Let me begin by saying I am very proud to be a homeowner in the town of Broadalbin, and in past years, I have always been very happy with the services provided for my tax dollars. My four children and I live on Union Mills Road, just a little over a mile beyond the highway garage.
Friday night of the July Fourth weekend, I was awakened by the sounds of car tires squealing and people gunning it at the intersection just past my house. Upon investigating, I discovered that the road had been suddenly closed, causing cars to have to turn around and find another route. I called the Fulton County Sheriff's Department, and they said they knew nothing about the closure; neither did the fire department or the ambulance corps.
It turns out the culvert, which had not been properly cleaned of late, had collapsed under pressure from the constant rain. Despite receiving reports earlier in the year that the road was deteriorating, the highway superintendent had not scheduled a repair. Now, without even putting a closure notice in the newspaper, and apparently without notifying essential services or even saying a word to any of his own highway crew, he had placed signs and left town on a weeklong vacation.
In his absence, at the meeting held July 9, the Town Board passed a resolution directing the Highway Department employees to rent an excavator and replace the culvert. A five-day time limit was put on the project and a $2,500 cap on the rental of equipment.
After only three days, we saw the equipment leave, so the kids and I took a walk up to see the finished project. The road is open once again, the water has returned to normal levels, and the cars are passing smoothly over a very tidy repair. I understand the entire project came in at approximately $3,500, versus the $24,000 estimate the Town Board had received from the highway superintendent to contract it out.
On behalf of myself and my neighbors on Union Mills Road, I want to thank Supervisor Joe DiGiacomo and those board members who voted for this to be done, and a big thank you to the members of the Highway Department for a very speedy and professional job.