Five Adirondack communities have received $7.4 million in grants on top of $13.16 million in loans to complete clean water programs to treat their wastewater and provide pure drinking water to their residents from the state’s Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA).
Counting the $2.5 million in funding for Willsboro and Saranac Lake in last year’s budget, the WIIA has brought nearly $10 million to Adirondack communities since it was created in 2015.
The 2016/17 state budget includes $100 million in grants for water infrastructure improvements. This additional funding allowed the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) 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.
The projects announced last week 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 last week are expected to be supplemented with nearly $83.7 million in interest-free and low-interest loans, providing a more fiscally sustainable investment for these communities.
Here are the Adirondack community projects receiving funding:
· Town of Clifton, St. Lawrence County: Drinking Water project costing a total of $3.9 million received a SRF loan of $1.56 million and a grant of $2.34 million.
· Town of Crown Point, Essex County: Drinking Water project costing $2.84 million received $1.13 million in SRF loans and a grant of $1.7 million.
· Town of Elizabethtown, Essex County: Wastewater project costing $8.6 million received an SRF loan of $6.4 million and a grant of $2.14 million.
· Village of Lake Placid, Essex County: Wastewater project costing $1.16 million received an SRF loan of $866,250 and a grant of $288,750.
· Village of Tupper Lake, Franklin County: Drinking water project costing $6.22 million received an SRF loan of $3.22 million and a grant of $1 million.
In December 2015, the governor announced that the Town of Willsboro, Essex County, would receive a grant of $746,326 and a loan of $2.2 million for a total of more than $2.9 million. In Franklin and Essex counties, the Village of Saranac Lake will receive a grant of $1.75 million and a loan of $5.25 million for a total of $7 million.
This is terrific news! Especially personally pleased to see that Tupper Lake is one of the recipients.
Credit where it’s due: Big kudos to the Adirondack Council for working with partners in local and state government to make this happen! Not as dramatic as, say, fighting in court for a piece of the Forest Preserve but no less important — without pristine waters, the Park as we know it would not be the same.
Tupper Lake may be jumping the gun just a little, part of the money is planned on expanding it’s water system to help the ACR. Based on the articles in the ADE on 8/18 & 8/19 they might want to put things on hold until(and if) the ACR ever comes close to being a reality. At this point it still seems to be a longshot at best.