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Location: New York

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Community Meeting with Senator George Winner

The Community Meeting started out by me asking about the status of the NYS Transportation Bond Act that includes funding for the completion of Route 15 to be voted on this November. I was curious to know if the financial consequence of Katrina and Rita would impact the Bond Act here in New York State. There had been rumors in Washington that the Federal Transportation Act was under consideration to “peel of its pork” to free up more money for the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast. Congressman Randy Kuhl had earmarked $20 million for the I/99-Route 15 project here in Lindley in the Federal Act.

Senator Winner and Assemblyman Jim Bacalles stated that the NYS Bond Act was a done deal and would be on the ballot this November. They also said the Federal Transportation Act would remain as it was since no action would be taken to cut back on any project earmarked in the legislation. So it looks like the $20 million from the federal government to assist in the completion of Route 15 is coming our way. Jim also stated that it would be rare if New York State cancelled the Route 15 project once the engineering and environmental impact studies were completed which they have been for Route 15. If the NYS Bond Act does not pass in November then it’s back to the drawing board, but we remain at the head of the line to be included in yet another NYS Transportation Bond Act.

There was a discussion on high gas prices and if you’ll refer to George’s website you can get the details on state legislation coming down the pike to cap sales tax on gas, a savings between 8 and 10%. George also said they are working on a $200 rebate for people in the enhanced STAR program to help low income households with high heating bills this year.

Gene Steinhilper came to the Community Meeting to protest about the way Steuben County resurfaced Church Creek Road where he lives. Gene said when the county tore up the black top and resurfaced with oil and stone it made for unsafe conditions because of the loose gravel. He didn’t think the county graded the gravel properly. Gene said, “There’s piles of gravel all up and down the road. The surface was not graded smooth.” He also said the county over dug the ditches, according to him the ditches are six-feet deep. He also wanted to know what the county spent on resurfacing with oil and stone rather than repairing the road with blacktop or resurfacing with blacktop.

Dee Hill suggested he speak directly to Bob Nichols, our County Legislator, with his concerns.

Henry Thomas from Presho suggested George work towards getting cameras put in the courtrooms because of the unfair treatment African-Americans were experiencing in the New York judicial system. Henry also mentioned that hurricane Katrina brought national attention to the plight of poor people and asked George and Jim to create a commission to look at the issue of racism in America.


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4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anything being done to let the voters know why they SHOULD approve the bond issue? Don't these bond issues have a history of being voted down?

I am NOT in favor of cameras in the courtroom. I think the lawyers, etc tend to play up to the cameras instead of tending to court business whether it is minority case or someone else.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

If the Bond Issue passes in November, the remaining five miles of two lane in Lindley will be converted to a four lane. The first mile that will connect to the Pa. I/99 at the border is scheduled for construction in 2006.

10:11 PM  

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