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Mohawk board discusses highway

October 16, 2012
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

MOHAWK - Members of the Town Board could not come to a consensus recently on a proposed study to look at building a "connector" highway that would run through Fulton and Montgomery counties

Board member Tony Bruno spoke out against the proposal at the board's meeting Thursday. Bruno said he disagreed with the idea of the highway going through the town.

"I don't see any benefit for our county or town," Bruno said. "I really think it would devalue our property."

If built, the highway would run from state Thruway Exit 28 in Fultonville to Route 30A near the Johnstown Industrial Park.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 10 authorized a $400,000 grant agreement with the federal government to conduct a feasibility and preliminary design study for development of the "connector" highway.

Mraz was informed in August the $400,000 Federal Highway Administration grant was approved as part of a project to do the $500,000 feasibility study.

Fulton and Montgomery counties are expected to kick in $50,000 each for the study.

Bruno also said he did not understand Fulton County Planning Director James Mraz's remarks about how another entity could pay the $50,000 share needed for the study if Montgomery County did not wish to pay.

"I just don't understand that thinking. When school districts merge and one district says no, it's done. If Montgomery County says no, it would be a done deal," Bruno said.

Former Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chairman Shayne Walters, who died last week, said previously he'd be happy to see Fulton County pay Montgomery County's $50,000 share.

"I'll hold the check for [Fulton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Michael F. Gendron] on the table if he wants to write it out," Walters said in September.

Bette Papa, also a board member, said with all the truck traffic through the village of Fonda, a study looking at a highway to bypass that village would be a good idea.

"We talked about that before, because the quality of life in this area is terrible with trucks that come through here every day," Papa said.

According to the Federal Highway Administration website, the grant money would "help study the proposed Fonda Connector Project in Montgomery and Fulton counties by identifying a preferred route, performing preliminary engineering and preparing a project cost estimate."



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