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New York: $60.7 M To Upgrade Local Drinking Water And Wastewater Systems Statewide

Photo of a faucet
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced $60.7 million in grants have been approved by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation Board of Directors to support drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across New York.

The Board's approval includes nearly $8.4 million in grants awarded under the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.

The Greene County Town of Prattsville, still recovering from the 2011 battering it took from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, will get $1.45 million that includes an $872,672 Drinking Water Grant and a $581,782 zero-interest loan.

Michael Harrington is with Cobleskill-based Lamont Engineers.  "The funded project includes a second well source to replace a well that was damaged in the flood. It also involves treatment for bromomethane, which the town has been under order from the Department of Health to remove from the water source. Also included will be a new well treatment building and some aeration treatment for the bromomethane. Also included will be granular activated carbon filtration for removal of the bromomethane.”

Harrington adds the project may also include distribution system improvements.

The City of Rensselaer will receive $11.9 million to acquire a water storage tank and a portion of the pump station facilities previously built and financed by the Rensselaer Water and Sewer Authority. Several aged and undersized water distribution mains will be replaced throughout the City.

$1.6 million, will go to the Schoharie County Village of Sharon Springs for the design and construction of improvements to its wastewater collection and treatment facilities.

New York state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says Governor Andrew Cuomo has made water quality a priority.  "These investments are critical to not just bringing jobs back to some of the municipalities where work is needed, but very importantly to restoring water quality. And this is all about keeping our waters clean. It's about keeping our municipalities vibrant, good places to work and good places to live and recreate."

The grants allow the municipalities to finance their projects at a significantly lower rate than financing on their own.  The governor's office says New York leads the nation with the largest annual investment in water-quality infrastructure of any state.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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