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Officials search for solutions for crumbling county roads

Erie County has more roads of its own than almost any county, a situation that many would like to resolve.

The county apparently acquired many roads through side deals long ago by the town supervisors who dominated the old Board of Supervisors. In those days, the county might also have had more money for maintenance than the towns did.

Today, many of those roads are essentially residential streets. Public Works Commissioner John Loffredo says there may 200 miles of such roads.

Marilla Supervisor Earl Gingerich, Jr., says his town might take back some roads.

"It depends on which roads they were. It would have to be roads before I would even consider it that are only within the town, that don't cross town lines and that were up to 'A' condition and then we would consider taking over, you know, depending on the agreement the county wanted to make with us," Gingerich said.

Loffredo says the county would be interested, especially in those that are really only in one town. That would mean the county would have to come up with some stiff repair cash to turn over a re-built road to a town.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.