April 10, 2014
According to Binghamton City Mayor Rich David, repairing the city’s failing infrastructure will be the top priority during his first year in office.
David’s first state of the city address last night was dominated by filling potholes.
Bad winters means bad potholes. Mayor David wasted no time last night making the failing infrastructure a focus of this address.
“One of the things I wanted to do was shift more then a million dollars into street reconstruction this year because so many of the streets are in poor condition,” says David.
Those plans have been blocked so far by the city council. Democrats on the council say the mayor shouldn’t move so quickly to change a budget that was agreed on last year.
David highlighted plans to repave some of the worst roads in the city. Other projects include rebuilding a downtown parking structure and fixing the city’s troubled sewage plant.
Teri Rennia chairs the City Council. She supports all the projects the mayor has proposed but is concerned at the lack of details on how the city would pay for all of these improvements.
“Those would be massive projects. Where is the money coming from?", asks Rennia. "Who’s going to manage those projects?”I think throwing it out there without a way to back it up is the concerning part for me.”
She says David has a lot of good ideas but the mayor didn’t present a clear plan.
But David disagrees.
“We have provided lots of specifics, lots of details, and a lot of information,” says David.
During his speech, he mentioned forming public-private partnerships to fund some of the projects and applying for economic redevelopment grants from the state.