Essex County's Fred Buck and County Leaders Voice Concern for Aging Roads and Bridges

ELIZABETHTOWNEssex County Department of Public Works Commissioner Fred Buck met with the head of the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) recently to discuss concerns about the state of the countys roads and bridges. The meeting with DOT Commissioner Astrid Glynn was coordinated by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), which has been meeting with members of Governor Eliot Spitzers administration since early this year to talk about mutual concerns. It was a constructive meeting. Commissioner Glynn made some important observations about our aging infrastructure, and specifically about the need to implement an aggressive preventative maintenance plan for our critical infrastructure, said Stephen J. Acquario, NYSAC executive director. Clearly, we need to work together to save taxpayer dollars and better serve the traveling public.

At the NYSAC Annual Fall Seminar last week, county delegates passed a series of transportation-related resolutions, calling for:

The establishment of a new bridging and culvert program

Greater state committee to the safety and integrity of the local infrastructure

The creation of a grant program to assist local governments with damn rehabilitation projects.

Buck, who also serves as president of the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association (NYSCHSA), said that his group is working closely with NYSAC to ensure that state leaders understand the infrastructure issues facing local governments.

"The New York State County Highway Superintendents Association has consistently urged state officials to provide more resources to address the serious deteriorating conditions of our highways and bridges," said Buck.

The NYSCHSA backed legislation, called the Bridge and Road Investment and Dedicated Fund Guaranteed Enforcement (BRIDGE) Reform Act, would initiate a five-year phase-out of non-bridge and road expenditures that are currently the responsibility of the DHBTF, freeing-up an additional $750 million to be directed exclusively for bridge and highway construction and repair.

The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving all sixty-two counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSACs mission is to represent, educate and advocate for member counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.

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