Assemblymen Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) and Mickey Kearns (D-West Seneca) have joined forces to champion legislation (A.8535) that would ensure that money generated from the use of the Grand Island bridges remains in the community.
“I am proud to team up with Assemblyman Kearns and Sens. Jacobs and Ortt to sponsor this legislation,” said Morinello. “For too long, residents of Grand Island have had to deal with the pollution and congestion associated with the Grand Island bridges, and we must provide them with an appropriate amount of funds to offset these issues. I will continue to fight for the residents of Grand Island and am actively exploring a multitude of solutions.”
The bill would require that 10 percent of the revenue generated by the tolls collected would be placed into a community impact fund to offset the environmental and economic impact of the bridges. Of the 10 percent, 50 percent would go toward the benefit of Grand Island, 25 percent to North Tonawanda and 25 percent to Niagara Falls.
“The coalition of western New York legislators we have formed to address the Grand Island tolls issue is very encouraging,” said Kearns. “We have legislators from both sides of the aisle working together for a common goal – improving the lives of western New York residents. Although there are still various resolutions to solving the toll congestion issue, this is one I feel is viable and works for all parties involved.”
Although reports indicated there will be no action taken this legislative session, the possibility of returning to Albany to resolve the issue is on the table.