Cheers and jeers
CHEERS – To many displays. If you were looking for fireworks displays to watch over the Fourth of July weekend, you’ve had many opportunities. Tonight and Sunday, you have even more. Watching Fourth of July fireworks is a favorite tradition for many. Every pyrotechnic display seems to attract a crowd. Among the scheduled local fireworks displays were Friday’s shows at Lanzi’s on the Lake in Mayfield and Glen Ridge Motorsports Park in Fultonville. Tonight, fireworks are scheduled at Waterfront Park in Northville and again at Shuttleworth Park. On Sunday, fireworks are planned at Sport Island Pub in Northville. That’s a lot of fireworks shows for our small area. They are a reflection on local residents’ patriotic spirit. We have a reminder for people who are tempted to set off their own fireworks: It’s illegal in New York and dangerous.
JEERS – To shortchanging bridge maintenance. The federal government spends billions of dollars on programs whose merit is questionable. Yet, funding for something as important as bridge repair is failing to keep pace with need. Thousands of local bridges in New York state rely on allocations of federal funding for maintenance, but the dollar amount allotted for these bridges has not increased in five years. Meanwhile, funding for bridges in the state that are considered part of the federal highway system has increased at the rate of inflation. More than 2,000 bridges in upstate New York are considered either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. In the Capital Region, about 400 bridges are in this category. In Fulton County, nine bridges are structurally deficient. U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is pushing to increase federal funding for local bridge repair projects, which Schumer says are at risk of being shortchanged for at least another six years. We encourage federal representatives to make bridge maintenance a priority.
CHEERS – To a good decision. Johnstown Water Board members had requested the city start paying them. They wanted the president and vice president to be paid $75 per board meeting and the other members $50 per meeting. Wisely, the council decided against paying the members, who are elected. While the water board members put in a lot of time and effort, so do volunteers for other organizations and agencies. As long as enough people run for the positions to keep them filled, we see no need for the city to consider paying the members.