SCHUMER SECURES KEY SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE APPROVAL FOR $1 MILLION FOR EAST FISHKILL FIRST RESPONDERS FOR EMERGENCY INTERSTATE ACCESS
Wiccopee Fire Company Borders I-84 but Must Travel Miles to Reach Nearest Interstate Entrance Ramps Funding Approved by Dept. of Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee Will Install Emergency Access Ramp Bill Will Now Be Sent To The Full Senate Appropriations Committee
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee has approved $1 million to the East Fishkill Fire District's Wiccopee Fire Company for installation of an emergency access point from Townsend Rd to Interstate 84, which is less than 50 feet away. The funding was approved as part of the Senate Appropriation process, and has been included in the Department of Transportation and Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. The bill was passed out of subcommittee and now will need to be approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee, after which it will be sent to the Senate floor, and then to the president for signature. Schumer requested that the subcommittee include funding for this project in the bill, and fought hard to ensure that it was included. Clearing the subcommittee is the biggest hurdle in the appropriations process.
Senator Schumer visited Wiccopee Fire Company in November and saw firsthand that the company sits adjacent to I84 but is forced to travel miles to reach the nearest interstate entrance ramps, causing risky delays in their response times. During his visit, Schumer announced that he would work to secure federal funds for the project.
"We have been fighting to secure this emergency access point for months, and we have finally succeeded," said Schumer. "The absence of an emergency access road at the Wiccopee Fire Company was threatening lives by slowing down response times but this new access road will enable our fire fighters to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently. This is an excellent use of federal dollars and I will fight to see this funding through the appropriations process."
The East Fishkill Fire District's primary response route from Shenandoah Road to Lime Kiln Road is 1.5 miles long and takes about three minutes to reach the interstate. Their secondary response routes are from Townsend Rd to Hosner Mountain Rd to Route 52 to Taconic State Parkway South is a 3.5 mile route that takes six minutes. Another secondary route uses Shenandoah Road to Miller Hill Road to Taconic State Parkway North to I84, which is four miles and takes about six minutes. The local fire district and Schumer's office are currently working with the New York State Department of Transportation on its application for emergency access. These dollars provide the ability to construct the access road once the application process has been completed.
The emergency breakthrough access road will dramatically cut the Wiccopee Fire Company response times. The company will finally be able to respond efficiently and effectively to the over 90 annual accidents on Interstate 84, which it borders by a mere chain link fence.
Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, it will be sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Following approval by the Full Committee and the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.
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