$451 million for NY water system upgrades includes $43M for Rockland

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Rockland County is in line for $43 million in low- or no-interest loans as part of $451 million approved by the state Thursday for upgrades to sewage and water systems.

The funding will go toward completing Rockland’s wastewater collection system and a treatment plant in western Ramapo, according to a release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. Half of the Rockland financing won’t collect interest, while the other will be market rate but subsidized by the state.

In all, the financing is expected to save Rockland some $1.9 million over three years, according to the state Environmental Facilities Corp., which OK’d the funding Thursday.

“Through these grants and low-interest financing, New York State is investing in the state’s water and wastewater infrastructure to protect public health and the environment,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Among other municipalities and counties receiving financing were New York City ($350 million); Dutchess County ($2.8 million); the village of Bloomfield, Ontario County ($2.1 million); and Dansville, Livingston County ($2 million).

The loans are made through the EFC’s revolving loan fund, which is funded in part by federal money.

The financing was approved as some lawmakers push for a $5 billion environmental bond act, which, if passed by the Legislature and signed by Cuomo, would ask voters to approve borrowing to pay for similar projects. In 2008, the state Comptroller’s Office estimated $78 billion in water and sewage infrastructure needs over the next 20 years.

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