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Legislator Morton outraged by lack of support for additional road work


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

I wanted to report this month regarding the ongoing contract dispute between the County and AFSCME Local 1095, which represents many of the blue collar workers throughout our county. These workers often work pay check to pay check and in some cases hold second jobs to make ends meet.


We’ve all experienced it. Driving down Transit Road in the heart of our community when all of a sudden the road tightens and your regular commute turns into a roller coaster as you head down and underneath the main railroad lines before climbing back out. Meanwhile, you’re hoping not to get sideswiped by a larger vehicle navigating the narrow stretch between French Road and Gould Avenue. Maybe you’ve seen one of our first responders racing to get to a call and due to the challenges of this stretch they accidently lose a side mirror on one of the bridges, an accident which has occurred all too often.


With the New York State SAFE Act punishing legal gun owners through burdensome regulations, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) today voted in favor of a measure to support New York State Senator Rob Ortt’s (R-North Tonawanda) legislation to repeal the SAFE Act in areas outside of New York City.


Members of the Erie County Legislature have requested that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (ECFSA) Board appear at the next Finance and Management Committee meeting to discuss the new plan that would allow the ECFSA to borrow on behalf of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) new emergency room. To account for the borrowing the County Executive has submitted a Declaration of Need, which requires Legislative approval.


In the wake of ongoing traffic and pedestrian safety issues, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announced the passage of a resolution calling on the New York State Department of Transportation to increase funding to widen Transit Road between French and Gould. The Erie County Legislature approved Legislator Morton’s resolution unanimously at the March 9, 2017 session.


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.