Resolutions filed in Drive for 65 goal aiming to pave record number of miles across Rensselaer County

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RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Drive for 65, a goal to pave 65 miles of county roads introduced by County Executive Steve McLaughlin, continues with resolutions filed Tuesday with the Rensselaer County Legislature to increase the number of miles of county roads paved and to also upgrade the county Highway fleet, County Executive McLaughlin announced.

The County Executive says paving 65 miles of county roads would set a new record of road miles in 2021, surpassing the county’s previous record of 50 miles paved in 2020.

The resolution filed Tuesday with the Legislature supporting the Drive for 65 reportedly totals $3.8 million. The resolution is said to specifify $2.2 million for additional road miles, and $1.6 million for updated equipment for the department.

“The network of county roads in Rensselaer County is one of the most important services we provide, and this is an unprecedented investment in our roads,” said McLaughlin.

“When completed, we will have improved half of our 330 miles of county roads in just four years. We are very proud of our work and accomplishment in improving our roads and encouraging new investment,” added McLaughlin.

“Previously, the county would do between 15 and 20 miles of roads during some years. The past three years represents a significant expansion of the miles paved and improved,” said McLaughlin.

The funds for the Drive for 65 resolution are said to come from savings gathered by the county. In 2020, despite the pandemic, Rensselaer County was able to generate $18 million in savings.

Work has already reportedly started on county roads, with progress updates regularly given to residents.

“In our rural communities, road maintenance is the most noticeable service our county can provide. Over the last 3 years we have seen a dramatic improvement in maintenance and road paving. I look forward to having even more roads paved in 2021, and I support the efforts of the County Executive to spend more on road maintenance, and new equipment for our highway crews,” said Majority Leader Ken Herrington- Brunswick.

“The Legislature supports and encourages the County Executive’s focus on paving and improving county roads. Our residents know that well maintained roads are important to their quality of life and to the efforts to attract and sustain businesses in our communities. Investing taxpayer dollars back into improvements in our communities is money well spent,” said Chair of Finance Robert Loveridge- Schodack.

“Driving over a newly paved road is a great feeling, and in Rensselaer County, it is a feeling that many more drivers are enjoying. Rensselaer County has over 300 miles of county roads and at this pace half of those will have been paved by the end of this year. We are pleased to see paving projects planned for East Greenbush, North Greenbush, Poestenkill, and many other communities,” said Vice-Chair Kelly Hoffman- North Greenbush.

The resolution for the Drive for 65 effort in 2021 is expected to be considered at the June monthly meeting of the County Legislature, according to County Executive McLaughlin.

McLaughlin also announced the county will also be using some of the savings for community projects.

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