Over the past two weeks, as Governor Andrew Cuomo has laid the stepping stones to his 2016 State of the State and Executive Budget Address, local leaders have been vocal over what they hope to hear. High on the list – upstate infrastructure.
According to Cuomo, thruway price reductions for businesses, no toll for farmers, and a freeze on tolls for everyday drivers for at least the next four years, along with the largest capital plan in state history are in the works to benefit Upstate New Yorkers.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he’s pleased to hear it.
“Billions in infrastructure in upstate New York, which, of course based on the prior work that’s been done I would expect money to flow to the counties for that,” said Poloncarz.
Across the street at the County Legislature and across the aisle, Chairman John Mills said he hopes the Governor’s promise of infrastructure investment will become a reality. He said Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program – known as CHIPs – is critical to local progress.
“That’s very important to what goes on in Erie County for our development,” said Mills. “The Governor’s billion dollar project is one thing, but let’s get the substance put forward here, which is infrastructure.”
Mills said now is the time to secure the assets local leaders are looking for with state legislators going into an election year.
“This is when we have to get the funding for the roads and bridges and things we need to do,” said Mills. “I think our legislators in the Assembly and Senate will be very friendly to us on that and I think the Governor will because he wants his agendas put forward, too.”
Mills said infrastructure funding will not only enhance efforts to build business within the state and across country, but also around the world.