Opinion

Road repairs and sharing services

As many of you may be aware, in 2014 Harrison hired an engineering consultant to perform a pavement management study. The study was submitted to the town and included a detailed evaluation of the condition of all 90-plus miles of town roadways based on accepted engineering criteria called the Pavement Condition Index, PCI.

The PCI was based on a visual inspection of each road and is measured on a scale from 100 to zero, with 100 being a road in perfect condition and zero being a road that is impassable. The study also included a determination of budgetary requirements for projected work and prioritization of pavement maintenance and rehabilitation. Based on several different funding scenarios, the study included a roadway maintenance program which prioritized road maintenance based on current conditions, cost and amount of vehicular traffic.

In any given year, we have limited funding for road repairs and must allocate the available funding to receive the greatest overall benefit for the entire road network. The most efficient use of the available funds to accomplish this goal is, as the study recommends, allocating maintenance dollars to keep roads currently in good or fair condition from getting worse, and to restore main, arterial roadways as funding permits. Based on the report’s findings, small lesser traveled roadways receive a lesser priority and routine maintenance is the recommended course of action.

Our work, over the past few years, has been following those recommendations. We have completed maintenance work on roadways in several neighborhoods to slow the deterioration of these roads by using less costly pavement rehabilitation techniques such as hot in place recycling, cape seal, micro-surfacing and crack sealing. We have also performed major rehabilitation of several main arterial roadways using standard rehabilitation methods.

This year, we will continue use of these alternative treatments as a way to stretch our pavement dollars to treat more roadways throughout the town while generally following the report recommendations. Due to cost savings versus traditional treatment methods, these alternative treatments also allow us some latitude to perform and complete work in entire neighborhoods. This would not be possible using traditional treatment methods such as mill and pave.

Congratulations are in order for some very talented Harrison student-athletes. Harrison High School’s lacrosse player Matt McLaughlin and baseball player Matt Hendler were both recently named as members of the 2017 Journal News Westchester/Putnam Second All Star Team. Both the boys and girls 10 and under Little League teams recently became District 20 champions. Congrats to all the athletes on these wonderful accomplishments!

In closing, town personnel recently participated in Westchester County’s Shared Municipal Services Expo at the County Center. Representatives from many Westchester municipalities attended the forum in an effort to discover ways in which local governments, or independent special districts, can save taxpayer dollars while improving services through sharing resources and expertise. Collaborating with the county government to share services may be one way to achieve this goal. Agreements between local government units, that support the sharing or consolidation of functions or services, may alleviate certain challenges that local governments experience and taxpayers will see greater value for their dollars.

The town will continue to investigate these options and I look forward to continuing the collaborative process with our local representatives and public officials.

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