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State awards tens of millions in funding for water infrastructure work in north country

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Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul announced Tuesday tens of millions of dollars in state grant funding for water infrastructure projects across the north country, including more than $30 million in funding within Jefferson County alone.

The largest funding amounts — $5 million each — will be going to the towns of Cape Vincent, Hounsfield and Pamelia, as well the Development Authority of the North Country, with the town of Clayton receiving the nearly similar amount of $4.94 million and the village of Alexandria Bay getting $4.8 million.

The money is included in $479 million in grants statewide announced by the governor from the Environmental Bond Act and the latest round of the Water Infrastructure Improvement and Intermunicipal Grant Programs. Part of that money comes from the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022, which was passed by voters in a referendum.

The grants are awarded by the state’s Environmental Facilities Corp., in coordination with the state health and environmental conservation departments, and are part of the state’s commitment to modernize aging water and sewer systems, according to a statement from Hochul’s office.

In all, 156 water projects will receive funding in what the governor described as a “transformative” investment necessary to undertake water quality projects crucial to safeguarding public health, protecting the environment, bolstering communities’ climate readiness and promoting economic development.

“No one in New York should ever fear that they don’t have access to clean water,” Hochul said in a statement. “We are reassuring communities across New York that your kids, grandkids, and great grandkids will always have access to clean and safe water. This investment will make lifesaving improvements to our water infrastructure and safeguard drinking water for millions of people, in addition to saving New Yorkers money and creating tens of thousands of jobs.”

In Jefferson County, Alexandria Bay will use its funding for improvements to its wastewater treatment facilities. Cape Vincent will use the funding toward its Water District Number 7, while Clayton will use its award for a water main and intake replacement and Pamelia is also replacing a water main. DANC will use its $5 million for its first phase in replacing a water line that services Fort Drum. Hounsfield will use its funding in its Water Service Area Number 8.

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