They’ve lost some time to the state budget mess, but summer road repair crews in Fulton are finally about to hit the streets.
Fulton and most other local governments depend on a state program called CHIPS for the money needed to repair and repave roads and fix up bridges.
CHIPS funds are part of the state budget. The budget is supposed to be approved by April 1, but has not yet been passed by the state Assembly and Senate.
Governor David Paterson, impatient with the lack of progress, has been inserting pieces of his proposed budget into the temporary spending bills needed to keep the state government running when there’s no new state budget. CHIPS money was in the so-called budget extender approved last week.
Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward said that the city is a bit behind its usual schedule and will face an additional slowdown because all of the local governments will be lining up at the same time for blacktop, but “in my opinion, we’re authorized to spend $276 thousand and we’re gonna get as much paving done as we can.”
He said city crews will use some of that money for repairs to the Oneida St. bridge (a larger project to renovate the Broadway bridge is in the planning stages at the state Department of Transportation).
The city will also buy a machine that seals cracks in blacktop. “That machine will, in the long run, preserve your streets” by closing cracks that would otherwise allow water to seep in. When the water freezes and expands in the winter, it begins to destroy the blacktop from below the surface.