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Building & Realty Institute Event Features Speakers Touting Creative Infrastructure Financing

Building & Realty Institute Event Features Speakers Touting Creative Infrastructure Financing

WHITE PLAINS, NY – 1 Aug, 2017 – Members of the Building & Realty Institute of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region (BRI) recently attended the organization’s recent event at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains.

Steve Otis, who serves in the New York State Assembly and is the former Mayor of Rye, spoke at the event about his past initiatives and current advocacy for clean water projects in Westchester County. Sabrina Ty, President of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, discussed how various instructure projects were being supported around New York.

“In Westchester County and throughout the state, we have old water drinking systems where lead and other toxins are a big concern,” said Otis. “Also, many sanitary sewer and septic systems are straining their limits or are failing.”|

Funding clean water projects can be prohibitively expensive for municipalities. In Rye, Otis facilitated a new grant program in 2015 with the support of Governor Cuomo to make it more easier to finance these complicated projects. Through the state’s Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), municipalities are provided with “low cost financing for local wastewater and drinking water infrastructure.”

“It’s a critical situation that’s getting too expensive for municipalities to repair on their own and the EFC’s grant program and support services are key to making these necessary projects financially feasible and helping local governments meet 21st century water quality standards,” said Otis. “EFC is an agency functioning as a bank for local governments and they’ve implemented this program with a streamlined sense of innovation.”

In addition to offering low-cost capital funds and technical expertise for environmental projects  statewide, the EFC also administers the largest and most active revolving loan fund in the nation, managing more than $12 billion in assets, to help local governments meet modern health and environmental standards.

From 2011 through 2016, EFC has pumped $11.5 billion into infrastructure projects throughout the state and has generated roughly three-times that amount, around $32 billion, in regional economic activity and benefits, according to EFC President Sabrina Ty.

“Lending money to create opportunities for communities represents an innovation in investment and financing,” said Ty. “We have helped very large communities with $100 billion projects along with smaller improvements for just a million dollars, but this range illustrates our flexibility.”

Under proposals by the current presidential administration to slash the federal Environmental Protection Agency budget, Ty is uncertain about the EFC’s ability to continue to serve New York State at its current level of support.

“The EFC is the nation’s largest state revolving loan bank and largest appropriation in the federal EPA’s budget,” she said. “Regarding the proposed cuts to the EPA under the present Administration, how do you gut a third of the budget without cutting our EFC funding to the bone? Nobody knows how it will work out.”

About the Building and Realty Institute

The Building and Realty Institute (BRI) is one of the largest construction, development and real estate-related industry trade associations in New York State.

Founded in 1946, the Westchester County, N.Y. based organization consists of more than 1,500 members, primarily in the Westchester and Mid-Hudson Valley region.

The BRI is supported by a multi-talented professional and consultant staff versed in all facets of the building industry: planning, engineering, law, insurance, environmental regulations and governmental relations on a state, county and local level. Their services extend to all facets of the building and realty industries.

For more information about the Building and Realty Institute, please contact Maggie Collins at 914-273-0730 or visit the website: www.buildersinstitute.org/.

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