City of Amsterdam Finds Innovative Solution to Potholes

Amsterdam, NY (March 11, 2015) — Like most upstate cities, the small upstate city of Amsterdam finds itself struggling with the toll of winter upon its roadways. Faced with a depleted budget for road maintenance and repair, a few Common Council members are reviving an idea from decades earlier.

Common Council member of the sixth ward,  Lynne Bylyn, explains, “Several years ago, the city built a sludge processing plant for raw sewage to convert, um, ‘sludge’ to pellets that we could then sell as a way to generate millions of dollars for the city. Unfortunately, the plant never worked and cost city taxpayers millions of dollars in litigation and capital writeoffs. So as a Council member who cares deeply about our taxpayers, I thought maybe we have a win-win here — we generate a lot of ‘sludge’ and we have a lot of potholes with little money to buy filler and even less money to buy salt. If no one wants to buy our ‘sludge’, well, maybe we can use it to cut expenses for city taxpayers. It’s truly a win-win for taxpayers assuming the mayor stops driving the city car and creating all the potholes in the first place.”

The initiative is off to a difficult start due to the technical complexities and the public relations involved with such a scatologically themed subject. The Council was embarrassed last week when its internal working names for the project, “Sludge Helps Increase Tax Savings’ and ‘Paving Over Our Potholes’ were roundly mocked for their acronyms.

Council member, Lynne Bylyin explained, “It’s no laughing matter when it comes to high taxes and the state of our roads. I’ve heard the jokes and people really need to be more mature  than a first grader with all the poopy jokes and driving on our — I’m not going to use the word– roads. I don’t find that funny at all. All I know is that even if it takes millions to bond and then build a new plant to turn sludge into pavement to fill potholes and maybe find a way to use sludge instead of salt — it’s biodegradable–, then I’m all for it. We’re saving the taxpayers money and that’s all I care about.”

A special meeting of the Committee of the Whole will be scheduled for next week.

–Additional correspondence provided for this story by T.P. Forbung. Whole article initially submitted March 9, 2015.

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