City seeks funds for fixes

AMSTERDAM — The city of Amsterdam has again applied for funding under the new Water Infrastructure Emergency Assistance Program established by state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara in last year’s state budget, according to a release from the assemblyman.

With the extremely low and even record-breaking temperatures this year, a frozen water main servicing homes and businesses between Chuctanunda Road and Market Street has left residents and businesses without water.

In a letter to state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, Santabarbara has again called on the Environmental Facilities Corporation to support funding for the city through the state’s new Water Infrastructure Emergency Assistance Program to make emergency repairs.

The emergency repairs will first and foremost, provide temporary water service to those affected, while installation of new water service piping can be completed, replacing the aging infrastructure in place now, the release continued.

Santabarbara noted that Mayor Michael Villa also issued an emergency declaration, citing the immediate need to restore water service to residents and businesses currently without water.

The estimated cost of the emergency repairs is $60,000 and is being considered by the Environmental Facilities Corporation under the new program, which could expedite funding for repairs in as little as two days.

“As a civil engineer, I know how important it is to continue the Emergency Infrastructure Repair Fund in this year’s state budget, making more immediate funding available to address the unexpected emergency situations just like this,” said Santabarbara.

“We saw it with the sewage breaks here in Amsterdam last year and we are seeing now again with this water main break,” he added.

“We must continue to help upstate communities like Amsterdam address aging infrastructure. Now is the time to get ahead of the problems — to look out for our roads, bridges and water mains and prevent these problems from happening in the first place.”

Last year $10 million was dedicated for the new fund, an initiative Santabarbara played a role in crafting, following a number of emergency repairs needed to the sewer system in the city. Amsterdam was the first municipality to receive funding through this new initiative to expedite immediate repairs needed to the city’s sewer infrastructure on Pershing Road.

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