Officials in the Town of Ossining have differing views on the future of road repairs.
"The Town of Ossining Highway Department has no funding to do any road work this fall. The only monies we have is for road patches—pavement of repairs, like water main breaks and things like that," said Highway Superintendent Michael O'Connor. "We have no funding. The town board of the Town of Ossining for the last, I would say, definitely the last seven years, has not funded any road paving, even though it's been asked for—capital funds to do road paving. The last seven years, the town supervisor, in conjunction with the town board, has not funded any road paving. Without funding I can't go out and do it."
Town of Ossining Supervisor Sue Donnelly, however, said the town recently tackled a major flooding area.
"We have done some road repaving this year. We use our CHIPS (Consolidated Local Highway and Improvement Program) money, which is state money they give you every year," said Donnelly. "We used CHIPS money this year to repave Ryder Avenue, because it had a sewer line put down the middle of it. And beyond that— what we got out of the deal—we changed the way the catch basins were at the top of the road and we put a curtain drain in."
Donnelly says that because of the Ryder Avenue project, everyone has seen a reduction in the flooding on North State Road.
She also pointed out there is no more paving scheduled for this fall. However, the town is starting to put together a list of roads that need to be worked in the spring.
"We have other roads that we will put on our agenda for CHIPS money. We have not gone out for capital projects on paving roads, but we are going to be using our CHIPS money for roads and looking for reimbursement from the state on that—and that's from the Department of Transportation," said Donnelly.
Town of Ossining Councilman Peter Tripodi has a personal take on road paving when it comes to his neighborhood.
"The streets are bad. My street has not been paved since my development was built, and that was in 1987," said Tripodi. "My curbs in front of my house are going to pop the tire on my car—the same with a couple of my neighbor's curbs. And Mike O'Connor will not fix them because he claims he doesn't have the money."
Tripodi says that Town of Ossining roads aren't exactly in the tiptop shape. However, he said he is pleased with the Ryder Avenue project.
"Some roads have serious problems. Some roads are good—we just paved Ryder Avenue. We put drainage in there. And it's helped with the flooding on North State Road," he said. But there are roads that need to be paved."
As town officials mull potential paving projects, residents are getting ready to vote on possibly changing Michael G. O'Connor's highway superintendent position. In November, voters will decide whether the position will change to an appointed position or stay an elected position. O'Connor was re-elected to the highway superintendent position after running unopposed in November of 2011.
In a "Supervisor's Update" post on Patch, Town of Ossining Supervisor Sue Donnelly gave a number of reasons why the change was proposed. Meanwhile, Councilman Peter Tripodi is also speaking out about the issue.
"What it comes down to is that a professional administrator in that role—a hired professional based on qualifications as highway superintendent—would be able to make budget adjustments and take care of any issues that arise concerning the roads," said Tripodi. "So I think what it comes down to is someone who can manage a budget perhaps better than Mr. O'Connor can."