April 16, 2014

Editorial: State assistance for localities welcome

Realizing this past winter season was particularly punishing in many areas of the state, including the North Country, the state has put up an additional $40 million in funding for local governments to make necessary repairs to highways and bridges.

The funding is part of the 2014-15 state budget. It’s a special one-time allocation to complement the $438 million in existing state support for local transportation infrastructure.

Of particular import is the fact that the state is acknowledging the need by local municipalities to repair their roads and bridges damaged this year by storms, giving the locals extra money. It certainly won’t go far, but it’s a welcome gift just the same.

Who’s going to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Also, it’s evidence that the state is stepping up to help localities make serious repairs so that our roads and bridges are properly fixed and safe for motorists. The added funding gives the state an opportunity to help local governments sturdy their infrastructure for future winters and transportation maladies.

Municipalities in Clinton County will receive $464,794.70; Essex County, $387,194.89; and Franklin County, $418,395.20. Of those county totals, the big recipients are the counties themselves: $214,398.50 for Clinton, $207,998.61 for Essex and $155,198.91 for Franklin.

Of the municipalities, the top prizes go to: the City of Plattsburgh, $30,132.81; the Town of Ticonderoga, $16,957.63; and the Town of Malone $27,462.84.

This winter has been brutal in many respects. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was compelled to declare states of emergency on eight separate occasions, and many local roads and bridges sustained damage to the pavement surfaces due to frequent plowing and bitterly cold temperatures.

Localities will be able to use the added funding on capital projects to extensively repair and improve infrastructure and complement their core construction programs. And work to help brace for future storms, longer-lasting roadway surfacing and overlay projects are eligible expenses.

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