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Pothole Priorities Get A Little State Aid, in Record Breaking Year



Amherst, NY (WBEN) After one of the harshest winters in recent memory, highway crews are preparing to pave roads riddled with potholes.

Amherst Town Highway Superintendent Bob Anderson says the top priority will be intersections hit hardest by the winter. "Areas around Sheridan Drive and Youngs Road, Youngs and Maple Roads , and Chestnut Ridge Roads, we're going to concentrate on," says Anderson.

 
A Rough Winter
By The Numbers
...

The Town of Cheektowaga had to spend more than $480,250 on road salt this year.

 Lackawanna spent over twice as much -- $12,000 -- on cold patch this year compared to last,
according to NY Sen. Tim Kennedy's office.

The NYS Budget includes an extra $40 million in aid this year, allocated according to a formula using road miles and the number of car registrations - skewing aid to NYC suburbs.

If it were split evenly county-by-county, and then town and municipality, highway departments in Erie county would see on average a $14,000 boost.
 
Anderson says his crews are just waiting for hot mix to be available from blacktop facilities once those plants open. "We have all our contracts signed, we're ready to go by the end of April," notes Anderson, prepared to start repaving projects early.

Anderson says the town has a $1 million fund for repaving, and a $1 million bond in addition. And while none are having a severe budget crisis, many are strapped by a winter blast of road repairs.

"Obviously it's been a terrible winter for everyone," says Orchard Park Town Supervisor Patrick Keem.

"I keep seeing the vouchers go by for road salt, road salt. And potholes are everywhere.  Like everyone in Erie County and Western New York  our roads are in bad shape," Keem says.

The just passed state budget includes an extra $40 million boost in the state Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, designed to be a one year  extreme weather fund,  Anderson says it will help, but with over 900 municipalities in the state, the boost is not as significant as it would seem at first blush.

The money is allocated based on how miles of roads a county has and how many cars are registered there- both factors that would skew toward the New York City suburbs and Long Island.    If the money was divided evenly between each county in the state, and then each municipalities in Erie County-- any local town or village  would see slightly more than $14,000 in extra aid this year. 

To put that in perspective,  the Town of Cheektowaga had to spend more than $480,250 on road salt this year.  Lackawanna spent over twice as much -- $12,000 -- on cold patch this year compared to last, according to NY Sen. Tim Kennedy's office.
 

04/02/2014 5:56AM
Pothole Priorities Get A Little State Aid, in Record Breaking Year
Please enter your comments below.
04/02/2014 8:30AM
"An unmitigated disaster and will never work"
Oops, that was the wingnut talking point regarding the Obamacare rollout in October. How's that working out for you people?
04/02/2014 8:50AM
What's worse than potholes?
Donald Trump, for one. Your silly WBEN candidate for NY26, for another. In fact, she's much worse.
04/02/2014 10:21AM
You know what's even worse?
Today's Supreme Court decision opening the gates for plutocrats to buy elections and further erode our democracy. More evidence that Republicans are treasonous lowlife curs.
04/02/2014 1:35PM
RE Today's Supreme Court decision
WBEN won't go near that one, similar to the way they avoided mention of Senate Republicans' rejection of the veterans' benefits bill. Damages the wingnut narrative.
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