New Paltz resident Edgar Rodriguez has spoken several times at Town Council meetings about the poor condition of some town roads, and when the Highway Superintendent earlier this year suggested that there’s not enough in the budget to perform necessary maintenance, Rodriguez had questions about fiscal oversight and whether it was really a good idea to borrow money for buildings if the Town roads were at the same time being neglected.
When the external auditor disclosed at the June 3 meeting that highway finances appeared to be in good shape, Rodriguez had questions. Namely, is there indeed money for repaving?
Chris Marx, the Highway Superintendent, responded by touching upon the high cost of materials right now, saying that paving projects are going to be deferred until next year because the cost of blacktop has ballooned. Roadwork will be limited to addressing safety issues for now.
It’s true that the fund balance for highway was larger than expected for 2021. Supervisor Neil Bettez confirmed after the meeting that a portion of that was used for calculating this year’s highway budget.