NewsLocal News


Cattaraugus County demanding state fix routes 219 and 417

Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 20:26:36-04

SALAMANCA, N.Y. (WKBW) — "The city itself doesn’t have the money to rebuild the roads that's (sic) needed, so we go out and we just patch and band-aid to get the traffic through," Rob Carpenter, the superintendent of the Salamanca Department of Public Works, said.

Every year people who travel through Salamanca deal with the same thing: potholes. State routes 417 and 219 are consistently cracking and developing new potholes.

"(Salamanaca) has huge potholes. That they’re a nuisance. You can’t get anywhere, and they haven’t fixed them yet," Salamanca resident, Ashley Hayton, said.

Along much of both roads you will see cars almost driving off the road to miss long stretches of potholes. It's gotten to be so bad that the Cattaraugus County legislature is passing a referendum that demands the state take care of its ignored road.

"To have to repair the same thing over and over and over, and to continually ask the state to help us out, and really not get any answers, that's whats frustrating," Carpenter said.

The 219 and 417 are the main thoroughfares to get to the Seneca Allegany Casino and Allegany State Park.

Carpenter said the issue has been going on for at least seven years without any hint of a resolution. He said he thinks part of the issue could be a $250 million dispute between the state and Seneca Nation over gambling revenues owed to the cities that are home to the Seneca's three casinos.

"When New York state is not getting along with the Seneca Nation they take it out on us tax payers down here and we get left with nothing," he said.

7 Eyewitness News reached out to the state department of transportation, it didn't get back to us.

The chairman of the committee on Transportation, State Senator Tim Kennedy, said that he is actively pursuing a solution to the issue. Both he and legislators from Cattaraugus County have talked about the problem.

Salamanca does get a roughly $90,000 budget from the state; however, that is for all of its roadwork for an entire year. It has to allocate for winter road care as well as miscellaneous occurrences. Other than the fact these routes are state owned, the city only has enough money and resources for temporary year-long patches.

For more by James Groh, visit his Facebook or Twitter page.