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Ortt delivers state funds for projects throughout Orleans

Photos by Tom Rivers: State Sen. Robert Ortt met with government officials in Orleans County today at the Murray Town Hall to highlight recent state grants for capital improvement projects, including $200,000 for the snow plow/dump truck for the Murray Highway Department. The officials behind Ortt, from left, include: Chuck Nesbitt, chief administrative officer for Orleans County; Lynne Johnson, Orleans County legislator; Bill Eick, county legislator; Richard Moy, Clarendon town supervisor; Paul Hendel, Murray town councilman; Jim Whipple, chief executive officer of Orleans Economic Development Agency; Bob Miller, Murray town councilman; John Morriss, Murray town supervisor; Lloyd Christ, Murray town councilman; and Ed Morgan, Murray town highway superintendent.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 September 2017 at 6:58 pm

MURRAY – Some municipalities in Orleans County are tackling capital projects with assistance from state funding secured by Sen. Robert Ortt. The projects include new plow trucks, water districts, town hall and fire hall renovations, playground equipment and other improvements.

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Clarendon has been approved for $200,000 for painting its water tower, which was erected about 20 years ago on Route 31A by the fire hall.

Ortt stopped by the Murray Town Hall to highlight the $1.6 million in grants for Orleans County through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. (The funds were applied through the the State and Municipal Facilities Capital Funding Program or SAM.)

Ortt worked to get $200,000 for Murray for a new dump truck that cost $220,000. He also secured $100,00 for Carlton for a new plow truck, $154,000 for Barre for a plow truck, and $50,000 for the Town of Albion towards a plow truck.

The trucks are “a piece of equipment that doesn’t come cheap,” Ortt said while speaking in front of the truck and several local officials.

Ortt said the DASNY funds are needed for municipalities to take on capital projects during an era of tax caps. Ortt said he favors the tax cap, but he said those restrictions make it difficult for towns, villages and the county to move forward on many needed projects.

Without the DASNY grants, Ortt said local taxpayers who are already stressed from high property taxes would be burdened even more.

Ortt said the only drawback with the funds is the lengthy processing time. The Murray truck funds were approved last year, but the town didn’t get the check until this past Saturday. Murray took out a short-term bond while waiting for the state funding.

John Morriss, the Murray town supervisor, was among the contingent of local officials who thanked Ortt and his staff for pushing to get the funding.

“This new truck will help the highway department do a more efficient job of road maintenance making travel through the Town safer of all who use our roads,” Morriss said.

Murray Town Supervisor John Morriss said the new truck will be put to good use by the town, plowing roads in the winter and hauling materials during the warm weather months. Behind him and Ortt are Paul Hendel, back left, and Jim Whipple.

In addition to the funds for plow trucks, some of the grants approved in Orleans in the past two years include:

  • Town of Clarendon – $200,000 to paint the interior and exterior of its water tower;
  • Town of Kendall – $150,000 will go toward constructing a new water district to supply clean water to approximately 60 residents who currently rely on wells for water;
  • Town of Carlton Fire Company #1 – $100,000 for repairs and renovations to the town’s fire department facilities;
  • Orleans Economic Development Agency – $76,800 for infrastructure upgrades to Medina Business Park that fast-tracked Pride Pak’s expansion last year;
  • Orleans County Office of Emergency Management – $75,000 for a fire training trailer;
  • Town of Gaines – $75,000 for upgrades to town hall;
  • Village of Medina – $65,000 toward improvements to village facilities;
  • Village of Medina – $64,000 toward a heavy duty fire rescue vehicle and trailer;
  • Town of Albion – $50,000 to purchase a highway dump truck;
  • Village of Albion – $50,000 for Bullard Park Playground renovations;
  • Village of Lyndonville – $50,000 for improvements to dam control gate;
  • Town of Shelby – $50,000 for renovations to town hall and court facility.

County Legislator Lynne Johnson said the grants show that Ortt is committed to bringing state resources to Orleans County municipalities. Behind her and Ortt are John Morriss, Lloyd Christ and Ed Morgan, the Murray highway superintendent.

The capital funds for projects may be used for equipment, including construction vehicles, snowplows, and heavy duty emergency response vehicles, costs of construction, demolition, replacement, renovation, or planning and design, including engineering and other services.

Photos by Tom Rivers: Gaines Town Supervisor Carol Culhane stands in the main meeting room/court room of the Town Hall. A $75,000 state grant will pay for several energy efficiency improvements and accessibility upgrades in the Town Hall, including new windows, insulation, an enclosure at the front entrance, and a new exit door in the downstairs.

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