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POTHOLES--WHAT WE'RE DOING...WHY TEMPORARY REPAIRS DON'T ALWAYS WORK
Release Date: March 11, 2015

THE POTHOLE REPORT—WHAT WE’RE DOING..WHY TEMPORARY POTHOLE REPAIRS DON’T ALWAYS WORK…NEED FOR HELP FROM THE NYS GOVERNMENT (CALL TO ACTION)…TOWN TO SPEND MORE TO REPAVE ROADS
Many residents have asked why potholes are such a big problem and why pothole repairs between the transition months—winter and spring  don’t always work.  One of the problems is that it is very difficult to patch roads when the road conditions are wet. During this week, for example, we have sent crews to put a cold patch on potholes.  Because the road is wet the temporary fix may only last until the next rain.   Hot asphalt is being used now but if the weather does not cooperate the pothole might not last.    Greenburgh is not the only community in the region that has a major pothole problem. It’s everyone –state, county and local roads ARE A MESS!
 
Why are there potholes?  Potholes are a weakness in roads due to age and other outstanding factors. Water gets in…freeze and thaw contribute to the growing number of potholes.  Due to severe winter, the amount of times we salt and plow roads help contribute to deteriorating road conditions. The roads in NYS have taken a severe beating due to these facts.
 
These are issues that we’re facing:   The patch doesn’t last. The material from the patch has to be swept or cleaned off the right of way. In cases- we have to clear the material out of the drainage infrastructure.   That all is expensive—due to time and material. We don’t cut corners—our concern is the safety of residents.  There are hundreds of potholes. After I get a complaint from residents the pothole repair order is immediately forwarded to our crews.  The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Public Works sometimes e mails their staff close to midnight, following up on your concerns. We try to repair quickly.   But, because there are so many potholes priority has to be given to the most travelled roads.  We usually get to the secondary roads quickly too
 
I’m currently working on the proposed capital budget for 2015. The budget will be adjusted because of the severe winter.   Last year the town appropriated $1.5 million in the capital budget for road repaving. We were able to locate additional dollars that hadn’t been spent. This year, I anticipate recommending to the Town Board that we appropriate significantly more so we can repave roads that are in desperate condition. 
 
Road conditions around the entire state are deteriorating due to lack of funds and the state legislation which requires local governments to comply with the tax cap.  I plan to renew my request to the Governor and State Legislature to delete road repaving from the tax cap formula or to substantially increase funding to all local governments so we can do a much better job of repaving roads.  No matter what is spent – it’s difficult for most governments in NYS to catch up.   We need to spend money to save money. If roads are not repaved the cost of maintenance increases with labor hours and material.
 
Due to the fact that the money is so limited, most governments prioritize the roads that need repaving. In an ideal situation we would repave before it gets to the point that roads need to be rebuilt. We do our best to get to the roads before they have to be totally rebuilt.
 
Under the pothole there is dirt, sand, grit. The material washes into the basin—impacting the environment.
In addition, some of the  roads (such as W Hartsdale, 119, Dobbs Ferry Road, 9A) are not within our jurisdiction. There are state and county roads in Greenburgh and the state and county are responsible for road repaving, pothole fixing or repairs on their roads. We forward complaints to the correct person.
 
Please feel free to continue to e mail me with pothole conditions that need attention. I hope that this information will help you understand what we’re facing.  My e mail is pfeiner@greenburghny.com
 
CALL TO ACTION
CONTACT THE GOVERNOR AND OUR STATE LEGISLATORS, STATE SENATOR ANDREA STEWART COUSINS AND ASSEMBLYMAN TOM ABINANTI AT THE CAPITOL IN ALBANY AND ASK THEM TO PRESS FOR ADDITIONAL STATE FUNDING TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR ROAD REPAVING.
Paul Feiner
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