(The is from an article that was reported in the Watertown Daily Times on Monday, June 5, 2017)
STATE FUNDING: Grants, loans offered to upgrade drinking, wastewater facilities; applications due June 23
by JEN JACKSON
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday that more than $11.5 million in financial support has been approved to upgrade drinking and wastewater project upstate.
The state Environmental Facilities Corp. board of directors approved the money to be disbursed in grants, interest-free loans and low-cost loans, including $3.4 million under the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act.
As of Thursday's meeting, a $120,000 Water Infrastructure Improvement Act grant had been awarded in Lewis County to replace an aged and undersized water main on Church Street in the village of Harrisville.
So far, it is the only such grant project in the north country.
However, the EFC will be accepting applications for drinking and wastewater support project grants and loans until 5 p.m. June 23.
According to the governor's office, the grants, as well as the interest-free and low-interest loans, provided by EFC allow municipalities to finance these projects at a significantly lower rate than financing on their own.
"Investments in our water infrastructure are vital to the growth and prosperity of communities across New York." Gov. Cuomo said in a public statement.
"These projects address the specific water infrastructure needs of each community to ensure clean, safe water, and provide meaningful savings to hardworking taxpayers, while laying the foundation for fu;ture growth."
Schools throughout New York began state-mandated water testing in 2016. Hundreds of schools ultimately found elevated levels of lead in sinks, fountains and other outlets.
Older buildings are particularly at risk for contimainated at risk drinking water and dangerous levels of lead.
New York state has invested the most money annually in water-quality infrastructure in the nation. Since 2011, the EFC has financed more than $11.5 billion in subsidized loans, grants and loan refinancings to local governments.