November 27, 2021

Curbing, repaving to resume

Less funding forced Cortland to delay work in 2020

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Cars travel down Floral Avenue in Cortland on Saturday. The city is resuming work replacing curbs and repaving streets after mostly holding off in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Work will resume this construction season to replace curbs and repave streets in Cortland after the pandemic put financial strains on the city and forced it to mostly hold those projects off, Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin said Friday.

The city typically works on repaving streets and fixing other areas, such as curbs, each year, he said. Last year was an exception as the city received 20% less funding from the state Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program, which the city relies on to help cover the cost of infrastructure projects like paving and curbing.

While Tobin didn’t have exact figures, he said the city received almost $1 million less from CHIPS in revenue that was budgeted for street projects.

Other municipalities like Cortlandville also held off paving work in 2020 to save money and carry it over into 2021 due to expected revenue decreases caused by the pandemic.

The $2.05 million in funding for the city as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will help to cover the cost of work, Tobin said.

“Last year, we did the smart thing and said we’re going to hold off and now we’re going to get back to it,” Tobin said.

He did say, however, that the southern part of Greenbush Street was repaved last year, but it was one of few infrastructure projects in the city last year.

One of these projects the city plans to do this year is replacing the curbing along Floral Avenue between Madison Street and Groton Avenue, said Nic Dovi, the deputy superintendent for the city Department of Public Works.

Dovi said bids for the project are due by April 22 and will be awarded shortly after that.

He did not have an estimated cost Friday.

“Curbing is an essential part of streets,” Tobin said, because it helps manage the flow of stormwater. “If we’re not managing stormwater, we’re creating issues for property owners.”