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Legislature Declines to Increase Budget for Ellis Hollow Road Reconstruction

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Legislature Declines to Increase Budget for Ellis Hollow Road Reconstruction

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Legislature, by a narrow margin of 7-8, failed to come forth with the approval needed to appropriate $93,000 from the Highway Fund Balance to support higher than anticipated cost for the Ellis Hollow Road reconstruction project, reconstructing 1.4 miles of highway in the Town of Dryden. (Legislators Brian Robison, Jim Dennis, Kathy Luz Herrera, Mike Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Dave McKenna, Frank Proto, and Pat Pryor voted no.) Highway officials advised that change orders for the more than $1.6 million project came in more than the permitted 10% project allowance--'in part because of the need to spread the project over two construction seasons--' pushing the expected contract value to more than $1.8 million and requiring extra spending authorization of more than $76,000. After considerable discussion, the narrow majority of Legislators was unwilling to spend the extra money, which will mean giving up colored road shoulders (a traffic calming mechanism) which would have cost $100,000, the only cost reduction that could be made to finish the job within existing spending authorization. Some expressed concern about what this would mean for the message that had been sent to the neighborhood, where many had expressed support for the shoulder option, but Mike Lane, Pat Pryor, and others countered that decision must be made in the context of the unprecedented fiscal pressures the County will face for the year ahead.