Thursday, November 18, 2021

By DN's Kate Lisa
Infrastructure pkg. promises $27B for NY, including $100M for broadband

New York will receive at least $27 billion to resuscitate its aging infrastructure, and millions of dollars to bridge the digital divide plaguing upstate, rural communities and low-income New Yorkers as part of the federal infrastructure package signed into law this week, officials said Wednesday.

The historic $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law Monday afternoon by President Joe Biden, is the largest such federal investment in decades — and ever, in some sectors.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, Rep. Brian Higgins and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer attended the signing of the legislation providing a landmark investment in airports, roads, connecting local workers to good-paying jobs, improving water and sewage systems and making high-speed internet affordable and available in every urban, suburban and rural community.

“They are impacting people’s daily lives,” Gillibrand said. “They are the roads people drive to work and the bridges they cross on their way to school.”

New York residents’ average commute times have increased by 7.4% and each driver pays an average of $625 per year in costs from driving on roads in need of repair, the senator said.

The state will receive $11.6 billion for highway projects and nearly $2 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over the next five years, based on funding formulas in the legislation.

“I’m proud of the key provision of my bill Build Local, Hire Local, were included in the package and that it provides $1 billion to ensure that the tear down and reconstruction of those highways not only reconnects communities, but prioritizes training and hiring local workers,” Gillibrand said.

The legislation will provide $100 million in grants to internet providers and localities to ensure every New York household is connected to high-speed broadband internet access. The law does not specify the speed broadband build-outs must satisfy, but other federal funding for broadband projects mandate a minimum of 25 megabits per second.

At least 186,754 New Yorkers lack high-speed internet access, with 13% of state households without an internet subscription. No timeline is available for the application or funding processes.

>“We will work with the (Federal Communications Commission) and other federal agencies to make sure it happens quickly,” the senator said.

Four percent of residents live in areas without broadband infrastructure, the senator said, particularly affecting students, older adults, people of color and low-income families in rural and urban areas.

“It’ll create price transparency and help families comparison shop by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate services,” Gillibrand said.

About 5,375,000 New Yorkers, or 28% of people in the state will be eligible for a connectivity benefit to help low-income families afford internet access at a reduced rate.

Biden, a Democrat, earmarked $65 billion in the bill to improve and expand broadband to deliver reliable high-speed internet to every household in the nation — a promise he made as a presidential candidate.

The state will also receive $9.8 billion over five years for sustainable and efficient public transportation, $175 million to support the expansion of a statewide electric vehicle charging network, $28 million to protect against cyberattacks, $685 million for infrastructure development for airports and $2.6 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure, among other programs in the legislation.

Gillibrand’s Resilient Highways Act was also included in the infrastructure package, which will give state transportation departments more flexibility to use National Highway Performance Program funding.

States can use this money for resiliency projects to make critical improvements to protect bridges, tunnels, and highways against future damage from sea-level rise, floods, wildfires and other disasters, according to the senator’s office.

“Much of America’s infrastructure is already at risk of flooding and sea level rise and extreme weather will only make that risk grow when our roads are shut down by weather — that puts our ability to travel and transport goods across the country in jeopardy,” Gillibrand said. 

“These investments will keep our communities connected, keep our economy moving, save us money in the long run and create good jobs the process package will also help us proactively address some of the major contributors to climate change and help New Yorkers pursue more environmentally friendly transportation options,” Gillibrand concluded.

Sen. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Wednesday the infrastructure bill includes $150 million for the Northern Border Regional Commission — more than triple its previous funding.

The commission is a federal-state partnership focused on the economic revitalization of communities across the Northern Border region, which includes New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The increase will support economic development and infrastructure projects throughout the north country and upstate communities, the senator said.

“The Northern Border Regional Commission has played a unique and pivotal role in spurring economic development, upgrading infrastructure and creating jobs in communities across the North Country and broader Upstate New York region,” Schumer said in a statement Wednesday. “Funding for the NBRC will have a direct impact on many rural and distressed counties in upstate New York.”

The commission awarded more than $4.6 million in direct economic and infrastructure investments in northern New York communities to date in 2021, according to Schumer’s office.

The commission includes the governors of the four Northern Border states and a federal co-chair and provides financial and technical assistance to communities in the region to support entrepreneurs, improve water, broadband and transportation infrastructure.

The state’s northern border region includes 28 counties: Cayuga, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Orleans, Oswego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Sullivan, Washington, Warren, Wayne and Yates.

Tribune News Service contributed to this report. 

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SILVER LAKE EXPERIENCE (SLE) - Registration now Open for this August 4-6, 2022's SLE. See:


Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.


Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.


"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.


Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit

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