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Sun., Oct. 4
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No concerns voiced over Massena’s highway budget


MASSENA - The Massena Town Board began its budget deliberations Wednesday night with its highway department’s $928,901 spending plan.

No member of the board expressed any concerns with that portion of the budget. Highway Superintendent Frank Diagostino also said he was pleased with Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray’s initial proposal.

Councilman Albert C. Nicola applauded Mr. Gray for his use of gaming compact funds in the highway department budget, where Mr. Gray has budgeted $435.706.

“People don’t realize that the supervisor has to submit a list of how he’s going to use compact money,” he said. “You can’t just use that money to reduce taxes.”

Given the town’s budget situation over the past few years, Mr. Nicola said Mr. Diagostino has had to postpone equipment purchases. This year he’s finally being given the funding to make those purchases.

Major purchases for the department include approximately $20,000 for a lawn mower at the airport, roughly $85,000 for backhoe and approximately $32,000 for a new pickup truck.

While he said that he didn’t have any concerns with the budget, Mr. Diagostino said he was concerned about what to do with the North Raquette Road, a road that needs to be paved but it also in need of water line repairs.

Mr. Diagostino said he didn’t want to spend money making repairs to a road, only to have the road dug up to make water line repairs.

Regardless of when the work is done though, Mr. Gray said the town will use gaming compact funds to pay for the work.

“Whether we repair that road next year or after we do the water line the gaming compact money is going to cover it,” he said.

Mr. Gray also said that there is a possibility the town could recoup at least a portion of whatever they end up spending on waterline repairs there.

“If we determined it was shoddy work, we could sue somebody,” he said

Mr. Gray said though at this point the town has not determined who is at fault.

“The workmanship may have been fine, but the specs could have been bad,” he said.

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