06.17.08

Schumer Urges VA To Hand Over Ownership Of Access Road At Montrose Hospital To Town Of Cortlandt - Would Allow Town To Use Already-Secured Federal Dollars To Upgrade And Maintain Crucial Road

Cortlandt Seeks to Acquire the Access Road at the FDR Veteran's Hospital at Montrose - To Date, Feds Have Been Unresponsive, and As a Result, Previously Secured Federal Dollars to Upgrade Road are ThreatenedSchumer Urges VA to Hand Over Road to Cortlandt, Allowing Federal Dollars to be Freed Up and Town to Move Forward with Much-Needed Maintenance and RepairsSchumer: Tran

With the Veteran's Administration unresponsive to the Town of Cortlandt's request to acquire the access road at the FDR VA Hospital in Montrose, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the VA to immediately turn over the road's title to the town, allowing Cortlandt to assume control and upkeep of the road. The Town has secured $316,000 in federal transportation funding to support upgrades to the road, but these muchneeded funds will be lost unless the VA gives Cortlandt ownership of the road.
 
Today, with the VA continuing to stall inexplicably, Schumer wrote to VA Secretary James Peak, urging the agency to immediately provide the Town with a plan or process for acquisition of the road within the next 30 days.
 
"Transferring ownership of the access road over to the Town is a winwin for the Town of Cortla ndt and the VA," said Schumer. "The VA will save money by not being responsible for upkeep of the road, and the Town will be able to use vital federal funds now lockedup due to the lack of town ownership  when it takes control. This will ensure it's maintained in a way that best provides for the needs of the community, residents who utilize the road to access their homes, and FDR Hospital."
 
The Town of Cortlandt, NY has attempted to acquire the access road at the FDR Veteran's Administration Hospital in Montrose for several years. Specifically, the town seeks to acquire the access road from its intersection with Albany Post Road (Route 9A) through the VA campus to the waterfront and Battery Place. To date, the Veteran's Administration has been almost nonresponsive to the Town's requests. The Town submitted a comprehensive package of information detailing their request to the VA in December 2007. Unfortunately, the VA has done nothing with the request other than to acknowledgement its receipt.
 
While the Veteran's Administration has provided a license agreement for the town to use the road to access the 18 homes that have been cut off from the Battery Place Bridge, an acquisition of the road by the Town will shift the responsibility of the maintenance of the road to the Town, saving the Veteran's Administration from having to finance improvements and providing maintenance services such as plowing, paving, and street cleaning. It will also guarantee that residents who use the access road will always have the ability to do so. The Town received $316,000 in federal transportation funding to support upgrades to the road, but those dollars will be lost if the town does not acquire the title to the road.
 
Today, in a personal letter to Secretary Peake, Schumer urged the VA to work with the town in order to negotiate this transfer of control. "An acquisition of the road by the Town will shift the responsibility of the maintenance of the road to the Town, saving the Veteran's Administration from having to finance improvements and providing maintenance services such as plowing, paving, and street cleaning," wrote Schumer.
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