Outreach Events Scheduled in Economic Development Regions to Connect Communities with Necessary Resources and Funding for Water Infrastructure Improvements
Community Assistance Teams Available for On-Site and Virtual Consultations to Support Projects from Planning to Completion
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of a proactive outreach initiative to help small, rural, and disadvantaged communities address their water infrastructure needs. The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation has assembled Community Assistance Teams to connect communities with experts who can help them undertake their critical water infrastructure projects. These Teams will provide on-site or virtual consultations to help communities across the state jump start planning, submit funding applications, and see their projects through to completion.
"Too many critical water systems have been neglected to a state of disrepair because communities don't have the staffing, resources, or expertise to undertake these vital projects, but that stops today," Governor Hochul said. "With the $500 million allocated for clean water infrastructure in this year's executive budget, my administration will continue to remove barriers preventing communities from getting the financial assistance they need to be able to access clean water for generations to come."
The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), a public benefit corporation that provides low-cost capital and grants for water infrastructure improvement, is working closely with the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health to deploy Community Assistance Teams to conduct targeted outreach to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities. This includes partnering with the Governor's Regional Economic Development Councils and local organizations to host information events, identifying communities that have regulated facilities and have not used EFC for funding in several years, and soliciting requests for assistance directly from municipalities. Teams will provide one-on-one assistance to communities planning to upgrade their existing water infrastructure and to those communities working to create new water and sewer districts.
SAVE THE DATE: OUTREACH EVENTS
Outreach events are currently scheduled in the Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier regions. Additional events will be announced on EFC's website, Communities can also sign up to receive emails from EFC.
- Mohawk Valley: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 1-3 p.m., Herkimer College, Robert McLaughlin College Center, 100 Reservoir Road, Herkimer, NY 13350. Register for the Mohawk Valley event via email with name, community and contact information to [email protected] or register via Zoom.
- North Country: Tuesday, March 14, 12:30-3 p.m., Essex County Offices, Supervisors Board Room, 7551 Court St., Elizabethtown, NY 12932. Register online for the North Country event.
- Southern Tier: April 6, Southern Tier Central Regional Leadership Conference, Corning Community College, 1 Academic Drive, Corning NY 14830. Register online for the Southern Tier event.
SCHEDULE A MEETING
Community Assistance Teams are available by request to meet with municipal officials in person or virtually. Municipalities can connect with EFC at https://efc.ny.gov/CAT to schedule a consultation with a Community Assistance Team.
New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, "There is significant funding available for water infrastructure improvement and EFC is committed to awarding these dollars to the communities and projects that need it most. EFC has long been helping communities access funding to undertake their critical water infrastructure projects. Governor Hochul's State of the State initiative builds on this tradition. EFC is proud to spearhead the Community Assistance Teams that will help ensure no communities are left behind because they lack the capacity to advance a project. EFC's dedicated teams are eager to work shoulder-to-shoulder with state and local partners across the state and we urge any community that needs support to contact us."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and EFC Board Chair Basil Seggos said, "Governor Hochul's State of the State initiative will be instrumental in helping all New York communities, regardless of size or location, access the record amounts of funding being made available to improve and construct water infrastructure. Disadvantaged Communities shoulder a disproportionate burden of pollution and pairing them and our small towns and villages with State experts knowledgeable in navigating the funding process will help increase success in achieving clean water goals and build healthier, thriving neighborhoods."
New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez, "Clean drinking water is the number one priority for healthy, sustainable and resilient communities throughout New York State. New York State continues to make proactive investments in clean water infrastructure that are vital to public health, quality of life, community revitalization and economic development. This innovative outreach initiative will help ensure that New York's smaller, rural and disadvantaged communities have the same access to essential water infrastructure funding. With this initiative, no community, regardless of size or resources, will be left behind in New York's nation-leading community sustainability efforts."
Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, "Investing in our communities' water infrastructure will help ensure all New Yorkers continue to have access to clean drinking water. Governor Hochul recognizes that making strategic investments to ensure a clean environment and to deliver the highest quality drinking water possible protects New Yorkers' health. These Community Assistance Teams will work with our partners at both the state and local level to make sure they are getting the financial assistance necessary to upgrade their water systems."
New York's Commitment to Water Quality
New York continues to increase its investments in clean water infrastructure. Most recently, in her 2024 Executive Budget proposal, Governor Hochul committed to invest an additional $500 million in clean water funding, bringing New York's total clean water infrastructure investment to $5 billion since 2017.
In addition, with voter approval of the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, there are additional, historic levels of funding to update aging water infrastructure and protect water quality; strengthen communities' ability to withstand severe storms and flooding; reduce air pollution and lower climate-altering emissions; restore habitats; preserve outdoor spaces and local farms; and ensure equity by investing at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of resources in disadvantaged communities.
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