LTE: Include all $2.5B for Water Infrastructure

March 26, 2019

The following letter to the editor was published in The Daily Gazette on March 26, 2019 and was written by Frank Natalie, member of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 7.

LTE: Include all $2.5B for water infrastructure

It’s easy to ignore the hundred-year-old water pipes running beneath our feet, out of sight, out of mind.

But these pipes are corroding, and they’re increasingly a threat to the safety of our drinking water. 

When pipes burst, dangerous contaminants can enter the water that flows to your kitchen tap. Plus, water main breaks frequently damage streets and shutter businesses, harming the economic potential of our communities.

As plumbers and pipefitters, we’re in the business of making water flow, and we’re eager to get to work to fix our pipes and protect clean water. But we need the state government as a partner. 

It can provide the grant funding that is critical to jump-start local infrastructure projects.

The state Senate and Assembly recently announced their budget proposals for the coming year.

Budgets reflect values and priorities, and the Senate led the way by stating loud and clear that water infrastructure can’t be a back-burner issue.

Its multi-year, $2.5 billion investment in clean water grants will best help our union members tackle New York’s enormous, $80 billion need.

But the $2.5 billion isn’t a sure thing. Budget negotiations are happening right now, and clean water funding might be cut before the final budget is signed and delivered on April 1.

I urge Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins help ensure the full $2.5 billion makes it across the finish line.

Frank Natali