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August 20, 1999

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-5371)

Putnam County Buys New Senior Citizens Bus With New York City Good Neighbor Funds

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Putnam County Executive Robert J. Bondi announced today that the Putnam County Office for the Aging has purchased a new 16-passenger bus for transporting senior citizens. Funds for the acquisition came from the Good Neighbor Payments provided to Putnam County by New York City as part of the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

"The MOA provided that the City would make Good Neighbor Payments for projects and services that would benefit the public within the watershed communities," said Commissioner Miele. "I can't think of a more neighborly act than buying a van that will transport the senior citizens of Putnam County to their important appointments and engagements. We are pleased that the County saw a need for this van and applied the Good Neighbor funds to its purchase. It exemplifies the spirit of partnership and neighborliness inherent in the MOA."

County Executive Bondi said, "It took more than two years for all the parties to hammer-out the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement and the Watershed Regulations. The Good Neighbor policy language is one of the shortest Sections in the massive three-volume document. But for Putnam that Section has turned out to be the most meaningful of all, because without these few paragraphs there would be little specific language in these documents to show that trust and cooperation were the essential foundation for this agreement, turning it into a partnership.

"This van is literally a gift from the people of New York City to the Senior Citizens of Putnam. And on their behalf, we extend our thanks."

Good Neighbor Payments and other funds provided by the City to Putnam County are called for in the MOA that was negotiated 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 has served as the guide that enables the City and its local partners to implement a Watershed Protection Program in the basins of the upstate reservoirs, while allowing for economic development in watershed communities that is compatible with protecting water resources. Under the MOA, the City has paid over $32 million to Putnam County and its communities:

    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. 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 retained $250,000 of these funds and distributed the remainder to watershed municipalities based on the number of acres in the watershed. The Village of Brewster received $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 or equipment that will benefit the public at large in watershed communities.

    Costs, Expenses and Delegation: The City paid the County $750,000 for the costs and expenses associated with its review of the City's comprehensive Watershed Protection Program. The City is also making payment of $1 million to the County for Croton watershed planning and the continuing costs associated with inspection and approval of septic systems. 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.


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