Modified: March 23, 2023 3:47pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today issued the following statement pursuant to the Erie County Legislature’s failure to approve the 2023 Consolidated Bond resolution (“CBR”), an action which delays empowering the county Department of Public Works to commence an ambitious infrastructure plan to invest over $50 million in roads, bridges, and other infrastructure:
Poloncarz statement: “My administration’s infrastructure plan for this year is extensive, which is why I am incredibly disappointed in the Legislature’s vote today. The minority caucus’s votes against the CBR means our department of Public Works cannot start projects scheduled for 2023. Their vote to reject the resolution only hurts their constituents because needed road and infrastructure work will not begin on time. We had a brutal winter, and the construction season will soon be upon us, so time is of the essence. Legislature Chair Baskin, Majority Leader Meyers, and the other Legislators who voted to approve this package understand both the need for these investments and the need to start these projects as soon as possible, just as much as county residents expect their representatives to get infrastructure investments underway promptly. At the same time, critical snow-fighting equipment with long-lead times cannot be ordered, risking it not being available for next winter.
The reconstruction of a portion of Kenmore Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda, Trevett Road in the Village of Springville, and Vermont Road in the Town of Holland were all set to begin immediately following the approval of the consolidated bond resolution. Those projects and millions more in road and bridge work are now on hold.
In addition to critical roadwork, the consolidated bond resolution would have paved the way for the Department of Central Police Services to develop an updated Computer Aided Dispatching system to better protect public safety. This project and many other essential capital improvements are also on hold.
These projects have already been approved by the Legislature twice: first during the Capital Project Committee process and then again as part of the 2023 Adopted Budget. Their failure to act today will cause significant delays in many of the projects planned for this year. There’s no other way to summarize what occurred today than to say less infrastructure work will get done this summer due to Legislature Republicans’ votes.”