Extra Money To Fix Potholes Included In State Budget

ALBANY, NY - Lawmakers are busy passing bills as part of the state budget, for the fiscal year that begins April 1.

They include a one-time infusion of $40 million to help local governments fix the many potholes that are left after a rough winter across New York.

There are 1,570 cities, towns, and villages in the state. The extra $40 million would give them an average of $25,000 each.

However, the amount won't be shared equally, according to NYS Sen Joseph Robach (R-Greece) who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee.

Robach told WGRZ-TV the extra money will be applied as a percentage, on top of what a municipality was due to receive in its annual allotment of funding from the state's Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program, better-known as CHIPS,

Robach could not say what the percentage will be, but says local officials will know soon enough.

"There's a formula that is derived from not only the size of a town, but also road lanes, and how much a road is traveled," said Robach. "That has been in place for some time and that's how we'll distribute the extra funds...but as soon as possible we hope to let each municipality know how much additional money they'll be getting."

"There is a a bigger demand for us to be out there fixing roads than we've ever had," said David Kinney, Commissioner of the the Department of Public Works in the city of Niagara Falls, and who calls the pothole season of 2014 the worst in memory.

"Whatever money they give us, I would be more than happy to accept it," Kinney said.

Though the money might not arrive right away, once the municipalities know in the next week or so how much extra they're getting, Robach says they can go ahead and start spending it, because communities can be assured the money for the extra asphalt to fill potholes will be coming from the state.

Conceivably, it means you could start seeing the effects of this almost right away.


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