Community Assistance Contacts

Minimize
To view contact info for the Community Assistance Program Team (categorized by County), click HERE.

Community Assistance

EFC’s Community Assistance Program is designed to provide direct assistance to small, rural communities in New York State for the organization and completion of water/wastewater projects eligible for State Revolving Fund (SRF) financing. In the development of the SRF, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized that leaders of smaller communities generally lacked the resources to organize a major infrastructure project, retain the needed professional services, and develop funding applications, in addition to running the day to day affairs of their community. This realization resulted in SRF funding of a program to provide needed project assistance to communities at no additional cost.

The program consists of two related aspects, as discussed below: 1) our project development services and 2) funding coordination. The Community Assistance Program is located within the Engineering and Program Management Division of EFC and consists of full-time members, plus administrative/clerical assistance.

Program Goal

Minimize

The goal of the Community Assistance Program is to provide guidance and insight to community leaders, gained through practical experience with similar projects, which helps move the infrastructure project forward to completion as effectively and efficiently as possible. We accomplish this goal by providing direct, one-on-one technical assistance to the community, to the level of assistance needed and requested. Three of our staff members are located in offices remote from Albany in an effort to enhance our availability to the local project team.

Services Offered

Minimize
As mentioned, Community Assistance covers two related aspects of a typical infrastructure project. The first area of assistance involves the organization of the project and the project team through identification of specific work tasks, scheduling the sequencing of work, and identifying the expertise needed to complete the project. This project development work will generally:
  1. Identify the local interested parties that would serve as the community’s project team.
  2. Identify criteria related to retaining engineering and legal services.
  3. Identify issues related to environmental reviews and other regulatory requirements.
  4. Assist with tasks associated with special district formation, if needed.
  5. Develop and modify an overall project schedule that addresses the project work in relation to funding agency application schedules.
  6. Assist with developing a plan for community involvement to build citizen support for the project.
  7. Help maintain open communication among all involved parties before, during, and after project construction.

The services provided are always specifically configured to meet the needs of the project being undertaken, the community involved, and the nature of the local project team.

The second area of assistance offered is the guidance provided by the funding coordinator. The funding coordinator assists communities with the identification of applicable loan and grant funding programs offered by state and federal agencies through the NYS Water and Sewer Infrastructure Cofunding Initiative.  Once the community’s funding package is established, the funding coordinator continues to work with municipal officials, serving to manage communications between the community and the involved funding agencies, to see that the required submittals flow as efficiently as possible and that agency requirements are satisfied.

Benefits to the Community

Minimize
Our professional team recognizes that a major project of this type will likely be one of the largest, most complicated, and most costly that a small community will ever undertake. The services of EFC’s Community Assistance Staff can help the community leaders manage the significant number of issues, large amount of paperwork, and major decisions that are associated with a typical infrastructure project. Our experience and close involvement with the project will assist in maintaining open communication with community leaders, retained professionals, regulatory agencies, and the general public. The aim is to keep the project moving forward, eliminate duplication of work, meet funding agency schedules, and get the project completed and serving its intended purpose.