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Red-StaterWisdoms explores the differences between the Red and Blue states on social, personal and political issues.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What the "Politicos" said about the Rt. 15 Funding

After a phone call to NYS Senator George Winner’s office, I have this to report about the funding process for the Route 15 Improvement Project. It goes something like this:

When we received the $20 million from the federal government and the $30 million from the passage of the New York State Transportation Bond Act, we were essentially moved to the “head of the line” to receive the “rest of the funding” from the state or federal governments for the completion of Route 15. The fact that we got “50 million already” makes Route 15 in Lindley a “committed project. The $50 million will be used as “leverage” to acquire the last stages of funding needed to complete Route 15. Think of the 50 million as “collateral”.

Now…in order for our politicians to secure the extra funding that is floating around in Washington or New York State to complete Route 15, we must “lobby” the politicians lest they “forget about us”. Things happen in our government and priorities shift. Much like what happened after 9/11 when Hillary Clinton secured money for the Route 15/I-99 Project through the NAFTA window of opportunity. That money designated for Route 15 went to New York City in the aftermath of the attack. It is highly unlikely monies will not be forthcoming to complete Route 15 because of its “committed project” status. And no, we’re not going to lose our 50 million-- it’s just going to take time to get to us.

A legal instrument called a “Memorandum of Understanding” is attached to both the federal money and state money we’ve already secured. Legally, what that means is: Everyone and their uncle knows that the $50 million is ours and is to be used to complete Route 15.

Now, the reason the 30 million from the state is not tucked in an account today somewhere in Albany totally accessible to us, is because the “bonding process behind the Bond Act” has not been structured yet but is expected to be by the summer of 2006. At that point in time, money will be “distributed” to “whoever” needs it for the Route 15 Project, quite possibly to the “design phase” that Paul McAnany referred to at the Town Board Meeting, Dec. 13th.

This is the best explanation with the information I have at the moment.


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