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Schumer, Gillibrand: New Fed Investment Will Lay The Foundation For Future In Southern Tier

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $8.5 million for essential infrastructure and long-desired community development projects across the Southern Tier. This federal funding was secured by the senators as congressionally directed spending in the end-of-year budget for Fiscal Year 2023. Schumer and Gillibrand said the projects include vital infrastructure upgrades across Southern Tier communities, including major water infrastructure improvements, critical flood mitigation measures, and helping to establish a groundbreaking nonprofit service hub in Tioga County.


“From cleaner drinking water in rural Allegany County to boosting flood protections in Ithaca and creating a first-of-its-kind nonprofit hub in Tioga County, these long-desired community-driven infrastructure projects stretch to every corner of the Southern Tier,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding means good-paying jobs, more resilient infrastructure, improved services for families and so much more. I am proud to have secured over $8.5 million in federal investment with Senator Gillibrand that will help lay the foundation for an improved quality of life in the Southern Tier.”


“This funding will be transformative for the Southern Tier,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It will upgrade our aging infrastructure, protect our communities from flooding, and help non-profits provide critically needed services to individuals with disabilities, families facing poverty, and veterans. I’m proud to have fought to secure this funding and I will keep fighting to bring federal dollars home to New York.”


The senators said that these projects include:


$750,000 for Racker To Establish a Nonprofit Service Hub in Tioga County

Racker will use this funding to build an over 15,000 square foot facility to host several nonprofits, including Tioga United Way, Tioga County Rural Ministry, and Catholic Charities of Tompkins, Tioga, and Racker. The project will enable nonprofits to reduce administrative costs and expand programs and services for people with disabilities, families experiencing poverty, and veterans. The facility’s location will also help move these non-profits safely above the flood zone, allowing the facility to serve as a community recovery center in the wake of natural disasters. ,


“The Neighborhood Depot is an exciting project in Owego New York that will allow nonprofits to share services, reduce overhead costs and increase the investment for programs in our community.  This new construction project sits above the 500-year flood zone, and will serve as an emergency recovery center for Tioga County during times of catastrophic flooding,” said Bob Brazill, Director of Community Relations and Development for Racker. “Racker and our participating nonprofits are thankful for the hard work and commitment of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand.  Their support of our project and communities throughout New York State help serve the most vulnerable people and their neighbors.”


$1,000,000 for the Village of Cuba Water System Improvement Project

The Village of Cuba will use this funding to undertake a water system improvement project, including rehabilitation of water treatment infrastructure, water storage tank upgrades, water main replacement, and security and control upgrades. Addressing system deficiencies will ensure the Village is able to provide safe drinking water to the local community.  


“On behalf of the Village of Cuba, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the tireless work of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand to secure funding to improve the Village’s water system. Now, with this one million dollar investment, we will be able to complete an integral part of the project that otherwise would have gone untouched and put undue stress on the main corridor of 100-year-old water infrastructure, likely damaging it further,” said Mayor Michele Miller, Village of Cuba. “This investment makes all the difference in being able to provide safe drinking water to our community and ensuring the project is successful.”


$128,000 For A New Solar Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Tompkins County

Tompkins County will use this funding to establish a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station. The contained unit features a solar array to charge directly from the sun, avoiding costly utility interconnections and enhancing mobility. The charging station can charge up to six vehicles at a time and will be able to support most of Tompkins County's electric vehicle fleet needs. The system can also be equipped to allow for more emergency loads to be utilized, strengthening the resiliency of municipal operations.


“Thank you to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their continued support of Tompkins County. As a county we strive to reduce our carbon footprint and are very fortunate to have received federal funding for a solar powered electric vehicle charging station,” said Chairwoman Shawna Black, Tompkins County Legislature.


$1,300,000 for Flood Mitigation and Resilience Efforts in Ithaca

The City of Ithaca will use this funding to support the design and construction of flood mitigation measures, including flood barriers and storm water system improvements. These measures have the potential to reduce or eliminate 100-year flood risks affecting residential and commercial properties. This project will increase the City of Ithaca’s resilience and enhance its ability to withstand the effects of climate change.


“We're grateful for the leadership of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand in delivering this funding which will allow the City to start an extensive design process for this important flood mitigation project,” said Mayor Laura Lewis, City of Ithaca. “The funds will be used in conjunction with FEMA grant funding, if awarded, to construct improvements that will reduce or eliminate flood risk in many parts of the City.”


$2,850,000 for a City of Norwich Water Main Replacement

The City of Norwich will use this funding to replace approximately 5,760 linear feet of the water main distribution line on South Broad Street and 640 linear feet of the water main distribution line on East Main Street. This funding will lower the project’s associated tax burden on City residents and provide significant health benefits with the replacement of lead service lines.


“The City of Norwich is very excited to be receiving $2.85 million in federal investment for our water main project. This is a vital community infrastructure improvement effort and the result of countless hours of hard work,” said Mayor Brian Doliver, City of Norwich. “I would like to thank Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for delivering these funds and I look forward to working together on future projects.”


$1,580,628 for a Upper Susquehanna River Watershed Resilience Project  

The Tioga County Storm Water Conservation District (SWCD) will use this funding to conduct natural filter restoration activities in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. This project will result in better water quality, enhanced habitat connectively, and increased climate resiliency, including to the impacts of flooding.


“We want to thank Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for their continued support of the Upper Susquehanna Coalitions work to improve water quality and natural resources in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. We are thrilled to learn of this critical investment in clean water throughout the Southern Tier of New York,” said Wendy Walsh, Watershed Coordinator for the Upper Susquehanna Coalition. “This funding will support keeping nutrient and sediment pollution out of our local waterways and reduce flooding potential through proven conservation projects. These include practices such as stream corridor restoration, planting streamside forested buffers, wetland restoration and many more. This investment will support numerous projects throughout our region."


$1,000,000 for a Chemung County Wastewater Treatment Plant Consolidation Effort

Chemung County will use this funding to consolidate two wastewater treatment plants, Milton Street and Lake Street, into a single, regional treatment facility. In particular, the funds will be used to support the proposed Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR), which will treat wastewater for nitrogen removal, enabling the wastewater treatment plant to meet state and federal nutrient requirements.