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Legislature questions DPW on plans for remaining summer roadwork

(File photo)

Erie County Legislature Chairman John J. Mills and Legislator Edward A. Rath, III are once again asking the Department of Public Works to provide an update on its road work plans for this summer and how it plans to spend an influx of state funding. The duo sponsored a resolution requesting that the DPW release a complete report detailing its plan to spend $2 million allocated from the PAVE NY fund. The resolution, which was approved unanimously on July 14, 2016, requested the report be submitted by July 26, however that deadline was missed.

“We were all very pleased to learn at the end of June that Erie County was receiving an additional $2 million for paving work this summer. After New York State announced that the money was being allocated through PAVE NY, I immediately requested an update on which roads could now be paved this year that hadn’t been previously scheduled. On July 14, the Legislature followed up with a resolution and we still haven’t been given any information,” said Chairman Mills. “My office receives calls daily about road concerns and I can name numerous roadways throughout Erie County that would benefit from this funding. The Legislature and the residents have a right to know how this $2 million is being spent and what roads are being repaired and when.”

Legislator Rath, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, added that it has been frustrating trying to get information from DPW this year following the County Executive’s decision to require that all requests for road work updates go through his office first.

“There has been a notable delay in getting answers from the DPW engineers due to the County Executive’s ‘red tape requirement’ and the residents are suffering. We need to work together to quickly disseminate information to residents about when road work is starting and what detours to expect. In addition, residents should always be kept well-informed on the DPW’s maintenance schedule. While the $2 million from PAVE NY isn’t going to solve all our problems, it is certainly going to help and we want to know exactly which roads are being paved. Residents have many concerns when it comes to deteriorating roadways and they deserve complete updates in a timely manner,” said Legislator Rath.

Chairman Mills and Legislator Rath sent a follow up letter to DPW Commissioner John Loffredo again requesting a complete report detailing how PAVE NY funds are being spent, along with any updates on the county’s 2016 road projects.