Otis Stormwater Grant Program Included in State Budget

Assemblyman Steve Otis (D-Rye) today announced that a new stormwater grant program to help municipalities fund expensive stormwater projects has been included in the adopted state budget.

The stormwater grant program was proposed by Otis and Assemblyman John McDonald (D-Cohoes) and was supported by many Assembly colleagues in this year’s budget process.

The stormwater grant program was included in the adopted budget as part of the 2020 Mother Nature Environmental Bond Act proposal to be submitted to the voters for referendum in November. If approved by the voters, the Bond Act designates that not less than $100 million will be available for municipal stormwater projects.

Governor Cuomo’s environmental bond act proposal outlined key goals including water quality, restoring habitats, reducing flood risk as well as protecting and restoring wetlands, floodplains, and streams.

Assemblyman Otis commented, “One of the best ways to accomplish the goals of the bond act proposal is by helping local governments fund stormwater projects. The stormwater grant program is now part of the bond proposal thanks to the great support of Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie and our Assembly colleagues.”

Assemblyman McDonald added, “As former Mayors, we both know how difficult it is for local government officials to invest in infrastructure projects. The projects are often not noticed or understood by the residents yet critical to the overall quality of life of the community. Inclusion of the stormwater grant component in the bond proposal will be of great impact to the community and the taxpayers.”

Stormwater grants will help municipalities fund needed, often required projects and reduce the cost to local taxpayers and meet the important goals of the environmental bond act.

Otis and McDonald helped create the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015 (WIIA), which has provided almost $1.2 billion statewide in drinking and clean water grants in the last five years. The stormwater program will add a new tool to state assistance for local water management projects.

In a joint statement Otis and McDonald concluded, “It is our hope that the stormwater grant program will make clean water projects a reality by making them more affordable for local governments and taxpayers.”