The following is a guest column by Legislator John Mills.
Erie County’s Department of Public Works has been busy this summer. You may have noticed crews throughout the county, reconstructing some roadways and patching others as the county tries to repair the damage done during the winter of 2013-2014, in addition to years of wear on our roadways.
As chairman of the Legislature and a member of the Capital Projects Committee, I have consistently been an advocate for completing as much road work as possible, each and every year. This year I was disappointed by the final 2014 Road Project List released in April. I simply didn’t think it was enough.
My colleagues and I in the Legislature identified $5 million for additional road work and unanimously approved a resolution calling on the county executive to spend those funds.
It is unacceptable that the county owns roads that residents won’t drive on any more. Roads and bridges have had to be closed because they are unsafe. With every road, bridge or culvert repair we complete, there is always another to do. That is why I continuously work with the administration to find ways to repair as many roads as possible. At my request, the Legislature also created the Erie County Bridge and Road Infrastructure Maintenance Advisory Board to better prepare for the future and create a long-term goal so we don’t have crumbling roadways. Before this committee can start their work, everybody has to be appointed to the board. We are still waiting for the final appointment, which is from County Executive Mark Poloncarz. It is important he expedite his appointment so this advisory board can start the process of discussing the long-term plan for our county roads.
The projects in my district that are being done include paving Boston State Road between Boston-Colden and Zimmerman in Boston, and overlay on Eden Evans Center Road, from Interstate-90 to Derby Road in Evans.
Waverly Street from Route 39 to South Cascade in Concord and Eckhardt Road from Route 75 to East Eden in Eden, are also being repaired. Various patching is occurring throughout the district and will be announced as details become available. If you have a specific question about a roadway, please contact my office at 858-8850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In another matter, I was pleased that after repeated requests, the county executive issued the Declaration of Need allowing the county to borrow the annual Revenue Anticipation Note through the Control Board and save $800,000-$1.1 million in financing costs. The Legislature will approve the Declaration of Need at this week’s special session, saving taxpayers significant money.
I want to thank everyone who has attended the Hot Dog Roast Fundraisers held at the library branches in my district this summer. We are on track to raise $10,000 this year for programming and materials.