Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond told The Glens Falls Chronicle in recent days that the city will have nearly $4 million in its reserve fund by the end of the year.
That is obviously great news (shockingly announced weeks before the election!) for a city that has been financially beleaguered for years. But it also does away with the standard, convenient excuses city leaders have had for leaving Glens Falls' infrastructure in such disastrous shape for decades.
I was excited the other day when I saw paving equipment on Fire Road near Cole's Woods, thinking that maybe the city was finally going to take care of what is one of the worst stretches of pavement in Glens Falls.
Nope, that equipment was there so the town of Queensbury could mill and pave nearby Parkview Avenue, which really didn't need repaving nearly as much as the Glens Falls streets in that area, including Jerome Avenue and Horicon Avenue. Fire Road and Jerome Avenue remain atrocious, despite the nice new (and completely unnecessary) sidewalk-on-steroids running alongside them.
(I've gotten calls from a woman who says she has repeatedly seen people driving on that nice stretch of sidewalk pavement, probably to avoid losing hubcaps or tie rods on the adjacent streets).
Maybe the city can take some of that $4 million and finally do something about the abandoned, dilapidated city-owned homes on Dixon Road and West Mountain Road in Queensbury.
"Maybe next year," was the response Friday when I asked Glens Falls DPW Robert Schiavoni about the potential of paving Fire Road.
Meanwhile, the $3 million grant- and loan-funded Ridge Street sewer project slowly chugs along, well behind schedule. Stewart's and Cumberland Farms can put entire new stores up in what seems like a week or two, but a six-block section of a city street takes five-plus months to rebuild.
Diamond said Ridge will be repaved when the underground work is done, which is great to hear, but time is running out on paving season around here for this year. And the excuses for leaving all of the other streets in bad shape are running out, too.
-- Don Lehman