$20 million no-interest loan to aid Ogdensburg wastewater plant

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OGDENSBURG — A $20 million no-interest loan from the state’s Environmental Facilities Corp. will help rebuild the city’s beleaguered wastewater treatment plant.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday that Ogdensburg would receive the loan as part of nearly $61 million in grants and loans being offered to communities around the state to support vital drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

Ogdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy said the loan will play an integral part in city efforts to rebuild the aging wastewater plant. The upgrade is expected to cost approximately $35 million.

“This loan is integral to the city’s ability to undertake the project,” Ms. Purdy said.

A recent preliminary report by GHD Consulting Engineers, in cooperating with the Development Authority of the North Country, has determined that modernizing the city’s wastewater treatment plant will cost approximately $35 million, and in January, City Council authorized bonding upwards of $39 million to pay for the project.

Ms. Purdy said the city is continuing to seek other funding sources for the project to be used in conjunction with the state’s $20 million no-interest loan.

“In addition to applying for this loan, the city has applied for funding, through this year’s New York State Consolidated Funding Application process, for grants from the Water Quality Improvement Program in the amount of $8.5 million and from Empire State Development in the amount of $6,978,340,” she said. “The no-interest loan, coupled with what we hope will be successful grant applications, will significantly reduce the cost impact of the capital project to the citizens of Ogdensburg.”

The money being loaned to Ogdensburg was announced in a press release by Gov. Cuomo’s office on Thursday as part of $60.7 million in grants and interest-free and low-cost loans.

“This funding is critical for communities in every corner of the state and will help protect public health, preserve our natural resources and lay the groundwork for future growth,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Upgrading aging infrastructure is top priority, and this funding will help communities rebuild for a stronger, healthier and more sustainable New York.”

To date, $225 million in grants have leveraged over $1 billion in total project costs for over 120 projects across New York state. These grants combined with low or no-interest loans have resulted in over $629 million in taxpayer savings, according to the governor’s office.

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