NYSAC Release Commends State Legislature for Growing Commitment to Local Infrastructure
Counties Applaud State Legislature's Commitment to Local Infrastructure
The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) and its member counties applaud the members of the State Senate and State Assembly for strengthening the state's commitment to local clean water, and road and bridge infrastructure projects.
“As any local leader will tell you our aged infrastructure need more investments than our property taxpayers can absorb, especially under the state-imposed property tax cap,” said NYSAC President William E. Cherry, the Schoharie County Treasurer.
The Governor's Budget released in January included a $2 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act to be funded at $400 million per year over five years and administered directly by the state. The money would be used for water and wastewater infrastructure and source water protection.
The Assembly, this week, accepted that $2 billion allocation and specified the types of projects that would be eligible for the funding, including replacing lead water pipes, the NYC water system, intermunicipal infrastructure grants, septic upgrades, and environmental remediation projects. The State Senate's one house budget bill accepted the Governor's proposed $2 billion allocation and adds a $5 billion water infrastructure bond act that would go before the voters in 2018.
“These water infrastructure proposals are investments in our communities, businesses, and families. We appreciate that the Legislature and the Governor are making this funding a priority in this budget,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.
The one house budget bills adopted by both houses of the Legislature this week also increase the state's commitment to road and bridge funding in New York. The Senate adds $75 million to the Governor's $438 million allocation for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Program (CHIPS) for a total of $513 million, while the Assembly adds an addition $50 million for a total of $488 million.
Locally owned roads and bridges account for 87 percent of the State's 110,000 miles of roadways and 50 percent of the State's 18,000 bridges, and 34 percent of these local bridges are deficient and 48 percent of the road pavements are rated fair or poor.
“We commend Governor Cuomo and State Legislators for their budget actions to enhance state investments in local roads, bridges and culverts. These investments will help counties and local governments better maintain our infrastructure now and well into the future,” said Saratoga County Legislator Jean Raymond, chair of NYSAC's Standing Committee on Transportation.
The Governor and State Legislature will now negotiate the differences between these spending plans, and many others, between now and the April 1st start of the State's 2017-18 Fiscal Year.