ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Environmental Advocates of New York says a 2008 $80 billion investment estimate by the state is outdated and unable to keep pace with the needed upgrades or repairs to some of the oldest water infrastructure in the nation.
The organization tracked grant funding under WIIA through the Freedom of Information Law. They say while many local governments applied for the funding and that the money was delegated quickly by the state, the total number of applications vs. awards indicates that there still isn’t enough money being awarded.
In 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 the state approved 26%, 36%, 38% and 36% of WIIA applications respectively. From 2015-2018 the state received a total of 1,326 WIIA applications, 35% of them or 469 were awarded money.
Total WIIA applications vs. awards 2015-2018
The report also indicates that between 47-54% of shovel-ready projects (projects that have met the requirements for WIIA funding and are often waiting for government money to offset the cost in order to start the project) were not approved for WIIA funding.
WIIA shovel-ready awarded vs. unawarded applications
Environmental Advocates says WIIA grants have improved water infrastructure by funding almost 500 projects in 57 counties by distributing more than $733 million and created 20,000 jobs in 2019 but due to the amount of projects that go unfunded, the state needs to delegate more money to ensure “clean water to all of our residents” and to protect “our water resources for the long-term.”