A new debt refinancing agreement giving New York state $1.2
billion for roads and bridges in the next five years was reached Aug. 2 between
Gov. George Pataki and the state’s comptroller.
Last month, Comptroller Alan Hevesi, a Democrat, put the
kibosh on a proposed $2.9 billion borrowing – or loan – by the New York Thruway
Authority, saying it would cost taxpayers $460 million in the long run, The
Associated Press reported.
In retaliation, Republican Gov. George Pataki stopped
handing out transportation contracts, saying the whole five-year, $17.9 billion
bridge and road spending plan OK’d by state lawmakers and the governor had to
be reworked without that money.
The new deal reached last week, delays payments to the final
15 years of the bonds, but are $1.7 billion less than before, The AP reported. It includes using $300 million in debt service reserve funds upfront
for projects during the next five years.
The agreement puts planned projects back in motion.
The bonds agreed to by Pataki and Hevesi are separate from
the $2.9 billion Transportation Bond Act that voters will decide on this