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Legislator Morton outraged by lack of support for additional road work


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

In the wake of ongoing traffic and pedestrian safety issues, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) recently wrote Governor Cuomo and state officials asking for the widening of NYS Route 78 (Transit Road).

As we have just celebrated Labor Day and all our students are now back to school, I wanted to discuss a recent legislative issue that you may have read about in the newspaper.

Legislator Ted Morton recently visited Como Lake Park to observe the rapid deterioration of the lake.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) began his yearly summer listening tour this week that will have him visiting with residents in Lancaster, Cheektowaga, Depew and Alden.

A few weeks ago, the Legislature approved changes to the Erie County Charter that were recommended by an all-volunteer citizens committee. With County Executive approval, the measure would have gone to the ballot for the public to have their say and vote on in November. Unfortunately the County Executive chose to veto the recommended changes. As a result, the Legislature anticipates voting on an amended version later this month, including some changes suggested by the County Executive. While I’m disappointed that the original package was vetoed, I’m optimistic that a revised version will be passed and that the public will have the opportunity to vote on it this November.

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.