By Kassie Parisi
CLIFTON PARK — Monday’s town board meeting saw an increase of $600,000 go to Clifton Park’s 2017 paving budget.
On Monday, April 17, the board unanimously approved the money transfer from the town’s unassigned general fund balance to the current $850,000 that was already in the highway paving account for the upcoming year. The fund transfer brings the amount set aside for paving for this year to just under $1.5 million.
Clifton Park has over 218 miles of town road. Each year, the highway department examines the roadways to determine which ones warrant paving, and Town Highway Superintendent Dahn Bull said that department usually is able to pave around 10 to 11 miles of road every year with the given funds. The jump in paving funding for this year, said Bull, is the result of prices, which are set by the state, for asphalt and paving materials being at their lowest in four years.
Every few years, Bull said, the town, allocates additional funds to the paving budget to deal with more roads, and Monday’s decision to allocate an extra $600,000 came from the fact that right now is when Clifton Park will get the best “bang for its buck” with the low material prices.
“Now is the time to strike,” Bull said. There are some trouble spots on some roads in town, Bull said, that the department would like to take care of sooner rather than later.
The particular areas that will be paved this year have not been publicly announced yet, due to the fact that the town has yet to go through to bidding process for the paving. But, Bull said, the goal is to have the bidding process finished by mid May, in order to have a paving schedule out to town residents by June and July. Companies will have three to four weeks to come up with their bids, and then the town will examine the bids and pass a resolution naming the selected paving company.
“We just want to make sure we get it out to the public,” Bull added.
Overall, Bull said, road conditions in town are pretty good. But there are some roads in low areas that get wet and are negatively affected over periods of time and bad weather.
“There are always going to be some trouble spots,” Bull said. Bull did say that the department will focus on paving main roads that Southern Saratoga county residents travel daily to get to Albany and Schenectady, and will make sure that key roads stay in good condition.