Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 12 March 2010 00:00
United States Congressman Gary Ackerman met with Williston Park Mayor Lud Odierna to announce that he has convinced New York State officials, with the help of New York State Senator Craig Johnson, to immediately release the critical road improvement funds he secured years ago for the Village of Williston Park.
The group met on Williams Street, one of the streets badly in need of road repair, in Williston Park. Quite a few years ago, Congressman Ackerman obtained $1 million in federal transportation funds for the village to repave a number of its streets. The village received $97,000 of the monies which it used to complete the engineering studies. But, the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) held up the remaining $903,000 citing New York State’s fiscal problems.
The state informed Mayor Odierna that the project would be put on hold since the DOT was temporarily halting all transportation projects due to budget concerns. However, Congressman Ackerman reminded state officials that federal dollars must be used for the specific purpose for which they are, in his words, “earmarked” and due to his intervention the state agreed to release the money to the village.
Transportation funds the federal government appropriates for local governments are sent to the state in which the municipality is located. Once received, the state is required to distribute the money to the locality.