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Erie County Lawmakers Reject Capital Borrowing

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Erie county residents still will be facing some bumpy and broken roads for awhile. The Erie County Legislature Thursday rejected a capital bond package to pay for the much-needed work.

After much heated debate, lawmakers rejected the $51 million bond request by one vote. Some wanted more projects in the package. Some wanted the price tag lowered. But Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz said he just wanted it passed.

"It will be at least another month now," said Poloncarz.

And that is on top of the more than one year delay for the 2007 projects. That bond proposal was passed last year by lawmakers, but rejected by the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority. The control board said it should do the borrowing, and has, so far, stalled the borrowing and the work.

Poloncarz said it is time for the control board to let go of its control over borrowing, just as did the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority in its vote Thursday to let the city do its own borrowing.

Meanwhile, absent a resolution to the county stalemate over borrowing, roads and bridges throughout the county in need of repair are still neglected. Poloncarz said he can not release the money for the work, however, until he is assured it will be paid back with bonds.

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