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FOLLOWING RELEASE OF BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE REPORT, REP. KATKO & CENTRAL NEW YORK TRANSPORTATION STAKEHOLDERS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT LOCALLY

January 11, 2018
Press Release

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Following yesterday’s release of a bipartisan infrastructure report by the Problem Solvers Caucus Infrastructure Working Group led by U.S. Reps. John Katko (NY-24) and Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), Central New York transportation stakeholders today highlighted the importance of focusing on infrastructure on a federal level.

The report, released yesterday, offers solutions for infrastructure issues of particular importance to Central New York, including recommendations related to addressing investment in surface infrastructure, ports and waterways, water and wastewater infrastructure, and broadband and communications.

"Effective, efficient and reliable infrastructure that is routinely maintained and enhanced is essential for any city, region or state to be competitive and drive sustained economic growth,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “We are thankful for Congressman Katko’s bipartisan leadership efforts to date and are interested in engaging with him and others to develop strategic solutions to address Central New York’s critical needs. This plan rightly points out that while roads and bridges are likely to receive the greatest focus, it is imperative that policies also include investments for airports, rail, port and cyber infrastructure.”

MACNY and Manufacturers Alliance of New York State President Randy Wolken stated, “Manufacturers and businesses need an updated and modern infrastructure system to remain competitive in our global economy.  Investments in innovative infrastructure advancements will help in our transporting of goods and quality products, allowing our sector to become even stronger and more competitive on a global level. I would like to extend my gratitude to Congressman Katko for his continued support for infrastructure investments on behalf of our region and sector.”

Rick Lee, Chief Executive Officer for the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro) stated, “Federal funding allocations to Centro, from the Highway Trust Fund, are critical to our ability to purchase buses, replace capital equipment, and finance our operations.  The stability of the Highway Trust Fund is essential to Centro and every public transportation agency in the United States.  The ideas put forth from the Problem Solvers Caucus are reasonable and necessary and I urge their immediate implementation.”

“Federal Assistance is critical for maintenance of our local infrastructure. In the Syracuse area we have a robust and comprehensive transportation system – but the problem is that it is aging,” said Jim D’Agostino, Director of the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council.   “When the Federal Highway System was built over 50 years ago it was a large national initiative prioritized by the Federal Government.  Since then the system has only grown more important and complex.  Older urban areas like Syracuse require a commensurate level of federal investment to maintain our vast system and this is essential for continued economic development in our area.”

“This report, highlighting America’s aging infrastructure, is extremely timely given that OCWA—Central New York’s Water Authority—, in addition to its ongoing capital reinvestment program, OCWA will be investing and estimated $50 million to modernize the 50-year old Lake Ontario water treatment facility over the next few years,” said Michael Hooker, Executive Director of OCWA.  “OCWA commends Rep. Katko for listening to his constituents and taking proactive steps to create cost-effective solutions to address a critical issue that impacts all residents and businesses located in Central New York.”   

The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprising of 48 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues.  The Problem Solvers Infrastructure Working Group was launched to find consensus on a bipartisan set of policies to serve as the bedrock for a plan that addresses the dire need to rebuild and responsibly invest in infrastructure across the United States.  

Congressman John Katko represents the 24th Congressional District of New York, which includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne Counties and the western portion of Oswego County.  For more information visit https://katko.house.gov or www.facebook.com/RepJohnKatko.

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