Grants Leverage $39.7 Million in Water Quality Investments

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $14.6 million in grants to support 12 critical municipal water infrastructure projects in Central New York. These grants are part of the second round of NYS Water Grants funded through the state’s Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.

“Continuing to invest in and strengthen our infrastructure is critical to the future economic prosperity of New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “These grants will modernize aging infrastructure, ease burdens on local property taxpayers, and help build a stronger Central New York.”

The FY 2017 State Budget includes $100 million in grants for water infrastructure improvements. This additional funding allowed the Environmental Facilities Corporation 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.

Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, “Communities throughout New York are faced with aging water infrastructure that hurts the economy, the environment, and our residents’ quality of life. These funds will help municipalities support projects that address the issues caused by weak or failing equipment so that our water is cleaner and our state is able to support increased economic growth that will create new jobs. I am proud of the Senate’s role in creating and expanding this important program, and it will continue to be a priority of our chamber.”

Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie said, “These grants represent our commitment to ensuring that New Yorkers have the highest quality water possible to protect not only public health, but the environment as well. This additional funding builds on the accomplishments we made in the budget to ensure that the costs of improving water infrastructure in our state do not place an overwhelming burden on taxpayers or municipalities.”

The projects announced today 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 today are expected to be supplemented with $19.5 million in interest-free and low-interest loans, providing a more fiscally sustainable investment for these communities.

NYS Water Grant Applicant Name County Estimated Project Cost Estimated SRF Loan Amount Estimated Grant Award Total Savings
Drinking Water Auburn, City of Cayuga $3,400,000 ——- $ 2,040,000 $2,964,025
Drinking Water Auburn, City of Cayuga $1,045,000 $418,000 $627,000 $948,333
Drinking Water Constantia, Town of Oswego $4,723,000 $1,839,200 $2,833,800 $4,502,654
Drinking Water Cortland, City of Cortland $2,300,000 $920,000 $1,380,000 $2,095,883
Clean Water East Syracuse, Village of Onondaga $1,483,340 $1,112,505 $370,835 $1,043,918
Clean Water Marcellus, Village of Onondaga $5,519,600 $4,139,700 $1,379,900 $3,883,954
Clean Water Onondaga County Onondaga $4,957,777 ——- $1,239,444 $1,800,602
Clean Water Oswego, City of Oswego $5,500,000 $4,125,000 $1,375,000 $3,868,751
Clean Water Oswego, City of Oswego $8,911,000 $6,683,250 $2,227,750 $6,264,740
Drinking Water Phoenix, Village of Oswego $ 531,095 $212,438 $318,657 $496,883
Drinking Water Sullivan, Town of Madison $150,000 $60,000 $90,000 $103,495
Drinking Water Syracuse, City of Onondaga $1,132,400 ——- $679,440 $985,135
      $39,653,212 $19,510,093 $14,561,826 $28,958,374

New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Sabrina Ty said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the State has made an unprecedented financial commitment to critical environmental projects. These significant investments in our water infrastructure not only safeguard our precious water resources, but spur economic growth as well.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “These funds are critical to ensuring that necessary upgrades are made to the state’s clean water infrastructure. 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 said, “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.

More information on how to apply for these loans is available at WATERSRF (for wastewater projects) and WATERSRF (for drinking water projects).