You’re Buying Your Local Bridge at The Pump.
Every time you buy gas, about 33 cents a gallon is pumping into a $3.6 billion
“Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund.” When you rent a car or pay fees at the
DMV, you’re contributing to the “trust” fund which is “dedicated” to highways and
bridges. So why do you have potholes and why are the bridges in Northern New York
crumbling? Each year, our current Assemblywoman supports a bill that sweeps these
“dedicated” funds into the general fund instead of bringing them back home to pay for
the street in your community or critical bridges in our area. We need to put the TRUST
back in government and the “trust” back in the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust
The “River District” is home to so many unique things that help make our region great.
From world-class fishing along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, to delicious,
locally made products, like cheese curd and maple syrup. We have business, such as
Alcoa and New York Airbrake who make high-quality products used across the globe
and employ thousands.
There are so many things that only the North Country can provide to the world. Making
sure that these one-of-a-kind experiences and businesses have the ingredients they
need to flourish and grow is essential. What’s the main ingredient you ask? Simply put,
a reliable, modern and safe infrastructure.
“To me, it’s a pretty simple concept: if you want to see business growth, job creation
and a stronger overall economy, we’ve got to make investments in our state’s
infrastructure,” said Mark Walczyk. “I have driven, walked and even run along roads
that are literally crumbling beneath our feet. It is clear that Jefferson and St. Lawrence
Counties need to see a ‘bigger piece of the pie’ when it comes to the state providing the
dollars that improve our roads and bridges. I will be a tireless advocate for the North
Country in Albany, working day and night to ensure the ‘tax and spend’ mentality of my
opponent is reigned in and meaningful investments are made in our regions that will
make businesses want to set up shop in our communities.”
Tappan Zee Bridge
The “Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge” cost $4 billion to build and connects White
Plains to Nyack over the Hudson River. Why should we care? Because it was financed
in part by NYS Thruway Authority which means – by way of example - when a North
Country dairy farmer pays tolls (on the road that isn’t supposed to have any), part of
their hard-earned milk profit is going to a bridge they won’t benefit from. The State is
also taking on $2.45 billion in debt after construction ends which means, you – the
everyday taxpayer – is paying for the debt of the bridge you might never use while up
here you drive over the same pothole every day. Too many downstate interests are put
before the interests and the needs of us here in the North Country. Our current Member
of Assembly has shown time and time again that being a “rubber stamp” for downstate
infrastructure initiatives, regardless of the price tag, has been her priority.
In addition to strengthening roads and bridges, it’s also critical that New York State
continues working to expand the accessibility of high-speed broadband. In today’s day
and age, access to the internet is just as important as electricity. The day-to-day
operations of so many businesses rely heavily on reliable broadband.
After a decade of failing to represent the interests of our “River District,” the time has
come to bring a fresh set of ideas and a new outlook to Albany. Programs like the
Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs), which helps
local governments offset high costs associated with roadwork has been consistently
underfunded. We pay enough in taxes and fee’s in New York that our infrastructure
should never be an issue and it’s time for some honest, responsive, open government.
“I honestly feel that the North Country continues to be neglected. Our current
representative in the Assembly has continued to support a budget that provides millions
of taxpayer dollars for downstate infrastructure projects, like the ‘Mario Cuomo Bridge’
and dedicating billions of dollars on a transformative MTA Capital Plan for regional
transportation for downstaters. It’s high time these same types of financial
commitments are being made in Upstate New York for roadways and bridges, as well
as broadband. If elected, you have my commitment to fight tooth and nail to make sure
the ‘River District’ sees the funding needed to repair our ailing roads, which will help
keep this beautiful region growing and a great place to live.”