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Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $500,000 in federal funding for the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority (WCWSA). The funding will be used to help build a new waterline and water storage tank, and make improvements to Wayne County’s water pumps. Schumer wrote to the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) in May of 2019 to support WCWSA’s grant application.

“This federal funding that I’ve long pushed for is a major victory for Wayne County that will provide a much-needed upgrade to the region’s water system to ensure Wayne County farmers have the infrastructure they require to meet their irrigation needs. This investment means good-paying agricultural jobs will remain in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, right where they belong, for the long-term future and that many more are created,” said Senator Schumer. “I’m proud of the role I played in securing this public health-and-economy-boosting federal investment that will allow WCWSA to refurbish and improve its water distribution system, and will keep fighting to make sure that all of the residents and businesses alike in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region have easy and reliable access to clean water.”

“Reliable water systems are essential to the health, wellbeing, and economic development of our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This funding will help Wayne County improve and expand its water distribution system. I will always fight in the Senate for the resources our communities need to invest in water infrastructure projects like this to ensure that residents have access to safe and reliable sources of water.”  

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). The EDA supports sustainable economic development initiatives throughout the United States. The NBRC is a federal-state partnership that invests in economic and community development projects throughout Upstate New York, as well as in rural communities in other states in the Northeast. More information on the Northern Border Regional Commission can be found here.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to the NBRC appears below.

Dear Mr. Parker:

I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority (WCWSA) through its application to the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC).

With funding, The WCWSA, in conjunction with the Towns of Williamson, Marion, Sodus, Arcadia, Lyons and Huron, is working cooperatively to fund and construct a regional water storage facility along with related pumping and transmission improvements. These improvements in the Central portion of Wayne County are necessary to improve water system reliability and stability within this region, while providing greatly needed water storage to both existing and future water users in this area. These improvements will also help to sustain the growing agricultural demands within this region and will result in the creation and/or retention of hundreds of jobs related to agricultural production and processing, along with supporting the growing needs of other businesses and industries within the County.

Many, if not most of the users that would benefit from this project are already paying long term capital debt to pay for the existing water infrastructure within their respective water districts. Therefore, grant subsidies are essential for this regional tank project in order to limit the additional debt burden on residents and businesses. This project will help to expand the delivery of this vital public service on a regional basis while helping to assure the availability of an adequate supply of water and needed storage facilities in the most cost effective manner. Shared regional improvements and service delivery could significantly reduce required capital costs as well as ongoing operation and maintenance costs. I applaud the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority for their foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Coordinator in my Washington, DC office.