State to remove 'I Love NY' signs after pressure from feds

'I Love NY' signs costing New York $14 million in federal funding

'I Love NY' signs costing New York $14 million in federal funding

"It's an incompetence on government to have put these signs up - being that it's a violation of federal law - then there was an arrogance not taking them down".

The hundreds of tourism signs the Cuomo administration installed along New York's highways could wind up costing the state $14 million in federal funding.

The Cuomo administration gave way to the feds and announced a plan to remove the controversial "I Love NY" signs in order to avoid a $14 million fine for New York State.

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State officials stopped short of admitting defeat, saying the new signs are needed anyway for a new tourism campaign.

In a letter to state transportation officials, the Federal Highway Administration said 1 percent of the money NY stands to receive under a federal block grant program was being withheld because of the more than 500 signs, which federal officials claim are an unnecessary distraction to drivers and create safety hazards.

Federal leaders said Thursday New York would lose out on $14 million in federal funds over the signs dispute.

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Separately, state Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, Rome, sent a letter Friday to state Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul Karas and state Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew Driscoll urging a quick resolution to the matter.

Karas and Driscoll said the state plans to reuse materials from the current signs to install the new signs. Often grouped in five, the signs are generally posted in quick succession.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will introduce legislation that will decouple elements of the state's tax system from the federal tax system to lessen the impact of the GOP tax law on state residents. The first one went up in 2013. State officials have insisted that a compromise is in the works. The Federal government has given NY until September to come into compliance before the highway funds are off of the table for good.

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"In addition to the noncompliance issues. each of these signs is on large supports and structures which create obstructions within the roadside environment that could pose safety risks", Brandye Hendrickson, acting highway administrator, wrote in the letter.

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