New York Governor Andrew Mark Cuomo has announced funding for several water infrastructure projects.
Grants totaling $56.4m were awarded to support 30 critical municipal water infrastructure projects in the Capital District and Mohawk Valley.
The announcement was the first in a series kicking off the second round of state water grants funded through the state’s Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.
The 2016-17 state budget includes $100m in grants for water infrastructure improvements. This funding allowed the Environmental Facilities to expand eligibility for wastewater projects and provide a total of $175m in grants for the second round.
In addition, the maximum grant amount for drinking water projects was increased from $2m to $3m, or 60% of the costs for eligible projects, whichever is less.
The grants will primarily go into the planning, design, construction or enhancement of treatment plants, pump stations, sewer systems and equipment and will include upgrades and replacements for drinking water systems, filtration plants and water mains.
Based on scoring system, projects that give priority to projects resulting in higher water quality improvement or reduction in public health risk have been chosen of the grants.
These grants are supplemented with $218m of interest-free and low interest loans, which can offer a fiscally sustainable investment for communities that obtain grants.
Governor Andrew Mark Cuomo said: “Investing in our water infrastructure is critical for the growth and vitality of local communities across New York.
“This funding will help communities in the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley make necessary upgrades that will improve water quality, protect natural resources and ease burdens on local property taxpayers.”
Apart from these grants, Cuomo had also announced $5m in state funding to the City of Amsterdam to improve its water infrastructure.
This follows the recent news of sewer line breakage along Forest Avenue. The funding includes $1.25m of New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and $3.75m of interest-free loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
Last month, a break in sewer line was reported, causing an estimated 50 gallons per minute of untreated sewage into the North Chuctanunda Creek, adjacent to the Mohawk river.
About 500,000 gallons of sewage was leaked before the crew bypassed the damage section of the pipe and preventing any more leakage.
City of Amsterdam Mayor Michael Villa said: “The cooperation with all levels of government has been very refreshing, and I appreciate the personal support from Governor Cuomo, Senator Amedore and Assemblyman Santabarbara.
“Improving water and sewer infrastructure is a non-partisan issue, and our City is very encouraged and thankful for all the financial and engineering support to address our infrastructure needs.”