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Legislator Morton outraged by lack of support for additional road work


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) was recently invited to speak at the annual Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast, held Feb. 10, where he provided an update on a wide range of issues, including the county’s budget, the county’s relationship with the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), the opioid epidemic and education.


Seven counties that help make up Western New York came together to send a letter and very clear message to Gov. Andrew Cuomo: we need unfunded mandate reform. A total of 90 legislators from Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Orleans and Niagara counties signed on to ask the Governor to work to provide relief for counties through meaningful reform. 


As we start 2017 I wanted to talk about some of my priorities and the challenges we will face in Erie County.

Just last week the Legislature approved the 2017 Erie County budget and I’m pleased to report that we were able to fund our key initiatives residents expect and deserve while delivering a small tax rate cut. Since taking office I’ve pledged to fight for a tax cut every year that I’m in office and I’m proud to report that this will be the third year in a row that we’ve been successful in that effort.


Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announces that the Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will hold two focus group sessions to gather public opinion on Como Lake Park as the department works to update the Parks Master Plan.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton cosponsored a resolution at the May 8, 2014 session to transfer $5 million from the undesignated fund balance, which is currently at $89 million, to allow for additional road projects this year. With the extremely poor condition of roadways throughout Erie County, Legislator Morton and his colleagues in the Majority Caucus believe allocating the $5 million for necessary road repair is an appropriate expenditure.

 

“I am extremely disappointed by my Democratic colleagues and the County Executive who have refused to allocate additional funds for road work this year. The Department of Public Works has acknowledged it has identified additional projects, beyond the approved 2014 Road Project List. The Majority Caucus has located a funding source and the road projects have been identified, so I don’t understand the delay. To hear the County Executive’s Office say there isn’t a road repair plan for an additional $5 million is irresponsible. I simply can’t believe the County Executive’s Office doesn’t know where it should invest these funds into our crumbling infrastructure. The fact is, we know there is much work to do be done and we have the funds available to take care of these serious issues. I am discouraged with the delay and believe the residents are going to suffer because of it,” said Legislator Morton.

 

The resolution, which required eight (8) votes for approval, received the support of only seven members during session. By Charter, fund balance transfers required two-thirds vote. The item will be sent to committee and considered at the May 22 session.