SENATOR BALL URGES USE OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP TO FINANCE TZ BRIDGE SHORTFALL
Ball: P3 Will Allow New York to Finance Bridge at No additional Cost to Taxpayers
Brewster, N.Y. – (3/11/13) – Senator Greg Ball, (R,C,I – Patterson) is calling on his colleagues in the legislature to pass a public private partnership bill during the current legislative session, in this year’s budget bill, to enable the state to finance the shortfall of funding for the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
According to recent reports, officials knew back in Sept. 2012 that the state would be awarded less funding than required to build the new bridge. Instead of the $2 billion loan that was originally expected from the Department of Transportation, New York will now only receive $1.5 billion.
Instead of borrowing nearly a billion dollars through bonding or raising tolls on working new Yorkers, Senator Ball is urging the use of a public-private partnership arrangement to finance the bridge at no additional cost to taxpayers.
“New York is the capitol of capital and our current inability to proactively fund this project is simply inexcusable. A public-private partnerships (P3) will allow New York to finance the transit portion of the Tappan Zee Bridge, while reducing the burden on federal, state and local taxpayers as well as commuters and ratepayers,” said Senator Greg Ball. “We live in a powerful state that is home to the greatest financial market in the world. The search for federal debt based funds and our clamoring to finance the transit option on the Tappan Zee Bridge is symptomatic of a previous lack of both creative thinking and innovative finance models. It’s time to change all of that by providing the Governor with these new helpful tools.”
Public-private partnerships, also known as P3’s, allow private firms or union pension funds to invest in the construction and operation of public projects, such as highways and bridges. In return, the government agency makes fixed payments to them or gives a share of toll revenue.
There are currently 35 states that have legislation in place allowing for public-private partnerships.
Ross J. Pepe, the President & CEO of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley stressed the importance of implementing these type of partnerships
“This is a vital program for the economy, infrastructure and people of New York State,” Pepe said. “Public-private partnerships are a great opportunity that those in other states have, but we in New York State don’t have the opportunity to participate in.”
Richard Norment, Executive Director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships said he is dedicated to helping New York State craft the best legislation possible.
“At this moment, New York State does not have adequate legislation for public-private partnerships. I think this is a unique opportunity for New York to tap into a process that more and more states are using now,” said Richard Norment, Executive Director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships. “If this state used the private sector to fund this project it would lessen the load and not put a drain on the taxpayers. It doesn’t matter if it is the Tappan Zee Bridge or the Yonkers School District; this is a way of instantly creating thousands of jobs.”
According to Joseph Bracchitta, the Chief Administrative Officer of Yonkers Public Schools, P3 legislation can go much further than the Tappan Zee Bridge.
“Yonkers currently is not maintaining the school buildings at the rate they are deteriorating,” said Bracchitta. “Using public-private partnerships you can build good schools, create good jobs and build a good community. This will attract more people willing to live, work and invest in New York State.”
For more information, please contact Joe Bachmeier at (845) 200 9716.