October 22, 2013
By Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
New York, NY — “The announcement that New Yorkers will be burdened with another water rate increase is unacceptable and unsustainable. “Water infrastructure, like roads, rails, energy, and airports, must be funded from Washington, as well as from Albany and New York City. The U.S. government pays about 80 percent of the costs for replacing roads, bridges, and airports.
However, the federal government’s share of water infrastructure spending has plummeted from about 75 percent to about 3 percent in the past 35 years, according to the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. And yet, New York City is required to comply with expensive federal mandates. In fact, nearly 69% of capital spending on water infrastructure over the last decade has been the result of state and federal mandates.
“It is time for federal and state officials to recognize that New York City’s water delivery system is a vital piece of our physical and public health infrastructure and that responsibility for its maintenance and upkeep must be more fully shared – before ratepayers get soaked once again.”
Note: The NYC Water Board’s announcement that water rates will increase again this year by 5.3%, bringing the total increase in water rates to nearly 135% in the past decade alone.