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Area roads are focus of latest funds

TRI-COUNTY AREA—Yates, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties are getting yet more governments funds, this time for new buses and road work.
All of the funds are from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Gov. David Paterson’s office announced some of the funding Sept. 8. Schuyler, Chemung, and Steuben Counties all got $257,000 to install Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks along state highways. Schuyler, Steuben, Yates and Allegany Counties also got $315,000 to remove hazardous trees along select state highways.
Dorothy Nisbet, with the department of transportation regional office in Watkins Glen, said there is no breakdown of the funds per county, but as the money is used. She did say that tree removal is going on right now during construction season in all four counties as the work is needed.
The funds Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn knew about was for buses. Congressman Eric Massa announced Sept. 10 that Schuyler County specifically got $231,000 for the purchase of three replacement buses. Another $20,000 was awarded for four bus passenger shelters and $3,000 for 30 bus stop signs.
O’Hearn said one bus stop would definitely be at the Rural Urban Center, but the other three have not been determined yet. He explained those plus the locations of the bus stop signs would be determined when the final route is established. O’Hearn said the route would be finalized and the buses purchased by late spring/early summer of next year.
In addition to the requested funds for buses and signage, O’Hearn added the county applied for funds to cover bus route scheduling software. He said that was not approved, but the county did get other transportation funding for it. Of all the funding combined, O’Hearn said Schuyler was responsible for covering $5,000.

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