August 5, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces State Response to Help City of Amsterdam Improve Aging Water Infrastructure

Governor Cuomo Announces State Response to Help City of Amsterdam Improve Aging Water Infrastructure

$5 Million in State Funding Will Help Strengthen City’s Aging Water Infrastructure to Advance Repairs and Future Projects

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $5 million is available to improve aging water infrastructure in the City of Amsterdam following a sewer line break along Forest Avenue last month. The funding, which includes $1.25 million from the NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and a zero interest loan of $3.75 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, will help the city prevent future sewer overflow events.

“Aging water infrastructure can harm the environment and put the health and safety of residents at risk,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this funding, we are helping the City of Amsterdam make necessary repairs and ensure that its critical water infrastructure needs are met for the future.”

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “When I visited the City of Amsterdam on August 1 I informed leaders there that the state continues to stand with them, offering technical assistance, funding and any additional help needed. It’s great to see the City take these important steps to improve water infrastructure.”

On Monday, July 25, The City reported to DEC through the NY Alert System that a break in a sewer line was causing an estimated 50 gallons per minute of untreated sewage into the North Chuctanunda Creek, which is adjacent to the Mohawk River. Approximately 500,000 gallons of sewage leaked before crews managed to install a pumping system to bypass the damaged section of pipe, virtually eliminated any discharge by June 30.

On August 1, Governor Cuomo directed the Department of Environmental Conservation and Environmental Facilities Corporation to meet with the City and asses options for fixing the sewage infrastructure failure. Additionally, the state identified potential funding options such as the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, Environmental Facility Corporation subsidized loans, Engineering Planning Grants and water Quality Improvement Program grants. DEC is also currently in discussion with Amsterdam to make further improvements on their aging wastewater infrastructure, including the updating of a comprehensive existing compliance order.

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.”

Senator George Amedore said, "This is great news for the city of Amsterdam after being plagued by sewer issues that continue to cost taxpayers money and cause damage to our environment. These funds will help them make necessary sewer line improvements that are long overdue. I commend Mayor Villa for his tenacity, leadership and partnership on this issue, and also the Governor's office for seeing the urgency of the situation in Amsterdam. A reliable and safe infrastructure is the foundation for a strong economy and healthy communities, and I'm happy that Amsterdam is going to receive this much-needed assistance."

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “I thank the Governor for responding to our call for emergency funding for the critical infrastructure repairs needed in the city of Amsterdam. This funding will not only aid in the municipality’s need for immediate repairs to its sanitary sewer infrastructure, but also restore funds drawn from other important areas of the city’s budget. Aging infrastructure across our Upstate communities is in desperate need and the emergency funds now made available are a good investment in the future of our great city of Amsterdam.”

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