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Mills for rebuilding roads

The following column was submitted by Erie County Legislator John Mills:

During a recent meeting, to discuss the current state of Erie County’s finances, I received an update on the county’s road reserve fund and learned that the county is in a position to repair some of the issues that have been plaguing our county.

The road reserve money is derived through the transfer tax, from when residents buy and sell homes. The law directs that those funds can only be spent on roadwork. The fund is building, and not being spent, while our roads, bridges and infrastructure are falling apart. The Legislature has not received a finalized road construction plan, from our county executive, and unfortunately, our construction season is limited, especially when faced with the large volume of work that needs to be done.

I am encouraging the administration to immediately take the necessary steps, to ensure we get shovels in the ground and take care of the serious road issues, across Erie County. Completing maintenance projects now will save on complete reconstruction costs, later. If we apply the proper funds and effort, to maintain our roads and repair minor issues, we can avoid future road and bridge closures, major repairs and increased costs.

In addition to the county’s $2.5 million, road reserve fund of Erie County is also receiving an additional $1.2 million in CHIPS funding, from New York state, that paves the way for collecting matching state and federal dollars.

I strongly support using the county reserve fund dollars, as they are intended, to leverage state and federal dollars, to get necessary work done, this summer.

In addition to construction season, we are also closing in on “hot dog season.” As many of you are aware, from attending these events, in the past, I host a hot dog roast at each of the libraries in my district, to raise funds to support quality programming and materials.

Now in the seventh year, the hot dog roasts have raised more than $30,000, for the libraries.

I encourage you all to attend these roasts and support your local library. These are great events that usually include entertainment, bake sales and other activities.

This year’s roast schedule is as follows: June 8, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Town of Collins Public Library; June 14, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the Boston Free Library; June 26, 4 – 7 p.m., at the North Collins Library; July 10, 4:30 – 7 p.m., at the Eden Library; July 18, 4 – 8 p.m., at the Concord Public Library; July 26, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Angola Public Library; August 16, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the Orchard Park Public Library; and, in cooperation with Legislator Joseph Lorigo, the West Falls – Colden Community Library fundraiser will be held from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Aug. 24. Please mark your calendars and I hope to see you there.

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