Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today announced passage in the New York State Senate of legislation he is sponsoring by a vote of 61-0 to fight the lurking monster in New York State’s aging water and sewer infrastructure that could wreak havoc on millions of people if it’s not stopped.
Tedisco’s legislation, which he has advocated for passage since he was in the state Assembly, the Safe Water infrastructure Action Program (S.W.A.P.), creates a new state program to repair and maintain vital local drinking water, sewer, storm water management, gas line and water tower infrastructure to protect lives and save tax dollars by avoiding costly repairs when systems break.
“There’s a monster lurking in New York State’s aging water and sewer infrastructure that could wreak havoc on millions of people if it’s not stopped. Many of our towns and cities all over the state have underground infrastructure that’s over 100 years old with some as old as the Civil War. These trolls of the sublevel could collapse at any time putting the safety of our drinking water at risk and leaving overburdened local taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in costly repairs. We can’t duct tape our way out of this crisis with quick fix repairs. Our Safe Water infrastructure Action Program will enable local governments to make repairs now and help them plan to replace our underground infrastructure in the future,” said Senator Tedisco.
A recent report by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli says New York State’s aging water infrastructure program could cost $40 billion in repairs and upgrades over the next two decades.
S.W.A.P. is modeled after the popular and successful CHIPS program for local roads and bridges and would provide annual formula-based funding to all municipalities in the state to allow them to identify and swap out old, deteriorating pipes, water mains and gas lines to better maintain the state’s infrastructure. The legislation (Senate Bill S.3292A/Assembly Bill A.3907A) is a top priority for the Association of Towns for the State of New York and the New York Rural Water Association.
Several municipalities have expressed support for S.W.A.P. and passed local resolutions including Saratoga County, Troy, Clifton Park, Ballston, Glenville, Halfmoon, Malta, East Greenbush, Corinth, Village of Poland, Northville, Broadalbin, Northampton, Indian Lake, Speculator, Dolgeville and Johnstown.
“The S.W.A.P. program will benefit every municipality, providing consistent funding to maintain a viable infrastructure system for all New Yorkers,” said Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett, who conceived of the idea for the S.W.A.P. Program. “Funding allocated through S.W.A.P. will be effective, fair and equitable, as well as bi-partisan. I want to thank Senator Jim Tedisco for his leadership in getting this bill passed in the Senate. We hope it can move forward now in the Assembly before Session ends.”
S.W.A.P. is being sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Phil Steck (D-Colonie).
“We hope the Assembly will provide this important infrastructure relief to help our local governments keep that lurking monster of deteriorating underground infrastructure at bay,” said Tedisco.