Otis Announces Schedule for $255 Million in 2017 Clean Water Grants

Assemblyman Steve Otis (D-Rye) announced today that a new round of municipal clean water grants is now available to local governments. Governor Cuomo and the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation released the 2017 grant application schedule on Wednesday, April 26.

The New York State budget included a $2.5 billion commitment for clean and drinking water infrastructure projects and water quality protection across New York through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017. The core of the program is over $1.5 billion in grants to municipalities for clean water infrastructure projects, continuing the infrastructure grant program initiated by Assemblyman Otis in 2015.

Otis commented, “Only days after adoption of the state budget, Governor Cuomo and EFC have moved quickly to open the grant application process for the 2017 round. These grants are vital to enabling clean water projects to be built and making them affordable for local budgets and taxpayers.”

The Water Infrastructure Grant program will have $225 million available this year that will be split evenly between drinking and wastewater infrastructure projects. In addition, a newly created Intermunicipal Grant program (IMG) will have $30 million in grants available this year. This program will provide additional incentives for joint applications from local governments that choose to work together to receive more funding. Municipalities will be able to apply to both programs for a project, with the IMG giving an additional tool to provide state support for projects.

Assemblyman Otis, who was an advocate for creating the new intermunicipal grant feature, stated, “The entire $2.5 billion program places New York at the forefront of a multi-pronged approach to water quality. Governor Cuomo’s leadership has driven this major commitment and the addition of the intermunicipal grant program provides more flexibility to make projects a reality.”

Additional information and the online grant application are available on the EFC website at www.efc.ny.gov/NYSWaterGrants. To be eligible for consideration in this grant cycle, the application and supporting documentation for a project must be submitted to EFC no later than 5:00 pm on June 23, 2017. Local governments that applied for funding during the first two rounds of the water grant program will automatically be considered in this new round (unless they notify EFC that they no longer wish to be considered for a grant), but any updated information or documentation must be submitted by the June 23rd deadline.

The Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017 will provide at least $1 billion in state funds under the original grant program, with another $150 million from the Intermunicpal Grant Program over the next five years.

The new law builds upon the success of the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, which was originally proposed by two former mayors, Otis and Assemblyman John McDonald, who saw the need to help municipalities pay for costly – and long-delayed – local water quality improvements, including sewer system repairs and drinking water facility upgrades. In its first two years of existence, the innovative program has awarded $250 million in state grants, allowing over $1 billion in local clean water projects to move forward.

Assemblyman Otis is eager to assist municipalities in the region submit the best possible applications for their water quality projects. Prospective applicants should feel free to contact him at his district office, (914) 939-7028, or by email, otiss@nyassembly.gov, with any questions they have about the EFC application process.