A growing number of MRB Group clients will be receiving substantial financial support for water infrastructure, thanks to a grant opportunity created by a new funding source initiated in 2017.
The Clean Water Infrastructure Act, adopted earlier this year, created a much needed focus on improvements to aging infrastructure that threatens waterways and drinking water sources.
Recently announced awards included more than $17 million in new funding for ten of MRB Group’s client communities. Each face substantial challenges with aging infrastructure or environmental contaminants.
The Village of Waterloo, as an example, is set to receive $3 million to help address water quality issues caused by blue-green algae and lake temperature changes. They are also making improvements to support increased demand caused by regional growth.
“This is a tough time for local governments trying to protect critical resources while serving citizens affordably,” said Ryan Colvin, President of MRB Group. “Our team members work closely with community leaders who are struggling to maintain treatment systems, and provide quality drinking water, with little or no financial resources.”
Colvin added, “The state has recognized that investment in infrastructure is crucial, and that water is the first priority.” He thanked local officials for their efforts in this area.
Of the ten MRB Group clients receiving the recently announced funds, seven are in the Finger Lakes region, or placed within Sen. Pam Helming’s 54th District.
“Sen. Helming has been a champion for water quality issues. As the former Supervisor of Canandaigua, she understands the strong connection between the health and vitality of the region, and the Finger Lakes that support its communities,” Colvin added.
He also expressed gratitude to State Senators Pat Gallivan, Tom O’Mara, David Valesky and Kathleen Marchione, along with Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and Assembly Members Barbara Lifton, Joe Arrigo, Steven McLoughlin, Bill Magee and Bob Oaks.
Each supported the applications within their district communities.
MRB Group assisted several communities with funding requests under the newly created Clean Water Infrastructure program, submitted through the Consolidated Funding Application process.
The recent announcements identified the first round of recipients. Communities receiving funding include the town of Geneva, Waterloo and Phelps; as well as the villages of Trumansburg, Wayland, Geneseo, Waterloo, Hamilton and Hoosick Falls.
A widely publicized contamination issue in Hoosick Falls last year resulted in the village becoming a federal Superfund site. The small upstate village received national attention as experts struggled to find ways to remove toxins associated with the manufacturing of plastics from the public drinking water.
“We are very proud that MRB Group played a role in the successful remediation of the Hoosick Falls water contamination,” explained Colvin. After several unsuccessful attempts to address the contamination — the MRB Group team was eventually brought in to troubleshoot the treatment system.
The firm’s recommended improvements restored drinking water to the community.
“What’s most important is the role the State can play in being a partner to communities in need,” Colvin added. “That’s MRB Group’s mission as an engineering and architecture firm — to make our clients stronger, better, and more efficient. That’s what saves taxpayers money and creates a clear path for a successful future.”