AMSTERDAM -- Described as a fortunate funding "mixup," the city is set to receive two New York state grants aimed at the same road repair project.
On Monday the city learned that it would be receiving a $1 million infrastructure improvement grant secured by State Sen. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, aimed at fixing Church Street, a main truck traffic corridors in the city, which becomes state Route 67.
Later in the same day, city officials learned they would also be receiving a $900,000 State and Municipal Facilities Program grant secured by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, aimed at much the same purpose.
Mayor Michael Villa said his city benefits from having a state senator and an assemblyman who are in the majority party of their respective chambers of the New York State Legislature. He said he had been working with Amedore on the Church Street repair project, supplying his office with information for an application to the state Department of Transportation for the grant funding.
"I had no knowledge that Angelo was working on this as well. It's very unusual. I get along great with both of them," Mayor Michael Villa said. "There's a need, there was just a mixup as to how this project was being funded, and it ended up being funded by both of them. We're going to get both.
Santabarbara said Amsterdam residents who live along Church Street need to have that road repaired.
"When these big trucks come by, it really shakes the artwork, the pictures, off the walls, things on shelves. People are worried about the structural integrity of their homes with this vibration going down," he said.
Part of the need to repair and rebuild Church Street stems from what city officials have characterized as a failed project to repave the street in 2008, which has left the road in a dangerously deteriorating condition. The city was unable to allocate any of the $1.5 million in its Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) for 2018-19 because the state requires at least a 10-year period between repaving the same street with CHIPS money. City Engineer Richard Miller said he has estimated it will cost about $900,000 to rebuild Church Street, but he said there is no shortage of other necessary repairs the rest of the now $1.9 million in funding could be used for.
"We're also going to do some work around the what they call the "five corners" area, reconfigure the road a little bit," Miller said. "This is a nice position to be in, but I've got to see if there are any restrictions on it at this point."
Amedore said the grant money he has secured can be spent on infrastructure projects in the city of Amsterdam. He said he specifically requested more than what was needed for the Church Street project so that the city would have money for other needed infrastructure repairs.
"We've been hearing from a lot of residents for a long time, whether it's Church Street or various issues that Amsterdam faces. We need to make much needed infrastructure improvements," Amedore said.