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Prattsville bridge project draws controversy

Jun 26, 2015 7:36 am
Michael Ryan is reporting in the Windham Journal a phony return address on a letter mailed to the state Department of Transportation has drawn attention to ongoing political wrangling over the construction of a new bridge in Prattsville. A typewritten letter was sent earlier this month to the DOT project manager concerning the Route 23 bridge over the Schoharie Creek. The letter, attributed to "50 Concerned Citizens," was not signed. The return address used, "50 Prattsville Residents, Prattsville, NY 12468," does not exist, according to the Prattsville Post Office. The letter asks for "reconsideration" of the bridge project, echoing the sentiments expressed by Assembly member Pete Lopez following a DOT public hearing on the project, May 27. Lopez also sent a letter to the department on June 5, stating some town residents believed one bridge option had been purposely avoided to protect certain property owners. Lopez has called for additional talks after a year or more of intense planning by the DOT and the Prattsville Bridge Committee. During the May public hearing, local resident Frank Cangelosi also accused the DOT of concealing one bridge design to benefit town supervisor Kory O'Hara. Cangelosi opposed O'Hara in the 2013 election. The Department of Transportation has not yet answered Lopez's letter. DOT is prepared to move forward with the project and it is facing a funding deadline, this week. The department is set to invest $14 million to replace the span and to upgrade the Huntersfield Creek bridge, located in the center of town. Read the full story in the Windham Journal.