UB to Host Regional Workshop On Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: December 9, 1996 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Representatives from municipalities throughout Western New York will gather on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the University at Buffalo to learn more about acquiring funding for projects through the New York Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act that was approved by voters in November.

The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Center for Tomorrow on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Sponsored by UB's Governance Project and its Institute of Government, it is geared toward municipal officials in Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Allegany, Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston counties.

"Our goal (in sponsoring the workshop) is to help Western New York localities position themselves to take advantage of bond act funding and to address pressing environmental needs in their communities," said John Sheffer, interim vice president for public service and urban affairs at UB.

The workshop will bring together representatives of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, legislative representatives, area professionals and other experts to help municipalities anticipate the processes and regulations being developed in Albany to implement the $1.75 billion bond act. The session will assist localities in understanding the bond-act procedures with the best information available, assessing environmental needs, developing strong environmental projects, providing input to state officials on developing a municipal-friendly bond-act process and identifying possible matching or alternative sources of funding.

UB President William R. Greiner noted that the bond act workshop is an outgrowth of recent university partnerships within Western New York.

"We think UB can be -- and has to be -- a resource and partner for our region," Greiner said. "Our Governance Project announced a major series of partnerships this past February. This workshop is part of that context, and part of the previous work of our Institute of Government to help Western New York leaders keep pace with current issues.

"As a public university, UB has an obligation to make new information and perspectives available to our neighbors, and especially to area government leaders," he said. "The bond act workshop is one way to do that. Over the next few years, the Governance Project and Institute of Government also will offer other training sessions for local government and school officials on a wide range of government topics.

"We're proud of these programs," Greiner continued. "They are an important part of the service that UB is here to provide for our community."

Sheffer said that UB soon will announce the awarding of several grants for collaborative projects between area school districts, or between school districts and municipalities. He added that state Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Governments, has been of "great assistance" in supporting that effort.

"The truth is that many new collaborations are springing up as a result of all the attention to issues of governance in the region over the past year or two," Sheffer said. "Those of us at the university have received a clear signal from Bill Greiner that we should participate in those collaborations in every way that we can. The bond act workshop and the grant program are two of the ways in which we are pursuing that goal."