April 4, 2012

Governor Cuomo Announces NY Works Projects to Upgrade State Parks and ORDA Facilities in the North Country

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $5.1 million investment for NY Works projects to upgrade and repair three parks and ORDA facilities in the North Country.


New York Works is designed to reinvent state economic development with innovative new strategy that will put New Yorkers back to work rebuilding the state's infrastructure. The Task Force will help create tens of thousands of jobs by coordinating comprehensive capital plans, overseeing investment in infrastructure projects, and accelerating hundreds of critical projects across the state.


"New York State has passed, for the second year in a row, a transformative and balanced budget that holds the line on spending, while focusing on job creation and government efficiency," Governor Cuomo said. "The centerpiece of this budget is the New York Works program, a new strategy for leveraging capital to put New Yorkers back to work and rebuilding our aging infrastructure including the state park system that is used by so many people across the state."


Senator Betty Little said, "New York's parks are among our state's most important quality of life assets. These are places to escape and refresh, reconnect with nature and enjoy leisure time with family and friends. Years of neglect has led to a decline in the appearance, convenience and safety of our parks. This much needed investment is especially important in the North Country where our parks are a major draw for tourists, and I commend Governor Cuomo for recognizing that."


Senator Joe Griffo said, "It's an unfortunate dynamic that when the economy trends downward, State parks tend to have increased visitation. No matter how humble or creative these facilities become, it's very challenging for North Country parks and historic areas to be completely self-sufficient. We, as policy-makers, need to keep that in mind as we fulfill the mission of keeping available quality public recreation in New York."


Senator Patty Ritchie said, "Northern New York offer visitors from across the United States some of the most beautiful parks in the world, serving as major tourist destinations on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Valley. Putting New Yorkers back to work rebuilding our park system is a critical investment in our state's future that will continue to help bring customers to our region's businesses and jobs to our residents."


Assemblywoman Addie Russell said, "A great component of the New York Works Program is funding for needed infrastructure repairs and upgrades in North Country state parks. It's important that we keep North Country state parks updated and safe in order to keep the beautiful natural resources of our region available to our families. In addition, clean, updated parks will increase tourism and provide an economic boost for the North Country. It's vital that we continue to protect and revitalize our state parks to make sure they can be enjoyed by our families and guests for many years to come."


The Budget continues the Governor's commitment to fiscal responsibility while creating jobs and strengthening communities across the state. It closes a multi-billion dollar deficit with no new taxes, fees or gimmicks, limits spending growth to two percent or below for the second year in a row, and launches the New York Works Task Force to invest billions of dollars to rebuild the state's roads, bridges, parks, and other infrastructure and create tens of thousands of jobs.


The Budget includes key economic development and transportation initiatives, important reforms to improve government efficiency, and measures to strengthen communities across the state.


New York Works Task Force


The New York Works Task Force will coordinate capital plans across 45 agencies and authorities, oversee investment in projects and access to funding, and facilitate the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.


Prior to the New York Works initiative, there was no comprehensive state plan for the $16 billion in annual capital expenditures by 45 state agencies and authorities. In some cases, including with respect to projects by the Port Authority, the MTA, and the Department of Transportation, billions of dollars of taxpayer or commuter funds are being used to fund transportation plans in the same region with no coordination between the agencies. For the first time, the New York Works Task Force will develop a coordinated capital infrastructure plan among agencies and authorities. The Task Force, made up of leaders in finance, labor, planning and transportation will also recommend financing options for projects and methods to accelerate construction of critical infrastructure.


The New York Works Task Force will consist of fifteen members. Nine of the members will be appointed by the Governor and six by the Legislature. All major state agencies and authorities will participate in an implementation council to coordinate capital planning.


All New York Works projects will be posted on the web with real-time updates so that New Yorkers can track the progress of projects in their community. The full list will be posted online over the next several days.


Rebuilding New York's State Parks


The New York Works Fund will provide $89 million, leveraging $143 million in total funding, to rehabilitate state parks, representing the single largest infusion in history of capital dollars for New York's parks. Currently, 83% of state parks are deteriorating. Projects will be funded in every region of the state and will enhance the visitor experience and enable our state parks to reemerge after years of decline.


The NY Works Projects in the North Country are as follows:


    Project Name
Project Description
Total Project Cost
    Burnham Point State Park
    Replace the park's aging sewage collection system with a modern, code-compliant system. This project will service the park's picnic area and campground.
    Higley Flow State Park
    Replace the deteriorated shower and restroom building at Higley Flow State Park, where the state of the existing public use building is a visible sign of disinvestment in the park.
    Wellesley Island State Park
    Replace the deteriorated shower and restroom building at Wellesley Island State Park, where the state of the existing public use building is a visible sign of disinvestment in the park.
    ORDA Infrastructure
    Perform lift maintenance, building maintenance, and repair critical infrastructure.