Cattaraugus eyeing $8 million on road work next year - The Buffalo News
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Cattaraugus eyeing $8 million on road work next year

LITTLE VALLEY – Road projects topping $8 million are slated next year in Cattaraugus County, according to proposals made by Joe Pillittere, county commissioner of public works.

One of the projects – a $1.48 million replacement of steel-deck bridges – includes $880,000 of federal funding, Pillittere said. It includes replacing seven bridges: two in Freedom and one each in Conewango, Farmersville, Franklinville, Portville and Salamanca.

In addition, Pillittere said his department has set a prioritized list of $3.1 million of fully-funded projects. Topping that list is the replacement of another bridge in Conewango at a cost of $720,000. Other projects include design work on bridges in Portville, Mansfield and Coldspring, as well as a culvert in Otto. Drainage, rehabilitation and realignment work are also scheduled.

In addition, an anticipated $4.93 million in projects, ranging from design to milling, paving and some demolition and cleanup, made the list. But the problem with the 15 projects on that list is that another $4.9 million is needed to complete them.

To fill the funding gap, Pillittere proposed using $2 million in CHIPS highway funds from the 2014-15 account, $1.3 million in highway funds that have not been spent on other projects and an additional $1.6 million in casino revenue. As yet another hand in the pot looking for casino funds, the public works projects fall under a separate classification from those designated for economic development and tourism.

The members of the Legislature’s public works committee were advised that they have time to consider each project and come back for more in-depth discussions about what the county’s public works priorities should be.

More discussion into the casino revenue spending is planned for a Committee of the Whole meeting tentatively set for Sept. 18.

One of the projects on the list is the demolition of the soon-to-be former Board of Elections building. With the board moving to its new home in the Little Valley Elementary School, the building across the street from the County Center in Little Valley has become obsolete.

Though no plans exist for the property, the building has been determined to be no longer of use and will be taken down, according to County Administrator Jack Searles. The project is estimated to cost $125,000, in addition to the $50,000 already set aside for the demolition. The increase is due to asbestos abatement for the site.

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