Wednesday was rally day in Albany for county and municipal highway superintendents asking for more state funds for infrastructure, and two North Country Assembly members say they will work for more road and bridge spending.
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River) said he joined town and county highway superintendents and other local officials to advocate for better funding of the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs), which gives aid to municipalities for maintaining and repairing roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Blankenbush represents DeKalb, Gouverneur, Hermon, Russell, Edwards, Fowler and Pitcairn, along with Lewis County, southeast Jefferson County, and parts of Oneida County.
Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I-Newport) said in a press release that the superintendents joined him and colleagues from both houses in advocating more funding. Butler represents Madrid, Norfolk, Stockholm, Parishville, Pierrepont, Clare, Colton, Clifton and Fine in St. Lawrence County, plus Hamilton, Herkimer and Fulton counties and part of Oneida County.
“Our highway superintendents do the best they can to maintain our local roads and bridges, but the reality is that, with the ever-increasing costs of materials and stagnant funding, it is very tough for them to do their jobs and serve residents,” Butler said. “We will be working with legislative leaders and the governor to try to increase local aid during budget negotiations.”
“Limited funding and increased material costs have slowed road and bridge repair to a near halt and the state must invest back into our communities to rebuild the infrastructure that we need to revitalize towns and counties and attract economic development,” Blankenbush said. “It’s high time we make sure the funds designed for road repairs go where they’re needed most, right in our own communities, and I am happy to work with the governor and legislative leaders to accomplish this.”