SALAMANCA — Rep. Tom Reed says his push for funding for the City of Salamanca has proven successful after New York state said the city will receive $4.7 million of the payments owed.

As a result, two new firefighters were hired on at the city fire department, according to Reed’s staff. These new additions allow the department to fully staff two ambulances, which improves the city’s response to emergency situations.

“Getting these funds to the city of Salamanca is the right thing to do,” Reed said. “We care about the safety of Salamanca’s citizens — and are glad two firefighters have been added to the fire department.”

Salamanca Mayor Michael Smith said the funds will be split into two payments. The first $2.35 million will be paid to the city before Sept. 25, and a second payment of $2.35 million will be paid in mid-December, the mayor said.

“The city is incredibly grateful for Congressman Tom Reed’s involvement in this process,” Smith said. “It was totally his involvement that got this ball rolling. These two new firefighters will allow us to better respond to emergency calls. We look forward to the congressman’s continued involvement to sort out the issues between the State of New York and the Seneca Nation.”

Two weeks ago, Reed held a joint press call with the Salamanca mayor and Fire Chief Nick Bocharski to address the unfortunate death of a person due to staffing issues at the fire department.

Funds promised to the city would have allowed the Fire Department to hire additional firefighters sooner.

Meanwhile, George Borrello, the Chautauqua County executive who is running for the state Senate seat left vacant by Republican Catharine Young, contended that the “poorly drafted” agreement negotiated and signed by the state led to lawsuits disputing the Seneca Nation’s obligation to pay the state after 2016.

“Of course, the situation has only been made worse by Gov. Cuomo’s ongoing political battles with the Senecas on everything from attempting to tax the nation, in violation of federal treaties, to allowing state roads on Seneca territory to fall into dangerous disrepair, including the deplorable conditions on the Thruway (Interstate 90) here in … Chautauqua County,” Borrello said.

He charges that the state is in arrears to Chautauqua County to the tune of over $2.2 million.

These debts are heavy burdens for the largely rural areas that the governor is choosing not to pay,” Borrello said. “Meanwhile, the state continues to find money for highly questionable programs, including an estimated $27 million per year to give free college tuition to illegal immigrants.”

 

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