With Albany’s help, all’s well in Ocean Beach

Drink up: Albany is lending a hand to the Village of Ocean Beach, helping fund a backup well with grants and low-cost loans.

The Village of Ocean Beach will get a backup freshwater supply, thanks to a $3.7 million boost from Albany.

The package – which includes a $1.9 million zero-interest loan and a $1.2 million low-interest loan – will help fund a new water-supply well to serve as a “redundant water source” for the village, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Ocean Beach’s stipend was part of $62 million in grants and low-cost financing approved Thursday by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp., focused on upgrading local drinking-water and wastewater systems across the state.

Cuomo announced the $62 million total, which includes $9 million in grants previously awarded through the 2015 Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, shortly after the EFC’s Board of Directors granted final approval. The governor called the eight approved projects “critical to helping communities upgrade their aging water infrastructure, which builds the foundation for future growth and vitality.”

“This continued investment in drinking and wastewater systems will improve water quality in cities across the state,” Cuomo said Thursday.

Sabrina Ty: The NYS Environmental Facilities Corp. is awash with funding opportunities.

The biggest chunk of change among Thursday’s approvals went to the Village of Corinth in Saratoga County, which received $24.2 million – including a $16.5 million zero-interest loan and just under $8 million in grants – to help pay for the planning and construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, along with ancillary sewer and pump-station projects.

That was followed by $13.9 million, including a $10.9 million zero-interest loan, for the Town of Champlain in upstate Clinton County, to help cover the installation of new water-storage tanks and various improvements to the town’s water-treatment and distribution systems.

Other packages, each including zero- and low-interest loans and/or grants, were approved for the Village of Greene (Chenango County, $7.7 million), the Town of Verona (Oneida County, $6.5 million), the City of Watervliet (Albany County, $2.3 million), the Village of Delhi (Delaware County, $2.3 million) and the Village of Woodridge (Sullivan County, $1.8 million).

To date, the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act has offered $225 million in financial assistance, backing what the governor’s office estimates at over $1 billion in total project costs, spread over some 120 distinct statewide projects. Since 2011, EFC has provided more than $11.5 billion in subsidized loans, grants and loan re-financings to local governments, according to Cuomo’s office.

The governor recently announced that applications are available for an additional $255 million in funding for drinking-water and wastewater infrastructure projects through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017, as well as another $30 million through the state’s new Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grants Program.  More information on the state’s myriad water-infrastructure-improvement funding programs is available here.

“Strengthening our water systems is critical for improving the quality of life for communities across the state,” EFC President and CEO Sabrina Ty said in a statement. “The Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2017 and the new Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grants Program will allow EFC to provide financial assistance to more communities than ever before.”

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