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Our trust, in their hands

Editorial

— So, it seems residents of Cazenovia won’t have to do without the Clark Street bridge for as long as we first expected. Assemblyman Bill Magee has secured $150,000 in funding, to be put toward the replacement of the closed overpass. While he is unsure when the bridge will finally be reopened, we can rest assured that it will be inside of five years.

After the bridge’s closing in May, and the extreme backlash from area drivers, officials from the village, town, county and state began to brainstorm ways to resolve the problem.

Public forums were held, ideas were solicited, suggestions were offered.

The closing affected more than just school bus traffic to Burton Street Elementary School — trucks traveling to Continental Cordage and Cazenovia’s National Grid location were rerouted, as were Clark and Burton street residents accustomed to their “shortcut” home.

Concerns arose for student and driver safety, as did questions about the structural integrity of the streets affected by the new traffic flow. We looked to Madison County administrators for explanations, but our worries and queries were met with jarring answers.

The river of money that first prompted the county to take control of all bridges more than 20-feet wide had dried up — and the outlook was grim.

During a May 31 public meeting held at the Cazenovia Town Office, Madison County Highway Superintendent Joseph Wisinski told attendees it would be at least five years, if not 10, before automobiles are allowed access to the Clark Street bridge again.

While residents may have been floored by the thought, Village Mayor Kurt Wheeler, town of Cazenovia Supervisor Ralph Monforte and New York State Assemblyman Bill Magee didn’t just sit down and twiddle their thumbs.

More public hearings were held, fundraisers were organized and the village began examining the viability of reassuming ownership of the bridge from the county. About six months later, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. All those affected by the bridge closure will owe Magee a big “thank you,” but we think Wheeler and Monforte also deserve a pat-on-the-back.

Instead of taking office, kicking back and chalking up another line on their resumes, these elected-officials did exactly what they said they would do — work for the betterment of our community.

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