New state budget will ensure state DOT regional office in Hornell stays open

 

Albany, N.Y., March 26—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) said today that the final 2012-2013 New York State budget will keep all 11 of the state Department of Transportation’s (DOT) regional offices operating, including the Region 6 office in Hornell.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2012-2013 executive budget proposal, which he released in January, called for reducing the number of DOT regional offices from 11 to 6.

“This is great news for the city of Hornell and our entire region, where the Region 6 staff has consistently provided quality service and valuable leadership in the development, improvement and maintenance of the region’s transportation network,” said O’Mara.  “The future of our highways, roads and bridges is fundamental to the strength of our economic future.  I’m grateful that we’ll be able to continue working closely with Region 6 leaders and staff.” 

In a March 25 letter to state legislative leaders, DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald wrote: “While we will be reviewing opportunities to achieve efficiencies in the Department through redeployment and reorganization in support of Governor Cuomo’s vision to reinvigorate the State’s economy, I am writing to assure you that we will not close any of NYSDOT’s eleven regional offices in State fiscal year 2012-2013…The Department is committed to evaluating the most efficient and productive allocation of its resources. As we move forward, we will continue to work with the Legislature to ensure that the Department maximizes service delivery and minimizes the burden on the State’s taxpayers.”

DOT Region 6 covers Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler and Yates counties.

Earlier today, O’Mara said that the Legislature reached another key transportation agreement that will maintain New York’s commitment to funding for local roads and bridges in this year’s budget.  Specifically the agreement accepts the governor’s proposal to maintain state funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) at last year’s increased funding level of approximately $363.1 million.

The CHIPS program provides the bulk of state aid to localities for the maintenance and improvement of local roads and bridges.

According to figures from the state Department of Transportation (DOT), the agreed-upon budget will result in the following CHIPS funding for the counties in O’Mara’s 53rd Senate District: Chemung ($1,391,371); Schuyler ($727,530); Steuben ($3,688,392); Tompkins ($1,685,229); and Yates ($971,280).

The Legislature convened its joint, bipartisan budget conference committee process two weeks ago to begin public negotiations aimed at reaching legislative agreements on key segments of the 2012-2013 state budget before the start of New York’s new fiscal year on April 1.