Mount Kisco, N.Y. – 10/11/2012 – Senator Greg Ball (Patterson – R, C) along with the Business Council of Westchester hosted their third Public-Private Partnership Roundtable this Thursday at the Mt. Kisco Library.
Participants at Thursday’s roundtable discussed the benefits of employing public-private partnerships to finance, design, build, and manage public infrastructure projects in New York.
Furthermore, the participants gave feedback on proposed public-private partnership legislation to ensure that it satisfies the concerns of all stakeholders including labor, business and public sectors.
“New York is the capitol of capital and our current inability to proactively fund vital infrastructure projects, small and large, is simply inexcusable. Public-private partnerships (P3’s) would better enable New York to finance public work projects, such as the transit portion of the Tappan Zee Bridge, while reducing the burden on federal, state and local taxpayers as well as commuters and ratepayers,” said Senator Greg Ball. “We live in a powerful state that is home to the greatest financial market in the world. The search for federal debt based funds and our clamoring to finance the transit option on the Tappan Zee Bridge is symptomatic of a previous lack of both creative thinking and innovative finance models. It’s time to change all of that by supplying the Governor with these new helpful tools.”
According to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures: “In this difficult economic environment, public-private partnerships have been increasingly studied and pursued by state policymakers as one alternative method, among others, to procure transportation infrastructure improvements. Such partnerships combine a leveraged mix of public and private dollars to better bridge the gap between transportation needs and the financial resources available to meet those needs.”
Ross J. Pepe, the President & CEO of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley stressed the importance that prevailing wage is built into New York’s public-private partnership legislation.
Pepe went on to say, “This is a vital program for the economy, infrastructure and people of New York State. Public-private partnerships are a great opportunity that those in other states have, but we in New York State don’t have the opportunity to participate in. We are thrilled to be able to participate with the Senator in drafting this legislation.”
Richard Norment, Executive Director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships has now participated in all three of Senator Ball’s PPP round tables. Norment said he is dedicated to helping New York State craft the best legislation possible.
“At this moment, New York State does not have adequate legislation for public-private partnerships. I think this is a unique opportunity for New York to tap into a process that more and more states are using now,” said Richard Norment, Executive Director of the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships. “If this state used the private sector to fund this project it would lessen the load and not put a drain on the taxpayers. It doesn’t matter if it is the Tappan Zee Bridge or the Yonkers School District; this is a way of instantly creating thousands of jobs.”
According to Joseph Bracchitta, the Chief Administrative Officer of Yonkers Public Schools, 36 out of 38 Yonkers school buildings are in need of upgrades and improvements.
“Yonkers currently is not maintaining the school buildings at the rate they are deteriorating,” said Bracchitta. “Using public-private partnerships you can build good schools, create good jobs and build a good community “this will attract more people willing to live, work and invest in New York State.”
“The P3 structure is something that can help cities and states do something with their social infrastructure that they can’t do on their own giving the current budget,” said Patrick J. Flinn, Managing Director in the Public Institutions Group of Jones Lang LaSalle. “This is something that should seriously be considered here in [New York State] but needs legislation to enable it.”
“Using private money to build new infrastructure will create jobs, protect the unions rights, allow unions members to get jobs and will also allow them to invest their pension funds in infrastructure,” said Frank M. Rapoport, Senior Partner & Chair of the Global Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships of McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP. “I applaud Senator Ball for his leadership and his willingness to reach across the aisle to work with [Assemblyman] Morelle and [Senator] Fuschillo to commute to the Governor that we need to get this done.”
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Joe Bachmeier at (845) 200-9716.