By Allison Collins
BAINBRIDGE – New York State Senator for the 52nd District, Fred Akshar, spent the day in Bainbridge Friday, Sept. 15 to commemorate the completion of grant-funded projects and programming facilitated, in part, by his work in Albany.
Akshar performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the town of Bainbridge’s new salt shed before a leaders’ luncheon at Bob’s Diner and a performance for Bainbridge-Guilford elementary students of “Jack and the Beanstalk” by members of the Tri-Cities Opera.
Bainbridge town supervisor Dolores Nabinger explained that funding for the salt shed, which will efficiently house and protect the town’s roadway salt and sand, was awarded in September 2014 in the amount of $85,000. Noting an uphill bureaucratic battle following the death of Senator Thomas Libous, whose office initially awarded the funding, Nabinger said construction did not begin until December 2016. The project, the cost of which climbed to $108,000 in the intervening years, was completed in May 2017.
After Libous’s death, Nabinger said, “Senator Akshar helped us get it going.” She continued, “Every town has a wish list and this was definitely on our wish list.” Nabinger added, “Before this, we just had a pile of salt with a tarp on it.”
Noting, “We had to fight (for the funding),” Bainbridge superintendent of highways Gary Richmond said, “We really appreciate it. We thought it was a dead issue.” Nabinger echoed, “We had to be very persistent with this thing.”
Richmond estimated that the town uses around 100 tons of salt and sand annually, depending on the winter conditions that year.
Crediting Libous for “carrying the torch” on the project, Akshar said he was “pleased to play a small role … and see it come to fruition.”