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Following Criticism, Group Defends Loan for Tappan Zee Bridge Rebuilding Project

"Let’s do the math: higher environmental protection costs means higher tolls on the new bridge. Lower loan financing costs means lower tolls on the new bridge," says the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
After some groups this week criticized one of the loans being used for project, the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. Thursday came out in defense of the $511 million loan being used to partially fund the rebuilding of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The organization, which has several trade groups working on the project, said the loan will help keep the cost of tolls down on the new bridge. Several environmental groups opposed the use of a state-run clean water fund to pay for the loan.

"Anyone who says they are against these EFC loans are fooling themselves and short-changing the public," the trade group said in a statement. "Let’s do the math: higher environmental protection costs means higher tolls on the new bridge. Lower loan financing costs means lower tolls on the new bridge."

 
Below is the full statement from the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc.:

“The Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., and its many aligned trade organizations fully endorse the loan program that the Environmental Facilities Corporation is making possible.  These no-interest and low-interest loans will make the final toll fare to motorists that much lower.

 

"At this time, access to half billion dollars in low and no-cost money to help finance the construction of the new Tappan Zee bridge is extremely significant.  In the short run, low-cost money means more dollars will stay in the pockets of commuters, motorists and commercial truckers – money that will circulate with business and consumer spending to help boost the local and regional economy.

 

"Longer term, borrowing from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund translates to great assurances that the bridge construction project is aligned with environmental standards, including those outlined in the New York-New Jersey Estuary’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.

 

"The math is very simple: lower costs to finance the new Tappan Zee Bridge mean lower tolls.


"The New NY Bridge project is already putting people back to work and having a positive impact on the Hudson Valley economy. These loans will help keep this historic project moving forward. Equally important over the long run, the monies will help to protect the environment. 

 

"Anyone who says they are against these EFC loans are fooling themselves and short-changing the public. Let’s do the math: higher environmental protection costs means higher tolls on the new bridge. Lower loan financing costs means lower tolls on the new bridge.

 

"We at CIC applaud Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his team’s use of innovative financing from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to support the environmental conservation expenses of this vitally needed new bridge." 
Terry P June 27, 2014 at 08:45 AM
Don't kid yourself. While there is logic to the argument, the two things, i.e., financing costs and tolls, are not connected. Besides, projected financing costs ALWAYS end up being woefully underestimated, and the state is going to find a way to screw us on tolls even if the bridge was built for free. The only thing you can be sure of is that everyone on both sides is blowing sunshine up our butts.
tom June 27, 2014 at 12:08 PM
N.Y. just ranked 50th in the nation for taxes on business (see CNBC report), so what's the big deal if we raise the tolls on the Tap from $5 to $15? We're paying enormous amounts of taxes already...what's a little more? I say we raise taxes on the rich too. Hit those making $125k or more. If you haven't left the state already, then you must not mind the taxes, to keep raising them. We need to tax and spend to get us out of this recession.
JJ June 27, 2014 at 01:57 PM
The NY tax structure is obscene........ I agree with the writer here that these "estimates" will go a lot higher and it'll cost a small fortune to cross this bridge. Some states are/ have used overseas companies to build bridges; of course that stops the jobs here but no matter what happens we're screwed again as taxpayer's. Funny thing is that I keep seeing these commercials on TV where all of these companies are re-locating to New York State. Oh by the way....they're NOT paying taxes so guess who's footing that bill? The NY tax structure is obscene........ I agree with the writer here that these "estimates" will go a lot higher and it'll cost a small fortune to cross this bridge. Some states are/ have used overseas companies to build bridges; of course that stops the jobs here but no matter what happens we're screwed again as taxpayer's. Funny thing is that I keep seeing these commercials on TV where all of these companies are re-locating to New York State. Oh by the way....they're NOT paying taxes so guess who's footing that bill?
JJ June 27, 2014 at 01:58 PM
Sorry about the double comment....Website issues?

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