Assemblyman Jones checks out his district’s highways

State Assemblyman Billy Jones, second from left, asks questions at the town of Plattsburgh highway garage Monday. (Photo provided by Assemblyman Billy Jones’ office)

Now that the lawmaking season is over, Assemblyman Billy Jones began a tour of highways in his district Monday to learn more about the North Country’s infrastructure needs.

The Democrat from Chateaugay started his tour with town supervisors and highway superintendents from Beekmantown, Schuyler Falls and Plattsburgh. He saw many local roads that need repairs and met with highway crews to hear their concerns firsthand, and then hosted a roundtable discussion to discuss the needs of the municipalities.

He plans to hold similar ride-alongs and roundtable discussions in Franklin County Tuesday, with officials from the towns of Bellmont, Burke and Chateaugay, and on Wednesday in northern Clinton County with town officials from Champlain, Chazy and Mooers. Additional tours will be scheduled in late July and August.

“Investing in infrastructure doesn’t just mean repairing old roads and building new bridges,” Jones said in a press release. “It’s an investment in our local economy and, most importantly, in the safety of North Country families.”

Jones noted that he recently helped pass a 2019-20 state budget that provides $438.1 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs), $39.7 million for the Marchiselli Program and $65 million in Extreme Winter Recovery funding.

His district includes Franklin and Clinton counties as well as part of eastern St. Lawrence County.