County, state work to respond to needs

ELIZABETHTOWN -Local lawmakers rushed to provide funding May 2 as the list of problems from last week's flooding continued to grow.

The Essex County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution authorizing the use of up to $2.5 million from the unappropriated fund balance to help pay for repairs to roadways and infrastructure throughout the county during its regular monthly meeting.

"According to the lists that I have received, we are currently looking at about $2.2 million in damages," County Manager Daniel Palmer said. "We would use the money to fund projects as they came down the road."

Palmer said that the ideal situation would be that the funds would eventually be replenished through federal relief funding.

"If we end up with the federal funding, then we can repay the fund balance," Palmer said. "If we do not receive FEMA funding, then we are going to have to look at a long-term bond situation."

"We feel that this is the way that we need to go right now," County Chairman Randy Douglas said. "Everybody is working hard to get the numbers concerning the amount needed for repairs."

The funding was immediately put to use, as County DPW Superintendent Anthony J. LaVigne asked for permission to start the reconstruction process of the Broad Street and Titus Road bridges in the town of Moriah.

"We have entered into an emergency contract with Kubricky Construction for Broad Street in Moriah," LaVigne said. "We continue to complete assessments and are going out to do road and bridge inspections."

LaVigne added that he did not feel that all the damages were known.

"The damages are widespread throughout the county," LaVigne said. "I do anticipate more damages coming to light as time goes on."

"Various towns got hit more than others," New York State DOTresident engineer Mike Fayette said. "We are more formally working with the towns by the order of the Governor (Andrew Cuomo). We are willing to provide the equipment and the people to the towns."

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