Minority Leader John Mills and Legislators Lynne Dixon, Joseph Lorigo, Kevin Hardwick and Edward Rath, members of the Erie County Legislature’s Minority Caucus, are again urging the County Executive to release road funds that he has refused to spend while road conditions worsen throughout the County. The Legislators pointed out that more than $1 million is available in the Transfer Tax Fund, which is designated solely for road work, but the administration has allowed it to sit idly while roads crumble.
The County Executive’s Administration has previously stated that the Transfer Tax Funds would not be spent this year because of concerns that revenue would fall short of its projected total. At the end of last week, the County Executive announced that $720,000 in unanticipated revenue was transferred to the general fund from the Fiscal Stability Authority [Control Board]. The Minority Caucus added that with the delivery of these funds, the County Executive should unlock his hold on the Transfer Tax Funds and immediately designate them to repair roads. The Legislators share the same frustration with many residents who use county roads daily and are asking that infrastructure maintenance and repairs be made a priority. With the unexpected additional revenue, the County Executive must reevaluate his stance on holding the Transfer Tax Funds and utilize the money for its intended purpose and provide safe roadways for residents and visitors. Allowing roads and bridges to further deteriorate will cost the county much more in the future. The Legislature recently concluded its mid-year budget hearings and it was reported that the county is operating below budget, recording a surplus. Any further delay would cost the county the entire construction season.