State funding will help town eliminate backlog caused by financial constraints
New York State Sen. Chris Jacobs joined Highway Superintendent Tom Jones to announce he has secured $300,000 in state funding to support new sidewalks in various locations throughout the Town of Tonawanda. The funding will enable the town to replace approximately 31,000 square feet of damaged or dangerous sidewalk.
"In addition to ensuring pedestrian safety for Town of Tonawanda residents, new sidewalks also add to the appearance and value of their homes," Jacobs said. "I am very pleased to be able to secure these funds knowing that these new sidewalks will make sure town residents of all ages will be able enjoy healthy, walkable neighborhoods for many years to come."
Town of Tonawanda officials traditionally maintained an annual program where they replaced sidewalks that had deteriorated with age or been damaged by trees or other obstacles. Budget constraints in recent years forced the town to scale back on that program, creating the backlog of repairs that Jacobs is trying to help eliminate. Some town residents have been waiting for repairs since 2014.
"Thanks to these funds from Sen. Jacobs, we will be able to replace sidewalks in front of over 250 homes by the summer of 2019," Jones said. "Because of this support, we are going to greatly reduce the number of residents whose sidewalks need repair while diminishing the wait time for those still left on our list. On behalf of all town residents, I sincerely thank Sen. Jacobs for this funding."
Under the direction and supervision of the highway department, the town secures the services of an independent contractor who excavates the old concrete and then pours the new sidewalks. Once poured, the new concrete needs approximately 24-48 hours to set to a point where it can be walked on.
"Infrastructure investments are the most costly for cash-strapped local governments, but they are also the most critical to maintaining the integrity and quality of life in a community," Jacobs said. "It is important that the state continue to fund these types of projects that produce a great return on the investment."