In an effort to maintain contact and hear the needs of businesses in her district, U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul (D, NY-26) toured Dansville and the surrounding area last Thursday.

In an effort to maintain contact and hear the needs of businesses in her district, U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul (D, NY-26) toured Dansville and the surrounding area last Thursday.

The tour was arranged by president of Dansville Economic Development Corporation and Livingston County Clerk Jim Culbertson, who worked alongside Hochul when she was a rookie Erie County Clerk.

“He really embraced me and taught me the ropes,” she said of Culberston. “And made sure I knew everybody at the meetings and all.”

Culbertson was state president of the County Clerk’s Association at that time.

The congresswoman's afternoon stop in Dansville began with a luncheon at Gaslight Grill, where she spoke with local business owners, Livingston County officials and members of Dansville Area Chamber of Commerce. Hochul then toured Dansville’s Main Street, stopping at Star Theatre, Dansville Stationers, Toadally Wine and saw the work being done in buildings owned by Greg O’Connell.

“I’m so impressed, with the year and a half that I’ve been in Congress ... to see the transformation of Main Street here,” Hochul said later inside Macfadden’s Cafe, adding that she wants to be a partner for downtown businesses in helping them receive the funding they need such as grants or development loans.

Hochul also toured Dansville Properties, home of LMC Industrial Contractors and American Motive Power, where she heard about the company’s growth and its need, with Genesee and Wyoming Railroad, to make $2 million worth of improvements to the line there.

The companies use the rail to bring in locomotive engines for refurbishing, plus fabrication projects weighing in excess of one hundred tons. The companies hope Hochul can help them find funding for the rail’s infrastructure needs.

“There’s a lot of crossings that need to be repaired, ties that need to be replaced,” American Motive Power general manager Rich Rizierri said after the tour. “We have 70 locomotives scheduled to come in here [for repair] between now and the end of the year. One little hiccup in service, the track goes down, that effects a lot of jobs.”

Hochul commended the company’s growth, stating that not every trades company in her district is seeing this kind of growth.

She said that she plans on sharing the infrastructure needs of Dansville Properties, as well as the infrastucture needs of Dansville’s waste water treatment plant, on the floor of Congress, “and how the inability for Congress to properly fund infrastructure needs in this country is effecting your need to create jobs and do what you do, which is rebuild this country in your own way.”

After touring Dansville, Hochul visited businesses in Hunt and Geneseo. Prior to visiting Dansville, Hochul attended the 10th anniversary function of the partnership of Pioneer Credit Recovery and Sally Mae in Perry.

Culbertson said that he intends to invite Hochul back to Dansville to visit Noyes Health.