Assemblymember Brennan Urges Use of Federal Stimulus Funds to Reduce City Water Rate Hike

April 27, 2009
Assemblymember Jim Brennan (D-Bklyn) has urged the State and City to quickly designate federal stimulus funding for NYC water projects before the NYC Water Board votes on a rate increase on May 15th.

In letters dated 4/22/09, Brennan asked the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation, the conduit for federal funds, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection to speed the commitment of federal stimulus water funding to the City, so NYC Water Board’s balance sheets will reflect the important infusion of federal funds before the Water Board votes on a water rate increase for New York City consumers.

Federal stimulus funding for water and sewer infrastructure includes approximately $432 million for New York State, of which as much as $255 million may be designated for New York City water and sewer projects. If NYC funds can be allocated quickly, an expected rate increase of approximately 14% could be significantly reduced.

Brennan said, “If the State authority apportioning federal funds acts quickly, it is possible that the Water Board’s anticipated steep rate increase of 14% could be reduced by as much as one third, saving consumers millions of dollars they need right now.” Brennan, who credited NYC Comptroller William Thompson, Jr. for urging similar action in March 2009, went on to say, “We urgently need this action before the NYC Water Board vote on May 15th.”