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Clifton Park allocates $500K to highway department

Clifton Park allocates $500K to highway department

Town plans late-season repair projects
Clifton Park allocates $500K to highway department
Photographer: Gazette file photo

CLIFTON PARK — The Clifton Park Town Board at its meeting Monday approved a transfer of $500,000 to the Highway Department to cover additional projects that the department will complete prior to the end of paving season.

The board, which passed the resolution unanimously, has in the past allocated funding late in the season to the department. In 2018, an extra $500,000 was allocated to the department in September as well.

The money has been moved into the highway paving account from the town's unassigned general fund balance.

Clifton Park Highway Superintendent Dahn Bull said the extra funds aren't necessarily for emergency projects or unexpected projects. Instead, he said, it is usually money that the town has available that is allocated toward preventative maintenance on roads that need it, including resurfacing or stormwater management prevention. 

"The Town Board and supervisor are always looking at different ways to invest funds and I’m happy that they look to the Highway Department and our roads. The Northeast seasons do their best to make sure there is never a shortage of projects for us," Bull said.

In past years, Bull has pointed out that once a road goes bad, the funding needed to repair it is generally greater than the funding needed to maintain it before it becomes undrivable. But when roads are fixed, they generally can last for years before needed serious repairs, such as Macelroy Road, which received extensive paving last summer and had been last worked on a decade before that.

This year, the town completed various projects, including a total milling and rebuilding of the road base on Blue Spruce Lane following sewer projects on the street.

There is at least another month left in the year's paving season, depending on weather, Town Supervisor Phil Barrett said at Monday's meeting.

The town is in talks with asphalt suppliers for the continuation of the paving projects through the end of the season.

The department is also hoping to complete approximately a half-dozen stormwater management projects before the season ends, including a project in Country Knolls South.

Bull confirmed at the meeting that, like the road maintenance projects, once the stormwater management projects are completed, the systems most likely will not need further repairs for decades. Barrett agreed and noted that he regularly explains to residents that work now means less hassle in the future.

"I do tell people that it's going to be a real pain for the next couple of months, but you shouldn't have to go back for another 50 or 60 years," Barrett said.

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