Higgins Says Federal Funds Should Complement, Not Offset, State Dollars
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) sent a letter to New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Thomas Madison clarifying the intended use of $400,000 in federal funding secured for transportation projects in the Town of Aurora and Village of East Aurora. Local officials have become concerned the State intends to use the new money Congressman Higgins secured last year in the federal transportation bill in place of rather than in addition to state dollars previously allocated.
“The funding I secured for transportation improvements to Routes 20A, 16 and 78 was not intended to offset the DOT’s costs on this project instead, it was to be used to provide further enhancements along these roadways,” said Congressman Higgins. “The State needs to fulfill their commitment to the people of Aurora and Western New York and allow the federal funds to expand the scope of investments in what is one of this region’s most significant historic neighborhoods and small business districts.”
In a design report issued in September of 2004 the NYSDOT agreed to:
• Full reconstruction of Main Street (US Route 20A/NY Routes 16/78) from the traffic circle to the East Village Line.”
• “Hamburg Street (US Route 20A) from the West Village Line to the traffic circle.”
• “Main Street from the East Village Line to NY Route 400”
• “Landscape and gateway features in these expanded project areas.”
Congressman Higgins said he is hopeful this was merely an oversight by the DOT, but is prepared to file official clarification with the Federal Highway Administration, to see that the funds are spent in accordance with the purpose for which they were appropriated, if necessary.