FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE97-14
April 21, 1997
Contact: Geoffrey Ryan (718/595-5371)
City Delivers Watershed Agreement Payments to Putnam County
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Governor George E. Pataki and Putnam County Executive Robert J. Bondi announced that Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr. of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection personally delivered checks totaling over $32 million to the County at noon today.
The payments are called for in the "New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement" that was negotiated, with the assistance of Governor Pataki, between the City, the watershed communities, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Departments of State, Health and Environmental Conservation, and environmental groups. That Agreement will enable the City and its local partners to implement a Watershed Protection Program in the basins of its upstate reservoirs.
Mayor Giuliani said, "It is with great pleasure that we deliver these checks to our partners in watershed protection in Putnam County. They represent the City's commitment to the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement, an agreement that will serve as a national model of cooperation between all the affected parties in the service of maintaining a pure and abundant water supply for generations to come."
"Today, the watershed agreement that will protect the drinking water for nine million New Yorkers comes alive," Governor Pataki said.
"This agreement not only protects drinking water, it will allow for economic growth in the watershed communities," the Governor said. "But this agreement is more than clean water and economic growth; it is a new spirit of partnership between New York City and the watershed communities that will only help enhance New York's economic renewal and national leadership in environmental protection."
County Executive Bondi said, "The receipt of this money is not only of immense financial importance to the citizens of Putnam County, it is also symbolic of the birth of a new spirit of cooperation between Putnam County and New York City after years of confrontation.
"It is also important," Mr. Bondi continued, "that we don't let this moment pass without stressing that what we have all worked for, and now accomplished, is the creation of one of the most far-reaching plans to protect our most basic resource in this nation. We should all be proud."
Commissioner Miele said, "This marks the beginning of a long partnership between the City and the watershed communities, a partnership that has great benefits for both the consumers of the water and the residents of the watersheds."
Other dignitaries scheduled to appear at the ceremony included: Frank J. Del Campo, Supervisor, Town of Carmel; Joseph L. Belvedere, Supervisor, Town of Kent; Michael Griffin, Supervisor, Town of Patterson; Carmelo J. Santos, Supervisor, Town of Putnam Valley; Lois C. Zutell, Supervisor, Town of Southeast and James D. Bruen, Mayor of the Village of Brewster.
The payments may be used for a variety of purposes:
East-of-Hudson Water Quality Investment Program: The City paid Putnam County $30 million to fund eligible projects related to improving or protecting water quality in the watershed. Among the eligible projects are: sewage diversion projects that would take sewage effluent out of the watershed; rehabilitation or replacement of subsurface sewage treatment (septic) systems that are failing or apt to fail; installation of best management practices to correct or reduce erosion or pollution caused by flows of Stormwater; new or upgraded Sand and Salt Storage Facilities that will enable local governments to conform to the new watershed regulations; sewerage collection systems or extensions of such systems to reduce the potential for pollution; and stream bank stabilization and protection measures to correct existing erosion or pollution in streams feeding the reservoirs.
Good Neighbor Payments: The City paid over $1.25 million in "Good Neighbor Payments" to Putnam County. The County will retain $250,000 of these funds and distribute the remainder was paid to watershed municipalities based on the number of acres in the watershed. The Village of Brewster will receive $12,180; Carmel, $249,540; Kent, $238,640; Patterson, $238,640; Putnam Valley, $44,620; and Southeast, $225,560. These monies may be used for capital projects that will benefit the public at large in watershed communities.
Costs and Expenses and Delegation: The City also paid the County $750,000 for the costs and expenses associated with its review of the City's comprehensive Watershed Protection Program. An additional $27,000 went to the County for a computer and a car to be used by the Health Department in the inspection and approval of new individual septic systems in the watershed.
The City will make a future payment of $1 million to the County for Croton watershed planning, and will make other payments for local consultation on the City's land acquisition proposals and the continuing costs associated with inspection and approval of septic systems.