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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2008

SCHUMER COMPLETES RECORD TENTH-IN-A-ROW 62-COUNTY TOUR WITH VISIT TO MADISON COUNTY -DISCUSSES HOW NEW OBAMA ECONOMIC STIMULUS WILL BE BOON FOR CNY GREEN JOBS & BUSINESSES


With Economy in Dire Straights, County Leaders, Green Business Owners, to Join Schumer In Outlining Insufficient Sewer-Water Systems, Deteriorating Roads, Bridges & Facilities

Senator to Detail How Billions In New Funding for Critical Projects in Stimulus a Win-Win-Win for Madison County and CNY - Quickly Complete Overdue Projects, Create Good, Green Jobs and Prime the Pump of the Local Economy

Schumer: Funding Should Be Targeted to "Shovel Ready" Projects That Go Hand-in-Hand With Local Green Initiatives - Conserve Resources, Put People Back to Work, Reduce Reliance on Fossil Fuels

With the national economy reeling and vital infrastructure projects in Madison County and Central New York in danger of being shelved, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that he is going to push for billions of dollars in new federal funding to upgrade local infrastructure projects, boost green businesses, and create jobs in Madison County and across the country as part of the federal economic stimulus package now being drawn up by President-Elect Obama and Congress.

 

At the Madison County Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility, Schumer discussed the economic stimulus plan with Chairman of Madison County Board of Supervisors John Becker, State Senator Dave Valesky, and other local elected officials, economic development and industry reps and educational leaders.

 

“The stimulus package isn’t just a way to prime our economic pump. It will also jump start long neglected infrastructure projects – that create hundreds of jobs - in Madison County and across the country that have been starved for funding for a generation. And all of these projects should go hand in hand with a long-term plan to conserve resources, reduce pollution, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” Schumer said. “There are shovel ready projects right here in Madison County that can be up and running once this money comes through. This is the best way to put federal dollars to work for our local economy because, not only will it modernize infrastructure, but it will create jobs and promote economic development across the county.”

 

The next economic stimulus package, which could be as large as $500 to $700 billion dollars, is expected to deliver billions of new federal dollars to upgrade infrastructure projects, including fixing deteriorating water-sewer systems, roads, highways and bridges; ailing facilities and boosting green businesses. Schumer today said that all of the projects spurred by the next economic stimulus package should go hand in hand with environmental efforts, producing hundreds of green jobs and giving a significant boost to local green businesses.

 

Schumer said that as the nation works to wean itself off foreign sources of energy, we must invest in domestic infrastructure that allows the county to harness domestic and renewable sources of energy – and create jobs. A new focus on building solar panels, wind farms, fuel-efficient cars, and more alternative energy technologies will boost local jobs, businesses and the economy. The jobs would also be created through business incentives for energy alternatives and environmentally-friendly technologies, such as those at the Madison County Agricultural Renewable Energy Park at the Landfill, which will help better utilize methane gas emissions from the landfill and turn those gases into an energy source.

 

The landfill gas to energy process utilizes methane from the County’s landfill to produce electricity and will start up in mid-January 2009. The park will produce about 1.3 megawatts of electricity at the Madison County Landfill in the Town of Lincoln--enough power to serve a community the size of the Village of Cazenovia. The project is poised to create many construction jobs and additional new plant jobs once it is running.

 

Schumer also said today that Madison County is poised to be a leader in the green energy movement. There are opportunities in the County for projects such as wind power generation, methane digestion, landfill gas utilization, feedstock production for ethanol and power generation, and more. Other projects like wind farms in the Towns of Stockbridge, Madison, and Eaton, will help propel Madison County to the front of the green movement. Another area in the green energy arena that Madison County has the potential to excel at is the cultivation of feedstocks used in the production of ethanol or electricity.

 

The next economic package is much-needed, Schumer said, noting the ailing sewer-water network in Madison County, the heavy burden on taxpayers, and dismal job growth. For example, local efforts have been made to fix some of the ailing sewer-water networks in Madison County, passing along a heavy burden on localities and taxpayers. Inadequate and insufficient sewage capacity can pollute waterways, flood homes, and stifle the expansion of new development that creates jobs. Schumer said that the outdated and outmoded infrastructure posed a tremendous threat to the future economic health of the region. He cited efforts in the Village of Canastota to rehabilitate sanitary sewer interceptors to reduce human health risks associated with the discharge of untreated sewage in local waterways.

 

Additionally, job creation has been dismal as the economic turmoil continues to take its toll. In Madison County, the unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent in October, up from 3.8 percent a year earlier. Nationwide, the unemployment rate now stands at 6.7 percent, the highest rate since March 1993 and the economy has lost jobs every month this year, a total of 1.2 million jobs, with almost half of the job losses coming in the last 3 months alone. 

 

Schumer said that the purposes of the economic stimulus package will be to create jobs and prime the pump of the national economy, while boosting environmentally sound projects by investing billions in the upgrading of antiquated infrastructure. Schumer said this will be a boon for local green businesses and jobs across Madison County that have been just waiting for funding.

 

Schumer said the package will focus on immediate, traditional infrastructure projects to jumpstart the economy but will also include longer-term measures to safeguard the environment. After receiving a first hand view of the Madison County Landfill Gas to Energy Facility, Schumer said the new renewable energy park would have a beneficial impact on both jobs and the environment, a critical component in his push for a second stimulus package. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently endorsed landfill gas as an environmentally wise alternative energy resource that reduces the country's reliance on fossil fuels like coal and oil. Landfill gas is also an important source of waste-based, renewable energy that can generate distributed base load power. In addition to the County Landfill project, the influx of federal funding will ease the budget crunch many localities are facing because of the rising cost of these projects that can sometimes lead to state and local tax increases.

 

Below are a few examples of projects and businesses in Madison County and Central New York that could benefit from the federal economic stimulus:

 

  • Madison County Sewer Infrastructure
  • Onondaga Lake Clean up
  • C&S Companies
  • Maple Ridge Wind Farm
  • Fenner Wind Farm
  • SUNY Morrisville
  • SUNY ESF Gateway Building
  • Griffiss Utility Services Corporation (GUSC)
  • LeMoyne College Science Building

 

 

 

In anticipation of the new administration's economic recovery focus, state and local governments have begun to compile a list of shovel ready projects that would be eligible for this funding. Though the specific process hasn’t been finalized, the federal funding would be awarded through the federal agencies directly to the state and local governments. Schumer said this process will be fast-tracked because the money needs to be put to work quickly to help turn the economy around.

 

Schumer said that this month, as Congress and the next Administration draw up the economic stimulus package, he will push to ensure that not only is there a significant portion of the funding allotted for water and sewer projects in addition to road and bridge projects, but that these projects place a strong emphasis on environmental health.

 

 

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