April 23, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $2.7 Million in Rural Development Funding for Whitehall Village

Funding will Fix Damaged Sewers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who held an economic development roundtable in Queensbury just last week, today announced a $2 million grant and $740,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Village of Whitehall in Washington County. The funding will be used to repair the Village’s sewer system in order to meet regulations – making it more efficient for residents.

 “It is difficult to attract new residents and businesses with a faulty sewer system. That is why this funding, and the sewer repairs that will get underway as a result, is so important for the future of Whitehall,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal funding will take a tremendous financial burden off of the Village and allow Whitehall to begin construction right away on a project that is vital to its long-term prosperity.”

“This is an important investment for the Village of Whitehall,” said Senator Gillibrand, the first New York Senator to serve on the Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “We need to protect our community while ensuring our residents don’t bear the tax burden of clean up when damaged sewers overflow. Not only will this funding help maintain sanitary conditions, but it will ensure that necessary infrastructure is in place for the area’s economic development initiatives that drive the local economy.”

“This is wonderful news for this small struggling community. We have been working on this problem for decades searching for ways to be able to afford to make necessary upgrades to our waste treatment system,” said Peter Telisky, Mayor of Whitehall. “With taxes and user fees among the highest in our region and our resources stretched to the maximum financially we were out of options. This funding will allow Village to begin desperately needed construction work on a project that we expect, upon completion, to have a significant impact on relieving the sewer system’s storm water inflow and infiltration problem and further our goal of having a properly functioning and environmentally sound system. If it were not for the concern and support of our representatives in the Senate and Congress this work would have never been able to happen”.

The Village of Whitehall has experienced several sewer overflows and violations of regulatory requirements over the past few years. This federal investment will help with Phase I of the project, including eliminating storm sewer cross connections, managing sewer overflows and rehabilitating many of the worst sections of gravity sewer mains.

USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.