4:12pm

Mon March 3, 2014
Government

Syracuse's water main breaks get attention from Albany

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz is touring the state, talking with cities about aging infrastructures, hoping the state can come up with some help for communities plagued by collapsing streets and broken water mains.

It’s been a really horrible year when it comes to water main breaks in the City of Syracuse, said water department superintendent Paul Trovato.

"Between the cold and being old that’s what the problem is,” he said.

So Mayor Stephanie Miner was pleased when the Brooklyn politician stopped at City Hall to promote a plan for a $2 billion bond act that would help municipalities shore up crumbling infrastructure, using a big water main break in the shadow of City Hall to illustrate the point.

A water main broke just behind city hall in Syracuse.
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Miner’s lobbying of Albany to help pay for repairs of over century old sewer lines that have been collapsing more than usual this winter, has intensified. She says ultimately, it’s a question of economic development.

“You can’t create jobs unless you have an infrastructure that works," she said. "And that an infrastructure is an important government role, and it requires local leadership and state leadership to make it happen.”

Ortiz is hoping that support from mayor’s like miner will get him the political muscle to get the Bond Act proposal on the books.

"At the end of the day it’s to ensure that our infrastructure is ready for the new industry, and the new manufacturing and the new economy that will come to our cities," he said. "And it’s important that the governor listen to this, and the speaker and the president of the Senate, so we can get the support to get it done."

Infrastructure upgrades are a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed immediately, Ortiz said, adding the more mayors that get behind that thought, the faster something can be done.