JAMESTOWN – Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello is expressing frustration with a New York State mandate that requires counties to bid out projects that total more than $250,000.
“I think it would be practical and more efficient if they raise that amount from $250,000 to $500,000,” said Borrello. “We would be able to do more projects with our own crews locally here in the county that would likely mean more control of the schedules, and projects would likely get done quicker.”
WNYNewsNow contacted Borrello last week after construction began on the South Main Street Bridge.
The company that was awarded the contract, Union Construction out of West Seneca, refused to grant us an on-camera interview when asked if they could take a minute to educate the community about the length of the project, projected end date, and detour information necessary for motorists to plan ahead and find alternative routes.
“This speaks to the issue I am talking about,” said Borrello. “We would have less issues like this, we would have more accountability if the county were the contractor on the job. There would be more accountability to the people, and there would be better local management of it.”
Borrello said in the case of the South Main St. Bridge project, the county was forced to use an outside contractor.
“We ultimately are at their mercy in terms of the timing, and certainly the flow of information,” said Borrello.
Part of the underneath of the bridge fell into the Chadakoin four years ago, prompting a shutdown on the west side of the bridge.
Repairs are expected to take several months.