FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE97-16
April 21, 1997
Contact: Geoffrey Ryan (718/595-5371)
City Delivers Watershed Agreement Payments
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Governor George E. Pataki, Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr. of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and Alan Rosa, President of the Catskill Watershed Corporation, announced today that the City had delivered checks over $11 million to the Coalition of Watershed Towns and over $2.8 million to the Catskill Watershed Corporation.
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 and counties, 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 upstate watershed.
Mayor Giuliani said, "I am pleased to have these checks delivered to our partners in watershed protection in the West-of-Hudson watersheds. They represent the City's commitment to the Watershed Agreement, an agreement that will serve as a national model of cooperation between affected parties in the service of maintaining a pure, 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."
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."
"I want to emphasize that this Watershed Agreement will preserve our community character and build a stronger economic future for the watershed and its people for decades to come," said Mr. Rosa.
The funds delivered today and in the future may be used for a variety of purposes:
Catskill Watershed Corporation: The City paid the Catskill Watershed Corporation $2,805,833 for its operating costs and for implementation of such projects as: future West-of-Hudson stormwater controls; alternate design septic systems; septic rehabilitation and replacement; and a tax consulting fund, that will pay professional consultants and attorneys retained by West-of-Hudson counties, towns and villages formatters pertaining to property taxes on City-owned lands.
This payment represents the first installment of many to come over a period of the next five to ten years to implement these and other programs. In total, the City has committed to provide the Corporation with payments up to $13.6 million for septic system rehabilitation and replacement, $31.7 million for future stormwater controls, $3 million for alternate design septic systems, and $3 million for tax consulting. This is in addition to monies allocated for the upgrade and construction of sand and salt storage facilities and stormwater retrofits.
Good Neighbor Payments: The City delivered $9,765,000 in "Good Neighbor Payments" to the Coalition of Watershed Towns for distribution to the counties, towns and villages with land in the West-of-Hudson watershed. These monies may be used for capital projects that will benefit the public at large in watershed communities.
Costs and Expenses: The City paid the Coalition of Watershed Towns $1,535,000 for the costs and expenses associated with its review of the City's comprehensive Watershed Protection Program.
Environmental Facilities Corporation: The City delivered over $1.8 million to the State's Environmental Facilities Corporation, in part, to implement the construction of new sewage treatment infrastructure and, in part, as the initial installment for the Catskill Fund for the Future, a $60 million grant and loan fund to provide assistance to environmentally sensitive development in the watershed. Future payments will be made for an estimated $75 million in wastewater treatment plant upgrades, another $75 million in new wastewater infrastructure, and $59.9 million for the Catskill Fund for the Future.
Watershed Protection and Partnership Council: The City delivered $500,000 to the State for the funding of the Watershed Protection and Partnership Council, a new organization representing a broad based group of diverse interests that share the common goal of protecting and enhancing the environmental integrity of the watershed and the social and economic vitality of watershed communities.
Today the City also delivered checks to Putnam and Westchester Counties as required under the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement.