Ritchie's 1st Bill Passed in Senate Helps Black River

Patty Ritchie

March 01, 2011

Will Save Taxpayers Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In Interest

State Senator Patty Ritchie (R,C-Heuvelton) announced today the New York State Senate passed legislation she authored that saves Black River taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra interest costs for a critical waste water and sewer treatment project.

The measure, S.27 81, Senator Ritchie's first bill to pass the Senate, allows the Village to repay loans from the USDA and state Environmental Facilities Corporation on terms that are more favorable to local taxpayers. The bill passed unanimously.

"I am very pleased that my first bill will help save money for taxpayers in the Village of Black River and also help get this important project back on track,” Senator Ritchie said. “Without this action, village taxpayers would continue to be on the hook for extra interest and other payments that have already cost more than $138,000."

Black River Mayor Leland Carpenter thanked Senator Ritchie for making the legislation a top priority in her legislative agenda.

“When we met with Patty, I was very impressed that even though she had many issues facing her, it was clear that she wanted to help us with this problem,” he said. “She has done more for us in a couple of weeks than others did for us in months.”

“I want to thank Senator Ritchie, Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush and Assemblywoman Addie Russell for working together on behalf of the people of Black River and the Rt. 3 corridor,” he said.

The bill had stalled last year, but Senator Ritchie worked together with local Assembly members Blankenbush and Russell, as well as village and other local officials, to get the bill moving. An Assembly version is currently in the Ways and Means Committee. The bill fixes a problem caused when the Village exceeded its maximum bond authorization. The legislation and the sewer project itself impact more than just the village, however, since it enables work to continue on the line that connects the hamlet of Great Bend with the city of Watertown, stretching along the Black River for eight miles.