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State denies county highway grant

Funds were sought for consolidation study

October 31, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The state rejected Fulton County's application for a $90,000 grant to study possible consolidation of highway departments in the county.

County Planning Director James Mraz broke the news to the Board of Supervisors' Buildings and Grounds-Highway Committee on Monday. He noted the county sought a Local Government Efficiency Grant for the highway study. The grant recipients were announced Oct. 15 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"Unfortunately, Fulton County wasn't one of the 21 municipalities awarded a grant," Mraz said.

He said Albany County received a similar grant.

Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Michael Ponticello wanted to know why the county's application was rejected, but Mraz said the state gave no specific reason.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors in February authorized an application for the Local Government Efficiency Grant to the state Department of State, seeking money to pay for a study to measure municipal highway efficiency throughout the county. The county scheduled a $100,000 capital project for 2012 to do the study, contingent on grant funding. The county had intended a $10,000 local share.

Supervisors had proposed the county, a consultant and local governments work together to provide an objective analysis regarding how county, town, city and village highway departments operate and maintain their facilities, equipment and roads. The consultant would have looked at municipalities' equipment, inventory and various salting and sanding issues. There are 725 miles of county, town, city and village roads in the county.

But the committee approved a proposed resolution Monday to remove the highway study from this year's capital plan.

An Oct.17 letter was released Monday from state Deputy Secretary of State Deidre Scozzafava to Fulton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Michael F. Gendron, with copies to several of the county's municipalities.

"The department received many excellent applications, however, due to funding limitations and a high volume of qualified submissions, we were unable to fund your project," Scozzafava wrote.

She encouraged Fulton County to apply in "future rounds" of the grant program.

Michael Anich can be reached at



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