Medina Journal-Register — Citing uncertainty in Albany’s commitment to funding infrastructure improvements, the Orleans County Legislature authorized Wednesday the county to fund the state’s share of a project to replace the Hulberton Road Bridge and all of the federal and non-federal funding for engineering work on the project.
Legislators also chastised the State Department of Transportation for reneging on providing their share of funding for the reconstruction of Bates Road. They called for the state to allocate the nearly $150,000 they were expected to cover for the project.
County Chief Administrative Officer Chuck Nesbitt said the county has not informed the county that they do not have the state Machiselli funds for the $1 million bridge project, but the recent announcement to the Town of Shelby has them on notice.
“We’re consistently told not to expect CHIPS and Marchiselli funds year in and year out,” Nesbitt said. “But what happened to Shelby is the first time I’ve seen them pull out of a project because of a lack of funds.”
The county has two planned projects — the Waterport Bridge is the other — that the county expected to have partially funded by the federal government and New York State. Under the funding scheme, Washington pays 80 percent of project costs, the state adds 15 percent and the local municipality covers the remaining 5
The resolution passed Wednesday to appropriate $128,000 for the Hulberton project. Construction work on the bridge, which crosses over West Sandy Creek in Murray, is not scheduled to commence until 2014, County Highway Superintendent Jerry Gray said. Engineering work, which would be covered by the funding program, is scheduled for later this year.
Gray said the necessity of the project is helping to drive the local commitment to the larger stakes made by the state and county.
”It’s a major mover in eastern Orleans County,” Gray said. “It’s good it’s being done now.”
Despite the negative assumption the resolution makes, legislators expressed hope that funding for the projects in Murray and Shelby will still come from the state.
”It’s possible the money could come through in a week to 10 days,” Legislator Bill Eick said.