ONEONTA, 05/01/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) today announced the award of federal funding for infrastructure projects throughout the 51st district.
“These projects are needed to spur economic development and create construction jobs while making necessary improvements to maintain and upgrade the area infrastructure,” said Seward. “Projects like these will mean safer highways and bridges for our residents and visitors. The improved infrastructure could also help attract new business to our region."
The projects will be funded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“While I am pleased these projects have been recognized for their outstanding merit and are scheduled to receive federal funding, I am concerned about the manner in which the federal stimulus money has been awarded,” Seward continued. “We need a fully transparent process to ensure that money is being distributed fairly and jobs are being created.”
Seward is calling for several reform measures to monitor the awarding and distribution of ARRA funds including:
• A new website established by the state comptroller to track job creation;
• Providing the attorney general’s office with the power to investigate and prosecute cases of fraud, waste and abuse;
• A “Taxpayers’ Right To Know” provision that would ensure all future meetings concerning the stimulus funds are held in public and webcast live.
A coalition of good government and public watchdog groups, the New York State Stimulus Oversight Working Group, has also made a plea for the transparent monitoring of the federal stimulus money.
“We are dealing with billions of dollars in taxpayer money. New Yorkers should have the right to follow the money trail from the federal government right down to the ground level,” Seward concluded.
Projects to receive ARRA funds include:
• $140,000 for a project to install new signage on County Routes 5, 10A, 25, 32, 32A, 32B, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 44 in Chenango County. This work is expected to be completed in the winter of 2009.
• $270,000 for a culvert replacement project on County Route 8 in the Town of Cobleskill, Schoharie County. Work is expected to be completed in the fall of 2009.
• $2.45 million funding for a project to rehabilitate approaches to seven bridges carrying Interstate 88 in Schoharie County. Guide rails will also be improved at these locations. This work is expected to be completed in the winter of 2009.
• $3.3 million for a project to rehabilitate culverts along Interstate 88 in the Towns of Otego, Oneonta, Milford and Maryland, Otsego County. Construction is expected to be completed in the winter of 2010.
• $2.6 million for a project to resurface highways in Herkimer County, including approximately 1.5 miles of Route 5S from Main Street in Frankfort to Route 51 in Ilion; approximately three miles of Route 28 from Route 8 to Comstock Bridge in the Town of Russia; and approximately one-half mile of the Route 5S and 28 overlap in the Village of Mohawk and Town of German Flatts. The top layer of worn, deteriorated pavement will be removed and replaced with new asphalt and fresh pavement markings. On Route 5S, shoulder and centerline rumble strips will be installed as an additional safety feature. Construction is expected to be completed this summer.
• $1.2 million for a project to resurface approximately three miles of Route 5S from the Herkimer County Line to Sanders Road in the town of Minden, Montgomery County and resurface approximately 5.5 miles of Route 29 from Vail Mills in the Town of Mayfield to the Saratoga County Line in the Village and Town of Broadalbin, Fulton County. The top layer of worn, deteriorated pavement will be removed and replaced with new asphalt and fresh pavement markings. Construction is expected to be completed this summer.
• $2.2 million to rehabilitate multiple state-owned bridges in Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, Oswego and Seneca counties. This project will improve the overall condition and safety of multiple state-owned bridges. Construction is expected to be completed by September 2010.