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CONSTRUCTION/TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE UPDATE
New York State Commission on Asset Maximization issues final report

June 2, 2009

The New York State Commission on Asset Maximization issued a final report examining potential projects for public-private partnerships. Some of the key recommendations include: school construction and renovation in Syracuse and Yonkers; 300 bridge renovations in all corners of the State; wind power on the Great Lakes; and high speed rail.

In addition to outlining specific project ideas that could be effective long-term projects, the report also recommends the creation of a State Asset Maximization Board to screen, oversee and implement PPPs. The State Asset Maximization Board will serve as an entry point for new ideas, provide continuous oversight and transparency, and enable New York State to tap into New York’s best and brightest minds – across the public and private sectors. The Board would be unsalaried. The Business Council commends the work of the Commission members and Executive Director Samara Barend.

President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. Kenneth Adams said: “The business community is pleased with the findings of the Commission. As we try to turn around New York’s struggling economy, we know that investments in public-private partnership are needed more than ever to create and sustain economic growth. We look forward to making public-private partnerships a job creating reality in New York State.”

Below you will find a sampling of quotes from Business Council Members included in Governor Paterson’s press release:

Associated General Contractors of America of New York State CEO Jeffrey Zogg said: “As detailed in this report, New York State's infrastructure is rapidly deteriorating and requires increased public investment. Using an open, objective, and justified decision-making process, public-private partnerships and other alternative delivery methods can help finance critical capital projects that are the lifeblood of our economy. AGC NYS commends the Commission for their efforts to identify potential building and transportation projects that can be built using these arrangements and we look forward to working with Governor Paterson and the Legislature on this initiative.”

Building Trades Employers Association President Louis Colletti said: “The BTEA applauds the Governor and the Commission on Asset Maximization for putting forth an innovative, cost-effective, and efficient means of building badly needed infrastructure projects. The Governor has uncovered a way to generate billions in development and thousands of new jobs by utilizing public-private partnerships to upgrade and expand our infrastructure.”

New York Building Congress President Dick Anderson said: “The Commission on Asset Maximization has contributed an important understanding to future financing of New York State infrastructure and way of taking advantage of the State’s considerable assets. The New York Building Congress applauds the Commission’s consequential work and looks forward to helping bring its recommendations to fruition.”

Independent Power Producers of New York President and CEO Gavin Donahue said: “Many of the recommendations found within the report make a great deal of sense. We are particularly pleased that the Commission on State Asset Maximization joined the ever-growing list of industry and regulatory entities that recognize a comprehensive and workable statute is a critical element for the continued development of needed future energy supply.”

The American Institute of Architects of New York State Executive Director Edward C. Farrell said: “We commend Governor Paterson for creating the Commission and we strongly support the recommendations of this final report. As stewards of the built environment, architects know full well that alternate project delivery methods, which are common in other states, will produce cost savings here in New York. Cost savings achieved by eliminating wasteful processes is even more necessary now, as we work toward a sustainable built environment. Taxpayers deserve no less and we call upon the legislature to enact such changes.”

Long Island Contractors’ Association Executive Director Marc Herbst said: “The Commission’s report is a cogent road map for how best to ensure that the greatest federal infusion of dollars into New York since the Great Depression is spent wisely on public works. It also reminds us that bureaucracy cannot replace leadership. Indifference never built a bridge. And, as a State, we need to reorder our priorities so that we have the means and the drive to reinvent our public infrastructure. The authors of this report should be applauded and the Governor should be congratulated for insisting on a plan that gets us to the future.”

Partnership for New York City President & CEO Kathryn Wylde said: “The Commission on Asset Maximization offers concrete proposals for how New York can use its public and private resources more creatively to avoid the type of crisis that has brought California to the point where it can no longer fund operations. Moving quickly on the SAM recommendations will help restore our state's fiscal health.”