KENT, NY—With winter’s arrival, Senator Sue Serino recently stopped by the Kent Highway Department to highlight funding she was able to secure that helped the community significantly improve a local road and purchase three new heavy duty snow plow trucks.
“Our local highway workers are the backbone of so many of our communities, ensuring that we can travel from point A to point B safely,” said Senator Serino. “I am proud to be able to help deliver the resources that they need to improve our local infrastructure, as it’s an investment from which the entire community will benefit.”
In total, Senator Serino secured $250,000 for the Town of Kent, including $100,000 in State and Municipal (SAM) funds to be used to purchase the plow trucks and $150,000 in NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) Multi-Modal grant funding to bring Hortontown Road into the 21st century. State Senator Sue Serino and her staff worked closely with Kent Highway Superintendent Richard Othmer in securing funds for this vital roadwork project.
The money was originally awarded to the town in 1996 as part of the Multi-Modal grant program, however, it was not until Highway Superintendent Othmer—in his quest to save taxpayer dollars— discovered that the funding was never utilized by the town. Therefore, the funding was never released by the state. Upon being made aware of the discrepancy, Senator Serino fought tirelessly to ensure that the money finally made its way to the community.
Highway Superintendent Othmer said, “Basically the road was still in the same condition as it was in 1920 until now. The Kent Highway Department removed 48 dead and dangerous trees and rock-hammered more that 1500 tons of granite ledge, which protruded into the roadway and re-used this same material to reinforce the road shoulders. On average the road was widened from 16' to 20'. I have nothing but praise for the Kent Highway workers who did a professional job and saved taxpayer money, I am very proud of them.
On the same note, this project would have never materialized if it had not been for the dogged assistance of Sue Serino and her hard-working staff who worked tirelessly for the people of her district.”
Hortontown Road connects Putnam and Dutchess Counties and the Town of Kent with East Fishkill. Additionally, this road has two exits off the Taconic Parkway, making the project incredibly beneficial to hundreds of area commuters.
As for the plow trucks, according to the SAM application submitted by the Highway Superintendent and Town Supervisor Maureen Fleming, during one winter storm last year, six trucks used for snow removal were broken down simultaneously, creating an incredibly dangerous situation for drivers across the community. The new snowplows will immediately replace three trucks that have been in service for over two decades.
“The success with these projects just goes to show what can happen when diligent representatives come together to find solutions to improve community services and save taxpayer dollars,” Serino continued. “I commend the town and the Kent Highway Department for all that they do to advance that mission and to ensure the safety of our community members.”