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Future of N.Y. road repairs looks bleak

"It seems like we get the short end of the stick because of where we're located," Douglas said.

Hansen said that while Region 1 has an annual budget of over $98,000, Region 7 only has $34,000 because it includes far less bridges. Still, a majority of supervisors agreed with Morrow.

Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee complained of the need for a culvert replacement that arose from installing a new water system in the town. He said while the state was willing to provide a culvert, they would not provide the labor to install it.

Hansen expressed sympathy, noting similar situations regarding other culvert replacements.

"We're not ignorant to what's out there," said Hansen. "We're just frustrated at how to deal with it with such a limited budget."

North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi told of a bridge on Adirondack Loj Road which will likely be taken over by the county because it's cost prohibitive for the town to replace. He said the previous regional director had promised to replace the bridge, which is likely to be closed if not replaced soon.

Hansen said in order for the road to be handled by the state, it would have to be made "institutional" by making some of the land it accesses state-owned.

Schroon Lake Supervisor Cathy Moses said too much state money was being spent on sign replacement instead of road repairs. Hansen said replacing the signs was done to comply with a federal mandate.

Randy Preston, supervisor of Wilmington agreed, telling of how a sign directing motorists to Haselton was misspelled when replaced last year. Also, he said, Haselton has not existed as a community for more than 75 years.

Other supervisors stressed the importance of major repair projects, such as repavement of Route 22 near Willsboro and revitalization of the Crown Point bridge to Vermont.

Essex Supervisor Ron Jackson noted the bridge is not only a major corridor for commerce, but a much-needed route for emergency vehicles.

"If that bridge has to be closed for any length of time, you're talking life or death, without question," he said.

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