Cuomo Approves $33 Million for New York Water Projects

Earlier this month, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced $33 million in grants to support 15 critical municipal water infrastructure projects in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island. The grants are part of the third round of NYS Water Grants funded through the state’s highly successful Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.water_money

The FY 2017 State Budget includes $100 million in grants for water infrastructure improvements. This additional funding allowed the Environmental Facilities Corp. (EFC) to broaden eligibility for wastewater projects and provide a total of $175 million in grants for round two. In addition, the maximum grant amount for drinking water projects was increased from $2 million to $3 million, or 60 percent of eligible projects costs – whichever is less.

“Investing in water infrastructure today is key to growth and prosperity tomorrow,” Cuomo said. “These grants will help local governments advance important projects that will protect natural resources, ease strain on budgets and property taxpayers, and help create stronger communities in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island.”

The projects announced primarily include the planning, design and construction or enhancement of treatment plants, pump stations, sewer systems and equipment, as well as upgrades and replacements for drinking water systems, filtration plants and water mains.

Grant awards were based on a scoring system that gave priority to projects that result in the greatest water quality improvement or reduction in risk to public health and are positioned to advance to construction, among other considerations.

In addition to grants, EFC provides interest-free and low-interest loans to communities to further reduce the cost of infrastructure projects. The grants announced are expected to be supplemented with nearly $86.5 million in interest-free and low-interest loans, providing a more fiscally sustainable investment for these communities.

“These funds are critical to ensuring that necessary upgrades are made to the state’s clean water infrastructure,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “DEC is proud to work with EFC in advancing these important projects that are truly essential in protecting our environment and promoting continued economic growth.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker added, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to improving our statewide municipal water infrastructure will ensure that the state remains proactive in protecting our vast water supply for years to come. New York’s Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) helps local communities fund the water quality improvement projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment.”

Since 2011, New York has invested approximately $9 billion in both wastewater and drinking water grants, low and interest-free loans, as well as loan re-financings. New York leads the nation with the largest annual investment in water-quality infrastructure.

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