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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2009 Archives > May 2009 > Inner Harbor Infrastructure Improvements Through Federal Stimulus Funds

Inner Harbor Infrastructure Improvements Through Federal Stimulus Funds

Contacts: Peter K. Cutler 851-4841
               Theresa Kennedy 803-4281             


     
$26.4 Million Project Will Upgrade Old City Water Treatment System, Protect Natural Water Resources; Announcement Coincides With Mayor’s Joining National, Bipartisan Infrastructure Coalition

Mayor Byron W. Brown, Senator Charles E. Schumer and Congressman Brian Higgins today announced that $17.6 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have been approved for the Buffalo Sewer Authority’s planning, design and construction of the Hamburg Drain Control Facility, which collects and processes input from twenty sewer regulators within the Hamburg drain system. The federal stimulus funds will be matched with $8.8 million from the Buffalo Sewer Authority.

"Unfortunately, over the past several decades the federal government has retreated from its responsibilities under the Clean Water Act, leaving Western New York  with a deteriorating sewer system that can stifle economic growth, damage residential property and is hazardous to the environment and public health,” said Senator Schumer.  “These stimulus dollars to upgrade Buffalo’s aging system lays a critical foundation for providing jobs, encouraging economic growth, and improving the quality of life across the region.”

“This project is also an essential component of Buffalo’s Inner Harbor redevelopment,” said Congressman Higgins. “Western New York has an extremely old water/wastewater system that will benefit significantly from this federal stimulus investment. This is a good first step toward upgrading our underground utility network and protecting our local natural water resources.”

This announcement came as Mayor Brown joined a growing national, bipartisan coalition of state and locally elected officials who are working collaboratively to gain a stronger federal commitment to upgrade infrastructure throughout the country. The new group, Building America’s Future, was formed by Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA) and Ed Rendell (PA) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“In order to strengthen Buffalo, continue to build the momentum we have achieved in recent years – attracting new developments and investment – and to ensure ongoing development efforts succeed, like the rebuilding of Buffalo’s waterfront, it is essential that more investments are made in upgrading our city’s infrastructure,” said Mayor Brown. “Thanks to the strong leadership of Congressman Higgins in Washington, as well as all of the members of our federal legislative delegation, and now through our new partners in Building America’s Future, I am confident we will continue to receive our fair share of federal stimulus funding to support our local infrastructure upgrades.”

To date, $37.7 in federal stimulus funds have been approved for a variety of projects in the City of Buffalo (e.g., $2.7 million Mayor Brown announced in April at the Broadway Market to fund a first-phase energy conservation improvements to city-owned buildings; $2.3 million Mayor Brown announced on May 18th with Congressman Higgins for the reconstruction of four historic streets in the city’s Inner Harbor area)..

In April, the federal funds for new Hamburg Drain Control Facility were announced by the Governor as part of $170 million in projects included in the first round of statewide water infrastructure work funded with federal Recovery Act money.  New York will receive a total of $435 million in federal funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.  According to the State’s lists, $104,155,000 in Clean Water State Revolving Fund projects in Congressman Higgins’ district would be eligible for funding. 

The Recovery Act provides $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments expected to support over 2,000 water infrastructure projects and create 300,000 jobs nationwide. 

According to the Sewer Authority, design is over 50% done for the new Hamburg Drain Control Facility and the Authority expects to go to bid this fall for its constructions.