Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the recently passed state budget makes an unprecedented commitment to invest $150 billion in infrastructure projects over the next five years, some of which will go to fix upstate's highways, bridges, and tunnels. But many local government leaders, like East Syracuse Mayor Robert Tackman, say that's not enough.
"The wear and tear is not keeping up with the funding that we are receiving and these roads are deteriorating," Tackman said. "We're trying our best to stay ahead, and trying to be proactive, but with flat-line funding we're reactive instead of proactive, fixing roads that are breaking rather than trying to fix them before they deteriorate."
The Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) that assists local governments with the cost of building and fixing roads has not seen an increase in funding in seven years. And this year's budget cut $65 million from Extreme Winter Recovery Funding. That's why Tackman and others officials who attended the annual New York State Conference of Mayors have called on the state legislature to pass a supplemental capital budget to make a bigger investment.
"We're not asking for funding to do glamorous things," He said. "We're asking for the nuts and bolts of our communities - our infrastructure."