By: Nick Reisman | Spectrum Local News
Thousands of additional jobs would be created by adding $1 billion in borrowing to a proposed bond act meant to harden infrastructure against the effects of climate change in New York state.
That’s according to an analysis released this week by AECOM, an infrastructure consulting firm, and the advocacy coalition Rebuild by Design.
All told, the proposed $4 billion bond act being put before voters for their approval would create 84,000 jobs, many of them in clean water and flood mitigation projects.
The analysis comes after the Hochul administration last year moved to add an additional $1 billion to the initial $3 billion plan. Doing so would generate an estimated $8.7 billion in project spending.
The proposal, first announced by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018, would spend billions of dollars on projects meant to mitigate the effects of climate change on water and sewer systems as well as bolster infrastructure against flooding as well as boost preservation efforts and other storm-related disasters.
“We analyzed the economic impacts of the updated proposal and our findings remain clear – the Bond Act would be a useful stimulus, with the potential to support thousands of jobs in numerous sectors while spurring long-term economic growth and protecting New York’s environment for future generations,” said Anne deBoer, the manager of Sustainable Economics at AECOM. “Voters have an opportunity this year to make investments in protecting the environment that will simultaneously benefit the economy.”
The bond act is set to go before voters later this year for final approval. The proposal was initially postponed in 2020 amid financial concerns stemming from the pandemic.
“Communities in New York State are already suffering from climate change. Recent disasters from Hurricane Ida to last summer’s severe heat waves, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, have revealed the stark reality that these events disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable populations,” said Amy Chester, the managing director of Rebuild by Design. “We need to pass the Bond Act and give communities the resources they need to build infrastructure that will address climate change and put New York on a path to recovery.”