CONNstruction - Fall 2011 - (Page 9)

newsandviews Clean Water Fund Helps Create Infrastructure Jobs and Grow the State’s Economy By Matthew Hallisey Despite the significant budget deficit and limited state revenue, the state’s Clean Water Fund received a substantial boost this year. The legislature authorized $658.38 million for the program over the next two years. The funding will help create construction jobs, build important infrastructure projects, and grow the state’s lackluster economy. The Governor and the General Assembly should be commended for their continued support of the program. Also, the Clean Water Investment Coalition, of which CCIA is a member, has helped maintain the visibility and importance of the Clean Water Fund for several years. The Clean Water Fund is the state’s environmental infrastructure assistance program, which was established in 1986 to provide financial assistance to municipalities for the planning, design, and construction of wastewater collection and treatment projects. In June, the legislature adopted and the Governor signed into law Public Act 11-57, which authorized $92.6 million in grants and $233.42 million in loans (revenue bonds) this fiscal year and, beginning in July 2012, $94 million in grants and $238.36 million in loans to help finance upgrades to municipal water treatment facilities and other Clean Water projects. The funds are important because although water and wastewater projects are generally recognized for their effectiveness in enhancing public health and environmental protection, the economic benefits that result from this work are often overlooked. A report from the Clean Water Council, a group of national organizations CCIA Director of Government Relations and Legislative Counsel Executive Director, Connecticut Environmental and Utilities Contractors Association representing contractors and others committed to ensuring a high quality of life through sound environmental infrastructure, found that construction of these facilities generates significant, immediate economic benefits in terms of job creation, increased demand for goods and services, rise in personal income and additional state and local tax revenue. Average annual earnings for the construction portion of jobs created can be more than $50,000. The report also found a “ripple effect,” under which an investment in water and sewer projects generates measurable employment in many other industries. Approximately 90 municipalities in Connecticut operate publicly-owned sewage systems. With an average life expectancy of 20 years, there is an ongoing need to rebuild treatment plants. In addition, many municipalities must rebuild their plants to meet higher levels of treatment in order to attain fishable-swimmable standards in waters receiving the discharge. Other needs include correction of combined sewer overflows; hydraulic expansion of the plants; sewer system expansion to meet growth needs; and developing solutions to problem areas of septic system failures. One such project, the Metropolitan District Commission Clean Water Project in the Hartford region, is a $1.2 billion infrastructure improvement program to improve the area’s water quality and help protect the health and safety of citizens during storm events. It is providing essential work for substantial utility contractors employing quality workers. William R. Hogan, P.E., a contract engineer for MDC, discussed the project at CEUCA’s Spring Meeting program last May. The CWP implements targeted projects to address water quality impacts ranging from new sewer and drainage system construction to increased wastewater treatment capacity to new tunnel storage. The overall project is funded in part by state and federal grants and low-interest loans from the Clean Water Fund. In 2003, state funding for the Clean Water Fund was diverted to other programs. As a result of the reduced funding, the state experienced raw sewage overflows into the Connecticut River and coastal harbors, which damaged basements, fouled nearby streams and Long Island Sound, and impaired fishing and swimming. In response, the Clean Water Investment Coalition was formed to educate and lobby lawmakers and officials of the importance of the Fund to meeting clean water goals and for continued funding of the program. Those investments resumed several years ago and, thankfully, have continued under the Malloy Administration. CONNstruction / Fall 2011 / 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Fall 2011

Riding on Private Investments
Clean Water Fund Helps Create Infrastructure Jobs and Grow the State’s Economy
Public PLAs – Good or Bad?
Bioscience Connecticut Initiative: A Timely Investment
Shovel ready
Aiding economic growth
Wearing two hats
Jammed roadways and full trains
Major transportation initiatives in Connecticut
The Young Contractors Forum Summer Meeting
Associated General Contractors of Connecticut Annual Golf Outing
Connecticut Environmental and Utilities Contractors Association Spring Luncheon Meeting
The Connecticut Road Builders Association Spring Dinner Meeting
Connecticut Ready Mixed Concrete Association Annual Meeting
CTASLA/CCPC Pervious Concrete Workshop
Index to Advertisers/

CONNstruction - Fall 2011