded in 2016-17. Based on a municipality's Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program formula, increases for each local government range from 12.5 percent to 15 percent.
"On behalf of the residents of our towns and villages, and my fellow superintendents, I want to thank Sen. Jacobs for his leadership in securing increases in infrastructure funding in this year's budget," said Piasecki, past president of the Town Highway Superintendents Association of Erie County. "Our four seasons take a toll on our local roads, and we will be able to put these monies to very good use in the weeks and months ahead."
Specific components of the $29 billion infrastructure-spending plan include:
  • $503 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS)
  • $550 million in BRIDGE-NY for local bridge projects ($70 million earmarked for culverts)
  • $500 million for local PAVE-NY projects (distributed based on the CHIPS formula)
  • $65 million for the extreme winter recovery program
"I am very pleased that we were able to secure meaningful funding increases in road and bridge funding for the cities, towns and villages in my district," Jacobs said. "Providing the resources necessary to ensure these departments and their dedicated employees can better serve their residents will continue to be a top priority."

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