State Environmental Bond Act could bring big bucks to Valley Stream, Elmont

LI Herald: With the passage of New York’s Environmental Bond Act, officially known as the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, along with the state budget earlier this month, communities across the state are potentially slated to gain access to roughly $3 billion in bond funding for various environmental and infrastructure projects should voters give final approval to the borrowing in November 2022.

The money that would be provided through the act is intended for projects that fall into four broad categories, according to a report by Rebuild by Design, a community and engineering advocacy organization formed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. They are:

- Water quality improvement

- Climate change mitigation

- Open space land conservation

- Flood risk reduction

Rebuild By Design estimated that the bond act has the potential to generate 65,000 jobs, and State Sen. Todd Kaminsky called the funding a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to improve or replace aging infrastructure in Elmont and Valley Stream. Valley Stream, Kaminsky said, could request funding for the replacement of its sewer systems. “Valley Stream has been a community for well over 100 years,” he said, noting that some of its municipal infrastructure dates to its founding. “. . . It’s very rare for this kind of money to become available.”

While the bond act outlines allowable uses for the funding, it would remain up to municipalities — villages, the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County — to identify need and administer the projects, Kaminsky said. Read more>>