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CALL TO ACTION--HELP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS GET MORE FUNDING FROM ALBANY FOR ROAD REPAVING
Release Date: March 16, 2015

I received a memo from John Tomlin, an assistant to State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins indicating that State Senator Cousins and the Democratic conference are pushing for additional dollars to be allocated to local governments and an exemption of capital expenditures from the tax cap calculations.  This action, if approved by the Governor and State Legislature, will help local governments all over the state repave more roads and will help the town of Greenburgh have fewer potholes in future years. The memo is posted below.
 
What can you do?  The Democratic conference is in the minority in Albany so we need Republican support.  Write to State Senator Dean Skelos, Majority Leader of the NYS Senate, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12247 and urge him to support additional funding for road repaving for local governments during the budget process. The Governor and State Legislature must approve a budget by April 1st according to the NYS constitution.  If you have friends who reside in other communities - encourage them to also write to their State Legislators and  to Governor Andrew Cuomo urging more funding for road repaving.  Potholes is not a Greenburgh only problem. It's a problem for every community in the region!
 
NYS Assemblyman Tom Abinanti  is sponsoring legislation (A.425) that allows individuals to pursue damages from potholes on state roads all year long. Currently, Highway Law Section 58 limits  NY state liability for highway defects from May 1 through Nov. 15. 
 
 Local governments in NYS are only responsible for pothole damages if there was pre-written notice.
 
The town will also be increasing funds for road repaving in our 2015 capital budget. PAUL FEINER

 
 
Letter from State Senator Cousins office...Thank you. In this budget process, Senator Stewart-Cousins and the Democratic Conference are calling for $200 million additional CHIPS funding, a 10% increase in AIM and the exemption of capital equipment and capital expenditures from the tax cap. Here is a link to the Senator's letter. Those items are located on page 9 under "General Government and Local Assistance."

 
 
On Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 12:54 PM, Paul Feiner <pfeiner@greenburghny.com> wrote:
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
John Tomlin
Deputy Chief of Staff
Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
28 Wells Ave. Building 3
Yonkers, NY 10701
914-423-4031 office
914-423-0979 fax
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