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Highway commissioners, state politicians urge New York State for more road-repair funding

STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Local public works commissioners are looking to a New York State program for funds to repair roads while urging the state to increase the program's funding.

It's called the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, or CHIPS.

In 2017, Steuben County received over $6.1 Million in CHIPS funding to repair the county's roads. It's an increase from 2012 when the county got $3.7 Million.

"For us that's a lot of money," Vincent Spagnoletti, the Steuben County Public Works Commissioner, said. "What happened in that time, our poor roads went from 120 miles down to 40 miles. "

Now State Senator Tom O'mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano are urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to further increase CHIPS funding.

Their reason is that CHIPS provides, "critical flexibility and funding that localities need to help meet their growing and challenging infrastructure demands."

"If they should happen to get us more money," Spagnoletti explained, "we can go after some of those remaining 40 miles of poor roads."

If not for CHIPS funding, County Route 42 would not have been touched. The northern portion of County Route 42 is part of the 40 miles total countywide that needs repairs, ladened with potholes. Further south on the route, motorists can see the smoothness and sheen of recent repaving.

"For those people that live on those 40 miles, that's not acceptable," Spagnoletti said. "We're going after those 40 miles, but we're limited on money."

Meanwhile in Chemung County, Public Works Commissioner Andy Avery said the county got over $1.6 Million in CHIPS funding for 2017.

Avery said the county is hoping to get an extra $545,000 to rehabilitate and repave three miles of roads.

Avery sits on the executive board of the New York State County Highway Superintendents' Association. He says the organization is asking for a $150-million increase for CHIPS funding statewide.

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