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Schuyler sends requests to Albany representatives

    SCHUYLER COUNTY—The Schuyler County Legislature passed a resolution urging Albany to expedite completion of I-86 and voted to draft and send a letter to Representatives Christopher Friend and Tom O’Mara requesting meaningful mandate relief at the regular meeting held on Monday, March 12.
    The I-86 resolution passed by the legislature requests that Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature advance funding and expedite completion of I-86 and place signage recognizing the designation of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Interstate Highway 86. Legislator Tom Gifford said that the resolution was going to all of the counties involved and that they were all very much in favor of completing I-86. The project began in 1999 with Governor George Pataki who committed to a 10 to 12 year construction period. That timeline has since been extended and the legislature feels “the conversion of Route 17 to I-86 could be completed many years sooner than on the present schedule and it would provide the vast economic benefits foreseen by the Appalachian Development Highway Commission in its study entitled ‘Economic Impact of Completing the Appalachian Development Highway System.’” The study was issued in 2000 and found, among other things, that the nation would see a $3 return in economic benefits for every $1 spent to complete the project.
    The legislature also voted to draft and send letters asking local representatives Friend and O’Mara to support the Governor’s efforts to freeze medicaid increases. Chairman Dennis Fagan explained that “there are efforts in the assembly to scuttle the mandate relief efforts of the Governor.” He then urged the public to contact local representatives regarding mandate relief because “it is critical to trying to control property taxes.” Fagan added that, so far, “the actions on medicaid have been tepid at best.” “We need the State to take over the local share of medicaid,” said Fagan, “they control all of the rules and regulations, we have no say.”
    In other business:
    • The Redistricting Committee has been working towards redistricting the legislative districts. Two meetings have been held thus far. Rocky Kambo from Cornell Cooperative Extension has been asked to reevaluate the seven district plan. He will be working on an eight district plan, an alternative seven district plan, and a five district plan with two at large seats. When those plans are finalized the legislature will hold a public session for discussion of the proposed plans.
    • The legislature voted to authorize application for an efficiency grant to study consolidated code enforcement functions and to become the lead agency for that grant application. The feasibility study will evaluate the costs and benefits of consolidating the code enforcement offices. The legislature acknowledges that the “current structure creates inefficiencies and redundancies in the provision of this vital public service.” County Administrator Tim O’Hearn was designated as the lead applicant contact person for the grant application process.
    The next meeting of the legislature is scheduled for Monday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. In the legislative chambers.




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