by Joe Jenkins
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — New York State Senator Greg Ball (R – Patterson) announced a bipartisan public-private partnership bill in an effort to keep tolls down on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
New York State recently learned that the federal loans requested will only cover roughly 33 percent of the bridge’s cost as opposed to the 49 percent that was requested a year ago. The result would be tolls approaching $14 or more.
“Over $14 is too high,” Ball said in a statement. “Simply raising the toll is not a sustainable solution. We can’t continue to pass the tab onto those that cross the bridge and the tax payers. New York is the capitol of capital and we must unlock the private sector to fund and maintain this vital infrastructure project.”
Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D- Kenmore), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, has joined ball in creating the new legislation.
“This forward-thinking legislation creates a framework that will allow for and encourage investment in the state by private companies in order to advance the development and operation of public infrastructure,” Schimminger said in a statement. “This would be extremely helpful to efforts aimed at boosting Upstate New York’s economy.”
The public-private partnership legislation will help transfer the risks associated with building, financing, operating and maintaining public infrastructure projects from the taxpayers to the private sector. One of the key benefits is that private partners are responsible for project cost overruns eliminating the government’s risk going back to taxpayers for additional funds. (ARTICLE)