When completing major repairs to your house or property, often times you have to budget the total cost to ensure the work is done without impacting your daily expenses. Currently, the county is doing the same for our assets. Last week members of the Capital Projects Committee began the annual process of evaluating major work that needs to be done and determining if we can afford them without affecting day-to-day operations.
As a member of the committee, I attended the first meeting of the year and learned that over $130 million in capital projects have been requested for 2016. This is a 30 percent increase from last year, which clearly shows a need for significant projects throughout the county departments. It would be impossible to bond for all the projects requested, which is why the committee meets to review and prioritize all of the projects to create a final list.
Once the final list projects is determined, which will include everything from large road projects to building maintenance, the county will bond the majority of the money. I have always maintained that we must choose the less expensive option when bonding. It has been proven year after year that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority (Control Board) can borrow at a cheaper rate than Erie County, and cost taxpayers less as a result. Unfortunately, the administration hasn’t always been supportive of bonding through the Control Board, instead arguing that the county should do its own borrowing. I believe that when savings are available for taxpayers we must take advantage of them.
Once the committee process is complete, the county will prepare to bond for the 2016 capital projects. According to the County Comptroller, borrowing through the Control Board would save more than $927,000. I encourage the administration to take the necessary steps to realize these savings.
I also want to remind residents of some events they might need to be aware of. A free rabies clinic is scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 27 at Erie Community College, South Campus, Building No. 7, 4041 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park. Free rabies vaccinations will be administered to dogs, cats and ferrets. All animals must be on a leash or in a carrier, and owners are asked to bring a copy of the pet's vaccination record if possible.
On Saturday, June 13, a Hazardous Waste Collection Event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at ECC South Campus, enter from Big Tree Rd. - Rte. 20a. Accepted item are: pesticides, fertilizers, pool and household chemicals/cleaners, oil-based paints and spray cans, paint thinner, stripper and solvents, batteries (lead acid & rechargeable, oil, gasoline, kerosene and antifreeze and mercury (thermometers, thermostats, metal).
I am interested in hearing your comments on any of the above mentioned topics or other county issues. Please contact me at 858-8922 or email email@example.com.