Communities hope $4.5 million in loans will solve water problems | Greene County

New Baltimore and Tannersville are each set to receive seven figures in interest-free loans for water projects after Governor Kathy Hochul announced Saturday that the state has approved more than $725 million in funding to help municipalities with infrastructure of water.

As part of a funding round from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Board of Directors, New Baltimore will receive $1,875,733 in interest-free, long-term funding for a drinking water project. The city also obtained a grant of $111,712 under the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act for the modernization of the sewage system.

“The sewage treatment plant has been upgraded,” New Baltimore City Supervisor Jeff Ruso said Monday. “The project has been in place for some time. What he is offering us are interest-free loans to pay for this sewage treatment plant. »

Ruso said work on the plant was completed last fall.

“It particularly serves the hamlet of New Baltimore,” Ruso said. “It’s the part of the city closest to the river. We had an aging infrastructure with a 35-year-old plant. Basically, we will have interest-free loans and we will withdraw old loans. The net result for each user will be a lower quarterly wastewater treatment program bill. »

Ruso said residents of the sewage treatment plant will repay the bond, but the cost of the bond is significantly lower due to the interest-free nature of the grant.

Under the new round of state funding, the Village of Tannersville will receive $2,249,788 in interest-free long-term funding and a $534,835 WIIA grant to rehabilitate the existing water treatment plant and arsenic removal treatment for the Rip Van Winkle well. The money will also allow the village to increase the capacity of groundwater sources, replace aging water pipes and meters, and rehabilitate the existing water storage reservoir.

“Every community in New York City deserves access to clean water, which is why investing in clean water infrastructure is a top priority,” Hochul said in a statement. “With increased funding for the Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and a historic investment in clean water initiatives in my Executive Budget, we will work with local governments to modernize New York’s water infrastructure to protect public health and the environment and help ensure a robust economy.”

Nearly two years after New Baltimore declared a state of emergency after a water main broke in the city under the New York State Thruway, Ruso said the city is seeking state funding to repair additional pipes in the city.

In June 2020, all water services were lost in the city’s No. 2 water district, known as the Scheller Park District, after a 10-inch water main broke under the tracks in direction south of the Thruway. The city applied for funding to replace sections of pipe more than a century old in hopes of preventing another leak.

“There are other sections of the water pipe that are as old as the one that went bad,” Ruso said. “The pipe that was under the Thruway was over 100 years old. This part was therefore repaired. But the parts that are on both sides of the Thruway, near where that broken area was, are still 100 years old. So I went door to door and tried to get funds for it.

Ruso said the city is waiting for word on securing funding for water main repairs.

“We are looking for grants, but I’ve heard different answers,” Ruso said. “For Water District No. 2, we are seeking grants to help secure the final repair of a major leak. We had a major leak in June 2020. We had to make emergency repairs to a pipe that ran under the Thruway. The pipe was replaced and it cost the residents of the district $330,000. We had to link that. Current residents of this district pay the bail fee now. In fact, we just made our first payment in February.

Ruso said the city plans to use federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to pay for the renovations, but hopes to secure state funding to avoid spending all of its federal money on the project.

“We have ARPA money that we plan to use for this,” Ruso said. “But if I can get other grants, it saves ARPA money for other projects in our town. That’s kind of what I want to do. I don’t want to spend the money from ARPA only for the water district. I was hoping to do other things with it. But we need to fix it before it goes bad because it’s 100 years old and how much longer can you count on it him? We’ve had a major breakdown along that line before.

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