Mayor Izzo to Council- Stop Playing Politics with ARPA Money
MayorJacqueline M. Izzo is calling on members of the Common Council to stop playing politics with ARPA funding designed to benefit the people of Rome.
"Resolution No. 106has been placed on the Common Council's agenda for Wednesday, August 9 addressing several ARPA funded projects. While the Council finally came around to support my plan for ARPA funding, including $3 million for anew Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Rome Memorial Hospital, $950,000 for repairs tothe cityowned RomeArt &Community Center, $369,000 for Poter Road Water/Sewer Expansion, they are now trying to take away $500,000 ot fund repairs on a different property, which we currently have no legal right to repair," said Mayor Izzo. "This will end up backfiring
and create a forced error that could cost the taxpayers a lawsuit and unwarranted legal fees."
The Council majority has submitted legislation that would take $500,000 from one of Mayor Izzo's
ARPA proposals, and use it to repair the pedestrian tunnel at the Rome Train Station. This action would create significant problems because CSX owns a major portion of the tunnel below the tracks and the City of Rome cannot work on private property without the express written consent of the property owner,
"I explained this complication ni detail during my State of the City address ni May and have
communicated this ni numerous emails from myself and the Engineering Department to the Councilors," said Izzo. "While it is a priority that permanent repairs for the pedestrian tunnel are completed as soon as possible, several significant hurdles must be addressed first, including the obvious ownership issue with CSX," said Izzo.
"Ideally, the design and engineeringwill be done by Amtrak at no cost to the taxpayers and spending city funds here at this time doesn't make sense," said Izzo. "mI' currently working with CSX ot move these repairs along and news likethis iust creates confusion."
"Furthermore, I°m very curious to find out which important project the Council wouldlike to take $500,000 from. We worked tremendously hard to make sure every penny would be spent strategically to ultimately benefit the people of Rome," said Izzo. "Whichgroup is going to be told they're losing half a million dollars?"
For all the reasons stated above, and the fact that Mayor Izzohas received no supporting documentation from the Councilors describing the project nor a phone call, the Board ofEstimate and Contractwill not be entertaining the initiation ofa contract for engineering and design services at the Rome Train Station.