JAMESTOWN – It’s pothole season so Spring must be getting closer, but a Jamestown City Council member says local drivers should blame New York State for the local washboard-like roadways.
Andrew Liuzzo, R, At-Large, told WNYNewsNow that the roads that are in the worst shape tend to be state roads and that 80 percent of the problem lies with shoddy road preparation.
Standing at the intersection of Third Street and North Main Street, Liuzzo walked over to a pair of growing portholes and discussed why they happen.
“The state did this road not too long ago and you can see the topping that they put on it. It’s an inch-and a half, if that,” he said. “This is the problem, we don’t have any recourse to have the state follow the specs and do what needs to be done,” Liuzzo said. “Putting down a road is no different than painting a house. If you don’t scrape the paint off the house, if you don’t put the primer on the bare wood and then you put the top coat on that, the paint is not going to stick.”
He suggested disgusted drivers write to St. Sen. Cathy Young, St. Rep Andrew Goodell, Sen. Charles Schumer and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“They (state officials) have not put money in infrastructure for 20 or 30 years, they put their money somewhere else,” Liuzzo said. He noted that in 2016 the MTA , the Metropolitan Transit Authority, was budgeted $26 billion and the State Department of Transportation received $20 billion.
He blames part of the problem on political ambitions by the Governor, saying previous governors served their state constituents first.
“We were the empire state for a reason. We were first in education, first in manufacturing and first in commerce because governors of the past realized New York State was the whole state,” he said. “They gave us $10 million for DRI. (The Downtown Revitalization Initiative). We’re talking about the comedy center because you want to attract more tourists. They gave us that check because it’s sexy but you’re not fixing up our streets.”
“Former governors were interested in being governor of the state that elected them. They weren’t running for president,” he added.
The state promised back-end payments to the city for road work which was done, but never paid for, Liuzzo said.
“By telling us we’ll pay you for the work you do and not paying us, that’s on the back of the city residents. It’s not fair for our Governor to go to Buffalo or New York City or Puerto Rico and do all these wonderful things and ignore these rural communities,” he said.
WNYNewsNow Multimedia Journalist Justin Gould contributed to this report.
Copyright 2018 Western New York News Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.