Updated 09/19/2012 06:23 AM
Forestport residents pass Twin Bridges vote
It was a close vote Tuesday night, as Forestport residents made a decision surrounding a 100-year-old bridge in their village - to rebuild, or not to rebuild? Our Cara Thomas went to the polls to see which side prevailed.
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FORESTPORT, N.Y. -- The one lane bridge on River Road in Forestport was built in 1902, but since then, it’s worn down so much that it's unusable.
William Hasenauer, Forestport's Town Supervisor said, "It's got a wood deck, and it was closed by the state of New York three years ago."
And since that day, the town board has looked at all its options on how to rebuild the Twin Bridges. They came up with two ideas. They’d either rebuild the one lane bridges using a $650,000 bond, or look for state funding and make the bridges two lanes, costing about $1.4 million.
Hasenauer said, "I have not had a general tax increase in five years. I promised the people I'd keep it down and I have. But this is going to increase the taxes if it passes, and this is their choice, not my choice."
So the decision ultimately came down to the tax payers. And in the end, they voted 'yes' toward the replacement of Twin Bridges and using a $650,000 bond to fund it.
Woodgate resident, Jack Roberts, said, "I feel that we have to have that bridge for an ambulance or short term to get in and out of the area versus we have to go around, in a round about way and time is the essence when you're in the ambulance."
While others are still hesitant, especially Town Supervisor William Hasenauer, after he spoke with engineers who don't think $650,000 will be enough.
"And I showed him what the bond anticipation amount was. He says don't even bother me because you can't build a bridge," says Hasenauer.
Nevertheless, the town board will be meeting again Wednesday evening where board members say they'll discuss moving forward with the bidding process.