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DiNapoli swings in about long term plans for repair and replacement

In a stop in Syracuse, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli revealed impending infrastructure repair cost shortfalls of some $80 billion over the next 20 years unless state federal and local governments are able to work together to respond to the need for multi-year capital planning and infra structure project funding. In a 13 page report released Monday Aug. 10, DiNapoli estimates capital needs to repair roads, bridges and water and sewer lines at approximately $250 billion over the next 20 years.

"New York's deteriorating infrastructure is a serious problem," DiNapoli said. "Governments at every level -- federal, state and local -- must face the state's aging infrastructure head on. This won't be easy, but if we don't invest, our infrastructure will fall apart. Government can accomplish so much more when -- on a regional basis -- we prioritize our mutual needs, pool our resources, and get the job done."

DiNapoli's report encourages the improvement of capital planning at the local government level by conducting an affordability analysis to identify funding gaps, seeking a sustained commitment by federal and state policymakers to increase investment for infrastructure, and developing a regional approach to prioritizing projects. According to DiNapoli's report, the Syracuse water system is in definite need of attention.

Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll said, "The city of Syracuse has several infrastructure projects that need to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. The water main break three months ago is an example of the need to address the very old infrastructure in our city."

Driscoll said, "Syracuse needs to find a long-term funding solution for these types of projects. However, in the short term we have to take a piecemeal approach to replacing and maintaining our water system."

The estimated cost (at $500 per foot) to completely replace our existing water system is in excess of $2 billion. Clearly our city's tax base cannot support this amount of investment."

For more on DiNapoli's report: osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/aug09/081009.htm

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