The Drive for 65 continues, with resolutions filed today with the Rensselaer County Legislature to increase the number of miles of county roads paved and to also upgrade the county Highway fleet, County Executive Steve McLaughlin announced.
The Drive for 65 reflects the goal announced by McLaughlin for the county to pave 65 miles of county roads, a record number of road miles in 2021. The county set a record by paving 50 miles of roads in 2020.
The resolution filed today with the Legislature supporting the Drive for 65 totals $3.8 million. The resolution specifies $2.2 million for additional road miles, and $1.6 million for updated equipment for the department.
“The network of county roads in Rensselaer County is one of the most important services we provide, and this is an unprecedented investment in our roads,” said McLaughlin.
“When completed, we will have improved half of our 330 miles of county roads in just four years. We are very proud of our work and accomplishment in improving our roads and encouraging new investment,” added McLaughlin.
“Previously, the county would do between 15 and 20 miles of roads during some years. The past three years represents a significant expansion of the miles paved and improved,” said McLaughlin.
The funds for the Drive for 65 resolution comes from savings assembled by the county. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Rensselaer County generated $18 million in savings, with the savings announced in recent weeks.
Work has already started on county roads, with updates regularly provided to residents on the progress of the work.
“In our rural communities, road maintenance is the most noticeable service our county can provide. Over the last 3 years we have seen a dramatic improvement in maintenance and road paving. I look forward to having even more roads paved in 2021, and I support the efforts of the County Executive to spend more on road maintenance, and new equipment for our highway crews,” said Majority Leader Ken Herrington- Brunswick.
“The Legislature supports and encourages the County Executive’s focus on paving and improving county roads. Our residents know that well maintained roads are important to their quality of life and to the efforts to attract and sustain businesses in our communities. Investing taxpayer dollars back into improvements in our communities is money well spent,” said Chair of Finance Robert Loveridge- Schodack.
“Driving over a newly paved road is a great feeling, and in Rensselaer County, it is a feeling that many more drivers are enjoying. Rensselaer County has over 300 miles of county roads and at this pace half of those will have been paved by the end of this year. We are pleased to see paving projects planned for East Greenbush, North Greenbush, Poestenkill, and many other communities,” said Vice-Chair Kelly Hoffman- North Greenbush.
The resolution for the Drive for 65 effort in 2021 is expected to be considered at the June monthly meeting of the County Legislature.
McLaughlin has announced the county will also be utilizing some of the savings for community projects. Further announcements will be made in the coming days.