Greetings Cortlandt Residents,
As you are well aware, many of our roads are a mess and dangerous, not just with work ConEd is currently doing on Watch Hill Road, Furnace Dock Road and Croton Avenue, but too much of the time. In February, our Independent Party Slate, Cortlandt United, announced our set of goals; “paving our roads and keeping the power on” to ensure public safety was emphasized. We have recently seen a penned letter written to ConEd from our Town governance and a Letter to the Editor in the River Journal from a member of our Town Board discussing this issue. Thank you to all of the residents who have written or called asking our Board to take action, because I am not confident there would have been a response without your pressure.
As your Supervisor I will make sure there is a coordinated plan to keep our roads safe and yes, paved. While I am sure some kind of plan exists, it is not working well for our residents. However, I appreciate the effort being made by the highway department to update codes to deal with private and public companies and accountability. This should have been done years ago.
Currently there are requirements for a Road Opening Permit. One of these requirements is a security deposit. In cases like the current situation with ConEd, a surety bond would make more sense and would be a type of insurance policy to ensure the work of restoring the roads to their original state was completed. It was suggested at the last Town Board meeting that we should just pave the roads and then go after ConEd for the cost. The Town would be better served by avoiding the time and expense of litigation that would undoubtedly occur. They passed a resolution to explore how much all this paving is going to cost. I am confident in assuming the Board wants these three roads paved before the November election.
Again, as your supervisor, I will make sure there is a coordinated plan. Our road repair plan will include a rating system based on criteria such as age, current condition, and projected date of failure. We will gather all of this information to see how long it will take and how much it will cost to get all of our roads to standard. This plan, as well as all maintenance plans, will be clearly communicated to Cortlandt residents and available for reference on our Town website. We will always inform residents of any repair being done in their area, how long the disruption will be and its estimated cost. You deserve to know exactly how your tax dollars are being spent and what you are getting for it.
In addition, if we need to work with outside companies, we will coordinate with town work already planned, negotiate strong contracts which will include deadlines and financial consequences for not meeting those deadlines, and include a security deposit or surety bond as I discussed above. These contracts should always include an infrastructure improvement for our Town such as sidewalks or street lights.
Example – A section of Albany Post Road was newly paved just a few months ago. It was recently torn up to put in new sidewalks and now the road is again, a mess at the edges and is patched. This should have been done in reverse. This is an example of non-coordination between state and Town.
The roads are not a new problem, but we offer new solutions.
Laurie Abbate Ryan
Candidate for Cortlandt Supervisor