PORT HENRY New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation Acting President Matthew J. Millea has announced $5.5 million in interest-free loans to the town of Moriah and the village of Port Henry for a wastewater project. Millea, together with Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, presented ceremonial checks to Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava and Port Henry Deputy Mayor Linda DuRoss at the Moriah/Port Henry wastewater treatment plant. The interest-free financing, provided via the New York Clean Water State Revolving Fund, will collectively save the towns more than $4.5 million in interest costs over the 30 year-term of their loans. On behalf of Gov. David Paterson, and EFCs Chairman, Commissioner Pete Grannis, I am extremely pleased to offer this financial assistance to the communities of Moriah and Port Henry, said Millea. Due to the $5.5 million in funding provided today by the Clean Water SRF, we continue to make progress in our efforts to help communities throughout the State protect New Yorks precious natural resources. Commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation Pete Grannis said: The financial assistance provided today by the SRF programs translates into tremendous environmental benefits to the people of Essex County and New York State. I congratulate the communities receiving the funding announced today and thank them for their continued commitment to protecting New Yorks natural resources. The project involves expanding the capacity of the Moriah/Port Henry wastewater treatment plant to bring it into compliance with State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit requirements. Plant upgrades include a new control building, pump station and four batch reactor tanks. The project, which is expected to be completed in August 2008, will help to improve the water quality of Lake Champlain. Moriah received a $3.12 million interest-free Clean Water SRF loan to cover its share of 60 percent of the project costs. Port Henry received a $2.38 interest-free Clean Water SRF loan to cover 40 percent of the project costs and additional funds for upgrading the villages North End pump station. The no-interest financing will save Moriah $2.55 million and Port Henry $1.94 million in interest costs over the 30 year-term of their loans. This project also previously received a total of $2.7 million in grants from New York States Clean Water/Clean Bond Act. It is especially hard for communities like Moriah and Port Henry to afford the infrastructure improvements needed to provide safe, affordable drinking water for their residents and also improve the water quality of Lake Champlain, said Rep. John McHugh. Given that we just celebrated Earth Day this week on April 22, this funding is particularly timely as it will go directly toward improving the ecological health of one of our great natural resources. Additionally, the funding provides benefits to current local residents and businesses as well as to the long-term ability of small communities to ensure their continued economic viability. State Sen. Betty Little said: This is a smart State and local partnership that will help the communities of Moriah and Port Henry better protect the water quality of Lake Champlain. As we look forward to celebrating the Champlain Quadricentennial next year, it is encouraging to see this kind of progress to protect such a wonderful and valuable resource. Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward said: "Our small, rural Adirondack communities want to do the right thing when it comes to wastewater treatment, but necessary improvements are often more than taxpayers can afford. The funds we are able to leverage through the State of New York make projects like this possible. Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said: "Without the $3.12 million interest-free loan that the town received from EFC, and also the Bond Act grant money, the town of Moriah or the village of Port Henry could not have afforded this project. As Lake Champlain is our entire eastern border, with two municipal public beaches and campgrounds, it is critical that we do everything that we can to keep this lake protected, and yet keep the cost affordable for the residents that live here. Deputy Mayor Linda DuRoss said: It is my honor to be here today to accept this ceremonial check for the village share of interest free financing. We are very proud of our wastewater treatment plant and recognize the importance it brings to the health, welfare and growth expansion of our community. With the project being completed on time and under budget we were able to upgrade our North End pump station that also represents a savings to the taxpayer.