Binghamton considers how to spend stimulus money

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BINGHAMTON, NY – The City of Binghamton faces an unprecedented opportunity with a 42 million dollar windfall in federal coronavirus fiscal recovery funding.

The money represents roughly half of the city’s annual operating budget.

The Treasury Department released guidelines yesterday on what the money can be spent on.

The funds cannot pay off past debts, nor can they be saved for a rainy day.

They must be spent over the next several years on certain eligible uses including public health, hard-hit communities and infrastructure.

Deputy Mayor and Republican candidate for Mayor this Fall, Jared Kraham, says one major objective should be shoring up the city’s aging water and sewer systems.

“A large scale investment in Binghamton’s water and sewer infrastructure would reap benefits not just in the short term for fixing some crumbling water and sewer lines and other infrastructure, but also defray the future costs of those upgrades which are certainly very expensive for the taxpayer,” says Kraham.

Kraham says other priorities should include expanding public broadband infrastructure, economic development, job creation and safe, affordable housing.

Kraham says the current administration will be tasked with developing a plan for the money but that the next will oversee its implementation.

He says he’s uniquely positioned to provide continuity through the process and that he has a track record of fiscal and project management.

Tomorrow, we will speak with City Councilman and Democratic candidate for Mayor Joe Burns about his recommendation for spending the money.

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